At the time of our scan we found training certification for literacy workers available in two provinces: in Manitoba the provincial government has a threelevel certificate program; in Ontario, three community colleges use the Internet to offer the Teacher of Adults: Literacy Educator Certificate Program. One of the main differences between these two certificates is that the Ontario certificate is not required for employment in the literacy field by employer or funders.
We found that certification programs were available in Nova Scotia for workplace literacy and in Alberta and British Columbia for family literacy. However, no research on how these programs impact the status of practitioners, learners, quality of programs, or pay and working conditions could be found.
Conducting the study will allow us to Determine (1) characteristics of people working in the sector (e.g., gender, aged, education, work experience) (2) characteristics of the sector (e.g., number or organizations and types, number of people working in the sector—paid and volunteer, who funds), and (3) examine the working conditions (e.g., number of full-time and part-time workers, rates of pay, availability of non-mandatory benefits).
In addition to gathering information about the field as a whole, the sector study will also take a look at professionalization and certification. We will (1) examine the models of certification in other fields and similar sectors in other countries, (2) identify present qualification requirements of literacy workers, (3) examine what qualifications are needed, and (4) identify what kinds of standards should there be for literacy delivery, along with how they could be developed and supported.