To qualify for the 2011 / 2012 National Development Team the following criteria must be met:
- 2011 World Single Distance Championships Competitors not already qualified for National team
- Skaters with a ISU World Cup Final Ranking per distance between 21 – 28
- 2011 World All Round Championships competitors not already qualified for National team
- 2011 World Sprint Championship competitors not already qualified for National team
- The top 2 ranked skaters per distance and gender from the 2010–11 Canadian Ranking List not already selected to the National Team
- The top skater per distance overall from the National Ranking competitions if not already selected to National team (National Ranking Competitions include the Canadian Single Distance Championships, North American Championships and Canada Cups 1,2,3 and Final)
- Skaters who finish in a top 8 and top 1/3 of field position overall at the 2011 World Junior Championship
- Skaters who finish in a top 8 and top 1/3 of field position for any individual distance at the 2011 World Junior Championship
If a skater withdraws from the National Development team prior to the 1st World Cup of the 2011–2012 season, they may at the absolute discretion of the HPC, be replaced by the next ranked skater in the respective distance from the 2010–11 Canadian Rankings List.
If the skater earned their Development Team position from multiple distances then the next ranked skater from each specific distance may replace them.
Athletes nominated to National Development team receive a "Development Card" which entitles them to $900 per month in financial assistance from Canadian Heritage via Sport Canada.
Each year a skater spends on the National Development team they receive one free year of post-secondary education at an approved Canadian institution.