Post-Secondary Partnerships Program: National Program Guidelines 2018-2019

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1. Introduction

The Government of Canada provides significant financial support to provincial and territorial governments on an ongoing basis to assist them in the provision of programs and services. More specifically, the Canada Social Transfer (CST) supports specific policy areas such as post-secondary education.

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) supports post-secondary education through two streams of programming: support to post-secondary institutions, provided through the Post-Secondary Partnerships Program (PSPP); and individual student financial support through the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) and the University and College Entrance Preparation Program (UCEPP). These guidelines address the objectives, the criteria for funding and the delivery requirements of the Post-Secondary Partnerships Program (PSPP). This Program is proposal-driven and the level of funding is determined by a selection process to allocate resources based on merit, limited overall by total available funding and the number and quality of proposals submitted. The Program is not intended as a source of core operational funding.

2. Objective

The PSPP assists Canadian post-secondary institutions in the design and delivery of college and university level courses that focus on labour market needs and respond to the educational needs of First Nation and Inuit students. The program promotes the establishment of partnerships and the use of innovative learning tools. It also supports institutions so they in turn can develop partnerships with communities, the private sector, not-for-profits organizations and other sectors so students can better meet labour market demands. The Program also ensures First Nation and Inuit students can acquire the skills necessary to gain employment, locally, regionally and nationally. Post-secondary institutions offering courses funded by the PSPP must not duplicate existing provincial or federal supports or programs.

3. Expected Results

It is expected that the PSPP will increase the availability of post-secondary courses and programs, targeted to First Nation and Inuit students in fields of high labour market demand, either locally, regionally or nationally, and in the fields of Indigenous governance and business development.

4. Activities

The PSPP provides funding for proposals aimed at the following activities that must meet the objectives and expected results of Section 2 and Section 3:

5. Eligible Recipients

Under PSPP, eligible recipients are Canadian post-secondary institutions.

The institution delivering the program must be degree-, diploma- or certificate-granting, and be recognized by a province or territory. Post-secondary education institutions affiliated with or operating in a formal partnership with a degree-, diploma- or certificate-granting institution recognized by a province or territory are also eligible. Exceptionally, for the province of Quebec only, First Nations and their organizations, in partnership with eligible post-secondary institutions, are eligible recipients.

6. Proposal Assessment Criteria

All funding for the PSPP is determined by a selection process and based on selection criteria. Annex 1 provides an Applicants Guide to the overall proposal assessment criteria.

Proposals will be assessed against the criteria set out below.

Self-sufficiency: Institutions may be eligible for a maximum of two continuous years of funding for the same project.
Tuition: Rate determined by post-secondary institutions.
Short duration: The minimum duration is defined as the completion of courses leading towards a certificate or diploma as determined by post-secondary institutions. Short courses are eligible for funding if they have a minimum of 30 hours in duration.
Credits: All courses must be credited towards a certificate or diploma.

7. Review and Approval Process

Selection Committees will review all proposals. A written response will be sent to applicants to confirm whether or not their proposal has been approved for funding. Approved proposals will be funded in the form of a Set, Fixed or Flexible contribution depending on the eligibility of the recipient and duration of the project. Your regional office can inform you about eligibility for these different funding approaches.

A waiting list of projects may be kept by the Department for potential additional investments should the opportunity arise.

Multi-year funding will be considered for low-risk recipients based on program effectiveness and institution stability and for projects whose proposals lay out clear annual workplans and dates for transitioning to self-sufficiency. Recipients approved for a multi-year proposal will not have to re-submit a proposal for the subsequent fiscal year(s) covered by the approved proposal.

The Post-Secondary Partnerships Program will consider the provision of additional financial support for a proposal already being supported by another partner if this enhances the scope of the proposal and meets program objectives.

Details on the 2018-2019 call for proposal and the application process can be found in the Call for proposals page.

8. Eligible Expenditures

Eligible expenditures include only the actual costs directly associated with designing and delivering the project as outlined in the proposal. The maximum amount payable to PSPP recipients normally will not exceed $500,000. Funding may be approved for the following costs:

Administration Costs: Administration costs must not exceed 10% of the sub-total amount requested before administration costs. The program's Data Collection Instrument (DCI) will automatically calculate the amount.

9. Ineligible Expenditures

Ineligible expenditures include, but are not limited to:

PSPP funding excludes capital funding, including acquisition of information technology and services, expenses related to institutions' day-to-day operations (not related to the submitted project), rent (except for the First Nations University of Canada), facility maintenance, permanent staff salaries, student tuition, student books and supplies (only eligible expenditures are relevant to learning supplies in the case of course delivery), food, academic research not related to course development, and daycare.

10. Funding

10.1 Funding approaches

Transfer payments to funding recipients can be made using Contribution funding of different types or using Grant funding, depending on the eligibility of the recipient and depending of the program, service or activity to be delivered. Your ISC regional officer can inform you about eligibility for these different funding approaches as well as of the delivery requirements related to each of them. The funding approach used to transfer the funds will be identified in the recipient's signed funding agreement.

