At Your Service/At Your Service
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Fall 2018 Edition
A Message from the Director[edit | edit source]
I’m happy to present the second edition of the At Your Service newsletter. We will continue to provide this newsletter as a way to stay in touch between Forum events.
At the Forum held on September 27, we continued our discussion on how to engage you better and showed you VOILÀ, a new tool we’ve developed in response to your request for a single, integrated system for sharing information from the School. You also gave us valuable feedback about capacity planning for courses. For me, though, a real highlight of the last Forum was a panel discussion on talent management for non-EX employees and the great questions you raised in that discussion. A summary of all of the conversations at the September Forum is included in this edition of the newsletter.
The next Forum event will be held virtually, through our GCcollab portal VOILÀ, on December 14. We really appreciate your flexibility as we adapt to the space crunch we’re experiencing as we share Asticou Centre with the students and staff of École secondaire Mont-Bleu, whose own facility was severely damaged by the tornado that touched down in Gatineau on September 21, 2018. We’ll give you more details on just how this “virtual Forum” will unfold in the agenda for the event.
The December Forum will focus on two key themes. First, we will invite representatives of the School’s data and reporting teams to join us so they can help respond to some of the concerns, questions and comments you have raised. Second, we will continue the dialogue you have requested about defining and differentiating the roles of PoCs and RTCs. I’m also really hoping you’ll let us know what you think of the newsletter, VOILÀ, and the changes we continue to make in how we engage with you.
In closing, I want you to know that I’ve been thrilled with the dynamic engagement so many of you have brought to VOILÀ. As of November 15, 2018, this new platform had 160 members. I hope we can make that number grow rapidly and make VOILÀ our primary channel for sharing updates and facilitating dialogue among all the players in the world of public service learning.
Looking forward to connecting with you on December 14!
Director, Client Service
In case you missed it…[edit | edit source]
In case you missed the September 27 Points of Contact and Required Training Coordinators Forum—or if you want to go back and catch it again—a video recording of the session is now available. The link to the webcast and timeframes for Forum topics are in the “September 2018” sub-folder in the “PoC/RTC Forums” folder under the “Files” tab of VOILÀ.
Service Strategy engagement update[edit | edit source]
As part of our commitment to engaging you better in 2018–2019, the School held in-person and online consultations to inform the School’s next multi-year Service Strategy. We focused on four key areas identified as requiring greater attention:
- data and reporting
- learning delivery modes
- the learner experience
- how to better engage organizations in service
In-person sessions were held on June 19, 20, 26 and 27, and online participation opportunities were available through the Canada School of Public Service GCconnex group and VOILÀ on GCcollab from September 12 to October 5. We are currently reviewing and analyzing the input and will report the findings to you in the New Year.
New Regional Client Relations Team[edit | edit source]
On September 5, the School announced the creation of a new Regional Client Relations Team as part of the School’s efforts to better engage its organizational clients. This new team will work closely with the national Client Service Team to ensure that the School’s curriculum is responsive to client needs and regional circumstances from coast to coast to coast. Together, these teams will maintain and improve the School’s dialogue with you about its products and services.
The Regional Client Relations Team will be working with your regional learning delegates, senior managers and human resources professionals. Thank you for providing us with the information on your regional learning contacts. If you have yet to provide names and contact information for these individuals, please share this with us at your earliest convenience.
Meet the members of the new Regional Client Relations and Partnerships team![edit | edit source]
Who is part of the Regional Client Relations and Partnerships team?
Robert Armstrong is the team’s manager. While still fulfilling other duties (such as events and course facilitation), a core team of regional learning advisors have adjusted their focus to devote more attention to client relations and partnerships files. We have Per Sekhon in Victoria, Richard Gabourie in Toronto, and Line Landry in Moncton right now, and will be staffing advisor positions in the coming weeks in Edmonton and Montréal.
What is the team working on right now? Any specific priorities or goals?
Current priorities include improving the ways in which we collect, compile and report on regional client intelligence and working with regional and national teams to improve planning. Another major priority is to maintain and enhance relationships with organizational clients in the regions and explore opportunities to develop new partnerships beyond the federal sphere.
What can we expect from the team down the road?
Our expectations are high! If all goes well, you should see evidence of enhanced client engagement, better breadth and depth of intelligence gathering on client needs, interesting and innovative partnerships and collaborations and a lot more sharing with regional and national planning groups.
How will this new team benefit organizational representatives?
More and better information on client needs and trends in learning and development won’t just benefit the School as a learning provider—it will ultimately mean more responsive delivery of learning to our partners and clients.
What kind of initiatives or projects should regional representatives expect to be involved in?
Many things could be on the table, but for now, regional representatives should expect a responsive team that’s ready to listen to suggestions and feedback. They should also expect some interesting ideas to come their way as we explore new and innovative ways of looking at government and public service priorities and how regional clients can bring learning on these priorities into their organizations.
