Find a Workshop

Today's complex economic and social challenges require decision-makers to be flexible, collaborative and well-informed regarding the political and legislative context of their work. Our Public Sector Workshops offer you tools for tackling problems using diverse perspectives, innovative thinking, and outcomes-based approaches.

The Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy offers half-day and full-day workshop options. Each public sector workshop includes:

  • an asynchronous pre-workshop online curriculum;
  • an interactive and discussion-based live workshop (online or in person);
  • a curriculum that has been developed, reviewed, and tested by experienced public sector practitioners; and,
  • applied learning components, such as exercises, simulations, role plays, and case studies.
Half-day Workshops  Full-Day workshops
1-2 hours pre-workshop online curriculum 2-hour pre-workshop online curriculum
3 hours live workshop (asynchronous) 6-hour live workshop (asynchronous)
$325 per person (plus GST, if applicable) $450 per person (plus GST, if applicable)

Spring 2023 Offerings

Below is a complete list of public sector workshops being offered during the Winter 2023 term.

The unique role of government has a significant impact on the structure and function of government ministries and crowns. This workshop provides an introduction to that unique role and its influence on the processes of decision-making and accountability in the public sector. It also presents practical tools to use when engaging in policy design and implementation. You will also explore and address challenges to creating good policy in today’s complex context.

By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • identify the unique role and function of government;
  • distinguish between the policy cycle and other related cycles within government; 
  • identify policy tools and when to use them;
  • recognize how the role of government affects the policy process, the role of the elected, and the role of public servants; and,
  • apply these principles to provide policy advice to decision-makers.

Core competencies explored: Evidence and strategic thinking; Policy and context knowledge

April 5, 2023 - 9 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 4 pm
Delivery: online
Online curriculum: 2 hours
Live online workshop: 6 hours
Length: full day
Cost: $450

This workshop provides public servants with an introduction to the principles and purposes of program evaluation. We will teach you how to use logic models and how to identify the goals of programs, focusing on outcomes. We will discuss the merit and worth of programs and how to distinguish between program efficiency and program effectiveness, performance management, benchmarking, program review, and evaluation design. We will show you how program measurement and evaluation are used to improve program outcomes and enable programs to meet targets and achieve their purposes.

By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • recognize the basic elements of evaluation; 
  • distinguish between various evaluation types and their benefits;
  • identify measures to assess the effectiveness of programs and policies;
  • identify the pitfalls common to evaluation and measurement and how to avoid them; and,
  • apply these principles to design and implement an evaluation strategy in your own work.

Core competencies explored: Evidence and strategic thinking; Policy context and knowledge

April 12, 2023 - 9 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 4 pm
Delivery: online
Online curriculum: 2 hours
Live online workshop: 6 hours
Length: full day
Cost: $450

The service of the public requires a commitment to adhere to general values to work in good faith and carry oneself in a professional manner. This requires diligence to many policies such as privacy, antiharassment, conflict of interest, protocols and fraud, but the concept of ethics goes deeper than this. This workshop examines the concept of “the public trust” and the role that individual public servants and leaders have as caretakers of the public trust. You will also explore the role that organizational culture plays in maintaining a positive environment and the impact of culture on individual choices and behaviour.

By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • describe how and why ethics and integrity are core values of the public service;
  • examine different ethical approaches, definitions, and lenses;
  • identify the elements and processes necessary to make ethical decisions;
  • evaluate personal traits and characteristics that may impact your own ability to think and act ethically; and,
  • apply strategies to address ethical issues that public servants commonly face in their work.

Core competencies explored: Implementation and improvement; Leadership

*This workshop was formerly called Public Service Ethics.

April 13, 2023 - 1 pm to 4 pm
Delivery: online
Online curriculum: 1-2 hours
Live online workshop: 3 hours
Length: half day
Cost: $325

Indigenous governments across Saskatchewan are exploring creative and unique ways to undertake economic development and build strategic partnerships to create opportunities and employment for their people. “Indigenous economic development is an integral component of reconciliation, holding huge potential to fuel Canadian economic growth” (The National Indigenous Economic Development Board 2019). What factors make some of these initiatives more likely to succeed? What role can the provincial and federal governments play to support these initiatives and where are the potential points of contention?

By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • identify how Indigenous governments are finding a balance between traditional and contemporary approaches to economic development; 
  • reflect on success stories of Indigenous economic development and the lessons learned; 
  • recognize the role of partnerships in economic development, including those with provincial and federal governments; and,
  • apply strategies to form partnerships to enable and support Indigenous economic development.

