April 14, 2010: Credentialed Evaluator (CE)

A thunderous standing ovation of over 700 CES members confirmed Yes, CES can to the CES Professional Designations Program at the 2009 Ottawa Conference, and we did! The CES Professional Designations Program has been working really hard so we can begin to receive your applications for the Credentialed Evaluator designation. Let me share with you some information about the CES Credentialed Evaluator (CE) designation.

About the designation

The Canadian Evaluation Society (CES), as the professional order for Evaluation in Canada, seeks to contribute to the professionalization of evaluation.

The CES Credentialed Evaluator (CE) designation is designed to:

  • define
  • recognize and,
  • promote the practice of ethical, high quality and competent evaluation in Canada through a program for professional designations.

The designation means that the holder has provided evidence of the education and experience required to be a competent evaluator.

The designation is a service provided by CES to its members, who may elect to become credentialed on a voluntary basis. It recognizes those with the education and experience to provide evaluation services, and through its maintenance and renewal requirements, promotes continuous learning within our evaluation community.

The Professional Designations Program and the CE also provide direction:

  • For Evaluation Practitioners on the knowledge and skills required to be competent and guide their professional development
  • For Learning Organizations and Service Providers on the type of education and professional development required to support the discipline
  • For Firms / Organizations engaging or creating evaluation expertise, on the expertise to incorporate in job descriptions or seek in contracting evaluation services
  • For Program Managers working with evaluation professionals, on the expertise they can expect to receive

What qualifications are required?

Successful applicants will demonstrate:

  • Qualification 1 — evidence of graduate level degree or certificate. The applicant is asked for evidence of education - a copy of their degree
  • Qualification 2 — evidence of Two (2) years (full-time equivalent) evaluation related work experience within the last ten (10) years. Statements of work experience are to be supplemented with letter(s) of reference.
  • Qualification 3 — education and/or experience related to 70% of the competencies in EACH of the five domains of Competencies for Canadian Evaluation Practice. Applicants will draw selectively from their education and/or experience and align this to 70% of the competencies in each of 5 competency domains.

The alignment of experience and education to competencies in the five domains is done in a brief narrative in the application form – with a maximum of 150 words permitted with each competency.

It is not necessary to have both education and experience related to a competency. Rather applicants should provide evidence that, collectively and in combination, they have the required competency. Education is here taken to include professional development activities as well as formal education.

Where an Applicant does not have graduate level education, a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) may be undertaken [1]. Note: For the first year of the Professional Designations Program, there is a Grandparenting provision. If you do not hold a graduate level degree or certificate, but were a member in good standing of CES as recorded in CES membership list as of June 1, 2009 – the PLAR is NOT necessary. CES national Council has included a grandparenting provision in the adoption of the Credentialed Evaluator designation.

The fourth qualification is related to maintaining the CE designation. Credentialed Evaluators will be required to provide evidence of ongoing learning and professional development link - 40 hours of learning every three years.

How it works

  • CES manages the Credentialed Evaluator (CE) designation within their Professional Designations Program under the direction of the Vice President, Professional Designations Program.
  • CE Applications are submitted online via the CES-CE secure website. Applications may be submitted in either official language.
    • Applicants may take up to 36 months to complete their application but are encouraged to complete and submit their application in a shorter timeframe.
  • Once your application is complete, your file is forwarded to the CE Credentialing Board for review and decision.
    • Decisions are made based on the qualifications provided (as above). Applicants are notified if the application is incomplete or if they require additional education or experience. Advice on how to meet qualifications will be provided as part of any deferred application.
  • CES will maintain a publicly available registry of CE's
  • Renewal will be done at three year intervals and require 40 hours of professional development or learning over that period.
    • Each CE will have an ‘account' within the CES-CE system, where they may input courses and development at any time. Accounts will be accessed by the Application Administrator at the 3 year mark, and the CE will be contacted if the account demonstrates less than 40 hours of development activities. The account can then be updated by the CE and CE membership renewal will take place in conjunction with annual membership renewal.

Next steps

Scaffoldings are almost off. All the systems, texts, reference documents, TORs and processes have been drafted, reviewed, revised, vetted, formatted, coded, tested and now we are down to the final few steps.

