Annual Report


From the President

It has been my pleasure to take on the role of President for the ICCS Board this past year. It has been another exciting and rewarding year for ICCS. The ICCS Board of Directors and staff have completed many exciting pieces of work to ensure that we are providing the right services to our members and the broader service community.

In 2018, the ICCS Board of Directors developed a Strategic Business Plan which identified the ICCS priorities and created a roadmap including key success factors for the next three years. In addition, the Board undertook an analysis of its Human Resources policies and procedures which identified areas for improvement. The Board Governance Committee took on an expanded role which included human resources. The Committee will be responsible for recruitment, succession planning and development of Board members and Executive staff.

The Board welcomed three new members: Anik Dupont, Co-Chair, Joint Councils Death Notification Working Group and Director General, Identity Policy and Programs Directorate, Service Canada; Roma Robinson, Senior Manager, Executive Council, Human Resource Secretariat, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Member of the Certification and Learning Advisory Committee; and Carroll Francis, Supervisor, Customer One Contact Centre, City of Brantford and MSDO Treasurer. We are pleased to have the new members join our Board.

The work of the ICCS continues to be very busy. In 2017, the ICCS went into the field with its next piece of Citizens First research. This is the 8th iteration of its flagship research. The results from Citizens First 8 study will be available at the end of June 2018. ICCS continues to look at ways in which to upgrade and improve its research to meet the needs and expectations of our subscribers. The ICCS is also looking at how it might improve its’ Common Measurement Tool to make it easier to use and more accessible. In 2017, the ICCS implemented a market research survey to identify our client’s needs and expectations and we will use this feedback in improving its products and services.

Secretariat Services to the Public Sector Service Delivery Council (PSSDC) and Public Service Chief Information Council (PSCIOC) remain a high priority with ICCS. The Secretariat has now added information for the 19 Sub-Committees of the Councils on the members’ site. Feedback from the in-person meetings in Charlottetown 2017 and Toronto 2018 was very positive. I had the pleasure of presenting the 2016 ICCS Heintzman Leadership Award to Frank D’Onofrio at the Toronto meetings. We are looking forward to the Fall meetings in Whitehorse.

Interest in the Certification and Learning Program continues to grow. The number of Certified Service Professionals (CSP) and Certified Service Managers (CSM) has grown substantially. We now have CSMs and CSPs across the country and from all levels of government. Also, the ICCS continues to assist in the facilitation of certification and learning programs, from coast to coast.

I am humbled to be working with the ICCS Board of Directors and staff whose passion, commitment and talent are extraordinary and would like to thank them for their contributions to the ICCS.

—Karla Hale, President, ICCS

From the Executive Director

I am pleased to report that in 2017-18, the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service (ICCS) experienced one of the most successful years in its history. This success stems from: strong leadership and direction from our Board of Directors; the commitment, dedication and hard-work from our exceptional team; and, a resurgence in the demand for more citizen-centred public services across Canada and globally. Combined together, these key factors point to a future of great opportunity for the ICCS.

This past year, the ICCS implemented a new strategic business plan – its core objectives include: providing a neutral, inter-jurisdictional collaborative platform for learning, sharing and innovating public services; conducting actionable research and offering tools to measure, analyze and benchmark performance to identify key drivers of satisfaction; and, delivering certification and learning programs to improve citizen-centric service leadership skills, knowledge and capacity.

Our new strategic business plan also maps out the specific priorities in each line of business over the next three years. We have also started developing supporting strategies for marketing, digital innovation and human resources. When completed, these strategies will support all lines of business by ensuring that the ICCS operates in a more unified, client-centric approach with a strong and well-respected brand.

Financially, the ICCS had an outstanding year. This marks the fourth straight year of strong financial results, which enables the ICCS to confidently manage any potential future challenges and re-invest in its current lines of services and products, as well create new ones to meet the emerging needs of our clients. We have established a strategic innovation fund to promote re-investment and innovation as per ICCS’ new strategic business plan. This ensures the ICCS remains relevant, effective and well positioned to champion citizen-centric services for years to come.

Our partnership with the Joint Councils’ Co-Chairs and members continues to strengthen. This past year, we introduced a new ICCS services guide to better inform current and new members of the key role we play in supporting their work, and how we can offer additional specialized services to help them succeed with their priorities. Our project management and procurement services continue to see increased demand as the Councils shift their attention to more targeted research and hands-on pilot projects to test new service delivery concepts and models. We anticipate providing more specialized support services to the Councils next year.

I am delighted to report that 2017-18 marked the release of the eight iteration of Citizens First. Following in the long line of ground-breaking research and insights dating back to 1998, Citizens First (CF) 8, introduces a fresh new approach to our world class citizen satisfaction research. Building on the enhancements made in Taking Care of Business (TCOB) 5, CF 8 has been completely redesigned to offer easier access to key findings, insights and takeaways. In addition, CF 8 introduces the use of behavioural insights to provide more powerful recommendations on how to better serve Canadians. We will continue to innovate our research products in the coming year with more frequent and relevant studies.