Forum follow-up: Point of Contact and Required Training Coordinator roles[edit | edit source]
During the May 24 Forum, we heard overwhelmingly that the distinction between the roles of Points of Contact and Required Training Coordinators is not clear. You asked the School to clarify each role so they can be better understood by everyone.
With this in mind, a document called “Clarifying the Roles of PoCs and RTCs” has been posted in VOILÀ. This document provides some background on the creation and evolution of both functions and poses a few questions. Your answers to these questions should help us to provide you with the guidance and clarification you are seeking.
We invite you to review the document and share your thoughts on the questions at the bottom of the document through discussions on VOILÀ as part of our online forum on December 14, 2018.
Forum follow-up: update on process for collecting and maintaining information on mandatory training in departments[edit | edit source]
The Client Service team is developing a process for collecting and maintaining information on mandatory training in organizations. This information—gathered from you—is an important consideration in capacity planning. Further to an email sent from the “Clients” inbox on November 11, 2018, we would like to remind you to complete the template attached to that email with the School products designated as “mandatory” and “recommended” in your department. Please send the completed document to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 3, 2018. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
Forum follow-up: classroom course schedule on GCcampus[edit | edit source]
During the September 27 Forum, we asked you how many months in advance of delivery you would like to see course offerings listed on GCcampus. The majority of poll respondents (67%) indicated that they would like to see course offerings displayed 10 to 12 months prior to their delivery dates. 17% of respondents wanted to see course offerings 6 to 9 months in advance, and the remainder of respondents wished to see course offerings either 13 to 18 (11%) or more than 19 (6%) months in advance of delivery dates.
It is valuable to know that the majority of you would appreciate being made aware of course offering 10 to 12 months in advance of the offering date. This information has been shared with our Capacity Planning team. Please continue to share your thoughts with us, including any other capacity-related feedback, and we will be sure to connect with the appropriate team and get back to you.
Forum follow-up: VOILÀ[edit | edit source]
Your engagement with VOILÀ has been humbling, whether you’ve been making use of the files posted, replying to blog posts, participating in discussions, filling out templates through the group documents function or viewing the calendar of events. As of November 14, 2018, VOILÀ has 160 members representing 20 organizations, including the School. Please continue using this Forum! As a group, we can aim to expand our use to include its many other functions. Check out the post-September 27 Forum materials on VOILÀ to see the GCcollab demonstration PowerPoint presentation. As well, a GCcollab demonstration provided by Renelle Chalifoux, Manager in the Client Service team, is available from 1:10:54 to 1:25:55 of the September 27 Forum webcast. If you require any support in using VOILÀ, please contact us—we’d be happy to guide you.
To reduce duplication and to make fullest use of our portal, we will be transitioning to communicating with you primarily through VOILÀ, except for Forum calendar invitations, organizational reports and time-sensitive and urgent information, which will continue to be sent through Outlook. Please create or sign into your GCcollab account, become a member of VOILÀ and let us know if you need any help.
Forum follow-up: panel discussion on talent management for non-EX employees[edit | edit source]
As part of our continued effort to improve the registration process for learners who do not meet the application criteria for the Aspiring Directors Program (ADP), the September Forum included a panel discussion on how we can better use the talent management process for EX feeder groups. We heard from three engaging speakers about their experiences with talent management for non-EX employees.
Jennifer Currier, Executive Programs Advisor at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, identified five characteristics that are used at CFIA in assessing the aptitudes of potential candidates in their non-EX leadership development program. These aptitudes are sometimes difficult to pinpoint in cases where there is an apparent—but covert—barrier to leadership potential. The five characteristics identified are as follows:
- Gets "stressed out" and makes things worse in difficult, challenging or crisis situations.
- Places an inordinate value on his or her technical prowess to the detriment of broader leadership abilities.
- Has a tendency to blame others or the "situation" for mistakes, performance shortcomings, etc.
- Impedes timely or cost-effective work delivery by being overly hesitant, perfectionist or stubborn.
- Has tunnel vision: focuses on what happens in their own unit to the exclusion of broader issues.
Mélanie Legault, Executive Coach and Talent Management Advisor at Transport Canada, spoke about a leadership development program for non-EXs in her department. Interested applicants are screened into the program upon senior management approval, with each participant being offered an 18-month leadership development assignment. As part of the leadership development program, Mélanie provides one-on-one coaching, access to information on leadership development opportunities, an analysis of strengths and weaknesses and an articulation of areas for improvement, among other components.
Bruce Lonergan, Manager and Free Agent Consultant in Talent, Planning and Executive Resourcing at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, identified 13 steps to identifying and developing potential leaders, ranging from predictive assessment tools, assessing potential, evaluating investment, performance reviews, emotional intelligence and humility to resilience. Bruce’s notes, including the 13 steps to identifying and developing potential leaders, can be found in the ‘September 2018’ sub-folder of the “PoC/RTC Forums” folder under the “Files” tab in VOILÀ.
