Guide to Managing Award Holders in Canada (Development Stream)

October 2016

PDF Version (1 MB)

Table of Contents


Québec Acceptance Certificate
Centre for Intercultural Learning
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Executing agency
Health care plan
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Local advisory committee
Non-governmental organization
Official Development Assistance
Grants and Contributions Management Office
Technical Assistance Regulations

To facilitate the reading of this document, we use the masculine gender as a neutral form to designate both women and men.

Effective Date

Effective October 1, 2016, the “Global Affairs Canada (Development Stream) Guide to Managing Award Holders in Canada” replaces previous versions of the “Management of Students and Trainees in Canada: Manual for Executing Agencies.”

Any reference to the “Management of Students and Trainees in Canada: Manual for Executing Agencies” document in a contribution agreement or a service contract is a reference to this guide.


This guide has been compiled for use by project officers of Global Affairs Canada (the Department) and by executing agency (EA) staff to guide them in managing the Department’s award holders. It outlines the general direction sought by the Department within the context of all its award programs under the Development stream. The Department defines “award” as any training activity, practicum or technical mission in Canada, the aim of which is the acquisition of knowledge by nationals from countries receiving Official Development Assistance (ODA) and the costs of which are borne by the Department.


The primary objective of a training program granted by Global Affairs Canada is to train award holders in Canada so that they can apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills in their home country upon their return.

The terms of the agreement between Global Affairs Canada and the EA always take precedence over, but may not exceed, the terms of this guide.

This document presents the organizational and financial terms and conditions for award holders undergoing training in Canada only. These terms and conditions do not apply to individuals undergoing training in their home country or in a third country; in those cases, the program and the Canadian mission establish the financial terms and conditions based on the training program needs and local conditions.

To make the text easier to read, any references to an EA also include Global Affairs Canada project officers who administer award programs without EA involvement.


The financial terms and conditions of the Global Affairs Canada award are governed by the Technical Assistance Regulations (TARs).

The Department’s Grants and Contributions Management Office (SGD), Corporate Planning, Finance and Information Technology Bureau, plays an advisory role in interpreting the TARs for the Department’s officers.

Executing agencies that have questions or comments regarding this guide should contact the officer responsible for the program or project within the Department. For questions about the interpretation of the TARs, Global Affairs Canada project officers can contact the SGD at:


Global Affairs Canada
Distribution and Mail Services – AAG
Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G2

Award holders should direct any questions about their award program to their EA.

1. Introduction

1.1 Purpose of an Award Program

The ultimate goal of an award program is to strengthen the institutional capacity of countries receiving Official Development Assistance (ODA) by having award holders apply, in a professional environment in their home country, the knowledge, skills and abilities they acquired during a training program in Canada.

The decision to offer a training award to one or more individuals is the result of agreements between ODA recipient countries and the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.

The objectives of an award program granted by the Department must meet the needs and priorities of the recipient country, while remaining aligned with the Department’s priorities. In some cases, a training award is not given to an individual but to a government, which then grants it to one of its citizens under certain terms and conditions.

Award programs in Canada target a wide range of human resources in all of the Department’s countries of intervention. Recipients of Global Affairs Canada awards fall into two categories: “students” and “trainees.” The generic term “award holder” includes both categories.

1.2 Definitions

Academic advisor: The academic advisor is a resource person within an educational institution who has been assigned responsibility for the educational supervision and support of a student’s program. The academic advisor also advises on matters related to academic requirements and progress. This person will be called upon to comment and make recommendations on the level of performance to be attained by the student, the student’s learning pace and compliance with deadlines, and specific aspects of the student’s training. The EA must ensure that each student is given access to the services of an academic advisor. At the master’s and doctoral levels, the academic advisor is generally the director of research (major assignment, paper or thesis) for graduate studies.

Award holder: Individual from an ODA recipient country who comes to Canada to pursue academic studies, specialized or vocational/technical training as part of an award program financed by Global Affairs Canada. The Department’s award holders must sign a Training Agreement in which they formally undertake to return to the ODA recipient country at the end of their training program. A permanent resident of Canada cannot be an award holder.

Award program: Global Affairs Canada program that offers scholarships or practicums to nationals from ODA recipient countries. This program is typically implemented through an EA.

Candidate: Citizen of a recipient country considered for an award program granted by the Department.

Certified true copy: Photocopy certified by a notary public, a Commissioner of Oaths, the registrar’s office, or the director or assistant director of the institution or educational institution, certifying that it is an exact reproduction of the original and is true to the original in all respects. This is the only type of copy permitted under this guide. The name of the signatory (certifying the true copy) on every certified true copy is to be printed in Latin script. Documents that originate in a foreign country may be certified and sealed by an official of that country’s embassy, high commission or consulate accredited to Canada. This may entail costs for the award holder.

Dependant: Under the TARs, a “dependant” can be:

  • the spouse of a fellow (award holder) whose marriage to the fellow is recognized by the laws of the country in which it took place, but not including any person whose marriage to the fellow resulted in the person or the fellow becoming the spouse of more than one person;
  • the common-law partner of a fellow (the Regulations define common-law partner as follows: “in relation to an individual, means a person who is cohabiting with the individual in a conjugal relationship, having so cohabited for a period of at least one year”);
  • a child of a fellow or of a fellow’s spouse or common-law partner, or a child adopted in accordance with the laws of a fellow’s country of origin by the fellow or the fellow’s spouse or common-law partner, who
    • is under the age of majority in the fellow’s country of origin;
    • ordinarily resides with the fellow or with the fellow and the fellow’s spouse or common-law partner; and
    • is dependent on the fellow or the fellow’s spouse or common-law partner for financial support; or
  • a person designated by Global Affairs Canada to accompany a fellow, where the fellow cannot, for religious or social reasons, leave the fellow’s country unaccompanied.