Government organizations across Canada and around the globe continue to embrace the Common Measurements Tool (CMT) and benchmarking. In addition to our traditional CMT clients, a growing number of new organizations are implementing the CMT to more effectively measure, analyze and benchmark their clients’ levels of satisfaction. We are excited about our current efforts to modernize the CMT; we anticipate in the coming year that the CMT and our benchmarking service will be completely redesigned to offer clients a seamless digital service experience to support all of their measurement and benchmarking needs.

Our Certification and Learning (C&L) program experienced a tremendously successful 2017-18. Growth of the C&L program far exceeded expectations with deliveries of both the Certified Service Professional and Certified Service Manager up significantly from the previous year. This is clearly a testament to public sector organizations across Canada who are committed to investing in their people. We will continue to make our training programs more accessible and better suited to meet the needs of clients – this means more online and virtual training options. In the coming year, we will be piloting newer, more client-centric training solutions, and we will continue to improve and update our training content with our latest research and include more timely and relevant topics to better support our clients’ training objectives.

2017-18 was a very successful year for the ICCS. This success has positioned the ICCS well for future opportunities. The ICCS is ready to capture future opportunities because it has the key components required: strong governance and leadership; a passionate and professional team; and a renewed commitment by the public sector to put citizens first. It is my honour and privilege to be the Executive Director of the ICCS. I look forward to another great year in 2018-19.

—Dan Batista, Executive Director, ICCS

29.9% increase in Certified Service Professionals

10% increase in Certified Service Managers

More than 220 twitter followers to date

Certifications Across Canada

as of March 31, 2018

Line of Business Updates

Learning Update

Certification & Learning Programs continues to be used across Canada

  • Increased usage amongst federal government
    • Deliveries facilitated for Global Affairs Canada, Health Canada, and along with several self-study enrollments from departments across Government of Canada
  • Widespread use amongst
  • 2017/18 saw a steady increase in the overall number of certifications awarded:
    • To date, over 450 candidates have achieved CSP certification, and over 115 candidates have achieved CSM certification

ICCS continues to develop C&L programs

  • Redesign of CSM In-person training
    • ICCS has reformatted the CSM In-person training with the development of a 3-day version
      • New approach will focus on flexibility and customization; in-person combined with self-study
      • 3-day program has been piloted, and will be made available to all C&L partners for 2018/19
  • Development of CSM Certification Alternative
    • In addition to the exam-based approach to awarding certifications, ICCS has developed a project-based certification model
      • Projects will be assessed based on candidate’s ability to demonstrate understanding and practical application of the core concepts presented within the CSM program
      • Provides learners with alternative to traditional examination
      • Has potential to provide ICCS with new case studies for
  • Continued development of online learning experience
    • ICCS is working to provide learners with the best possible online learning experience
      • Beginning stages of redesigning online approach that will see increased focus on visual learning, interactivity, and leveraging available technology to provide learners access to ICCS facilitators


  • ICCS has had the good fortune of partnering with a number of organizations, including, but not limited to:
    • Provincial Government of British Columbia
    • Provincial Government of Manitoba
    • Government of Northwest Territories
    • Provincial Government of Newfoundland & Labrador
    • eHealth Saskatchewan
  • We would like to thank all of our partners for their continued use of C&L programs
  • We hope to continue our working relationship with these organizations while adding new members to this growing community of practice

Learning Events

  • ICCS continued to provide ICCS Community with a variety of web-based learning events that provide members opportunity to hear from leading experts on new trends and developments relevant to public service delivery
  • ICCS will continue to offer learning events to ICCS community members for 2018/19

Research Update

Following completion of Taking Care of Business 5 early in the year, the ICCS initiated the Citizens First 8 study by completing the sponsor recruitment process and launching a series of consultations with key stakeholders. In April, the project was formally launched with an ideation session whose aim was to obtain sponsors’ input on the proposed approaches and identify the key areas of interest for the study. This was followed by extensive one-on-one consultations with the eleven participating jurisdictions to further inform the overall direction of the survey and its various components. The key changes to the study compared to the previous iteration included a revised Client Satisfaction Index, closer alignment with the CMT, and introduction of behavioural science-based approaches to identifying barriers to increased online use. After finalizing the questionnaires, data collection was conducted between December 2017 and February 2018, with over 5,600 Canadians having been interviewed in that period.

On the international front, the ICCS continues its collaboration with Singapore’s Civil Service College, which has renewed its Citizens First license for another year. The initial iteration of the Singapore version of the study, under the name of ‘Satisfaction with Public Services’, was completed toward the end of 2017.

In addition, the ICCS has been actively engaged in outreach activities aiming to promote both Citizens First and Taking Care of Business. This included presenting at meetings and conferences such as the Spring Conference of the Local Government Management Association of British Columbia in April.

Councils Update

The ICCS continues to provide Secretariat support to two National Councils - the Public Sector Service Delivery Council (PSSDC) and the Public Sector Chief Information Officer Council (PSCIOC).

The PSSDC and PSCIOC come together as the “Joint Councils”, to address issues of common concern and interest. The two Councils collaborate to enhance the efficacy of public service to the Canadian public.

