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Code of Conduct for Learners and Facilitators

A Framework for a Positive, Inclusive and Professional Learning Environment.


As part of the Canada School of Public Service's strategic objectives, this code of conduct aims to foster best practices to help build a positive, inclusive and professional learning culture. For all learning activities, learners and instructors are expected to be aware of the importance of their actions and communications. Any questions on this framework can be sent to the School's Centre for Teaching and Learning. Ideas or feedback for continuous improvements are welcome.


  • Build accountability and transparency related to the importance of respectful communication and behaviours in the context of Canada School of Public Service courses and events.
  • Raise awareness among learners and facilitators of shared responsibilities that will ensure a positive, inclusive and professional environment for learning.

Code of conduct for learners and facilitators

This framework applies to all federal public servants involved in learning activities and is supported by the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service, and the School's Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Policy. It is designed for both learners and facilitators to emphasize responsibilities in a transparent manner. For an enriching learning experience, individuals must follow this code by showing respect and professionalism to others, especially when a learner feels offended. Some courses offered by the School touch on sensitive subjects that may create discomfort for some learners.

If learners have any concerns before, during, or after a School course or event, they are encouraged to contact the School's Client Contact Centre. Measures may be taken by the facilitator or the School in instances where the code is not being respected. The facilitator has the right to ask a participant who engages in harassment or violence to leave the class (or the virtual classroom).

Respectful space for learning

  • Be mindful and open to the opinions and comments from others, especially in the context of inclusivity and official languages. Ensure your contributions are respectful of others and accurately convey your intentions.
  • Listen and remember to allow the discussion to evolve as time permits. Be conscious of the verbal and non-verbal communications around you. 
  • Provide constructive responses as part of the active learning process.
  • Understand that your comments may be challenged or misunderstood, often accidentally or unintentionally. If someone is offended or if you feel that someone may have misconstrued your comment, make sure to offer any needed clarifications or retractions.
  • Appreciate what you have learned, how you have learned it, and what you have learned from others. This will help you to transfer and apply what you have learned to your professional duties and work realities.

Effective virtual classroom learning

  • Be on time, log in a few minutes in advance of the virtual meeting and check your internet connectivity.
  • Mute your microphone when you are not speaking.
  • Find a quiet place that is free of distractions or noises. Let others around you know you are in a learning activity. Make sure no one else is in the range of your camera.
  • Unless you have been allowed to do so, do not record the virtual meeting or take screenshots.
  • Use web conferencing tools to communicate and react during meetings (such as the microphone, camera, chat box, hand-raising tool and emoticons).


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