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ARCHIVED - Guidelines for Core KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

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5.0   Accountability and Key Performance Measures

As specified in MAF, service delivery channels must employ clear accountability frameworks. Most frequently, departments and agencies use a Service Level Agreement (SLA) both for internally resourced services and for third party and partnership teams.  The following table presents a minimum set of components which must be included in a Government of Canada SLA which provides the foundation for service delivery to citizens, visitors and businesses.



Service Level Agreement Name

The name of the SLA, particularly useful when a single SLA is used across multiple service offerings.

Service Description

The details of the service the government intends to provide and the benefits the users can expect to receive

Service Criticality Level

Normally identified in a Service Catalogue based on already defined metrics. This level of criticality should be based primarily on the service user's requirements.

Service Channels

Identifies which channels this service is available through e.g. telephone, mail, in-person, Internet, and appropriate contact information for the channels.

Service Primary Service Provider

The department or agency which is primarily responsible for the service.

Service Partner Providers

Other partner-departments that provide support to a Primary Service Provider for a service. e.g. GTIS provides the Internet Server to the Health Canada


Provides the details of the quality of the service a client can expect. This is frequently time based e.g. Passports will be processed in X number of days.

Delivery Targets

Delivery targets describe the key aspects of the service provided, such as access, timeliness and accuracy.


The effective start and end dates of the agreement. A review date must also be identified so that performance measurements can be made and the SLA can be adjusted or action can be taken to improve the performance of an SLA.


Identifies a cost for service (even when user fees are not required) to ensure that users understand and form realistic expectations about services offered by the Federal Government

Complaint and Redress

Provides the service user with mechanisms to resolve their Concerns, for example when the SLA has not been met.
Dates:  start, end and review
Scope: (what is covered and what is not)
Responsibilities: Service Providers, Partners and the User

Service Hours

Service availability e.g. 24x7. Service hours should provide maximum cost-effective access for the service user. Public holidays must be identified as well as the hours for each channel.


Describes the anticipated volumes and timing for activities within a specific service e.g. UI Applications Sep-May=100,000, Jun-Aug=50,000. This is important so that any performance issues, which have been caused by excessive throughput outside the terms of the SLA, can be identified.

Change Management

Identifies the policies surrounding any changes that will affect the service provided to the user. For example, if UIC benefits are going to be mailed out every 2nd month instead of every month, how will the change be managed to ensure that expectations are being met.

Security and Privacy

Identifies inter-departmental policies on the sharing of user information for various services. Organizations must comply with PIPEDA and Treasury Board Policies.

Service reporting and reviewing

Specifies the content, frequency and distribution of service reports and the frequency of service review meetings.

Performance Incentives/Penalties

This section identifies any agreement regarding financial incentives or penalties based upon performance against service levels. Penalty clauses can create a barrier to partnership if unfairly invoked on a technicality and can also make service providers and partners unwilling to admit mistakes for fear of the penalties being imposed.