ARCHIVE - Delivering Change The RCMP Reform Implementation Council Fourth Report
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Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Governance
- 3. Leadership
- 4. People and Dollars: Human and Financial Resources
- 5. Communication
- 6. Sustaining Change and Renewing the Culture
- 7. Conclusion
- Annex A: The RCMP Reform Implementation Council
- Annex B: RCMP Transformation – Progress to Date
RCMP reform is now entering its second phase. The RCMP's focus on the specific recommendations of the 2007 Task Force on Governance and Cultural Change in the RCMP is now giving way to a new approach of promoting continuous change throughout the Force. The RCMP is transforming how it is led and managed, how it uses its human and financial resources and how it communicates with partners, stakeholders, employees and the Canadian public.
The Reform Implementation Council was created as a new mechanism to ensure that this process of transformation succeeds. After two years, the Council believes it has contributed significantly to the process of reform. The Council has worked closely with the Commissioner and senior management of the RCMP to guide and challenge the Force on management and related issues.
The Council has also helped the RCMP to define its own framework for the future in the form of the Vision for Change:
The RCMP will strive to become an adaptive, accountable, trusted organization of fully engaged employees demonstrating outstanding leadership and providing world-class police services.
Successful reform will mean that the RCMP becomes much more self-aware, more constructively self-critical, and more committed to continuous improvement in management. The Force must also become more transparent and accountable to its own employees, to the government and to the Canadian public.
After two years of transformation, the RCMP has already achieved a great deal. However, it needs to do still more if it is to continue evolving in the directions defined by the Vision for Change. The following summarizes our view of progress in the various areas where change is under way.
Governance and Accountability
Strengthening governance and accountability for the RCMP requires changes in four main areas – increased management authorities, a board of management, improved resource management capacity, and a stronger mechanism for review and oversight of the RCMP.
With the guidance and support of the Council and Public Safety Canada, the RCMP has taken what steps it can to enhance accountability and it has defined options for further action by government.
The RCMP has strengthened management development programs and has recently begun to address the broader cultural challenges of developing leaders and managing executive talent for a new kind of RCMP. The recent appointment of a Leadership Champion for the RCMP is a welcome move.
The Council considers it critical for the long-term success of transformation that the RCMP select and develop leaders who have the courage to be open-minded, secure and forward-looking, ready to step forward and take responsibility but equally ready to manage risks and give their subordinates room to take decisions.
Human and Financial Resources
There have recently been some outstanding accomplishments in the human resource management dimensions of the transformation process. This is a key part of the reform effort and the Council applauds the progress made to date.
The Force is making steady progress to improve its systems for defining resource requirements for operational policing. This must remain a high priority if the RCMP is to generate the information and analysis required for effective joint planning with contract policing partners.
Improving efficiency in management and in operations is an important part of transformation. Efficiency improvements alone, however, will not be enough to address the RCMP's overall shortfall in financial resources for policing and reform.
Funding for ongoing change and management infrastructure has grown much more slowly than for operational policing. Continued transformation of the RCMP must not be impeded by lack of human and financial resources.
Improved communication with the public and with employees must be a priority of transformation. The policing excellence aimed for by the RCMP can only be achieved if professional standards for the communications function are equally high.
In this regard, the new RCMP Communications Strategy is a good start in mapping directions for the future, but further efforts in this area are required. Management must lead the way to a more open and transparent culture throughout the RCMP.
The role of coordinating and leading reform is now being integrated into the regular planning and management processes of the RCMP. This is essential if the RCMP is to become a constructively self-critical, action-oriented and continuously improving organization, under proper control but not risk-averse.
Plans for the transition to a new approach to RCMP management are very promising. The challenge will be to turn these ambitions into reality over the medium and long-term, to ensure the commitment of managers at all levels, and to engage employees in the idea of positive change as a central value of the Force.
A great deal has already been accomplished by way of essential changes in the RCMP, and the Force is moving ahead in a positive way. However, major challenges remain if the culture of the RCMP is to be fundamentally reshaped, and some of the most needed changes, including strengthening governance and providing additional authorities and resources, require action by the government.
The fundamental transformation on which the RCMP is embarked requires that the Force build the management capacity, combined with a new culture of leadership and accountability, to provide Canadians with world-class policing services. The RCMP has committed itself to a permanent process of transforming how it is led and managed, how it uses its human and financial resources and how it communicates with partners, stakeholders, employees and the Canadian public. The necessary changes must come from within the RCMP, but they must reflect the broad interests and values of Canadians.
The RCMP has committed itself to transforming how it is led and managed, how it uses its human and financial resources, and how it communicates.
The urgent need for reform was identified by the Task Force on Governance and Cultural Change in the RCMP, appointed by the government in 2007. To ensure that change took place, the government took an unprecedented step in creating the RCMP Reform Implementation Council, a new mechanism intended to ensure that transformation suceeds by overseeing the process, providing advice to the Minister of Public Safety and the Commissioner of the RCMP, and reporting on progress.Footnote 1
As we approach the end of our second year, the members of the Reform Implementation Council have been taking stock of the progress of RCMP transformation and of our own contribution to this process. We conclude that the reform initiative is well launched, with the RCMP making real progress in beginning to reshape itself for the future. We also conclude that the Council has demonstrated the benefits of external guidance and challenge in this process of reform.
As well as assessing progress to date, we also offer in this report a forward look at the main themes of transformation – governance, leadership, resources, communication, and the future of the RCMP process of change.
Through our broader perspective and experience we have been able to assist the RCMP in examining the root causes of its problems.
The Role of the Council
From the beginning the Council has sought to be a catalyst for the vital process of RCMP renewal that was endorsed by the government. Part of the Council's job has been to focus the goals of transformation and to guide, challenge and encourage the organization along the way. We are pleased that through our broader perspective and experience we have been able to assist the RCMP in examining the root causes of its problems and in opening its thinking to new management and leadership benchmarks.
The RCMP must become an organization much more self-aware, more constructively self-critical, and more committed to continuous improvement … a permanently self-adjusting organization that can respond effectively to challenges.
In our previous reports, we have pointed out that RCMP transformation must be more than a series of one-time fixes for specific problems. While many things did need fixing – and indeed much of the needed repair work had already been initiated by the RCMP itself – the really important change required for the long-term was in the very nature and ethos of the Force. The RCMP must become an organization much more self-aware, more constructively self-critical, and more committed to continuous improvement in management. It also needs to become more transparent and accountable to its own employees, to the government and to the Canadian public. Our task has been to guide the RCMP on the path to becoming a permanently self-adjusting organization that can respond effectively to the many challenges it faces now and those it will face in the future.
In approaching our mandate, we have not sought to impose change. Rather we have worked closely with the senior leaders of the RCMP, as well as with the Change Management Team that was set up to lead and coordinate the process of transformation. We have visited RCMP operations across Canada and talked to many regular members and civilian staff. Above all, we have tried to offer useful guidance, drawing out the best ideas from within the RCMP itself while applying our own varied experiences and perspectives.
Specific action by the government is required to provide the additional authorities and capacities the Force needs.
Over the past two years, the Council has met regularly with the Commissioner and other RCMP senior leaders, and the Chair has on a number of occasions met personally with the Minister of Public Safety. We have sought through our reports and briefings to provide the government with the Council's assessment of RCMP progress and to offer advice on how the momentum of reform can be further strengthened. While there is a great deal the RCMP can do, and is already doing, to bring about important changes, only the government can provide the additional authorities and capacities the Force needs. And only the government can create the new mechanisms of governance, accountability and oversight that are needed to strengthen public trust in the RCMP. Support for our work has from the beginning been capably provided by the RCMP Change Management Team, led by Assistant Commissioner Keith Clark. We are particularly grateful for the dedication and skill of Inspector Allan Lucier and his team in making our work possible.
The Progress of Change in the RCMP
An essential step in any major process of reform is to set out clearly the direction of long-term change. Accordingly, one of the first areas in which the Council worked closely with the RCMP was in helping to define the broad goals of reform. The resulting RCMP Vision for Change defines the purpose of the reform process and provides a framework for the future of the RCMP:
The RCMP will strive to become an adaptive, accountable, trusted organization of fully engaged employees demonstrating outstanding leadership and providing world-class police services.
