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TBS Official Languages Action Plan - 2015-18

1. Context

The Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) is the administrative arm of the Treasury Board. It supports Treasury Board ministers and strengthens the way government is managed to ensure value-for-money in government spending and results for Canadians.

As a central agency, TBS provides leadership and guidance on management functions within departments and agencies and promotes sound management of government resources. Although TBS – through the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO) - is responsible for the general direction and coordination of the Government of Canada’s policies and programs relating to the implementation of parts IV, V and VI of the Official Languages Act (OLA), this plan focuses on TBS’s role as a department in driving and modelling excellence in public sector management. The plan also outlines TBS’s commitments in relation to its obligations under Part VII of the OLA and describes the tools it provides to support employees in promoting the development of official language minority communities (OLMCs) and linguistic duality.

As a federal institution subject to the requirements of the legislation, TBS is committed to obtaining concrete results regarding the implementation of the OLA in the following areas:

This OL Action Plan sets out TBS’s strategic direction and key planned commitments relating to official languages for 2015–18. The commitments outlined in the plan will ensure that TBS complies with the OLA.

2. Vision

The Official Languages Action Plan 2015–18 aims to create a culture that fosters the use of both official languages at all levels of the organization.

As a department, TBS aims to lead by example in the promotion of bilingualism and the use of both official languages. The purpose of the OL Action Plan is to foster excellence and to support the organization in fulfilling its OL obligations. This is, however, only possible if:

The commitments outlined in TBS’s Official Languages Action Plan 2015–18 apply to employees, managers and senior leaders. The Plan will only succeed if staff at all levels take pride in and assume responsibility for their actions with respect to the use of both official languages in the work environment. Together, everyone can contribute to achieving the vision of creating a culture that fosters the use of both official languages at all levels of the organization.

(See Appendix for details on the roles and responsibilities of the various TBS stakeholders.)

TBS’s commitments relating to bilingualism must become part of TBS’s organizational culture. Creating a culture that promotes bilingualism will help make TBS a workplace of choice that attracts and retains highly skilled individuals, will enhance consistency across TBS, and will create opportunities to foster knowledge and to increase stakeholder engagement—all of which support the objective of making TBS a model of excellence in OL for other departments.

3. Approach

In developing this action plan, a comprehensive approach was taken to identify commitments that are endorsed by all of TBS. This approach included the following:

This action plan that addresses TBS’s obligations under parts IV, V, VI and VII of the OLA, provides employees, managers and senior leaders with tools and activities that will help them fulfill their obligations and responsibilities. By addressing issues that were identified, by building on accomplishments and by meeting theobligations in the OLA, the Official Languages Action Plan 2015–18 provides direction to enable change, sustain improvement and deliver results.

To ensure that TBS delivers on its commitments, the Action Plan is structured to do the following:

Because the OL Action Plan is aligned with TBS’s three-year planning cycle, commitments under the Action Plan will be monitored periodically using existing tracking methods. These tracking methods will not only make it easier to monitor progress but will also ensure that TBS can respond to reporting requests from the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer and Canadian Heritage and can do so in a streamlined manner.

This plan is evergreen and will be reviewed and updated as new information becomes available.

4. TBS Environment

TBS is well positioned to create a culture that fully endorses the importance of maintaining an environment that is conducive to the use of both official languages. Numerous factors currently contribute to TBS’s success in the promotion of official languages, including the following:

Despite those factors, TBS needs to continue to make improvements in areas such as the following:

With this action plan, TBS has committed to addressing legislative requirements of parts IV, V, VI and VII of the OLA, creating and improving tools and activities that promote and facilitate the use of both official languages, and better communicating with OLMCs.

