CPA Parliamentary staff development programme in Canada with McGill University enhances skills for Commonwealth Parliaments   

Parliamentary staff from 14 Commonwealth Parliaments have undertaken a staff development programme at McGill University, Montreal, Canada which has been organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in collaboration with McGill University’s School of Continuing Studies. Created in response to the voiced needs of parliamentary staff, Programme Coordinator, Professor Rick Stapenhurst from McGill University officially opened the residency seminar and described the programme as "a unique tool that builds on the skills and capacity of senior parliamentary staff to help them better serve their Parliaments."

Originally founded by the World Bank and McGill University in collaboration with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and other international partners, this intensive professional development programme includes a one-week residency seminar followed by expert-moderated online courses and is attended by senior parliamentary staff from across the Commonwealth. The programme offers parliamentary staff the opportunity to obtain a Professional Development Certificate in Parliamentary Management and covers a diverse range of topics including: Parliamentary Administration, Parliamentary Research and IT, Parliamentary Committees, Public Financial Management and Corporate Management of Parliaments.

Keynote speakers at the programme included Professor Rick Stapenhurst; former Clerk of the Canadian Senate and Clerk of the Parliaments, Mr Paul Belisle; Executive Director of the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), Dr Rasheed Draman; and Executive Director of the Centre for Parliamentary Studies and Training (CPST) in Kenya, Professor Nyokabi Kamau. The CPST organised the 2018 CPA Parliamentary Staff Development programme with the Parliament of Kenya in Naivasha, Nakuru County, Kenya which was attended by 15 parliamentary staff from CPA Branches.

The following CPA Branches were represented at the programme this year funded by the CPA Headquarters Secretariat: Australian Capital Territory; Bangladesh; Belize; Cook Islands; Manipur; Northern Territory; Ontario; Scotland; Sierra Leone; Trinidad and Tobago; and Western Cape. The CPA Pakistan, Nigeria (Federal) and Kenya Branches self-funded their participants on this year's programme. 

11 participants were funded by the CPA Headquarters Secretariat and 4 were funded by CPA Branches (Kenya, Nigeria (Federal) and Pakistan).

Images: copyright McGill University/CPA Headquarters Secretariat.

For images of the regional conference please visit

Updated 3 June 2019.


The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. 
For further information about the CPA, please contact:

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
CPA Headquarters Secretariat  
T: +44 (0)20 7799 1460
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