Approval Standards for Cannabis Certificate Programs

Promoting the highest standards of professionalism, credibility, and equity in the cannabis industry.

GF Institute Approval Standards

for Cannabis Certificate Programs

GFI approves certificate training programs that have been designed and developed in accordance with GFI standards and protocols.

The standards used by GFI to determine accreditation status are shown below:

1 | General Overview

1.1. The training program is created in accordance with a formal instructional design plan that follows training and educational best practices

1.2. The instructional design includes the following:

  • The process by which a training needs analysis is conducted to identify learner needs, inform the design and development of the training program, and how the training program is deployed and evaluated
  • The process by which the training needs analysis informed the program’s purpose, scope, learning outcomes, requisites and term of the certificate
  • The process of ensuring the above is regularly reviewed and evaluated and any changes are consistently communicated to the target audience of the training program

2 | Course & Course Assessment: Design & Development


2.1. The training program is designed and developed by appropriately qualified personnel and follow training and education industry generally accepted practices.

2.2. The training program must be designed and aligned with its purpose, scope, and intended learning outcomes and

2.3. The training program’s final assessment must be designed and developed by appropriately qualified personnel and be aligned with the intended learning outcomes.

2.4. The program must provide mechanisms to allow learners to provide feedback on the content, the assessment and delivery method of the training program,

2.5. The assessment scoring system must be designed by appropriately qualified personnel and use methods consistent with the learning outcomes and purpose of the training. The results of the assessment must be communicated to participants in a consistent, timely, and appropriate manner

3 | Program Evaluation


3.1. The training program, and assessment, must be subject to a regular evaluation to ensure the ongoing quality and effectiveness of the program against its stated objectives

3.2. The evaluation must include a process to ensure that any changes to the program’s purpose, scope, or learning outcomes are adjusted in a timely manner

4 | Formal Assessment Design & Scoring

4.1. The parameters for writing multiple choice questions must include the following:

  •  Use plausible distractors
    o Only use plausible distractors
    o Write the options so that they are homogenous in content

  • Use a question format
    o We encourage multiple choice items to be prepared as questions, rather than incomplete statements

  • Emphasize higher level thinking
    o These questions require students to recall principles, rules, or facts in a real world context, wherever possible

  • Keeping all options of similar length
    o Avoid making the correct answer longer or shorter than the detractors

  • Placement of the correct answer
    o We balance the correct answers so they may be the first, second, third, or fourth option so that no pattern can be distinguished

  • Be grammatically correct
    o The use of simple, precise, and unambiguous wording

  • Avoiding clues to the correct answer
    o Avoid answering one question in the test by giving answers somewhere else in the test
    o Avoid extreme terminology   –  E.g. never, always, only
    o Avoid nonsense words and unreasonable statements

  • Avoid negative questions

  • Use only one correct option
    o Alternative distractors should be mutually exclusive and not overlapping

  • Use only a single clearly defined problem and include the main idea in the question
    o Learners must know what the problem is without having to read the response options

  • Avoid all the above and none of the above options


4.2. All assessments within the programs are multiple choice, single answer questions. Each multiple choice question is equally weighted and earns one point for each correct answer. All instructional designers receive training on the parameters for writing multiple choice questions

Assessments must be provided to an independent steering committee/advisory group for their suitability and difficulty level.

Before being included in the exams, all new questions are piloted to a sample of at least 10 learners to attest to their difficulty level.

5 | Regular Certificate Program Evaluation

5.1. Overview

Training evaluation is the systematic process of analyzing training programs to ensure that they are delivered effectively and efficiently.

Training evaluation identifies training gaps and discovers opportunities for improving training programs. Collecting feedback is a critical component to be able to assess whether training programs are able to achieve intended outcomes, and the training materials and resources used are aligned to relevant industry standards.

5.2. Benefits

Evaluation of training provides comprehensive feedback on the value of the training programs and their effectiveness in achieving their intended goals. It assists management to better understand and identify skill gaps to analyze the desired outcomes of training programs. It also assists to:

  • Identify issues and improving the overall processes of training programs;
  • Analyze the effectiveness of training materials
  • Support continuous change in career development; and
  • Assess the overall training experience of the participants.

The training evaluation process is broken down into 4 separate stages outlined below:

Step 1: Evaluation Model

Green Flower adopts a combination of the Kirkpatrick and Phillips training evaluation model. This model breaks down the evaluation process into 5 levels:

  • Level 1: Reaction – Assesses how the learner’s responded to the training. This is measured with the use of a survey form given to the participants to complete after the training program
  • Level 2: Learning – This level measures what participants have learned from the training. Short quizzes and tests are used in this level to measure the changes in participant’s knowledge and skills
  • Level 3: Behavior – This assesses behavioral change from the participants as a result of training. This is measured through workplace observations, comparing before and after training behaviors
  • Level 4: Results – The final step measures and evaluates the result of the training program against the organization or stakeholder’s expectations. It reviews whether participants of the training have met their learning objectives.–
  • Level 5: Return on investment (ROI) – This added level is designed to measure the ROI with the use of cost-benefit analysis to compare the monetary value of the business outcomes with the costs of the training program(s)


Step 2. Determining indicators of training effectiveness

To effectively evaluate the training programs, we have determined the following factors/indicators as indicative of the programs success. Such indicators include:

  • New skills and knowledge acquired
  • Quality of learning experience
  • Employee satisfaction at their success
  • Cultural impact on the cannabis industry
  • Reduction in employee turnover


Step 3. Methodologies for collecting data

The training evaluation methods uses include:

  • Questionnaires/surveys – these are sets of questions used for gathering statistical information from participants and usually provided once the learner has completed the program
  • Interviews –Interviews help provide additional valuable and detailed information on the employee’s experience with the training. Interviews are conducted on the student and employer level
  •  Steering Committee feedback –used to investigate the stakeholder’s insight towards the training and to gather feedback on how the training can be improved.
  •  Client feedback – One of the most important methods of collecting data and to discover behavior change of employees once training program complete


5.3. Analyze Data

The final step is to analyze the data collected and to document the findings of the performed training evaluation. Evaluation must be carried out at least annually.

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