Consistent with the Government of Canada's intention to provide additional flexibility to First Nation recipients to carry over funds, most funding approaches include, to different levels, carry over provisions and redirection of funds provisions. For details on the different levels of flexibility, see the Funding approaches page on ISC's website.-->

11 Monitoring and Accountability

Funding recipients must deliver the programs in accordance with the provisions of their funding agreement and the program delivery requirements outlined in these National Program Guidelines while also ensuring that the necessary management controls are in place to manage funding and monitor activities. Funding recipients are required to exercise due diligence when approving expenditures and must ensure that such expenditures are in accordance with the eligible expenditures criteria set out in these National Program Guidelines.

ISC is committed to providing assistance to recipients in order for them to effectively carry out obligations under these National Program Guidelines and funding agreements. Regional offices and other departmental contacts are available to answer questions and provide guidance related to ISC programs and funding.

To ensure that program delivery requirements are being met, that funds are expended on the intended purposes, and that ISC's accountability to Parliament is being met, activities including audits, evaluations, as well as desk and on-site compliance reviews will be conducted with all funding recipients.

  • The Department's collection and use of personal information and other records for the purposes of program compliance reviews will be limited to what is necessary to ensure program delivery requirements are met.
  • The Department is responsible for all information and records in its possession. The confidentiality of the information will be managed by ISC in accordance with the Privacy Act and other related policies on privacy. Recipients are responsible for the protection of personal information per the privacy legislation, regulations and/or policies that govern them up to the point that it is transferred to ISC.

12. Reporting Requirements

The reporting requirements (program and financial reports) are listed in the recipient's funding agreement, and details on these requirements are available in the Reporting Guide. Recipients are responsible for ensuring that reporting requirements are met and reports are accurate and submitted on or before the established due dates. To access the program reporting form (Data Collection Instrument), contact your regional office.

13. Contact Information

For further program information, please visit the Post-Secondary Partnerships Program page.

The regional offices coordinates can be found on the Contact Regional Offices page.

You can also write to:

Education Branch
Indigenous Services Canada
10 Wellington Street
Fax number: 819-934-1478

These National Program Guidelines can be consulted in the Education National Program Guidelines page of ISC's website and through the View Instructions button on the first page of this program's Data Collection Instrument (DCI).

Annex 1 – Applicants Guide

Post-Secondary Partnerships Program – 2018-2019

Assessment Form

Proposal Assessment Criteria Weight
All proposals will be assessed using the following criteria by the Selection Committee(s). Each criterion will be worth the value indicated in the second column, on a scale of 100. Recipients should ensure their proposal clearly addresses each criterion.  
Respond to a Labour Market Need
Evidence that the project is in a discipline in high labour market demand (locally, regionally, or nationally) should be included. Evidence of labour market research/data can be demonstrated either by using Employment and Social Development Canada's (ESDC) Labour Market Information at or by other sources of evidence of high demand in First Nations and Inuit communities (e.g., Indigenous government administration, teachers in First Nation schools, through letters from potential employers, emerging development projects, quantitative analysis of labour shortages in a province, territory or region or in First Nations and Inuit communities).
Respond to Educational Needs of First Nation and Inuit Students/Evidence of Indigenous Support
Project is adapted to educational needs of First Nation and Inuit students, and shows evidence of First Nation and Inuit support for the project (e.g., use of Elders, Indigenous mentors, tutors, availability of course in rural/remote areas, integration of language and culture into curricula, etc.).
Planned Activities, Expected Outcomes, and Evidence of Previous Success
Proposed curriculum is presented by semester, including start and end date of course/project and method of delivery. All courses must be credited towards a certificate or diploma including projected enrollment and expected take-up / minimum enrollment. Institution's expertise and capacity to deliver proposed activities as demonstrated by past success and past measures of performance over a number of years. Institution's ability to reach a sizeable number of students (aggregation) identified by expected number of students. If the project is new, demonstrate the institution's record of attraction and retention, in particular First Nation and Inuit students. Level and qualification of the teaching personnel planned for the project. A maximum of 2 year multi-year funding will be considered for low-risk recipients for projects whose proposals lay out clear annual workplans and dates for transitioning to self-sufficiency within the regular operations of the post-secondary institution.
Innovative and Efficient Delivery
Innovative learning tools, new instructional material for online courses, outreach, distance education, culturally adapted internships, course schedules that accommodate mature students who may have to work part-time or have day care needs.
Provide a budget detailed by activity with staff salaries broken down by staff categories and number of personnel. Demonstration that costs are directly related to the development and delivery of the project. Cost per student is justified. Tuition fees are included as revenues. Administration costs are within the 10% allowed.
Funding Partner(s)
Preference given to projects that include funding partner(s) with a firm commitment to monetary participation.
Transition Plan for Migration to Mainstream Activities of the PSE Institution
Clear timeline for program self-sufficiency and migration to the mainstream activities within the regular operations of the PSE institution, including dates for sunsetting of PSPP support.
Submission Quality 5
Total 100
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