Annual Report


From the President

This past year, we completed the 2018-21 Strategic Business Plan, which focused on continuing our investment in modernizing key services. With the guidance of the Board of Directors, we developed a new strategic business plan spanning the years 2021-24 that addresses what we know about the current environment and prepares the ICCS for the yet unclear changes to come in a post pandemic public sector service delivery environment.

Our numerous accomplishments over the past year have established a solid foundation for the future; the strategic value of our investments in digital enablement are becoming increasingly evident. The pandemic has accelerated the move to digital and virtual service in the span of months. The ICCS will continue to forge ahead with a digital first strategic plan.

I want to thank the Board of Directors, the Executive Director, and the team at the ICCS who have succeeded brilliantly on key initiatives. It’s through their leadership and innovative spirits that the Institute delivered on its ambitious three-year Strategic Business Plan, with the devotion of the ICCS team who achieved all of the key priorities of the past three years.

The ICCS has a unique relationship with the Joint Councils – the ICCS manages, enables, and helps advance collaborative efforts across Canada to promote and implement citizen-centred service improvements. I believe that the thought leadership role of the Joint Councils plays a key role in the advancement of service delivery excellence. The ICCS will continue to work with the Joint Councils to create and offer more relevant and valuable services to its members and the service delivery community.

As for our international focus this past year, the Institute continues to wisely pursue opportunities that align with our priorities, notably with regard to our research, analytics and learning services and products. We will continue to explore international opportunities in 2021-22 that align with our new Strategic Business Plan.

We end this fiscal year with greater knowledge and tools to assist our clients with the rapidly shifting service delivery environment. I have the utmost confidence in the Board of Directors, the Public Sector Service Delivery Council, the Public Service Chief Information Council, working with the Executive Director and our incredible ICCS team that we will be well positioned and more relevant than ever to help all public sector organizations deliver truly citizen-centred services.

—Natasha Clarke, President, ICCS

From the Executive Director

I invite you to read the annual report to learn about our journey this past year, such as the exemplary work of the Joint Councils who are the thought leaders for advancing key service improvement initiatives among federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments across Canada. I encourage you to discover our new eLearning modules and virtual workshops that support ICCS’ mandate of helping to professionalize public sector service delivery through focused, interactive and self-directed modules that meets the learning needs of today’s public servant. We have begun to explore new partnerships with organizations like Apolitical, to co-develop an international online boot camp focused on Continuous Service Improvement. Based on the Service Improvement Planning and Implementation (SIPI) framework, this new resource will be used to provide government employees worldwide with an overview of how to improve their services in order to meet the needs and expectations of their citizens and clients. The bootcamp will also be used to promote Citizen First’s own online self-study programs, while increasing awareness of our organization internationally.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we forged ahead and launched Citizens First 2020, the ninth iteration of our flagship research studies. The decision to move away from a single wave of data collection and go with four distinct waves allowed the ICCS to more effectively capture the expectations and experiences of citizens during this unprecedented time, to precisely track the evolution of citizens’ perspectives, and provide exceptional insights for our clients. Working in partnership with a new Canadian start-up firm PigeonLine, we launched Citizen First Analytics, the new suite of digital client satisfaction measurement and benchmarking services. In addition, we partnered with another upcoming Canadian company, PathosAI, with the aim of leveraging the latest in AI analytics and going beyond the current scope of analysis to provide the next level of performance insight to our clients.

Our Citizen First brand, powered by the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service, continued its growth through social media, the launch of a YouTube channel, and the guest speaker webinar series.

Financially, we witnessed a dip in our revenue; however, we are confident that the significant innovation investments made in key services lines will boost our financial health in the years ahead especially as we are now well positioned to offer digital first services to our clients.

Finally, I want to congratulate Guy Gordon as the 2020 Heintzman Leadership Award winner in recognition of his substantial contribution to the promotion of, and commitment to citizen-centred service delivery in Canada.

