Planner’s Toolbox

Webinars are a great way to brush up on your skills and learn some new tricks. Because they are inexpensive to run, they are inexpensive (or free!) to take.

The Canadian Police Knowledge Network (CPKN) has many free courses, primarily operational in nature. However, the Canadian Society for Evidence Based Policing is currently working with CPKN to produce courses to support the use of evidence-based policing (stay tuned—we’ll let you know when they are available!)

Looking for how to encourage innovation in your team or improve employee engagement? Check out the FREE webinars from

Are you being asked to conduct community engagement or evaluate community-based initiatives? The Tamarack Institute offers FREE webinars with fresh ideas throughout the year.

Some other places to look for free and low cost training opportunities are:

  • Other professional organizations you belong to such as IALEP, Project Management Institute, the Canadian Evaluation Society and others;
  • Software providers such as ESRI offer FREE webinars; and
  • College and University Professional Development departments.


More Resources

“Learn your way—anytime, anywhere”. Online courses ($) in twelve different categories, including project management and data & analytics. A fellow planner recommends it for its Excel courses because you can select the types of tools you want to learn about rather than taking a general course that may or may not be relevant to your work. It’s always possible to find several courses on sale for $13.99 CAD.

The National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (NCCMT) is run out of McMaster and is focused on Public Health, but the tools—especially as they relate to evidence based decision making, change management, etc.—would all be applicable to policing too. One category of tools is around “knowledge translation”. The point is to turn research results into information that senior managers can use for deci-sion making. Some of the tools are free, some you have to have an account to access, and some are available for a fee ($).

“Make learning awesome!” A website/mobile app that makes it easy to create, share, and play fun learn-ing games or trivia quizzes in minutes. Sign up is free. It can i) engage and captivate your audience, ii) create some fun at your next large-scale event (internet connection required), iii) add some competition into your presentation or training, iv) collect data live and create a shareable report, and v) add fun.

You can become an expert at “power searching” with free online training directly from Google.  The course is ongoing and self-paced so you can start and finish anytime.  You can even up your game with the advanced level course.

A free resource to help government agencies (on either side of the border) discover what works and what doesn’t through randomized control trials.  “BetaGov’s mission is to help policymakers and government agencies identify problems, develop innovative solutions, and test them using rigorous research methods”.

“We provide the first integrated, multi-disciplinary online community for justice professionals”.  If you are an IALEP or ASEBP member – you are already a subscriber!

“Experience Percipio, an intelligent online learning experience platform that delivers and immersive learning experience.  It leverages highly engaging content, curated into over 500 learning paths that are continuously updated to ensure customers always have access to the latest information”.  Available on your desktop or mobile device, you can access books, audiobooks, courses, and video channels.  To check it out, you can sign up for a free 14 day trial.

Offers free and premium tools that will tell you, among other things, how easy a piece of text is to read.  Apparently the average reader’s attention span is 7 seconds.  Also, the proportion of the public who can read your content if it has a readability grade of 8 or lower is 85%.  The increase in the number of people who will finish reading your content if its readability is improved from grade 12 to grade 5 is +83%.  Important to consider as we to try to engage communities.  Also review

Master essential business concepts and practical skills to take your leadership to the next level!  EdX offers online courses, certificates, and degrees.  Popular subjects include Business & Management and Data Science. Real college courses from Harvard, MIT, and more of the world’s leading universities.