Public Executive Program

A unique opportunity for Canadian public-sector managers

2-Week Program

About the program

Queen's Public Executive Program provides a unique opportunity for Canadian public-sector managers to gather together and address the key domestic and external policy issues facing Canada.

As the pre-eminent executive development program for public-sector managers, it gives you a chance to meet with peers, share ideas, and to reflect on the challenges facing the public service in today’s rapidly changing global environment. The Program will strengthen your knowledge and insight into the issues, and your strategic thinking skills, to help you meet the challenges.

The Program is also an excellent forum for networking and professional development. No other program in Canada provides the same kind of exciting and intensive opportunity to interact with public-sector managers from a wide variety of jurisdictions across Canada.

The Program focuses on:

  • Canadian public policy challenges
  • policy management, policy instruments, and policy performance
  • the use and implementation of modern management tools in today’s public sector

Real-life and real-time issue profiles are assessed and analyzed, while analytical frameworks facilitate an integrated analysis and systems approach to key policy issues.

Who Should Attend

This program is suitable for public-sector managers at the federal, provincial and municipal levels who are looking for fresh perspectives on policy issues and public-sector management.

Certificate of Achievement

Participants who complete the Program receive a Queen's School of Business Certificate of Achievement

Upon completion, you will receive a Queen's Public Executive Program Certificate of Achievement – a widely-recognized symbol of excellence in executive education.

This program is a part of the Queen's Executive Certificate in Public Sector Leadership

High impact learning

Leading-edge content presented by outstanding session leaders.
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Speak to a member of our team
Call 1.888.393.2338 or Chat live
Monday to Friday. 8:30am - 4pm EST

Upcoming Sessions


$16,500 CAD (plus applicable taxes)
fee includes accommodations and meals

recommend this program


“I found that the broad range of topics really challenged me to stretch my thinking and enabled me to apply the learning very directly to my professional and personal context. The topics were presented in a way that encouraged dialogue and debate and this really enhanced the learning experience. The professionalism of staff involved with the Public Executive Program was exceptional. The Conference Centre facilities are excellent and I really appreciated the uniqueness of the lifestyle activities that encourage you to step outside your comfort zone.”

Jason Elliott- Jason Elliott, C.H.R.P.
HR Manager City of Lethbridge

Queen’s Executive Program
Alumni Network

As an alumnus of the program you will receive:

  • Access to special continuing education events
  • Invitations to Queen’s Business Club events in cities across Canada as well as New York, London and Hong Kong
  • Subscription to the online edition of QSB Magazine, the Queen’s School of Business alumni magazine
  • Exclusive access to course materials, articles and information
  • Invitation to monthly webinars

Benefits for you and
your organization

Queen’s Public Executive Program is designed to enhance the policy-making, decision-making, and leadership skills of public-sector managers.

  • Broaden your public policy perspective by interacting with a diverse group of session leaders and public-sector executives
  • Sharpen your management and leadership skills by working with a world-class faculty team
  • Bring in new ideas from respected session leaders and fellow public-sector executives
  • Benefit from a proven executive development process used by more than 1,400 Canadian organizations, including public-sector organizations from all levels of government and all jurisdictions in Canada
  • Network with federal, provincial, and municipal public-sector managers from across Canada
  • Improve performance in the most efficient way possible, at a cost much lower than that charged by consultants
  • Establish an ongoing relationship with Queen's School of Business and create a culture of lifelong learning within your organization
  • Recharge and revitalize yourself in the collegial atmosphere of Queen's University

Program content is built around two core areas:

  • The Public Policy Process

    Queen's Public Executive Program focuses on public policy issues in the modern Canadian context of rebalanced responsibilities, horizontality, and improved customer service. The Program offers a comprehensive overview of the public policy agenda, along with a strategic approach to managing, implementing, and evaluating policy.

