Sample job description: Program Director

Other Title: Program Manager

Reporting relationships

The title that the position reports to and the title of the role(s) that reports to it.

Hours of work

The number and nature of expected work hours. Examples include full-time, part-time, traditional business hours, occasional or frequent evenings and/or weekends, and the length of the position’s work term, such as permanent, temporary, or seasonal.

Job purpose

The Program Director oversees all aspects of an ongoing program, including planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling program activities.

Primary duties and responsibilities

The Program Director performs a wide range of duties, including some or all the following:

Plan the program

  • Plan the delivery of the overall program and its activities in accordance with the mission and the goals of the organization.
  • Develop new initiatives to support the strategic direction of the organization.
  • Develop and implement long-term goals and objectives to achieve the successful outcome of the program.
  • Develop an annual budget and operating plan to support the program.
  • Develop a program evaluation framework to assess the strengths of the program and to identify areas for improvement.
  • Develop funding proposals for the program to ensure the continuous delivery of services.

Organize the program

  • Ensure that program activities operate within the policies and procedures of the organization.
  • Ensure that program activities comply with all relevant legislation and professional standards.
  • Develop forms and records to document program activities.
  • Oversee the collection and maintenance of records on the clients of the program for statistical purposes in accordance with the confidentiality/privacy policy of the organization.

Staff the program

  • In consultation with the Executive Director, recruit, interview and select well-qualified program staff.
  • Implement the human resources policies, procedures and practices of the organization.
  • Ensure that personnel files for the program are properly maintained and kept confidential.
  • Establish and implement a performance management process for all program staff.
  • Engage volunteers for appropriate program activities using established volunteer management practices.
  • Ensure that all program staff receive an appropriate orientation to the organization and the programs.

Lead the program

  • Ensure all staff members receive orientation and appropriate training in accordance with organizational standards.
  • Supervise program staff by providing direction, input and feedback.
  • Communicate with clients and other stakeholders to gain community support for the program and to solicit input to improve the program.
  • Liaise with other managers to ensure the effective and efficient program delivery.
  • Coordinate the delivery of services among different program activities to increase effectiveness and efficiency.

Control the program

  • Write reports on the program for management and for funders.
  • Communicate with funders as outlined in funding agreements.
  • Ensure that the program operates within the approved budget.
  • Monitor and approve all budgeted program expenditures.
  • Monitor cash flow projections and report actual cash flow and variance to the Executive Director regularly (monthly/bimonthly)
  • Manage all project funds according to established accounting policies and procedures.
  • Ensure that all financial records for the program are up to date.
  • Ensure financial reports and supporting documentation for funders are prepared as outlined in funding agreements.
  • Provide required information to have invoices generated and submitted to funders according to the established timelines.
  • Identify and evaluate the risks associated with program activities and take appropriate action to control the risks.
  • Monitor the program activities regularly and conduct an annual evaluation according to the program evaluation framework.
  • Report evaluation findings to the Executive Director and recommend changes to enhance the program, as appropriate.



University or College degree in a related field, such as project management, leadership, or social work, or equivalent experience.

Professional designation


Knowledge, skills, and abilities

  • Knowledge of program management.
  • Knowledge of client groups and/or issues related to the program area.
  • Proficiency in the use of computers for:
    • Word processing.
    • Simple accounting.
    • Databases.
    • Spreadsheets.
    • E-mail.
    • Internet.

Behavioural competencies

The Program Director should demonstrate competence in some or all the following:

  • Ethical behaviour: Understand ethical behaviour and business practices and ensure that your own behaviour and the behaviour of others is consistent with these standards and aligns with the organization's values.
  • Relationship development: Establish and maintain positive working relationships with others internally and externally to achieve the organization’s goals.
  • Effective communication: Speak, listen, and write in a clear, thorough, and timely manner using appropriate and effective communication tools and techniques.
  • Creativity and/or innovation: Develop new and unique ways to improve the organization's operations and create new opportunities.
  • Client focus: Anticipate, understand, and respond to the needs of internal and external clients to meet or exceed their expectations within organizational parameters.
  • Teamwork development: Work cooperatively and effectively with others to set goals, resolve problems, and make decisions that enhance organizational effectiveness.
  • Leadership: Positively influence others to achieve results that are in the best interest of the organization.
  • Decision-making: Assess situations to determine the importance, urgency, and risks, and make clear decisions that are timely and in the best interests of the organization.
  • Organization: Set priorities, develop a work schedule, monitor progress towards goals, and track details, data, information, and activities.
  • Planning: Determine strategies to move the organization forward, set goals, create, and implement actions plans, and evaluate the process and results.
  • Problem-solving: Assess problem situations to identify causes, gather and process relevant information, generate possible solutions, make recommendations, and resolve the problem.


Three to five years experience in a related field.

Working conditions

  • Program Directors usually work in an office environment, but the organization's mission may sometimes take them to nonstandard workplaces.
  • Program Directors work a standard work week but may be required to work evenings and weekends to monitor program activities.


Compensation for the position should be stated clearly including the position’s wage or salary, whether as a range or band, and any other direct compensation that the position is eligible for such as bonus pay or overtime pay. Benefits such as vacation, health insurance, pension, and other key employment policies can also be included in the job description, whether through links to relevant policies or detailed in full.


Equity clause

We provide equal employment opportunity for all applicants and employees and do not discriminate on the basis of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by local law.

We particularly encourage applications from Black people, Indigenous people, and people of colour, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ2+ community and those with varied areas of expertise and lived experiences.

Accessibility clause

We welcome and encourage applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

Important: Ensure multiple contact options are provided (such as phone and email).

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