ARCHIVED - 2010-2013 Strategic Human Resources Plan

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Strategy 2 - Develop and Support People

Where We Are

2009-2010 Accomplishments

A Framework for Continuous Learning and Development was finalized

$5.5 million was invested in training

Investments in people are essential if CCG is to deliver programs and services of the highest standard. Training is performed throughout the organization with core national educational programs provided by the Canadian Coast Guard College.

Develop People

The Performance Review System (PRS) was put in place in 2008-2009 to ensure development is a priority shared by managers and employees. CCG continues to monitor and promote regular performance reviews and learning plan development. Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) present an excellent opportunity for CCG managers and employees to have discussions centered on organizational objectives, career management and learning needs as they link to the performance objectives.

Approximately 89% of shore-based personnel and 74% of seagoing personnel prepared ILPs for 2009-2010. The operational realities of work at sea and the transition to a new PRS reporting structure affected seagoing completion rates. Completion rates for seagoing employees are expected to be considerably higher in 2010-2011. See Table N for a breakdown of completion rates for shore-based and seagoing personnel by region.

Table N
RegionEmployees in
indeterminate and term
positions for over 6 months
Employees with a
learning plan for 2009-2010
NL 332 220 66%
MAR 339 326 96%
QUE 327 295 90%
C&A 281 259 92%
NCR 323 321 99%
PAC 416 386 93%
CCG College 87 71 82%
Total 2105 1878 89%


RegionEmployees in
indeterminate and term
positions for over 6 months
Employees with a
learning plan for 2009-2010
NL 705 505 72%
MAR 497 278 56%
QUE 408 372 91%
C&A 255 178 70%
PAC 550 452 82%
Total 2415 1785 74%

Note: Numbers are cumulative and based on the total number of employees who had an ILP in 2009-2010.

Over the last two years, CCG collaborated with managers, employees and unions to create a new learning and development framework. The Framework for Continuous Learning and Development was published on the Intranet in 2010 and will be communicated to all employees in 2010-2011. The next steps will be to review the recommendations and determine a way forward.

"We are dedicated to maintaining a bilingual public service that continually strives for excellence and fully respects our two official languages"

Maria Barrados
President of the Public Service Commission

CCG is also committed to promoting linguistic duality and working environments in all regions that are conducive to the use of both official languages. Following a review by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in 2008, a Bilingual Capacity Review Action Plan was developed for the Maritimes Region. Over the years, CCG has improved its institutional capacity, its leadership and its employees’ language skills by sharing its vision with all staff, increasing access to language training, and maintaining a stronger management framework. CCG is now well positioned to provide programs and services in both official languages.

Significant effort is expended to ensure that employees meet the language requirements of their positions. The Canadian Coast Guard invests approximately $430,000 annually in language training, exclusive of employee salaries. CCG must ensure that it continues to be proactive in creating language training opportunities for individuals who aspire to become future CCG leaders, especially in regions. Employees who wish to consider career opportunities across the CCG are encouraged to work on their language skills.

A Seagoing Personnel Career Development Initiative was successfully implemented at Headquarters. It formalizes the practice of encouraging seagoing personnel to work on rotational assignments in shore-based management positions or on related projects. The initiative promotes learning, training and leadership opportunities which position seagoing employees to bring their expertise ashore while gaining administrative experience and acquiring a better understanding of shore management.

The national Leadership Development Pilot Program was launched in 2007 as a two-year program across five regions, and continued successfully in 2009. A mid-point survey reveals that participants and Assistant Commissioners are pleased with the results. In addition to developing leadership skills, the program has given participants broader knowledge of the Canadian Coast Guard and its directorates, provided an opportunity to network, and helped participants better understand higher management decision making. In 2010-2011, CCG will evaluate the national Leadership Development Pilot Program and determine if and how it should continue.

