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Section IV: Other Items Of Interest

Program Activity 1.4: Corporate Services

Effective decision making supported through integrated advice, information strategies and the provision of high quality corporate services.

Financial Resources (in thousands $)
Corporate Services Planned Spending Authorities Actual Spending
Corporate Management $1,860 $8,345 $8,206
Corporate Administration $9,890 $18,157 $18,092
Human Resources $1,808 $3,910 $3,904
Registrar $3,029 $4,194 $1,751
Total Corporate Services $16,587 $34,606 $31,953


Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
228 228 0

Corporate governance enables the School to meet its strategic objectives

The School's Board of Governors established a regular meeting cycle for 2007-2009 that sequences Board meetings with the School's business planning process and the government's planning cycle. The schedule further enables the Board to play an instrumental role in strategic planning and in assessment and evaluation of the School's performance and financial results.

The Board held two regular meetings during 2007-2008. In May 2007, the meeting provided an opportunity for the Board to review the previous year's outcomes and results, and the October 2007 meeting provided an opportunity to engage the Board in forward planning.

In June 2007, the Minister tabled in Parliament the Board's Report to Parliament 2001-2006, in accordance with sub-section 19(3) of the Canada School of Public Service Act. The report highlighted the School's support of a more integrated approach to learning in the Public Service. It also recognized that the School will play an important role in Public Service Renewal by ensuring that public servants are equipped with the professional, management and leadership skills to serve Canadians. The Board committed to producing an addendum within 18 months that would set the School's strategic direction for the next five years, as well as establish an evaluation framework against which progress could be assessed. The addendum was tabled in Parliament in June 2008.

Effective policy and planning advice/analysis support corporate decision making process

During 2007-2008, steps were taken to strengthen the School's strategic planning and reporting processes through improved internal information sharing and an ongoing focus on horizontal coordination.

Through events such as senior executive retreats, Board of Governors meetings, branch retreats and an all-staff general assembly, the School's corporate direction and priorities are developed, established, adjusted and communicated throughout the year.

During the reporting period, the School worked through a planning cycle focused on better integrating the financial, human and operational elements of aligning its activities with performance objectives. Through this process, a three-year Integrated Business Plan was developed to highlight key CSPS business objectives, priorities and deliverables and link these with branch and individual accountabilities. This business plan is aligned with the Program Activity Architecture (PAA) and demonstrates how activities and priorities relate to the CSPS strategic outcome and program activity areas. Financial and human resources and the results of each project are delineated, with the aim of contributing to clear and accountable reporting of the School's activities, outputs and outcomes.

Effective communications and marketing support the School's agenda

In support of broader efforts to align learning more directly with key government priorities and departmental and agency needs, an integrated marketing strategy has been developed. This strategic approach includes market and client research and analysis; established marketing objectives; development of program proposals under a curriculum review process; linkages with business planning; and finalized marketing opportunities. Together, these components feed into the School's Web site strategy, promotion plans and outreach initiatives. Ongoing monthly analysis, promotions monitoring and learner behaviour assessments provide information needed for the School to fine-tune marketing initiatives in order to enhance its client service and overall performance results.

Within the School, communications support is managed in accordance with the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada. The Communications Directorate provides accurate information on various government-wide and branch initiatives, online tools, forms, etc. to School employees through the effective and continuous maintenance of the intranet site. In 2007-2008, the School increased awareness of both internal and external communications material through the development and delivery of online postings in the School's electronic newsletters (Notebook and Hot off the Press), through the President's electronic messages to employees and through various corporate information documents. A key initiative has been the development of a planning calendar which provides a comprehensive perspective on School operations. In addition, an online tool for connecting managers in the organization was developed and launched to support information-sharing and collaborative work.

Registration and learner reporting

During 2007-2008, more than 85,000 registration activities and more than 150,000 inquiries were managed by the School's Client Contact Centre. As a result of the Policy on Learning, Training and Development and the introduction of required training, registration activity has significantly increased by about 110 percent since the initiation of the implementation of the Policy.

