How Government Works
Learn how the many levels of government operate and interact, and gain a better understanding of how to work more efficiently within or with government.
Government Training, Courses about Government, PSLMDP, How Government Works

How Government Works

Learn how the many levels of government operate and interact, and  gain a better understanding of how to work more efficiently within or with government.  

How Government Works helps to demystify government processes by giving participants an understanding of the components of the major branches of democratic government, such as the executive, the legislature, the judiciary and the bureaucracy and how they work together.  This seminar is not only valuable for those who work in government but also for anyone who works in partnership with government.

The seminar is interactive and uses a variety of learning methods including multimedia lectures that include humour, integrate current events, and encourage audience participation. There is also a guest presentation, participant discussion and regular small work group analysis which provide the opportunity to learn from each other’s experience and knowledge. Sharing insights will help participants better understand the relative advantages and disadvantages of theory (“how the government ought to work”) compared to the local reality (“how things are actually happening”).

This is a core module in the Public Sector Leadership and Management Development Program.


For Individuals
  • Enhance your understanding of the public sector operational structure
  • Understand internal and external factors that affect the policy development and decision making processes
For Organizations
  • Enhance leadership understanding of how government works
  • Understand the influence of all levels of government and the public  in the policy making process
  • Improve decision making within the organization

Who Should Attend

  • Leaders and managers in the public sector who wish to enhance their understanding of the political system and the factors that influence policy development and decision making at all levels.
  • Leaders and managers in organizations that conduct business with government.


Understand how the political system works at all levels through professional development in:

  • Understanding the components of the major branches of democratic government
  • Identifying key public policy trends, including current issues, policy decision making and e-government
  • Identifying significant factors that shape agenda-setting, policy formulation, and implementation – the elements of the policy cycle, such as election campaigns, interest groups and open line radio
  • Understanding the stages of the policy process by examining the role between federal/provincial/municipal governments, such as the relationship between political staff, the bureaucracy and citizens

Continuing Education Contact Hours: 14


Alex Marland

Alex Marland is a Professor with the Department of Political Science at Memorial University where he researches and teaches Canadian politics. Prior to joining the university, he was employed in the public and private sectors in Ottawa and St. John’s, including in the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Alex’s research about Newfoundland and Labrador government and politics has included the province’s elections, the role of open line radio in political life, and how the House of Assembly works. He was the lead editor of the book First Among Unequals: The Premier, Politics, and Policy in Newfoundland and Labrador (MQUP, 2014) and The Democracy Cookbook: Recipes for Renewing Governance in Newfoundland and Labrador (ISER Books, 2017).

Alex also studies Canadian federal politics and is a leading scholar in the area of political communication and marketing in Canada. His book Brand Command: Canadian Politics and Democracy in the Age of Message Control (UBC Press, 2016) won the prestigious Donner Prize for Best Public Policy Book by a Canadian and the Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing.

His preferred method of data collection is depth interviews with political party and government insiders, in order to understand how government and politics really work.

Scheduled Date(s)

February 14, 2018 - February 15, 2018


$860 +HST

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