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This material is reprinted with permission from the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills, Employment and Social Development Canada; the publication Understanding Canadian Business; and the former Canadian Council on Learning.



Requirement that workers accept the consequences of their actions and report those actions to their immediate supervisor.

Achievement gap

Persistent differences in achievement among different types of learners as indicated by scores on standardized tests, teacher grades and other data. The gaps most frequently referred to are those between rural and urban, female and male, majority and minority language learners.

Action research

Action research involves identifying a question or problem and then collecting and analyzing relevant data. It is called action research because participants are studying an aspect of their own work and they intend to use the results themselves.

Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey

A large-scale, international comparative assessment designed to identify and measure a range of skills linked to the social and economic characteristics of individuals across (or within) nations. The survey provides information on the skills and attitudes of adults aged 16 to 65 in a number of different areas, including: prose and document literacy, numeracy and analytical reasoning and problem solving.

Analytic System

Manufacturing system that breaks down raw materials into components to extract other products.


A time when a new worker works alongside a master technician to learn the appropriate skills and procedures.


The process of resolving all disputes, not only grievances, through an outside, impartial third party.

Assembly Process

Production process that puts together components.

At-risk students

Learners who have a higher than average probability of dropping out or failing school. Broad categories usually include inner-city, low-income and homeless children; those not fluent in English or French; and special-needs learners with emotional or behavioural difficulties.


An audit involves an independent review and examination of records or financial accounts to check their accuracy. Audits are also used to ensure compliance with established policy and operational procedures, and to recommend any necessary changes.

Authentic learning

Learning related to real-life situations – the kinds of problems faced by learners, consumers or professionals. Authentic learning situations require teamwork, problem-solving skills and the ability to organize and prioritize tasks needed to complete the project.


Balance of Payments

The difference between money coming into a country (from exports) and money leaving the country (for imports) plus money flows from other factors such as tourism, foreign aid, investments, interest, and dividend payments.

Balance of Trade

Reports the financial position of a firm at the end of a specific period of time. Balance sheet(s) consist of assets, liabilities, and owners’ equity.

Balance Sheet

Reports the financial position of a firm at the end of a specific period of time. Balance sheet(s) consist of assets, liabilities, and owners’ equity.

Benefit Segmentation

Divides the market by benefits desired.

Best Practice

A best practice is a business process with demonstrated ability to achieve superior results. Best practices represent proven methodologies for consistently and effectively achieving a business objective.


A name, symbol, or design (or combination of these) that identifies the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and distinguishes them from those of competitors.

Brand Name

A logo, word, letter, or groups of words or letters that differentiate the goods and services of a seller from those of competitors.

Break-even Analysis

Process used to determine profitability at various levels of sales.

Break-even Point

The point beyond which a certain quantity of sales results in profits.

Budget Narrative

A budget narrative is required to explain how anticipated expenses were derived for a project and is complementary to the budget by describing project-related costs. A budget narrative should also explain all applicant and partner contributions to a project.

Bureaucratic Organization

Organization with three layers of authority: (1) top managers, who make decisions, (2) middle managers, who develop procedures for implementing decisions, and (3) workers and supervisors, who do the work.

Business Case

A business case is the information that describes the justification for a project. A business case is built on evidence derived from feasibility studies or impact analysis to support project objectives.

Business Plan

A detailed written statement that describes the nature of the business, the target market, the advantages the business will have over competitors, and the resources and qualifications of the owners.


A deliverable is a measurable, tangible, verifiable product resulting from a project, or a product that must be produced to complete the project. Also see definition of Output. It is important to note that a deliverable is different from an outcome. See definition of outcome.


Cash Budget

The projected use of cash during a given period (e.g., monthly, quarterly, or annually).

Cash Flow

The difference between cash receipts and cash disbursements.

Cash Flow Forecast

A projection of expected cash inflows and outflows for a particular period of time.


The process by which a union becomes the sole bargaining agent for a group of employees. This usually requires a majority vote obtained by secret ballot supervised by a Labour Relations Board (LRB).

Class size

The number of learners taught by a single teacher.

Cognitive learning

The mental processes involved in learning, such as remembering and understanding facts and ideas. Educators have always been interested in how people learn but are now becoming better informed about cognition from the work of cognitive psychologists who in recent years have compiled new information about thinking and learning.

Collective Bargaining

The process by which a union represents employees in relations with their employer.

Communications Planning

Communications planning is the process of determining project stakeholders’ communication and information needs.

Communication Strategy

A communication strategy outlines a process for communicating and sharing information on project benefits and facts to target audiences and stakeholders. It is a tool used for promoting the awareness, knowledge and understanding of a project.

Competitive advantage/edge

Competitive advantage occurs when an organization acquires or develops an attribute or combination of attributes that allows it to outperform its competitors. These attributes can include access to natural resources or access to highly trained and skilled personnel human resources.

Composite Learning Index (CLI)

CCL's Composite Learning Index measures learning conditions favourable to the economic and social well-being of Canadians. The Index is a combination of 16 key learning indicators that show at a glance how well Canada is doing in the field of lifelong learning. Specifically designed to measure and report on the state of learning in Canada – over time and by region – the CLI includes data on formal and informal learning across the lifespan and includes indicators about knowledge acquisition, knowledge application, learning for personal development and learning that is required for people to live together.

