JCDP Professional Development Programs

Full description of all programs

Calendar of events

Eligibility table


ACFO Spring Tune Up

ACFO’s annual flagship professional development day, the Spring Tune Up, will be held in Ottawa at the Shaw Centre on May 15, 2018. This highly-popular event is covered under the JCDP fund for 2018-19.

In-person registrations and webcast registrations are still available. You may contact events@acfo-acaf.com to register.

FI Interchange Program

This program will provide the unique opportunity for FIs to travel across Canada and enhance their understanding of the duties, challenges and departmental culture that their fellow FIs face in another region.

For FIs outside the National Capital Region, you’ll be hosted for five days by FIs in the NCR. In this program, you’ll:

  • meet with the Office of the Comptroller General and learn more about TBS;
  • hear from senior managers and leaders about their vision for the FI Community;
  • shadow multiple FIs of equal or higher level to you in their department;
  • learn about the challenges facing FIs in the NCR;
  • network with FIs in the NCR;
  • meet with ACFO staff and elected officials;
  • and more.

For FIs in the NCR, you’ll be hosted for five days by FIs in regional offices. In this program, you’ll:

  • hear from senior managers and leaders about their vision for the FI Community;
  • shadow multiple FIs of equal or higher level to you in their department;
  • learn about the challenges facing FIs in their region;
  • participate in the Regional Tune Up professional development event;
  • network with regional FIs;
  • and more.

“I was able to draw parallels between what I saw with job shadowing and my own work – we share similar struggles within our line of work. I also got some good ideas from the job shadowing sessions that I am hoping to bring back to my own workplace,” one participant from last year’s program said.

There are four weeks in this year’s program for which you’ll be eligible to apply:

Week 1 September 24 – 28 NCR Hosts
Week 2 October 15 – 19 Regional Hosts (English – Toronto)
Week 3 November 5 – 9 Regional Hosts (French – Montreal)
Week 4 December 3 – 7 NCR Hosts

FIs who submit their candidacy will be selected for the Interchange by random draw. Participants who are selected must have the ability to travel on weekends.

Recaps and more participants’ positive feedback from last year’s program can be found here:

Job Shadowing

With the breadth of knowledge and professional experience in the FI Community, there is no better way for FIs to learn than from one another. Similar to elements of the FI Interchange program, the Job Shadowing program will provide the opportunity for FIs across Canada to shadow FIs in their respective cities and host FIs in their respective departments. There is no cost or travel component to this program.

Through the program, you will be grouped with an FI of equal or higher level to you in their department and you will rotate between shadowing (two days) and hosting (one day). The shadowing will take place one day a month over three months, shadowing twice and hosting once. In contrast to the Interchange program, scheduling of shadowing dates is flexible and will be arranged following the selection of candidates by random draw.

Some of the many benefits of this job shadowing program include:

  • Getting an insider’s look at the inner workings of other departments in the federal public service;
  • Expanding your network and list of contacts, both within and outside of the FI Community;
  • Learning tips and tricks from your fellow FIs to bring back to your office and increase the value you bring to your current role;
  • Getting a taste of another role within the FI Community, helping you determine the course of your career path;
  • Developing your communication, briefing and presentation skills by sharing your knowledge and explaining the nature of your role to other FIs, from daily tasks to long-term projects;
  • Gaining a fresh perspective from another FI to help you reflect on your role and area of work; and
  • Understanding and appreciating the value of the FI to the stewardship of the public purse within and outside your established role.

Further instructions will be provided to the participants chosen.

uOttawa IFSD 360 course

Led by Kevin Page, 30-year veteran of the federal financial community and Canada’s first Parliamentary Budget Officer, this five-day course is taught exclusively by staff from The Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD). This hands-on, interactive and collaborative course was created exclusively for FIs and will be hosted at the new executive education classroom in Hagen Hall at uOttawa.

Taking place in two cohorts of September 17 – 21 and October 22 – 26, IFSD 360 is a full circle insider’s guide to the key facets of the financial cycle. The course is broken down into five modules:

  • Due-diligence and costing: Sharpen your analytic skills to improve your due-diligence and costing techniques with expert presenters and a case study based on a real file;
  • Estimates: Leverage the experiences of current and former parliamentarians to unpack, explore and debate the need for reform of the estimates process and existing proposals;
  • Forecasting: Learn to identify and unpack the information buried in the budget with veteran public servants, economic analysts and former political staff;
  • The financial cycle: Explore the politics, fiscal and economic considerations of transition with those who have orchestrated, managed and experienced it; and
  • Effective communications: Using multiple case studies, refine your skill in communicating complex information through briefing notes, interdepartmental presentations and oral briefings.

“This course was probably the most relevant and useful course I have taken yet in my career with the Government of Canada. I really appreciated that they were teaching from a practical standpoint as opposed to just all theoretical talk,” Connie Fung, FI-03 at DND, said about last year’s offering.

