The CAIS Diploma in Independent School Leadership is designed to prepare participants for senior leadership roles in independent schools, particularly for Headships, by providing courses in aspects of independent schools rarely experienced by teachers. It is expected that candidates will discuss participation with their Head of School.

The Award of the Diploma

The Diploma is awarded to those candidates who successfully complete the program within a five- year period.

How to Access the Modules

Modules are offered by CAIS at our annual summer Leadership Institute and individual modules may be scheduled at other times during the year. You may register for the Diploma modules by completing our online registration forms. CAIS will give recognition for a maximum of one module completed through other institutions (e.g. Universities, OISE, NAIS, etc.) provided equivalency is established. CAIS will provide documentation to other institutions with the intention that candidates may use the Diploma towards a graduate degree.

Keeping Current

CAIS continues to explore new possibilities for the Institute and additional modules have been added in Risk Management, Change Leadership and Women and Leadership. In the past years, CAIS has increased the flexibility in timing, with modules offered fall, spring and in the summer at locations across the nation.



  1. Academic Administration or Leadership for Learning (formerly Teaching & Learning).
  2. Accreditation and School Improvement
  3. Advancement
  4. Faculty Culture* (effective for new participants beginning July 2015)
  5. Finance
  6. Governance

* Additional modules may be added.


Non academic professionals completing the diploma may replace the Academic Administration/Leadership for Learning module with an additional elective to supplement their learning.

Four additional modules are required, and Candidates may choose from any of the following*:

  • Admissions
  • Aspiring Leaders
  • Brain Research
  • Change Management
  • Coaching
  • Education Law
  • Encouraging Dialogue: Mental Health and Our Schools
  • Design Thinking for School Innovation
  • Human Resources
  • Leadership 101
  • Leadership through Integrative Thinking
  • Leading from Within
  • Management
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Plant and Property Management
  • Risk Management
  • Women and Leadership

* Additional modules may be added.

Hosting the leadership institute

Would your school like to host a Leadership Institute?

If so, please review the following document and contact Don Kawasoe with any questions.

Spring LI

Dates: April 13 - 15, 2018

Lower Canada College

Summer LI

Dates: July 2 - 6, 2018

St. Michaels University School, Victoria, BC

Save the Dates

2018 Spring Leadership Institute:
April 13 - 15, 2018 in Montreal, QC.

2018 Summer Leadership Institute:
July 2 - 6, 2018 in Victoria, BC.

For the past three years, I have been privileged to attend the CAIS Leadership Institute, graduating this past summer at St. Andrew's College. Over the course of the program, I have enjoyed incredible networking and professional sharing and learning opportunities at CAIS schools in Aurora, St. Catharines, and Victoria, BC. Without a doubt, this experience has been the single most useful opportunity for professional growth in my career.

On a daily basis, I use the knowledge and skills gained while attending the institute in communicating more effectively with parents, students, and teachers, and in planning programming and curriculum that is both creative and also drives learning. The expertise of the course leaders (incredible CAIS educators), and the collaborative nature of the modules have pushed me to take what I have learned and apply it as I challenge myself to continue to develop in school leadership. There is no doubt that I am a better leader and educator thanks to the Leadership Institute.”

Russell Marston, The Rosedale Day School

My time at the LI genuinely changed how I accomplish and enjoy my role as a vice principal. The modules provided important insights into areas of running an independent school that I had either not considered or had little to no understanding of. Perhaps even more valuable to my LI experience was meeting, sharing, and problem solving with peers from all over the country. It was incredibly gratifying to learn that so many of us share the same challenges but more importantly can offer solid strategies and solutions to solve our common issues. I am also grateful for my time at the LI as I have developed friendships that I believe will last for the remainder of my career

Warren Lee, West Point Grey Academy

Top 5 Reasons to Attend LI

Network With Peers

Join Heads, Academic Leaders, Senior Administrators, Athletic Directors and Teachers from across Canada. Meet with existing colleagues and new ones to exchange your ideas and experiences.

Enhance Leadership Knowledge

Learn from research and experience. Receive national updates. Participate in discussions with colleagues from similarly excellent schools who share your passion for learning.

Celebrate CAIS Leaders

Receptions featuring Art of Leadership speakers and New CAIS Leaders presentations. Join us in congratulating the year’s LI Grads at the closing night banquet.

Become a Mentor & Find a Mentor

The Next Step Program includes a formal mentorship program. At the Leadership Institute, relationships are formed that inspire excellence. Mentor someone new to the field or explore your growth opportunities as a mentee.

Earn Your Diploma

At the request of headhunters who are recruiting future leaders, CAIS will share LI Grad profiles.