Core competencies explored: Connection and collaboration; Indigenous and intercultural responsiveness

April 18, 2023 - 9 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 4 pm
Delivery: online
Online curriculum: 2 hours
Live online workshop: 6 hours
Length: full day
Cost: $450

Writing a briefing note can be considered an art - it is not just a cut-and-dry writing exercise. This workshop provides public servants with practical and tested advice on how to write better briefing notes. You will learn about your audience and what their needs are, the why, how and when of using briefing notes, and writing tips that will help you communicate more effectively. You will also get a chance to gain experience and apply this knowledge through a practical exercise.

By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • recognize the purpose of briefing notes as distinct from other forms of communication;
  • identify the attributes of good briefing notes;
  • consider your audiences’ needs and adapt your briefing notes to that audience; and,
  • apply tips and techniques to write better briefing notes.

Core competencies explored: Connection and collaboration; Communications 

April 25, 2023 - 9 am to 12 pm
Delivery: online
Online curriculum: 1-2 hours
Live online workshop: 3 hours
Length: half day
Cost: $325 

"Prior to the workshop, I felt overwhelmed by the thought of writing a briefing note—if someone had asked me to at that moment, I would have floundered. Now I feel comfortable and even confident that I could do so—the workshop content has assisted me all over on good practices of writing a briefing note."

Collaboration, both within our organizations and with stakeholders, is a vital skill for addressing increasingly complex problems. This workshop examines various components of collaborative policymaking, including the skills, knowledge and strategies you need to develop collaborative solutions to complex public policy issues and manage collaborative partnerships. This workshop provides you with an introduction to developing policy through consensus-driven dialogue and participatory practices. It also explores various strategies that may be used to craft solutions in both planning and implementation.

By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • identify and describe different approaches to collaborative policy-making;
  • assess the benefits and challenges of collaborative processes;
  • describe the factors that lead to effective collective impact to address complex and wicked problems; and, 
  • effectively design and implement strategies for effective collaborative policy-making.

Core competencies explored: Connection and collaboration; Engagement

May 2, 2023 - 9 am to 12 pm
Delivery: in person
Location: University of Regina College Avenue Campus, College Building, 2155 College Avenue, Room 308
Online curriculum: 1-2 hours
Live in-person workshop: 3 hours
Length: half day
Cost: $325 

Coaching has become a bit of a buzzword these days, and it seems like everyone is expected to be a coach, with confusing definitions of what being a coach really is. The power of coaching, like anything else, takes time upfront so you can have big payoffs in the future. The benefits of coaching include improved communication skills, increased confidence, increased productivity, and a better work-life balance. Good coaches let go of control and rather than providing answers - they move to curiosity. Coaching is all about going from the “fixer” to the “empowerer” and helping individuals navigate problem-solving on their own. This workshop will provide you with an introduction to coaching and will help you adjust your approach to interactions in your office and with your staff.

By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • distinguish between coaching and other workplace interactions, such as mentoring, counselling, and consulting; 
  • identify when it is appropriate to use coaching and when it is not;
  • apply strategies to create a safe space for coaching; and,
  • develop your skill of curiosity and ask powerful questions.

Core competencies explored: Implementation and improvement; Leadership

NOTE: This workshop was formerly a half-day session, but has been expanded to a full day.

May 17, 2023 - 9 am to 12 pm, and 1 pm to 4 pm
Delivery: in person
Location: University of Regina College Avenue Campus, College Building, 2155 College Avenue, Room 308
Online curriculum: 2 hours
Live in-person workshop: 6 hours
Length: full day
Cost: $450

Timed for emerging, new, or mid-level leaders, this workshop will equip you with practical tips, tools, and techniques to be an effective leader. In this workshop, you will review research-based leadership best practices and different leadership styles. Included in the cost of this workshop is a personalized leadership self-assessment, which you will complete to discover your strengths and areas for improvement. In this session, you will also learn how to lead yourself, team members, and projects effectively and how to find the right balance between delegation and micro-managing. You will also learn how to action-plan and keep growing to reach your full leadership potential.

By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • identify the characteristics of high-performing leaders;
  • recognize the role of a leader in creating high-performing cultures and organizations;
  • analyze the various pressures and pitfalls leaders experience;
  • recognize your leadership strengths and the areas in which you can grow; and,
  • design and implement a leadership action plan.

Core competencies explored: Implementation and improvement; Leadership

May 31, 2023 - 9 am to 12 pm, and 1 pm to 4 pm
Delivery: online
Online curriculum + LCP self-assessment: 2 hours
Live online workshop: 6 hours
Length: full day
Cost: $450 + $150 LCP = $600

NOTE: The $150 fee for the pre-workshop LCP self-assessment is non-refundable.

