The CES President, Benoît Gauthier, wrote the following letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada, Yaprak Baltacioglu, regarding the Professional Designation Program.
December 29, 2014
Secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada
140 O'Connor Street
Dear Mrs. Secretary:
As Treasury Board reflects on the implementation and performance of the 2009 federal Policy on Evaluation and is preparing to introduce changes to this Policy and its Directives, it is timely to stress that the renewed Policy and Directives should confirm that evaluation is a profession and needs to be undertaken by evaluation professionals.
In 2009, the Policy on Evaluation and its Directives were silent on the professional requirements demanded of evaluators. What might have been appropriate at the time is no longer tenable; six years later, the Canadian evaluation community possesses a solid professional designation program, that of Credentialed Evaluator (CE) managed by the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES). This CE designation can be used by the Government of Canada as a requirement for demonstration of the professionalism of its evaluators.
Why do we consider it critical that evaluators be considered professionals? Professionalism evokes expertise, credibility and concern for human welfare – all features that we expect from evaluators . A professional status contributes to the self-definition of evaluators as independent, rigorous, client-focussed, and aiming for social justice; it projects these same values in the relationship that evaluators maintain with stakeholders. Being a professional and being considered as such entices evaluators to stay up to date with evaluation knowledge and to innovate in their practice, with the support of other professional evaluators.
For the Federal Government, the professionalization of the evaluation group will translate into a desire to build a career as an evaluator rather than to use evaluation as a simple hiatus along a professional path. It will increase the innovativeness and the quality of evaluations. Ultimately, it will convert into better and more timely information and advice from individuals committed to relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency in public management. The Auditor General has recognized the significant contribution that professional designations can make to public sector management. 
The professional label, however, is not a given; it has to be earned through ethical safeguards, appropriate education, and proven competence. Ethics, education, and competence are the three pillars of the CES Credentialed Evaluator program. 
The CES represents and supports professional evaluators in Canada, speaking on their behalf, providing training and ongoing professional development opportunities as well as offering a professional designations program. Canada has long been recognized internationally as one of the leading countries in the field of evaluation. The CES is the oldest professional association of evaluators in the world, with some 35 years of existence; it is a leader in supporting and advising the international community on evaluation capacity development in countries across the globe.
The ground-breaking work that Canada has been doing over the past decade in developing credentialing standards for evaluators is being recognized globally. This, in large part, stems from the systematic and incremental process that has been undertaken here in Canada to arrive at a professional designation program for evaluators. That program now exists and it has proven itself over the past five years of activity. Some of the most recognized experts in evaluation in Canada, forming a blue ribbon panel, were involved in developing the CE Program and still form the nucleus of the CES Credentialing Board. Among them are several famous names that you may recognize: John Mayne, Robert Lahey, Shelley Borys, Steve Montague, Gail Barrington, Natalie Kishchuk, Michael O'Brecht, Jean Quesnel, Ian Davies, Arnold Love, Greg Mason.
Because of the value brought about by professionalization, the Government of Canada needs a mechanism to further the professionalism of its evaluators and the CES possesses the only general professional designation program for evaluators in the world. The match is obvious; about 10% of federal evaluators think the same since they have already acquired the CE designation but this proportion is much less than among all Canadian evaluators.
The CES professional designation is a recognition of competence but, even more importantly, it is a journey. Applicants must reflect on their experience and education with regard to 49 competencies for evaluation practice in Canada; this self-analysis may lead to the identification of areas in need of improvement – the competency framework (which closely maps to the later work on competencies performed by the Centre of Excellence in Evaluation) is a roadmap to professional development. Also, the maintenance of the designation demands that the Credentialed Evaluator accumulates 40 hours of professional learning over three years; this is an incentive to stay in touch with recent developments in the field while improving in weaker competencies.
In these times of resource constraint, Federal Government evaluators require the same kind of support provided by the government for auditors , financial analysts  and procurement specialists . These are some examples of Government of Canada commitment to the professionalization of its employees.
As President of the CES, I urge the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to follow the best practices put in place for these other professional groups and to work with CES to support federal evaluators in obtaining the Credentialed Evaluator designation. Government of Canada recognition of the Credentialed Evaluator designation holds benefits for both federal evaluators and the Government of Canada. Federal evaluators will gain in perception of professionalism, trust, and independence as well as in self-definition as professional evaluators; the Federal Government will see improvements in the stability, credibility, and innovativeness of its evaluation community.
As the Government of Canada looks ahead to 2015 ― the International Year of Evaluation as recognized by the United Nations ― and beyond, full value from a professional evaluation function will provide government officials with timely and credible information, analysis and advice needed to support decision making and to address crucial issues in an objective and independent manner that is defensible to all audiences. The CES offers its collaboration to the Treasury Board Secretariat to work together toward this common goal.
Benoît Gauthier, President
Canadian Evaluation Society
 Robert Picciotto, The logic of evaluation professionalism, Evaluation, 17(2) 165-180, April 2011
 In relation to Financial Management and Control and Risk Management, the AG wrote in 2011 that "Financial human resource capacity has improved since our last report. The Office of the Comptroller General has put in place several measures to enhance capacity, including guidelines on the qualifications of chief financial officers, mandatory training courses for financial staff, promotion of professional accounting designations for mid-level financial officers and financial managers, staffing initiatives, and forums and exchanges on best practices." [http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_201106_01_e_35369.ht…]
 In 2004, the Government of Canada committed to strengthening internal audit to improve public sector management and to ensure the rigorous stewardship of public funds. It noted that "(t)his will be achieved by an extensive internal audit policy review process that aims to transform how internal audit is practiced within the public sector, ensuring that it is led by certified internal audit professionals and supported by independent audit committees." [http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=2024170&…] The Directive on Internal Auditing in the Government of Canada (2012) [http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pol/doc-eng.aspx?id=25610§ion=HTML] further states that Chief Audit Executives "are responsible for [...] ensuring that internal auditors have appropriate professional qualifications and skills and opportunities to maintain and develop their internal auditing competence. This includes the opportunity to become a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) or at minimum a Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP), or to acquire any other relevant auditing certification." The same directive states that "Chief Audit Executives who have received a professional accounting designation (i.e. CA, CGA or CMA) are expected, within two years of appointment, to attain additional certification at minimum as a Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP), and preferably as a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). Chief Audit Executives who have not attained a professional accounting designation are expected to attain a CIA certification within two years of appointment."
 Treasury Board runs the Financial Officer and Internal Auditor Recruitment and Development (FORD/IARD) Program to recruit university graduates. The program supports participants in obtaining a professional accounting designation or internal audit certification. [http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/tbsrp-prsct/foiard-rpafvi/index-eng.asp]
 Treasury Board also has a Certification Program for the Federal Government Procurement and Materiel Management Communities whereby federal employees working in procurement and/or materiel management can obtain a professional designation through a government-wide certification program. [http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/atipo-baiprp/sfg-srg/sfg-srg02-eng.asp]