To hear and see the panel discussion again, please see 1:28:14 to 2:05:35 of the Forum webcast. If you would like to get in touch with the panelists, they can be reached at Jennifer.Currier@canada.ca, Melanie.Legault@tc.gc.ca and Bruce.Lonergan@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.
Deep links for registering for on-site training[edit | edit source]
We’d like to inform you of a change made to the logistics of on-site training arrangements. Effective immediately, only deep links will be used to register for on site training. A deep link is a hypertext link to a website page other than the home page, in this case used to facilitate registrations to on-site courses that would not be placed on GCcampus. This measure will allow the School to monitor the number of registrations and to follow up with registered learners as required. It will also allow the School and departments to initiate discussions within a more reasonable timeframe in the event of possible cancellation due to lack of registrations. In addition, since data entry is completed by the system, manual data entry error risks will be eliminated, directly affecting data integrity within reports. Please do share with us any reasons preventing you from using deep links for registering for on-site training; this will help guide future service improvements.
Who We Work For (C218) and Values and Ethics Foundation for Employees (C255) available on the School’s public website[edit | edit source]
Two online courses associated with the Public Service Orientation suite—Who We Work For (C218) and Values and Ethics Foundation for Employees (C255) —are now available on the Canada School of Public Service’s public website. This means that learners do not need to log in to GCcampus to launch these courses. This marks a step forward in our commitment to a more open and transparent public service.
However, courses launched and completed on the School’s website will not appear as completed on learning transcripts. Please note that public servants will still be required to log in to GCcampus, launch the courses and complete the assessments to have them appear as “completed” in their learning transcripts (MyLearning).
What does this mean for Required Training Coordinators?
These modifications to the Public Service Orientation suite do not affect the RTC role. The Orientation to the Public Service suite is still considered “required training” as per the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Directive on Required Training. Learners will still need to be assigned to the path and will still be required to complete the course and assessment in GCcampus in order to obtain their certificate.
Update on the discontinuance of Vubiz products[edit | edit source]
Please be advised that minor changes have been made to the dates for Vubiz products to be discontinued and replaced by new products in December 2018 (phase 2).
Also note that the course entitled Office Safety (Z085) has been moved to phase 3, and will therefore be available until February 2019.
Please visit the VOILÀ platform to access the updated schedule of course replacements, including new dates for phase 2 and the list of courses included in phase 3.
Changes to the course Having Difficult Conversations (G131)[edit | edit source]
According to the feedback received from students and instructors, the course Having Difficult Conversations (G131) contained too much material for the allocated amount of time. The School has decided to keep the allocated amount of time (half a day) and reduce the content to ensure a more appropriate pace of instruction. The following changes were made:
- the title was changed to Having Constructive Performance Conversations to more accurately reflect the course content and context of performance management
- the description and objectives were redrafted to be more representative of the course content
- material covered in the course was streamlined while keeping its core elements
- a new case study was included at the end of the workshop
These changes will go into effect on January 24, 2019.
We will contact participants who are already registered for the sessions on January 24 and after to inform them of these changes. Please note that participants who have already taken this course do not have to take it again, since the new version includes the core elements of the preceding version.
Issues with I-LMS reports[edit | edit source]
We’re aware of the issues you’re experiencing with I-LMS reports and are working with Saba to address the root causes of these issues. The first phase in our attempt to resolve the issues you’re experiencing is to reach out to specific departments with support in cleaning up report subscriptions and the parameters set in the reports. We will keep you informed of our progress, and we will be in touch to work together towards fixing the problems.
The School and learning in the digital age: introducing the new Innovation and Policy Services Branch[edit | edit source]
Learning and innovation is more and more top of mind for government departments and agencies. To meet their needs, the School as a whole continues to evolve, with the new Innovation and Policy Services Branch (IPSB) as an important ally. But what is it exactly that they do?
“IPSB is dealing with things that are novel, so novel that we’re learning as we try to teach them,” says Neil Bouwer, Vice-President of the new branch. “We are also demonstrating to others what can be done, as we ourselves are learning what can be done—‘the art of the possible.’ We are small, neutral, and we don’t have mandates that are legislative or regulatory.” Neil calls the result “a high-risk appetite.” He adds, “We want to listen and empower other voices, and most importantly, support people and departments in accomplishing their own goals.”
IPSB’s work is focused on three areas: Digital Transformation, Innovation in Public Management and Administration, and Targeted Innovation Services.
