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Section II: Analysis of Program Activities By Strategic Outcome

Analysis by Program Activity

Strategic Outcome

Public Servants have the common knowledge and leadership and management competencies required to effectively serve Canada and Canadians

During 2007-2008, the School delivered:

905 learning opportunities
In 2,355 offerings
To 203,670 learners
Over 293,350 learning days

Program Activity 1.1: Public servants able to perform in their current job, take on the challenges of the next job in a dynamic, bilingual environment


Financial Resources (in thousands $)
Planned Spending Authorities Actual Spending
$60,122 $102,765 $86,040

 


Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
648 582 66

Providing public servants with learning activities aligned with Public Service management priorities, contributing to a professional and effective Public Service.

This Program Activity is supported by three key sub-activities:

  • Strengthen capacity of public servants to meet the employer's knowledge standards;
  • Public sector management and professional foundations are built and sustained through targeted learning; and
  • Facilitate official languages capacity.

Program Sub-Activity 1.1.1: Strengthen capacity of public servants to meet the employer's knowledge standards

Building individual capacity based on consistent standards for learning and performance across the Public Service.


Financial Resources (in thousands $)
Planned Spending Authorities Actual Spending
$23,298 $17,264 $17,171

Authority Delegation Training

The Policy on Learning, Training and Development requires all managers in the core public administration (ie.: Schedule I and Schedule IV of the Financial Administration Act) to complete training and knowledge assessment of their legal responsibilities upon their appointment to a new level of responsibilities. Through this training, managers acquire the knowledge required to exercise their delegated authorities, further enabling their ability to perform effectively in their current jobs.

The School delivered 301 ADT courses:

  • 181 courses to 3,992 participants in the National Capital Region, and
  • 120 courses to 2,675 participants in the regions.

During the last fiscal year, over 6,600 learners participated in Authority Delegation Training (ADT) class offerings delivered across the country. The demand for ADT courses was much higher than originally anticipated (33 percent more than projected), primarily due to the large number of participants wishing to take this training for developmental purposes. Such results directly support the objectives of the Policy on Learning, Training and Development and contribute towards the development of a skilled, well trained workforce by providing managers at all levels with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively exercise their delegated authorities and ensuring public servants are preparing for their next challenge.

The ADT courses are regularly reviewed to ensure relevance and accuracy in relation to the employer's knowledge standards and to respond to participant feedback. ADT courses received an overall average rating of 4.22/5 in the learner satisfaction evaluations. In 2007-2008, a review of ADT courses was completed and modifications and improvements were subsequently made to priority areas. An ongoing process to ensure alignment with the employer's knowledge standards was also established.

Orientation to the Public Service Program

Under the Policy on Learning, Training and Development, the Orientation to the Public Service Program is foundational training that is essential to helping all newly appointed public servants develop a common knowledge base to better adapt to their new environment and fully contribute to the mandate, priorities and objectives of the Government of Canada and their respective departments and agencies. The program is part of the employer-mandated required training identified in the Policy, as a means of supporting Deputy Ministers in their accountabilities for learning and training, by ensuring that all new employees share a common understanding of their role as public servants.

In 2007-2008, work began to redesign the Orientation to the Public Service Program to respond to both client requests for regional delivery and to develop a more comprehensive blended learning approach. The blended learning approach will shift the course format from two days of in-class training to a one-day classroom session, complemented by online training. The new approach will create efficiencies that will enable the School to meet increasing demand (associated with the renewal priority of recruitment) for this training within existing resources.

Orientation to the Public Service reached 7,252 new public servants. In 2007-2008:

  • 40 sessions were delivered in the National Capital Region;
  • 23 sessions were delivered in the regions between September and March; and
  • Received an overall average rating of 3.84/5.

Ensuring that senior leaders develop the capacity to meet their accountabilities and lead their organizations is a priority for the Public Service. The Clerk of the Privy Council's 15th Annual Report to the Prime Minister underscored the need to manage the transition to "a considerably younger and less experienced generation of managers and leaders." The School offers Orientation sessions for Deputy Ministers, Heads of Federal Agencies and Assistant Deputy Ministers that focus on the challenges in assuming new accountabilities. For Assistant Deputy Ministers, the Orientation session also includes the required online assessment for Authority Delegation.

