2009-10 Public Service Renewal Action Plan

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If there is a single key to the success of public service renewal, it is the personal engagement - the ideas and the commitment - of the 260,000 men and women across Canada and abroad who have made a career in the federal public service. As we move forward on renewal, it is important to have a shared understanding of what public service is about, and why it is important.
-Clerk of the Privy Council, 16th Annual Report to the Prime Minister on the Public Service of Canada

Public service matters. As our country faces difficult economic circumstances and complex challenges, this is clearer than ever. The government requires the best possible advice at this time and Canadians require and expect us to provide them with excellent services. Continually improving our ability to do this is what public service renewal is about.

This Action Plan builds on the foundation created over the last two years to advance the four pillars of public service renewal. We are making meaningful progress.

The appointment of the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) and the implementation of a new management structure for human resources across the government has firmly assigned to Deputy Heads the primary responsibility for managing people and putting in place human resources regimes in their own departments and agencies. The CHRO plays a strategic and enabling role and ensures clarity of roles and accountability on human resources management issues. This Action Plan reflects and supports this governance model.

In 2009-10, we will continue to challenge public service leaders to broaden and deepen renewal within their departments and agencies, with a focus on managing performance for results. In doing this, employee engagement in renewal, the active involvement of Deputy Heads and the implementation of practical approaches to create a more diverse and representative workforce will be essential.

Planning - a work in progress

We will continue to stress the importance of effective integrated business and human resources planning as the foundation for shaping the public service of the future. Integrated plans will report on progress made last year, and indicate how employees and managers will be engaged in the process of renewal. Plans will also include concrete measures to enhance the use of both official languages, and strategies to address the representation and development at all levels of visible minorities, as well as persons with disabilities, Aboriginal peoples and women.

By March 2010:

  1. In addition to putting a strong emphasis on linking human resource needs with the organization's business needs, Deputy Heads will report on what they have done to give effect to the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Integrated Business and Human Resources Planning.
  2. The CHRO and the Canada School of Public Service (CSPS) will facilitate peer review sessions of integrated plans as a learning event for Deputy and Associate Deputy Heads, with a view to building and sharing best practices.


We will continue to ensure the public service hires talented graduates and mid-career recruits. Special care will be dedicated to ensuring that recruitment reflects Canada's diversity, and filling skills gaps that have been identified through integrated planning. We will also strengthen our brand to capture in a compelling way who we are and what we do.

By march 2010:

  1. Offers of indeterminate employment will be made across the public service to at least 4000 post-secondary graduates, with overall levels of visible minority recruits exceeding workforce availability.
  2. Building on the career fair pilots held in 2008-09, eight Regional Federal Councils, in partnership with central human resources organizations and Deputy Minister University Champions, will deliver government-wide career fairs.
  3. The Public Service Commission (PSC), working in collaboration with the CHRO and Deputy Heads, will make its job seeker friendly website fully operational for all interested Canadians to apply to any job open to external candidates.
  4. Deputy Heads, in collaboration with the PSC, will take full advantage of additional funding under the 2009 Economic Action Plan to hire more students.

Employee Development

The development of public servants as leaders, managers and empowered employees is central to a high performing organization. We will improve our approaches to learning and managing talent, succession planning and performance as fundamental to delivering on our business.

By March 2010:

  1. Building on progress made in 2008-09, Deputy Heads will report on what they have done to:
    • Extend to all executives a rigorous performance management regime that includes the use of indicators and tools (e.g., Management Accountability Framework and Public Service Employee Survey results);
    • With the support of the CHRO, equip executives and managers with the tools and training needed to effectively manage the full spectrum of performance of employees at all levels;
    • Ensure that commitments are in place for all executives by end of June 2009, mid-year feedback on progress is provided by end of November 2009, and collectively, commitments are coherent from a departmental perspective; and
    • Ensure that all employees have clear performance objectives in place by end of June 2009, and regular discussions take place between managers and employees regarding performance, career development and related learning needs.
  2. A new Leadership Development Framework will be implemented by the CHRO and Deputy Heads to support leadership at all levels.
    • Corporate development programs will be aligned with the Framework.
    • Deputy Heads will use the Framework to guide their organization's leadership development approaches to ensure management excellence.
  3. A set of best practices and practical approaches to improve diversity and foster recognition and use of both official languages will be provided by Deputy Heads to their managers for departmental use.

Enabling Infrastructure

Infrastructure is about supporting people and effective people management through common business processes, information systems and sound data. It is also about understanding the views, attitudes and needs of public servants, as this is critical to managing a high-performing workforce.

By March 2010:

  1. Effective April 1, 2009, departmental reporting on the People Component of the Management Accountability Framework will be replaced by a new set of performance and status indicators for tracking the state of the public service and people management within it. To ensure success, the CHRO will work with central partners to agree on data definitions, and the management and alignment of data gathering and reporting cycles.
  2. In response to the shift in roles and responsibilities regarding people management, the CHRO will review the human resources policy suite and reduce central human resources policies by one-third.
    • Deputy Heads will ensure that central policies will not be replaced by unnecessary departmental rules.
    • Working with the advice of Deputy Heads, PSC will continue to apply a risk-based approach to its monitoring of staffing in departments and agencies.
  3. In consultation with employees and managers, departmental standards for key human resources services will be further refined (including staffing, classification and pay) and performance against those standards communicated to employees.
  4. With assistance and advice from the CHRO, staged implementation of selected common human resources business processes will begin in a minimum of five departments with a goal of making them more streamlined and cost-effective.
  5. The CHRO will undertake a comprehensive analysis of the results of the 2008 Public Service Employee Survey to support Deputy Heads in their actions to respond to the survey findings, with an expectation that key response actions will be included in organizational human resources plans. The CHRO will launch an annual on-line survey to better track people management including employee engagement.