Language selection


Aspiring Directors Program

The Aspiring Directors Program (ADP) is a career transition program to support talent management across the public service. It provides identified candidates with opportunities to better understand the role as an executive within the Government of Canada to effectively lead in today's work environment.


The ADP is being offered in a blended learning environment, both in person and online. It is spread out over a period of approximately six months and consists of three phases, two of which are in the classroom, and one that is both online and on–the–job learning.

Through exploration, self–awareness, personal reflection, and examination of leadership and self–management skills, participants build skills to become effective leaders.

On this page

About the program

The program emphasizes:

  • reflecting on leadership competencies and self–awareness, that are both critical to the success of executives in the federal public service;
  • applying new leadership knowledge and awareness on the job;
  • inspiring the next generation of public service leaders, regardless of whether they join the executive cadre.

This unique program draws on our faculty's wealth of expertise and features guest speakers with real–world experience. Together, they guide participants to develop and apply leadership competencies and self–management skills that are needed to meet today's quickly evolving demands.


Phase 1: In class

Phase 1 (3 days, in class): Improve your self–awareness to become a better leader – in class

Over three days, participants will deepen their self–awareness of their leadership strengths, challenges and possibilities. As they start to build their peer network, they will focus on:

  • Self–reflection;
  • Listening in a way that demonstrates full presence;
  • Fostering productive conversations;
  • Key Leadership Competencies required at the executive level; and
  • Their Individual Development Plan (IDP).

Phase 2: On the job

Phase 2 (4 months, on the job): …And now...act on it!

During this four–month phase, participants have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they have acquired, back on the job. It includes:

  • Additional assignments and online activities to further enhance the development of the Key Leadership Competencies needed at the executive level; and
  • Participants identifying an executive (EX–01 to EX–03) for job shadowing, within their own organization.

Phase 3: In class

Phase 3 (in class): Making the transition to an executive role

In this final phase of the program, participants will:

  • Develop an appreciation of the strategic, operational, cultural and emotional dimensions to leading change in the public service;
  • Acquire tips and tools for building a shared vision;
  • Develop an awareness of the methods to further emphasize systems thinking;
  • Prepare for an executive role;
  • Develop a personal leadership narrative; and
  • Update their Individual Development Plan.


To qualify, you must:

  • Have a talent management plan in your Performance Management Agreement (PMA); and
  • Be at the EX–minus 1 level or its equivalent within your organization.

We recommend that you have human resource management experience and that you have successfully completed the Authority Delegation Training Program. We also recommend that you pre–identify the mentor who you will be job shadowing in Phase 2.

How to register

Contact your departmental Learning Coordinator (LC) to obtain registration instructions. If you do not know your organization's LC, please submit a CSPS web form, call or use the chatbot so that we may assist you.

Frequently asked questions

Aspiring Directors Program: FAQ

Date modified: