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Special program guidelines checklist

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The information above is intended to help you understand special programs and some of the criteria required for a program to qualify under section 14 of the Code. It is important to know this information before planning and starting a special program. If in doubt, seek legal advice. Below is a checklist to help you.

Program rationale

  • The target group or groups intended to benefit under the program are defined
  • The problem experienced by the target group is defined
  • The defined problem is related to hardship, economic disadvantage, discrimination or achieving equal opportunity for the target group
  • There is evidence of the problem
  • Program goals have been identified
  • The benefits provided by the program are designed to help fix the defined problem and meet the goals
  • The program has been designed to help disadvantaged groups beyond the organization’s duty to accommodate people under the Code
  • The proposed length of the program has been identified, if appropriate.

Data collection

  • A method has been created to access existing data or collect new data needed for determining the rationale for the program, and for ongoing monitoring and evaluation
  • Any needed data has been collected, taking into account anonymity and confidentiality concerns
  • The way data is collected complies with the relevant privacy requirements of the organization and relevant legislation.

Eligibility requirements

  • Specific eligibility criteria for people who can benefit from the program have been defined
  • Each eligibility requirement, especially those based on prohibited grounds, relates directly to the rationale of the program
  • The eligibility criteria are not too broad (do not include groups not intended to benefit)
  • The eligibility requirements are not too narrow (do not prevent persons the program was intended to benefit from qualifying)
  • Criteria are directly related to the rationale of the program, regardless of any cost limitations
  • The program does not discriminate against its participants either intentionally or unintentionally
  • A way of advertising the eligibility criteria to relevant stakeholders has been set up.

Evaluating the program

  • A way of measuring the effectiveness of the program has been designed
  • Any data needed to evaluate the program goals have been defined
  • Ways of modifying the program in response to the results of the data collected have been considered
  • The length of the program has been defined or criteria that would signify the program has run its course have been specified.

Planning and consultation

  • Relevant stakeholders and the communities affected have been identified and consulted, and their views have been included in the design of the program
  • A plan for implementing the program based on the guidelines has been created
  • Any ongoing human resource strategies for managing the program, such as staff training, have been laid out
  • Where appropriate, a plan has been developed to communicate to targeted groups, other employees, clients, and the public about the goals and the implementation of the program and address any concerns.


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