Executive Leadership Program

8 minute read
Elp Simple Cover

Cohort 25 is launched

Our Executive Leadership Program (ELP) is for committed public service managers and executives who want to improve their leadership competencies and skills to function more effectively in this disruptive world of the 21st century.

Together, the participants of Cohort 25 will tackle the real-time challenges faced by public service leaders in general and, more specifically, the skills and competencies they will need in a federal election year and beyond.

ELP Launch Dates: 

In the current Post-COVID context, the IOG has pivoted its suite of leadership programs to 100% virtual delivery. As such, we are not currently offering the year-long, in-person Executive Leadership Program - however, if you are interested in nominating someone for this program, please contact us at registration@iog.ca. We look forward to launching the 26th in-person cohort of this program as soon as we are safely able to do so. 

You may also wish to take a look at our Virtual Executive Leadership Program, which is not a replacement for the year-long ELP, but an excellent virtual alternative that offers valuable learning opportunities for executives.

Elp 20 Grad
Congratulations to the ELP 20 Graduates. We celebrated their graduation on June 13th, 2019.
Elp 21 2
Here's cohort 21 enjoying the first day on their leadership journey.
Elp 23 Launch
The IOG's senior team facilitating an action learning exercise with the 23rd cohort of the Executive Leadership Program.
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What Participants and their Managers Say About the Program


“Two years after my graduation, I can say unequivocally that the ELP gave me a distinct advantage in the EX competition that led to my promotion.”

“ELP has given me a much better understanding of myself, my leadership capacity and where I best fit in the executive cadre to put my skills to good use and have them recognized by senior management.”

“I sent one of my strongest performers to ELP and the year shaped her into an extremely strong leader who returned ready to take on a more significant role in my organization. She was promoted within months of her graduation.”

What is the IOG Executive Leadership Program?

  • The IOG Executive Leadership Program, Public Sector Governance and Leadership in a Complex World, is designed for executives at the EX-1 level or equivalent who are committed to public service excellence and who desire to continue improving their leadership skills and abilities.
  • The one-year IOG Executive Leadership Program has three modules:
    • Public Sector Leadership in a Complex World
    • Evolving Public Sector Governance
    • Toward Better Public Sector Leadership: Responding to Change
  • Over the course of the IOG Executive Leadership Program, participants develop applied strategic and tactical know-how needed to successfully navigate and manage governance in an increasingly complex digital world that is shaped by major forces such as globalization, information technology, and shifting demographics.
  • The IOG Executive Leadership Program is based upon a Competency Framework developed by the IOG that focuses on public sector requirements and which is consistent with Government of Canada competencies.
  • The IOG Executive Leadership Program incorporates state-of-the-art teaching methods, world-class thought leadership, and stimulating learning discussions across threads of change management and evidence-based decision-making.
  • Class size is limited to enhance the quality of learning. Classes are scheduled conveniently once per month during one evening and the following day to allow time for assigned work and opportunity to apply learning between sessions.
  • Case studies, action learning events, and ongoing coaching and mentoring are offered throughout the program.
  • The former Clerk of the Privy Council, Jocelyne Bourgon, will share with participants practical lessons from her New Synthesis Initiative, including 4 "Jazz Sessions" where the class discusses current events relevant to their roles as leaders in the public service.
  • A 360 and Insight assessment is provided to each ELP participant to supplement IOG mentoring and coaching.
  • A week-long group study tour offers participants an opportunity to consolidate theoretical frameworks and applied learning.
  • IOG Executive Leadership Program graduates will receive an IOG diploma in “Public Sector Governance and Leadership in a Complex World”.
  • Graduates and invited senior leaders from their organizations will be invited to attend a graduation ceremony to celebrate the occasion.

Our value proposition

The IOG Executive Leadership Program is an investment not just in the individual participant, but also in the future of the public service.

Our program prepares leaders to respond to the drivers of change that all governments are facing.

We give participants the tools to respond to the ongoing ambiguity and complexity of the public service environment, and to real challenges and outcomes by looking for new approaches to ensure innovation and ongoing public value.

Our expertise is rooted in our innovative leadership practices, ongoing and applied research, and practice-based insights.

