Integrated Human Resource and Business Plan 2018

Table of Contents

Our Members: We are our people

Canadian Coast Guard member receiving an award.

The foundation of the Coast Guard is our members. Without them, we would not be the highly valued organization that we are today. Our well-trained members are ready to serve, operating our fleet and patrolling Canada’s waterways 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year in some of the harshest weather conditions in the world.

Investing in our People

The Coast Guard’s evolving role will allow us to continue to invest in equipment and, most importantly, our people. We are committed to improving the quality of work we produce and to retaining our members. Increased support from the federal government will allow us to provide and perform the training, succession planning and recruiting we need to ensure the professionalism and dedication that Canadians deserve and have come to expect of our organization.

Member Wellbeing

One of the Coast Guard’s main areas of focus has been — and always will be — member wellbeing. We are committed to breaking down barriers and prejudice and will continue to support our people and foster a safe and welcoming environment by creating a less restrictive and more inclusive atmosphere. By creating an organizational culture that is characterized by trust, honesty and fairness, the Coast Guard will nurture a workplace where co-workers and supervisors are supportive of each other’s physical and mental health concerns and can respond appropriately when needed.

Canadian Coast Guard members participating in Day of Pink

Mental Health Training

The Wellness Group within Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), sponsored by the Departmental Mental Health Consultation Committee (DMHCC), is currently seeking funding and approval for the implementation of mental health training for all members. The proposed training is the “Road to Mental Readiness,” (R2MR) which is comprised of:

Although DFO is leading the overall initiative, Coast Guard’s Integrated Business Management Services (IBMS) directorate is implementing R2MR training for operational and seagoing members.

Mental Wellness Intranet

DFO has launched an intranet site  for mental health in the workplace that can be accessed by all members. For seagoing members with limited access to network systems, the information included on the intranet page can be printed or saved to a USB to ensure easy access.

Onboard Mental Health Training

IBMS has developed a 2 day wellness training session specifically for Coast Guard operational and seagoing members with the intent to roll out the training nationally via a Train-the-Trainer model. In addition to offering these training sessions on ships, the Coast Guard has expanded to include Marine Communications Traffic Services Offices and Regional Operations Centers to ensure that all of our members can be included if they so choose.  

Furthermore, IBMS will be presenting sessions on the 13 Psychological Workplace Factors. These factors were developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada in partnership with Ottawa Public Health. The aim of these sessions is to create awareness about psychosocial factors in the workplace and to provide common language to assist in discussing these factors. The sessions will evolve to include other areas of wellness; tools and resources are also being created for supervisors and managers within Coast Guard.

Critical Incident Stress Management

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is a highly structured peer support program designed primarily for members likely to be involved in critical incidents or traumatic events because of the nature of their work. CISM informs and prepares members to deal with the potential hazards of being exposed to a critical incident or a traumatic event; it focuses on providing short-term support (psychological first aid), follow-up services, and referrals to higher levels of care.

Building on the Pacific/Western CISM team, which has been in place for over 2 decades, CISM is being rolled out to the rest of the organization across the country. Members who volunteered (30 Atlantic and 30 C&A) were recruited and screened in by regional coordinators and are now in the process of becoming trained CISM peers. The Coast Guard aims to have national CISM response capability by April 2019.


Canadian Coast Guard member wearing personal protection equipment.

As of September 2018, 5,838 members to carry out our mandate. The Coast Guard is a decentralized organization with the majority of our members located in regional offices. Only 19% (1,116 members) of the Coast Guard’s overall workforce is located at Headquarters in Ottawa.

Like many other government departments, the Coast Guard is facing the challenge of an aging workforce and must focus attention on recruitment and retention of members. A commitment to succession planning and training will ensure that we remain a strong, service-oriented organization.


One of the most difficult challenges the Coast Guard has is recruitment. We need to increase our visibility throughout the country to attract new members. We want to promote our organization, what we do, who we are, what we stand for and the important role we play in Canada. Our target demographic for seagoing career options remains youth-oriented; 17-24-year-old recent (or potential) high school graduates.

As always, the goal for recruitment is to generate a large pool of qualified applicants for both French and English positions and to promote diversity.

A Targeted Recruitment Strategy

The Coast Guard will commit to a targeted recruitment strategy in which regional participation will be essential to ensure an effective and timely recruitment process for the planned September 2019 academic year.

By combining the efforts of the regions and the Coast Guard College’s (CCGC) Student Affairs Section we can effectively promote our organization and the fulfilling career opportunities we can offer young Canadians.

With the implementation of a national working group to support cohesive recruitment activities, we will be able to provide national standardized tools and an approach for recruitment activities.  Moreover, promoting the sharing of lessons-learned and experiences will assist the Coast Guard in developing a standardized way forward for participation in, and the promotion of, outreach and recruitment-related activities and functions.

In addition, the development of generic and job-specific publications, as well as outreach and recruitment tools, such as paper and electronic/digital formats, will result in a common look and feel of Coast Guard branding, which will allow for more visibility.

