Executive Diploma in Municipal Management



The EDMM curriculum consists of 16 modules and two key assessments: a presentation and a research report. The modules in the curriculum effective Fall 2022 are listed below.

Module Descriptions

Public Sector Trends

This module will introduce a selection of current institutional, structural, and organizational issues and trends related to managing performance, managing people, and managing resources in local government. You will be provided an overview of the core paradigms that have shaped public administration, starting from the traditional bureaucratic model through the new public management (NPM) of the 1980s and 1990s, and on to the new public governance (NPG) of the current era. You will be exposed to the overarching public service structures, processes, and values underlying the management of local government. Finally, you will reflect on the role of the manager in contemporary local government.

Organizational Behaviour and Leadership

This topic focuses on equipping municipal managers with the critical skillsets to meet future challenges that are inherent in delivering outstanding services in increasingly complex and fast changing environments. You will examine the theory and practice behind organizational behaviour and management leadership. The intent is to give you a broad conceptual understanding, but more importantly, to help you apply those concepts to your workplace.

Corporate Performance Measurement and Service Delivery Improvement

An effective way to achieve continuous organizational improvement is through performance management and the use of performance measures and benchmarks. This module discusses the different types of performance measures and the methodological challenges that can arise. In addition, there will be discussion of the throughput value chain of programs-services-processes, and the different approaches in measuring performance for each. Much of the focus will centre on outcome-based approaches, which de-emphasizes input/outputs as a measure of organizational success.

Organizational Financial Management, Integrity and Controllership

All managers have control over the use of resources and are therefore financial managers in their own right. This module addresses the principles and tools of financial management, integrity, and controllership within the municipal government environment. You will acquire the fundamentals of accounting, financial reporting, budget preparation and management, with consideration of long-term and short-term needs; learn about implementing and monitoring financial policies and procedures related to assets and services within your area of responsibility; and examine values and ethical behaviours related to integrity in financial reporting.

Public Consultations and Citizen Engagement

This module addresses democratic principles and methods for engaging community interest groups in the decision-making process of municipalities. You will learn about the frameworks, criteria, and indicators to evaluate citizen engagement, ensure diversity issues are addressed, and create meaningful active engagement environments. The module will also provide you with tools to educate citizens about policies and initiatives, and foster dialogue between citizens and government to create a climate of social trust and connectedness.

Intergovernmental Relations for Municipal Managers

This module will equip you with knowledge to foster positive relationships with other municipalities, local boards, agencies, and other tiers of government at the administrative level. It will help you identify and address legislative issues and improvements, and ensure effective service delivery. You will understand changes in municipal-provincial-federal relations over the past 10 years. The emphasis will be on case studies based on years of various experiences, explaining and illustrating the legal and policy landscape of intergovernmental relations.

Human Resources Law and Labour Relations

This module will provide an overview of the legal framework of human resource management and labour relations. It will equip you with knowledge of the policies and procedures for hiring, promotion, and performance appraisal. You will also understand the equity and legal considerations in handling employee discipline. Upon completion of this module, you will improve your ability to integrate human resource policies and programs with provincial legislation to manage municipal staff.

Strategic Planning for Municipalities

This module provides a framework to support the development of a strategic plan for municipal government. Key questions to shape your strategic planning process, as well as planning tools will be shared and demonstrated to help you with the development of your strategic plan. You will reflect on the importance of the engagement and inclusion of residents and partner organizations in order to focus the organization on the most relevant and pressing priorities. The intent of this module is to provide you with a broad conceptual understanding of the planning process, but more importantly, to help you apply these concepts to your workplace on a current strategic plan as well as on a new strategic plan or strategy document.

Staff-Council Relations

Relations and interactions between the executive and the legislative branches of municipal government form the most important link to the smooth running of municipal government. This module provides you a set of critical skills to proactively engage with, or respond to, council on policy initiatives; problem-solve with councillors; and make presentation to council. The module will also teach principles and techniques in the use of language and style of communication that is professional and appropriate to the council context and the political environment. You will gain an understanding of the broader nuances of staff-council relations to help you better manage potential crises and conflicts.

Succession Planning and Personnel Change Management

Municipalities across the province will be facing potential workforce shortages for years to come. This module covers key principles and action plans to help you initiate succession planning within the broader context of personnel change management in your department or municipality. It provides a deeper understanding of challenges and opportunities of succession planning and personnel change management for the current workforce at a time of rapidly shifting generational demographics.

Public Communications and Media Relations

This module provides strategies, tips, and techniques to help you better manage the demands of conventional and social media in the current digital age. It equips you to communicate information to the media in a way that increases public understanding of local government issues and activities, and builds positive relationships. The module also helps you use social media and information technology tools to support an overarching communication strategy and ensure that stakeholders are being engaged and informed. You will learn what you can do individually, and organizationally, to strategically leverage the power of the media, promote success stories, and address issues in a responsible and professional manner.

Building Business Cases

This module will help you learn how to prepare effective business cases so that the proposed initiatives will be favourably received. The formal structure for a well-documented business case will be described, with special attention to components on the proposed plan, feasibility analysis, milestones and deliverables, and immediate and longer-term financial impacts. The module will provide practical examples of business cases containing mechanisms for implementing and monitoring financial policies and procedures related to advancing services and assets associated with the business initiative. 

Communication and Listening Skills for Municipal Managers

The module trains you to facilitate the flow of ideas, information, and understanding between individuals. It provides knowledge of interpersonal and competency communication principles, practical skills in listening, speaking and writing, as well as the ability to persuade without diminishing the views of others. You will learn how to advocate effectively in the community interest, and convey relevant information with confidence, clarity, and precision. You will also examine both personal and organizational elements of effective communication.

Staff Performance Management

This module will help you understand the basic concepts and tools of results-oriented staff performance management. The discussion will focus on how to promote the development and performance of staff and employees throughout the organization as well as oneself. This requires knowledge of interpersonal relations, skills in motivation techniques, and the ability to identify other people's strengths and weaknesses. You will also establish the link between staff performance management and key principles of human resource management such as policies and procedures for hiring, promotion, performance appraisal, and discipline.

Policy Formulation, Implementation and Evaluation

This module will examine the subject of policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation in a municipal government setting. It will review the process of policy formulation to equip managers in helping elected officials and other community actors identify, work toward, and achieve common goals and objectives. Topics will include group dynamics and political behaviours; facilitation and consensus-building techniques; and engaging others in identifying issues and outcomes. Sample policies will be discussed and analyzed.

Project and Portfolio Management

While both project and portfolio management deal with the discipline of organizing and managing resources to reach identifiable goals, there can be, and at times should be, a significant divergence in approach. This module will focus on the key principles and elements for successful project and portfolio management (PPM), starting with the differences between the two. Careful attention will be given to the core principles of PPM such as good planning, clarity, and planning with stated desires and outcomes at the start.