ARCHIVED - 5. Measuring Performance

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Whether supporting the Canadian Coast Guard, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, or other government departments and agencies, or protecting broader Canadian interests, the goal of the Fleet is to provide safe and secure, effective and efficient services.

While Section 4 examined the service by client, Section 5 looks at the overall performance of the Fleet, with measures endorsed by the Fleet Executive Board (the management and governance Board for the Fleet, consisting of the Headquarters Fleet Directors, Regional Directors, Operational Services, and led by the Director General, Fleet). 

As new evaluation factors become further required, performance measures will also evolve to ensure that Fleet has meaningful, timely and accurate information for decision-making and reporting to Canadians.

5.1 Safe and Secure Delivery

The Fleet operates in a significantly risk-based maritime environment with our personnel, our vessels, air cushion vehicles, helicopters and boats conducting operations in some of the world’s most remote locations under extreme environmental conditions.

The safety and security of our seagoing personnel, supernumaries, support staff, scientists, and passengers is paramount. Fleet manages these risks through its Safety and Security Management System. Twenty-five full time personnel work with seagoing personnel and shore-based fleet leadership to promote and operationalize a safety and security culture on a daily basis. 

Becoming a Maritime Industry Leader in Safety and Security

CCG has positioned itself as a marine industry leader by developing and implementing its Safety and Security Management System, which complies with the International Management Code for Safe Operations of Ships and for the Prevention of Pollution. Created in 1998, the system is being expanded to include small vessels and also includes an independent, external audit function.

In 2006, it was expanded to include all vessels over 15 gross registered tons, all 114 of CCG’s major vessels. An additional security requirement has also been added in line with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code – all vessels over 100 gross registered tons must now develop security plans and comply with all international security requirements.

At the onset of the program, reporting hazards and incidents was the prime focus, with reported incidents rising steadily. With this understanding, Fleet’s focus shifted to mitigation and prevention measures. Since inception, a wide variety of programs and initiatives have been put in place to improve overall safety and security. 

With increased acceptance by seagoing personnel, system sophistication improved as did our analytical capability, allowing for a greater focus on behavioural analysis from a methodological perspective.

While the total of hazardous occurrences (Total HO) has been slowly decreasing, Fleet leadership has been encouraging the reporting of preventable incidents by all seagoing personnel, referred to as ‘unsatisfactory conditions’, as illustrated in Graph 7. It is hoped this initiative will further reduce hazardous occurrences and mitigate risks at sea. Hazardous occurrences are comprised of disabling injuries, and others incidents such as groundings, propulsion failures and pollution (Other HO).

Graph 7: Trend of Reported Incidents by 365 Days, 2004-2005 to 2006-2007 (# of Operational Days)

In subsequent years, the SSMS will be used as a building block for human factor development, focusing on unit and individual capabilities (including competency profiles) crossing over into human resources management areas.

CCG Penac
CCG Penac, an Air Cushion Vehicle

Photo: PA Region

5.2 Effective Delivery

Effectiveness is used to assess the extent to which an organization is meeting its expected results.

Fleet has developed different measures to assess its effectiveness, two of which are presented below: the service delivered compared to the service planned, and operational delays.

Service delivered compared to the plan gives an appreciation of its effective delivery. Where values exceed 100%, service demands in year were actually higher, and consequently more operational days were delivered than had been planned; where values are less than 100%, fewer operational days were delivered than had been planned.  The normal tolerance zone is plus or minus 10%, given operational and environmental fluidity.

As illustrated by Graph 8, some 97% of all the operational days planned were delivered.  Clients such as Aids and Waterways Services, Search and Rescue, Maritime Security, Marine Communication and Traffic Services, Science, and OGDs generally received a satisfactory number of operational days compared to planned, with results varying from 91% to 110%. 

Graph 8: Service Delivered versus Planned by Fleet Clients 2006-2007 (%)

As seen in Section 4, Environmental Response Services received 155% of the service planned, which represent only 68 operational days. Also, the Icebreaking Services received less service due to lighter ice conditions, an increase in dedicated scientific activities for OGDs aboard icebreakers, and response to SAR and ER incidents.  Finally, Fisheries and Aquaculture Management received 85% due to extended maintenance and refit periods.

Another means of assessing fleet effectiveness is to measure operational delays, and is comprised of the time a vessel is available but delayed for reasons such as weather, waiting for equipment or personnel, equipment breakdown, administrative reasons, etc. Table 6 shows the five main reasons for operational delays, including weather and environmental conditions. Excluded from these figures are the delays leading to long-term vessel unavailability, delays due to vessel or helicopter breakdown, and delays in maintenance and refit.

Table 6: Top 5 of Reasons for Operational Delays, 2006-2007
1 Weather/tide
2 Equipment Breakdown/Limitation
3 Other Delay
4 Waiting for Material and Equipment
5 Ice Conditions

There has been a steady year-to-year decrease in time lost, from 3.7% of all service delivered in 2003-2004 to 2.5% this year (from 1,005 to 790 lost days). The three clients are mostly affected by the delays are DFO Fisheries and Aquaculture Management, DFO Science, and Aids and Waterways Services.

With these two relative measures, we can conclude that the fleet was generally effective in 2006-2007, with the service delivered comparing as close as 97% to the service planned, and delay time represents less than 2.5% of all service time, excluding long-term unavailability.

Remote community
Contributing to Canadian Sovereignty by re-supplying remote communities.

Photo: NL Region

5.3 Efficient Delivery

Efficiency is the extent to which an organization produces outputs (in this case, operational days) in relation to resources used (i.e. vessels). To measure the fleet efficiency, performance measures have been developed, two of which are presented below: vessel availability and multitasking.

A vessel is available when it is ready to be assigned to a mission or client, and unavailable when it is in winterization and lay-up time, or in extended planned and unplanned maintenance. Table 7 shows the operational state of vessels.

Table 7: Operational State of Vessels, 2006-2007 (%)
Assigned Un-
/ Lay-up 
Other Sub-
67% 1% 0% 68% 20% 9% 2% 1% 32% 100%


Table 8: Unplanned Maintenance of vessels, 2002-2003 to 2006-2007
  2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007
Number of Actual Days in Unplanned Maintenance (breakdowns) 427 472 675 593 533
% of Planned Service 3.7% 4.6% 5.9% 5.6% 5.1%

In 2006-2007, when available, vessels were predominantly assigned to clients (67%) and rarely unassigned (1%).  When vessels were not available, they were mostly in winterization (20%) in four of five regions, except in the Pacific Region, where navigation occurs year-round. The fleet also spent time in maintenance, both planned (9%) and unplanned (2%).  This table shows the reality of an increasingly aging fleet and the associated maintenance problems, unexpected breakdowns and consequent service delivery shortfalls.

The 40 largest vessels in the fleet are also CCG’s oldest. These ships provide an average of 9,500 operational days to clients each year, the vast majority of which are at sea as a function of client and mission requirements. Unfortunately, breakdowns do occur, causing 4-6% of operational days planned lost, as shown with Table 8.

Table 8: Unplanned Maintenance of vessels, 2002-2003 to 2006-2007
  2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007
Number of Actual Days in Unplanned Maintenance (breakdowns) 427 472 675 593 533
% of Planned Service 3.7% 4.6% 5.9% 5.6% 5.1%

Although it is too early to state definitely that stabilisation in operational days lost is directly attributable to increased spending on refit, maintenance and vessel life extensions, it is a hopeful sign and clearly an important and appropriate investment.

Night-time marine species research
Night-time marine species research

The second relative measure of efficiency is multitasking, i.e., in which a vessel performs two or more tasks simultaneously. Icebreakers, for example, can be tasked to Icebreaking while providing SAR coverage, or they can perform Observe, Report and Record functions, or support Maritime Security, or conduct pollution monitoring and/or response. Thus, with one vessel, within the limits of geography, time, availability, and capability, simultaneous missions can often be conducted.

This calculation is derived by comparing the total time a vessel was multitasked to the total time it was assigned. Graph 9 demonstrates the multitasking trend over the last five fiscal years. In 2006-2007, with 13.7% of multitasking accomplished, the fleet is slowly approaching its target of 15%. This moderate change is due in part, to better planning and the migration towards more multitaskable fleet configurations.

Graph 9: Multitasking Trend, 2002-2003 to 2006-2007 (%)

Given the results of these two relative measures, we can consider our fleet generally efficient with a high rate of assignment and an acceptable rate of multitasking, although breakdowns remain problematic. A more sophisticated, multi-mission fleet, with fewer vessel type configurations, as presented in Section 3, will result in increased multitasking ability, thus enhancing Fleet’s overall efficiency.

CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent
CCGS Louis S. St-Lauren
t, our largest icebreaker, near Cambridge Bay in Nunavut

Photo: C&A Region

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