There are a number of sub-committees and working groups of the Joint Councils, PSCIOC and PSSDC focused on key priority areas. The PSCIOC, PSSDC and the Joint Councils, in collaboration with the ICCS, exemplify a unique pan-Canadian model of inter-jurisdictional cooperation and collaboration.

As a neutral Federal Provincial Territorial and Municipal (FPTM) platform for collaboration and shared learning in support of the work of the Joint Councils, the ICCS provides support services in the following business areas of responsibility:

  • Management and Administration
  • Communication
  • Liaison and Relationship Building
  • Financial Management

The ICCS Secretariat organizes and manages the Joint Councils’ bi-annual in-person meetings. In 2017-2018 fiscal year, the ICCS organized and managed the Charlottetown September 2017 and the Toronto February 2018 in-person meetings in addition to monthly teleconferences.

Work of the Joint Councils

Joint Councils members are working on a roadmap to effectively support Canada’s next generation of Digital Government. The main priority areas of the Joint Councils are:

Digital Identity

Development of a roadmap to make digital identity real across jurisdictions and service channels.

Digital Strategy

Development of a plan to guide digital transformation efforts and promote jurisdictional alignment.

Client Centric Services

Applying client centric principles and best practices to cross-jurisdictional initiatives in Canada and ensuring that the customer is at the centre of everything that government does.

An example of the work being carried out by the Joint Councils is the Death Registration and Notification project. The Joint Councils Death Notification Working Group have developed a blueprint and current state maps for Death Registration and Notification practices in Canada. This information is an important step toward improving the timeliness of Death Registration and Notification across Canada and as a result will drive changes that improve citizens’ service experience and the integrity of key government programs.

The PSSDC’s main priorities are:

Client Centric Services

This is a shared priority with the Joint Councils which ensures that the customer is at the entre of everything that government does.

Service Network Collaboration

Improving the client experience by leveraging each other’s service delivery network strengths and maximizing their efficiencies.

Service to Business

Sharing information and experiences, and exploring opportunities and challenges in improving public sector service delivery for business clients.

The PSSDC through its Channel Shifting Working Group have developed a Bevaroural Insights Playbook which focuses on designing solutions with the client in mind, first and foremost. This Playbook focuses on how to leverage behavioural insights in order to shift citizens to the online channels.

The PSCIOC’s main priorities are

Information Protection
Cloud Services
IT Procurement and Identity Management
Cyber Security

Federal, Provincial, Territorial and Municipal governments are working together to protect Canadians and critical infrastructure from cyber threats.

Common Measurements Tool

The ICCS continues to provide ongoing support to existing and potential users of the Common Measurements Tool (CMT). In the course of the year, a number of jurisdictions and organizations representing all levels of government have renewed their licenses. These include Alberta Labour, BC Stats, Region of Peel, Service Canada, and Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta. In addition, Transport Canada came on board as a new CMT licensee. It should be of particular note that BC Stats has opted for a new agreement that has extended its license period to five years, thus confirming its long-term commitment to using the CMT in its survey work.

The CMT is also being employed by organizations from other countries, including Australia and New Zealand. The ICCS has renewed its partnership with CSBA, which works with a range of municipal governments across Australia and has been using the ICCS’ survey tool in its research. The instrument is also employed at the state-level by South Australia. Another jurisdiction that continues its commitment to the ICCS’ research solutions is New Zealand, where the State Services Commission has been promoting the use of the CMT and making it available across the national government departments and agencies for over a decade.

The ICCS also continues to provide a benchmarking service to those CMT users who want to compare their results to those of similar entities. Among Canadian organizations who have requested and received CMT benchmarking data in 2017-2018 are BC Stats, Service New Brunswick, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta. In addition, the Institute has completed a customized benchmarking analysis for the Social Security Board of Belize, which was one of the deliverables stipulated under the partnership agreement signed back in 2016. Looking ahead, the ICCS has also been taking steps to initiate collaboration with external consultants with a view to enhancing the quality of the benchmarking service through introduction of new features, such as the self-service option.

In the course of the year, the ICCS has delivered CMT training and information sessions to organizations that include Alberta Labour, BC Stats, and the City of Edmonton.

Financial Summary

At a Glance

In 2016/17, we continue the revenue positive fiscal trend from the previous year across all business lines while averaging lower expenditures.

  • Year to date excess of revenues over expenses - $245,495 …. $122,071 more than what we had budgeted.
  • Revenues totaled - $1,335,685. This is more than budget by $158,816.
  • Expenditures totaled - $1,090,559. This is more than budget by $37,116.

Revenues by Lines of Business

  • Support to Councils revenues exceeded budget by $32,559 and expenditures are $24,809 more than budget.
  • Research revenues are $32,634 more than budget while expenditures were less than budget by $21,631.
  • CMT Revenues exceeded budget by $10,975 and expenditures were $8,084 less than budget.
  • Certification revenues were $82,649 more than budget while expenditures were also $44,252 more than budget.
  • General costs were $1,547 less than budget.

Financials Pie Chart

Winner of the 2017 Heintzman Leadership Award

Bette-Jo Hughes

Bette-Jo Hughes

Associate Deputy Minister and Chief Information Officer (Retired)