In 2007-2008, over 100 senior leaders participated in these Orientation sessions. The average score on Assistant Deputy Minister session evaluations was 4.0/5, while Deputy Minister and Heads of Federal Agency sessions received scores of 4.3/5 and 4.4/5, respectively.

Campusdirect

Through Campusdirect, the School's online learning platform, public servants have access to a wide variety of online learning products to support classroom courses, Authority Delegation Training and assessment, certification programs for functional communities, as well as foundational and leadership training.

Through its online learning platform, Campusdirect, the School was able to substantially extend the reach of its course offerings to large numbers of learners:

  • Participation in CSPS courses increased 208%; and
  • Use of online second language tools increased 139%.

Further to serving as a key means of access to learning and an effective complement to CSPS-built systems, Campusdirect was used in 2007-2008 as the evaluation portal for the School's Authority Delegation Training program, as well as an access point for the School's language retention and maintenance tools. The language learning tools were an area of impressive growth in the use of e-learning within the Public Service.

Campusdirect has over 147,000 user profiles with access to over 200 custom courses developed by the School to meet the specific needs of government departments, as well as over 700 commercial courses purchased from organizations such as Harvard. In 2007-2008, Campusdirect registered nearly 24,000 learners, demonstrating the value of technology-supported learning and the convenience and accessibility of online training. The increased use of Campusdirect year-over-year reflects public servants' growing preference for this type of training delivery.

The School piloted new collaborative technologies, such as Web conferencing, communities of practice (i.e.: Web 2.0, social networking), podcasting, virtual classroom and other interactive initiatives, and will continue to develop its expertise and service provision capacity in e-learning.

Program Sub-Activity 1.1.2: Public sector management and professional foundations are built and sustained through targeted learning

Providing functional specialists with the acquisition and maintenance of knowledge, skills and competencies related to their level and functions


Financial Resources (in thousands $)
Planned Spending Authorities Actual Spending
$15,029 $37,473 $27,212

Functional communities are identified and strengthened through specialized learning

Functional communities are comprised of public servants who share common work purposes, functions and professional interests. These communities help their members meet high professional standards as well as fulfill their personal, professional and career development needs and aspirations. In 2007-2008, the School worked with key functional communities to systematically establish customized learning frameworks addressing strategic issues and key priorities identified through Public Service Renewal. During this period, the School provided 756 courses to 14,087 specialists within functional communities. In addition, 8,634 learners attended professional and management development offerings. In total, the School provided learning solutions to 22,721 participants in various functional communities.

Training of functional specialists increased by 50% when including training required by the Treasury Board Policy on Learning, Training and Development.

Over the last year, the School has undertaken a series of initiatives to meet the high demand and to better respond to the needs of the functional communities targeted by the Policy on Learning, Training and Development: Information Management (IM) and Procurement, Materiel Management and Real Properties (PMMRP). To meet the higher-than-anticipated demand, the School prioritized its offerings for PMMRP, ensuring that departments with the highest need (for example, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) and the Department of National Defence (DND), which together represent 55 percent of the total PMMRP learner population) received timely access. Three overview courses were transformed into online courses, and two others were redesigned into a large audience seminar format to serve more experienced specialists. In regards to the Information Management community, a steady state was achieved during 2007-2008 and demand can now be met with available course offerings.

The School has developed 17 new blended learning activities for human resources, finance and internal audit specialists and federal regulators, to address the evolving learning needs of these functional communities.

Other curricula developments were initiated for communities of communicators, federal regulators, science and technology, sustainable development, human resources (including compensation advisors), information technology specialists, financial officers and internal auditors. The development of these curricula has led to the creation of 20 new courses aimed specifically at functional community learner needs, directly supporting the requirement to provide public servants with the knowledge necessary to carry out their responsibilities and prepare for the next challenge.