Under the Policy, the School is required to report to Deputy Heads on their employees' completion of required training — each Deputy Head receives a report quarterly. As part of the reporting process, the School Registrar receives and manages the names of individuals identified by departments requiring training (to date about 60,000 names) and tracks their completion of the training. In January, the School implemented a Required Training Coordinators Portal which is used by approximately 210 users in 85 departments and agencies. The Portal has greatly facilitated the management of names and tracking of individuals requiring training for both the School and departments and agencies.

The Registrar also provides first-level technical support to the more than 130,000 users of the School's systems (Campusdirect, My Learning Planner, Required Training Coordinators Portal). These government-wide electronic platforms are part of the enabling infrastructure supporting Public Service Renewal.

The School is in the process of seeking approval to acquire an Integrated Learning Management System (I-LMS), with a view to full implementation over 2009-2010. The system will enable the School to more effectively and efficiently provide reports to Deputy Heads on employees' learning, respond to needs for increased operational efficiency and facilitate the ability to exchange information on employee learning in a standardized format with departments and central agencies.

With the cooperation of other departments and agencies, the I-LMS is being designed to ensure it can also be utilized as a standard Learning Management System across the government, and has been acknowledged by the Chief Information Officer of the Government of Canada as a shared system or "clustering" opportunity. In addition, standards were created in support of the Common End-to-End Human Resource Business Process initiative, as well as the infrastructure component of Public Service Renewal.

Learning evaluation and quality assurance

During the reporting period, the School's evaluation team implemented a quality assurance system to provide monthly tracking and in-depth reporting of client satisfaction results and trends. Results are communicated with management to support continuous improvement of products and courses. These evaluations also contribute to better understanding learner needs which enables the School to better tailor its learning events to provide public servants with the training they require to effectively serve Canadians.

The School's multi-year evaluation plan was established and approved by the Evaluation Committee and reviewed by the Board of Governors. The School's Evaluation Policy was updated and is awaiting approval, pending any final changes to and subsequent approval of the Treasury Board Evaluation Policy. In accordance with the Evaluation Plan, one formative evaluation, two performance reports, two quality assessments and one case study have been completed. Information from these reports informed the curriculum review process and decision-making within the School. An additional five formative evaluations are currently under way. A performance measurement framework, aligned with the PAA, was developed and will be phased in during 2008-2009.

A new client satisfaction and feedback questionnaire to evaluate courses was developed and piloted with a view to implementing an online evaluation tool. A set of standards and criteria was established to determine how effectively courses and events are performing and to monitor trends across fiscal years. Overall, the School's products and courses meet the standard set by the School of 4.0 on a 1 to 5 point scale.

In support of expanding its use of knowledge assessment methods, the School developed guidelines and organized a workshop for program managers to ensure consistency in the development and implementation of knowledge transfer assessment instruments. Course-specific questionnaires to assess knowledge gain have been developed for seven courses and implemented for three deliveries. The results are used at the pilot stage to inform course design in an effort to maximize learner capacity.

Integrated Regional Services

The School's operations are national in scope. In addition to the National Capital Region, the School has six regions across the country, offering learning opportunities to public servants at 11 locations. Each region is headed by a Regional Director responsible for delivery of a full suite of the School's learning offerings in their region, as well as client relations with Regional Federal Councils and with the regional operations of departments and agencies.

About 60 percent of public servants work outside of the National Capital Region. Regional operations are focused on supporting their learning needs; in 2007-2008, customized learning offerings in the regions increased by 40%.

Integrated Regional Services supports the regional offices by providing leadership to overall regional strategies and activities; co-ordination with regions in support of a consistent corporate approach across the country, while respecting regional differences; and ensuring a two-way information flow between the National Capital Region and regional offices to ensure the integration of regional considerations in the School's corporate decision making.

