Building Parliamentary Capacity

Parliaments are a critical component of a country’s governance system. Typically, they oversee the executive arm of the government, represent the electorate, and formulate and enact legislation. To perform these roles, parliaments need to maintain training programs to strengthen and ensure effective, proactive, and responsive governance. Building the capacity of both Members of the Parliaments (MPs) and parliamentary staff ensures that the needs of all members of the legislature are met and helps sustain parliamentary institutions for the challenges of tomorrow.

At a time when public expectation for improved democracy is on the rise and the executive power is still weakening the structure of parliamentary governance in many countries, it is more important than ever to build stronger parliament. McGill University’s School of Continuing Studies, in collaboration with international partners, offers two programs: one tailored toward staff and the other focusing on newly elected MPs. We also offer customized courses on a demand basis. The School is emerging as a leader in cutting-edge parliamentary research.

Our Programs

Professional Development Certificate in Parliamentary Management

The Professional Development Certificate in Parliamentary Management program, designed for parliamentary staff, consists of five expert-moderated courses, each involving live video discussions, pre-recorded video sessions, and moderated online discussion forums complemented by specially pre-recorded video lectures. One of the courses will be offered online and in-person. This program helps develop a well-trained cadre of mid-and senior-level staff to bolster parliamentary democracy and build the legislatures of tomorrow.

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Professional Development Certificate in Parliamentary Governance

The Professional Development Certificate in Parliamentary Governance program, designed for newly elected Members of Parliament, focuses on the fundamentals of parliamentary governance. It includes an overview of the three arms of government, different parliamentary models, the core functions of parliament, executive- legislative relations, the role of an MP, as well as the relationship between parliament and the media. Combining theory and practice, the program uses a blended learning methodology of face-to-face and online courses.

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Coming Soon: New Micro-credential Program in Parliamentary Oversight of Public Finance

The majority of newly elected Members of Parliament and/or newly appointed parliamentary administrative staff do not have a solid understanding of public finance, nor of the role of parliament in the budget cycle. Many may have little or no knowledge and experience of how parliamentary committees work. Combining two existing online courses with an introductory and concluding webinars, this micro-credential program will be attractive to and beneficial for MPs and staff who need a “crash program” in parliamentary financial oversight of government spending but who cannot or do not need to take one of the complete PDC programs in Parliamentary Governance or Parliamentary Management.

We plan to offer this Program March-May, 2023.

For more details, please contact us at : parl.scs [at] mcgill.ca

Customized Programs & Courses

The School of Continuing Studies can customize its programs and courses to meet specific needs of a country or a region. Customized programs or courses could be delivered in the host country or at McGill University in Montreal.

Most recently, customized programs have been held in West Africa, East Africa, the Caribbean and in the Pacific region.

Download List of Customized Courses

For more information contact us at parl.scs [at] mcgill.ca

Our Research Projects

One of the key elements of our parliamentary program is cutting-edge research, the results of which inform the content of our programs. In turn, program participants provide invaluable insights and commentary on our research findings. In this way, we ensure that our research is not just academically rigorous but also practical and actionable.

Occasional Online Lecture Series:

Join McGill Parliamentary Community!

This group was created to facilitate communication between participants and alumni of McGill University Programs for Parliamentary Staff and Members of Parliament: Professional Development Certificate in Parliamentary Management & Professional Development Certificate in Parliamentary Governance.


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