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McGill SCS Professional Development Certificate in Parliamentary Governance

Combining contemporary theory and global good practice, this program integrates findings from cutting-edge parliamentary research projects into the curriculum. It is designed to empower elected and appointed Members of Parliament and Senators to learn and apply international good practices in the context of their parliament and constituencies. Participants have a unique opportunity to learn from and comment on research findings, and turn them into actionable knowledge.


Type: Professional Development Certificate
Courses:   4
Credits: 13 CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
Schedule:   Part-time
Delivery: Online (optional 1-week in-person residency)
Unit:  Administration and Governance
Questions?   parl.scs [at]



Key Features
  • Content includes the application of global good practice and contemporary research to parliamentary processes in participants’ own countries.
  • Our faculty includes former leading parliamentarians and senior parliamentary staff from around the world, as well as prominent experts from international and national institutions and organizations.
  • An optional one-week intensive in-person residency, held at McGill University’s downtown campus in Montreal or at one of our partner’s facilities, offers the opportunity for in-depth discussions with instructors and other parliamentarians.
  • Peer learning is encouraged and facilitated through weekly online discussion sessions between participants and instructors and during the optional one-week in-person course.
  • The program can be completed within nine months. Participants may be allowed to take up to 24 months to complete all course requirements if required and subject to approval.

Message From the Academic Program Coordinator

We look forward to welcoming you into this program, the only one of its kind in the world.

This program was first offered in 2016, for Members of Parliament from small states. Since then, the curriculum has been expanded to include legislators from all countries, both large and small. More than 200 legislators from North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Pacific have taken our courses.

Our principal objective in offering this program is to support parliaments in fulfilling their constitutional and statutory obligations. We do so by offering a curriculum based on international good practices, focusing on their application to parliamentary settings within different political systems and cultures. This enhances the professional skills of elected and appointed Members and Senators, thereby helping make parliaments more efficient and effective.

Support for the program has come from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank & IMF, and the United Nations Development Program. Other partners include the Kenyan Centre for Parliamentary Studies and Training, the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, and the Nigerian Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, along with the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs, the Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation, Global Governance Partners, iParl, Laval University, the Parliamentary Centre, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Rick Stapenhurst, PhD
Academic Program Coordinator

Who Should Attend

The program is designed for legislators from all parliaments in all countries. It seeks to empower participants to learn from international good practices and apply them in the context of their parliaments and constituencies.

This program is a good fit for you if you are a:

  • Newly elected or appointed Member of Parliament
  • Senator
  • Parliamentary representative


Admission Requirements
  1. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
  2. Applicants between the ages of 18-21 must provide evidence of the following, as appropriate:
    • Applicants from Quebec: a minimum of a DCS, DEC, or the equivalent of at least 1 year of full-time university studies
    • Applicants from other Canadian provinces: a minimum of 1 year of full-time university studies
    • International applicants: the equivalent of at least 1 year of full-time university studies
  3. Applicants who are 21 years of age or older will be considered for admission as mature students. A letter of recommendation from a parliament, government organization, or other relevant public body is required.
  4. For all applicants: A letter of recommendation from a parliament, government organization, or other relevant public body.

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