Language selection


Departmental Plan 2018–2019: Operating Context and Key Risks

With several departmental initiatives coming to fruition, the School is at an important crossroads as it launches its Departmental Plan for 2018–2019.

After three years of major transformation, the School is shifting its focus to its future directions and the ongoing evolution of its new business model. Three large-scale review and evaluation initiatives are helping the School to chart its path to the future by finding ways to align the organization even more closely with government priorities:

  • the Departmental Review, pursuant to Budget 2017, which was conducted to ensure that departmental expenditures are aligned with priorities and that its learning delivers results for Canadians
  • the development of a Departmental Results Framework to replace the previous Program Alignment Architecture as required under the Policy on Results, which sets out the School's core responsibility, the results it aims to achieve, and the performance indicators that will be used to measure its success
  • the School's Summative Evaluation of its transformation initiative, completed by an independent third party, which took stock of the results achieved by the School's three-year transformation initiative and found that the School had substantially met its transformation goals and highlighted areas for further development

In this context, the themes of change, continuous improvement, innovation, experimentation and collaboration will be more important than ever to the School and its work. Digital government, Indigenous awareness, project management, and Gender-based Analysis Plus, amongst others, are key priorities for the public service, and the School is committed to supporting the public service in these areas.

Ongoing improvements in efficiency and reach of the digital learning platform, GCcampus, can help advance learning objectives for these and other learning priorities. Individual (unique) learners participating in the School's learning opportunities increased by 13%, from 141,261 learners in 2015–2016 to 159,287 learners in 2016–2017. This took place as the School reduced its expenditures by 10%, from $92,152,131 in 2015–2016 to $82,784,238 in 2016–2017. The School's number of full-time equivalents (employees) was correspondingly reduced from 684 in 2015–2016 to 581 in 2016–2017.

The School has also continued to strengthen its priority-setting mechanisms, governance structures, oversight, planning and engagement. It continues to engage employees and other organizations in making improvements for the future. Despite reduced resources and new priorities, the School will maintain its focus on aligning resources, investments, and business functions to deliver results in the form of common learning that is responsive, of high quality and accessible to all employees of the core public service across Canada.

Key risks: things that could affect our ability to achieve our plans and results

The School's ability to meet its goals depends—as always—on its ability to respond to changing priorities and learning needs, the relevance and quality of its learning products and its technological capability to support access to its learning opportunities. The transformation of its business model and learning platform has provided public servants with important access to a wide range of learning products designed to support them in their day-to-day responsibilities. Greater demand for learning requires increased support, both managerial and technological. Given this context, risks to these critical capacities must be considered more carefully than ever.

Mitigating these risks will be a key focus of the activities planned for 2018–2019.

Key risks

Key Risks. Select a risk from the first column and then read to the right for the corresponding risk response strategy, link to the department's Core Responsibilities and link to mandate letter commitments or to government-wide and departmental priorities.
Risks Risk response strategy Link to the department's Core Responsibilities Link to mandate letter commitments or to government-wide and
departmental priorities

There is a risk that the School will not be able to adequately respond to evolving public service learning needs and expectations.

It may be challenging for the School to respond to the degree and pace of change in government priorities, policy developments and resulting learning needs.

The School will:

  • clearly define common learning and the range of its roles and responsibilities in delivering this learning
  • continue to systematically prioritize and improve learning products as needed, ensuring their relevance and accuracy
  • maximize collaboration opportunities to enhance expertise and capacity to respond to emerging priorities and learning needs
  1. Common public service learning
Contributing to the development of a more engaged, innovative and agile public service (Blueprint 2020)

There is a risk that public service employees may not optimize their use of the learning products provided by the School.

It may be challenging for public service employees to make full use of learning opportunities due to a lack of awareness of their value and availability, inconsistent support for learning and lack of appropriate tools and devices across the public service.

The School will:

  • engage with other organizations across the public service to promote a culture of learning and to increase visibility and awareness of the School's curriculum as part of an enhanced communications strategy
  • enhance data analysis and reporting to departments and agencies to demonstrate the impact and value of learning for their organizations
  • work with client organizations to encourage use of the learning data portal and promote greater transparency in sharing the results of learning
  • use collaborations and regional learning offerings to further promote awareness of School learning products, address specific demographics and ensure access across the country
  1. Common public service learning
Contributing to the development of a more engaged, innovative and agile public service (Blueprint 2020)

There is a risk that the School will not have the technological infrastructure to provide consistent access to its learning products and manage external cybersecurity threats.

Due to its interdependence with the Government of Canada's information technology platform, managed by Shared Services Canada, the School may not be able to ensure continuous access to its online learning platform.

The School will:

  • continue to collaborate with Shared Services Canada and other organizations to maintain the technology and network capacity needed for consistent access to online learning and respond to security risks as they arise
  • conduct ongoing scanning and analysis of new technology and learning methods to ensure the sustainable value of its learning products
  1. Common public service learning
Contributing to the development of a more engaged, innovative and agile public service (Blueprint 2020)

There is risk that the School may be unable to attract the best talent with the right experience to assist in the design, development and delivery of learning.

The existing structures and procedures for attracting expertise may not be sufficiently nimble to enable the School to obtain top quality talent.

The School will:

  • streamline processes for attracting resources to help design, develop and deliver learning, thereby improving the School's capacity to respond quickly to emerging learning needs and priorities
  • explore alternative ways to engage other organizations and acquire additional resources in a timely fashion
  1. Common public service learning
Contributing to the development of a more engaged, innovative and agile public service (Blueprint 2020)

Date modified: