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Minister's Message

The Honourable Stockwell Day

As the Minister responsible for the Canada School of Public Service, I am pleased to present the 2009-10 Departmental Performance Report of the School.

As the common learning provider for the Government of Canada, the School helps deputy ministers address the learning needs of their employees. It also provides departments with the learning products and services they need to ensure their employees have the skills and knowledge to continue to serve Canadians and sustain government transformation efforts.

The School launched new initiatives aimed at delivering on public service renewal. Not only did the School support public service renewal within its organization; it played a key role in sustaining the efforts of deputy ministers in dealing with the current environment. Work was accomplished to further the professional development of managers, to build strong competencies for current and emerging leaders and to strengthen functional community learning across the Public Service.

I invite you to read this report and visit us on line at to see the learning and development activities provided by the School to support a strong Public Service.

The Honourable Stockwell Day, P.C., M.P.
President of the Treasury Board

Section I: Departmental Overview

Raison d'tre and Responsibilities

Raison d'tre

The Canada School of Public Service (the School) is the common learning service provider for the Public Service of Canada.

The School has a legislative mandate to provide a range of learning activities to build individual and organizational capacity and management excellence within the Public Service.

The School is in a unique position to offer learning services to all public service employees at all levels and across the country, as well as functional communities and public organizations.


Established on April 1, 2004, under the Public Service Modernization Act and operating under the authority of the Canada School of Public Service Act (CSPS Act), the School's primary responsibility is to provide a wide range of learning opportunities and develop a learning culture within the Public Service. The School has a direct effect on service to Canadians by increasing the skills of public service employees and the effectiveness public service organizations.

As a departmental corporation, the School is mandated under the CSPS Act to:

  • encourage pride and excellence in the Public Service;
  • foster a common sense of purpose, values and traditions in the Public Service;
  • support Deputy Heads in meeting the learning needs of their organizations; and
  • pursue excellence in public management and administration.

As set out in the legislation, a Board of Governors is responsible for the conduct and management of the affairs of the School. The Board of Governors is composed of an equal number of public and non-public (business and academic) sector members.

The School's program priorities are geared to delivering results in accordance with the Treasury Board's Policy on Learning, Training and Development (the Policy), which came into effect on January 1, 2006. The Policy highlights the value of learning and the importance of creating a learning culture within the Public Service.

The School supports deputy head accountabilities with respect to leadership development across the Public Service by identifying organizational needs and designing and delivering high-quality and practical leadership programming that addresses the key development needs of executives.

The School is integral to Public Service Renewal, offering a broad suite of courses to incrementally advance the renewal agenda. It supports all pillars of Public Service Renewal.

Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture (PAA)

The School has a single strategic outcome: "Public servants have the common knowledge and the leadership and management competencies they require to fulfill their responsibilities in serving Canadians." Four program activities support this strategic outcome:

  • Foundational Learning
  • Organizational Leadership Development
  • Public Sector Management Innovation
  • Internal Services

Program Activity Architecture

Summary of Performance

2009-10 Financial Resources ($ thousands)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
111,924 150,558 138,270

2009-10 Human Resources (full-time employees - FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
940 967 27

Performance Summary Table

Strategic Outcome
Performance Indicators Targets 2009-10 Performance
Number of learning activities that address leadership development, management competencies and common knowledge, and number of participants.

Percentage of public service employees who have attended School learning activities and feel that the training provided responded to their learning needs and was a worthwhile investment for their employer.
Approximately 900 learning activities.

Approximately 220,000 learner days (number of learners/participants multiplied by the number of days in training).

80% of learning activity participants feel that the training provided responded to their needs and was a worthwhile investment for their employer.
The School offered approximately 500 distinct learning activities (courses, events). This represents a total of nearly 3,000 deliveries in 2009-10.

A total of about 200,000 learner days were given across the School in 2009-10.

In 2009-10, 81% of respondents indicated that the learning activity met their learning needs, while 80% of respondents felt that the learning activity was a worthwhile investment for their employer. [1]

($ thousands)
2009-10 [2] Alignment to Government of Canada Outcome
Foundational Learning 99,091 66,162 66,162 94,470 52,159 Well-managed and efficient government operations
Organizational Leadership Development 20,382 12,783 12,783 18,505 14,179
Public Sector Management Innovation 20,255 11,268 11,268 12,988 8,253
Internal Services - 21,711 21,711 24,595 63,679  
Total 139,728 111,924 111,924 150,558 138,270  

Contribution of Priorities to Strategic Outcome
Operational Priorities Type Status [3] Linkages to Strategic Outcome(s)
The consolidation of ongoing initiatives:
Functional community learning Ongoing Mostly Met
  • Priorities were met in the delivery of training for functional communities, and also through the engagement of priority functional communities such as finance, information management and human resources in the development of training that meets their needs.
  • Progress has been made in engaging emerging functional communities such as program evaluators to define their learning needs.
  • This initiative contributes to public service employees having the common knowledge and the leadership and management competencies they require to fulfil their responsibilities in serving Canadians.
  • The development of functional community learning, including curricula development and functional community networking, contributes directly to the first program activity of Foundational Learning as it ensures that common knowledge and competencies are developed among community members.
  • All courses are developed based on leading and innovative practices, thereby contributing to Public Sector Management Innovation, the third program activity.
The launch of new initiatives to deliver on Public Service Renewal:
Learning for managers — professional development and management skills

Identification of learning options for the new generation of public service employees
New Met all
  • The Management Excellence Series for assistant deputy ministers and other senior executives was launched in November 2009.
  • The new Performance Management Curriculum (training for mid-level managers) has met expectations by providing shorter, targeted learning interventions for managers.
  • Work began on a new blended-learning fundamental skills course for managers: training for experience in response to emerging gaps.
  • A workshop on Managing Intergenerational Diversity was created for and delivered to the National Managers' Community.
  • Each of these initiatives contributes to public service employees having the common knowledge and the leadership and management competencies they require to fulfil their responsibilities in serving Canadians.
  • Learning for managers contributes directly to the second program activity of Organizational Leadership Development, and the identification of learning options for the new generation of public service employees contributes to the first program activity of Foundational Learning.
  • All courses are developed based on leading and innovative practices, both initiatives contribute to Public Sector Management Innovation, the third program activity.
Type Status Linkages to Strategic Outcome(s)
Continued efforts to improve the learning infrastructure and assess learning programs to ensure relevance:
The Integrated Learner Management System (ILMS)
Ongoing Mostly Met
  • During 2009-10, a detailed, costed project plan was developed, followed by the commencement of installation and configuration of the system starting in the summer of 2009.
  • The project plan is for implementation over two phases starting in April 2010.
  • Each of these initiatives contributes to public service employees having the common knowledge and the leadership and management competencies they require to fulfil their responsibilities in serving Canadians.
  • The ILMS will ensure that the School's registration system supports timely and efficient access to training and more strategic and accurate reporting.
Curriculum Review Ongoing Somewhat Met
  • Progress has been made towards reviewing the full curriculum of the School to ensure relevance and accuracy.
  • The annual Curriculum Review process ensures programming is relevant in meeting client needs and public service priorities.

Risk Analysis

The cost-recovery portion of the School's operating budget increases every year. The School recovers its costs based on fees charged to departments and agencies for learning products and services. During the 2009-10 fiscal year, departments and agencies encountered pressures due to changing fiscal conditions. While a slower increase in the course registrations was anticipated, the School continued to emphasize the importance of learning as an investment to support public service productivity and effectiveness, and engaged in outreach activities to identify and address the learning needs of departments and agencies.

The continued relevance of the School's learning products is key to sustaining its cost-recovery operations and supporting deputy heads in their responsibility for the development of their employees. In response to client feedback, an integrated marketing strategy was implemented, including engagement strategies with key stakeholders of the federal Public Service. Notable recommendations included the development of shorter, sharper learning interventions to respond to economic pressures faced by departments, and the implementation of seasonal discounting to shift learner behaviour and demand for learning during off-peak periods.

Through the horizontal strategic review exercise, the School has identified ways to be more efficient and effective and to fully align its programs with department and agency learning needs. A number of programming changes were identified and their implementation is being phased in over a three-year period. These changes will assist in maintaining a modern public service with a knowledge-based workforce and a forward-looking, productive work environment.

A key risk that remains for the School is the management of its human resources in a complex environment that requires specialized skills and a unique understanding of government context. To mitigate this risk the School has focused on talent management, both by encouraging the development of competencies and skills among existing employees and by attracting recent graduates to the public service as part of Public Service Renewal.

At the same time, the number of subject matter experts and candidates with course design and teaching expertise is limited, and there is intense competition among departments and agencies to attract functional experts in certain professional fields. To address these challenges, the School continued to modify its human resources services during 2009-10, and worked to maintain an adequate balance of in-house expertise and external resources for program delivery. By securing additional expertise on a permanent basis, the School was able to gain efficiencies while simultaneously reducing its reliance on external consultants.

An important risk for the School has been the management of its legacy registration systems. During 2009-10, work continued on the implementation of a new Integrated Learner Management System (ILMS) to support the integration of the registration, management and administration of learning. When the implementation of the ILMS is completed, the legacy systems of the School will no longer be required and will be archived.

Expenditure Profile ($ thousands)

Expenditure Profile

The School's total expenditures in 2009-10 decreased slightly from $139.7 million to $138.2 million. As part of the effort to reduce reliance on consultants, the School continued its shift towards the development of internal resources for the delivery of course products. This resulted in an increase to salaries of $2.6 million and a reduction in operating and maintenance in the area of Professional Services and Temporary Help Services.

Revenue identified in the Main Estimates and Planned Spending was $50 million while Total Authorities include actual earned revenue of $70 million, as well as the following items:

  • re-spendable revenue and carry forward of $10.5 million from the previous year; and
  • new funding received throughout the year for signed collective agreements and from Treasury Board submissions: Advanced Leadership Program (ongoing) and Leadership Development Framework (one-year funding).

Actual Spending includes additional expenditures related to the collective agreements, new Treasury Board submissions, and revenue amount earned above the $50 million in Planned Spending.

Revenue Trend ($ thousands)

Revenu Trend

The revenue trend shows that total learner enrolments and revenue growth peaked in 2008-09 and are now stabilizing in 2009-10.

Canada's Economic Action Plan (CEAP)

($ thousands)
Funding for Enhancing Federal Public Service Student Employment
Planned Spending
Total Authorities
Actual Spending
29 29 29

The School received $29,000 under the Canada Economic Action Plan to increase student employment during 2009-10. In addition to this amount, $927,000 of the School's resources were spent on student employment.

Voted and Statutory Items

($ thousands)
Vote # or Statutory Item (S) Truncated Vote or
Statutory Wording
40 Operating expenditures 59,643 57,962 58,015 57,729
40 Grants and contributions 375 375 315 288
(S) Contributions to employee benefit plans 9,613 10,304 5,860 12,238
(S) Spending of revenues pursuant to Subsection 18(2) of the CSPS Act 52,543 71,085 50,000 68,013
(S) Spending of proceeds from the disposal of surplus crown assets 3 2 0 2
Total 122,177 139,728 114,190 138,270