The aim of registration is to certify that an institution meets certain minimum operating standards required for the conduct of a tertiary institution in Jamaica It is also a first step towards accreditation of programmes offered by an institution.

Registration provides an institution with the opportunity to establish a formal, publicly recognised relationship with the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ), and is the requirement to seeking accreditation from the UCJ. Registration therefore is a pre-accreditation status. The criteria for registration are closely related to the criteria for accreditation since they are meant to provide registered institutions with a foundation for logical development towards accreditation.