Computer-Aided Design (CAD)

The use of computers in the design of products.

Computer-Aided Industrial Design (CAID)

The creation and modification of models with a three-dimensional perspective.

Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM)

The use of computers in the manufacturing of products.

Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)

Computer-aided design (CAD) combined with computer-aided manufacturing (CAM); it then further integrates CAD/CAM with other corporate functions such as purchasing, inventory control, cost accounting, materials handling, and shipping.

Computer Use

Computer Use, one of nine Essential Skills, is the ability to use different kinds of computer applications and other related technical tools.

Conceptual Skills

Ability to picture the organization as a whole and the relationship of various parts.


A temporary association of two or more companies to bid jointly on a very large project.

Consumer Market

All the individuals or households who want goods and services for personal consumption.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Monthly statistics that measure changes in the prices of a basket of goods and services that consumers buy.

Contingency Planning

Process of preparing alternative courses of action that may be used if the primary plans do not achieve the objectives of the organization.

Continuous Improvement

Procedures designed to ensure and inspire constant creative interaction and problem solving.

Continuous Learning

Continuous Learning is one of nine Essential Skills. It is the act of participating in an ongoing process of acquiring skills and knowledge.

Continuous process

Production process in which long production runs turn out finished goods over time.

Contribution “Program contribution”

A contribution is a condition transfer payment to an organization for a specified purpose, the conditions of which must be defined in a contribution agreement.
  • A contribution agreement is signed by both parties;
  • The recipient is obligated to account for expenditure categories and funding amounts (such as, through quarterly or monthly payment claims with detailed financial breakdown and periodic activity reporting); and
  • The government will conduct financial verification via supporting documents or on-site reviews and may audit the recipient's use of the contribution.

Convenience Goods and Services

Products that the consumer wants to purchase frequently and with a minimum of effort.

Co-operative learning

A teaching strategy combining teamwork with individual and group accountability. Working in small groups, with individuals of varying talents, abilities and backgrounds, learners are given one or more tasks. The teacher or the group often assigns each team member a personal responsibility that is essential to successful completion of the task.

Core Time

The time when all employees are present in a flextime system.

Corporate Distribution System

Distribution system in which all the organizations in the channel are owned by one firm.

Corporate Social Responsibility

The recognition by corporations that their actions must take into account the needs and ethical standards of society.


A legal entity with an existence separate from its owners.

Cost of Goods Sold

A particular type of expense measured by the total cost of merchandise sold (including costs associated with the acquisition, storage, transportation, and packaging of goods).

Critical Path

The longest path a product takes from the beginning of the production process until the end.

Current Assets

Cash and assets that are normally converted to cash within one year.


Customer satisfaction becomes the driving force that permeates the company.



The individual-level results of a survey, conceptualized as a table or "matrix" where the rows are individual respondents and their answers, and can include values derived from those answers, typically stored as numbers. Datasets may be used for secondary analysis.


Decision making is spread downward from the top of an organization.


Assigning authority and accountability to others while retaining responsibility for results.

Demand Curve

Line on a graph which shows the relationship between quantity demanded and price.

Demand-Oriented Pricing

Pricing strategy based on consumer demand.

Demographic Segmentation

Divides the market into groups by age, sex, income, and similar categories.


Dividing an organization’s structure into homogeneous departments such as manufacturing and marketing.


Since assets such as machinery lose value over time, part of their cost is calculated as an expense each year over their useful life.

Design For Manufacturability and Assembly (DFMA)

A process used to design products with the least number of parts, thus reducing the cost of assembly.

Differentiated instruction

A form of instruction that seeks to maximize each learner’s growth by offering several different learning experiences in response to learners’ varied needs. Learning activities and materials may be varied by difficulty to challenge learners at different readiness levels, by topic in response to learners’ interests, and by learners’ preferred ways of learning or expressing themselves.

Disaggregated data

Test scores or other data divided so that various categories can be compared. For example, schools may break down data for the entire student population (aggregated into a single set of numbers) to determine how minority students are doing compared with the majority, or how scores of girls compare with those of boys.

Dissemination Plan

A dissemination plan provides specific details on how information or knowledge gained from a project is distributed and shared. Project dissemination can occur through presentations, conferences, publications and Web sites.

Distance learning

Taking classes in locations other than the classroom or places where teachers present the lessons. Distance learning uses various forms of technology, especially television and computers, to provide educational materials and experiences to learners. Many colleges and universities broadcast credit courses for learners who live in isolated locations or who, for other reasons, cannot attend classes on campus.

Document Use

Document Use, one of nine Essential Skills, is the ability to execute tasks that involve a variety of information displays in which words, numbers, symbols and other visual characteristics (lines, colours or shapes, etc.) are given meaning by their spatial arrangement.

Dropout rate

The proportion of students between 20 and 24 years of age who are not currently in school and who have not completed secondary school.


Duration is the length of time required or planned for the execution of a project activity. Measured in calendar time units—days, weeks, months, years.


A specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition, and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.



The study of how society chooses to employ scarce resources to produce various goods and services and distribute them for consumption among various competing groups and individuals.