Program Sub-Activity 1.1.3: Facilitate Official Languages capacity

Facilitating a coordinated approach to Official Languages capacity to ensure the Public Service maintains a bilingual capacity, recognizing that a second official language is acquired and maintained through lifelong learning.


Financial Resources (in thousands $)
Planned Spending Authorities Actual Spending
$21,795 $48,028 $41,657

A new model for language training

The School transitioned to a new language training model on April 1, 2007, in keeping with Deputy Heads' accountability for determining learning needs in their organizations and to create a more equitable balance of responsibility among the employer, departments and employees. The new model focuses on quality assurance, maintenance of official languages proficiency and better integration of bilingualism in the workplace.

Quality assurance

The quality assurance service provides monitoring of the Master Standing Offer and respect for the evaluation standards and criteria for pre-qualified suppliers. Mechanisms for monthly reporting and regular evaluation of learner satisfaction are at the core of quality assurance. These standards and processes aim at monitoring the program and gathering information to ensure timely actions in order to provide improved products and services to clients and transparent reports that support effective decision making and optimized management of resources.

A Master Standing Offer (MSO) for the National Capital Region was launched on November 16, 2007. The MSO has six pre-qualified private sector suppliers and a capacity of 102 training groups, for a maximum of approximately 900 learners. Subject to two 12-month extensions, the MSO will be in effect until the end of 2011.

To extend access to pre-qualified suppliers outside the National Capital Region, in February 2008 the School undertook a joint initiative with Public Works and Government Services Canada to implement a National Master Standing Offer to deliver full-time and part-time language training beginning in 2010-2011. An interdepartmental advisory working group was created to determine client service needs. These measures optimize efficiency by lowering administrative costs, setting clear terms and conditions and reducing time consuming negotiation of separate contracts, thereby increasing the overall effectiveness of the program.

In addition to this quality assurance focus on private sector suppliers, the School also tests new technologies and methodologies through pilot classes. During the reporting period, 16 developmental training courses, available in English and French as a second language, were provided.

Official languages learning in the workplace

A total of 68 language teachers were located on-site in 26 departments in the National Capital Region, reaching approximately 1,800 students with language maintenance and individually tailored language learning approaches. On-site teachers providing customized services become change agents within the organizations, providing continuous bilingual exposure and helping departments and agencies achieve their bilingualism goals.

To maintain consistency in learning approaches and to share best practices, the School offered some 15 teacher training sessions to over 300 participants during the last quarter of the year.

Language learning and maintenance tools

In 2007-2008, the number of online language tools doubled, bringing the total number of products (blended and self-paced) to 67. These products were accessed by over 62,000 learners. Language training products are regularly among the most popular products on Campusdirect. In 2007-2008, the popularity of these products increased by 139 percent over the previous year.

The development of other tools is ongoing, including: the Programme de franais langue seconde - Niveaux A et B (self-paced) and the Linguistic Maintenance and Acquisition Cycle. Both products are scheduled to be piloted in 2008-2009.

Examples of regional language training initiatives include:

  • Part-time training on a continuous basis in Newfoundland;
  • Language training via Web conferencing in Quebec;
  • A partnership with the Manitoba Federal Council and a Forum on Maintaining French in the Central Prairies; and
  • Offerings such as Cration d'un environnement respectueux to allow participants to take a professional development course in their second official language.

These easy-to-access tools enable public servants to work on their language skills at their own pace, giving them the flexibility to continue to provide an improved bilingual service to Canadians while increasing their knowledge and abilities in their second language.

The regions, in collaboration with the National Capital Region, have contributed to the development of learning tools and methods to support the maintenance of language skills in a variety of ways. They have participated in the development of distance learning, conducted pilot projects, completed diagnostic tests, partnered with Regional Federal Councils to offer second language courses, organized forums to maintain language skills, promoted new tools and learning opportunities, and customized courses to better respond to retention and client needs. In this respect, the School's regional locations have delivered over 36,000 Official Languages training days to support continued demands in areas outside the National Capital Region.

