Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ about Key Issues

Since TICO was established, it has identified hundreds of complaints and situations that have arisen due to a 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 agencies and wholesalers 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 the 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.

There is no ‘basic knowledge test’. This is something that Travel and 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 Ontario Regulation 26/05. The ultimate goal is consumer protection.

Successfully passing the TICO Education Standards Exam allows you to sell travel services or to 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 need to contact TICO’s registration department to obtain a license.

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 the knowledge of the Act and the Regulation.

Every person in Ontario who sells travel services or provides travel advice to the public on behalf of an Ontario travel agency must, by law, meet the TICO Education Standards.

Yes. Individuals working at out-of-province call centres and after-hours emergency call centres who provide travel advice and sell or offer to sell travel services on behalf of an Ontario registered travel agency, must take and pass the Travel Counsellor Exam. This does not include individuals who only take messages and do not respond to queries on behalf of a registrant. Further, it does not apply where the registrant has clearly informed the customer that a separate entity not regulated by TICO, 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, will not apply to any transactions between the customer and the unregistered entity.

No. You do not deal 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 are required to pass the Travel Counsellor exam.

Every person who sells or offers to sell travel services or provides 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. An individual that has not been approved as a Supervisor/Manager by TICO and who wishes to act as such on record with TICO 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.

July 1, 2009

The study manual is available as a free PDF download. Please note that candidates should not sit the TICO Education Standards Exams without studying the study manual.

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.

FAQ for Travel Schools

No. The TICO Education Standards test knowledge of the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and Ontario Regulation 26/05. They do not test basic travel knowledge. Employers looking for well-educated entry-level staff will still choose graduates of travel programs, where a full, rounded knowledge of the travel industry is provided.

Yes – and this is highly recommended.

Yes. TICO will work with Ontario Travel Programs so the students can be tested prior to graduation.

No. Students must have already passed the Travel Counsellor Exam prior to any work placements where they will be dealing with the public and selling travel services to consumers.

As long as no travel services are being sold and no remuneration is being received, the students are not required to have passed the Travel Counsellor Exam. A simulated travel agency is a mock environment where the students can practice advising consumers about travel services. If the consumer decides to go to a travel agency to actually book a trip, their travel agent will be responsible for ensuring that they are provided with all the required information and disclosures as they would with any other booking.

If you are only teaching students and are not involved in the actual selling of travel services, you are not required to pass the Travel Counsellor Exam. However, in the spirit of ‘leadership by example’ and to appreciate the Travel Counsellor Exam process, educators and instructors are encouraged to write the exam.

FAQ about the Program Material

The program consists of a study manual and exams. The study manual is divided into two sections. Modules 1-5 correspond with the areas in the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and the Ontario Regulation 26/05 that will be tested on the Travel Counsellor Exam. Modules 6-9 relate to areas that the Supervisor/Manager must know and the questions on the Supervisor/Manager Exam. (Refer to the FAQ on Key Issues)

While travel counsellors only need to concentrate on the first five modules for exam purposes, they are strongly urged to read through the entire study manual to get an overview of the Act and the Regulation.

The material in the program is geared toward a proper understanding of the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and the Ontario Regulation 26/05, as they affect both travel agents and consumers. It is written in an easy-to-read and non-legal format.


TICO has thoroughly reviewed the material in the study manual and the exams have been pilot tested. Under the leadership of Oliver Publishing Inc. (OPI), every exam question along with the four possible responses (the correct response to the question plus three distractors) have been carefully scrutinized by OPI and a TICO board committee.

Yes.

There is no cost for the PDF download of the study manual.

The Travel Counsellor Exam registration fee is $35.00.

The Supervisor/Manager Exam registration fee is $35.00.

The Travel Counsellor and Supervisor/Manager Exams registration fee (if purchased together) is $50.00.

FAQs about The Exam and Fees

The minimum recommended computer equipment required for writing the online exam consists of:

Systems Requirements for Exams


PC Windows- Certification Browser: Chrome (Windows 7 is not compatible)

Mac OS 10.13x or higher- Certification Browser: Chrome

Oliver’s Digital LockTM
You will be required to download the Oliver’s Digital Lock. This is an application to ensure the integrity of the Exam by restricting other computers being able to access your computer and your computer being able to access other websites while you are doing your Exam. During the entirety of the Exam, your communications will be restricted to our exam servers.