Economies of Scale

The cost savings that result from large-scale production.

Effect size

The magnitude of a result in relation to a standard normal distribution. An effect size of +/- 1.0 would indicate that the result was one standard deviation above or below the mean. For example, on a test with scores normally distributed from 0 to 100, an effect size of + .5 would indicate that the result was approximately 17 per cent above the mean of 50, in other words 67 per cent.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Software that enables the computers of producers, wholesalers, and retailers to talk with each other.

Employee Benefits

Sick leave pay, vacation pay, pension plans, health plans, and other benefits that provide additional compensation to employees beyond the basic wage.

Employee Orientation

The activity that introduces new employees to the organization, to fellow employees, to their immediate supervisors, and to the policies, practices, and objectives of the firm.


The leaders of organizations give their workers the freedom, the incentives, and the training to be decision makers and creative contributors to the organization.


A person who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of starting and operating a business to make a profit.

Environmental Scanning

Analysis of societal forces, economic realities, technological developments, and legal and regulatory conditions.

Equilibrium Point

Point at which supply and demand are equal.

Essential Skills

Essential Skills are nine skills that are common to all Canadian occupational groups, and used at varying levels of complexity depending on occupation. The nine essential skills are Reading, Document Use, Numeracy, Writing, Oral Communication, Working with Others, Thinking, Computer use and Continuous Learning.


Evaluation is a systematic method for collecting, analyzing, and using information to determine whether projects/programs/initiatives are appropriate, adequate, effective and efficient.

Evaluation Strategy

For the purposes of this call for proposals, an evaluation strategy includes the evaluation questions to be addressed, the methods that will be used to evaluate the project, the timing of the evaluation activities and the costs of carrying out the evaluation.

Evidence-based research

Research in which the conclusions are reached by, among other things, the systematic collection of empirical evidence rather than on editorial opinion unsupported by evidence.

Exchange Rate

The value of one currency relative to the currencies of other countries.

Exponential Function

The mathematical description of anything that changes steadily in one direction over a given period of time.

Extrinsic Rewards

Reinforcement from someone else as recognition for good work, including pay increases, praise, and promotions.

Functional illiteracy

The inability to read or write well enough to perform many necessary tasks in life, such as writing a cheque, filling out a job application, reading a classified advertisement, or understanding a newspaper headline.


Factors of Production

The basic inputs of a society: land and natural resources, human labour, capital, entrepreneurship, and information.

Feasibility Study

A feasibility study is utilized to examine the viability of taking on a project; it allows for the analysis and evaluation of proposed ideas. It is a way to determine if a business idea is capable of being achieved, and the results are used to develop solutions and strategies for project implementation.

Final Report

A final report is the post-implementation project report. It is a report that formally closes the project and highlights the achievement of project objectives and deliverables. The report should also draw attention to experiences during project development and implementation that may be of benefit to future projects.


The business function that is responsible for the efficient acquisition and disbursement of funds.

Financial Accounting

The preparation of financial statements for people outside of the firm (for example, investors).

Financial literacy

Knowledge and understanding of financial concepts, and the skills, motivation and confidence to apply such knowledge and understanding in order to make effective decisions across a range of financial contexts, to improve the financial well-being of individuals and society, and to enable participation in economic life.

Financial Statements

Report the success and position (condition) of a firm; they include the income statement and balance sheet.

Fiscal Year

A fiscal year is the 12-month period used for financial planning and reporting purposes. The Federal Government’s fiscal year begins on April 1 and ends on March 31 of the proceeding year.

Fixed Assets

Items that are acquired to produce services or products. They are not bought to be sold.

Flat Organization Structures

Ones with relatively few layers of management.

Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS)

Totally automated production centres that include robots, automatic materials handling equipment, and computer-controlled machine tools that can perform a variety of functions to produce different products.

Flextime Plans

Work schedules that give employees some freedom to adjust when they work, within limits, as long as they work the required number of hours.

Focus Group

A small group of people who meet under the direction of a discussion leader to communicate their feelings concerning an organization, its products, or other important issues.

Formal, job-related training

Courses or programs related to a worker’s current or future job. These courses and programs have a structured plan whereby a learner, led by a teacher or trainer, follows a planned program and receives formal recognition upon completion, such as a certificate, diploma or degree.

Formal learning

Formal learning is learning that is structured in terms of learning objectives, curricula, learning time, and/or learning support. It is also intentional from the learner’s perspective and leads to a formal qualification (such as degree, diploma, certification, etc.)

Formal Organization

The structure that details lines of responsibility, authority, and position. It is the structure that is shown on organization charts.

Foundation skills

Foundation skills include reading, writing, math, basic computers and communication.

Four Ps of Marketing

Product, place, promotion, and price.


The right to use a specific business’s name and sell its products or services in a given territory.

Franchise Agreement

An arrangement whereby someone with a good idea for a business sells the rights to use the business name and sell its products or services to others in a given territory.

Free-Market System

System in which decisions about what to produce and in what quantities are decided by the market; that is, by buyers and sellers freely negotiating prices for goods and services.


Gantt Chart

Bar graph showing production managers what projects are being worked on and what stage they are in on a daily basis.

