A Process Evaluation of the Certificate in Aboriginal Employment Development (CAED)

Program prepared for The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT), Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Project Completion

August 2001


Since 1998, when the CAED program started its preparatory phase, its mandate has been to train Aboriginal counselors in employment development training to increase the skilled Aboriginal labour pool. CAED was created with the vision of its being a builder of Aboriginal institutional capacity relating to human resource development. It was designed to create an Aboriginal training institution which trained its own people, instead of having Aboriginal people rely on government-directed program delivery. The program consisted of three phases: self study, group lab experience, and workplace application. Additionally, it provided a test to assess Aboriginal training capacity at the national and regional levels.

SIIT initially made an agreement with HRDC in which it estimated that the initial group would be composed of 385 learners and would require a federal contribution of $1,882,000. This project was seen as a significant investment, since it would be the first-ever Aboriginal-designed and delivered certificate course in Aboriginal employment development in Canada. Stakeholders were informed that this project was a long-term investment towards the building of an Aboriginal human resource pool.

Purpose of the Evaluation

The evaluation of the CAED program focused on these major preliminary outcomes: the process of service delivery, and the program’s conformity to its intended design. In addition, the program’s barriers, obstacles and opportunities were assessed with an eye to determining the likelihood of its achieving its intended impacts and effects. Its overall cost-effectiveness relative to that of other comparable programs was also reviewed.


Several approaches were taken in order to undertake the program evaluation. On-site visits and consultations were conducted and a total of 83 people were interviewed about their experience with the program. Among those interviewed were the program’s learners, service providers, SIIT personnel, and other stakeholders. Additionally, program files, documents and training materials available through SIIT and the Service Providers were reviewed, and a comprehensive analysis was prepared.


A total of 438 learners participated in the program’s first year, and by September, 2001, there were already 45 graduates. The program evaluation revealed that the vast majority of the program’s students “felt that the program was a valuable way of developing their potential to progress within and beyond the area of Aboriginal employment development.” It was also found that the program’s formal institutional certification was an excellent way to help participants enhance their own future employment opportunities.