A dependant cannot be a Global Affairs Canada award holder.

EA coordinator: Person designated by the EA to manage the award program. This person’s exact title may vary from one EA to another. The EA coordinator is the award holder’s contact and is responsible for the award holder’s welfare while in Canada. His basic task is to manage all activities that contribute to the smooth running of the training program. The EA coordinator must facilitate efficient communication so that activities are consistent among award holders and the various parties. Award holders must consult the EA coordinator if they have any questions about their training program. They are not to contact departmental officials directly.

Educational institution: Public or private institution in Canada offering an academic training program or a vocational or technical skills training program.

Executing agency (EA): Organization responsible for fulfilling the contractual agreement reached with Global Affairs Canada for the administration of award holders in Canada.

Global Affairs Canada project officer: Employee of the Department tasked with implementing a project and achieving its objectives, including negotiating and managing the agreement with the EA, as required. Within the Department, this person’s exact title may vary from one bureau to another. The project officer ensures that agreements between Canada and recipient countries are adhered to and authorizes, after consulting with the ODA recipient country, any necessary changes to the terms of the award. The project officer is the EA’s point of contact for all questions regarding the agreement, including the project budget.

Home institution: Organization employing the award holder in his or her country. It authorizes the award holder to take a leave of absence in order to pursue his or her studies and undertakes to reinstate the award holder upon his or her return. Many institutions also undertake to continue paying their employees during their training.

International student office: Office within an educational institution that plays the role of an intermediary between the institution and foreign students.

Local advisory committee (LAC): A local advisory committee is set up in each recipient country. Its composition and term vary from one country to another. The LAC is made up of one or more recipient country government representatives, one Department representative responsible for working on gender equality issues in the country, one representative from the Canadian embassy who acts as an observer, and one former award holder who spent more than two years in Canada in the previous five years and who acts as the external resource by advising LAC members, when required. LAC members can be either the same or different from one year to the next. The LAC makes an initial candidate selection, communicates its selection, sends the candidate files to the EA and informs the home institution of the final selection as well as the unsuccessful candidates.

Member of a technical mission: Award holder from an ODA recipient country whose stay in Canada is short-term and whose task is to take on a particular issue of a professional nature in a technical, commercial, academic or political field. The terms offered to a member of a technical mission are similar to those offered to a trainee.

Practicum: Vocational or technical skills training program taken by a trainee.

Practicum supervisor: Professional contact, within a workplace training environment, whose role is to provide quality control of educational activities in an organization.

Recipient country: Country receiving Official Development Assistance (ODA) from which the award holder originates.

Student: Award holder whose stay in Canada is equal to or more than ten (10) months (long-term) and who is enrolled in a Canadian educational institution in an academic training program leading to a degree/diploma.

Trainee: Award holder whose stay in Canada is less than ten (10) months (short-term) and who undergoes specialized or technical training not leading to a degree/diploma. The term “trainee” includes any foreign citizen, regardless of level of responsibility in the home country, who comes to Canada at the expense of Global Affairs Canada to undergo training or development.

Training agreement: Legal document binding the EA, the award holder, the award holder’s local government and the Department. In this agreement, the award holder undertakes to meet the terms and conditions for being granted the Global Affairs Canada award, including the obligation to return to the ODA recipient country at the end of his training program. In this agreement, the local government also certifies that the selected award holder meets the requisite award program criteria and agrees to the program terms and conditions.

Training program: Academic training program for a student, and vocational or technical skills training program for a trainee.

1.3 Institutional Resources

The main institutional resources involved in a Global Affairs Canada award program are the Department itself, Canadian educational institutions, Canadian organizations offering practicums, the EA and the award holder’s home institution, that is, the government of the recipient country, local private companies, that country’s educational institutions, and various local and other partners.

In granting a training award in Canada, the Canadian government and the recipient country must comply with any accord or cooperation agreement signed between the two countries.

The granting of an entry visa to Canada falls under the authority and jurisdiction of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Diagram 1: Interaction Between the Various Institutional Resources Involved in a Global Affairs Canada Award Program

The executing agency centralizes interactions between the various institutional resources that are involved in a training program, i.e. Global Affairs Canada, the recipient country, the educational institution and the award holder’s home institution. A training award is the result of bilateral or multilateral agreements between the recipient country and the Government of Canada through the auspices of Global Affairs Canada.

1.4 Human Resources

A number of parties, such as the Global Affairs Canada project officer and the EA project coordinator, play a major role in the award holder’s training environment in Canada. Additional human resources include representatives of the international student office, the award holder’s immediate supervisor in his or her country, and the practicum supervisor.

Diagram 2: Interaction Between the Various Human Resources Involved in a Global Affairs Canada Award Program

The executing agency coordinator is the award holder’s contact. He ensures consistency in communications among the Global Affairs Canada project officer, the International student office representative, the Practicum supervisor/Academic advisor/Research director, the Award holder’s superior in the home country and any other party involved in the award program.



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