This workshop explores the topic of leadership by examining several research-based leadership practices: leadership accelerators that are important for success, dimensions of leadership motivation, leadership derailers to avoid, and paradoxes that leaders are often expected to navigate. You will explore each of these areas and learn specific tips and tools for each of them. You'll then apply what you've learned to a case study and generate an action plan to fuel your continued leadership growth.

By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • describe and summarize 12 leadership accelerators, 3 motivators, 5 derailers, and 12 paradoxes;
  • interpret the results of your own leadership self-assessment to identify areas of strength and growth;
  • apply tips and tools to real-world examples and challenges, including those you face in your own work; and, 
  • develop and execute an action plan to facilitate your continued leadership development.

Core competencies explored: Implementation and improvement; Leadership

June 8, 2023 - 9 am to 12 pm, and 1 pm to 4 pm
Delivery: online
Online curriculum + LADP self-assessment: 2 hours
Live online workshop: 6 hours
Length: full day
Cost: $450 + $150 LADP self-assessment = $600

NOTE: The $150 fee for the pre-workshop LADP self-assessment in non-refundable.

There are a number of considerations when crafting government documents. Writing for different audiences requires you to think about style, format, technical information, decisions required, and key messages. This introductory workshop will examine these considerations as well as tips and tricks that can improve your writing. You will submit a briefing note assignment in advance of the live workshop, and facilitators will provide you with customized feedback on your writing. During the live workshop, you will explore key sections required in briefing notes and discuss material from the assignment to illustrate how to improve your writing skills.

By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • identify tips and techniques to write better government documents;
  • consider your audiences’ needs and adapt your writing to those needs;
  • apply strategies for effectively communicating information to your audience, especially technical or challenging subject matter; and, 
  • implement facilitator feedback and suggestions in future written documents.

Core competencies explored: Connection and collaboration; Communications

June 22, 2023 - 9 am to 12 pm
Delivery: online
Online curriculum + required assignment: 2 hours
Live online workshop: 3 hours
Length: full day
Cost: $450


  • This workshop was formerly called Applied Government Writing; because of the pre-workshop assignment, this workshop is considered a full day.
  • Required pre-requisite: Participants must complete The Art of the Briefing Note prior to attending this workshop or have significant experience writing briefing notes.

Register Online

JSGS Public Sector Workshops are intended for public sector employees involved in the development and implementation of public policy or who manage and provide oversight of the policy process. Public sector organizations include provincial, federal, and municipal governments, Indigenous organizations and governments, universities and other educational institutions, and non-profits. 

Depending on where you are employed, you will register using the PSC Client system or the JSGS public registration system. Please refer to the registration process criteria for more information.

For additional guidance on which registration option is best suited for you, please get in touch with Sharri Dewey at

Public servants whose organizations do not have access to the PSC Client system will register using the JSGS registration system, including:

  • select Treasury Board Crowns, including Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA), Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC), Tourism Saskatchewan, and Water Security Agency (WSA)
  • boards, crowns, and agencies within the GoS who do not have access to the PSC Client system
  • public servants outside of the GoS, such as federal or municipal government
  • Indigenous organizations and governments
  • universities and other educational institutions
  • non-profit organizations

A number of ministries and groups will use the internal Government of Saskatchewan (GoS) system, PSC Client, to register for policy workshops, including:

  • GoS ministries
  • Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC)
  • Provincial Capital Commission (PCC)
  • Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA)
  • Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan (FCAA)

Our Workshop Facilitators

Public Sector Workshops are facilitated by JSGS Executives-in-Residence, who are all accomplished and experienced former senior public servants. Having them deliver training to current public servants allows for institutional knowledge transfer—creating efficiencies and improving productivity. It’s more than just theory—our facilitators use actual examples that public servants can relate to and learn from.


Public Servant Core Competencies

The Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy has a competency framework for the skills and knowledge we want to instill in our students and participants of our Executive Education and Professional Development programs.

This framework evolves with the public sector as its needs change. As you will see, our workshops address multiple competencies and reflect the complexity and interconnectedness of public policy and administration issues. We share this framework to assist you in preparing your own learning and development plans. If you have any questions about this information, please feel free to contact us.

