In the last issue of Evaluation, Steve Jacob and Yves Boisvert enumerate the pros, cons and challenges regarding the professionalization of evaluation. This article also presents initiatives that the Société québécoise d’évaluation de programme has attempted to address that issue.
Abstract. Debates on the professionalization of evaluation regularly fuel controversies. Evaluation literature contains varied points of view in favour of or against means of restricting access to the profession and quality control mechanisms. This article examines the aims pursued (e.g. institutionalization, quality improvement, ethical practice) and challenges faced by the promoters of the professionalization of evaluation. It also presents the mechanisms and means envisioned in Canada by the Société québécoise d’évaluation de programme (Québec Society of Programme Evaluation: SQEP) designed to address these points. These mechanisms include the drafting process of an evaluation charter, membership of a professional order and evaluator certification. This article is based on a documentary review and an analysis of semi-directed interviews conducted with current and former members of the SQEP and its administrative council. These results help to fuel debates in matters of the professionalization of evaluative practice which arise in most contexts where evaluation has reached a certain maturity