This vision statement is intended to serve for the long-term, with each of its elements providing a criterion for the success of the transformation process.
Great progress has been made on many reform initiatives over this period, but much remains to be done.
In our meetings with the Commissioner and senior management over nearly two years we have made it clear that the change agenda belongs ultimately to the RCMP. Our contribution has been to question, challenge, criticize or reinforce as appropriate, and to report on the progress of transformation. We have proposed new ideas, perspectives and benchmarks on management and leadership. We have also encouraged the Force in its efforts to develop broader frames of reference by examining the experiences of police services and other organizations that have undertaken significant reform.
In Annex B to this report we have provided an overview of transformation to date. The initiatives presented there are defined in terms of the recommendations of the 2007 Task Force on Governance and Cultural Change in the RCMP.Footnote 2Our account indicates that great progress has been made on many reform initiatives over this period but much remains to be done. It is entirely appropriate that work is still continuing on many of the recommendations, given that the aim is to embed reform and continuous improvement as permanent features of senior management priorities and objectives.
With the responsibility for monitoring and coordinating the transformation process shifting from the Change Management Team to the RCMP's Strategic Policy and Planning Directorate by April 1, 2010, the first phase of reform is nearly over. As we noted in our previous report, the key question for the future will be:
“whether purposeful change becomes a normal part of the management process throughout the RCMP. [There must be] continuing reform and renewal, in which all parts of the RCMP are committed to change based on consultation, self-examination, measurement of results and accountability.”
As we report in the section on Sustaining Change and Renewing the Culture (page 21), RCMP senior management has demonstrated a commitment to making this happen through potentially far-reaching changes in people management, leadership training and the future of the transformation process.
We join with the leadership of the RCMP in recognizing that the process of reform can only happen through the efforts of thousands of employees across the entire organization. What has been accomplished to this point reflects the willingness and capacity of people to contribute to the future of their organization. Reinforcing their commitment to RCMP reform requires that they continue to be engaged in the process and to see that change is happening.
We should also note the very constructive role played by the RCMP Staff Relations Representatives in the reform process. Through their work on behalf of employees, the SRRs have contributed meaningfully to the transformation initiative on a number of important issues.
Continuous change must become the hallmark of the RCMP.
Continuous change must become the hallmark of the RCMP as an organization. The next year or so will be crucial in determining whether there will be fundamental and lasting change in the way the RCMP is governed, led and managed, and in the way it understands its mission of serving Canadians.
Four Pillars of Improved Governance and Accountability
With approximately 30,000 employees, a budget of $5 billion, a mandate that affects all Canadians, and operational demands that are constantly evolving, the RCMP is a complex and unique national organization, quite unlike a regular government department. Managing this enterprise efficiently, while remaining accountable to the government, stakeholders and Canadians generally, requires sophisticated modern techniques of governance and administration.
The Council is convinced that the organizational scope and multi-faceted mandate of the RCMP means that the Force could better meet its operational responsibilities if it had greater management autonomy and flexibility. This implies significant changes in existing mechanisms of governance and accountability.
The Force could better meet its operational responsibilities if it had greater management autonomy and flexibility. This implies significant changes in existing mechanisms of governance and accountability.
The required changes are for the most part beyond the control of the RCMP and call for legislative or at least executive action by the government. The exact definition of the required changes has evolved as issues and options have been explored, but the Council and the RCMP are fully aligned in believing that the optimum governance and accountability regime for the RCMP has four pillars:
- Increased authorities to manage more efficiently the affairs of a large and complex police organization facing increasingly difficult challenges to the safety and security of Canadians.
- Enhanced governance - in our view this means a board of management that would guide, advise and challenge RCMP top leadership by bringing outside perspectives to bear on management.
- Improved capacity to plan, manage and account for the use of resources in relation to the results expected of the RCMP by the government and Canadians.
- A stronger mechanism for review and oversight of RCMP actions, including dealing with complaints from the public.
The Council has been closely involved in discussions around the first three items, while the fourth – developing proposals for a new independent mechanism for complaints and oversight – is the responsibility of Public Safety Canada. We note, however, that the RCMP is strongly committed to a more transparent approach to the review of its actions. The Commissioner's recent public commitment to having serious policing incidents investigated wherever possible by an external agency is an important step in that direction.
The Need for Management Guidance and Oversight
To address the complex demands imposed by its mandate, the RCMP must be able to draw constantly on the ideas and management experience of people outside its own ranks. Just as other private and public sector organizations have boards of directors to address fundamental issues of corporate management and provide a source of constructive challenge, so too would the RCMP benefit from a board of carefully chosen Canadians dedicated to providing management advice and constructive challenge to senior management.
We believe the experience of the RCMP Reform Implementation Council over the past two years has demonstrated the benefits of such a body in supporting the work of senior management, in providing independent advice to the Minister, and in reporting on the progress of reform to Canadians, including RCMP employees. The future development of the RCMP would be greatly assisted by the creation of a true board of management, and we see the Council as a bridge to this objective. We fully agree with the original Task Force recommendation that the role currently being played by the Council should be subsumed without interruption in a more broadly-based and permanent mechanism.
The RCMP must draw constantly on the ideas and management experience of people outside its own ranks.
Such a board would perform a spectrum of important functions for the RCMP, as well as for the government and Canadians. At one end, a board would take over where audit mechanisms leave off, providing a broader kind of accountability and compliance mechanism that addresses issues of how well resources are being used by the RCMP in relation to its mandate and the needs of those it serves.
At the other end of its range, a board would bring to the Force the benefit of external points of view and offer guidance on how best to manage a complex modern public service organization. In this part of its role, a board would serve as a proactive agent of cultural change, pushing for excellence, challenging the status quo of management thinking and bringing to the RCMP fresh insights from the private and public sectors.
In our first report, the Council concluded that “the establishment of some type of board would appear to be a prerequisite for any new and more flexible organizational status and improved governance model for the RCMP.”Footnote 3 Our views on the matter have only strengthened since then, in large part as a result of our experience as a functioning council. If the Government is not in a position to create a board of management at this time, then interim steps should be taken to ensure continued external management oversight and guidance in the process of reform and improvement.
The Critical Importance of Renewed Leadership
If there is one thing on which everyone involved in RCMP reform agrees, it is the critical importance of strong and committed leadership throughout the organization, from the senior executive level to front-line supervisors. The RCMP's success in developing a new generation of leaders will determine the longer-term future of the entire reform initiative.
In previous reports the Council called for a new kind of leadership that must “not only be open and accountable, it must be passionate in its commitment to making the RCMP the kind of world-class organization that Canadians expect and that is described in the Vision for Change. Leaders, including managers and supervisors at all levels, must enthusiastically promote change and a progressive management outlook as a permanent feature of RCMP management and operations, and they must inspire others to do likewise.”Footnote 4
The RCMP's success in developing a new generation of leaders will determine the longer-term future of the entire reform initiative.
We said that the time ahead would be a period of critical transition for the RCMP in its approach to leadership development. In identifying and developing new leaders at every rank, the RCMP will need to address some special challenges.
The first is that the next few years will be a period of high turnover as many senior members retire. This means that new leaders will include many younger and less experienced officers. While this period of demographic renewal presents obvious challenges, it also offers an opportunity to inculcate the principles and values of RCMP reform throughout the Force.
Second, Canada's police forces face a rapidly changing environment, with increasing international crime and security threats as well as changing needs and expectations on the part of Canadians. To deal with new challenges, RCMP leaders at all levels will need to demonstrate more integrative thinking and broader perspectives. Here too demographic factors offer opportunities for renewal in experience, ideas and attitudes.
Third, regaining public trust and rebuilding internal morale will require that the RCMP not only select and develop the best possible leaders, but that it be seen to do so by the public and its own employees. This requires that processes of leadership selection, advancement and development be highly effective, transparent and credible.
Work Under Way
The RCMP's plans to prepare leaders for today and tomorrow define leadership as “taking others where they would not have gone alone.” The plans focus on instilling a commitment to achieving results for Canadians through excellence in police services. They are designed to promote ethical leadership, respect for others, teamwork, and integrative thinking, especially at the highest levels. The new approach to leadership supports both individual learning and the continuous improvement of the organization and its members. One of its main themes is the need to articulate and engage others in the RCMP mission and vision.