The application site will be launched at the May 2010 CES National Conference in Victoria, B.C. We will offer a session at the Conference on how to apply for the CE. We will also offer sessions at the Conference to all chapter-representatives so they can provide support for their Chapter-members throughout the application process.

We are almost there!

Keiko Kuji-Shikatani, Ed.D.
Vice President, Professional Designations Program
Canadian Evaluation Society

[1] An applicant who does not have a graduate degree or certificate may be able to demonstrate the equivalent of that education through extensive work experience and professional development. Additional requirements are required to support an application under PLAR including: current resume; examples of two work products; an essay outlining professional experience and education. Please refer to the applicant guide for further information including fees.

September 9, 2009: Update on the Professional Designations Program

The purpose of this note is to provide you with an update on one critical project that CES has been focussing on: our professional designation project. We have reached a significant milestone: CES-National Council has formally adopted this new service and we've now entered the implementation stage. Here's a little more information on what it means for you. (See the chronology of this file.)

What happened during the 2009 CES Conference in Ottawa?

As always, the CES National Council held a two-day in-person meeting prior to the CES Conference, held at the end of last May in Ottawa. During that meeting National Council unanimouslyapproved the model of professional designation that CES will be offering on a volunteer basis to all its members. Those CES members who attended the Conference had the opportunity to hear the Chair of our Professional Designation Core Committee, Heather Buchanan, present the outline of this initiative. I'm now following-up with this note to update all CES members. (See Heather's presentation.)

What is the proposed CES designation?

Simply put, CES will allow you to apply for a Credentialed Evaluator (CE) professional designation. This designation will mean that its holder "has provided evidence of education and experience to be competent" in the field of evaluation. Based on that logic, the designation's requirements focus on the holder's level of education (graduate studies or equivalent), the length of his or her experience in evaluation (minimum of two years), and an alignment of these two (education and experience) with a set of specific competencies. Just as importantly, the designation attests to the holder's commitment to continuously update his or her skills (40 hours of professional development over three year periods). (See the Designation Policy, the full proposal and the set of competencies.)

"What does it mean for me?"

This is a fair question that you may be asking yourself. And frankly, there are many ways to look at it.

Our goal with this designation is to bring clarity to what may be characterized as an open field of work. The term "program evaluator" is not legally protected in any way, shape or form, which means that everybody and anybody can call themselves a program evaluator. By holding the CES designation, you will confirm that both your education and experience actually reflect what is needed to be a competent evaluator and (let me emphasize it again) just as importantly, it confirms that you are constantly updating your skills through professional development. Simply put, you are clearly an active member of the program evaluation community.

Practically speaking, the designation should also facilitate employment or contractual processes. Potential employers of program evaluators (government, non-profit or private sector) will benefit from the designation when selecting candidates and, along the same lines, candidates for employment will be able to confirm their commitment to program evaluation, particularly as it relates to ongoing professional development. Users of program evaluation services will also be able to use the designation as part of the bidding process to review proposals.

What does it mean for CES?

Well, it means a lot. Organizationally speaking, we modified our structure to allow for the one year appointment of a Vice-President for Professional Designation. I would like to extend my most sincere congratulations to Keiko Kuji-Shikatani who has been placed in this position by Council. In her new capacity, Keiko is overseeing the implementation of the project and is reporting to National Council.

We are also well aware of the need to provide meaningful professional development opportunities. In addition to our annual conferences, we continue to actively support the Consortium of Universities for Evaluation Education project, to explore alternate forms of delivery of courses and workshops, and to hold the student case competition.

As it moves forward with this project, National Council fully appreciates its responsibility to ensure and protect the integrity of the designation. We will continue to promote it through various venues and to provide updates to members.

What are the next steps?

For CES-National, one of the next steps following the May meeting — which we completed over the summer — was to hire a project coordinator. I would like to welcome Dawn Campbell-Borland on board our professional designation team! Dawn's energy and knowledge of program evaluation will be definite assets to CES.

For you, the next step is probably to stay informed about this exciting new option and to consider applying for it. Our implementation goal is to invite CES members to apply for the designation early in 2010. (See the Implementation Plan and the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan.)