Action Plan Activities

Program Management—Leadership

Objective: To become a model of excellence in official languages (OL) by providing leadership in the administration of the OL Program at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS)
Expected Outcomes Activities Lead Timelines / Progress Indicators
A) Leaders create a workplace conducive to the effective use of both official languages 1. Presentation to the TBS Executive Committee (EXCO) on the state of official languages in the department, including Part VII of the Official Languages Act (OLA), during key planning and reporting periods OL Champion Twice a year
(minimum)
2. Sectors integrate OL Action Plan activities into their planning Sector Heads Ongoing
3. Incorporate OL objectives into senior manager and EX performance agreements Sector Heads Annually in April
4. The TBS Advisory Committee on OL continues to meet regularly to review and discuss OL concerns and initiatives Departmental Advisory Committee Ongoing
5. Managers continue to discuss with employees OL needs and expected contributions to a bilingual workplace and, where needed, to identify OL development and maintenance activities to include in employees’ performance management agreements (PMAs) Managers and Supervisors Ongoing
6. Designate all formal governance committee meetings as bilingual. OL expectations for committee members and chairs, item sponsors, and presenters will be set out in each committee’s terms of reference and are expected to be in place by April 30, 2015 Deputy Head Ongoing

Deputy heads ensure that designated offices communicate with and provide services to members of the public in the official language of the public’s choice (Part IV of the Official Languages Act)

Objective: To continue to provide exemplary service to the public in accordance with Part IV of the Official Languages Act
Expected Outcomes Activities Lead Timelines / Progress Indicators

Table 2 Notes

Table 2 - Note 2

Active offer: Clearly indicates visually and verbally that members of the public can communicate with and obtain services from a designated office in either English or French. Mechanisms are in place to ensure that services are available in the official language chosen.

Return to Table 2 - Footnote 2 referrer

B) Clients receive services and communications in the official language of their choice 1. Continue to provide the TBS website simultaneously in English and French and to ensure equal quality of its content in both languages Strategic Communications and Ministerial Affairs (SCMA) Ongoing
2. Continue to provide exemplary service over the phone (1-800 number for enquiries from the public) Sector Heads / SCMA Ongoing
3. Continue to ensure that TBS’s communications with and services to the public are always available in both official languages Sector Heads Ongoing
4. Update and promote an instructional tool on providing “active offers”See Table 2 - Note 2 of service to the public in both official languages Human Resources Division (HRD) / SCMA March 31, 2016
5. Promote the use of the following statement in the signature blocks of employees in bilingual positions:  “Please do not hesitate to reply in the official language of your choice. / N’hésitez pas à répondre dans la langue officielle de votre choix.” HRD / Corporate Services Sector (CSS) Ongoing

Promote a work environment that is conducive to the use of both official languages (Part V of the Official Languages Act)

Objective: To become a model of excellence in OL for other departments by creating an environment and culture that fosters the use of both official languages through increased awareness, engagement and improved tools and services that promote and facilitate use
Expected Outcomes Activities Lead Timelines / Progress Indicators

Table 3 Notes

Table 3 - Note 3

Formerly known as “EX equivalent”

Return to Table 3 - Footnote 3 referrer

Table 3 - Note 4

Formerly known as “EX minus 1” and “EX minus 2.”

Return to Table 3 - Footnote 4 referrer

Table 3 - Note 5

Central and personal services: Central services include accounting, administrative, security, technical, staffing and classification services. Personal services include compensation, health, and career and personal counselling.

Return to Table 3 - Footnote 5 referrer

Table 3 - Note 6

Administrative measures: When an employee does not meet the linguistic profile of his or her position, the manager must ensure that bilingual service is still offered by designating another employee to provide the services in the other language.

