Law 14 (Bill 96) FAQ | Continuing Education – AEC

Updated June 2023

Law 14

Law 14, adopted by Quebec’s National Assembly in May 2022, brings significant amendments to the Charter of the French Language. Certain aspects of the Bill affect English-language CEGEPs.

The information contained in this FAQ is based on available information as of June 16th, 2023. This FAQ will be updated as more information becomes available.

What is Law 14?

The ‘Loi sur la langue officielle et commune du Québec, le français’ (hereafter referred to as Law 14), formerly Bill 96, was adopted by Québec’s National Assembly in May 2022.

As of July 1st, 2023, certain aspects of the new law will affect students who register in Attestation of College Studies (ACS)/Attestation d’études collégiales (AEC) certification programs given in English in CEGEPs.

Law 14 puts students in Higher Education, including in AEC programs, into two categories:

  • Certificate of Eligibility Holders;
  • Non-Certificate of Eligibility Holders.

Law 14 introduces a French language requirement to the graduation requirements for Non-Certificate of Eligibility holders for AECs given in English.

It is important to note that ALL STUDENTS who are qualified to study at a college in Québec can be admitted to an English-language college, regardless of their high school of origin or their eligibility to receive instruction in English in an elementary or secondary school in Québec.

What is a Certificate of Eligibility?

Certificate of Eligibility are issued to people in specific cases who are allowed to receive instruction in English. These individuals have no added admission or graduation requirements under Law 14.

A full list can be found at the Québec government’s website (ref:

Who is a Non-Certificate of Eligibility Holder?

Most Québec citizens, or recently arrived immigrants, are not Certificate of Eligibility holders. Under Law 14 these individuals must have a certain level of French oral and written proficiency that they can demonstrate proof of, to the College, before the College can issue their AEC at the end of the program.

How do I know if I qualify for a Certificate of Eligibility?

If you meet the Québec government’s eligibility criteria you would already have received documentation when you were attending primary or secondary school. Regardless of if you have the document or not, you can inform the Cégep.

The Cégep will confirm your status with your permanent code, which is issued to all students who attend an educational institution in Québec.

Do I have to submit my Certificate of Eligibility when I apply for an AEC program?

Cégeps have access to review an applicant’s status and to determine if they hold a certificate of eligibility. Applicants are not required to submit their Certificate of Eligibility with their application.

What are the AEC certification requirements for Certificate of Eligibility Holders?

Applicants who hold the Certificate of Eligibility have no added admission or graduation requirement beyond those of the AEC program.

You are not required to prove your level of French proficiency.

What are the new AEC certification French language requirements for Non-Certificate of Eligibility Holders?

Non-Certificate of Eligibility applicants have the same admission requirements as Certificate of Eligibility applicants. However, under Law 14 Section 88.0.18, successfully admitted students must prove that they have a level of French language proficiency before obtaining their AEC.

The Québec government has declared that Non-Certificate of Eligibility Holders must prove that they have attained a level of French oral and written comprehension consistent with the “Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes” as follows:

Non-Certificate of Eligibility students will be required to prove their attainment of the required levels of spoken and written French through the successful completion of one of the following qualifying tests:

Please note that the previously mentioned standardized tests have a validity period. For students who have already completed one of the above tests, the Ministry will recognize a certificate that was valid at the time of the student’s admission.

For students who have not yet successfully completed one of the above tests, qualifying proof must be demonstrated prior to obtaining an AEC.

Responsibility of the Student

  1. The student will be responsible for registering with a center offering qualifying tests and paying the associated fees;
  2. The student must provide the institution with a valid certificate of achievement or any other document proving the attainment of the required level of French proficiency.

Can I be exempted from Law 14 French certification requirements as a Non-Certificate of Eligibility Holder?

Students who are Non-Certificate of Eligibility Holders can be exempted from proving their level of French if they have any of the following situations:

  1. Completed a secondary school diploma (DES) in French in Québec;
  2. Completed a secondary school diploma (DES) in English and passed the Secondary 5 French as a second language course;
  3. Completed a diploma of vocational studies (DEP) in French in Québec;
  4. Completed an Attestation d’études collégial/Attestation of Collegiate Studies (AEC/ACS) program in Québec, where all course were given in French;
  5. Completed a Diplôme d’études collégiales/Diploma of Collegiate Studies (DEC/DCS) or university diploma in French in Québec;
  6. Completed a program outside of Québec given in French that is equivalent to a DEC/DCS or university diploma;
  7. Completed at least 3 years of full-time secondary or postsecondary studies in French in Canada;
  8. Passed the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) examination leading to an attestation of a French level appropriate to practice their profession;
  9. Reside or have resided on an Indigenous or First Nations reservation, an establishment where the aboriginal community lives, or on Category I and Category 1-N within the meaning of “Loi sur le régime des terres dans les territoires de la Baie-James et du Nouveau-Québec (chapitre R-13.1)

For First Nations or Inuit students, the institution may request a document as proof of residency, based on two distinct situations:

  1. The individual resided in a community while they were a minor;
  2. The individual resides in a community, or has resided there as an adult, and has documentation in their name.

How do I determine the level of my French language skills?

The consortium of English-language Cégeps have developed a diagnostic test to help you determine your current level of French.

It is a free service and can be accessed at:

Note that you must still complete the official government-mandated test however, the results of the diagnostic test can help you decide how much additional training or how many additional courses might be needed to reach the acceptable level of French language proficiency.

How can I improve French language skills?

The Government of Québec offers Francisation (French courses). It consists of French courses that are free for immigrants and residents living in Québec. Francisation courses are offered in various locales in the province of Québec, including cégeps, school boards, adult education centers and more.

Their website is only in French, and information can be found at

I am a current student. Do the new rules apply to me?

Law 14 is applicable only for students starting a new program after July 1, 2023.

If you are an existing student transferring to a new program after July 1, 2023, then Law 14 is applicable.

If you were a student but you have to re-apply to a program of study, then Law 14 is applicable.

Continuing Education – F-151
Champlain College Saint-Lambert
900 Riverside Drive
Saint-Lambert, Québec
J4P 3P2



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