Conference Delegate Selection

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Conference delegate selection is the process by which schools select students to represent them at conferences.

Best Practices

Delegate Selection

There are 4 main conferences held by ESSCO each year, in addition to the variety of conferences made available by external organizations such as the Candian Federation of Engineering Students. Conferences allow students to make lasting relationships with their peers from across the country and give Engineering Societies the opportunity to share best practices while attending professional workshops and development sessions. It is the responsibility of the Engineering Societies, usually the Vice President External, to chose respectful and enthusiastic delegates who will make the most of these opportunities. Some guidelines established by the ESSCO Council include:

  1. The best delegates are those who can go back to your student society and actually implement what they learn.
  2. Generally, it is best to bring people who are already involved in your society or who are definitely trying to become involved.
    • Occasionally, schools might bring delegates in order to get them involved. Though this is a bit riskier, it may be the only option if your school doesn't already have very many people involved or trying to be involved
  3. Some schools value delegates that are social and enthusiastic, and others do not look for this specifically (i.e. "if you have a position on our EngSoc, you're already social enough to get things done"). In any case, do not ever bring anyone to a conference solely for the purpose of having a fun time.
  4. Different selection criteria might be necessary for PEO-SC and NCWIE because they are not EngSoc-focused conferences (they are professional development conferences). Such criteria could be interest in regulatory affairs, interest in professional associations, interest in the future of the profession, etc.
  5. Interviews are helpful when many people apply and the selection committee doesn't already know them.
  6. Whatever your delegate selection criteria is, have it documented in a policy to ensure consistency.

Conference Reports

See also: Conference Reports Repository

  1. Conference reports can:
    • help delegates reflect on what they learned and how they can follow up.
    • let the rest of your society know what happens at conference.
    • obtain feedback for conference host schools and organizations that can be used to improve the next conference or the organization itself.
  2. Post conference reports online to increase accessibility of the reports to the common student.
  3. Write an article for your student newspaper about what happened at the conference, to share the information to your student population.
  4. Have a question about conference logistics (which can help future organizers), and have a question about delegates' impressions of ESSCO or the CFES (to help those organizations plan better content).
  5. Collect a deposit to be returned when a report is submitted, to help ensure that delegates write reports.


Each school was asked to answer the following set of questions about how they choose their delegations to student society conferences:

  1. Who makes the decision? If there’s a committee, who’s on the committee?
  2. Do you have written guidelines? If so, please provide a link.
  3. What are the main criteria (i.e. what are the key qualities you look for in delegates)?<
  4. Do you have different criteria for delegates to PEO-SC and NCWIE? If so, what are they?
  5. Are your delegates required to write conference reports? Please provide a link if they get posted online.
  6. Any other relevant info?

School Responses

Carleton University

  1. VP External; through a written application and an individual interview with each applicant.
  2. Yes, there is a section on it in our Policy Manual. However, the VP External Transition Report has more detailed information.
  3. It can vary from conference to conference. In general delegates must be enthusiastic with a willingness to learn no matter what level of involvement they have. The delegates for some conferences are a mix of both involved and less involved people. but in some situations it is best to bring people who are very involved at the time of the conference because sessions could have a more immediate effect on our Student Society.
  4. No, the selection process is the same.
  5. They are required to write articles for the Irontimes; our student newspaper.

Conestoga College

  1. Our VP External collects applications and then has other executives or council members who are not going to the conference in question decide.
  2. Currently we don't, but we are in the process of finalizing our process.
  3. The main thing we look for when selecting delegates is enthusiasm, excitement and the desire to learn the topics discussed at the conference in question.
  4. Yes we do. The main exception is that no executive members other than the VP External attend them. We also like to bring delegates to these conferences that may not have attended a conference before.
  5. Yes, we highly encourage our delegates to write conference reports.
  6. Our selection process involves a double blind process. The VP External collect applications and removes all info that ties the application to that person. They then number all the applications and send them to either an executive of council member who will not be going and based purely off the application decide who will be attending such conference.

Lakehead University

  1. All executive members: President, Vice-President External, Vice-President Academic, Vice-President Publications, Vice-President Finance, Vice-President Administration, Vice-President Social.
  2. All written guidelines are placed in a book located within our office, apologies but no link available.
  3. Key qualities are really looking for motivation and determination. What will the delegate bring back if selected for a conference?
  4. Selection process same as 2 and 3 above.
  5. Yes, again working on the online issue at the moment.
  6. As well as a written letter from the delegate on why they want to go and what they know before hand of the conference, something new we tried when selecting delegates for FYIC this past years was to have a group interview and get sense of who would best represent our society.

Laurentian University

  1. The Vice-President External is the one making the final decision. The VP External is assisted by the rest of the executives including President, VP Admin, VP Finance and VP social in order to select a proper delegation.
  2. There are no guidelines at this date but a document will be available in the near future.
  3. When choosing the delegates their past and present involvement within the EngSoc is a factor that is considered. Students that can be seen applying what they will have learnt to the EngSoc will also be favored. Being sociable and enthusiastic is also an important criteria.
  4. The students that are selected are usually upper-year students (third and fourth year). The rest of the criteria remain the same as outlined in 3.
  5. They are required to write a report, the online document will also available within the near future.
  6. In the past, conference reports were not implemented but are now become a mandatory document that must be submitted within 14 days of the last day of the conference.