One notable theme running through the latest work on RCMP leadership, which the Council fully endorses, is that the learning plans of individual employees must not only be about personal development but must directly serve the objectives and needs of the organization.
Achieving these objectives will require that the RCMP simplify and streamline policies and processes related to talent identification and performance management. Learning materials will be reviewed and revised as necessary to ensure they address all of the key elements of leadership. There will be a special focus on identifying and developing potential senior executives. To drive this effort, a Leadership Champion for the RCMP has recently been appointed, a move welcomed by the Council.
It will be important that managers at the most senior levels be included in the process of leadership development to ensure that they share the values and priorities of a transforming RCMP. Of special importance in our view is their commitment to the principles of the RCMP Vision for Change, including the concept of a Force that is continuously improving to serve Canadians.
Enhancing the openness and transparency of the RCMP towards the people it serves should also be a priority of leadership training, as should overcoming a sometimes excessive caution on the part of senior managers. It seems that many of those who are strong and decisive in the domain of operational policing become risk averse when faced with policy and administrative issues. In addition, emphasis should be placed on developing leaders who are committed to innovation.
The RCMP must select and develop leaders at the most senior levels who have the courage to be open-minded, secure and forward-looking, ready to take responsibility but equally ready to manage risks and give their subordinates room to make decisions.
The Council considers it critical for the long term success of transformation that the RCMP select and develop leaders at the most senior levels who have the courage to be open-minded, secure and forward-looking, ready to take responsibility but equally ready to manage risks and give their subordinates room to make decisions.
4. People and Dollars: Human and Financial Resources
Improving Human Resource Systems
Many of the problems facing the RCMP in recent years have involved the management of human resources. Over the past two years, the RCMP has achieved great success in addressing a number of the most important of these problems.
As we have noted in previous reports, strengthening recruitment has been a notable success. In addition, to help new members adjust to their work environment after initial training at Depot and to assist them in providing top-quality police service to the public, the RCMP has increased the number of experienced members contributing to in-field training. During 2008/2009, the RCMP trained over 1,000 new field coaches.
Evidence suggests that progress is also being made in areas such as defining and staffing positions, improving the effectiveness of the discipline system, assessing the performance of employees, developing and implementing learning plans, promoting non-commissioned members, dealing with employee complaints, and improving both the effectiveness and efficiency of employee welfare services, including supplementary health and dental benefits.
Most of these initiatives are in mid-stream; while they have already delivered important results, continued effort over an extended period will be required.
The Council sees human resource initiatives as a key part of the reform effort and we applaud the progress that has already been made.
The Council sees the entire range of human resource initiatives, which correspond to over half of all the recommendations in the Task Force report, as a key part of the reform effort and we applaud the progress that has already been made. We fully understand that many of the initiatives require careful development and are dependent on the results of other work or external factors. Indeed, we have urged that such efforts be seen as part of ongoing reform, rather than as one-time projects. As noted in Annex B, however, we also observe that some initiatives appear to be moving more slowly than they might and to need strong, clear direction.
Reducing the Administrative Workload
An important aspect of the RCMP transformation initiative has been the effort to improve policing by reducing the burden of administrative work on front-line police.
One approach has been a “reducing bureaucracy” campaign to rid the organization of low-value administrative practices that are tying up resources and impairing the Force's ability to provide police services. Initiatives involve re-designing or re-engineering current processes or in some cases eliminating them outright. Regions are being encouraged to develop their own bureaucracy reduction initiatives and to share these for possible application elsewhere across the Force. Across Canada over 400 projects are under way, many of them in National Headquarters.
The challenge is to bring about a fundamental shift to modern management practice that promotes excellent judgement and the courage to take the initiative.
Another step is the provision of improved administrative support through the review of detachment clerk positions, as well as through innovative approaches such as enabling officers to dictate reports by telephone.
The Council welcomes these efforts as an integral part of RCMP reform. The challenge is not just to change processes but rather to bring about a more fundamental shift to modern management practice that promotes excellent judgment and the courage to take the initiative.
The Council commends the RCMP on what it has accomplished so far in this area and urges it to continue the work permanently. We note that while local initiative is essential, the overall effort also needs strong and sustained national leadership and monitoring.
Matching Capacity to Needs: Effective Planning
As the Council has observed, the RCMP has made great progress in streamlining its approach to recruiting and training new members. The RCMP is now at the point where this formerly major problem no longer stands in the way of filling operational policing vacancies (which can be defined as “funded but unfilled” positions).
Canadians who are directly served by the RCMP through contract policing have a reasonable expectation that their safety needs will be met by the provision of adequate police service. Ensuring a consistent and reasonable level of police response requires that detachments have enough of the right people to do the work. This means that real policing needs must be determined through a review of staffing levels in relation to the needs and expectations of the community, as well as external and internal environmental trends.
The work must be based on adequate research and an analysis of good data. For example, Statistics Canada provides information on RCMP detachments and municipal police services across the country. This provides benchmarks for the policing of communities of various sizes and needs.
The RCMP's new Police Resourcing Methodology (PRM) is a tool designed to support such an analysis and thereby help determine the staffing levels required to provide adequate policing services in a detachment.Footnote 5This enables the organization to respond effectively to requests for service by working with the community to agree on standards, expectations and needs. The PRM should be particularly helpful in contract jurisdictions with multi-year resourcing plans.
Only when policing requirements have been determined on the basis of solid information and analysis can the partners work together to reach the appropriate levels of staffing over time.
The PRM has now been applied to 125 detachments (about 25% of the total), largely those seen as being in most critical need. Additional work is underway to extend the work to other detachments and units. The Council understands the priority approach being taken and would like to see a timetable established for completing the review of resourcing levels for all detachments, using tools such as the PRM wherever they can be of significant value.Footnote 6
Only when staffing requirements and service levels have been determined on the basis of solid information and analysis can the RCMP, the Government of Canada and the contract partners work together to plan and reach the appropriate levels of staffing over time.
Financial Resources to Support Change
RCMP expenditures on policing operations have doubled in the past ten years. There has, however, been no commensurate increase in resources available for management services to support these operations. Funding for management services, which makes up about 15% of the total RCMP budget, has grown only about 35% since 2000. The consequences of underfunding internal services include an under-developed management infrastructure to support RCMP reform, as well as a lack of resources for new initiatives in areas such as communications and human resources.
In recent years, it has been possible to mask the shortage of funding for internal services by using a portion of the cash surpluses that resulted from the RCMP's inability to fill many of its existing vacancies, especially in the area of operational policing. This “carry-over” funding, however, has nearly dried up in the past year as efforts to recruit and train new employees have enjoyed remarkable success. The resulting decline in vacancies has led to a corresponding increase in the use of available salary and operational dollars.
One result is that substantial additional funding is needed to keep up with the growing demand for internal services generated by expanding operational needs. At the same time, resources are scarce for improvements in management and administrative infrastructure. These are needed for strengthened human resources planning and development, new health care benefits and mental health programs for employees, enhanced communication services, and supervisory, management and leadership development.
Improving efficiency is an important part of transformation. Nothing the Force can do in this regard, however, will adequately address the overall shortfall in financial resources for policing and reform.
The shortfall in funding for internal services is a matter of concern to the Council because it directly affects the possibilities of achieving effective and sustained reform. Indeed, one of our consistent messages has been that the government's commitment to RCMP transformation cannot be fulfilled without the necessary financial resources. The only alternative would be to reduce the share of available funding devoted to delivering police services, something which would not be acceptable to most stakeholders, including the public.
We need to be particularly clear on one point. There are many opportunities for the RCMP to work smarter in applying its resources, and improving efficiency is an important part of transformation. Nothing the Force can do in this regard, however, will adequately address the overall shortfall in financial resources for both policing operations and management reform.
The Need for Communication
From the beginning, it has been clear to the Reform Implementation Council that improved communication with the public and with employees should be a high priority of the RCMP transformation. The levels of policing excellence aimed for by the RCMP can only be achieved if professional standards for communication are equally high.