Gender bias

The idea that one gender is at a disadvantage compared to the other gender. The term may refer to the difficulties males may have in conforming to classroom routines and learning to read and write, or it may refer to lower average achievement by females in science, mathematics and technology. Bias is sometimes suspected when test results consistently favour one gender.


A globally integrated system of production, marketing, finance, and management.

Goal “project goal”

A goal is the definition of specifically what a project will accomplish, its purpose, its quality focus, and viewpoint. A project goal should reference the project's business benefits in terms of cost, time and/or quality. See also objective.


Broad, long-term accomplishments an organization wishes to attain.

Goal-Setting Theory

Theory that setting specific, attainable goals can motivate workers and improve performance if the goals are accepted, are accompanied by feedback, and are facilitated by organizational conditions.

Goods-Producing Sector

Produces tangible products, things that can be seen or touched.


A grant is an unconditional transfer payment that is not subject to being audited but for which eligibility and entitlement may be verified.
  • A grant agreement is signed by both parties; and
  • Recipients may be required to periodically submit activity progress reports and general financial statements.


A formal protest by an individual employee or a union when they believe a particular management decision breached the union contract.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

The total value of a country’s output of goods and services in a given year.

Gross Margin (profit)

Net sales minus costs of goods sold before expenses are deducted.


Hawthorne Effect

The tendency for a group of people to be more motivated when they know they are being studied and take a more active part in the experiment.

High-skilled Worker

A high-skilled worker is defined as a person with a post-secondary degree, diploma or certificate.

Human capital

Productive wealth embodied in labour, skills and knowledge.

Human Resource Management

The process of evaluating human resource needs, finding people to fill those needs, and getting the best work from each employee by providing the right incentives and job enrichment, all with the goal of meeting the objectives of the organization.


Impact Analysis

Impact analysis is the process of assessing the merits of pursuing and implementing a project. It often includes an impact assessment which is the assessment of the harm or consequences to a project of a risk if it occurs. It enables the development of strategies for minimizing risk.


Implementation is a phase in the project life cycle in which a product is put into use; it is when a chosen project solution is developed into a completed deliverable. Implementation is also a term used as a synonym for development.

Income Statement

Reports revenues, expenses, and profit or loss during a specific period of time.

Independent Audit

Examination of a company’s books by public accountants, to give the public, governments, and shareholders an outside opinion of the fairness of financial statements.


Something measured that signifies a state or level of performance or achievement. For example, an indicator for the level of post-secondary attainment might be the percentage of working-age population which has completed a post-secondary program.

Industrial Advertising

Advertising from manufacturers to other manufacturers.

Industrial Goods

Products used in the production of other products.

Industrial Market

Individuals and organizations that purchase goods and services to produce other goods and services or to rent, sell, or supply the goods to others.

Industrial Park

A planned are in a city where businesses can find land, shipping facilities, and waste disposal outlets so they can build a manufacturing plant or storage facility.

Industrial Policy

A comprehensive, co-ordinated government plan to revitalize the economy and lay out a path for the future.

Informal learning

Informal learning is not structured. It can be intentional or incidental. It does not result in a formal qualification.

Informal Organization

The system of relationships and lines of authority that develop spontaneously as employees meet and form power centres; it is the human side of the organization and does not show on any formal charts.

Information System

Network consisting of written and electronically based systems for sending reports, memos, bulletins, and the like.

In-kind Contributions

In-kind contributions are noteworthy contributions made by applicants and their partners to project activities. An example of an in-kind contribution is the time that partners contribute to the design, implementation and monitoring of projects. In-kind contributions may also include the use of office space and equipment required to undertake the project.


Inputs are resources dedicated to and consumed by the project such as funds, staff, materials, and facilities.

Intermittent Process

Production process in which the production run is short and the machines are shut down frequently or changed to produce different products.

Internal Marketing Program

Marketing program designed to commit employees to the objectives of a firm.

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

An international bank that makes short-term loans to countries experiencing problems with their balance of trade.

Interpersonal Skills

Ability to lead, communicate, motivate, coach, build morale, train, support, and delegate.

Intrinsic Rewards

Reinforcement from within oneself; a feeling one has done a good job.


Job Analysis

A study of what is done by employees who fill various job titles.

Job Descriptions

Summaries of the objectives of a job, the type of work, the responsibilities of the job, skills needed, the working conditions, and the relationship of the job to other functions.

Job Enlargement

Job enrichment strategy involving combining a series of tasks into one assignment that is more challenging and interesting.

Job Enrichment

A motivational strategy that emphasizes motivating the worker through the job itself.

Job Rotation

Job enrichment strategy involving moving employees from one job to another.

Job Sharing

An arrangement whereby two part-time employees share one full-time job.

Job Simplification

Process of producing task efficiency by breaking down the job into simple steps and assigning people to each of those steps.

Job Simulation

The use of equipment that duplicates job conditions and tasks so that trainees can learn skills before attempting them on the job.

Just-In-Time (JIT) Inventory Control

Arrangements for delivery of the smallest possible quantities at the latest possible time to keep inventory as low as possible.



Creating a vision for others to follow, establishing corporate values and ethics, and transforming the way the organization does business so it is more effective and efficient.

Lessons learned

Lessons learned are a set of statements captured after completion of a project or a portion of a project. The statements describe in a neutral way what did or did not work well, along with a statement regarding the risk of ignoring the lesson. Capturing and sharing the lessons learned is an important part of process improvement.


Amounts owed by the organization to others.

Life cycle

A project’s life cycle consists of the events from beginning to end necessary to complete a project. It is the sequence of defined stages over the full duration of a project.

Limited Liability

The responsibility of a business’s owners for losses only up to the amount they invest; limited partners have limited liability.

Line Organization Structure

Organization in which there are direct two-way lines of responsibility, authority, and communication running from the top to the bottom of the organization, with every employee reporting to only one specific supervisor.

Line Personnel

Employees who perform functions that contribute directly to the primary goals of the organization.


Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning to enable an individual to achieve his or her goals, to develop his or her knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in the wider society.


A drastic negotiation strategy in which the employer locks the premises against the employees.

Logic Model

A logic model is a step-by-step approach for defining and measuring project activities and expected project outcomes.

Low-skilled Worker

A low-skilled worker is defined as persons without a post-secondary degree, diploma or certificate.



A system where everyone in the organization knows who is responsible for what, who reports to whom, and what to do when problems arise.


The process used to accomplish organizational goals through planning, organizing, directing, and controlling people and other organizational resources.

Management By Objectives (MBO)

A system of goal setting and implementation that involves a cycle of discussion, review, and evaluation of objectives among top and middle-level managers, supervisors, and employees.

Management Development

The process of training and educating employees to become good managers and then developing managerial skills over time.


Process of making goods by hand or with machinery as opposed to extracting things from the earth (mining or fishing) or producing services.


The process of studying the wants and needs of others and then satisfying those wants and needs with appropriate goods and services.

Marketing Communication System

Listening to the market, responding to that information, and promoting the organization and its products.

Marketing Concept

Refers to a three-part business philosophy: (1) a consumer orientation, (2) training of all employees in customer service, and (3) a profit orientation.

Marketing Manager

Plans and executes the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational goals.

Marketing Mix

The strategic combination of product decisions with decisions regarding packaging, pricing, distribution, credit, branding, service, complaint handling, and other marketing activities.

Market Price

Price determined by supply and demand.

Market Segmentation

Process of dividing the total market into several submarkets (segments) that have similar characteristics.

Materials Handling

The movement of goods within a warehouse, factory, or store.

Materials Requirement Planning (MRP)

A computer-based operations management system that uses sales forecasts to make sure that needed parts and materials are available at the right place and time.

Mathematical literacy

The capacity to identify, understand and engage in mathematics and make well-founded judgments about the role that mathematics plays in one’s life.

Matrix Organization

Organization in which specialists from different parts of the organization are brought together to work on specific projects but still remain part of a traditional line and staff structure.


The use of a third party to attempt to bring the parties to a resolution of their dispute.


Experienced employees who supervise, coach, and guide lower-level employees by introducing them to the right people and groups and generally act as their organizational sponsors.


The economic principle advocating the selling of more goods to other nations than a country buys.


The result of two firms forming one company.


A methodology is a documented process for management of projects that contains procedures, definitions, and roles and responsibilities.

Middle Management

Level of management that includes plant managers and department heads who are responsible for tactical plans.


A milestone is a key event selected for its importance in a project. Milestones are commonly used for monitoring the progress of a project. A milestone is often chosen to represent the start of a new phase or the completion of a major deliverable. It usually marks the completion of a critical part of a project.

Mission Statement

A mission statement is a brief summary, approximately one or two sentences, that sums up the background, purposes and benefits of the project.

Mixed Economy

All economies that combine free markets with some government allocation of resources.


Monitoring is the recording, analysing, and reporting of project performance.


A market in which there is only one seller.


Factors that provide satisfaction and motivate people at work.


National Debt

The sum of money the government has borrowed and not paid back.

National Scope

Projects must produce results and/or final products that have the potential for broad application across Canada. "Broad application" means that the results or products of the project could be used or replicated by a range of organizations, sectors or stakeholders across Canada.


Linking firms together by making it possible for their computers to talk with one another. Establishing and maintaining contacts with key managers in one’s own and other organizations and using those contacts to weave strong relationships that serve as informal development systems.


Not in my back yard, meaning that people don’t want waste disposal facilities in their town, though they agree that such facilities are needed somewhere.

Non-formal learning

Non-formal learning, like formal learning, is structured and intentional. However, unlike formal learning, it does not result in a formal qualification.

Non-regulated occupations

Non-regulated occupations do not require special licensure and can range from those requiring extensive education and training, such as a university degree (such computer analysts or biologists) to those that require little in the way of formal training and involve little risk to the public (for example: bartenders, salespersons, or housekeepers). About 80% of the Canadian workforce is employed in non-regulated occupations.


Numeracy is one of nine Essential Skills. It is the use of numbers and thinking in quantitative terms to complete tasks.



An objective is something to be achieved. Objectives are measurable, shared and agreed project goals. They are directly linked to the concept of "project success factors."


Specific short-time tasks that must be completed to achieve the organizational goals.

Observation Method

Method of collecting data by observing the actions of potential buyers.