McMaster University

  1. The committee is chaired by the Vice-President external and consists of the CRO, the director of public relations, and one council member not attending the conference.
  2. The policy manual states that interested applicants need to apply, meeting requirements chosen by the VP External.
  3. Generally, the application requests answers about why they should be allowed to attend the conference and what they can contribute to the conference. Factors that influence the decision include: past present and intended future involvement with the McMaster Engineering Society (MES) or the host organization (ESSCO or CFES), ability and willingness to help fund-raise, as well as enthusiasm, maturity, and involvement in extra-curricular activities.
  4. We do not have different criteria for different conferences. It is up to the discretion of the VP External to select the candidates they believe best suit each conference.
  5. Delegates are required to fill out reports, which get combined into one conference report by the VP External and posted on the MES website.

Ryerson University

  1. Vice-President External makes the decision with the help of the Board of Directors.
  2. There are no written guidelines at this time, but are often included in the transition report for the benefit of the new VP External.
  3. It varies from conference to conference, we like bring enthusiastic people with a willingness to learn so that they may benefit from the sessions. The delegates for some conferences are new to Eng Socs but others have been involved for a while.
  4. PEO-SC and NCWIE we look for responsible students who can both have a professional attitude and outgoing character. They are not involved with RESS unless they are the WIE Chair and have a lot to gain from the conferences. They are upper year students with an strong interest in the subjects.
  5. Yes, we have not posted this year’s online yet.
  6. We use deposits to ensure delegates a) attend sessions, b) write a conference report c) they share the knowledge they acquire at conferences with other students through word of mouth and other forms of social media.

University of Guelph

  1. VP External decides on all except Congress. A committee is made for CFES Congress.
  2. Policy manual is here
  3. Key qualities are how much the person wants to go and how much the person is going to benefit as an individual but also how much the individual can bring back to the society.
  4. Process is the same.
  5. Conference reports are written and published online. They can be found here

University of Ontario Institute of Technology

  1. Vice-President External makes the decision. We send out an invitation and a link for people to send their written application. VP External chooses the best candidates, often consulting EngSoc President.
  2. Their are no written guidelines at this time. Should be in the near future.
  3. Ability to gain experience from the conference. Represent the school in a positive manner. Ability to engage in discussions with other delegates.
  4. No, similar criteria. However the questions we use to filter are more directed towards those conferences.
  5. To receive reimbursement for conferences delegates must write a report.

University of Waterloo

  1. Vice-President External chooses the delegation.
  2. There isn’t any written guidelines regarding the selection of a delegation. However, we just struck a Policy Manual and Constitution Review Committee and we can add a section to the Policy Manual.
  3. We don’t have any concrete criteria for selection. But mainly we look for involvement/extracurriculars, what can they bring back to EngSoc, and general awesomeness.
  4. Yes the questions on the applications of PEO-SC and NCWIE tend to be more focused on the conference (So the PEO and the Engineering Profession for PEO-SC, and issues regarding women in engineering for NCWIE). Also, Women In Engineering (WIE) directors are automatically extended an invite for NCWIE.
  5. We recently started enforcing conference reports.

University of Western Ontario

  1. Vice-President External and Committee. Committee are members of Council.
  2. No. Any future guidelines that may be added would be in our By-Laws.
  3. Those who are actually looking for a learning experience more than a social one. We look for involvement in Engineering Community. Those who will be able to bring back info learned to UES.
  4. There are no different criterion for delegates.
  5. No they are not. They usually take notes and present a slideshow afterwards at the following council meeting of what they learned.

University of Windsor

  1. Vice-President External makes the decision. The Vice President External usually turns to the exec members who are not applicants to help select delegates.
  2. Guidelines are stated in Article 7 of our Policy Manual.
  3. The main criteria used to choose delegates are how much they’ve been involved with our EngSoc, how much they plan on being involved in the future, and how their attendance to the conference will benefit themselves, our Engsoc and the general engineering student body.
  4. For selecting PEOSC and NCWIE the selection criteria varies, but we look to send delegates who will personally benefit from this type of conference and promote their involvement upon return from the conference.
  5. Delegates are required to write conference reports and submit them within 2 weeks of returning from the conference. Our documents are posted by year and are available here. To view the reports, click on the specific year and there is usually a section for conference reports.
  6. We started a new practice recently. We have the delegates pay a small deposit before going to the conference. Once their report is submitted and is adequate, their deposit is returned. Otherwise, we keep the deposit.

York University

  1. The Vice-President External makes the final decision, but often consults the rest of the execs for their opinions.
  2. There are no written guidelines as of yet; however, VP Externals tend to share common practices in their transition reports.
  3. We tend to choose delegates that are more active with EngSoc and that are appropriate for a given conference (ex. first years for FYIC, etc). Beyond that, it is more of a first-come-first-served.
  4. We do not have different criteria between PEO-SC and NCWIE.
  5. Delegates are required to write a conference report. They pay for the full amount of the conference and receive a reimbursement when their reports are submitted and approved.