Modifying Behaviour through Policy

26 January 2023
Online Canada, USA and Caribbean
Project Planning


This training seminar will examine the most effective approaches to delivering policy objectives by means of understanding individual or group behaviour.

It will look in detail at the methodologies policy-makers can use, and how we can best understand how people think, feel and react, as well as gaining knowledge into what people are thinking about particular subjects at a given time.

The seminar will look into generic and specific behavioural and psychological issues that need to be built into your policy formulation, development and delivery when you are seeking maximum effectiveness.

Guest Speaker

We are delighted to be able to inform you that we shall be joined live during this training seminar by Michael Wernick, former Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to Cabinet in the Canadian Civil Service.

As Clerk, Michael helped the Prime Minister and his new government implement its agenda, and as head of the public service, he drove a renewal agenda, tabling four annual reports on the state of Canada’s public service. With 28 years as an executive in the federal public service, including 17 years in the community of Deputy Ministers, and three as Clerk, Michael is one of Canada’s most experienced and influential public sector leaders.

During the seminar, Michael will be providing strategic insights and perspectives from the highest levels of government.

Who is it designed for?

This seminar is designed for civil service policy team members, policy directors, senior managers and external advisers and stakeholders. As the policy formulation, option appraisal and decision-making process is a holistic one that includes input from team members at all levels and from a range of stakeholders, the topics under examination will be of benefit to colleagues involved at every stage of the process.

How will you benefit from attending?

This seminar provides a very significant deepening of policy-makers’ understanding of how to design the most effective and impactful policy. As such, it will benefit teams and individuals involved in all aspects and levels of policy-making across the departmental, subject and cultural spectrum.

Learning outcomes

You will:

  • Understand the gap between rational policy-making and human behaviour; and learn how to use this knowledge to make better policy
  • Analyse and learn how people’s attitudes and behaviour can be understood through research, and how to apply this to your policy scoping and formulation
  • Learn how to measure and track awareness, attitudes and behaviour
  • Examine and learn how to maximise policy impact through behavioural awareness and building-in psychological insight throughout the policy-making cycle
  • Understand barriers to achieving change and how to overcome these
  • Learn how to implement a behavioural intervention in policy making


Times on the Agenda are in Central Canadian/US Time (09:00 Start – 15:00 Close)
Start time in Pacific Time is 07:00
Start time in Mountain Time is 08:00
Start time in Eastern Time is 10:00
Start time in Atlantic Time is 11:00

09:00 Welcome and Introductions

Session One: Policy-Making and Behavioural Change

  • Delivering a policy agenda
  • Rational and emotional responses
  • Persuasion, incentives and enforcement
  • Behavioural change from social marketing to nudge theory
  • Case study: Road Safety

Session Two: Measuring and Tracking Awareness, Attitudes and Behaviour

  • Awareness, attitudes and behaviour
  • Quantitative research: polls, surveys and panels
  • Qualitative research: interviews, focus groups, deliberate events
  • Segmentation and Profiling
  • Case study: Saving Water

Guest Session: Michael Wernick

Strategic insights and perspectives from the highest levels of government. This session is provided live by our guest speaker, Michael Wernick, who was formerly Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to Cabinet in the Canadian Civil Service


Session Three: Implementing a Behavioural Intervention

  • Behavioural journey and theory of change
  • Role of advertising and marketing
  • Targets and evaluation
  • Budgets and resources
  • Case study: Healthy Eating

Session Four: Overcoming Barriers to Behavioural Change

  • Compliance, uptake and personality profiles
  • Hard to reach and resistant groups
  • Time: the need for intensive long-term intervention
  • Opponents: competing and conflicting voices
  • Backlash: libertarianism, ‘health and safety madness’ and the nanny state

Session Five: Success Factors

  • Exploration of successful behavioural campaigns
  • Facilitated delegate discussion on lessons learned
  • Implications for delegates’ own responsibilities
  • Further sources of insight and evidence

15:00 Close

Our L&D ethos

  • We’re here to enable you to perform better!

Our L&D team

  • All former practitioners, now professional trainers, our L&D team have provided open and bespoke solutions for more than 100,000 public servants from 120 countries

Our L&D seminars

  • A vast reservoir of international, transferable knowledge and perspectives about effective, delivery-focused approaches to working smarter in the public sector


The price of attending this one-day Virtual Training Seminar is:
CAD 870 per person
USD 690 per person

Please contact us for details of discounts for group bookings, or to arrange a conversation with a member of our training team to discuss in-house delivery options, including tailoring the day’s training to your specific needs.
You can email David Leakey on [email protected] or phone on +44 20 7661 7817.