Overall, the School delivered approximately 30 presentations nationally to launch language training products, reaching over 4,000 people. This resulted in significantly increased membership on Campusdirect by attracting and exposing new members to other available online learning products. Through these initiatives, the School has become a key player in encouraging and helping other departments and agencies to reach their goals in terms of official languages by giving them the means, the tools and the expert guidance necessary to foster a true bilingual culture.

Program Activity 1.2: Public Service has strong leaders delivering results for Canadians


Financial Resources (in thousands $)
Planned Spending Authorities Actual Spending
$11,588 $17,463 $17,056

 


Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
137 102 35

Renewing the Public Service by building strong leadership competencies for existing and emerging managers.

Three distinct sub-activities support this Program Activity:

  • Learning opportunities are accessible to enable public servants to become better leaders;
  • Systemic development of high potential public servants; and
  • Developing leaders with stronger contextual knowledge.

Program Sub-Activity 1.2.1: Learning opportunities are accessible to enable public servants to become better leaders

Ensuring that current and future leaders have the leadership competencies to deliver results and lead change.


Financial Resources (in thousands $)
Planned Spending Authorities Actual Spending
$4,881 $4,200 $4,153

Leadership development programs

A wide range of leadership courses, programs, seminars and events are offered to managers, executives and senior leaders in areas such as: foundations and basic knowledge, accelerating leadership development, strengthening leadership and management capacity, increasing knowledge on policy and management issues, increasing awareness of international perspectives, advancing leadership through academic study, and building capacity through organizational learning.

Leadership course delivery reached over 4,686 managers, executives and senior leaders.

During 2007-2008, leadership course delivery was expanded to over 2,000 participant training days, representing a 12 percent increase over 2006-2007. Course material was delivered through luncheons, learning days and orientation for Deputy Ministers, Assistant Deputy Ministers and Heads of Federal Agencies, as well as seminars to the communities on their role as accounting officers. These courses consistently scored over 4.5/5. Interactive seminars on topics such as appearing before parliamentary committees were very well attended and highly requested. Course evaluations generally indicated that leadership courses, seminars and events were consistently well received. To more easily facilitate the provision of leadership development programs and services, Master Standing Offers were implemented.

In support of Public Service Renewal priorities associated with fostering leadership at all levels, a framework was developed to guide leadership learning. Through this initiative, both individual and organizational leadership are connected to maximize the capacity of the Public Service to deliver results now and into the future. This model empowers individuals at all levels to exercise leadership, and supports a culture where leadership is exercised across networks, organizations and beyond. This framework was disseminated using various mechanisms, including the 2007-2008 Leadership Reference Guide, presentations about the School, through a committee of Deputy Ministers, speeches by senior officials, etc. The Senior Leaders Network was also launched, with twelve coaching/mentoring sessions between former and current senior leaders taking place.

The 360 degree feedback instrument was developed in collaboration with the Centre for Creative Leadership in the United States. It integrates the U.S.' vast experience in feedback tools with the Government of Canada Leadership Competencies, and as such is a world-class instrument for assessing the leadership competencies of federal public servants. The instrument is available online, in both languages, and has been successfully offered to participants in several leadership development programs and courses. It can provide an overall picture of a group of individuals such as a management team. It also enables the collection of baseline data for different levels in the Public Service, over time allowing the School to assess individuals and organizations against benchmarks both within and outside the Public Service.

A diagnostique was conducted to identify current and future leadership learning needs and three new courses were conceptualized. Two three-day courses were successfully designed, developed and piloted with executives: Leading in Times of Crisis, and Engaging Citizens, Stakeholders and Partners. A third course on employee engagement and short professional workshops are also being designed and developed and will be offered in 2008-2009. Diagnostic results will continue to be used to inform executive leadership development strategies and School programming over the coming years.

In support of diversity, the School continued to offer its two Aboriginal Program courses and worked with Aboriginal elders and community leaders to refine the educational elements in leadership development courses. A strategy will be developed to enable the School to take a broader national role in Aboriginal leadership development.