The School is striving to extend the reach of its offerings in the regions outside the National Capital Region to bring greater alignment with the demographics of the Public Service. In 2007-2008, the School continued to make progress in meeting this objective. While significant achievements are reflected within the program areas (as described in Section II), overall the School's regional operations have demonstrated strong performance:

Type of offering Regional percentage of School operations
  2006-2007 2007-2008
Learner days 30% 33%
Required training 31% 41%
Functional communities 25% 32%
Leadership 6.9% 7.6%

High quality corporate services and advice enable the School to meet its strategic objectives

Financial Services

In 2007-2008, a key focus was on efforts to improve the School's internal controls, readiness assessments for auditable financial statements and the implementation of strategies and business activities to ensure enhancements to the financial processing and financial system activities within the School.

An audit of the School's statement of financial position opening balance was successfully completed.

Significant results were achieved in 2007-2008 in this area:

  • In preparing for auditable financial statements, Deloitte and Touche were engaged to review internal controls and found 87 percent of the 420 controls assessed to be effective. Some issues identified were outside of the School's scope as they reflect government-wide issues; for the remainder, action plans were developed to address improvements and the School's financial business process documentation has been updated to reflect the results of the controls assessment review.
  • These measures have resulted in the assurance that the School has adequate financial controls in place. They have also led to improvements in the School's preparation of Public Accounts and Financial Statements.

Improvements were achieved in year-end processing and revenue management. In 2007-2008, the School's revenues increased by 56 percent, while accounts receivable increased by 19 percent. Comparisons of payables at year-end show a decrease of approximately 15 percent. This is evidenced in the School's financial statement presentation found on Section III of this performance report.

In 2007-2008, the School took a more coherent and integrated view of risk management-related initiatives at all levels. Ongoing efforts to raise awareness of risk among senior executives and managers were supported through monitoring of corporate risk action plans and ever-greening of results. Progress has been made toward establishing enterprise-wide risk management as well as in using risk management to support key decision-making.

The key results of other areas of Financial Services are as follows:

In 2007-2008, a pilot initiative to decentralize financial system (SAP) access to managers' desktops was a success. A financial systems support hosting partnership has been negotiated with another SAP government department to provide the School with improved system functionality along with a system footprint better suited to its business model requirements.

The Government of Canada Shared Travel Services Expense Management system was implemented, along with an improved travel claim reimbursement process. A risk-based sampling approach was developed and will be fully implemented in 2008-2009. The standard turnaround time for claims reimbursement has improved to 5 days from 4 to 6 weeks.

The School's costing methodologies, processes and tools were reviewed and revised to reflect a corporate approach aligned with Treasury Board guidelines. A corporate pricing strategy will follow from this work.

Monthly Variance Reports (MVR) have strengthened accountability, transparency and reporting, and have improved decision-making. MVRs are presented to senior management on both an organization and a PAA basis and must be attested to and signed off by program managers.

The School's integrated business planning process (noted above) supports the associated results-based management of activities.

Information Management and Technology (IM/IT)

The School was a vanguard participant in major initiatives which support integrated services and the Government of Canada's Way Forward, particularly in regards to Corporate Administrative Shared Services (CASS) and IT Shared Services.

As a result, the School's IM/IT group has transitioned from an information technology focus to a business-oriented service delivery organization. The Information Technology Services Branch of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC/ ITSB) has accepted operational responsibility for delivering commodity software, networks, platforms and related management support services.

The School's IM/IT priorities are now focused on developing and supporting its unique Web and applications portfolio, managing service level agreements with its partners and vendors (for example, PWGSC/ITSB, CASS, the Public Service Commission), establishing new processes in the Information Technology Service and Support Organization (ITSSO) service delivery model, and ensuring compliance with policies and directives (for example, IT Security, and Management of Information Technology Security (MITS)).

The School transferred server hosting, service desk, infrastructure support and network services to PWGSC. Transformation activities are ongoing.

Establishment of an Information Management (IM) Directorate has enhanced records management capacity resulting in better alignment of the Library Services' management of published information and the records management of information produced. The IM Directorate began the implementation of the revised Information Classification System (ICS) in 2007-2008. A pilot of the Records, Document and Information Management System (RDIMS) was launched in 2007-2008 to improve effective management of information.

