Service Canada And Development Canada Management

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Service Canada (SC) is an initiative created by the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and it is one of the departments under the Government of Canada. It is created in 2005. They strive to provide one-stop government service access with other levels of government and community partners to citizens by phone (1-800-O-Canada), internet (, and in person through more than 600 locations across the country. SC provides more than 60 governments' programmes on other departments' behalf, such as Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS), Employment Insurance (EI), Passport Applications, Chinese Head tax Applications, Pleasure Craft Licenses, Apprenticeship Incentive Grants, Common Experience Payment, etc. Its slogan is "People serving people". Their vision is to "to achieve better outcomes for Canadians through service excellence" ("Service Canada Annual Report 2007 -2008 5), and their mission is 'to provide secure, knowledgeable, one-stop, personalized service to Canadians." ("Service Canada Annual Report 2007 -2008 5). Under SC, they have an Office for Client Satisfaction to make sure they have listened to their clients' voice and feedback. By looking at their vision, mission, their service charter, you can see SC is implementing TQM and focused on its target customers which are citizens. "Total Quality Management (TQM) is a philosophy that involves everyone in an organization in continual effort to improve quality and achieve customer satisfaction" (Stevenson 323). I will explain how they are implementing TQM by using the nine elements of TQM (Stevenson 324-325) mentioned in our textbook.

Figure 1 Service Canada Service Points

Source: Canada, Service Canada, Service Canada Annual Report, 2007-2008 (Ottawa, 2009) 3.

Figure 2 List of Service Canada services

Source: Canada, Service Canada, Service Canada Annual Report, 2007-2008 (Ottawa, 2009) 39-40.

Figure 3 SERVQUAL Model

Source: Setting standards for reception services in UK local authorities. Total Quality Management, 1996 figure 3.

1. "Continuous improvement" (Stevenson 324)

"Continuous improvement is the philosophy that seeks to make never-ending improvements to critical processes." (Stevenson 324). SC has continuously boost their programs' integrity ("Service Canada Annual Report 2007 -2008 5). They first merely provide Social Insurance Number (SIN) applications, Job Bank computers, CPP, OAS to more than 60 services of different government programmes. They are also rated by Accenture, a consulting firm that they are one of the best government organizations on integrated service delivery for two conservative years. They have created the Office for Client Satisfaction to hear from clients' feedback in order to continuously meet their clients' desire and improve their service quality continuously. They also provide new service to meet the market needs, for instance, multi-language translation phone for front-line staff, then they will conduct public opinion research after to see what the results are.

2. "Competitive benchmarking" (Stevenson 324)

"Competitive benchmarking involves identifiying other organizations that are the best at a process and studying how they do it to learn how to improve your operation" (Stevenson 324). SC has created a corporate university called Service Canada College located at Regina, Saskatchewan. Many international delegates including Australia, United Arab of Emirates, India, Italy and the most recent United Kingdom have visited the college, the officials share their experience in their government. Through these visits, SC has enhanced their services and enhanced one of the training course "Putting citizens first", which is the first compulsory training course for all staff.

3. "Employee empowerment" (Stevenson 324)

Front line staff are given the enhancement responsibility, so that they are motivated. For the front-line employees, they are allowed to go extra mile to help the citizens. During special situations, for example, the financial crash last summer, forest fire in Prince George this summer, SC's staff will prepare preventive plans to help the influx of clients. In the Prince George forest fires, many citizens at the area has lost their homes and needed to replace their personal identification document, the SC's staff at the Prince George location has already prepared necessary assistance, information, and forms to help the local residents.

4. "Team approach" (Stevenson 324)

"Team approach is the use of teams for problem solving and to achieve consensus takes advantage of group synergy, gets people involved, and promotes a spirit of co-operation and shared values among employees" (Stevenson 324-325). Team leader has been assigned to each of the sub-regional teams. Team-building sessions are organized regularly to build the team spirit of each group. Quality circles are organized regularly among teams within its group, and team leader of each team has to report to their regional manager regularly. There are also team leader level quality circles to examine how to improve their service quality and productivity.

5. "Decisions based on facts rather than opinions" (Stevenson 324)

Raw data will be collected and will be the basis of decision making. Raw data has been captured and documented in every process in SC. For example, the first-line staff needs to use the customized software First-come-First-serve to serve their clients. The software will record the time used to serve clients, the type of services have been provided, the number of clients have been served, etc. The performance of individual staff and office will be evaluated by using the gathered information. The information will be published on the annual report, the balance scorecard will be published every year and the information will be listed in a comparative format.

