What is career development and training?

There are 3 different terms used within this project that are related yet different. It is important to define them here so that there is a common understanding.

According to Appendix A of the Treasury Board’s Policy on Learning, Training and Development:

Professional development

Professional development is “an activity that assists employees further their careers and is aligned with departmental business priorities and management improvement objectives of the government. [It] includes courses, programs or learning events sponsored by a variety of service providers (e.g. in-house, the Canada School of Public Service, academic institutions and the private sector).”


Training “represents an organized, disciplined way to transfer the knowledge and know-how that is required for successful performance in a job, occupation or profession. It is an ongoing, adaptive learning, not an isolated exercise.”

Career development

Career development is to be interpreted using the ordinary meaning of the term. Career development is defined as the process of learning and improving your skills so that you can do your job better and progress to better jobs.

The main difference between the definition of professional development and career development is that professional development advances an employee’s career in ways that are aligned with their department’s business priorities.

Given that Article 18 of the PIPSC-Treasury Board collective agreements is called Career Development, we will use that term in this research project and it will encompass professional development.