Official Languages Minority Communities

Designates Anglophones living in Quebec and Francophones living in provinces and territories outside Quebec.

Off-the-Job Training

1) Internal and external programs to develop a variety of skills and foster personal development away from the workplace.

2)The employee immediately begins his or her tasks and learns by doing, or watching others for a while and then imitates them.

Operating Budget

The plan of the various costs and expenses needed to operate the business, based on estimated annual revenues.

Operating Expenses

The various costs incurred in running a business, including rent, salaries, and utilities, in order to earn revenues.

Oral Communication

Oral Communication is one of nine Essential Skills. It is the ability to use speech to give and exchange thoughts and information.

Organizational Culture

Widely shared values within an organization, reflected in stories, traditions, and myths, that provide coherence and co-operation to achieve common goals.

Organization Chart

A visual picture of an organization that shows who reports to whom.


Designing the organizational structure, attracting people to the organization (staffing), and creating conditions and systems that ensure that everyone and everything work together to achieve the objectives of the organization.


Outcomes are changes, results, impacts or consequences of the project activity – generally focused on people. Outcomes can also be the result of a program or institutional change. Outcomes represent the impact that a project has on people, programs or institutions.


Outputs are the direct products of a project.

Owners’ Equity

Investments in the company plus all net accumulated profits.


Participative Management

Management style that involves employees in setting objectives and making decisions; democratic and laissez-faire leadership are forms of this type of management.


A partnership is an association of two or more entities that have defined roles, responsibilities and financial contributions to a project. Partners could provide monetary and/or in-kind contributions that reflect a commitment to the success of the project. Partners to OLES projects are not eligible to receive fees for goods or services related to funded project activities.

Performance Appraisal

An evaluation of the performance level of employees against standards to make decisions about promotions, compensation, additional training, or firing.

Performance Indicators

Performance indicators are measurable indicators that demonstrate the achievement of an outcome. They enable decision-makers to assess progress towards the achievement of intended outputs, outcomes, goals, and objectives, and are chosen to reflect the critical success factors of a project.

Performance Measures

Performance measures describe how success in achieving the project goals will be measured and tracked. Performance measurement targets provide the quantifiable answer to the question: "How will we know when we've been successful in achieving our goal?"

Personal Selling

Face-to-face presentation and promotion of products and services plus searching out of prospects and providing follow-up service.


A phase is a grouping of activities in a project that are required to meet a major milestone by providing a significant deliverable. A project is broken down into a set of phases for monitoring and control purposes.


The distinct units of sound that distinguish one word from another.

Phonemic awareness

The ability to detect individual letter sounds.

Phonological awareness

The ability to hear and distinguish parts of speech such as syllables, rhymes and letter sounds.

Physical Distribution

The movement of goods and services from producer to industrial and consumer users.

Physical Distribution Manager

The person responsible for co-ordinating and integrating all movement of materials, including transportation, internal movement, and warehousing.

Physiological Needs

The needs for basic life-giving elements such as food, water, and shelter.


The shipping of the cargo-carrying part of a truck on a railroad car or ship over long distances. This part of its journey results in the total trip having been made in the most efficient manner possible.

Pillars of learning

The UNESCO Commission on 21st Century Education, the OECD, and Canada’s provincial and territorial governments recognize four key pillars of learning:
  • Learning To Know: involving the ability to learn independently, to synthesize information, to analyze critically and to reason
  • Learning To Do: involving the development of effective work habits, self-directed learning skills, flexibility to respond to change, and the ability to earn income and attain occupational and career objectives
  • Learning To Live Together: involving the development of social and civic responsibility, a tolerance and respect for the ideas and beliefs of others, as well as the ability to live and work with other people
  • Learning To Be: involving the development of a sense of self-worth, personal initiative and responsibility, a sense of values and self-discipline, health and safety, and a sense of esthetics

Pilot Project

A pilot project is an activity planned as a test or trial. Pilot projects are intended to demonstrate the feasibility and experimentation of an idea. The scope of a pilot project can be significantly expanded if deemed successful.


Progress in Reading Literacy Study undertaken by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement in 2001, focusing on the acquisition of reading literacy of Grade 4 students.


Stands for Programme for International Student Assessment, which is an internationally standardized assessment that was jointly developed by participating countries and administered to15-year-olds in schools. The survey was implemented in 43 countries in the first assessment in 2000, in 41 countries in the second assessment in 2003 and in 57 countries in the third assessment in 2006. Tests are typically administered to between 4,500 and 10,000 students in each country.


Anticipating future trends and determining the best strategies and tactics to achieve goals and objectives of the organization.


Planning is the process of establishing and maintaining the definition of the scope of a project, the way the project will be performed (procedures and tasks), roles and responsibilities and the time and cost estimates. It is the process of identifying the means, resources and actions necessary to accomplish an objective.

Price Leadership

Procedure by which all the competitors in the industry follow the pricing practices of one or more dominant firms.

Primary Data

Results from doing your own research.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a process of identifying, assessing and recognizing what a person knows and can do. The process can take various forms and the outcomes can be used for a large number of purposes relevant to the goals of individuals, labour market partners (including unions), and society at large. PLAR may allow an individual to get some form of recognition for the skills and knowledge he/she has. PLAR should give equal value to learning and skills whether they come from school, community work, on-the-job training or other life experiences.