—Dan Batista, Executive Director, ICCS

Launched 4 eLearning modules

Launched Citizen First Analytics online tool

More than 500 followers to date

Line of Business Updates


Deliveries and Certifications

Throughout 2020/21, ICCS facilitated over 15 training sessions for organizations from across the Canadian Public Sector as follows:

  • 7 Certified Service Professional (CSP) workshops
  • 10 Certified Service Manager (CSM) workshops
  • 2 ICCS Customized Workshops

Licensed jurisdictions continue to facilitate ICCS training on our behalf within their respective organizations, with over 400 public sector employees participating in over 20 deliveries across Canada this year.

The number of certified professionals continues to increase nationwide, with over 950 CSPs and CSMs to date.


Throughout 2020-2021, work on the Learning Programs refresh has progressed steadily. We are pleased to share that four new learning modules have been released this past year:

  • Becoming Citizen-Centric
  • Public Service Delivery Fundamentals
  • Listening to and Understanding Citizens
  • Citizen-Centred Service Design

2021 will see the release of five additional modules:

  • Guide to Effective Service Delivery Management
  • Building Service Culture Through Leadership
  • Guide to Continuous Service Improvement
  • Building Inclusive Leadership Culture
  • Behavioural Insights and Service Delivery

These eLearning modules have supported the ICCS’ mandate of providing training that supports a citizen-centred approach to service delivery that meets the learning needs of today’s public servant. It has also enabled the ICCS to expand its services to creating customized learning materials for government organizations in Canada, which has led to partnerships with organizations such as the Joint Councils and the internationally recognized Apolitical.


ICCS is pleased to have worked with the following organizations:

  • Provincial Government of British Columbia
  • Provincial Government of Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Provincial Government of Saskatchewan
  • Government of Northwest Territories
  • Canada Revenue Agency
  • Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada
  • Joint Councils
  • Apolitical


Citizens First 2020

The Citizens First 2020 study was carried out in four waves between June 2020 and January 2021. The survey continued to track public sector performance across various service dimensions and asked respondents about the key service-related areas that had been examined in previous iterations, including service reputation, client experience and expectations, as well as channel usage. The decision to move away from a single wave of data collection has proven timely as the new approach allowed the ICCS to track how public sector clients’ perspectives have evolved during the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, the study also contained several question items specific to governments’ responses to the pandemic.

Some of the additional new features of the study included:

  • Online portal for subscribing jurisdictions;
  • Summary reports for subscribers after each of the initial three waves;
  • Bigger sample sizes for participating jurisdictions;
  • Additional options for subscribers, including the ability to add their own question items; and
  • More cost-effective subscription options.

Aside from focusing on the service issues connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, the study continued to look at other topics of special interest to public sector service providers. Two such areas explored in the study were digital identity and artificial intelligence, which have been identified as being of particular importance for the future of service delivery.

The results of the study are scheduled to become available in the first quarter of 2020-2021.

Emotional Engagement Research

In parallel with its core research studies, the ICCS has begun a collaboration with PathosAI with the aim of taking advantage of the latest in AI analytics and going beyond the current scope of analysis to provide the next level of insight to its clients. The pilot project was designed to test PathosAI’s unique artificial intelligence models and tools to measure emotions of Canadians in connection with accessing government services, identify the drivers of those emotions, and calculate the emotional engagement with government. The initial focus has been on analyzing open-ended responses from recent Citizens First studies to demonstrate the value of the approach to ICCS’ clients. Following the successful completion of the initial stages of the project, including a webinar on the results, delivered in February 2021, the ICCS and PathosAI have been in discussions about the next steps that would involve further enhancements as well as engagement with potential users.


In 2020-2021, the ICCS Secretariat continued to provide support services to the Public Sector Service Delivery Council (PSSDC) and the Public Sector Chief Information Officer Council (PSCIOC). The Secretariat organized monthly virtual meetings of the Joint Councils, PSSDC, PSCIOC, and additional learning event sessions on topics of common interest and sharing of best practices from across the country.