Competencies Policy Workshops that Align with the Competencies
Policy & Context Knowledge
  • understands the context and background of their policy area and that building a strong knowledge base is crucial in all areas of policy
  • has awareness of the history of the policy area and builds on lessons learned from the past
  • has a clear understanding and working knowledge of what it means to be a civil servant and how to support ministers and government
  • looks beyond the initial policy question to understand and address the real issues behind it
  • Accountability in Public Institutions
  • Comparative Public Policy
  • Leading in Ambiguous Times
  • Legislative Processes
  • Public Service: A Deeper Dive
  • Strategic Thinking
  • The Public Good
  • The Role of the Courts
  • The Role of the Public Servant
  • Treasury Board & CIC Crowns
  • Working with Government
  • Working with the Elected

Economics & Finance

  • works with economic advisers as an intelligent  customer and commissioner of their expertise 
  • can perform simple analysis and use the evidence supplied to develop high-quality policy advice
  • considers the importance of economic considerations and using public money effectively during policy development
  • understands the financial challenges and complexities behind the funding for the policy area and makes appropriate recommendations and decisions
  • Behavioural Economics & Nudging
  • Budget Process & Financial Literacy
  • Treasury Board Simulation

Statistics & Data

  • understands and can apply the basic processes required  to develop a sound evidence base to support policy  recommendations
  • commissions, understands and uses information from analysts, statisticians and social researchers to support policy design
  • understands both the benefits and risks of using data
  • makes effective use of experts to develop a sound evidence base to support policy recommendations
  • Big Data & Analytics
  • Evidence-Based Decision Making
  • Research 101 for Public Servants
Competencies Policy Workshops that Align with the Competencies
  • presents accurate, brief, clear arguments & options
  • tailors communications to its use and intended audience
  • is skilled in providing briefings 
  • uses a range of methods to communicate persuasively
  • Business Case Analysis
  • Coaching Fundamentals
  • Effective Communications in Government
  • Shaping the Narrative: Communicating with Media and the Public
  • The ABCs of CDIs
  • The Art of the Briefing Note
  • Writing for Government


  • engages and works in partnership with internal and external stakeholders, including relevant experts 
  • uses a range of user-centred design tools and techniques to assess user needs 
  • engages effectively with intergovernmental counterparts 
  • recognizes the unique rights of Indigenous peoples and engages accordingly
  • Collaborative Approaches to Wicked Problems
  • Collaborative Policy Management
  • Leading Engagement
  • Strategic Collaboration
  • Tools for Building Alliances
  • The Role of Environmental
  • Working with Public Sector
  • Working with the Ministry of
  • Working with the Non-Profit

Indigenous & Intercultural Responsiveness

  • values equity, diversity, and inclusion as vital to achieving excellence, innovation, and creativity in the public sector 
  • engages and sustains partnerships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples and their community members, Nations, and organizations
  • upholds evidence-based principles for equity, diversity, and inclusion actions 
  • applies principles for EDI when planning and applying policy
  • Indigenous Economic Development
  • Multigenerational Workforces Reconciliation: Moving from Mandates to Action
  • The Relationship between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous People
Competencies Policy Workshops that Align with the Competencies
Program & Project Management
  • understands and can apply various Program and Project Management tools and methods to ensure successful delivery
  • understands the environment in which their policy will be delivered
  • delivers value for money even if not directly accountable for a budget
  • understands the importance of planning and monitoring their policy development
  • Business Case Analysis
  • Crisis Management
  • Policy Development & Implementation
  • Policy Implementation
  • Risk Assessment & Mitigation
  • Traits & Tools for Innovation


  • understands and uses a range of evaluation techniques 
  • understands the importance of varied viewpoints in policy evaluation
  • understands the importance of including how outcomes will be evaluated at an early stage of
    policy development
  • uses a range of techniques to plan and prepare for possible outcomes when their policy is implemented
  • Comparative Public Policy
  • Learning from Failure
  • Performance Outcomes
  • Program Measurement & Evaluation
  • The Role of Environmental Policy
  • upholds integrity and other ethical considerations in their  working context
  • mobilizes others to work for a shared goal
  • applies strategies for promoting innovation and guiding change 
  • models respect for diversity
  • Leadership Foundations
  • Coaching Fundamentals
  • Creating a Culture of Accountability
  • Empathy
  • Innovation
  • Leading in Ambiguous Times
  • Policy Lessons from COVID 19
  • Public Service Ethics
  • The Relationship between
    Indigenous and Non-Indigenous People
  • Traits & Tools for Innovation
  • Trust, Innovation & Economic Growth

Certificate of Completion

JSGS offers a Certificate of Completion for the Public Sector Workshops series to participants who complete 6 full days of training, including the introductory workshop, The Role of the Public Servant. One full-day workshop or two half-day workshops equal one full day of training. Online workshops are worth the same amount of time as in-person workshops.

Each summer we distribute certificates to qualifying participants, and there is no need to apply. The cut-off date for certificates each year is March 31. Participants are responsible for managing and tracking their completed workshops.

Custom Workshops

We frequently offer customized workshops for ministries, crowns, and other public sector organizations. You can choose from our complete catalogue of Public Sector Workshop topics, or we could customize course content to meet your specific learning needs.

Contact us for information on availability and workshop pricing.

Contact Us

For more information on the above executive education options, please contact: