The Specialist High Skills Major: Policy and Implementation Guide outlines the policy governing the Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program, includes information on planning and implementing an SHSM program, and provides various relevant resources.

In schools across Ontario, students are building brighter futures through SHSM programs in many varied and exciting high-demand professions. These innovative programs are an important part of Ontario's commitment to providing all students with learning choices and opportunities that genuinely meet their needs, interests, and aspirations, and ensuringthat Ontario's education system helps every student achieve their highest potential.

This document has been designed to provide the information boards and schools need to develop and implement an SHSM program, based on ministry policy and the experience of educators across the province.

How This Document Is Organized

The document consists of three parts:

Section A details SHSM policy, outlining the requirements for the program in each of the sectors in which it is now offered in Ontario schools.

Section B outlines SHSM implementation, organization, planning, and school considerations.

Section C includes the tools and resources found to be most useful to teachers and administrators.

Additional resources are available on the Ministry of Education website, with supplementary tools and information on each of the SHSM programs.

Useful Tools and Resources

Helpful online tools and resources that support the planning and implementation of SHSMs include:

  • the ministry's SHSM website, which provides direct links to sections included in this guide as well as to other helpful resources that support the SHSM;
  • the Ontario Educational Resource Bank (OERB), a password-protected site, which provides contextualized learning activities (CLAs);
  • the SHSM e-Community website, a password-protected site that provides educators with opportunities to share resources, including those specifically developed to support SHSM programs.

Throughout the document, look for the "Tools and Resources" icon. It identifies the tools and resources most relevant to each section of the guide.

We'd Like to Hear from You!

We hope you find this document useful and informative, and we welcome your comments and suggestions. As the SHSM programs continue to evolve and grow, we will be providing updates so that you always have the most current information. Please send your suggestions to the Ministry of Education's SHSM team by contacting the Student Success Policy Branch at