Lesley Allen: CE Success Story
Who is the Credential Evaluator (CE)?
Lesley is a part-time, external evaluator who lives in Yellowknife, NWT. She is a member of the CES-AB NWT Chapter and is a CE. She conducts small evaluations and completes all components of those evaluations. On larger-scale contracts, she is usually a project lead or co-lead while working with a team of independent evaluators. Lesley has over ten years of evaluation experience and currently works 100% of her time on program monitoring and evaluation.
Lesley has an Ed.D in Educational Leadership and a MEd in Administration and Curriculum Development. She lives and works in the community where she conducts most of her evaluations. However, some of her work involves travel across the North to smaller and more remote communities.
What was the initial situation?
The evaluation context in which Lesley works is unique to Canada. Lesley has been living and working in Yellowknife for over 20 years. In 2014, the Government of Northwest Territories (GNWT) required that the lead evaluator on a multi-year standing offer agreement for program monitoring and evaluation services be credentialed and now asks for CE designation of lead consultants on other government contracts as well. Lesley received her CE in 2012 through the fast-track process. Two of her colleagues obtained the CE designation in 2011 (fast track) and encouraged Lesley to do the same.
Why did the CE want the credential?
The evaluation environment in the NWT was changing and clients, including the GNWT, wanted solid evaluations with individuals who were high qualified and nationally recognized as credentialed. Lesley felt that her CE would give her a competitive edge on public and private sector contracts. She felt that the CE credential would help her professionally.
What was/is the relationship of the credential to the CE’s work?
To stay in her community and conduct government program evaluations, Lesley needed the credential. On small evaluations, she must be competent on most of the designation’s competencies. On larger team-based projects, Lesley must have more managerial competence as well.
Lesley liked the fast-track process. She did not have any issues or challenges with the process and had the support of two colleagues when she completed the application; the application process worked well.
As a result of having the CE designation, Lesley and her team colleagues were able to secure a multi-year standing offer agreement which provided work security and a variety of government-wide contracts for several years.
Lesley believes it is important that the credential has an on-going, maintenance requirement.
“You have to keep improving your evaluation skills to stay current and invested.”
She finds the online maintenance process works well. She accesses most of her professional development through online webinars (CES and others) and by attending CES conferences and workshops. She does take some courses from external online learning providers.
The CE has enabled Lesley to continue to conduct program evaluations across the NWT. In ten years, she has completed over 50 evaluation projects. She appreciates the recognition that the credential gives her.
“I can’t thank CES enough – it has been a huge benefit to me.“