Program Sub-Activity 1.2.2: Systemic development of high potential public servants

Providing structured and comprehensive career development learning programs to high potential public servants that support succession planning at the corporate and government-wide level.


Financial Resources (in thousands $)
Planned Spending Authorities Actual Spending
$3,217 $10,886 $10,815

New leadership programming, combined with increased activity in existing programs, resulted in an 86% increase in learning days.

A key element of Public Service Renewal is the need to accelerate and broaden the development of leaders at all levels, including entry-level managers. The School has been working on a strategy to overhaul and align its leadership development suite and programming to support this need. Overall participation in the corporate leadership development program, specifically in the learning activities of the Management Trainee Program (MTP), Career Assignment Program (CAP), including Direxion, and Accelerated Executive Development Program (AEXDP) increased by 50 percent compared to the previous fiscal year. The MTP, CAP and AEXDP programs received an overall rating of 4.3/5. Evaluations for Direxion indicate that the program is contributing positively to participants" leadership development. The School"s Living Leadership Program launched a new cohort of 34 participants in January 2008.


CSPS Corporate Leadership Development Programs Continuum
Target Level Leadership Development Programs
Aspiring Managers
(EX minus 3 to EX minus 4)
Management Training Programs (MTP) and ileadership
Managers
EX minus 1 to EX minus 2
Career Assignment Program (CAP) and Direxion *
First Level Executives
(EX-1 to EX-3)
Accelerated Executive Development Program (AEXDP) and Living Leadership: The Executive Excellence Program *
Senior Leaders Advanced Leadership Program
* The educational component open to non-program participants

The new Advanced Leadership Program (ALP) was implemented by the School in the fall of 2007 and responds directly to the impending retirements in the senior ranks of the Public Service, as identified by the Prime Minister's Advisory Committee on the Public Service. It is aimed at accelerating the development of high potential senior leaders to ensure continued excellence in service to Canadians. The content of the ALP is based on best practices in executive education. To date, feedback has been very positive and another cohort will undertake the Program in the fall of 2008.

Departmental consultations demonstrated the need for more leadership development programming for high performing individuals aspiring to become entry level leaders. Therefore, a needs assessment was conducted to explore the interest and viability of offering the educational component of the MTP as a new accelerated leadership development open enrolment program, along the lines of the Direxion model.

The program, called ileadership, which was launched in the spring of 2008, helps fill a gap in the accelerated leadership development continuum and provides a fully blended leadership development model. This model includes individual, community, organizational, assessment, field research and technology-based learning, supported by online collaboration tools.

Program Sub-Activity 1.2.3: Developing leaders with stronger contextual knowledge

Providing organizations and their leaders with leading-edge knowledge on trends and issues of strategic importance to the Public Service, with smart practices in public management and innovative solutions to common management problems, and encouraging the adoption and application of this knowledge in the pursuit of excellence.


Financial Resources (in thousands $)
Planned Spending Authorities Actual Spending
$3,490 $2,377 $2,088

Developing leaders for a modern Public Service in a globalized world is a priority within Public Service Renewal. Work was undertaken by the School to help increase Canadian public servants' contextual knowledge of international issues and understanding of the broader Public Service management role in a global context.

Senior leader learning activities have provided opportunities to focus on key management challenges, share best practices and hear from leading thinkers. A seminar series on management transformation was delivered in partnership with the Treasury Board Secretariat, and continuance of the series was requested by the Secretariat in 2008-2009. The School also organized Deputy Minister Seminars on leading domestic and international topics. Below the Senior Leader level, a session of How Washington Really Works was held and received highly favourable evaluations, and there were numerous Armchair Discussions on key topics.

In support of accountability objectives, the School strengthened its courses for newly appointed board members of Crown corporations. Two new courses were developed: the first focused on the machinery of government and its impact on Crown corporations, while the second course, entitled Financial Literacy in a Government Environment, discussed federal financial processes.