In 2007-2008, the AXEL system was developed and established to prepare the data environment and standard (such as catalogue and employee passport) system for registration. Reference data clean-up and harmonization was also conducted to facilitate the migration of data from legacy systems to a new registration system.

Administrative Services

The School's accommodations requirements for additional office and classroom space were managed through fit-up, investments and moves in existing facilities. The School began negotiations with Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) for improved rental arrangements for classroom space. Official recognition was received from PWGSC that the School meets the Government of Canada's current fit-up standards for facilities integration.

Last year, there were over 1.6 million pieces of paper and close to 4,500 binders used in the National Capital Region for the Authority Delegation Training classes alone. The revamping of the courses has enabled reference materials to be provided to participants for classroom use only. This initiative is projected to reduce paper requirements by over 60 percent.

The School has provided a "client requirements" document to PWGSC and a client strategy that outlines the School's initiatives, priorities and options is under way. As part of this strategy, the School is exploring short-term solutions for dealing with immediate space pressures while working on a consolidation plan for the National Capital Region.

Human resources are managed effectively and strategically in support of corporate objectives

The School's integrated business and human resources (HR) plan links all HR initiatives with the School's program activities, leading to improved and more strategically aligned HR planning. Specific action items noted include recruiting a qualified and diverse workforce, building and sustaining strong management and professional capacity, and investing in employees and creating a healthy work environment. In the latter part of 2007-2008, a review of the plan was conducted and clearer associations between the staffing needs and the Program Activity Architecture (PAA) were established, thereby providing the necessary information to develop staffing strategies for 2008-2009.

To build and maintain the workforce needed to deliver the School's strategic outcome, information on plans to staff vacant positions was collected, aligned with corporate objectives and analyzed in the first quarter. This analysis allowed for the scheduling of staffing actions in 2007-2008. The School planned 18 collective staffing processes, which aim to cover 80 percent of the School's staffing needs, and 42 individual processes.

By the end of 2007-2008, the School completed 18 collective processes and 27 individual processes. The collective processes accounted for 67 percent of appointments made in 2007-2008. For occupational groups with common needs and criteria, the School developed a standard set of essential qualifications which was accompanied by specific assessment tools. This resulted in pools of pre-qualified individuals who met the current and future organizational needs. This improved process provided a more effective method for obtaining and retaining critical talent.

Concurrently, in alignment with the Employment Equity Plan, the School took advantage of these processes to increase its visible minority representation from 6.3 percent in March 2007 to 8.5 percent in March 2008. The representation of Aboriginal Peoples increased from 3.2 percent to 3.9 percent, and the representation of persons with disabilities increased from 4.7 percent to 5.7 percent over the same period.

The School has an excellent bilingualism capacity. Eighty-four percent of positions are designated bilingual and 95 percent of the incumbents meet the language requirements of their position. Anglophones represent 35 percent of the School's workforce while Francophones account for 65 percent.

A collective process project guide was developed and communicated to HR advisors, providing them with a comprehensive tool to manage this type of process effectively. A new model of HR service delivery was also developed in 2007-2008, reflecting the underlying principles of Public Service Modernization by emphasizing the advisory role of HR advisors and forging a closer partnership between HR and the business lines of the School.

Throughout 2007-2008, the School continued its efforts to modernize classification. The broad-based approach to classification will improve the operations of the School by reducing the turnaround time, the number of steps required and the cost to classify positions. In 2007-2008, the School began a review of clerical and regulatory (CR) positions to establish a departmental inventory of generic and specific work descriptions for CR positions while ensuring a harmonized and adequate standard of classification. The modernization of classification at the School continues to require collaboration among unions, employees and management.

Welcome sessions are offered three times each year to provide new employees with the opportunity to meet and talk with the President and branch heads and to learn about the School's mandate as well as the areas of responsibility and priorities for each branch. Some 53 employees attended these welcome sessions last year. In the summer of 2007-2008, the President also met with all of the students working at the School (students in the regions joined the discussion through video-conference) to discuss the School's mission and careers in the Public Service and to answer questions.