Return to Table 3 - Footnote 6 referrer

C) TBS maintains a corporate culture that is conducive to the use of both official languages 1. Post the Action Plan, the Annual Review and the OL Progress Report on the InfoSite HRD / SCMA Annually
2. Before launching a staffing process, ensure that the linguistic profile of positions at “comparable to EX”See Table 3 - Note 3 and “senior non-EX levels 1 and 2”See Table 3 - Note 4 with supervisory functions are bilingual at the CBC level Sector Heads / Managers Ongoing
3. Ensure that TBS accommodates the use of either official language by officers and employees of other government institutions when it directs or provides services to other institutions, notably by ensuring that instructions, directives and communications are communicated or sent simultaneously in both official languages Sector Heads Ongoing
4. Ensure that central and personal servicesSee Table 3 - Note 5 are offered and provided in both official languages, and put into place administrative measuresSee Table 3 - Note 6 when needed Managers Ongoing
5. Organize events to promote Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie and Linguistic Duality Day HRD /
Sector Heads /
OL Champion / SCMA
Events take place annually in March and September
6. Recognize excellence in the use and promotion of both official languages at TBS OL Champion / HRD March 31, 2016
7. Encourage employees to use the official language of their choice:
  • During meetings
  • During one-on-one meetings with managers, including for PMAs
  • When preparing written materials, including email
Managers Ongoing
8. Promote the use of bilingual out-of-office messages by providing example templates to employees through TBS In-Brief and on the OL page of the InfoSite HRD / SCMA Semi-annual
9. Develop and promote a form to assist managers in identifying the language requirements and linguistic profile of positions HRD 2016-17
10. Launch a TBS survey on language of work Sector Heads / HRD 2016–17
D) Language training and maintenance program, and development opportunities are provided to employees and managers 1. Support employees in bilingual positions at “comparable to EX” and “senior non-EX levels 1 and 2” with supervisory functions to help them maintain the CBC level: Sector Heads /
HRD
Ongoing
  • Semi-annual reminder to Assistant Secretaries
Sector Heads /
HRD
Semi-annual
2. Promote the use of both official languages in the workplace by consulting OL tools, including the “TBS Managers’ Guide to Official Languages in Human Resources Management” HRD Annual
3. Provide to managers the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages’ online tool, Effective Language Training Practices, and hold information sessions about the tool HRD 2017–18
4. Provide employees with opportunities to include courses that are part of the Centralized Language Training Program in their Personal Learning Plan, and/or to participate in other less formal, non-classroom learning opportunities such as: Managers Annually
  • Work-related training in their second official language
Managers Ongoing
  • Pre-evaluation assessment to confirm the maintenance of a language level
HRD Ongoing
  • Semi-annual meeting with language training and maintenance program participants (follow-up, encouragement, tools, feedback, overviews, etc.)
HRD Semi-annual
5. Provide employees with opportunities to participate in the Language Pairing Program to practise their second official language Managers Ongoing
6. Develop and distribute an OL orientation kit to help prepare employees who are starting a language training or maintenance program HRD 2016–17
7. Promote the use of the TBS – Language Training Program generic email account for comments, feedback and suggestions on language training to help improve the program HRD 2016–17
8. Provide tools and resources to encourage all employees to use both official languages, and post them on the InfoSite: See below See below
  • Develop and promote an e-poster inviting colleagues to speak in either official language
HRD Ongoing
  • Organize lunchtime get-togethers (e.g., film screenings)
HRD Ongoing
  • Promote OL best practices through TBS In-Brief or In Focus! messages
HRD Ongoing
  • Prepare, post on the InfoSite, and regularly update a bilingual lexicon of technical and other commonly used terms at TBS
HRD Ongoing
  • Implement a language pairing program: Pair up English- and French-speaking employees to give them the chance to improve their second-language skills
    • Call it the “TOP-level challenge” (for Tolerance, Openness and Patience)
HRD 2015–16
9. Provide employees with the opportunity to personalize messages when on language training or in a maintenance program (e.g., “Please support my efforts to communicate in my second language”) HRD 2017–18
10. Offer employees informal OL assessments during and after language training to measure their progress in their second language HRD Ongoing

Provide equal opportunities and equitable participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians (Part VI of the Official Languages Act)

Objective: To continue to offer equal opportunities and to ensure equitable participation of English- and French-speaking Canadians
Expected Outcomes Activities Lead Timelines / Progress Indicators
E) TBS sectors are representative of the English- and French-speaking population 1. Produce demographic reports on TBS’s workforce HRD Semi-annual