Private Accountant

An employee who carries out managerial and financial accounting functions for his or her employer.

Private Corporations

Corporations that are not allowed to issue stock to the public, so their shares are not listed on stock exchanges and are limited to 50 or fewer shareholders.


The process of government selling crown corporations.


Any physical good, service, or idea that satisfies a want or need.

Product Differentiation

The attempt to create product perceptions in the minds of consumers so that one product seems superior to others.


The creation of goods and services using the factors of production: land, labor, capital, entrepreneurship, and information.

Production and Operations Management

Activities of managers to create goods and services.

Production Goods

Industrial goods such as grain and steel that enter into the final product.

Production Orientation

Business focuses on producing goods rather than marketing them.


The total output of goods and services in a given period of time divided by work hours (output per work hour).

Product Life Cycle

The four-stage theoretical depiction of the process from birth to death of a product class: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.

Product Line

A group of products that are physically similar or are intended for a similar market.

Product Manager

Co-ordinates all the marketing efforts for a particular product (or product line) or brand.

Product Mix

The combination of product lines offered by a manufacturer.

Product Modification

Technique used to extend the life cycle of mature products by changing the product quality, features, or style to attract new users or more usage from present users.

Professional Fees

Professional fees are fees related to project evaluation, project management, legal, financial auditing, translation, or for any other administrative expertise not available through the organization or its partners.


A series of courses leading toward a degree, diploma or certificate. Formal programs include high-school completion programs, registered apprenticeship, trade and vocational programs, college, CEGEP and university programs. In 2002, nearly one in four of those who participated in formal, job-related training took a program.

Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)

A method for analysing the tasks involved in completing a given project, estimating the time needed to complete each task, and identifying the minimum time needed to complete the project.


An attempt by marketers to persuade others to buy their products or services.


Understanding prose requires the knowledge and skills needed to understand and use information from texts including editorials, news stories, brochures and instruction manuals.

Public Relations

The management function that evaluates public attitudes, develops policies and procedures consistent with the public interest, and takes steps to earn public understanding and acceptance.

Pull Strategy

Use of promotional tools to motivate consumers to request products from stores.

Pupil-teacher ratio

The enrolment of pupils at a given period of time, divided by the full-time-equivalent number of certificated education professionals (teachers, administrators, counsellors, etc.) serving these pupils during the same period.

Push Strategy

Use of promotional tools to convince wholesalers and retailers to stock and sell merchandise.


Quality Circle

A small group that voluntarily performs quality control activities within the workshop to which they belong.

Quality Control

The measurement of products and services against set standards.


Random Sample

A sample in which all people have an equal chance of being selected to be part of the representative group.

Ratio Analysis

A way to analyze financial statements in greater depth by comparing results with the previous year’s, the budget, and competing firms’ results.

Rational Decision-Making Model

Consists of six steps: (1) define the problem, (2) determine and collect needed information, (3) develop alternatives, (4) decide which alternative is best and also ethically acceptable, (5) implement the decision and (6) determine whether the decision was a good one and follow up.

Reading literacy

The ability to understand, use and reflect on written texts in order to achieve goals, develop knowledge or potential, and participate effectively in society.

Reading Text

Reading text is one of the nine Essential Skills. It entails reading material in the form of sentences or paragraphs.


The set of activities used to obtain a sufficient number of the right people at the right time to select those who best meet the needs of the organization.

Replacement Workers

Management’s name for strikebreakers.


The obligation of a person to complete a given task.

Retained Earnings

The amount left after a company distributes some of its net income (profit) to shareholders in the form of dividends.

Return on investment (ROI)

Return on investment is the ratio of money gained or lost (whether realized or unrealized) on an investment relative to the amount of money invested. The amount of money gained or lost may be referred to as interest, profit/loss, gain/loss, or net income/loss. The money invested may be referred to as the asset, capital, principal, or the cost basis of the investment.

Reverse Discrimination

The feeling of unfairness unprotected groups may have when protected groups are given preference in hiring and promoting.

Rule of 72

Divide the rate of increase of any activity into 72 to get the number of years it takes for the result of that activity to double.


The division between people who live in urban environments and those who do not. Rural inhabitants often have less access to learning resources that are common in urban environments.


Safety Needs

The need for peace and security.

Sales Orientation

Firms focus on promoting their products.

Sales Promotion

The promotional tool that stimulates consumer purchasing and dealer interest by means of short-term activities (displays, shows, exhibitions, and contests, etc.).


A representative group of a market population.


The project timeline, identifying the dates (absolute or relative to a start date) that project tasks will begin and completed, resources will be required and upon which milestones will be reached.

Scientific Management

The study of workers to find the most efficient way of doing things and then teaching people those techniques.


The project scope is defined in terms of three dimensions-product, project and impact. Product scope is the full set of features and functions to be provided as a result of the project. Project scope is the work that has to be done to deliver the product. Impact scope is the depth and breadth of involvement by, and effect on, the performing and client organizations.

Seasonal Unemployment

Unemployment that occurs where the demand for labour varies over the year.

Secondary Data

Already-published research information from journals, trade associations, the government, information services, libraries, and other sources.

