Certificate Program in Regulatory Leadership

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The Certificate Program in Regulatory Leadership is an advanced professional development program for those involved in leading any facet of regulation from policy and design to implementation and evaluation. It will provide a robust framework and proficiency in the knowledge, skills and insights needed to lead in this rapidly evolving field.

Regulations are an important means for achieving the goals of any society. They touch many aspects of our daily lives including the food we eat and the water we drink, the cars we drive and the energy we use.

Traditionally regulations have predominantly been the preserve of the state where governments use their legislative authority to prescribe acceptable behavior and consequences for failure to comply.  In a large and complex country such as Canada achieving coherence in actions across federal, provincial, territorial, municipal and aboriginal governments and agencies is extremely demanding. 

In recent years other non-state actors from the private sector and civil society, sometimes acting together, have become increasingly active, ambitious and influential as they tap the power of the marketplace to promote changes in behavior. Additional drivers of change in this dynamic field arise from new trade arrangements, advances in science and technology and shifts in public expectations which frequently crystallize around the occurrence of accidents and surprises.

In an ever more competitive and globally integrated economy and society getting the regulatory system right is of the highest importance. Achieving greater efficiency and effectiveness and responding nimbly to changing circumstances will contribute to well-being for all Canadians and offer a valuable comparative advantage. 

Through an ongoing conversation with leaders and practitioners in the field, it has become evident that capacity gaps are emerging in Canada’s ability to regulate effectively now and in the future. This has been documented as it relates to the public sector but likely also occurs to varying degrees in other sectors involved in regulatory work (industry, professional associations and other NGOs). This course is designed to meet the needs of those who are recently appointed to senior positions, especially from another field or more limited responsibilities, and who may well be unaware of how complex regulation has become and how rapidly it is evolving. It will also help promising professionals transition to leadership roles in this field. Even seasoned practitioners will welcome the opportunity to refresh their thinking in a collaborative experience involving peer to peer engagement in a reflective setting.

The Certificate Program in Regulatory Leadership responds to this situation and will over time build and strengthen Canada’s regulatory community. The University of Ottawa and Carleton University jointly developed the Program. This unique collaboration between the two universities in Canada’s capital draws on distinctive strengths of the two institutions;  their cutting edge  research on regulatory governance, and public management, as well as their expertise in leadership development.

A Flexible Learning Approach

Our primary goal is to develop capacity in the leadership, management and stewardship of the regulatory function. Our graduates will have an improved capacity to set and sustain the conditions that enable effective regulation by people, processes and systems.

Three design principles shape the approach :

Firstly, we are driven by the principle of developing the leadership capacity to address real-world problems. This means that greater weight is placed on practical as opposed to theoretical concerns through the use of methods such as problem based and action learning with an emphasis on new directions in this rapidly evolving field of practice.

Secondly, we are advancing the principle that ‘practitioner talking to practitioner’ about how to regulate effectively in the 21st Century will be most rewarding.  Specifically this means that participants will interact with current practice and thought leaders in regulation to explore contemporary issues and future challenges. Through structured experiences and facilitated and spontaneous conversations, the program will enable learning, skills development and know-how transfer amongst participants and resource persons to facilitate the growth of leadership capacity in regulatory functions.

Thirdly, our final design principle is that the program aims for relevance to the participants in terms of content and excellence and in terms of method and resources. In practice, this means that while each module’s general topic is framed as described in this Prospectus, the specific content of sessions, the use of particular methods, and the identification of expert resources is the product of an on-going facilitated conversation between and among participants to ensure that learning opportunities are directly responsive to their needs.

What you can expect: Greater Capacity from Increased Proficiency

Regulatory leadership capacity can be described as demonstrated proficiency in the leadership competencies used at senior levels in a regulatory role. Working from the competency framework developed by Carleton University’s Regulatory Governance Initiative, the program is designed to build proficiency across the key areas for effective leadership performance :

  • Develop the ability to evaluate evidence using quality data and reliable analytical tools, while recognizing and working within limitations frequently encountered;
  • Encourage agile and adaptive measures that can be readily adjusted to accommodate new knowledge and improve the precision of a regulation's effect;
  • Promote alignment with partners and international regulatory regimes;
  • Use an open, dynamic and consultative process based on transparency and shared responsibility;
  • Ensure performance metrics are used that reveal the effect of a proposed regulation and/or its costs so that the regulation can be evaluated to determine its impact;
  • Foster compliance and enforcement that is effective, fair and affordable; and
  • Encourage development of regulations as a system and/or project that can be managed, changed or adjusted relatively easily.

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