A third course on roles and accountabilities of boards and board members is being designed to replace the former course that had been offered.

A session of the International Executive Leadership Reflection and Action Program was delivered in Ottawa to Canadian and Irish senior public leaders, including counterpart meetings for Irish delegates. Programs such as this expose Canadian leaders to another perspective and allow sharing of common leadership challenges and best practices.

Strong relationships and international partnerships are continuously being developed with sister and government institutions, such as the Singapore Civil Service College and the National School of Government-United Kingdom, to explore various levels of collaboration. High quality initiatives have also been established while leveraging participation in the Commonwealth Association of Public Administration and Management. Programs such as Leadership Across Borders provide the additional opportunity to obtain an international perspective on key challenges facing Canada through on-site visits and counterpart meetings in foreign countries. Strong international networks and shared best practices result from these types of initiatives.

These relationships are used to keep up-to-date on the latest techniques to collaborate and build management skills and achieve a greater awareness of globalization pressures for Public Service leaders.

Program Activity 1.3: Public service organizations innovate to achieve excellence in delivering results for Canadians


Financial Resources (in thousands $)
Planned Spending Authorities Actual Spending
$15,158 $22,940 $19,081

 


Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
155 105 50

Enhance the performance and effectiveness of the Public Service by documenting and transferring innovations and best practices in public management.

The above Program Activity is supported by two key sub-activities:

  • Enhance capacity of organization; and
  • Knowledge on innovative management practices and current issues is transferred.

Program Sub-Activity 1.3.1: Enhance capacity of organizations

Providing a focal point for engaging organizations in aligning their learning agenda with departmental priorities in order to improve their performance.


Financial Resources (in thousands $)
Planned Spending Authorities Actual Spending
$6,924 $7,735 $6,744

Departmental Client Relations

The School's Departmental Client Relations function provides departments and agencies with a single window into the School to assist them in identifying their organizations' learning needs, provide information and advice on the full suite of the School's expertise and programming, and facilitate access to relevant School programming, including through customized learning solutions. It also facilitates the alignment of the School's programming to departmental and government-wide priorities. The School's Client Relations Portfolio Directors and Regional Directors work closely with Regional Federal Councils and departments and agencies to identify regional and organizational learning needs to inform the School's priority setting processes and review of its curricula. Consultation and collaboration has led to a significant increase of program delivery in regional locations.

The School increased customized learning delivery by about 25 percent in the National Capital Region and by about 40 percent in the regions, responding to departments' learning needs across the country.

Client Relations supports Deputy Heads in meeting their accountability for learning in their organizations by supporting a human resources management need within departments to build individual and organizational capacity aligned to deliver on plans and priorities.

Over the past year, the School's Client Relations Portfolio Directors have strengthened their rapport with Heads of Human Resources and Heads of Learning in 34 departments and agencies. This ongoing rapport was complemented through approximately 185 client outreach presentations to Deputy Head executive committees, groups within departments and interdepartmental forums.

The School's Departmental Client Relations function also identifies opportunities for collaboration across organizations for added synergies in Public Service learning, for example through the scanning for and sharing of leading practices and learning curricula. It also supports interdepartmental forums. For example, in support of the Policy on Learning, Training and Development, the Departmental Client Relations group provides departmental and agency Required Training Coordinators (RTC) with a single point of contact for advice, guidance and reporting requirements related to required training. In 2007-2008, meetings were held monthly with the RTC community (an average of 40 organizations represented) and answers were provided to more than 2,000 department- and agency-specific enquiries. Client Relations actively participated in, and co-chaired, monthly meetings of the Heads of Learning Forums and supports a virtual networking site for the community to promote information sharing on best practices.

As an evolving function, there will be an ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of Departmental Client Relations. To date, feedback from departments and Regional Federal Councils is positive, citing the value of a single window and the responsiveness of the School to organizations' learning needs.

Effectiveness of organizations is strengthened

The School supports learning and capacity building within the context of organizational change in the federal Public Service. The Strategic Change Group's (SCG) approach has been developed in collaboration with Queen's University and is aimed at supporting management teams and helping them acquire the tools and skills to realize change effectively.