    The Policy Agenda
    Discuss the forces that shape the Canadian policy agenda

    Global Forces

    • Globalization and new international agreements on trade, currency and security
    • Global capital flows
    • Growth of new international sovereignties
    • The Canadian Social Union
    • International economic and security context

    Domestic Forces

    • Diversity of Canadian society and changing values
    • Disputes and divisions within Canadian Society
    • Increased demands for coherence, openness, transparency, citizen engagement and accountability

    Policy Management
    Learn new ideas for developing and structuring the policy-making process

    • Developing a framework for strategic policy analysis, advice, and development
    • Analytical frameworks and environmental scans to assess policy problems
    • Recognizing and defining policy problems and identifying causal linkages
    • Developing policy consistency vertically, between policy and its implementation; and horizontally, across policy fields and a variety of jurisdictions
    • Developing a flexible and responsive policy plan while insuring policy consistency among the elements of the policy
    • Resolving cross-policy and cross-jurisdictional tensions

    Policy Instruments
    Matching policy tools to the policy challenges facing governments

    • Choosing the appropriate mix of strategies and instruments to deal with each policy challenge
    • Determining the essential characteristics of instruments and their appropriate application
    • Do private sector concepts apply in all domains of government?
    • Determining the proper scope and limits of government action

    Policy Performance
    Improving public policy implementation, performance, and evaluation


    • Develop partnerships with clear standards
    • Reviewing accountability issues, monitoring, and learning loops
    • Building flexibility and responsiveness into implementation design
    • Using "backward mapping" techniques to build implementation into policy design
    • Increasing accountability by pre-committing to performance indicators


    • Creating an organizational focus on quality standards and service commitments
    • Working with "innovation networks" to exchange information about partnering, Alternative Service Delivery, and Special Operating Agencies


    • Developing an evaluation framework
    • Process evaluation, impact evaluation, and efficiency evaluation
    • Measuring performance using a modern project management approach
  • Leading the Public-Sector Organization

    Public management has changed radically in the last decade. Deficit reduction and government restructuring have affected the public sector in Canada and most other OECD countries. The old public-sector paradigm of carefully defined roles, reliance on rules and procedures, and central agency oversight is becoming obsolete in favour of a more client-focused, service-oriented system.

    Public Sector Management
    Today's public-sector manager faces new challenges

    Growing requirements for coordination between government and its partners demand more extensive consultation to ensure that stakeholder interests are incorporated into objectives. Increasingly, public-sector executives find themselves redesigning organizations and procedures to incorporate this new accountability. To accomplish this, senior public servants must be able to use a broad set of management tools commonly associated with the private sector. The Program will introduce these private-sector tools and discuss how private-sector concepts need to be adapted to work in the public sector.

    • Shortening implementation time frames while deploying programs and initiatives in an efficient and effective manner
    • Leading the institution and managing the organization
    • Integrating public opinion polling into the policy planning process and creating public communications strategies aligned with the policy plan
    • Developing interdepartmental and cross-jurisdictional communication coordination strategies
    • Improving financial analysis through an understanding accrual accounting, using Activity Based Costing to develop or enhance cost efficiencies
    • Understanding the financial considerations of Alternative Service Delivery, and measuring quality, client service, and productivity

    Leadership and ethics

    Today's public service is in flux. Still tied to traditional values while embracing new technologies, it must incorporate private-sector innovation and public-sector best practices, national goals and local political priorities. It must harness its resources to manage and capitalize on opportunities. New managers in the public sector must be committed to the service of the Canadian public, not simply to improving efficiency. Accountability demands that senior managers have a responsibility to restore the values of public service that are so important to a motivated and committed government service.

    • Building and sustaining a positive work climate through the creation of teams of committed employees
    • Developing contemporary performance-enhancing initiatives and creating a high-performance workplace
    • Using coaching to enhance employee performance and increase organizational effectiveness
    • Developing organizational renewal strategies that build alignment and commitment
    • Rebuilding morale in the public sector
    • Restoring the concepts of pride, duty and service
    • Developing ethical guidelines
    • Coping with the pressure to facilitate, consult, and work with citizens

Session Leaders

Session leaders include senior professors from Queen's School of Business and knowledgeable experts from industry. These outstanding teachers are constantly in touch with today's business world through real-world business experience, Board memberships and their own consulting practices.