Programs were put in place and communicated to ensure that all employees have a learning plan and the opportunity to maintain or improve their second language skills through on-the-job access to language teachers. Two developmental programs have also been introduced to improve succession and retention of HR advisors and employees of the Client Contact Centre, two areas that are experiencing significant turnover. Nevertheless, the high turnover in the personnel administration (PE) community, as experienced across the Public Service, resulted in a mitigated success in the revitalization of the HR operations, which continues to be a goal for 2008-2009.

To ensure the School has a well-managed, healthy workforce to deliver its strategic outcome, each CSPS branch developed a Well-Being Action Plan with specific commitments related to employee engagement, including regular meetings with employees. The School also provides monthly bilingual "lunch and learn" sessions to employees across Canada (employees in the regions can join through Webcasting) on various topics concerning work-life balance and wellness. An employee survey was developed during 2007-2008 and will be implemented in 2008-2009. This survey is intended to collect information on the overall health of the School to enable it to address key factors regarding workplace well-being. Exit interviews have also been introduced to better identify workplace issues.

The School led a number of initiatives to foster a participatory culture where employees understand the School's strategic direction and feel included in the operations and accomplishments. In 2007-2008, the School began the practice of posting all EX key commitments on the School's intranet site to ensure that its employees understand and appreciate how their roles and responsibilities fit into and contribute to the overall priorities and objectives of the School.

Informal conflict resolution

The School's Office of the Ombudsman provides corporate leadership and expertise in alternate dispute resolution and informal conflict resolution management. With this structure in place, the School is well positioned to implement its strategic objectives. Following a review of relevant policies, procedures and processes, the Office of the Ombudsman, in concert with the Human Resources Branch, ensured that the concept and approach of the Informal Conflict Management System (ICMS) are integrated in human resources policies and management practices at the School. This exercise also allowed the School to identify and address gaps in its policies, such as the need for clearer information on the grievance process.

The School values its employees and their ideas, and seeks to support staff in addressing issues of concern. In 2007-2008, the CSPS continued to promote dialogue between management and employees/unions. It developed a suite of training and information sessions regarding conflict in the workplace. The concept behind this initiative was to reinforce the preventative aspect of conflict management by promoting awareness of conflict, employees' roles and responsibilities, actions and reactions, and the requirement for professional behaviour in the workplace. A conflict resolution framework was conceptualized during the reporting period and work to further develop the framework and communicate it to School employees will continue in 2008-2009.

Audits are used to improve departmental policies, programs and management

As a means of contributing to the accomplishment of the School's strategic objectives, an internal audit function was established in 2007-2008; the function allows for a systematic and disciplined approach to evaluating and improving the risk management, control and governance processes of the School. Moreover, internal audit provides an independent and objective assurance function that adds value and improves the operations of the School.

A plan to implement the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Audit was developed and approved by the School's Board of Governors in October 2007. The plan outlined how the School will implement the Policy and the envisioned audit regime to achieve full compliance by the required date of April 2009. Subsequently, an Internal Audit Charter was approved outlining the purpose, authority and responsibility of the internal audit function.

A Departmental Audit Committee was formed and an Audit Committee Charter was developed and approved. The Audit Committee Charter outlines the purpose, authority and responsibility of the Departmental Audit Committee and how its responsibilities will be addressed.

In accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Audit, and in recognition of the School's strategic intent, the Internal Audit Risk-based Plan was developed and subsequently approved by the President on recommendation from the Departmental Audit Committee. Aligned with the CSPS strategic outcome, mandate and priorities, the plan will help ensure that the School has an effective management control framework and that processes and practices are efficient and effective, thereby supporting the School in the execution of its mandate. Five audits were identified for fiscal year 2008-2009:

  • Program Audit - Online Learning
  • Contracting Audit
  • Financial Statement Readiness - Operating Effectiveness of Internal Controls Audit
  • Corporate Risk Profile Follow-up Audit of Management Action Plans
  • Integrated Learner Management System Under Development Audit