TICO - Industry Info

Industry Info

TICO Education Standards - FAQ about Key Issues

Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrint

 

Why are Education Standards necessary?
Is TICO testing us on basic travel industry knowledge?
Once I get my Education Standards Certificate, can I sell travel services?
Where in Ontario Regulation 26/05 does it refer to TICO Education Standards?
How will the introduction of TICO Education Standards affect the way I do business.
I work in a Call Centre- do TICO Education Standards affect me?
I am a registrant with TICO but I have an out-of-province Call Centre. Do the Education Standards affect me?
I work in the back office in accounting-but every once in a while I must contact a client to clarify a payment. Do I therefore have to write the TICO Education Standards exam?
How will TICO deal with 'grandfathering', after all, I have been in the business for 10 years.
I am an agency Supervisor. Which exam(s) must I write?
When did the Education Standards come into effect?
How soon can I obtain the Study Manual and write the exam?
Is the Education Standards program mandatory ?

Q Why are Education Standards necessary?
A

Since TICO was established, they have identified hundreds of complaints and situations that have arisen due to the lack of knowledge or misinformation about the rules governing the industry. These rules, embodied in the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and Ontario Regulation 26/05, spell out the role of the agency and wholesaler and touch on vital issues of 'obligation to the client' and 'due diligence'. TICO is being proactive and instituting a basic course to ensure that there is a level playing field and that all registrants will be familiar with the Act and Regulation. This will, in the long run, save consumers, agencies and wholesalers a lot of stress, a lot of time, and even a lot of money.
 

Q Is TICO testing us on basic travel industry knowledge?
A

There is no 'basic knowledge test'. This is something that Travel & Tourism programs throughout the province look after very well. TICO's concern is with TICO matters: The enforcement of the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and the Regulation. The ultimate goal is consumer protection.
 

Q Once I get my Education Standards Certificate, can I sell travel services?
A

Successfully passing the TICO Education Standards Exam allows you to sell travel services or provide travel advice to the public on behalf of a TICO registered Ontario travel agency. It does not mean that you are licensed to sell travel services in Ontario. A pass certificate for the exam is not the same as a TICO Registration. If you are not working for a TICO registered travel agency and you wish to sell travel services in Ontario, you would need to contact TICO’s registration department to obtain a license before you can start selling travel services.

Q Where in Ontario Regulation 26/05 does it refer to TICO Education Standards?
A

If you are searching for the words "Education Standards", you will not find them. What you will find in Section 15 of the Regulation are references to 'knowledge'.

The first is in Sections 15(2) (a) and 15 (2) (b) along with the term "required certification". (Here, the term 'certification' refers to the acknowledged passing of an exam related to 'required' knowledge. It does NOT refer to the Certification Programs which lead to the CTC and CTM designations). 'Required' refers to what TICO - and the spirit of the Regulation – determine is necessary to fulfill the Travel Counsellor and Supervisor/Manager roles. The program really boils down to knowledge of the Act and Regulation.

Q How will the introduction of TICO Education Standards affect the way I do business?
A

a) as an agency owner: As of July 1st 2009, you will have documentation from each employee attesting to the fact that as a staff member who deals with the public, he/she has satisfied the requirements of the TICO Education Standard, by passing the Travel Counsellor Exam. It is suggested that employees present both the original documentation and a copy to the employer, so that the employer can verify that the copy is genuine. The employer should only keep the copy--and return the original letter to the employee.

Also, as an agency owner, if you deal with the public, you will have passed the same Travel Counsellor Exam as all your staff. When you renew your TICO registration after June 30th, 2009, you will be required to confirm that all staff selling travel services or providing travel advice to the public are compliant with the Standard.

In addition, you will ensure that the Supervisor/Manager of the agency has complied with the Standard by passing the Travel Counsellor Exam and, if necessary, the Supervisor/Manager Exam.

b) as an agency Supervisor/Manager: As of June 30th, 2009 you will have passed the Travel Counsellor Exam. Every travel agency is required to name a Supervisor/Manager on their application for registration or renewal.  This individual is the Supervisor/Manager “on record” with TICO.  The Supervisor/Manager on record with TICO as of June 30th, 2009 will be “grandfathered” and will not be required to take the Supervisor/manager Exam by July 1, 2009. An individual that has not been approved as a Supervisor/Manager by TICO and who wishes to act as the Supervisor/Manager on record with TICO on or after July 1, 2009, must write and pass the Supervisor/Manager Exam.

