The Program is organized into two exams that correspond to the two levels of the program.
The two exams do not need to be completed at the same time, however they both need to be completed within the allowed six-month timeframe.
Exam candidates are encouraged to read all ten chapters of the study manual. Chapters 1-6 are required reading for the Travel Counsellor exam. Chapters 7-10 relate specifically to the Supervisor/Manager exam requirement.
Travel Counsellor Level
The first level, comprising chapters 1-6, contains information that specifically relates to travel Counsellors in Ontario. Every person who works for a retail travel agency/website and sells travel services or provides travel advice to the public must write the Travel Counsellor Exam based on the first six chapters of the study manual. This includes Supervisor/Managers.
Chapter 1: Introduction to the Education Standards Program
Chapter 2: Ontario’s Travel Industry Act, 2002
Chapter 3: TICO’s Role in the Travel Industry
Chapter 4: Registrant Obligations Before the Sale
Chapter 5: Registrant Obligations After the Sale and Before the Client Travels
Chapter 6: Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund
The Supervisor/Manager Level
The second level of the program is for Supervisors and Managers, comprising chapters 7-10 in the study manual. The Travel Counsellor exam must be successfully completed before attempting the Supervisor/Manager exam. Every travel agency/website is required to name a Supervisor/Manager on their application for registration or renewal. This individual is the Supervisor/Manager “on record” with TICO and must write and pass the Supervisor/Manager exam to be approved by the Registrar.
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.
Chapter 7: Registration Requirements
Chapter 8: Financial and Record-Keeping Requirements
Chapter 9: Complaints
Chapter 10: Investigations and Offences
Details for Exam Appeals
After successfully completing this program you will be able to:
Chapter 2 – Ontario’s Travel Industry Act, 2002
- List the individuals, groups and organizations covered by the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and describe their roles
- Describe the developments that led to the introduction of specific travel legislation in Canada
- Describe the main components of Ontario’s Travel Industry Act, 2002
Chapter 3 – TICO’s Role in the Travel Industry
- Explain TICO’s mandate in the travel industry
- Describe the ongoing relationship between TICO and the provincial government
- Identify TICO’s organizational structure and board membership
- Describe TICO’s mission, vision, and values
- Explain TICO’s responsibilities
Chapter 4 – Registrant Obligations Before the Sale
- Define the terms representation and disclosure
- Describe registrant obligations with respect to representations and disclosures
- Explain requirements regarding the availability of trip cancellation insurance and out-of-province health insurance
- Correctly apply the requirements of the Act before a sale is made
- Correctly apply the Act and Regulation to all advertising
- Discuss the requirement for truth in advertising
- Recognize advertisements that do or do not meet the requirements of the Act and
- Describe the Registrar’s powers under the Act and Regulation with respect to advertising
Chapter 5 – Registrant Obligations – After the Sale And Before the Client Travels
- Correctly apply the Act and Regulation after a sale is made, and before the client has travelled
- Describe the invoicing requirements imposed by the Act and Regulation
- Explain what changes to travel arrangements must be disclosed to a client
- Verify the condition of accommodation as required by the Regulation
- List situations that require notice, refund, or replacement
- Identify travel agent and travel wholesaler requirements regarding documentation
- List the circumstances under which a travel wholesaler must provide travel
- Explain the duty of a registrant who resells travel services
Chapter 6 – Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund
- Explain the purpose of the Travel Industry Compensation Fund
- Describe how the Compensation Fund is financed
- Identify the two types of claims
- Explain who is allowed to make each type of claim on the Compensation Fund
- Explain claim limits
- Explain the claims procedure
- Explain the appeals process and who may appeal
- Describe how the Compensation Fund is administered
Chapter 7 – Registration Requirements
- Identify who must be registered and who is exempt under the Ontario Travel Industry Act, 2002
- Describe the requirements for registration, renewals, and changes under the Act
- Explain the conditions related to registration
- Explain appeals procedures
- Explain procedures for inspections and investigations
- Identify offences and disciplinary actions under the Act
- Explain the confidentiality requirements of the Act
Chapter 8 – Financial and Record-Keeping Requirements
- Identify the financial and other records required under the Act and Regulation
- Distinguish between trust and general accounts and describe each
- Describe the working capital and security requirements of the Regulation
Chapter 9 - Complaints
- Explain the TICO complaints process for disputes between consumers and registrants
- Discuss how disputes between registrants are handled
- Discuss how complaints against TICO are handled
Chapter 10 – Investigations and Offences
- Understand the role and power of investigators in matters where compliance with the Act has come into question
- Describe actions that are considered to be offences under the Act and Regulation
- Identify penalties that can be imposed if a registrant is found guilty of an offence
General Preparation Tips
Candidates should treat the sample exam seriously and plan to write in a similar atmosphere as the actual exam.
- Allow yourself 60 minutes of uninterrupted time to write the sample exam.
- Ensure that you are in a comfortable setting, with no distractions.
- Treat the sample as a closed book exam. Do not reference any outside materials. If you sneak a peek at the study manual, you are defeating the purpose of taking the sample exam as a preparation tool for the actual exam.
- Find the correct answers. Log in at TICO.opilink.com and they can be found in your MyTICO page.
- Review the chapters for which you gave incorrect answers, to better your understanding of the content.
Multiple Choice Questions
Read the entire question (“stem”)  with each possible answer as a full sentence. This allows you to recognize the sound and flow that a correct answer often produces. It also eliminates any alternatives that do not agree grammatically with the “stem”. Eliminate options that are definitely inaccurate to narrow your choices and take your best guess rather than skip a question. There will be one question per screen. All you need do is click the mouse on the correct answer.
Pacing and Timing
The Travel Counsellor exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. The time limit is 90 minutes. Some questions may require you to take more time to answer but you can easily check the timer on the upper right corner of the screen. To gauge your progress, check the timer at the halfway mark. (45 minutes – approximately 25 questions should be answered).
When you answer the very last exam question, the program will prompt you to return to answer questions that you may have skipped. It is your choice whether you would like to answer them at this stage. The recommendation is that if you absolutely don’t know the answer to a question, then take your best guess, rather than leave the question blank.
Plan to allow approximately 15 minutes to review your answers and to answer any questions you have skipped.
It is perfectly normal to feel anxious when faced with writing an exam. There are many ways to deal with exam anxiety, but knowing you understand the subject matter will reduce tension. By preparing thoroughly, you are taking control. Actively imagine your success in the exam situation. Take deep breaths to calm the “butterflies”. Stretch for a moment and focus your energy. Be prepared, be positive and confidently approach the exam process. Remember that there are no “trick” questions. The purpose of the exam is to ensure that you, as a seller of travel, understand your obligations toward the consumer. For most travel agents, this is simply part of what they do—successfully—on a daily basis.
Some people find it’s good to review notes with others, while some people find this confusing. Choose the study method that is most comfortable for you.
Above all, remember to bring your positive attitude. You should feel confident by telling yourself that you have prepared well and will do well.