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Parliamentary Committees

This course looks at what parliamentary committees are, the role that they play in the work of parliament (focusing on the legislative process) and the factors that contribute to their success, or otherwise. It considers the procedural, administrative, research, and analytical support that committees need to undertake their work and focuses on the ‘bread and butter’ of committee work, namely, the process of conducting committee inquiries. It also examines the important role that committees play in terms of accountability and engagement.

The course is both interactive and practical; it is designed to assist committee staff in their work. It does not provide all the answers; rather it shares some global good practice from parliaments around the world, with the intention that this will assist committee staff in their work and in their professional development.


  • Winter 2018: March 12 - April 16, 2018
  • Winter 2019: January 7 - February 15, 2019

Location: Online

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Define the mandate and terms of reference for a committee
  • Identify various forms and benefits of different means of public consultation by a committee
  • Appreciate the role of parliamentary staff in ensuring the effectiveness of a committee
  • Explain the primary steps in conducting a parliamentary inquiry
  • Clarify the role of a committee in monitoring government activity and scrutinizing draft laws

Topics Covered

  • Establishing a Parliamentary Committee
  • Supporting Committees: the role of a committee secretariat
  • Conducting Committee Business
  • Oversight, Lawmaking and Public Engagement


This course is part of the Professional Development Certificate in Parliamentary Management. For more information, click here.

If you wish to register for an individual course without being admitted to the program, please contact us at parl.scs [at]

Cancellation Policy

All cancellation & substitution requests must be made in writing. The following policy applies:
Up to 30 calendar days prior to the start date: Full refund, minus $100 administration fee.
Within 30 days of the start date: No refund, however suitable participation substitution will be permitted.
If no notice is given prior to the start of the program and you fail to attend, you will be liable for the full program fee.

Contact Information

For registration inquiries:
Telephone: 514-398-5454
E-mail: parl.scs [at]

For program inquiries:
Dr. Frederick (Rick) Stapenhurst: frederick.stapenhurst [at]

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