Program Curriculum

The CIO Institute of Professional Development is not a think tank or a research institute: it focuses on practical decision-making and problem solving skills. It is a place of knowledge exchange and knowledge transfer that supports the development of key leadership skills.

Program vision and content are driven by an Advisory Committee of senior executives (current and retired) from the federal government, university representatives and industry. The Advisory Committee meets regularly to review program offerings, emerging developments, government needs, and program contributors.

The learning program of the Institute provides an environment in which participants can learn from and engage with seasoned experts from:

  • Academia
  • Government
  • Industry

Contemporary topics and issues cover what a CIO needs to know to prepare for managing and serving in an executive leadership role.

In addition to four full-day leadership workshops and the professional practice day, the program includes a simulation exercise allowing participants to present and defend a business case proposal. This is in addition to a series of half-day action learning sessions where small groups discuss practical work challenges.

Curriculum Overview




Developmental Assignments

On-the-job learning activities

Throughout the program

Leadership Workshop 1

An exploration of the role of the CIO, the demands placed on the position and the requirements of the individual. It will also explore the concept of “value” and introduce the Value Realization Model, which will provide a lens through which to view the organization’s expectations and its efforts to meet them.

October 3, 2019

Leadership Workshop 2

Instructor-led Senior Management Oral Briefings Workshop to further develop the “Create Vision and Strategy” leadership competencies.

December 11, 2019

Leadership Workshop 3

Instructor-led workshop to further develop the “Mobilize People” leadership competency.

Focus is on delegation, managing performance, and providing feedback to encourage and enable individual and team performance excellence.

February 13, 2020

Leadership Workshop 4

Success and Failure - What a CIO Needs to Do: We will explore how the basic engineering model employed by IT is failing us. In its place, an agricultural model will be presented that more effectively encompasses the realities and uncertainties that exist. It will examine the importance of measurement and the realities of measuring value beyond monetary metrics.

April 16, 2020


Participants will be given a scenario and asked to present at a mock senior management meeting.

April 23-24, 2020

Action Learning Circles

4 half-day sessions in small groups.

One per month

Professional Practice and Graduation Day

Participants interact with CIOs from government departments and the private sector. Participants’ sponsors and supervisors are invited to attend.

May 4, 2020

*Dates subject to change

All workshops include:

  • The CIO at the Executive Table
  • CIO as Team Builder and Coach
  • Performance Management for the CIO
  • Change Management for the CIO
  • Client Service for the CIO
  • Success and Failure – the CIO Experience
  • Making a Business Case in the CIO world

Who is it for?

The CIO Institute of Professional Development caters to the learning needs of:

  • CIOs in small- to mid-sized government departments and agencies
  • Deputy CIOs
  • Emerging leaders with business acumen and CIO potential
  • Aspiring CIOs in the private sector

Upon completion of the year-long program, participants will be granted a University of Ottawa Certificate of Professional Development, which will serve to recognize newly acquired skills, potential and accomplishment.

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