Ontario Professional Tourism Industry Specialist (OPTIS) Micro-Credential


The Ontario Professional Tourism Industry Specialist (OPTIS) Micro-Credential is designed in partnership with the top industry leaders in Ontario tourism for upskilling existing employees within their current job, in addition to supporting the tourism sector to scale up in post-COVID recovery. This micro-credential targets individuals who work for any organization with a mandate to support operators to foster growth in the tourism industry. This includes provincial and federal tourism advisors, municipal staff, economic development officers, destination marketing and sector organization staff, in addition to tourism operators and individuals in management roles within the tourism sector.

Check back soon for registration information on The Ontario Professional Tourism Industry Specialist (OPTIS) Micro-Credential.

This offering is approved as a Micro-credential by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) of Ontario and is OSAP-MC eligible at Lakehead University.

To learn more about the provincial program and how to apply for OSAP for Micro-credentials, please visit Ontario.ca Micro-credentials from Ontario’s postsecondary schools.
For a list of frequently asked questions on OSAP for Micro-credentials, please visit Lakehead Student Central: Financing, Scholarships & Awards and Government Aid.
To learn more about OSAP for Micro-credentials, please visit Lakehead Student Central.

Upon successful completion of this course, learners should be able to:

  • Recognize the key components and interconnected nature of the tourism industry, specifically within Ontario and Northern Ontario;
  • Explain the importance of tourism products including the identification and assessment of product quality;
  • Identify marketing fundamentals and key Ontario markets;
  • Implement e-marketing/communications strategies, including how to connect with the Ontario tourism marketing strategies;
  • Describe the community role and response to the visitor experience including modifying delivery of visitor services and planning for visitor use of community infrastructure;
  • With a specific focus on Indigenous, Francophone, LGBTQ+ products and markets, implement a toolkit of equity, diversity, and inclusion-focused tourism practices to ensure people know they are welcome and included;
  • Discuss the international sector-specific protocols for customer safety and public health operating protocols established by government (especially with regard to pandemic management) as they relate to risk and liability considerations; and
  • Identify and explain tourism products and markets unique to the north, including key networks and organizations that support tourism in the north and sub-regional marketing partners.


You can visit our System Check page to quickly verify if your system meets the minimum system and software requirements for accessing mycourselink and its tools. The format of content files will vary from course to course and may require additional plug-ins, applications, etc. to be accessed. It is your responsibility to ensure you have the appropriate technologies to access the course materials.

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D2L is committed to performing key application testing for Brightspace when new browser versions are released. However, due to the frequency of some browser releases, D2L cannot guarantee that each browser version will perform as expected. If you encounter any issues with any browser versions, contact us at mycourselink@lakeheadu.ca, and we'll determine the best course of action for resolution. Visit D2L's Browser Support page for a list of supported browsers, legacy browsers, and unsupported browsers.


Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) is a mechanism for non-credit offerings to provide a reduction of module requirements for significant and relevant learning acquired through work, volunteering and other life experiences that are not recognized through formal mechanisms.

The PLAR process uses a variety of tools to help learners reflect on, identify, articulate, and demonstrate past experience, and compare this learning to modules within a micro-credential course. These tools may include descriptions and proof of prior learning, a portfolio, a resumé, etc.

How much PLAR is allowed for OUTD - 9100 (OPTIS)/OUTD - 9101 (NOPTIS)?

Candidates are permitted to obtain recognition for a maximum of two (2) of the following modules through PLAR: 

Module 2: Product Development
Module 3: Marketing
Module 5a: Small Business Planning and Management (for Tourism Businesses)
Module 5b: Supporting Tourism in your Community (for Individuals Working with a Mandate to Support Operators)

That means that 4 modules of the OUTD - 9100 and 5 modules of the OUTD - 9101 micro-credential courses must be completed under the direct supervision of a Lakehead University facilitator.

Who decides whether a module is available for PLAR?

The Course Facilitator, working in conjunction with the Lakehead Department or Primary Unit and the Community Zone, makes decisions regarding module exemption(s) based on the candidate's application. All final decisions rest with the Lakehead Department or Primary Unit.

How to Apply for PLAR:

Learners interested in Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition should contact admin.communityzone@lakeheadu.ca to obtain a copy of the course outline.

The learner should review the course outline and learning outcomes to determine whether or not to proceed with PLAR. 

If a learner wishes to proceed with PLAR, they must fill out the PLAR application form and include a detailed description and evidence (e.g. resumé, portfolio, prior course/workshop descriptions and certifications, etc.) that demonstrates how their prior learning experience(s) meet the learning outcomes of each module requested. PLAR applications can be submitted to admin.communityzone@lakeheadu.ca no later than two weeks prior to the course start date.

Course withdrawals more than two weeks prior to the start of the course will receive a full refund less a $40 non-refundable administration fee. Two weeks before the course begins, learners will be refunded 50% less the $40 non-refundable administration fee. Once the course has begun learners will not be refunded.

Non-attendance or not formally withdrawing will result in an incomplete on your non-credit transcript. Questions about the withdrawal process can be forwarded to the Community Zone.

OUTD – 9100
Credential Earned
Certificate of Completion
Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) Eligibility
Instructional Method
Web Based
11 Weeks
Start Date
Please check back soon.

Program and Course Related Questions

You can find answers to your questions related to your chosen course or program by contacting the Instructor listed within the course or program details page.

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