The Council of Canadian Academies is an independent, not-for-profit organization that supports independent, authoritative, and evidence-based expert assessments that inform public policy development in Canada. The Council’s work encompasses a broad definition of science, incorporating the natural, social and health sciences as well as engineering and the humanities.
The Council began operation in 2005 and consists of a Board of Governors, a Scientific Advisory Committee and Secretariat. The Council draws upon the intellectual capital that lies within its three Member Academies: the Royal Society of Canada (RSC); the Canadian Academy of Engineering; and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.
Assessments are conducted by multidisciplinary panels of experts from across Canada and abroad. Expert panels directly address the question and sub-questions referred to them by sponsors. Assessments may also consider emerging issues, gaps in knowledge, Canadian strengths, and international trends and practices. Assessments provide government decision-makers, academia and stakeholders with the high-quality information required to develop informed and innovative public policy.
The Council is registered under the Canada Corporations Act. Its operations are supported by a $30 million endowment from the Government of Canada. This endowment entitles the federal government to refer up to five questions per year to the Council for assessment. The Council may also conduct assessments outside of its agreement with the government. Potential questions for assessment can be referred to the Council by foundations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, or any level of government. All assessment questions and the final reports, regardless of source, must be approved by the Council’s Board of Governors.