Table 1 2007- 2008 Service Canada Performance Scorecard

Source: Canada, Service Canada, Service Canada Annual Report, 2007-2008 (Ottawa, 2009) 42-44.

6. "Training" (Stevenson 325)

Every employee at Service Canada has to be attended the "Putting Citizens First" course at the Service Canada College in Regina, Saskatchewan. The course will teach the employees how to provide quality service to the clients and make sure the term "citizens-focused" is well explained. Besides, a learning toolkit will be prepared and published when a new government initiative has been put in place. Every frontline employee has to be taken the specific course and certified before they can provide the service. When an employee gets enough credits of specific programmes's course, e.g. CPP, the employee apply for being a programme specialist.

7. "Quality at the source" (Stevenson 325)

"Quality at the source refers to the philosophy of making each worker responsible for the quality his or her work" (Stevenson 325). Although Service Canada acts as an agent for so many of the service s provided, the issuance of Social Insurance Number is performed by their frontline staff. The frontline staff has to be recertified and serve up to an amount of clients so as to remain their certification. Coaching is needed before they can officially serve a client. Again, the service process will be documented

8. "Fail-staffing" (Stevenson 325)

"Fail- staffing is incorporating design elements that prevent mistakes" (Stevenson 325). Every employee needs to get proper training and certified before they can serve clients. "Introduction to Service Canada" will be the first course for all newly hired employees. Then, some of the employees will go through on-the-job training. The employees will be coached by senior and certified co-workers to facilitate their job. The quality of the employees' worked will be recorded and a report will be generated every month to make sure mistakes come to a minimum.

9. "Suppliers are partners in the process, and long-term relationships are encouraged." (Stevenson 325)

Suppliers will also be a part of the quality service provider. Service Canada has collaborations with provincial and territorial governments, and community groups. In Alberta, Service Canada has partnered with Alberta Works and Alberta Employment & Immigration, the Government of Alberta to provide one-stop government services. Both the federal and the provincial department offices are at the same location, for example the Service Canada Centre at Marlborough Mall at the Northeast Calgary. Apart from that, Service Canada has also actively worked with local communities groups to provide quality service to visible minorities, immigrants, seniors, youth, and disabilities. In Calgary, the Centre for Newcomers has partnered with Service Canada to provide multi-lingual employment insurance application service on an appointment basis. The Service Canada Centre for Youth (SCCY) is operated during the summer break to provide employment workshop for youths, they also work with the local school board to assist high school students for their summer job hunt. In remote areas, SC has set up mobile outreach centres to serve citizens, and some of the centres are outsourced to local authorities.


Recommendations will be made through the 5S approach and lean management. Although the organization is implementing TQM, the fact is so many procedures and processes are done by front line staff. 5S is easy to implement and can be able to change the physical working environment.

1. 5S practice

"5S practice is a technique use to establish and maintain a quality environment in an organization" (Ho 345).

Table 2 5S Summary table

Source: 5-S practice: the first step towards total quality management. Total Quality Management, 1999 figure 3.

a) Organization (Seiri)

Being organized is the key to improve productivity. SC should suggest their staff or office should document their files and folders in an organized manner.

b) Neatness (Seiton)

Neatness can determine the efficiency. All staff should serve clients in an efficient manner and provide information in an effective way.

c) Standardization (Seiketsu)

Standardization is mainly to continuously maintain a clean and neat physical environment. Team leaders should remind their team members to remove confidential information frequently and remove recyclable items daily.

c) Discipline (Shitsuke)

Fixed deadlines should be set to make sure the required documents for training, clients' application done in a timely fashion.


In the article Public enterprise and total quality management by Ole Norgaard Madsen in Total Quality Management, he has created a framework for TQM in the public sector. A well-organized entity cannot live without the people and procedures. Service Canada can make use of these models to improve their service continuously. The employees can use the TQM approach to operate the organization from day-to-day, and the politicians can audit the organizations by using balance scorecard and can make use of Service Canada's annual report and public opinion research.

Figure 4 Framework for TQM in the public sector

Source: Public enterprise and total quality management. Total Quality Management, 1995 figure 1.

Figure 5 Framework on Sources of Income and Productivity Differences

Source: Public enterprise and total quality management. Total Quality Management, 1995 figure 2.


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