Support People

Although CCG invests millions of dollars each year in training, capturing associated costs (i.e. overtime, backfilling, etc.) is difficult and hampers our ability to get a complete picture of training-related expenditures. CCG reviewed training and development expenditures from the past three years to identify trends, shortfalls and changing needs and to provide a better understanding of component costs (tuition fees, disbursements, travel and materials) so that investment baselines and best practices can be established.

While we are still working to improve our reporting system, Table O quantifies CCG’s investment in employee training by region. In 2009-2010, training and development-related expenditures totalled approximately $5.5 million. On average, this represents $1,232 per employee, approximately $290 more than in 2008-2009. These expenditures included seminars, conferences, tuition fees, memberships to professional organizations and travel costs related to training.

Table O
Investments in Employee Training by Region (in thousands of dollars)
NL 822.8 722.9 645.3 704.6 529.4
MAR 783.0 712.3 688.3 690.4 957.4
QUE 732.6 766.4 535.2 570.8 767.1
C&A 550.4 659.2 457.4 751.5 767.4
PAC 799.0 783.9 600.0 782.0 949.4
NCR 635.7 573.4 522.8 463.4 674.8
(i.e. training
506.0 471.1 390.0 279.4 823.9
Sub-Total 4829.5 4689.2 3839.0 4242.1 5469.4
(i.e. training
training related
12222.6 12024.3 12105.4 11480.1 10992.9
Total 17052.1 16713.5 15944.4 15722.2 16462.3

Note: Figures for regional training weeks are included in these totals.

Graph I represents a regional breakdown of training investments as a percentage of salary for 2009-2010.

Graph I
Training as a Percentage of Salary

Graph I Training as a Percentage of Salary

Furthermore, the Canadian Coast Guard College exists to satisfy Coast Guard's very specific operational training needs in the areas of search and rescue, environmental response, ice operations, vessel traffic management, marine communications, and electrical and electronic systems maintenance. In addition to previously mentioned investments on training, CCG also spends $11.5 million through its College’s operating budget, which covers the salaries of the officer-cadets, managers, instructors and support staff, as well as costs related to program delivery and student services (recruitment, training materials, library, computer services, food services, water-front facility, machine shop, etc.).

CCG recognizes that learning and development extends beyond the classroom to include cost-neutral activities such as job shadowing, mentoring and on-line training courses. Short-term acting appointments can also be strategic investments – they help prepare employees to participate in competitions for advancement and will ultimately aid in CCG’s succession planning. Acting appointments allow CCG employees to gain knowledge at progressively higher levels. By encouraging managers to monitor the length of these appointments and to use mechanisms such as rotational acting appointments, it will be possible for a larger number of employees to gain much needed corporate knowledge.

Plans to oversee acting appointments, such as DFO’s July 2009 directive to eliminate all such appointments over 36 months in vacant positions, were put in place and a monitoring system helps to ensure they are used in a transparent manner and that more permanent staffing measures are used for longer-term vacancies.

As Table P illustrates, between 2005 and 2009, there was an overall reduction in the number of acting appointments in excess of one year relative to the CCG population.

Table P
Acting Appointments over One Year in Duration
YearShore-BasedSeagoingNumber of
Total PopulationPercentage
2005 96 215 311 4119 7.6%
2006 103 233 336 4309 7.8%
2007 100 227 327 4391 7.4%
2008 112 151 263 4330 6.1%
2009 92 184 276 4361 6.3%

Acting appointment trends over the past five years are illustrated in Graphs J.1, J.2 and J.3. As Graph J.1 shows, acting appointments of one to three years increased only gradually. This increase may be a result of higher attrition rates creating more vacancies, delays in staffing actions that resulted in extended acting appointments or meeting emerging medium-term needs enabled by new funding from the Economic Action Plan for the acquisition and repair of vessels. As ongoing staffing actions are finalized, the numbers will decrease.

Graph J.2 shows that acting appointments of three to five years peaked in 2006 and have since gradually declined.