Public opinion surveys in recent years, as well as media coverage and phone-in shows, have shown widespread concern about certain aspects of RCMP policy and operations. While overall public opinion remains strongly favourable towards the members of the Force and the services they provide, levels of approval and confidence in the Force are lower now than they were only a few years ago.
The levels of policing excellence aimed for by the RCMP can only be achieved if professional standards for communication are equally high.
There are, of course, underlying issues which even the most effective communications work cannot overcome. In particular, several highly publicized inquiries have cast the RCMP in a negative light. Management is addressing the issues, but only time, greater openness and improved communication with Canadians will allow the Force to rebuild public confidence.
With respect to internal communication, employee surveys have shown a general lack of awareness of the goals and progress of reform, as well as some dissatisfaction with the extent of engagement and consultation of employees by management. Awareness of change is gradually increasing as transformation measures take effect and efforts are made to address other employee concerns. But much better internal communication must clearly be a priority.
Improved internal communication is not simply one objective to be pursued in the transformation of the RCMP – it is critical to the very success of the undertaking.
Improved internal communication is not simply one objective to be pursued as part of the ongoing transformation of the RCMP – it is critical to the very success of the undertaking. The continuous improvement to which the RCMP is committed must engage all employees. To do this there must be effective communication throughout the organization, both explaining change and listening to ideas and reactions, with managers and supervisors playing a central role.
We have stated in our previous reports that the RCMP needs to act strongly to build its communications capacity, improve its strategy and tactics and develop a new culture of openness and transparency throughout the organization. Led by the Commissioner, the RCMP has acted on many of these recommendations, in particular by creating a new professional Public Affairs network and more recently by developing the first version of its Strategic Communications Plan.
Considerable good work to reach out to Canadians has been done recently by Public Affairs. The public and media are receiving information about RCMP actions and operations in a more timely and proactive fashion. Other significant accomplishments include the television series Courage in Red, as well as improvements on the internal communication front.
RCMP managers must come to see communication as a positive opportunity to reach out to those they serve, rather than as a challenge or threat.
We have suggested that there is a need for more senior representatives of the RCMP to act as spokespersons on difficult or sensitive issues. Despite serious efforts by the Force to improve the availability of senior RCMP officers, we still observe junior members publicly representing the Force on sensitive cases. This comment is not a reflection on the competence of these spokespersons, who generally do an admirable job of representing the Force and should continue to do so. Rather, it reflects the importance of showing that the RCMP takes sensitive issues seriously and is dealing with them at an appropriately senior level.
The RCMP must improve its ability to anticipate communication opportunities and requirements and to react quickly and effectively where unforeseen events occur. We understand the difficulties of doing this, but fast action or reaction is one of the fundamental requirements of successful communications, and we think more can still be done. RCMP managers must come to see communication as a positive opportunity to reach out to those they serve, rather than as a challenge or threat.
One of the principal concerns of the Council in previous reports has been the lack of a formal strategic plan for RCMP communications, something the Task Force before us also noted. In our view, such a plan is essential to give shape and direction to the many positive initiatives and to identify areas where greater effort or a different approach is needed. As well, strategic planning must establish clear links between the goals and activities of RCMP transformation and the communication approaches to be taken with both the public and employees. We were therefore very pleased to receive recently a briefing on the new RCMP Communications Plan. The basic themes set out in the plan include emphasizing the contributions of RCMP members at the community level, the high quality and excellent training of new recruits, the RCMP as a modern, world-class police service, and the new willingness of the Force to address publicly the consequences of its actions. The Council sees such messages as very much in line with the broad thrust of RCMP transformation.
While there is still much work to be done in turning broad strategies into a detailed plan of action, we believe the draft Communications Plan provides a very good starting point for what needs to be done.
A New Openness and Transparency
The future of the RCMP will be largely determined by its capacity to communicate with and listen to people outside the Force, including the Canadian public and other stakeholders. Open and transparent communication is something that must be established as a fundamental goal at the most senior levels of the organization and inculcated as part of leadership development among managers and supervisors at every level. While the Communications Division can play a crucial supporting role in delivering services and providing media training for employees, the essential value of open communication must become part of the general culture of the Force. We appreciate that open communication has its limits, especially in an organization that deals with confidential criminal investigations and sensitive matters protected by privacy legislation. While openness will necessarily be constrained by legal and operational considerations, the principle should be that people are informed whenever possible, rather than that they are informed only when necessary. This may entail a more consciously risk-based approach to public communication and it will certainly require a change in the culture of the Force at all levels.
The future of the RCMP will be largely determined by its capacity to communicate with and listen to people outside the Force, including the Canadian public and other stakeholders.
In so large an organization as the RCMP, unforeseen problems will arise and errors will inevitably be made. When this happens, the essential requirement is that the Force explain its actions and acknowledge any mistakes publicly, as well as taking steps as quickly as possible to remedy the situation.
6. Sustaining Change and Renewing the Culture
With the first phase of reform essentially complete, the key issue for the future of RCMP transformation is how to build on the momentum achieved to date, so that the RCMP becomes a constructively self-critical and action-oriented organization dedicated to fulfilling its Vision for Change. The Force must also find a way to maintain the required control while overcoming its tendency to be risk-averse when it comes to management. Doing these things will require a significant evolution in the management culture of the RCMP.
The key issue is how to build on the momentum achieved to date, so that the RCMP becomes a constructively self-critical and action-oriented organization.
The Council shares the view of the RCMP that further transformation requires that the Force commit formally to the principles of continuous improvement. Continuous improvement (CI) is based on the simple idea that an organization must never stop examining (and measuring) its own work processes to find better ways to achieve its goals. Using the results of such analysis:
- CI works through evolutionary change over time to improve the organization's adaptation to its environment, rather than trying to make change through a few great leaps.
- CI works to improve the efficiency of processes and to eliminate those that get in the way of the ultimate purpose – delivering service to the customer (i.e., police services to Canadians).
- CI seeks to engage people in all parts and at all levels of the organization in the quest for improvement.
As the Council has observed in previous reports, the first essential requirement for moving the RCMP in this direction is that transformation not be viewed as a relatively short period of change followed by a return to business as usual. Indeed, experience from other countries where police forces have undergone major change shows that any particular reform typically takes several years to be fully implemented and that only then do many of the expected benefits show up. The experience also demonstrates that strong leadership, involvement of key stakeholders and careful monitoring and evaluation of the reform process are essential to initiate and sustain change.Footnote 7
In other words, we are saying that the idea of long-term continuous improvement needs to be integrated permanently into the fabric of RCMP management and promoted enthusiastically by managers and supervisors at all levels. This can only happen with clear leadership from the top.
In particular, we believe the Commissioner should insist that the members of senior management team set an example for the organization through their declared commitment to ongoing change and improvement. Their own behaviour must consistently demonstrate such leadership. This requirement should be incorporated into the performance agreements of individual executives as a key factor in their annual assessment.
Members of the senior management team must set an example through their declared commitment to ongoing change and improvement.
A second requirement for maintaining the momentum of change is that sufficient human and financial resources be made available to support the effort. This means dedicating people to coordinating and monitoring the progress of initiatives, devoting adequate resources to external evaluations of results, and obtaining the funding to build management infrastructure and cover the transitional costs of reform. If change always has to be managed “off the corner of the desk” and paid for out of existing highly stretched budgets, much of it will simply not happen (see Financial Resources to Support Change, page 16).
Third, given the RCMP's major commitment to contract policing, it is essential that transformation include mechanisms to provide contract jurisdictions with ample opportunities to provide meaningful input and be kept informed of progress. As major partners of the RCMP, they have a large stake and a strong interest in how the Force manages its business, as they have clearly indicated in recent years. The Council believes it is important to find ways over the medium term to engage them on those aspects of change that relate to their interests. Given the improvement in working relationships achieved in the current contract negotiations, we are convinced this is possible.
Contract jurisdictions must have ample opportunities to provide meaningful input and be kept informed of progress.
Moving Forward with Transformation
Coordinating the ongoing process of transformation has for the past two years been the responsibility of the Change Management Team (CMT). This key role will now be assumed by the Strategic Policy and Planning Directorate (SPPD), where it can be integrated into the regular planning and implementation processes of the RCMP. The Council agrees with the RCMP that while the CMT was absolutely necessary for the initial stages of wide-scale change in the organization, it is now time to make transformation part of the regular process of planning and management.
