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ARCHIVED - Parks Canada

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Client Centred Service

Parks Canada has a long tradition of providing quality services to Canadians and international visitors. This is a key element of the long-standing Agency culture as portrayed in the Parks Canada Charter, which commits the Agency “to serve Canadians, working together to achieve excellence”.

1. Client Centred Programs and Services

Direct Visitor Services Includes services offered on-site at national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas including entry services, camping, heritage presentation programs and recreation services. Planning for these services is through the park, site or NMCA Management Plan.
Web site Meeting common look and feel guidelines, the Web site provides information on the Parks Canada mandate and policies, trip planning information as well as specific information on national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas.
Call Centre A bilingual, toll-free, public enquiry service providing trip planning support, basic information, referrals, fulfillment materials, and TTY service.
Campground Reservation Service Parks Canada’s Campground Reservation Service is a Government On-Line initiative through which campers can make a campground reservation by visiting the Internet service 24 hours a day or by dialling toll free to a call centre operating 12 hours a day. The service is available at 18 parks and includes over 30 campgrounds.

2. Client Satisfaction Levels

Direct Visitor Services Levels of visitors' satisfaction with several aspects of their visit are reported earlier in the report. High levels of visitor satisfaction are typical at Parks Canada facilities, consistent with the four Citizens First surveys (1998, 2000, 2003, 2005) that found national parks to be at or near the top of federal government services for quality.
Web site A nation-wide Web site survey of 1000 visitors to the site in 2004 found 65% of respondents were satisfied with their visit to the Parks Canada Web site. To complement this Web site survey, focus group testing with select respondents was completed to better understand expectations. In 2005, surveys and focus group testing were also completed on the Species at Risk and Time for Nature section of the website. Audience demographics were compiled, and it was found that nearly 65% of the people found the information they were seeking.
Call Centre A telephone survey in the fall of 2002 with 400 callers to the Parks Canada 1-888 number found that the percentage of satisfied clients was above the targets of 50% for very satisfied users and 85% of users satisfied with all aspects of the service from the call centre.
Campground Reservation Service Satisfaction has not yet been assessed.

3. Service Standards

Direct Visitor Services
See Background for Parks Canada’s 2006/07 Performance Report
Parks Canada expects 85% of users at each location surveyed should be satisfied or very satisfied and that 50% of users should be very satisfied with visitor services and heritage presentation.
Web site Parks Canada has not yet established performance targets for the Web site.
Call Centre Parks Canada expects 85% of Call-Centre users to be at least satisfied and 50% to be very satisfied. Parks Canada has also set standards with respect to timeliness (e.g. 85% of all calls that reach an information officer will be answered within three rings), accessibility (e.g. 95% of attempts to reach the service will be successful), and responsiveness and accuracy of information provided (e.g. determined by call monitoring).
Campground Reservation Service Parks Canada has set a number of standards for the reservation system including average speed to answer calls (i.e. four minutes), waiting time in queue (i.e. no more than 5% of callers held in queue more than 5 minutes), access (i.e. computer system downtime no more than 60 minutes per calendar month where reservations can not be completed), and service quality (i.e. no more than two errors per 1,000 reservations each calendar month, no reservation double booking of any facility during a calendar month).

4. Main Achievements in Improving Service from a Client Centred Perspective

Organizational Focus on enhancing visitor experiences In 2006 the External Relations and Visitor Experience Directorate was established to provide national policy guidance and strategic advice to the Executive Board and support to field units on all matters relating to the experience offered to visitors to national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas. The mandate of the directorate is to foster the client focus of Parks Canada to consistently respond to the needs and expectations of visitors through improved research, training, planning, service standards and performance indicators.
Investing in Services and Facilities The government is in the process of investing $209 million over five years and $75 million annually thereafter to undertake urgent capital repairs and rebuild assets that have reached the end of their serviceable lives. Parks Canada has also implemented a multi-year National Pricing Strategy through which revenues from fee increases will be earmarked for reinvestment in visitor facilities.
Parks Canada Guarantee Parks Canada guarantees excellent value and quality services, and empowers frontline staff to address client complaints immediately without undue process, including the refund of user fees. The Guarantee was introduced in 1998 and serves as the Agency’s primary tool for increasing client satisfaction and enhancing the perception of value for services to which user fees apply. It applies to on-site visitor services provided at all of Parks Canada’s locations.
Campground Reservation Service With this new service, introduced as a pilot in 2004, campers are provided peace of mind, by being able to conveniently reserve a campsite in advance of their arrival at the campground. To continue meeting the needs of campers who prefer not to reserve in advance, campsites remain available in several national park campgrounds on a first-come first-served basis.
Quality Visitor Services and Outstanding Visitor Experience Training Parks Canada has developed a quality visitor service training course as an integrated, adaptable one-day package for visitor services staff and other staff involved in supporting visitor services at the field level. Since 2003, over 3500 employees from across the country have successfully completed the full training course. The Outstanding Visitor Experience course was piloted in 2006. Updated in 2007, the course goal is to enhance the abilities of Parks Canada employees, partners, and volunteers to facilitate opportunities for memorable visitor experiences. The half-day interactive course explores what visitor experience is and how each staff, volunteer and partner contributes. An additional new module focuses on how best to engage in informal contacts with visitors.