Celebrating innovation

Any new path needs a brave soul to engage in it, not fully aware of what to expect, but confident of where it's leading. In the case of professional designation in the field of program evaluation, the community of evaluators in Canada is that brave soul. CES will be the first organisation in the world to offer a Credentialed Evaluator (CE) professional designation! Not bad.

À bientôt,

François Dumaine
CES President

You have a question or a comment? Never hesitate to contact your Chapter or Council members, or drop me an email (President).

November 18, 2008 

Professional Designation Project committee progress report, August to November 2008

August 14, 2008 

Update on the Professional Designations Project

April 3, 2008 

Professional Designation Project committee progress report, February and March 2008

March 28, 2008 

A consultation on the competencies for Canadian evaluation practice

March 12, 2008 

Crosswalk of evaluator competencies

February 5, 2008 

Professional Designation Project committee progress report, October 2007 to January 2008

January 31, 2008 

Comparison of evaluation ethics

December 13, 2007

Invitation to Volunteer, Professional Designations Project (correction)

December 6, 2007 

Invitation to volunteer to the professional designations project

November 28, 2007 

Professional Designations Project Plan

October 2, 2007

Dear CES Member:

Greetings from CES-National Council!

This letter provides an update on the results of the year-long consultation process undertaken in 2006-2007 by the CES-Council on behalf of its members.

Following the extensive consultation process with our members and associated organizations, a vote in August of 2007 by the Canadian Evaluation Society National Council confirmed its belief that there is member support to pursue a system of professional designation for evaluators in Canada. At its October meeting, Council discussed and supported the draft Project Plan that has been posted on the CES-National Web site. A brief summary of the Plan is contained in this letter. It is important to remember that the Plan is in draft form and that the working group identified in the Plan will refine and expand the framework.

Council based the Project Plan on its document developed in response to the report from the Consortium, the group of experienced evaluators who responded to the Request for Proposals issued in May 2006. [Both the National Council Response (February 2007) and the Action Plan for the Canadian Evaluation Society with respect to Professional Standards for Evaluators (January 2007) are posted on the CES Web site.] Following careful consideration of the consultation comments on the Action Plan and Council Response documents, CES-National Council continues to support the measured movement towards credentialing outlined in its initial response. This does not preclude changes to the response as the Project Plan develops or prevent further steps along the path of professional designation in the future.

CES-National Council also wants to assure you that we listened to and are taking into consideration the objections and concerns expressed by some members during the 2007 consultations. In fact, we believe ongoing input from these members will strengthen the plan to move forward by providing timely advice on potential problems that will facilitate finding solutions.

Summary of the Project Plan

The Project Plan identifies the following five fundamental principles for going forward with this initiative:

  • inclusiveness;
  • partnering;
  • utility;
  • feasibility; and
  • transparency. (Project Plan, p.2)

To move the project forward, Council has established the Professional Designation Core Committee (PDCC) made up of three Council members – Heather Buchanan (CES-National Capital Chapter representative), Brigitte Maicher (CES-New Brunswick Chapter Representative) and Keiko Kuji-Shikatani (CES-Ontario Chapter Representative) – supported by the three standing committees of CES-National Council. This ad hoc Committee will report directly to the President and oversee the creation, definition and coordination of sub-committees to address the four main components of the project:

  • competencies;
  • credentialing;
  • infrastructure; and
  • partnerships.

The sub-committees may consist of CES members who volunteer or individuals external to CES if appropriate. The logic model for the initiative is shown on page 10 of the Project Plan. It provides more information in each of the components.

The initial responsibility of the PDCC will be to develop an overall project plan that includes a project budget, work plan and proposed timelines. We anticipate this will occur in the next month. As we move forward the PDCC will identify sub-committee members and develop terms of reference.

Project Activities and Tasks

The initial steps identified in the Project Plan include the following. More information on each step is available in the Project Plan.

  1. Undertake a cross walk of competencies to devise, consult and approve Canadian core competencies, ethics and standards. An initial draft of competencies is contained in Appendix D of the Project Plan and will be used as a foundation for this activity.
  2. Define and implement the infrastructure (including cost estimates) required to support delivery of professional designation services to CES members
  3. Define, market and establish a system of recognized Canadian Evaluation practitioner including a Credentialing Board.
  4. Identify, define, build and enhance partnerships with organizations association with and supportive of CES professional designations.