To ensure that continuous improvement and a capacity for self-adjusting become embedded within the organization, a number of important steps will be taken:
- A permanent Transformation Steering Committee will be led by the Senior Deputy Commissioner. Members of the Committee will be senior leaders from across the Force. The Committee, with the support of a project management team within SPPD, will establish principles for transformation, propose priorities and oversee the implementation of an annually updated Transformation Action Plan.
- To further support RCMP transformation, training on leading and managing change will be incorporated into regular developmental programs for managers and supervisors. Much attention will be given to defining the changes required in the RCMP culture at all levels, including top leadership, and to adapting developmental policies and methods accordingly.
- A senior communications position will be established under Public Affairs to integrate communication activities related to RCMP transformation, to enhance employee engagement, to reach out to mid level managers, and to examine existing mechanisms of internal communications and make recommendations accordingly.
- An independent evaluation of RCMP transformation work to date is planned for the next fiscal year. This will look not only at the accomplishments of the various projects coordinated by the Change Management Team (see Annex B) but also at the contribution of the Reform Implementation Council. The evaluation will provide valuable insights for planning future change strategies and determining how to manage them.
- Executive accountability will be strengthened through performance agreements that address not only individual managers' commitments and accomplishments in bringing about change, but also their efforts to improve employee engagement and client satisfaction. At the same time, key organizational processes such as leadership selection, succession planning, talent management and human resources development will be further refined to align them with the principles and goals of continuous improvement.
The Council is encouraged by the steps taken recently by the RCMP senior management to move forward into the next phase of transformation and to make continuous improvement a permanent characteristic of the RCMP. We see this as a sign of a long term commitment to driving forward with the broad process of reform. As the Council has stated several times, the RCMP is in no position to lose any momentum when it comes to positive change and continuous improvement. These elements must permeate the entire management and leadership agenda.
The RCMP is in no position to lose any momentum when it comes to positive change and continuous improvement. These elements must permeate the entire management and leadership agenda.
The Progress of Change
In assessing the progress of RCMP reform to date, the Council can only reiterate the message it has offered in previous reports – a great deal has already been achieved, much is under way, and even more is needed. This is as it should be if the RCMP is to continue to evolve in the directions defined by its Vision for Change. The Force should always be striving to become “an adaptive, accountable, trusted organization of fully engaged employees demonstrating outstanding leadership and providing world-class police services.” In the principal areas of transformation, our assessment of current progress is as follows:
Governance and Accountability: The RCMP, with the guidance and support of the Council and Public Safety Canada, has taken the steps it can to enhance accountability and has defined options for further action. The onus is now on the government to decide how to respond both in the long-term and in the interim. With respect to governance, the Council is convinced of the value of external guidance and is particularly concerned that a vacuum could be created if no new oversight mechanism is in place when its term expires.
Leadership: The RCMP has strengthened management and supervisory development programs and has recently begun to address the broader cultural challenges of developing leaders and managing executive talent for a new kind of RCMP. The Council sees this work as critical to the long term success of RCMP transformation.
Human Resources: There have been some outstanding accomplishments in this crucial area of reform, including solving the problem of recruitment and improving services to employees. Other important work has been launched on a wide range of issues from learning plans, to promotion, to discipline. The challenge of maintaining momentum in the face of restrained financial resources will require strong leadership in the Sector.
Financial Resources: The Force is making steady progress to improve its systems for defining operational policing requirements. To provide a solid basis for resource requests, it must ensure that this effort remains a priority. There are also concerns about resources for ongoing change and management infrastructure, without which transformation could bog down.
Communication: Excellent communication, both external and internal, is an essential part of transformation, but it is only fairly recently that the necessary steps towards a comprehensive approach have begun to be taken by the RCMP. The new Strategic Communications Plan is a good start in mapping directions for the future, and accelerating the development and implementation of initiatives in this area should be a priority.
Sustaining Change: Plans for supporting the transition to continuous improvement as a fundamental RCMP management principle are very promising. The challenge will be to turn those ambitions into practical reality over the medium and long-term, to ensure the commitment of managers at all levels to their implementation, and to engage employees.
The Council's Contribution
Our assessment after two years is that the experiment of creating a Reform Implementation Council has already made a real difference to the transformation of the RCMP. Our own observations and discussions with RCMP representatives suggest that in challenging the leadership of the Force to rethink their assumptions about governance, culture, communications, planning and management, and in championing the idea of continuous improvement, we have helped the Force clarify its vision for the future. While any new governance mechanism involves potential risks, we consider that the upside offered by an external advisory body very much outweighs those risks.
The experiment of creating a Reform Implementation Council has already made a real difference to the transformation of the RCMP
The RCMP is one of this country's great institutions. It owes Canadians the very best in terms of excellence in policing, good governance, strong and progressive leadership, well trained employees and open communication with employees and with Canadians.
These are the essential goals of RCMP reform.
Annex A: The RCMP Reform Implementation Council
The 2007 report of the Task Force on Governance and Cultural Change in the RCMP concluded that major changes were “essential for restoring the Force to the position of confidence and respect it had enjoyed since its inception.”
The Task Force recommended that the government immediately appoint a Reform Implementation Council to advise, oversee and report on the progress of reform.
The Reform Implementation Council
The RCMP Reform Implementation Council was appointed by the government in March 2008 with a mandate to:
Provide advice to the Minister of Public Safety on implementation of reforms approved by the Government;
Provide advice and assistance to the Commissioner of the RCMP respecting the RCMP implementation plan;
Monitor the progress of reforms approved by Government and undertaken by the RCMP; and,
Submit regular progress reports to the Minister of Public Safety.
In March 2009, the then Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Peter Van Loan, announced the extension of the Council's initial term by a further year to March 18, 2010.
The Council is chaired by David McAusland, a lawyer and corporate director from Montreal. The other members are:
Jean-Claude Bouchard, a former federal deputy minister and career public servant.
Beverley A. Busson, Commissioner of the RCMP (retired).
Jocelyne Côté-O'Hara, a corporate director and former government executive.
Kevin McAlpine, a professor and Chief of the Durham Regional Police Service (retired).
The Council's previous reports were delivered in September 2008, March 2009 and September 2009. They are available on the website of Public Safety Canada.
Annex B: RCMP Transformation – Progress to Date
The RCMP Reform Implementation Council (RIC) has reviewed the current status of transformation projects initiated in response to the 49 recommendations of the Task Force on Governance and Cultural Change in the RCMP. The comments provided here are based on information supplied by the RCMP Change Management Team as well as the Council's own observations and discussions. At this time no formal evaluation of the transformation initiatives has been undertaken, but there are plans for such an evaluation in the future.
|Task Force Recommendation
|Recommendation 1 – Conversion of the RCMP to a Separate Entity The RCMP should become a separate entity with separate employer status and should be granted full authority to manage its financial affairs within spending authorities approved by Parliament.
|In its discussions with the RCMP and government sources the Council concluded that the key requirement was that the RCMP be recognized as a unique organization requiring additional permanent authorities to manage its affairs. It noted that for many purposes the RCMP is already close to being a separate employer. The RIC considers that much progress has been made by the RCMP in defining the real issues in this area. It hopes the government will see fit to grant additional authorities to enable the RCMP to carry out its mandate more efficiently.
|Recommendation 2 – Board of Management Legislation should be enacted by the Parliament of Canada as soon as possible to establish a Board of Management of the RCMP responsible for the stewardship of its organization and administration including the oversight of the management of its financial affairs, resources, services, property, personnel and procurement.
|The RIC is in favour of the creation of a Board of Management for the RCMP and has said so in its reports. The RCMP has done a great deal of work, in collaboration with Public Safety Canada and Central Agencies, to define the options and parameters for such a board. The RIC considers that the matter now rests with the government.
|Recommendation 3 – Creation of an Independent Commission for Complaints and Oversight of the RCMP Legislation should be enacted by the Parliament of Canada as soon as possible to establish an Independent Commission for Complaints and Oversight of the RCMP having the attributes outlined in Chapter 2; the ICCOR should be established and commence operation as quickly as possible following legislative enactment.
|Responsibility for this recommendation has been assigned by the government to Public Safety Canada. The RCMP has been appropriately involved in discussions on its resolution and the RIC has been kept informed. The RIC strongly supports the principles of independent review and oversight of the RCMP and hopes to see the essential idea of this recommendation acted on expeditiously by the government. It notes that the RCMP has recently declared itself as strongly in favour of independent review.