The School’s Digital Academy was announced on October 16, 2018, with a mandate to provide training and learning solutions both through open resources for a wide audience and through in-depth learning to develop specialist skills and digital leadership. It will provide:
- digital foundations through a suite of online and event-based learning
- applied digital solutions for leaders (EX-01 to EX-03)
- digital learning for senior leaders (EX-04 to EX-05)
- premium streams for specialist learning in development, artificial intelligence, design, data science and disruptive technologies
The Academy will offer the best learning and knowledge available on rapidly evolving topics to public servants, including hands-on support for applying digital skills and technologies to real-world problems through an integrated practicum. The team will launch prototype solutions in January 2019, followed by the full suite of programming in July 2019. The Digital Academy will work in an agile, open-by-default manner with government experts and external partners to help Canada set the worldwide bar for digital government and service to citizens.
You can find the team and more information on their work through the Digital Academy group on GCcollab.
Innovation in Public Management and Administration
Efforts in this area are focused on improving the practical activities of managing people and processes in the federal public service, thereby allowing the Government of Canada to better serve Canadians. This means addressing four main areas:
- connecting academia with practitioners
- equipping practitioners with insights from fields such as digital and open government
- supporting research
- sharing innovation activities both within and beyond the public service
Sharing federal innovation activities will be enabled by regular meet-ups for the hubs and labs across the federal government, mapping the players and initiatives in the innovation space and other ways to share innovative learning and tools.
Targeted Innovation Services
IPSB is working collaboratively with a number of federal departments and agencies to explore how Artificial Intelligence (AI) could help to review and analyze the stock of 2,600 federal regulations to ensure that they support innovation and growth while protecting health, safety, well-being and the environment. A recent Request for Proposals process identified 17 successful industry proposals that were showcased by the School at an event on October 19, 2018. The School is moving forward on collaborative interdepartmental demonstration projects that will yield AI-based prototype solutions in spring 2019. These demonstration projects will respond to the practical needs and obligations of regulators, as well as teaching public servants how to apply advanced analytics and machine learning.
The Branch also aims to drive innovation in people management and support related learning across the public service by prototyping and piloting new initiatives and programs. For example, the team has partnered with Statistics Canada to develop a skills inventory for employees, beginning with collecting data in areas such as employee education, professional designations and certifications, areas of strength, and areas of interest for future learning. IPSB also acts as a home for a variety of other initiatives such as Canada’s Free Agents and the Policy Community Partnership Office’s new cross-functional development program, known as XFN, which is inviting an inaugural intake of applications this fall. New pilot programs focused on supporting employee flexibility and mobility are also on deck. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months!
New business lines at the School[edit | edit source]
Taki Sarantakis, President of the School, announced on October 17 that the School’s learning products will be organized thematically and organizationally along five business lines. Mr. Sarantakis says that these business lines “not only correlate strongly with Government of Canada priorities, they are durable in that they will position [the School] well in being able to meet new priorities in the future as they arise.” The five new business lines are as follows:
- Indigenous Learning
- Respectful and Inclusive Workplace
- GC and Public Sector Skills
- Transferable Skills
- Digital Academy
These five areas will also make the School’s business more accessible, as you will quickly be able to find where responsibilities are housed. They will also enable the School to build “deep expertise” in subject areas faster.
“Organizations must constantly adapt and evolve in order to remain dynamic and responsive to their environments,” says Mr. Sarantakis. With these new business lines, that’s exactly what we’re doing at the School.
New External Advisory Committee[edit | edit source]
On September 20, 2018, President Taki Sarantakis announced the creation of a new External Advisory Committee that will provide a forum for consultation, collaboration and discussion of the School’s agenda and priorities, as well as emerging learning and innovation issues. Eminent Canadians representing the public, private and academic sectors will be joining the President on this committee.
Reminder: information on upcoming changes to planned training at Asticou Centre and request for help accessing facilities [edit | edit source]
As you may have heard on the news, Public Safety Canada has announced that the Canada School of Public Service will be sharing its facilities at Asticou Centre with 1,500 students from a nearby high school, École secondaire Mont-Bleu, which was severely damaged in the storm that hit our region on September 21, 2018. Consequently, all training sessions that were scheduled to be held at Asticou after October 22, 2018, have been relocated to other venues within the National Capital Region, mainly 111 Sussex Drive. All learners registered for the courses being relocated were notified in writing as soon the new locations were determined.
School officials are working diligently to secure rooms at new facilities in order to maintain our delivery capacity. However, some offerings are at risk of being cancelled due to lack of space. Your assistance in mitigating this risk would be greatly appreciated. Should your organizations have any training facilities or rooms that could be made available to accommodate School courses between now and the New Year, please provide details as outlined in the attached document.
Finally, please note that classrooms and event facilities at the School will not be available for reservations to client organizations until further notice, since we need to prioritize room reservations for the delivery of School courses.
**PLEASE NOTE: Service during holidays**[edit | edit source]
Our service lines will be closed on December 25 and 26 and on January 1. We wish you a festive and restful holiday season.