Government of Canada Partners with Canadian Professional Sales Association To Address Sales Force Skills Gap

Sectoral Initiatives Program Funding to Accelerate Deployment of Professional Sales Designations

TORONTO, Canada (October 16, 2018) - Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) have today announced Sectoral Initiatives Program (SIP) funding to address the sales talent shortage in Canada. Over the next three years, this investment will improve the skill level of the Canadian sales force and attract new people to the profession.

The Sectoral Initiatives Program (SIP) aims to address current and future skills shortages by supporting the development and distribution of sector-specific labour market intelligence, national occupational standards, and skills certification and accreditation systems. The program’s mandate is to help industries identify, forecast, and address their human resources and skills issues. The SIP funds partnership-based projects for key sectors of the Canadian economy.

CPSA is partnering with educators, employers, sales professionals and people seeking new employment opportunities to close the sales talent gap and improve Canadian competitiveness.  The project will help to align the sales force to meet employers’ emerging needs for talent to get innovations to market in Canada’s key economic sectors. An important part of entrepreneurship and business in Canada, sales professionals represent a highly skilled talent pool that directly impact adoption of innovations and corporate growth in sectors such as health technology, manufacturing, information technology, finance and insurance, and construction.

This SIP contribution will enable CPSA, and its industry partners, to accelerate the mission to raise the profile of sales as a professional career and the adoption of professional designations for sales. By expanding the network of Accredited Sales Educators, and accelerating the creation of a portal through which learners and employers can track skill development, and achievement of designations for career progression, the project will work toward balance between supply and demand for sales professionals in Canada.  

CPSA’s graduated designation framework includes three designations:  Certified Sales Associate (CSA), Certified Sales Professional (CSP) and Certified Sales Leader (CSL) developed in consultation with industry to recognize sales skill building at the foundational, advanced, and leadership career stages.  The creation and expansion of skill assessments tools will allow Canadians to assess their skills relative to sales skills for career planning. New training modules will soon be developed to help publicly-funded education programs fill strategic sales training gaps, all in both official languages.

 “CPSA is the hub of the sales community, connecting employees, employers, educators, business and government in a common mission to establish standards, build skills, and make sales a profession in every sense of the word.  The support of Minister Hajdu and the ESDC allows all of this to happen faster across the country and reinforces the importance of sales as a vital contributor to the Innovation Strategy and economic growth of our country”  said Richard Louttet, Vice President, Education & Certification, CPSA.

Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour said

“The Government of Canada is focused on ensuring Canadians have the skills to fill good quality jobs in industries that are in need of workers. The Canadian Professional Sales Association and its industry partners are doing great work creating learning pathways that will benefit job seekers and those working in the industry. I applaud their commitment to helping Canadian workers, and to ensuring this industry remains competitive in a global economy while growing the middle class here at home.”

The first projects are already in development for release before the end of 2018.  New competency frameworks for sales leaders will complement the current framework available for download at people and those considering a sales career can access the first self-assessment online at:

About CPSA

For sales professionals, team leaders and organizations across the country, Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA) is your partner in building knowledge and skills to improve sales performance. 

As the advocate for excellence in sales, we invest resources in programming, curriculum development and professional designations to help individuals and companies become more successful through more effective sales.

Our 20,000+ members benefit from learning resources, community building events and exclusive benefits.  The CPSA standards-based designation program provide the development and recognition opportunities employees desire and employers demand at every career stage.

We connect employers with employees, business with academia and the private sector with government to advance the sales profession and improve Canadian competitiveness.

CPSA:  Advancing Sales. Accelerating Performance.

Media Contact:

Ashley Tompkins, Brand & Communications Manager

About Employment and Social Development Canada

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) works to improve the standard of living and quality of life for all Canadians. We do this by promoting a labour force that is highly skilled. We also promote an efficient and inclusive labour market.

For media enquiries or to set up an interview please contact the Media Relations Office.

Telephone: 1-819-994-5559


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