Canadian Program Certification
To help reduce the barriers to certifying risky to produce high impact productions, we’re ready to waive some of criteria from the regular certification process. Read more about our Pilot Project.
Canadian Program Certification helps independent Canadian program producers to obtain Canadian certification for TV productions that use mainly Canadian crews and talents.
Why is certification needed?
Conventional television, pay TV and specialty TV licensees must broadcast a certain percentage of content made by Canadians. To monitor compliance, the CRTC requires licensees to maintain program logs for the Canadian programming they broadcast; these Canadian programs or productions are identified using a certification number.
This means that an independently produced program requires a certification number if it’s to be broadcast by a licensee. Without a certification number, the broadcaster can’t claim the program against the requirements of content made by Canadians and the program is not recognized as being Canadian.
In general, the CRTC certifies a Canadian program or series that meets the following criteria:
- the producer must be Canadian and is responsible for monitoring and making decisions pertaining to the program
- the production earns a minimum number of points based on the key creative functions that are performed by Canadians
- a minimum percentage of program expenses is paid for services provided by Canadians or Canadian companies
Exempt or ineligible programming
Some programs are generally recognized as being Canadian, and don’t require CRTC certification:
- news and public affairs programs
- productions that have received certification from the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO) of Canadian Heritage
- music video clips of 5 minutes or less
- federal and provincial government productions
- public service announcements of less than 5 minutes
The following productions are not eligible for certification:
- infomercials and ads
- promotional and corporate videos or films
Where to apply for certification
The type of production determines where producers should apply for certification:
- if the production is independently produced and meets certification requirements as a Canadian program, apply for Canadian Program Certification with the CRTC
- if the production is eligible for a tax credit, file an application with CAVCO of Canadian Heritage
- if the production involves an official co-production with a treaty country, file with Telefilm Canada
Canadian award shows
As noted in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-808, the Commission has established a list of qualifying award shows. This is a “living list” in which only the programs included will be considered eligible as award shows that qualify as programs of national interest. These programs consist of award shows of national or regional scope that celebrate Canadian creative talent and/or cultural diversity and achievements in Canadian arts and culture (broadcasting, film, music, video, new media and the arts sector).
- If you wish to apply, please complete Form 206 - Live action. In addition to this, provide a letter including the reasons why the program should be added to the Canadian award show list.
- Access the Canadian award shows list.
List of Canadian Programs certified by the Commission
Access the list of Canadian programs certified by the Commission. The list of all certified productions since 1961 is available by Program, Title, Certification Number, Certification Date, and/or Program Category.
- Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2023-90
- Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2017-434
- Creating compelling and diverse Canadian programming (Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2015-86)
- Revision of the definition of a Canadian program to include Canadian programs that have been dubbed in Canada and outside Canada (Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-905)
- Revised definitions for specific program categories (Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-808)
- A group-based approach to the licensing of private television services (Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2010-167)
- Electronic filing of applications (Broadcasting circular 2008-2-1)
- Electronic filing of applications (Broadcasting circular 2008-2) and
- To licensees of all television broadcasting undertakings (Circular 350)
- Certification for Canadian Programs – A revised approach (Public Notice CRTC 2000-42)
- Implementation of TV Policy (Public Notice CRTC 1999-206)
- Definitions for new types of priority programs (Public Notice CRTC 1999-205)
- Amendment to the Television Broadcasting Regulations (Public Notice CRTC 1994-139)
- Regulations respecting television broadcasting (Public Notice CRTC 1987-8)
- Pay Television Regulations (1990)
- Specialty Services Regulations (1990)
- Television Program Categories
- Television Broadcasting Regulations (1987)
- Date modified: