The CE designation is a proof of education and experience necessary to competence. During the development of the Professional Designation Program, CES has adopted a list of 36 fundamental competencies that reflect the background, knowledge, skills, and dispositions program evaluators need to achieve standards that constitute sound evaluations. These competencies are grouped into five domains: reflective practice, technical practice, situational practice, management practice, and interpersonal practice. CES has developed an accompanying document of "descriptors" which provides additional detail on what each competency includes and means. A Credentialed Evaluator has proven, based on experience and/or education that they have mastery of at least 70% of the competencies in each of the five domains. A basic tenet of the CES Credentialed Evaluation designation is that both education and experience are necessary to reach minimum competence as an evaluator.
The CE designation is a competitive advantage. By offering a rigorous process to obtain the CE designation and, just as importantly, by requiring CE holders to engage in ongoing professional development activities, the CE provides a significant competitive advantage that benefits both the providers and users of evaluation services. Only CE can provide a formal third-party assessment of the suitability of their education and experience as it relates to evaluation, and of their ongoing engagement in meaningful professional development activities. While others may well offer the same qualities, only CE can provide the assurance that their profile has been assessed by a panel consisting of among the most experienced evaluators in Canada.
The CE designation is the only professional title identifying professional evaluators. The CE designation addresses a longstanding issue derived from the open nature of the evaluation field. As there are no restrictions on who may declare themselves evaluators, it became challenging for evaluators committed to upholding ethical and professional standards of evaluation to distinguish themselves, and for users of evaluation services to work with a referential tool that would allow them to better assess those evaluators they intend to hire or contract. The CE designation program addresses this gap and remains the only title identifying professional evaluators.
The CES competencies and CE application process constitute a framework for professional development. By providing a sound framework supporting the evaluation practice in Canada (including a code of ethic, standards and competencies), the CE designation offers on-going guidance to evaluators as they strengthen their experience and expertise. The process of obtaining the CE designation and its associated requirement for ongoing professional development allow each CE to better assess his or her current strengths and identify priority areas for further development. More than a one-time assessment of one's evaluation profile, the CE designation represents an ongoing process that collectively guide the evaluation practice in Canada, while allowing a variety of evaluation models to evolve in response to specific needs and realities of program stakeholders.