Please note that all supervisors and managers or other individuals who may wish to advance in the industry in the future are welcome and encouraged to take the exam.   A combination exam is available for those wishing to write both the Travel Counsellor and the Supervisor/Manager exams at the same time.

In addition, in your capacity as agency Supervisor/Manager, you are responsible for ensuring that all travel counsellors are compliant with the Standard.

c) as a travel agent who deals with the public. As of July 1, 2009 you are required to pass the Travel Counsellor Exam. Upon passing the exam, you will be sent a "Pass" letter/Certificate. Take the original, along with a copy, to your employer. Give them the copy for their files as proof that you have complied with the Education Standards.
 

Q I work in a Call Centre - do TICO Education Standards affect me?
A

Every person in Ontario who is selling travel services or providing travel advice to the public on behalf of an Ontario travel agency must, by law, meet the TICO Education Standards by July 1, 2009.
 

Q I am a registrant with TICO but I have an out-of-province Call Centre. Do TICO Education Standards affect me?
A

Yes. Individuals working at out-of-province call centres and after-hours emergency centres who are providing travel advice and selling or offering to sell travel services on behalf of an Ontario registered travel agency, must take and pass the Travel Counsellor Exam. This would not include individuals who are only taking messages and not responding to queries on behalf of the registrant. Further, it would not apply where the registrant has clearly informed the customer that it is a separate entity not regulated by TICO that will be dealing with the customer and taking payment in those situations and, as a result, the consumer protection provisions available in Ontario, such as the Compensation Fund, would not apply to any transactions between the customer and the unregistered entity.
 

Q I work in the back office in accounting, but every once in a while I must contact a client to clarify a payment. Do I therefore have to write the TICO Education Standards exam?
A

No. You are not dealing with the public as a travel counsellor. You are dealing with an issue that does not require travel-specific skills. If however, you are asked from time to time to speak with clients about travel, then you will be required to pass the Travel Counsellor exam.
 

Q How will TICO deal with 'grandfathering', after all, I have been in the business for 10 years.
A

There is no grandfathering with respect to the Travel Counsellor Exam. Every person who is selling or offering to sell travel services or providing travel advice on behalf of a registered Ontario travel agency, must by law pass the Travel Counsellor Exam.

There could be grandfathering as far as the Supervisor/Manager program is concerned. Please see the following question for further details.

Q I am an agency Supervisor. Which exam(s) must I write?
A

Every person who is selling or offering to sell travel services or providing travel advice on behalf of an Ontario registered travel agency must, by law, pass the Travel Counsellor Exam. This includes Supervisor/Managers.

The second level of the program is for supervisors and managers.  Every travel agency is required to name a Supervisor/Manager on their application for registration or renewal.  This individual is the Supervisor/Manager “on record” with TICO.  The Supervisor/Manager on record with TICO as of June 30th, 2009 will be “grandfathered” and will not be required to take the Supervisor/Manager Exam by July 1, 2009. An individual that has not been approved as a Supervisor/Manager by TICO and who wishes to act as the Supervisor/Manager on record with TICO on or after July 1, 2009, must write and pass the Supervisor/Manager Exam. 

Please note that all supervisors and managers or other individuals who may wish to advance in the industry in the future are welcome and encouraged to take the exam.   A combination exam will be available for those wishing to write both the Travel Counsellor and the Supervisor/Manager exams at the same time.   (80 multiple choice questions, in total).

Q When did the Education Standards come into effect?
A July 1, 2009
 
Q How soon can I obtain the Study Manual and write the exam?
A

The Study Manual is available now as a free PDF download on the TICO (www.tico.ca) website. The first writing of the TICO Education Standards Exams will be at the end of March, 2008. TICO requires a minimum of 14 days between the time a candidate registers to write the exam on a specific date, and the actual exam sitting. Please note that candidates should not sit the TICO Education Standard exam(s) without prior study of the Manual.
 

Q Is the Education Standards program mandatory?
A

Yes. It is mandated by the Travel Industry Act, 2002. Failure to comply with the TICO education requirements could result in some form of administrative or disciplinary action being taken by the Registrar against the Travel Agent.