Recommendation 4 – Capacity to meet commitments
The organizational needs of the RCMP must be assessed against its current and future commitments. The RCMP must have the financial resources to satisfy all of its current contract and federal policing responsibilities and the ability to commit resources to satisfy those responsibilities within a reasonable planning horizon.
The RIC believes that strengthening policing capacity and working to better match it to the various demands on the Force is a major challenge for the RCMP. As noted elsewhere, recent efforts to improve recruiting have largely overcome the problem of vacancies among the ranks of regular members. This success emphasizes the importance of applying new tools to identify community requirements and related staffing levels.
The RIC hopes to see work in this area progress rapidly, as a strong evidence base is vital for the RCMP, the contract jurisdictions it serves, and the government.
Among the new tools now available is the Police Resource Methodology (PRM), which has already been applied to about 25% of all RCMP detachments. The PRM provides a new, comprehensive and objective way to assess resource needs and represents a major step forward in defining capacity requirements. The RIC looks to the RCMP to expand its use to all but the smallest contract policing detachments. The possible application of the PRM to federal and other types of policing should also be researched.
New service delivery options to enhance policing capacity and community service include: Community Program Officers, Community Safety Officers and Aboriginal Community Constables. Pilot projects have been completed on these options. As well, an extension has been granted for the RCMP Reserve Program, which uses retired officers to provide backfill capacity and mentor younger members. The RIC is following these initiatives with interest.
|Recommendation 5 – Northern Allowances In respect of northern and isolated postings, we urge the Force to work with the Treasury Board to make sure that treatment of members who are prepared to serve in these areas is fair and appropriate.
|The RIC understands the priority placed by the RCMP on overcoming problems relating to northern postings. The RCMP Pay Council is currently conducting a study on mobility within the organization to identify hard-to-staff locations and to understand issues that affect the decisions of individual members regarding postings to isolated and remote locations. The work also looks at how other public sector employers induce their employees to work in isolated and remote locations. Comparison groups include the OPP, the SQ, the CF, CSIS and federal nurses. The RIC applauds these efforts and encourages the RCMP to move as quickly as possible to resolve the issues. It continues to urge the government to provide appropriate authorities to enable the Force to deal directly with such matters wherever possible. It also notes the importance of keeping members informed of progress on matters such as this which may affect them profoundly.
|Recommendation 6 – Commitments to New Services The RCMP should implement measures to ensure that no commitment to deliver a new service or modify an existing service is made without assurance that the necessary human resources and equipment can be deployed without compromising the ability of the Force to fulfill its existing responsibilities. Alternatively, the existing priorities must be reordered accordingly.
|The RCMP has recently approved a structured policy committee process. This will provide a well defined approach to policy development and decision-making, enabling consideration of all relevant interests and concerns, including Government of Canada priorities. The new system should virtually eliminate the risk of the RCMP inadvertently taking on new service delivery commitments without adequate resources. Setting priorities among competing demands will nevertheless continue to be a major challenge for the RCMP.
|Recommendation 7 – Efficiency Study The RCMP should immediately launch an efficiency study to determine whether trained employees are performing functions that are best performed by employees with specific skills, with a view to ensuring that employees are using their training and experience in the most efficient manner.
The RCMP has embraced the objective of this recommendation. It is seeking ways to ensure that the time of front-line officers is used for essential policing functions, rather than for tasks that could be eliminated or better performed by administrative staff. The Reducing Bureaucracy initiative encourages managers and supervisors across Canada to question the way things are done in the RCMP and to come up with more efficient solutions. To date, over 400 possibilities for improvement have been identified and many have already been implemented. Examples range from direct deposit of travel expense cheques, to a review and simplification of forms, to a better way of reporting accidents.
In addition, various forms of administrative support are being provided to reduce the burden on front-line officers. One example is the provision of support staff to enable officers to submit reports by telephone.
The RIC fully supports these efforts, and looks forward to such initiatives becoming a permanent part of a continuously improving RCMP. One challenge will be to ensure that the best ideas are widely implemented.
|Recommendation 8 – Administrative Support The RCMP should immediately make available administrative resources to enable members to devote more time to core policing.
|A major response to the need expressed in this recommendation has been a nation-wide review of detachment clerk positions. Work has also been undertaken with contract partners (provinces, territories and municipalities) to ensure adequate administrative support for policing operations. The RIC considers these to be valuable steps and would like to see further efforts in this area.
|Recommendation 9 – Fair Compensation for Hours Worked Members and employees of the RCMP must be compensated for any time worked outside of or in addition to established hours on duty.
|The Force has taken steps to clarify outstanding issues with respect to fair compensation. It has also conducted a review of related policies and practices in other police forces. As a result, the expectation of “voluntary overtime” is no longer accepted. Working out the practical implications of this and adjusting the RCMP culture surrounding it are the next challenge. Specific measures taken to implement the new approach to fair compensation for hours worked include approval of a new policy on compensation for members in relation to operational readiness and operational availability status. As well, service pay for telecoms operators and intercept monitors has been approved. Other initiatives have had a significant impact on compensation. For example, the review of Detachment Clerk positions has led to improved compensation for these critical staff. The RIC notes that these important measures are only the beginning of reconsideration of compensation, both monetary and other kinds, for all RCMP employees.
|Recommendation 10 – Field Coaching The importance of the field coaching policy must be reinforced and complied with without exception.
|There have been substantial increases in the number of Field Coaches available to provide supervision and direction to junior members during their in-field development. Standards for the training of field coaches are currently under review, as are policies on the qualifications of those providing coaching and the levels of supervision to be provided. The RIC notes the progress made in this area and emphasizes the importance of reviewing the approach in light of the evaluation of the Field Coaching program that is currently under way.
|Recommendation 11 – Backup Policy We support the RCMP's recent announcement in respect of its backup policy and we would encourage the Force to complete the implementation as soon as possible.
|The understanding of the RIC is that while the new policy on backup was announced some time ago and has already been widely implemented, some issues remain unresolved. In particular, it appears that the way in which support is being provided to small, remote detachments meets the requirements of the policy but is operationally unsustainable for the longer term. As well, the implications of applying the policy to the full range of RCMP members are being explored. The RIC appreciates that there are complex issues to be resolved, including possible adjustments to the way in which small, remote communities are served, and that these will require cooperation with the relevant contract jurisdictions. It urges the RCMP to continue to give high priority to this obviously important area.
|Recommendation 12 – Health and Wellness The RCMP should ensure that member and employee health and wellness be an essential consideration in policy and operational decisions at all levels.
|The RCMP attaches great importance to improving the health and wellness of its employees and is pursuing a number of initiatives under the Healthy Workplace strategy. Actions already taken include: increasing family involvement in education and information programs ; official recognition of contributions to workplace wellness; improved psychological health programs and services, including prevention, detection, education and screening; broadening health care coverage for members The RIC notes that the RCMP is well aware of the needs in this area and appears to be responding appropriately.
|Recommendation 13 – Disability The RCMP must move quickly in every instance where a member or employee has become injured on duty or disabled and thereby unable to return to full duty. In these circumstances, every effort must be made to facilitate a return to duty as early as possible, and in the interim, to provide adequate financial and other support. Where a return to duty is not possible, every effort must be made to assist the member or employee to re-enter the
The RIC understands that progress is being made on the RCMP Return to Work and Accommodation plan and that a national administrative records management system is now available to assist in managing return to work cases more effectively. A number of initiatives have been carried out to ensure that personnel involved in the return to work process have a solid understanding of the RCMP's obligations in this area. The National Integrated Services Committee (NISC) was formed to act as a conduit between policy centers and regions to ensure consistency in workforce either within the RCMP or
policies and practices. elsewhere.
