Saskatchewan Polytechnic is empowering communities and local government with a new municipal administration specialty

Image credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Goal of new Business diploma specialty to prepare graduates for careers in local and rural government

February 9, 2023 – Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s School of Business is excited to launch its new municipal administration specialty for the Business diploma program. Graduates with the new specialty will be trained to successfully manage the day-to-day operations of a town or municipality as a government manager or official. This specialty is offered virtually, making it more accessible to students. 

This specialty has been developed in partnership with the following organizations: Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA), Saskatchewan Association for Rural Municipalities (SARM), Urban Municipal Administrators' Association of Saskatchewan (UMAAS), Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations.

“Thank you to our partners for their invaluable input into the new municipal administration curriculum for Sask Polytech’s Business diploma students,” says Kirsten Downey, academic chair, School of Business. “Your contributions have greatly enhanced the quality and effectiveness of the new program. This specialty will help prepare graduates for a rewarding and empowering role in local government. Graduates of this program will play a crucial role in ensuring essential services such as water, sanitation, and infrastructure are provided and maintained in municipalities across Canada.”

Municipal managers and administrators are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of Saskatchewan’s towns. Designed with the assistance of five municipal administrations organizations and their members to meet industry labour market needs, the municipal administration specialty ensures graduates are prepared for demanding and rewarding roles in municipal administration. 

“SUMA is very excited by this partnership with all municipal sector actors,” says Jean-Marc Nadeau, SUMA CEO. “The municipal administration specialty will not only provide students with a new option of studies but will assist urban municipalities with recruiting and retention of municipal leaders. Thank you Sask Polytech for working with the municipal sector.”

Key learning outcomes of the specialty include managing human resources and labour relations in a municipality, applying municipal laws, ordinances and protocols, developing strategic communication, interpersonal and project management skills, applying principles of municipal accounting and risk management by implementing tax laws, financial reporting protocols, and protocols for managing public utilities.

“Effective rural municipal administration is what keeps Saskatchewan RMs going strong,” says SARM president, Ray Orb. “The opportunity to provide input for this new municipal administration specialty within the Business diploma program is one we are appreciative of. We are acutely aware of the specific and unique needs of living in, and running, a rural municipality and how this program will bolster the future growth of leaders in rural Saskatchewan.”

“CAMA was honoured to participate in the development of the curriculum for this new municipal administration specialty for the Business diploma program. It’s very exciting that our members, from all size communities across Canada, will have the opportunity to experience continued learning specific to local government,” says CAMA president Bev Hendry. 

“UMAAS is excited this program has become a reality,” says Chris Costley, chief administrative officer for the Town of Mossbank. “The skills required for a successful career in municipal administration have been increasing. Well prepared administrators are more likely to stay in the profession and I’m hopeful this new educational opportunity will help address the administrator shortage for the good of our communities!”

With 10 courses developed specifically to address the job requirements of senior government managers and officials, this program will equip students with the specific knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for a successful career in municipal administration. This specialty is offered online, allowing students to continue working while they upgrade their knowledge and skills. In addition to this credential rural municipal administrators in Saskatchewan will also need a Rural "Class C" Certificate from RMAA.

Current Business diploma students are eligible to start the municipal administration specialty in fall 2023. Business diploma students who have completed year one or completed the Business certificate program are also eligible to start the municipal administration specialty in fall 2023.

Learn more about the Business diploma on