In Conclusion

This is a very exciting time for the Canadian Evaluation Society. Once again we are leading the way in the field of evaluation. CES-National Council recognizes that local Chapters and individual members are critical to the success of this project. This collaboration may slow the process but in the end it makes it stronger as we collectively chart the direction for the profession and our Society.

If you have questions about the process described in the Project Plan, please contact a CES-Executive member or your Chapter Representative on CES-National Council.


Frankie Jordan
Canadian Evaluation Societ

Summaries of the results of the consultation on professional designation

The summary of the results of the consultation on professional designation include the following documents.

Integration of consultative inputs. This document is a systematic integration paper based on input received between March and May 2007 in response to the CES call for consultative input: Cousins, J. B., Malik, S., & Maicher, B. (2007, June). Integration of consultative input: Professional designations for evaluators. Ottawa: Canadian Evaluation Society.

Townhall meeting summary. This document is a summary of field notes taken at the Townhall session at the CES National Conference, Winnipeg: Malik, S., Maicher, B., & Porteous, N. (2007, June). Summary: CES Townhall Session. Ottawa: Canadian Evaluation Society.

Townhall meeting recordings. These files are MP3 audio recordings of the presentations and discussions which took place at the townhall meeting session at the CES National Conference, on June 5, 2007, in Winnipeg:

Rationale and Background

Due to increasing interest among members of the Canadian evaluation community in evaluation quality assurance and in the prospect of professional designations for evaluators, CES National Council initiated in May 2006 a Request for Proposals for the development of an action plan for evaluator credentialing.

Council had in mind the development of a concrete basis for consultation around professional credentialing. In a 'credentialing' system members would be awarded professional credentials on the basis of educational and practical experience in evaluation.

The contract was awarded to a Consortium of well known and respected Canadian evaluators, headed by Gerald Halpern. The Consortium negotiated with Council to develop an action plan which would feature professional credentialing within a more protracted continuum of professional designation including exam-based 'certification'.

Council received early in 2007 the Consortium's final report consisting of (1) an action plan for professional designation (2) a supporting literature review and (3) a supporting report of an interview study of 15 professional organizations which have invoked professional designations.

Council subsequently prepared a response to this report and now requests consultative input from the CES membership via EDÉ-L or through email submissions to [email protected]. In addition, Council is seeking consultative input from CES regional chapters, partner organizations and evaluation employers such as government and Non-Governmental Organizations.

Available resources

CES has made available the following support documents in 'pdf' format. Some of them include reference lists for those interested in further reading (i.e., Consortium Literature Review, National Council Response)

Original Request for Proposals. Request for Proposals for an action plan on professional credentialing was issued in May 2006. That document titled Fact Finding Regarding Evaluator Credentialing was issued by National Council. (It should be noted that the contract signed by the Consortium included provisions for the development of an alternative action plan to that envisioned in the RFP, one that would situate professional credentialing within a broader continuum of professional designations including professional certification.)

Consortium Action Plan and Support Documents. Consortium action plan for professional designation: Action Plan for the Canadian Evaluation Society with respect to Professional Standards for Evaluators, January 2007. The primary authors of the document are Benoît Gauthier, Gerald Halpern, and James C. McDavid, with input from 8 additional Consortium members.

Consortium action plan support document Literature Review: Professionalization of Evaluators, November 2006. The document is authored by Irene Huse and Jim McDavid. It is also available in summary form.

Consortium action plan support document Interview Results: Professional Designations for Evaluators, February 2007. The document is authored by Gerald Halpern and Bud Long with support from 7 additional Consortium and research team members.

Minority Report by Consortium Member. The report titled Minority Report with respect to Professional Designations for Evaluators was authored by Bud Long and received by Council in January 2007. Mr. Long is a member of the Consortium which produced the action plan.

National Council Response. National Council met in February 2007 to consider the information provided and to develop a response for consideration by the membership and partners in the Canadian evaluation community. This document, finalized in March 2007, is titled Response to Proposed 'Action Plan for the Canadian Evaluation Society with respect to Professional Standards for Evaluators' and is authored by CES National Council.