It appears to the RIC that important work is being done to address the issues of disability but the RCMP's own assessments suggest that the work could be proceeding more rapidly.
|Recommendation 14 – Ethics in Practice Senior management of the RCMP must ensure that ethics principles underpin all management and administrative functions and are an integral part of all policing activities.
|To ensure that values and ethics are at the forefront of decision making, the newly created Office of the Ethics Advisor has been working actively in areas such as RCMP policy development, ethics research for HR practices, and the development and implementation of an ethical framework for major events. The Office has also become a key member of the Working Group on Grievance Processes The steps taken so far to reinforce ethics in practice in the RCMP appear to the Council to be positive and appropriate. The key test will be the extent to which they prove in the long run to affect the RCMP culture and the behaviours of managers and staff at all levels.
|Recommendation 15 – Ethics Education The methodology applied to ethics training provided to recruits at the Depot should be extended throughout the organization and should be continually reinforced and refreshed.
|Work is currently under way to incorporate appropriate material on ethics within training programs for managers and supervisors. This is part of the overall work to strengthen and adapt leadership training and development to new requirements. (See Recommendations 32 and 34.) The RIC considers this work to be of great importance. Monitoring progress and eventually undertaking an evaluation of the results will be essential.
|Recommendation 16 – Immediate Amendments to Disciplinary System The RCMP should implement immediately the recommendations of the Lordon Report (with whatever amendments management feels are appropriate) that would result in making the processes less adversarial and more timely.
|Recommendations 16 and 17 are being addressed jointly. The aim of the work being done in this area is to arrive at a more consistent, less legalistic approach to discipline in the RCMP, with problems being addressed at the lowest appropriate level. A central discipline authority has been established and a new Grievance Process has been published. It appears to the Council that there has been significant progress in this area. We fully endorse the principles being followed by the RCMP. We note that next steps may be affected by the need to harmonize with the results of the Labour Relations Initiative (see Recommendations 19-21).
|Recommendation 17 – Centralized Disciplinary Authority The RCMP should establish immediately a centralized disciplinary authority to ensure integration, planning, monitoring and accountability.
|Recommendation 18 – Eliminate Backlogs The RCMP should eliminate the serious backlogs existing currently in the disciplinary system.
|Efforts to streamline the process for dealing with disciplinary cases appear to be producing positive results. We understand that a new case management process currently being introduced will help further. This is an area that needs to be assessed more rigorously in the next year.
|Recommendation 19 – Expeditious and Informal Resolution The RCMP should commit at the highest level of management, the discipline principles that require expeditious and informal resolution at the lowest possible level.
|The Council recommends that progress on the whole range of discipline initiatives be reviewed within the next year and that a comprehensive report, including plans for completion of the work, be provided. We understand that a new system to deal with promotion grievances will better align the approach with Part III of the Act. Significant reductions have already been made in the number of outstanding grievances. As noted above, the Council fully supports the general approach being taken and understands the need to harmonize the work with the Labour Relations Initiative. This review also offers an opportunity to review the work to date and to refocus efforts as necessary.
|Recommendation 20 – One Year Time Limit The RCMP should establish reasonable time frames for the commencement and completion of investigations that reflect the relative complexity of the matters at issue. Only in rare circumstances should these time frames exceed six months. The Task Force does not recommend that any changes be made to the existing one year time limit subject to the ability of the RCMP to apply to the ICCOR for an extension in order to facilitate a contemporaneous criminal investigation.
|Recommendation 21 – Internal Processes When amendments are made to the RCMP Act to create the ICCOR, consequential amendments should be made to streamline the grievance and discipline process.
|Recommendation 22 – Workplace Disclosure The RCMP should embrace the spirit and intent of the PSDPA, enforcing it throughout the organization, harmonized and properly resourced to be effective for the RCMP. Once established, the Board of Management should monitor the effectiveness of those processes and remediate as necessary to meet the objectives of the statute.
|Provisions have already been made to give RCMP employees the same disclosure choices as other public servants. Employees can obtain information about their disclosure options from on-line material provided by the Office of the Ethics Advisor. Work is continuing in order to eliminate gaps between the PSDPA and the RCMP Act while avoiding duplication of processes. The Council considers this to be an area for follow-up to assess the need for further action.
|Recommendation 23 – SRR Role The SRRs should focus entirely on labour relations and thus be independent from management. They should not sit as observers at the SEC. Members should serve for no more than two terms as SRRs, after which time they should return to regular duty.
|The Council understands that this matter is subject to ongoing court proceedings that may have significant impacts on the SRR Program.
|Recommendation 24 – NCOs Operational NCOs must be given a formalized opportunity to participate in the leadership and management of the RCMP through contributions to policies affecting the delivery of police services.
|The Corps Sergeant Major now participates in the Senior Executive Committee and Senior Management Team thus bringing NCO representation to the senior forums of the RCMP. Many divisions have also established NCO committees to work with Divisional Executive Committees. The Council sees these as positive steps and looks forward to further efforts to engage leaders at all levels in the decision-making process.
|Recommendation 25 – RM Categorization The RCMP should move from study to action in the streamlining of the civilian function at the RCMP. Only those positions which have a clearly demonstrated need for peace officer status, peace officer training and peace officer experience should be classified as RM positions. All remaining positions should be classified for and filled by a person without the background of a peace officer.
|Work is under way to define the functions undertaken by various employee categories. It is expected that during 2010 substantial progress will be made with respect to both regular member and civilian positions. In addition, a national committee on review of categories will be created and a framework will be established to track implementation of changes in categories. The work under way appears to the Council to be on the right track but we would like to see some indication of longer term plans and expected results.
|Recommendation 26 – Combining Civilian Categories The RCMP should seek to determine whether there is a continuing need for two categories of civilian employees within the RCMP.
|The Council agrees with the RCMP that this is a matter to be considered at a later date, when other issues relating to RCMP employment have been addressed (see Recommendation 1).
|Recommendation 27 – Temporary Civilian Employees The RCMP should immediately take action to examine the issue of those who appear to be caught permanently in the TCE category and continue to work in the RCMP without any of the protections afforded to other employees.
|The necessary consultations and policy work are expected to be concluded soon, providing the basis for resolving this issue. The Council understands that this is a complex matter and that in some cases the use of Temporary Civilian Employees for relatively long periods may be in the best interests of both the RCMP and the employee.
|Recommendation 28 – CO Headquarters We recommend the re-creation of the position of CO Headquarters.
|The position of CO Headquarters was created and staffed in 2008. The Council is informed that this has strengthened communication and employee engagement and contributed to the efficient provision of services.
|Recommendation 29 – Recruitment The RCMP needs to streamline its recruitment process and be more responsive and transparent with those who show an interest in joining the Force as a recruit.
|As noted elsewhere, the Council considers this one of the outstanding successes of RCMP transformation to date. Attention can now shift from filling vacancies to selectively recruiting for specific requirements.
|Recommendation 30 – Paying Cadets To remain competitive, the RCMP should pay its cadets during their six month training at the Depot at a level that is competitive with other policing organizations.
|The introduction of the Cadet Recruitment Allowance in 2008 was a major contributor to the success of the new recruiting system.
|Recommendation 31 – Education Prerequisite The RCMP needs to demonstrate greater openness and willingness to accept lateral entry into the Force in order to provide needed specialized skill sets and experience. In the longer term, the Task Force believes that the RCMP should also make a post-secondary degree a condition for all new recruits
|The RCMP is working to address the issue of lateral entry. While some issues can only be resolved in the long term, recent passage of Bill C-18, which amends the RCMP Superannuation Act, will make it easier for experienced police officers and others to be recruited into the RCMP. The Council is pleased to see this development. On the matter of requiring all recruits to have a post-secondary degree, the Council agrees with the RCMP that it is important to retain flexibility in selecting candidates. Nevertheless, it expects the effort to attract more highly qualified candidates to continue. This is an area that should be reviewed regularly in relation to RCMP requirements.
|Recommendation 32 – Education and Training The RCMP must recommit to education and training that will equip its officers for senior responsibilities. Leadership training should be a continuum throughout the member's career. The RCMP should identify deserving members with potential for further education and support them in seeking post-secondary education.
