PEARL 2011

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and The Centre for Education and Work: CertWork

CertWork is an innovative partnership of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters and The Centre for Education and Work funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada ) to create and establish a PLAR certification system for management occupations that are not governed by regulatory bodies.

CertWork was initially designed:

  • to provide Canadian employers with a way to assess the skills of individuals applying of management positions, (and)
  • to help highly-skilled immigrants with management backgrounds in their countries of origin to re-enter management in the Canadian manufacturing sector

However, CertWork has proven equally effective in providing employers an assessment tool for all potential managers whether immigrant or Canadian born.

The tool itself is a set of 17 rigorous and comprehensive work –based standards in skills identified by industry as requirements to succeed on the job. It results in a credential that is workplace- based and industry driven. The approach incorporates a trained mentor and a trained assessor both of whom are located within the candidate’s workplace.

CertWork was developed and piloted not only in Manitoba at Duha Colour Group, Precision Metalcraft , Carte International and Westland Plastics but also in Saskatoon, Halifax, and Moncton and involved 38 candidates.

By the end of the pilot last spring, three candidates had fully completed all 17 CertWork Standard and had been awarded a Certificate of Completion by CME Manitoba with the remaining candidates as various stages of portfolio development and assessment.

Post-pilot, other CME organizations at the national and provincial levels have indicated their eagerness to advance CertWork in their regions. The Federal government has been approached for further funding to develop the PLAR infrastructure within the regions.

Clearly, CertWork is worthy of the PEARL Award demonstrating beyond doubt how industry can create its own standards for management skills, train its mentors and assessors and award meaningful certification all within the workplace itself.