Our Executive Leadership Program gives participants:

  • A systems approach that takes into account interaction of complex systems and decision-making;
  • A neutral, impartial, independent and confidential learning environment to address real-time leadership and governance challenges;
  • Access to leading thinkers, with domestic and global expertise in government, private and academic sectors as well as Indigenous and other governance areas

Program outcomes

Participants attending the Executive Leadership Program will:

  • Develop applied strategic and tactical know-how to successfully navigate and manage in an increasingly complex and demanding world.
  • Acquire a profound understanding of public sector leadership and governance in a digital world.
  • Understand the specific challenges and expectations of a government moving into an election year, and applying learned leadership skills to real-time problems.
  • Experience coordinated problem solving of complex issues with partners in other departments.
  • Develop a concrete network of contacts across government.
  • Create a personal portfolio of leadership resources.

How many public servants have attended the program?

  • Over 300 participants from 38 different departments and agencies have attended one of our Cohorts. Many organizations have sent more than one participant.
  • Participants have come from arms-length agencies as well as core departments.
  • While most participants come from the NCR, we have had them from Toronto, Victoria, Saskatoon, Yellowknife, Charlottetown, Whitehorse and Edmonton. The IOG offers discounts to those who fly in from out of town.

What are the benefits of the IOG Executive Leadership Program?

As a participant, you will:

  • Develop applied strategic and tactical know-how needed to successfully navigate and manage governance in an increasingly complex and changing digital world
  • Improve key leadership skills to improve resilience, to manage change, and to use evidence-based decision-making for effective governance
  • Benefit from state-of-the-art teaching methods, world-class thought leadership, and stimulating learning discussions across threads of change management and evidence-based decision-making
  • Enjoy a rigorous ‘world-class’ learning program designed to fit your busy work schedule with conveniently spaced classes and activities
  • Learn through a combination of classroom work, peer work, self-reflection, observation, practice, and feedback
  • Actively participate in case studies, action learning events, leadership assessments, and ongoing coaching and mentoring
  • Travel to a selected location as a group on an applied study tour
  • Graduate with an IOG Executive Leadership Program diploma in Public Sector Governance and Leadership in a Complex World
  • Become part of the IOG Alumni (EX-Change Agents) network and have exclusive access to a broad range of IOG services

Your organization, and the Public Service, will benefit by:

  • Developing capacity to appreciate how the public sector is changing and how the organization will need to adapt
  • Acquiring a more profound understanding of public sector leadership and governance in a digital world
  • Developing emerging leaders with important insights and expertise at a critical time along their career journey
  • Seeing graduates cascade their learning and leadership to deliver better results in their work across the public sector

Who should apply?

Executives at the EX-1 level or equivalent, keenly interested in furthering their professional development, who have:

  • At least 3 years of supervisory experience
  • An interest in public sector management and governance in a digital world
  • A willingness to participate fully in all learning sessions and activities

What are the costs?

  • Tuition for the IOG Executive Leadership Program is $24,000.
  • Participants from outside the NCR pay just $20,000.
  • This includes all instructional materials, personal assessments, coaching, on-site meals, and classroom activities.
  • Departments will be separately invoiced $4,500 for the week-long study tour to Nunavut. This includes travel and accommodation; all arrangements are made by the IOG.
  • As a not-for-profit organization, the IOG does not collect tax.

To Register

Send an email to registration@iog.ca with the following information about the participant:

  • Name
  • Organization and position
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • City/Province

The IOG will contact the participant with the full details to start preparing for the program.

How will I be assessed?

Satisfactory completion of all assignments, projects, and guided learning.

Where does the program take place?

  • All classroom sessions take place at the IOG head office conveniently and centrally located in the ByWard Market at 60 George Street
  • The group study tour is to Iqaluit, Nunavut

For more information

Francois Gagnon, Vice President, Learning

E - fgagnon@iog.ca

P - 613-562-0090 ext 200

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What Participants Say About the Program


"Best training course I have had. The evening lectures were excellent and the Jazz sessions."

"Highlights for me were: making what I hope to be lasting relationships. This was greatly facilitated by the structure, duration, and field trip aspects of the course. Also, the inspiring ideas that help me stay passionate about my work."