Enhance the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada and to foster the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society (Part VII of the Official Languages Act)

Objective: To ensure that positive measures are taken
Expected Outcomes Activities Lead Timelines / Progress Indicators
F) TBS employees are aware of the department’s obligations under Part VII of the Official Languages Act 1. Provide training and support to analysts at TBS:
  • Provide annual information sessions, in the form of boot camps, to policy and program analysts, including PowerPoint presentations by Canadian Heritage (PCH) and the Official Languages Centre of Excellence (OLCE), which is part of  the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, within the Secretariat
  • Provide analysts with key OL information, including a case study, to assist them when reviewing Treasury Board submissions
HRD Annually
  • As a good practice and when required, provide analysts with information on OL considerations to take into account when analyzing proposals submitted during spending or expenditure reviews
HRD Within 30 days of announcement of spending or expenditure reviews
2. Post information pertaining to Part VII of the OLA on the InfoSite and on the TBS website: See below See below
  • Make all presentations about Part VII available on the InfoSite
HRD / SCMA Ongoing
  • Add information to the OL Champion’s InfoSite page on Part VII and official language minority communities (OLMCs)
HRD / SCMA 2015–16
  • Post on the InfoSite the revised TBS Policy on Official Languages to ensure that linguistic duality and OLMCs remain part of decision-making processes at TBS
HRD / SCMA 2015–16
  • Post on the OL InfoSite the 2015–18 OL Action Plan, the Annual Report on Results, links to Part VII and the PCH website and the Part VII section of the Collection of Official Languages Resources
HRD / SCMA Ongoing
  • Update the TBS website regularly to ensure that OLMCs are aware of TBS’s key priorities and initiatives
HRD Ongoing
  • Remind employees of their OL obligations when they are on national or international business travel, through TBS In-Brief and In Focus! messages.
HRD Annually
3. Celebrate Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie and Linguistic Duality Day annually:
  • Annual department-wide and sector events to celebrate and promote Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie (in March) and Linguistic Duality Day (in September)
  • Invite OLMC representatives to participate in one event over the course of the plan
HRD / SCMA Events take place annually in March and September
G) TBS consults, communicates and liaises with partners on OL matters 1. Dialogue with key stakeholders (OLMCs, PCH): See below See below
  • Consult with national OLMC representatives on the Action Plan and key departmental initiatives to be aware of OLMC concerns and issues
HRD Triennial
  • Share information and identify issues with PCH
HRD Ongoing
  • Schedule an annual meeting with OLMCs
HRD Annually
  • TBS’s national coordinator for Part VII of the Official Languages Act is identified on the InfoSite and on the TBS website, and PCH and OLMCs are advised.
HRD Ongoing
  • Coordinate TBS perspectives and work with PCH to issue horizontal guidance, orientation and interpretation on OL issues
HRD Ongoing
2. For TBS’s University Recruitment Campaign:
  • Continue to raise awareness of both official languages in the campaign (e.g., distribution of promotional tools to approximately 52 English- and French-language universities across Canada)
  • Inform the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne and the Quebec Community Groups Network representatives of TBS recruitment campaigns
HRD Ongoing
3. Participate in OL Champions’ Conference, Council of Network of OL Champions and TBS Advisory Committee on OL OL Champion Ongoing
4. Participate in the national coordinators’ conferences and meetings HRD Ongoing
5. Share information relating to Part VII of the OLA among members of TBS Advisory Committee on OL HRD Ongoing
6. Coordinate activities with PCH to inform departmental OL representatives of the latest issues and trends in OL OLCE Ongoing

Appendix:  Official Languages Roles and Responsibilities for TBS

Leaders (Executive Committee)

Managers

Employees

Official Languages Champion

Members of the Departmental Advisory Committee on Official Languages

Human Resources Division

OCHRO – Official Languages Centre of Excellence

Supports federal institutions in the implementation of Parts IV, V and VI of the OLA and creates conditions conducive to ensuring the following:

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