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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.