You only need to install the Digital Lock once.

For each Exam, you will need to connect and then after the Exam, don’t forget to disconnect. When you are ready to start your Exam, click on the desktop icon that has been created and connect.

Additional Requirements:

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader

  • Flash enabled (always allow access to the web camera)

  • Pop-Ups enabled

  • Web camera with microphone (if you do not have a computer with a built-in web camera and microphone)

The exam is closed book. It will test the candidates understanding of the material. It will not ask, for example, “In what section of the Regulation will you find….”

Yes. Candidates may write the exam anytime they choose and any place they choose as long as they have a computer, an online connection and a webcam.

There is a 90-minute time limit for writing the Travel Counsellor Exam.

There is a 60-minute time limit for the Supervisor/Manager Exam.

Yes. Sample exams for both the Travel Counsellor Exam, and for the Supervisor/Manager Exam are included in the study manual, along with instructions on how to check your answers.

TICO will do all they can to offer programs, advice and suggestions on how to prepare candidates for the exam. This could consist of completing the sample exam, taking a preparation course, or speaking to a mentor who has already passed the exam. While TICO will provide as much assistance as possible, the bottom line is that the Travel Counsellor Exam is mandatory.

Yes. Fill out the Special Needs Accommodation Form and email it to admin@oliverslearning.com, as soon as you register online for your TICO Exam.

The registration fee for the Travel Counsellor exam is $35.00.

The re-write fee is $24.00.

There are no discounts or promo codes.

The registration fee for the Supervisor/Manager exam is $35.00.

The rewrite fee is $24.00.

There are no discounts or promo codes.

The registration fee for the Travel Counsellor and Supervisor/Manager exams together is $50.00.

The rewrite fee is $24.00.

There are no discounts or promo codes.

The Travel Counsellor Exam FAQs

Every person in Ontario who works for a retail travel agency and sells travel services or provides travel advice to the public must, by law, meet the industry’s Education Standards. This includes employees and contractors as well as supervisor/managers.

The exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. It is only available online to ensure that all Ontario registrants are able to write it, at a time of their choosing, no matter where they work.

The Supervisor/Manager Exam FAQs

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. An individual who has not been approved as a Supervisor/Manager by TICO and who wishes to act as the Supervisor/Manager on record with TICO 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.

The Supervisor/Manager Exam consists of 30 multiple choice questions. It is only available online to ensure that all Ontario registrants are able to write it at a time of their choosing, no matter where they work.

No. However, the Travel Counsellor and the Supervisor/Manager Exams can be purchased together for $50.00.

Pass/Fail-Exam FAQs

Exam results are only reported to the individual who wrote the exam. After a candidate writes the Exam and receives their results, it is the candidate’s responsibility to communicate their results, if they so choose, to a third party.

Each exam has a unique pass result. This is because exams are built by assembling a random group of questions from a larger bank of questions. Each question has been reviewed and rated by an expert industry committee to determine how difficult the question is for a candidate with the minimum required amount of knowledge, and how likely it is for that candidate to select the correct answer. Obviously the harder the question or more technical - the more likely people will be to fail it. Likewise, if the question is easier, there will be a higher percentage of people who will select the correct answer.


Therefore, each question on the exam has its own level of difficulty and expected % pass result assigned. Once all the exam questions are determined for the specific test form, then, the individual question pass results are averaged and the overall exam pass % is determined for that form. This is called the examination standard. Since each exam will be made up of a different mix of questions the pass result of each form will vary. The average pass result is roughly 70%.

If your result is higher than or equal to the exam standard, you will be assigned a Pass result; if your score is lower than the standard, you will be assigned a Fail result.

Each exam form has a different exam standard (% pass result) so that all candidates are treated equally in terms of an exam level of difficulty. Therefore the actual pass result has no specific bearing other than to determine if the requirement of passing the exam has been met or not met (as in the case of a fail). A report of the pass result would be of no significance since it could not be compared to results from another exam form.