Graph J.3 demonstrates that the number of acting appointments of more than five years has decreased significantly since 2005. This can be attributed, in part, to commitments in Executive performance agreements to reduce long-term acting appointments.

Graph J
Acting Appointments

Graph J.1 Acting Appointments - 1 to 3 Years (2005-2009)

Graph J.2 Acting Appointments - 3 to 5 Years (2005-2009)

Graph J.3 Acting Appointments - More Than 5 Years (2005-2009)

What We Will Do

Training and Development

Efforts to clarify training and development expenditures will continue and transparency in training budgets will be an ongoing management practice. The intended result is improved planning tools that allow managers to create realistic annual budgets and that encourage staff at all levels to make use of training allocations.

This year, CCG will implement a nationally consistent automated system to capture training needs identification, data collection and reporting. CCG will also explore the adoption of training standards and performance measures through benchmarking with similar industries.

For seagoing employees, training gaps are being defined in the National Seagoing Personnel Training Plan. Once complete, these gaps will be addressed through a phased-in technical training program.

Implement a nationally consistent automated system to capture training needs identification, data collection and reporting PSES Executive Director, NLFRD
Evaluate the national Leadership Development Pilot Program and determine next steps PSES AC, NL

Orientation for New Employees

Successful orientation helps new employees settle into the organization and improves retention. A CCG Orientation Program is being finalized to welcome new employees to the Coast Guard, introduce the mandate, programs, and unique CCG culture, and provide practical information to assist with new employee integration. Based on regional best practices, the orientation program will include tools for managers including tips, checklists and information on required training for new employees. In addition to a workshop for shore-based staff, the program will be made available to staff at sea via the intranet, DVD and other support mechanisms.

Launch a more structured CCG Orientation Program for all new employees PSES Executive Director, NLFRD

Official Languages Capacity

CCG is taking innovative steps to ensure it embraces Canada’s linguistic duality and respects Official Languages Act obligations. In 2010-2011, CCG will implement a structured approach to dealing with requests for developmental language training. Fair, transparent and equitable management of language training must be balanced against CCG operational and financial constraints.

In addition, we are strengthening second-language training capacity at the CCG College so that future CCG Officers have a strong foundation in both official languages. For example, trainees are placed in work environments which function in their second language, thus encouraging development of second-language skills. While second language studies are no longer a prerequisite for entry into the Officer Training Program, because they were identified as a barrier to EE groups, second language training will be integrated into the four-year course of studies.

Implement a structured approach to dealing with requests for developmental language training PSES Executive Director, NLFRD; CCG MB members

Canadian Coast Guard College

The Canadian Coast Guard College offers programs in four streams: CCG Officer Training Program (CCGOTP), Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS), Marine Maintenance and Equipment Training, and Rescue, Safety and Environmental Response, including ongoing technical training for seagoing personnel. As a shortage of mariners is anticipated in Canada, delivery of the CCGOTP, one of the core College programs, will continue to be of utmost importance. The College provides future Coast Guard Officers with the knowledge, proficiency and ethos required to adapt and embrace change in a technologically challenging environment.

In 2009-2010, the Transformation Plan for the CCG College was developed to better align its curriculum with organizational needs. The plan serves as a blueprint for the College and includes a multi-year framework and an organizational structure. This structure improves the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the institution, focusing resources where they are needed most – in support of the delivery of high quality, client-oriented training programs.

Marine Communications and Traffic Services

In 2009-2010, a Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) National Refresher Course and an implementation strategy were developed. In 2010-2011, the pilot course will be delivered and course implementation will begin. In addition, a competency profile for operational working level MCTS Officers was developed. This profile will ensure that future recruits meet program technical training requirements for the 21st century.

Benefits for employees...
Improved training opportunities.
Learning plans provide structured input from management on career progression.

Benefits for managers...
National data to help make the best use of training budgets.

Benefits for the organization...
A progressive work environment that supports employee development, embraces technological advances and adapts to a changing environment.