Since its creation in 1992, National Public Service Week (NPSW) has earned an increasingly high profile in both the general population and the public service community itself. Since its inception, NPSW has demonstrated its worth in terms of fostering morale, building interdepartmental and intradepartmental networks, and enhancing the public's awareness of the value of the services rendered by Public Service employees.
Over the years, NPSW has become a truly national campaign that respects and reflects the diversity of the Public Service of Canada and the country itself. It is an opportune time to be creative and inclusive, to raise pride in our community and to develop partnerships with other communities. We are positive that, with your hard work and enthusiasm, NPSW 2013 will prove to be as successful as it has been in previous years.
This guide has been developed to assist you and your volunteers in planning and organizing your events. It details the national-level planning process, the promotional material available to you and the steps involved in planning major events. It also includes information on leading practices and tips for success.
We hope that this tool will help you to plan a very memorable NPSW — one that will create pride in your roles as federal public service employees.
Good luck and, above all, have fun!
Awards and Recognition Team
Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
National Public Service Week (NPSW) was created in 1992, following the passage of the National Public Service Week: Serving Canadians Better Act. Its objective is "to recognize the value of the services rendered by federal public service employees, [and to] acknowledge the contribution of federal public service employees to the federal administration." NPSW was designed to promote pride in and recognition of the Public Service of Canada by providing internal recognition, and by raising Canadians' awareness of the excellence of the public service. The third week of June is set aside each year to celebrate NPSW.
NPSW 2013 will take place from June 9 to 15. The annual theme is "Proudly Serving Canadians".
The Awards and Recognition Team of the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO) is responsible for the national coordination of NPSW. Each year, in the Fall, it invites representatives from large and small departments, and Regional Federal Councils (RFCs) to take part in the National Advisory Committee.
The National Advisory Committee provides strategic advice on the overall approach to NPSW. The Committee defines the theme for the year and determines best practices. It also makes key recommendations for communications products.
A call letter signed by the Chief Human Resources Officer, inviting all departments and agencies to participate in and contribute to NPSW, is generally sent to deputy heads and heads of agencies in January. The letter also reinforces the objectives of NPSW and requests that a coordinator for the Week be appointed.
The call letter requests a financial contribution based on a fixed amount per employee. The amount requested in any given year reflects the scale and scope of planned activities. More than 90 percent of the funds collected are distributed to Regional Federal Councils for interdepartmental events. The remainder is retained for national coordination and communication product development.
The OCHRO is the national coordinator of NPSW. In this capacity, the Awards and Recognition Team develops a national communications strategy, including a theme, corporate messages, and promotional material for use by departments and agencies. The Team is also responsible for collecting funds from deputy heads and heads of agencies to contribute to a central fund and for distributing the funds to RFCs for interdepartmental activities across Canada.
The Awards and Recognition Team is available to help you at any time. In fact, the success of NPSW is dependent on our solid partnership.
Each department and agency is responsible for appointing its own coordinator to organize its departmental activities, and the RFC coordinators are responsible for organizing the interdepartmental events in their respective regions.
The NPSW coordinator is key to the success of the Week. It is the coordinator's responsibility to coordinate events that align with his or her organization's business lines.
Each RFC must name an individual to coordinate the organization of the interdepartmental activities that will take place in its respective region.
The people responsible for NPSW in regional offices are asked to contact their RFC coordinator to work together on the interdepartmental activities.
The planning of NPSW activities is an opportunity to network with your colleagues and other public service employees. Establish an employee advisory committee with representatives from all sectors of your organization. Advertise for volunteers early in the process. Invite summer students to participate.
Also, use this occasion to build partnerships with other organizations. Often the most successful events are those that have been organized in partnerships.
Communications material for National Public Service Week, as well as graphic identifiers and web buttons, are available in downloadable versions on the Coordinator’s Corner Web page.
The National Public Service Week poster is available in full colour (8.5" × 11"). It contains the slogan for National Public Service Week, “Proudly Serving Canadians,” and the graphic identifier. It is available in two bilingual versions: English-French and French-English. The poster can be displayed in areas such as building lobbies, cafeterias and bulletin boards in your building.
Bilingual recognition certificates are available in English-French and French-English. They are to thank volunteers for their participation in an event or to thank a colleague, employee or a superior for his or her work, collaboration or team work. Recognition certificates are a good way to recognize the work done during National Public Service Week.
Use the official graphic identifier for National Public Service Week for all your promotional events. It is available in both official languages.
Post a web button for National Public Service Week on your departmental intranets. This is also available in both official languages.
The website contains useful information for you to use in promoting events and activities in your department or region.
Online tools are not available at the moment and will be added as soon as possible.
The following information is available on the NPSW website:
Exhibitions are information fairs where federal organizations inform the public about their services. These events foster pride among employees, help inform the public about the products and services available, and help establish a dialogue among federal organizations. Planning of such events should begin early, and exhibits should be as interactive as possible.
Steps to planning exhibitions include the following:
Organizing an open house in your department is also a great way to reach out. It creates greater awareness of what you do and increases exposure. This type of event can be open to your clients, other departments and the general public.
Steps to planning open houses include the following:
In-house newsletters or magazines by and for public service employees are also excellent outreach opportunities. Articles that emphasize the important contributions of public service employees can be included to reinforce pride and recognition. Salute the outstanding employees in your department or highlight your NPSW activities through this medium.
Contact the editor of your departmental newsletter about deadlines and potential story ideas. The editor may have other story ideas or suggest helpful contacts for you.
These are only a few ideas for reaching out. Just remember that you don't have to do everything at once. If this is the first time you have been involved in planning events to reach out to the public, determine what you are comfortable doing the first year, then build on your success in following years.
Internal publicity is critical to the success of your event. Use in-house newsletters, and consider devoting a whole issue to your employees' contributions and excellence. You can also use your organization's intranet to publicize your NPSW events. When doing internal publicity, consider the following points:
In order to keep track of our successes in highlighting the contributions of employees, OCHRO will send departmental and RFC coordinators an evaluation questionnaire to fill out or to use as a reference in preparing their activities report. This report must then be returned to OCHRO before the end of July.
A national report on NPSW 2013 will be completed in the Fall of 2013. It will serve as the key document for the NPSW National Advisory Committee, which will be convening in the Fall to discuss an overall approach, communications, departmental needs, and coordination requirements for NPSW 2014.
The Awards and Recognition Team will be happy to answer all your questions.
Treasury Board Secretariat Public Enquiries
Telephone: (613) 957-2400
Toll free: 1-877-636-0656
TTY: (613) 957-9090
Celebrating NPSW would not be possible without the support of committed coordinators like you. We have given you a lot of information. If you have not previously participated in NPSW, we recommend that you work in collaboration with others, so do not hesitate to contact us for the names of coordinators who have organized events in previous years and who would be willing to share their experiences with you.
We are continually pursuing potential partners to make each NPSW a great success. The important thing is to do something—starting small is better than doing nothing. The Awards and Recognition Team is available to answer questions or offer guidance and encouragement. Please do not forget to enjoy this week as well—you deserve it!