Since it began in 1977 NORTEP has operated under the governance of an elected board of directors composed of northerners, most of Aboriginal ancestry. In 1992 this nine-member NORTEP council was expanded to form a fifteen member Board of Governors, with representation from the Prince Albert Grand Council. In 1996 it was again expanded to seventeen to include Ile-a-la-Crosse and Creighton School Divisions.
Saskatchewan Education provides the Board with the funding for NORTEP/NORPAC, and the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, Tribal Councils and First Nations provide funding for Status students.
NORTEP/NORPAC is an affirmative action program, is registered with the Human Rights Commission, and primarily targets people of Indian and Metis ancestry for selection, both Status and Non-Status. Applications are therefore particularly welcomed from people of Aboriginal ancestry. Students of Non Aboriginal ancestry have also been selected, so that NORTEP/NORPAC encompasses the full spectrum of northern ancestry within its student population.
Selection of students begins with community based priorization of potential candidates followed by NORTEP/NORPAC screening, with the final selection being made by the NORTEP/NORPAC Board of Governors.
Students receive a NORTEP/NORPAC Student Allowance during the northern-based phase of their program, and textbooks, tuition fees and transportation are provided as well.
During the northern-based phase of their program, student accomodation is available in La Ronge, including bedrooms and kitchen facilities. Students provide their own meals and bedding.
During the on-campus phase of their program students may apply for regular student funding and student loans sponsored by the provincial and federal governments.