Certificate in Program Evaluation
For results-oriented professionals

NOTE: The Certificate in Program Evaluation is under revision.

Good governance and public management require ongoing program evaluation and public accountability. Program evaluation seeks to assess the relevance, sustainability, impact, effectiveness and efficiency of government programs, projects, policies and regulations by focusing on program results and value for tax-payers’ money. It involves the systematic gathering of information about the performance of public projects, policies, programs and regulations in order to determine their relevance, success and cost-effectiveness

What do program evaluators do?
Program evaluations are complex and delicate exercises that must be conducted professionally and competently in order to be both credible and useful.  The quality and integrity of evaluations depend on the quality and competence of the professionals involved. As an evaluator, you must be able to apply appropriate research and statistical methods rigorously. You must be also able to make sound critical judgments and communicate well with clients in order to support them in bringing about change.  The core competencies of evaluators have been empirically identified by major professional associations, including the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES), and the Treasury Board of Canada.

What will I study as part of this program?
UFV's graduate certificate in Program Evaluation consists of six courses, for a total of 15 graduate-level credits. All courses are competency-based, designed to provide public sector and civil society professionals and managers with the practical knowledge, skills, and credibility for conducting, managing or participating in the program evaluation process.

Inquiry-based learning is a central feature of the training approach. You will link scholarship to practice through case studies and problem solving exercises.  The goal is to teach you how to apply sound evaluation methodologies in an ethical and professional manner.

Is this program designed for me?
The certificate program delivers a transformative learning experience to mid-career professionals from various public management and service fields, as well as managers, consultants and researchers who expect to be involved in various capacities in program evaluation. You will acquire the core competencies required to professionally conduct a program evaluation

Will I earn a recognized credential?
This graduate certificate will be recognized by the Canadian Evaluation Society and members of the Consortium of University Evaluation Education.

Where and when is this program offered?
This program will employ various delivery methods including an on-campus orientation session, online classes, and self-directed study.

What is the program outline?

 Course  Title  Credits
PREV 700 Program Management, Policy Development and Performance Measurement 3
PREV 710 Program Evaluation Principles and Processes   3
PREV 720 Evaluation Design and Issues in Program Evaluation  3
PREV 730  Cost-Benefit Analysis  3
PREV 740  Applied Evaluation Techniques: Lab Exercises  2
PREV 750   Professional Practice in Program Evaluation  1

What does each course cover?

PREV 700
Program Management, Policy Development and Performance Measurement
This course introduces the student to the theory and practice of public sector management, policy development and performance measurement.  The course focuses in part on the role and importance of program evaluation and other performance monitoring mechanisms in informing policy and successfully delivering programs and services. The course places program evaluation within the broader context public sector management and accountability and introduces the general conceptual framework for the whole graduate certificate program.

PREV 710
Program Evaluation Principles and Processes

This course introduces the student to the analytical and systematic processes used in program evaluation. It introduces the importance of logic models, examines the various approaches and research methods used in program evaluation and performance measurement, and critically examines the strengths and limitations of these methods.  The course introduces the notions of program evaluability, performance indicators, program audit, output measurement, and impact assessment. Students will critically review several evaluation studies.

PREV 720
Evaluation Design and Issues in Program Evaluation

This course introduces students to the design process in program evaluation including the selection of an appropriate research methodology. The course provides students with the skills and knowledge to design evaluation studies and other performance assessment tools. Students will be required to develop several evaluation designs. The course also examines how issues arise from various stakeholder agenda including scope, processes, timelines and data, as well as other issues relating to the implementation and management of evaluation studies.

PREV 730
Cost-Benefit Analysis

The course introduces students to the theoretical foundations and methodologies of cost-benefit analysis and examines the strengths and limitations of such analyses in the public sector. In particular, students will learn the economic basis for this type of analysis, valuing benefits and costs in primary and secondary markets, discounting future benefits and costs, contingent valuation with uncertainties, and valuing impact from observed behaviour. Student will learn about how to identify and measure the social impacts or outcomes of programs, their intended and unintended results, and present and future strategic opportunities. The course teaches students the skills and methods for designing and conducting cost-benefit studies and interpreting their findings.