Throughout 2007-2008, the School continued to work with departments undergoing transformation, including:

  • The Canadian Forces Health Services Group Transformation (Project Rx2000);
  • The Assistant Deputy Minister and executive management team of Human Resources and Social Development Canada; and
  • The new Aboriginal Economic Development Sector of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

A key element of success is that the School's approach focuses specifically on change processes in public organizations, using advisors from the Public Service who have experienced the challenges and issues at stake. As an integral part of the Deputy Heads' accountability for determining learning needs in their organizations, the SGC's services can be specifically geared toward supporting an organizational learning approach with client organizations. This enables the School to offer an integrated solution that combines both organizational and individual development.

As a new area of business for the School, there continues to be ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of the SCG business model and adaptation of the selection of tools and methods through post-intervention interviews and informal surveys with clients.

Program Sub-Activity 1.3.2: Knowledge of innovative management practices and current issues is transferred

The domestic and global environments are scanned, important trends and issues in public management are analyzed and awareness and understanding of them is built in the Public Service.


Financial Resources (in thousands $)
Planned Spending Authorities Actual Spending
$8,234 $15,205 $12,337

Ensuring greater understanding of emerging issues and supporting the adoption of innovative practices

The School launched its first "virtual" Armchair Discussion - via Webcast - on September 6, 2007. Since then, there have been:

  • Over 50 Webcasts
  • Over 2,500 participants
  • Average of 50 participants per session
  • Average of 50 minutes online attendance
  • Increase of 114% participation

Overall, virtual Armchair Discussions have:

  • Increased regional participation
  • Increased visibility
  • Enabled recycling of past broadcasts
  • Lowered cost and greenhouse emissions

Over the last year, the School shifted its focus from public management research and accompanying publications to an approach that fully integrates best practices in public management into a range of learning activities, such as course content, Armchair Discussions, online publications and some 20 seminars and workshops (including six Director General seminars and nine EX Forum events), as well as the 2007 Manion Lecture.

This approach yields two kinds of results: First, the process of identifying and validating best practices leads to the creation of related products and tools, and also engages and strengthens the relevant communities of practice. Second, integrating the teachable content of best practices into a wide range of individual learning programs, as well as organizational learning and change management interventions, taken together generate broad-scale promotion and dissemination across the Public Service.

A best practices research agenda, aligned with Public Service Renewal priorities, was established through liaison with other departments and agencies and consultations with partner and academic organizations (including via activities supported by the Innovative Public Management Research Fund). Collaboration across CSPS programs resulted in the targeted integration of best practices products and tools related to collective staffing processes, the Management Accountability Framework, and Integrated Planning into CSPS program and event offerings, as well as into course development, maximizing the transfer of innovative management best practices in those priority areas.

Another activity that was advanced through regional initiative was the development and implementation of communities of practice in the Public Service. The concept of a community of practice refers to the process of social learning that occurs when people who have a common interest in a subject are connected through online technology and collaborate over an extended period of time to share ideas, find solutions and build innovations. During the last fiscal year, 23 new virtual communities of practice were developed and implemented. The client departments included Justice Canada, the Public Service Commission, Heritage Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Natural Resources Canada and Service Canada. The other new communities of practice were implemented within the CSPS to meet the School's internal requirements as well as the needs of government-wide communities supported by the School. A total of 697 new members were added to the School's Communities of Practice Portal.

The majority of the School's university-related initiatives were realigned to strengthen capacities to deliver on CSPS and Public Service priorities. This included strengthening relations with universities through a major expansion and support of the Deputy Minister University Champions Program, promotion and support of the Public Servant-in-Residence Program, and work toward the development of a student research and recruitment initiative. This work has helped to support the new focus on best practices, as well as to encourage research and greater awareness regarding key Public Service management priorities, identify and launch projects with universities to advance shared priorities and facilitate the recruitment of talented graduates into the Public Service.