40 FIs will be randomly selected from the pool of applicants. Due to the nature of this course, the pool is only open to FI-2s with 5+ years of FI experience, FI-3s and FI-4s. A handful of spots have been set aside for FIs from outside the NCR, with travel, accommodations and incidentals covered under the fund.

While IFSD staff are fully bilingual and you are welcome to express yourself in the language of your choice, course content will be in English only.

Language Training

25 hours of in-person, one-on-one language training with a language tutor will be made available to select FIs as part of this year’s program. Tutors will assess learners’ skills via placement test and tailor their training based on each FI’s individual needs. This added training can go a long way towards boosting and maintaining your second language skills.

This training is open to all FIs. A vendor has been secured for FIs based in the National Capital Region, but FIs in the regions have the option to either arrange their own government-approved vendor via Buyandsell.gc.ca or arrange distance training through the NCR vendor via video conference, Skype or WebEx.

Scheduling of each recipient’s 25 hours of training will be flexible, with full-time training (5 x 5 hrs, one week) and part-time training (10 x 2.5 hrs, once a week for 10 weeks or twice weekly for 5 weeks) available. The FIs who are selected by random draw may book their training with availability on a first come, first served basis. Further instructions will be provided to the participants chosen.

Authentic Leadership Course

This two-day group workshop held in Ottawa by Trillium Teams will help participants discover their authentic leadership style to be a more effective communicator and engaging leader. Participants will discern and clarify the strengths of their communication style, learn concrete tools and gain the confidence to put these into practice.

The course is a good mix of lecture, one-on-one work with the other participants and the two facilitators, small group work, as well as large group debrief. Topics of the course will include:

  • Emotional intelligence and how it applies to leadership;
  • The DISC behavioural model to gain insight into more effective communication;
  • Difficult conversations, an ongoing leadership challenge; and
  • Narrative leadership at the heart of clear and memorable communication.

A handful of spots have been set aside for FIs from outside of the NCR, with travel, accommodations and incidentals covered under the fund.

Course dates are to be determined.

Regional Tune Ups

The Regional Tune Up series will feature free full-day professional development events in five cities across Canada. Speakers and topics will vary by location with complimentary breakfasts and lunches offered at each event. Each session worth 5.5 CPD hours will feature a town-hall-style lunch from ACFO.

The dates and locations are as follows:

  • August 29 – Winnipeg, MB
  • October 10 – Halifax, NS
  • October 17 – Toronto, ON
  • November 7 – Montreal, QC
  • November 27 – Vancouver, BC

Registration for the Regional Tune Ups are not yet open. ACFO members will be notified by email when registration for each respective event opens, so please ensure that you keep your contact information up-to-date with ACFO.

Networking Nights series

Struggling with a competition or getting promoted? Want the chance to sit down with a DCFO or CFO? Are you in touch with the latest trends affecting your professional community?

This free evening event series centred around hot topics within the FI Community will take place once a quarter in the NCR. These small, short events are an opportunity to add value to your career by giving you the chance to hear from experts and senior managers, as well as meet your fellow FIs from other departments and build a community of professionals. Complimentary appetizers will be served at each event.

The dates of the Networking Nights are as follows:

  • August 23, 2018
  • October 11, 2018
  • December 13, 2018
  • February 7, 2019

Locations, times and topics have not yet been finalized. ACFO members will be notified by email when registration for each respective event opens, so please ensure that you keep your contact information up-to-date with ACFO.

CFE Prep Course

CFE Prep is a program for Common Final Examination writers. Offered by Densmore, this program provides approach strategies and skills development in preparation to write the three-day CFE. The program has been consistently rated as the best ever experienced by its participants. It consists of five days onsite or online case-based training and supplemental online sessions to be viewed prior to the course.

Densmore has provided an offering of this course in English only, however some materials and tools will be available in French. If you prefer to follow a prep course completely in French, a similar offering is also available provided by LCG Coaching, CPA Inc. This option is however only available online.

In order to qualify, you must be writing the CFE in September 2018. Few seats are available and recipients will be selected by random draw.

Finally, please note that due to recent developments, while general applications for the Joint Career Development Program are open until July 2, 2018, applications for the CFE Prep Course will only be considered on or before June 12, 2018 at midnight ET. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

NCR Applicants

The course will be held in Ottawa from July 25-29, 2018. Please use the JCDP application form to apply. You will be contacted in early July should you be chosen by random draw for the program.

Regional Applicants

The dates and locations for regional courses are as follows:

Vancouver, Halifax – July 11-15, 2018
Toronto, Calgary – July 14-18, 2018
Edmonton – July 25-29, 2018
Toronto – August 2-6, 2018

To apply, please contact jcdp@acfo-acaf.com.

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