Self-Actualization Needs

The needs for achievement and to be all you can be.

Self-directed learning

Informal training or self-directed learning refers to activities such as: seeking advice from someone knowledgeable; using the Internet or other software; observing someone performing a task; consulting books or manuals; or teaching yourself different ways of doing certain tasks.

Self-Esteem Needs

The need for self-confidence and status.

Service Contract

A service contract is an agreement between a recipient and a contractor (second party) in which the contractor agrees to provide directly with goods or services at an agreed price. It is subject to GST/HST payments over and above the contracted costs. Examples of direct services or goods received by recipients include contracts with external service providers for such services as translation, evaluation, audits, or professional services. It could also involve the hiring of consultants for staff training, providing workshops, or organizing forums.

Service Sector

Produces services – like financial, information, marketing, health, recreational, or repair services – not goods.

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)


Small Enterprises: Less than 100 employees and Less than $CDN $5M in sales

Medium Enterprises: 100-500 employees and $CDN 5-20M in sales.


Small Enterprises: Less than 50 employees and Less than CDN$5M in sales

Medium Enterprises 50-500 employees and CDN$5-20M in sales.

Small Business

A business that is independently operated, not dominant in its field, and meets certain standards of size in terms of employees and annual receipts.

Social Needs

The need to feel loved, accepted, and part of the group.

Societal Orientation

Includes a consumer orientation, but adds programs designed to improve the community, protect the environment, and satisfy other social goals.


Stakeholder is a person, group or organization who can have an influence on or will be influenced by the project or its outcomes.

Statistical significance

Is a measure of how likely it is that the reported result or difference was obtained by chance. For example, a result that is significant at the .05 level, the likelihood that the result was obtained by chance is less than five times out of 100. If the result of difference was significant at the .01 level, the result or difference was likely to have occurred less than one out of 100 times.

Strategic Planning

Process of determining the major goals of the organization and the policies and strategies for obtaining and using resources to achieve those goals.

Student–teacher ratio

See pupil–teacher ratio.

Supervisory (First-Line) Management

First level of management above employees; includes people directly responsible for assigning specific jobs to employees and evaluating their daily performance.


The quantity of products that manufacturers or owners are willing to sell at different prices at a specific time.

Supply Chain Management

The overall process of minimizing inventory and moving goods through the channel faster by using computers to improve communications among the channel members.

Supply Curve

Line on a graph which shows the relationship between price and quantity supplied.

Support Goods

Industrial goods such as accessory equipment and supplies that are used to assist in the production of other products.

Survey Method

Direct questioning of people to gather facts, opinions, or other information.

Survival rates

The proportion of new entrants to a specified level of education who successfully complete their first qualification.

Sustainable Development

Economic development that meets the development needs of the present without endangering the external environment of future generations.


Thinking Skills

“Thinking Skills” is one of nine essential skills. It is the process of evaluating ideas or information to reach a rational decision. There are six sub-skills, including problem-solving, decision making, critical thinking, job task planning and organizing, significant use of memory and finding information.

Third Party Recipient or Sponsor

A person or organization that has signed a transfer agreement with a recipient under the terms and conditions of a master agreement between the recipient and the federal government.

Top Management

Highest level of management, consisting of the president, vice-president, and other key company executives who develop strategic plans.

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

Preventive maintenance with total participation of the personnel operating the equipment.

Total Quality Management (TQM)

Satisfying customers by building in and ensuring quality from all departments in an organization.

Training and Development

All attempts to improve employee performance through learning.

Truck Jobber

A small, limited-function wholesaler that delivers goods by truck to retailers.


Underrepresented Worker

Underrepresented workers can included, but are not limited to women, aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, older workers, youth, and newcomers) with long-standing patterns of high unemployment, lower than average pay rates and concentration in low status jobs.

Underutilization/Underutilized Worker

Individuals possessing skills and/or training that exceeds the responsibilities of their current job; and associated impacts on the economy (the cost of underutilizing immigrant skills in Canada has been estimated at $2.4 billion (in 1996 dollars each year).

Unlimited Liability

The responsibility of a business’s owners for all of the debts of the business, making the personal assets of the owners vulnerable to claims against the business; sole proprietors and general partners have unlimited liability.


Value- or want-satisfying ability that is added to products by organizations because the products are made more useful or accessible to consumers.


Vocational programs

Programs that prepare participants for direct entry, without further training, into specific occupations.

Volume Segmentation

Divides the market into user categories: heavy, medium, light, and nonusers.



Includes the wages for all of the applicant organization’s staff working on project activities. Each full-time and part-time position should be broken down by job position. Renumeration of employees of other organizations (such as consultants, suppliers, in-kind contributions by partners, etc.) should not be included in Wages but rather the Professional Fees category.

Web-based learning

The use of the Internet and Internet technologies to pursue an organized program of studies.


A marketing middleman that sells to organizations and individuals, but not to final customers.

Word-of-Mouth Promotion

Consumers talking about products they have liked or disliked.

Working with Others

Working with Others, one of nine Essential Skills, is the act of employees working with others to carry out their tasks.


Writing is one of nine Essential Skills. It is the ability to write text and write in documents, such as filing in forms, and non-paper-based writing such as on a computer.
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