The Joint Councils, PSSDC and PSCIOC oversee many inter-jurisdictional working groups and communities of practice that focus on the Councils’ identified priority areas: Digital Identity, Client Centric Services, Research and Strategic Intelligence, Privacy, Cybersecurity, IT Procurement, Cloud Services, Service to Business, Open Source, Open Government, among others. A key mandate of the Councils is inter-jurisdictional collaboration to enhance the efficacy of public sector service delivery.

Digital Identity remains a key priority of the Joint Councils. To accelerate the work on this priority, the Joint Councils appointed a Pan-Canadian Digital Identity Program Executive in early 2020. This executive fosters relationships on behalf of the public sector to advance the digital identity program both within the Joint Councils digital identity bodies, including engagement of the newly established Jurisdictional Experts on Digital Identity, and external stakeholders.

Citizens want quick, convenient access to online programs and services from both public and private sectors and to be assured that their personal information will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance not only with the principles of privacy by design, but also in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Digital identity is crucial to transforming government services and Canada’s societal and economic future depends on it.

Digital Government requires more than incremental changes to address current and forthcoming challenges, implies reconfiguring the responsibilities of different levels of government and how they intersect and coordinate - essentially rethinking the architecture of government, especially governance and leadership. As a result of the pandemic, the Joint Councils remain conscious of the fluid external environment in which it operates and that it needs to be attentive and responsive to change. The Councils frequently re-visit priorities whilst consulting with members to ensure that its best positioned for collective impact.

Common Measurements Tool (CMT)

CMT and Citizen First Analytics

The Common Measurements Tool (CMT) continues to be employed by organizations across various jurisdictions and levels of government who use it to gain actionable insights regarding the quality of their services.

In 2020-2021, Citizen First Analytics, the platform developed in partnership with PigeonLine to allow CMT users to access ICCS’ benchmarking database in a time- and cost-effective way with an increased number of analytical features and a self-serve option, has been made available to new and existing clients. Several organizations have accessed the service to obtain benchmarking insights and have provided feedback on their experience. Enhancements continue to be implemented and additional features are planned.

In addition to licensing the CMT, the ICCS has also been offering more active support to users of the instrument. This includes the collaboration with BizPaL, which involves the ICCS helping with developing a new survey instrument for the organization, its implementation, as well as analysis and reporting of the results.

In 2020-2021, the following jurisdictions were licensed to use the CMT:


  • Access PEI
  • Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board
  • BC Stats
  • BizPaL
  • Service Canada
  • Service New Brunswick


  • New Zealand Police

Financial Summary

At a Glance

Financial Summary

At a Glance

In 2020/21, we saw a decline in the revenue trend compared to previous years.

  • Year to date shortfall of revenues over expenses of $42,141 …. $59,490 less than what we had budgeted.
  • Revenues totaled - $854,529. This is less than budget by $36,879.
  • Expenditures totaled - $1,003,529. This is more than budget by $47,649.
  • Support to Councils revenues are $10,000 less than budget and expenditures are $6,188 less than budget.
  • Research revenues are $5,163 more than budget while expenditures were more than budget by $7,950.
  • CMT Revenues were $7,250 less than budget and expenditures were $7,327 more than budget.
  • Certification revenues were $24,792 less than budget while expenditures were $11,206 more than budget.
  • General and Administration costs were $15,398 less than budget.

Revenues by Lines of Business

Revenues by Lines of Business

Financials Pie Chart

Winner of the 2017 Heintzman Leadership Award

Guy Gordon

Guy Gordon

The ICCS is proud to announce Guy Gordon as the 2020 Heintzman Leadership Award winner in recognition of his substantial contribution to the promotion of, and commitment to citizen-centred service delivery in Canada.