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Canadian charities have a long history of helping to inform and shape public policy at municipal, provincial, and federal levels.  For many, it’s a key strategy for advancing their missions.

Whether your organization has experience in public policy advocacy or is relatively new to the field, this extraordinary professional development opportunity will help you improve.


About the Public Policy Training Institute

Between January and June of each year, Max Bell Foundation delivers its annual Public Policy Training Institute (PPTI). We bring together 25 leaders from Canada’s charitable sector whose organizations want to impact the public policy process. Enrollment is open to staff or board members of any Canadian charity.

Selected organizations delegate their representative to attend six monthly two-day sessions. Sessions explore such topics as evidence, policy options, communications and engagement, and implementation. Each participant receives one-on-one coaching during the program to help them develop a policy-ready position on a given issue by program end.

On completion of the program, participants have enhanced their knowledge and skills required to develop, inform, and monitor public policy on issues of strategic importance to their organizations.

Testimonials from Past Participants

“This has been a superb learning experience for me that has already dramatically improved our organization’s performance in the policy change area.”

“I use the lessons I learned in this invaluable course almost daily. It’s changed how I structure campaigns and communications to be much more strategic and effective.”

“Having participated in many different educational experiences delivered at the executive level in both the corporate world and in graduate studies, I consider this experience to be second to none.”


PPTI Program Objectives

This six-month professional development program is designed to help leaders within Canadian charities increase their knowledge of the public policy process and their capacity to influence it.

  • It will enhance participants’ understanding of how federal, provincial and municipal governments make policy decisions, so that they can participate more effectively in the public policy process.
  • It will provide participants with training in how to develop practical and workable policy alternatives through both formal and informal learning formats such as lectures, case studies, readings, panel discussions, group work, and presentations by participants.
  • It will enable each participant to develop a policy ready position by the end of the program that responds to a given issue of individual/organizational interest.
  • It will connect participants with a network of colleagues in charities across the province who are also working to influence public policy.

Program Format

The program requires the completion of a small number of assignments. Each participant will be offered a limited amount of one-to-one coaching support to be scheduled during the program to support the development of a policy-ready position on a given issue by program-end.  A certificate will be awarded to all participants who successfully complete the program requirements.

Who Should Apply?

The PPTI is aimed at staff, board members, or volunteers employed by / associated with Canadian registered charities that can identify an area where a policy change could have a significant strategic impact.

We ask that only individuals prepared to commit to attending all sessions and completing all institute assignments submit an application.

About the 2022 Public Policy Training Institute

The program’s faculty members include Nancy Reynolds, David Morhart, Bob Wyatt, and Allan Northcott.

The sessions will take place online, and in Calgary and Edmonton. Travel and accommodation bursaries will be provided to all participants.  Each admitted participant will be required to pay a fee of not more than $200.

Applications are due November 1, 2021.

 2022 Program Dates

January 3, 13, 14 (half days) Introduction to Public Policy Various Virtual
February 3 & 4 Research and Performance Measurement Nancy Reynolds Edmonton
March 10, 11, 25 (half days) Developing and Analyzing Policy Options David Morhart Virtual
April 13 & 14 Implementation Bob Wyatt Calgary
May 5, 6 Informing and Engaging Decision Makers Allan Northcott Edmonton
June 2 & 3 Presentations from Participants Calgary

Online sessions will run 9-1, and the February, April and May sessions run 1-5 pm followed by a hosted dinner on the first day, and 9-3 on the second day. The final sessions will both be 9-4 with a hosted dinner on the first day.

Applications are closed for the 2022 session of the PPTI. If you would like to be notified when applications for the 2023 PPTI open, contact Arlene at amccarry@maxbell.org.