Senior Policy Advisor

Colleges and Institutes Canada

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November 23, 2022
Ottawa, Canada
Job Type
Annual Salary
$80K - $97K
Hours per Week
Closing Date


Title:     Senior Policy Advisor

Classification:         Program Staff III 

Supervisor:          Manager, Government Relations and Policy  

Division:              Government and Stakeholder Partnerships 

Job Status:         Full-time


Job Summary: 

Reporting to the Manager, Government Relations and Policy, the Senior Policy Advisor is primarily responsible for government relations, policy analysis, positioning and research.   

The Senior Policy Advisor will advance CICan’s policy agenda to achieve specific tangible benefits for members in alignment with CICan’s advocacy strategy and strategic plan. The Advisor will be responsible to respond strategically to policy or engagement opportunities that are generated either by members or external stakeholders. The Senior Policy Advisor will also be responsible for providing support to the President & CEO in the preparation of presentations, briefing notes and other material for the successful positioning of the organization with diverse external audiences. Finally, the Senior Policy Advisor will provide support to CICan in the development of content for and the execution of events related to their areas of policy focus.  

The work of the Senior Policy Advisor is reviewed by the Manager, Government Relations and Policy Research based on objectives set annually. Input will also be provided by the Director, Government Relations and Policy. 

General Expectations 

Build a thorough understanding of federal government policy, analyze implications for CICan members and the college system and make substantive and evidence-based recommendations for action to advance advocacy priorities;  

  • play a leadership, consulting and problem-solving role with members, partners, stakeholders and Colleges and Institutes Canada staff; 
  • interact regularly with senior officials and be cognizant of the outcomes of any actions; 
  • function with a significant level of flexibility and autonomy, performing various and complex tasks of a responsible and professional nature;
  • take initiative and innovate;  
  • handle a number of important dossiers at a time; 
  • have a thorough understanding of Colleges and Institutes Canada’s goals and objectives, as well as of all programs and services; 
  • have a solid understanding of policy issues and priorities that impact upon colleges and postsecondary education more generally;  
  • ability to integrate, analyze and interpret complex data sets and use results to support policy positions; 
  • ensure adherence to Association policies and procedures in the achievement of the responsibilities of the position; 
  • prepare annual objectives and work plans for his/her area of responsibility; 
  • assist in the development, review and implementation of policies and procedures supportive of the Association’s goals and objectives; 
  • collaborate with the other teams (Communications and Strategy, Governance and Research) for the preparation of briefs, position papers and publications, and with the Member Relations team for the organization of meetings, conference sessions and symposia; 
  • Strong communication, organizational, interpersonal skills with demonstrated abilities to relate effectively with senior officials, employers, member institutions and other partners. 
  • work effectively within a team environment; 
  • sound judgment and tact;  
  • prioritize and organize work effectively and efficiently, under exacting deadlines; 
  • represent the Association at meetings and conferences; 
  • treat everyone fairly and equitably and maintain high ethical standards; 
  • perform duties in accordance with Colleges and Institutes Canada’s competencies, values and code of ethics; 
  • be able to travel domestically as required.  

Specific Expectations: 

The Senior Policy Advisor, will: 


  • maintain a strong understanding of current political trends and policy developments related to CICan’s priority advocacy areas and the broader political context, in relation to his/her assigned areas of policy focus;
  • undertake analysis on areas of policy focus, working effectively with CICan and external data sources; 
  • prepare tailored, high quality political products including briefing notes, submissions, briefs, position papers and presentations, related to his/her areas of policy focus and as they relate to CICan’s advocacy priorities and issues of importance for colleges and institutes;
  • maintain strong working relationships with colleges and institutes, regional associations, post-secondary education partners and national employer-based organizations;  
  • maintain strong working relationships with policy advisors in government, the offices of Members of Parliament, as well as Parliamentary and Senate Committee Clerks, to support CICan’s government relations and advocacy initiatives. 


  •  provide support to member networks, committees and reference groups to ensure members have input into and participate in the execution of CICan’s policy agenda and to garner knowledge on regional and national trends and issues; 
  • proactively identify opportunities for policy influence related to his/her areas of policy focus related to CICan advocacy priorities. 


  •  prepare briefing notes, presentations and other materials to support external positioning of the organization to the federal government, as well as with partners and stakeholders for the successful positioning of the organization with diverse external audiences; 
  • contribute to the organization of CICan events, including symposia and sessions at the annual conference, by advising on program content, identifying presenters from colleges and institutes, key partners and federal government representatives; 
  • contribute to the planning, program development, promotion and delivery of CICan advocacy events and meetings.  

 Minimum Requirements: 

  •  Graduate from a recognized post-secondary institution or an equivalent combination of education and relevant experience; 
  • Direct experience in the federal public service, in a parliamentary office or in a ministerial office AND/OR have demonstrated the ability to develop government relations strategies to advance policy priorities; 
    Note: CICan will consider applicants who are currently prohibited from lobbying designated public office holder under the 5 year post employment prohibition on lobbying. 
  • Three (3) to five (5) years of progressive experience developing policy material either for engagement with Government or within Government; 
  • Strong knowledge of how the federal government functions at both political and bureaucratic levels; 
  • Demonstrated research and analytical abilities; 
  • Bilingual - Must be fully functional in English and French; 
  • Functional knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite software. 

To be successful in this position you will be able to exhibit our core competencies:  

Agility: We thrive in a complex environment that requires nimbleness and adaptability, and we anticipate and respond to changes with quick and resourceful actions.  

Inspiring Others: We motivate individuals to strive for excellence and commit to common goals and purposes, as we create a sense of self-efficacy, resilience, and persistence in others.

Integrity: We treat others fairly and respectfully, and we further the standing of the organization and its relationships of trust with our members and other stakeholders

Collaboration: We work together, across teams and divisions, to leverage our collective expertise and talents in support of organizational success and a culture of cooperation.

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and résumé in a PDF format by December 6th, 2022. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and candidates may be interviewed prior to the closing date.

CICan is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity in its workforce. We recognize that diverse teams generate unique solutions, ideas, and perspectives. Therefore, we welcome and encourage applications from women, persons with disabilities, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) individuals, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Do not hesitate to contact 613-746-2222 x 5827 if you require alternative arrangements to submit your application. CICan provides accommodations during all parts of the hiring process, upon request, to applicants with disabilities. If contacted to proceed to the selection process, please advise us if you require any accommodation.

CICan is following local public health guidelines as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. When allowable to work from the office, we are have a hybrid approach with individuals working from both home and the office. Depending on the requirements of the role, the opportunity may exist to work completely remotely.

It is a mandatory condition of employment that the successful candidate be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with Government of Canada approved vaccines at least 14 days prior to start date (proof of vaccination is required or proof of accommodation pursuant to the Ontario Human Rights Code).

Employees who are full-time internal candidates, as defined by the Collective Agreement, will be given first consideration. We thank all candidates for their interest, however, only those selected to continue in the selection process will be contacted.