|As indicated in its reports, the Council considers strong leadership as key to renewal of the RCMP, transformation of its culture, and adoption of a continuous improvement. Recent signs show that the RCMP is moving ahead rapidly to implement major changes in its leadership development system. The recent appointment of a Leadership Champion to coordinate the effort in this area should give a new focus and represents a very positive step.
|Recommendation 33 – Research The RCMP must rebuild its research capability in order to provide members of the Force with an opportunity to explore developments in law enforcement outside of the RCMP and stay abreast of modern policing methods.
|The Council is aware of the range of important research initiatives undertaken by the RCMP. Many of them have significant implications for RCMP transformation, while others relate to matters such as resource requirements or investigative techniques. The issue is therefore not so much that of RCMP research capacity per se as of the way in which priorities are set and projects are coordinated across the various parts of the Force. The RCMP has yet to implement a method of selecting, approving and cataloguing research projects. We believe it should develop a comprehensive research strategy and the means to track and share plans and results.
|Recommendation 34 – Leadership Competency The RCMP should ensure that specific and detailed competency profiles are in place for all senior leadership positions and are current and reflect modern policing responsibilities.
|A review of leadership competency profiles is under way. The Council sees this as part of the overall effort to strengthen both leadership capacity and functional expertise among RCMP leaders.
|Recommendation 35 – Performance Evaluations Effective immediately, all members and employees of the RCMP must receive annual performance evaluations. These should include not only what was achieved, but how it was accomplished. The results of the performance evaluations should be used to identify opportunities for additional education and training, to identify future leaders and make promotion decisions.
|The Council understands that in the last two years the RCMP has significantly improved the completion rate for annual performance assessments. It urges the RCMP to pursue its goal of 100% completion. The RCMP has also simplified the performance report and combined it with the employee's annual learning plan. This reduces the workload on supervisors while improving the effectiveness of the process. The new RCMP approach is consistent with the suggestion that performance assessments should address not only results but how the individual achieves them and that they should be directly linked to learning plans.
|Recommendation 36 – Accountability for Completing Performance Evaluations All members with managerial responsibility should be assessed on their completion of performance evaluations for all members under their command.
|The RCMP has formally adopted this principle. The Council considers that monitoring of compliance should be built into the performance assessment system for managers.
|Recommendation 37 – Fixing the Promotion System As an urgent priority, the RCMP must replace its existing promotion system with one that is based on performance, knowledge, skill, ability and the potential to assume future responsibilities. The criteria for promotion must be clearly explained and transparently applied.
|The RCMP overhauled the Non-Commissioned Officer Promotion Process in July 2006. Since then the application process has been further streamlined, individual competencies have been validated, and promotion by exception and early entry options have been introduced. The system appears be making good progress.
|Recommendation 38 – Pass/Fail Exams Exams should be administered on a pass/fail basis, with decisions relating to promotion formulated on a broader range of accomplishments and capabilities.
|This recommendation was implemented in April 2008.
|Recommendation 39 – Public Affairs Plan The RCMP should review and further develop its public affairs function, implementing a public affairs plan that contains a comprehensive internal and external communications strategy that keeps stakeholders appropriately informed. It should also include a crisis management strategy that will permit quick and accurate responses to the media and Canadians.
|The Council was recently briefed on the new Communications Strategic Plan. As mentioned elsewhere, we consider it to be a good base for further development. The next challenge will be to develop and implement more detailed plans to realize the strategy.
|Recommendation 40 – Responsibility for Internal Communication The Force should ensure that, throughout the chain of command, internal communication is a fundamental responsibility for every person in a leadership position.
|Internal communication is addressed in the Communications Strategy and also in plans for sustaining RCMP transformation through continuous improvement. The Council has stressed the importance of communication, both internal and external, as part of the leadership role at all levels. The Council notes that communication is given an important place in plans for management and supervisor training.
|Recommendation 41 – Delegation of Decision Making with Respect to Contract Policing The RCMP should examine and review its approval authorities to ensure that those closest to operational police activity have the requisite authority to make decisions in a timely manner.
|The RCMP has consulted those involved with respect to the roles, responsibilities and authorities of Commanding Officers relating to operational matters. The Council understands that this review has raised basic issues that need to be addressed before any decisions can be taken in relation to the original recommendation.
|Recommendation 42 – Contract Partner Participation Headquarters should give greater weight to the views and priorities of contracting authorities and should involve them in a more meaningful way in decisions that have an impact on their jurisdictions.
|The Council has observed good working relations between the Contract Advisory Committee, Public Safety Canada and the Force in relation to contract policing. We understand that the all the parties consider that the relationship has improved greatly. We have also observed the strong interest of the contract partners in RCMP renewal as it affects their interests. We have recommended that this be taken into account in considering furthur improvements to the governance of the RCMP.
|Recommendation 43 – Delegation of Decision Making with Respect to Federal Policing The RCMP should examine and review its delegation policies to ensure that those responsible for the RCMP's participation in integrated task forces involving federal policing services have the appropriate authority to commit the resources of the RCMP in a timely manner and within carefully articulated national policies.
|The Council understands that the RCMP is proposing to develop a national accountability framework to help managers and employees navigate the complex web of expectations, commitments and reporting. This is intended to strengthen decision-making and improve performance reporting for nation-wide programs.
|Recommendation 44 – Roles and Responsibilities of Headquarters The RCMP should develop a written mandate defining the roles and responsibilities of Headquarters and its relationship with its divisions.
|The Council understands that work is under way to gather information on the various programs conducted by Headquarters divisions. This is the prerequisite to redefining roles and responsibilities for Federal Policing.
|Recommendation 45 – Regionalization We recommend that the regional structure within the RCMP be evaluated by senior management to determine whether it is the most cost effective and efficient way of managing an organization with the diversity and complexity of the RCMP.
|Any study of regionalization will only be undertaken once the results are available from work on Federal Policing (Recommendation 43) and the Roles and Responsibilities of Headquarters (Recommendation 44).
|Recommendation 46 – Secretariat The RCMP should establish a permanent secretariat to provide greater support to the SEC [Senior Executive Committee].
|Currently, the Strategic Policy and Planning Directorate provides support to the Senior Executive Committee. The Committee recently approved a new sub-committee structure which will streamline the consideration of both policy development and operational issues. A secretariat plan has been developed and positions classified but implementation has been delayed due to resource constraints.
|Recommendation 47 – Implementation Council The government should immediately appoint the Implementation Council having the composition, mandate and other attributes set out in Chapter 5.
|The Council was appointed in 2008 and its term extended in 2009. The current term expires March 18, 2010.
|Recommendation 48 – RCMP Change Management Team The RCMP should form an internal change management team comprised of members and employees to be engaged full time in planning, coordinating and implementing the changes recommended in this Report. Although leadership will necessarily be provided by senior management, continuous engagement of members and employees at all levels will be essential.
|The Change Management Team was established in March 2008. As of April 1, 2010 its responsibilities will be transferred to a new unit within the Strategic Policy and Planning Directorate. The Council has worked closely with the Change Management Team, which it considers to have admirably performed a difficult and essential function during the initial phase of transformation. The Council considers that the integration of change management into the regular planning and decision processes of the RCMP is the next essential step and fully supports this transfer.
|Recommendation 49 – Interim Funding Sufficient resources must be dedicated to the implementation of these recommendations so that no additional burden is placed on an already overburdened workplace of the RCMP.
|The Council fully agrees with the recommendation and has so recommended in its reports. It believes that the government should respond as positively as possible to RCMP requests for assistance in implementing both one-time and ongoing transformative change in the RCMP.
Rebuilding the Trust, Report of the Task Force on Governance and Cultural Change in the RCMP, 2007.
Rebuilding the Trust, Report of the Task Force on Governance and Cultural Change in the RCMP, 2007.
RCMP Reform Implementation Council, First Report, September 2008, page 22.
RCMP Reform Implementation Council, Third Report, September 2009, page 10
The model was awarded the 2009 Excellence in Law Enforcement Research Award by the International Associated Chiefs of Police.
The PRM may, for example, not be necessary for very small detachments whose needs can be assessed directly.
Among the services studied by the Change Management Team were the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Queensland Police, New South Wales Police and Los Angeles Police Department
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