Engaging Prospective Cadets

Targeting youth can be a challenge. However, DFO and Coast Guard received recognition as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People in 2017. This is a wonderful promotional opportunity to showcase the department and our organization as an ideal workplace for today’s youth. Unique initiatives, such as one that allows members to “Spend a Day with a Senior Manager,” helped us receive this recognition. We also offer retention tools for younger members such as tuition assistance and the availability of co-op or work-study programs.

Shifting to Social Media

Reaching our target demographic will require a shift in strategy from the Coast Guard’s typical recruiting campaign. Today’s youth rely heavily on social media to communicate with one another. We will increase our social media presence to showcase CCGC as the leading bilingual institution for marine learning, share information on upcoming recruitment fairs and use Twitter to promote CCGC events and the success of our cadets.

Outreach and Collaboration

The Coast Guard will be represented at education fairs across Canada, in high schools in Norther Ontario as well as CEGEPS in francophone communities in Quebec. The Coast Guard will also increase its Indigenous community engagement and will focus on Indigenous youth, which will include community visits from ships in the North. In addition, CCGC will collaborate with DFO and other federal departments such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canada Border Services Agency to host an open house in order to increase visibility and understanding of what career options the Coast Guard has to offer.

Creating Equal Employment Opportunities

We will develop long-term national strategies that ensure equal employment opportunities for all: women, men, minority groups, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples and youth. This will respond to the expectations of our partners and stakeholders, including the provinces and territories.


Canadian Coast Guard members participating in a pride parade.

If you can serve, you can serve in the Coast Guard. It’s a mantra we have been repeating for years. Everyone is welcome to join and we are proud of our dedication to diversity. The Coast Guard is striving to be an employer of choice that attracts, selects, promotes, and retains engaged and diverse individuals. We are committed to diversity and inclusion at all levels of the organization. We believe that the more representative we are of the Canadian population, the better we are able to serve our communities.

Fostering a diverse workforce and a more inclusive and respectful workplace will continue to be a top priority for the Coast Guard throughout 2018-2019. Specific attention will be placed on applying a Gender Based Analysis Plus lens to inform the Coast Guard’s review of its uniform manual, crewing factor, national recruitment and retention strategy, as well as in ship design and refurbishment. Moreover, the Coast Guard will continue its efforts to create an inclusive workplace through member and management empowerment, education, training, awareness, and leadership development. Diversity and inclusion considerations will continue to be applied to existing and new policies, programs, and in interactions with our partners and Canadians alike.

The Coast Guard also celebrates diversity and inclusion by participating in various annual signature events including Orange Shirt Day which honours and demonstrates respect for Indigenous peoples in Canada, and by expanding our participation in Pride Parades across the country to show our support for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirit (LGBTQ2+).

Building on previous efforts to create more comprehensive strategies to attract members of the LGBTQ2+ community, the Coast Guard aims to develop an organizational approach for introducing Positive Space initiatives during onboarding throughout the organization and at the Coast Guard College.

We also participate in programs that promote women in science and technology careers through events like ‘Girls fly too’ which provides females of all ages with the opportunity to be engaged in non-traditional jobs through the world’s largest outreach initiative aimed at inspiring female future leaders in aviation, aerospace, marine and defense.

We will continue to seek opportunities to build upon these foundational elements and make important progress towards being a diverse, inclusive, safe, caring, and compassionate organization.

Canadian Coast Guard members participating in a search and rescue exercise.

Training New Recruits

Canada’s commitment to protecting our oceans means approximately 800 new positions will be created within the Coast Guard. We must be prepared to receive and train this huge influx of new members. As such, an implementation group has been created to support effective integration  of new employees through what we call an “Onboarding Program.”

Onboarding New Members

Our goal is to provide new members with the knowledge to effectively move into their new roles. This will support and instill the “take charge” image the Coast Guard strives to represent. The onboarding program will give members the knowledge they need to do their jobs effectively. As a result, managers will not need to dedicate as much time integrating their new employees. The new program will also promote consistency across the regions when it comes to integrating new staff.

Within the training component, there will be a Coast Guard learning capsule that will include sections on how to wear the Coast Guard uniform, how and when to salute, preparing to go to sea, what to bring, as well as safety and security. A section called “Coast Guard Talk” will help new members understand nautical terms, expressions and acronyms associated with our organization and in the broader marine industry.

Throughout this onboarding process there will be checklists for managers and employees to allow a simple form of tracking to ensure all compulsory aspects of onboarding are completed. The program will be accessible to all new members, whether their work is on land or at sea.

Force Generation

The Coast Guard has committed to making a significant sustained investment in its people. Previous years’ reductions in funding left Coast Guard limited in its ability to attract new members, provide training and developmental opportunities, and implement a solid succession planning regime.

Following the substantial investments the Government of Canada made in the Coast Guard, the Force Generation initiative was launched. While Integrated Business Management Services, the Coast Guard College and Operational Personnel will continue to manage our day to day workforce needs, program development, planning, and reporting, the Force Generation team will build tools required for a sustainable future as determined and prioritized by the organization.

The objective is to build the tools, policies, frameworks, processes, procedures etc. to support the recruitment and development of a diverse, highly trained, engaged, professional and at-the-ready workforce for today and tomorrow.

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