PREV 740
Applied Evaluation Techniques: Lab Exercises

In this course students apply the techniques and skills they have gained through previous program courses through the completion of a number of case studies and problem solving exercises.  Students will apply their learning to cases and situations drawn from various public sector areas.

PREV 750
Professional Practice in Program Evaluation

This course offers the student an opportunity to explore and practice the personal and interpersonal competencies that professional evaluators are expected to master. This course also emphasizes the importance of values and ethical behaviour and professional standards in conducting evaluations. This course touches upon the human side of evaluations, how competing views and interests are often at play, how misunderstandings and conflicts may arise, and how one may deal with them in order to mitigate their adverse effect.

How do I apply (applications are not being accepted at this time)

Entrance requirements
All applicants must:

  • have completed a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a professional or social science discipline (e.g., public administration, criminal justice, social work, education, business administration, sociology or economics).
  • have acquired professional experience in the public or civil society sectors.
  • have successfully completed an undergraduate course in research methodology or agree to complete such a course prior to enrolling in the program.
  • be able to provide three letters of reference (at least one of which must be from an academic, and at least one of which must be from someone who can speak to your work experience).
  • submit a resume.
  • attend an interview or orientation session, if required.

How to apply
Submit an application package to the UFV Admissions office that includes the following:

  1. $75 application fee along with your UFV Graduate Studies Admission form. Application forms are available from any UFV Admissions or Student Services office. You can also print an application form from our website at www.ufv.ca/ar.
  2. A resume.
  3. Official sealed transcripts (or interim transcripts) requested from every post-secondary institution you have attended showing grade/course achievement as per entrance requirements.  These must be sent directly from the institution to the UFV Admissions office at 33844 King Road, Abbotsford, BC  CANADA V2S 7M8.
  4. Three letters of reference. Please use the forms provided in the application package. Have the letters completed, sealed, signed, and returned with your application package.

You will be advised of an admission decision and provided with registration information. A deposit is required when you register (see fees and additional costs section below). This money will be applied toward your tuition fees. Final payment of all course fees is due the end of the second week of classes.

In cases where interim transcripts are submitted, an admission decision may be made conditional upon completion of academic requirements. Proof of completion of entrance requirements is due by the end August.

Fees and additional costs
See the Fees and Other Costs section of the UFV calendar. For the 2012/13 academic year, graduate fees are 529.81 per credit. There will be additional costs for textbooks.


A prerequisite is a requirement which must be met before a student enters a course or program. A P grade does not, unless stated otherwise, meet a prerequisite requirement. Students who do not have the stated prerequisite courses may not register in a course having these requirements without the permission of the School of Graduate Studies.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
You may be able to obtain credit for prior learning through evaluation of previous studies or learning through experience.

Course withdrawal deadlines
Course withdrawal deadlines follow university policy. Please see General Regulations for Graduate Studies in the UFV Calendar

Program requirements and continuance in program
To maintain status as a program student and to continue in the program, students must maintain a minimum program grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Failure to meet the minimum GPA will be considered by the Graduate committee as required under Policy 340.03 — Academic Warning.

Re-taking courses
Students can re-take a course if they wish to improve the grade earned in the course. Permission of the Graduate Program committee is required (Please see General Regulations for Graduate Studies.)

Auditing courses
Students wishing to audit a course must request permission from the instructor no later than the end of the fourth week of classes. No changes from regular to audit status will be permitted after this date.

Academic regulations
Governed by the General Regulations for Graduate Studies (see page XX).


Candidates who qualify to receive a UFV graduate certificate must be approved by the UFV School of Graduate Studies and the UFV Senate. Students must submit a Request for Graduation form to the UFV Admissions and Records office by April 1.

Application Package (not available)
Application Checklist
Reference Form
Application Form

Related Links
Consortium of Universities for Evaluation Education (CUEE)

Canadian Evaluation Society (CES)

Contact Us
Adrienne Chan
Associate VP

Deborah Block
Executive Assistant

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