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Internal Audit of the Canada School of Public Service's Language Training and Maintenance Program

May 1, 2012

Table of Contents


Executive Summary

Internal Audit Objective and Criteria

The internal audit objective was to assess the adequacy of management actions to ensure the Canada School of Public Service offers relevant, high-quality languagetraining services that offer best value for money to clients.

The internal audit opinion is based on an assessment of the extent to which the following two criteria were achieved: measures taken to ensure relevance of languagetraining and maintenance services; and measures taken to ensure high-quality of those services.

The internal audit objective and criteria, taken from the Canada School of Public Service's (the School) Report on Plans and Priorities for 2011-2012, were approved by the Deputy Minister on September 14, 2011, and supported by the Departmental Audit Committee at its next meeting on October 24, 2011.

Internal Audit Scope

The internal audit examination focused on the School's implementation of the new delivery model prescribed for its Language Training and Maintenance Program by the Treasury Board decision that was communicated to the School on January 25, 2006.

The findings presented in Section 5 of this report cover the period from 2007-2008 until March 9, 2012.

The scope of the examination includes Language Training and Maintenance Program activities undertaken by the School across Canada. There were no scope exclusions.

Internal Audit Opinion

In my professional opinion as the School's Chief Audit Executive, the actions that the School's management has undertaken in relation to its Language Training and Maintenance Program were adequate to ensure that the federal public servants that it served were offered relevant, high-quality languagetraining services that offered best value for money. This internal audit opinion is based on an assessment of the management actions undertaken in implementing the 2006 Treasury Board decision concerning the School's Language Training and Maintenance Program. The management actions adequately addressed the four parts of the Treasury Board decision which directed the School to develop and implement a "new model premised on a) a vision of the School's Language Training Centre as a Centre of Expertise and b) a stronger partnership with external suppliers including private, industry, community colleges, universities...." This new model set the School's direction for relevant and high-quality languagetraining services.

Main Findings

Since 2007-2008, the School has provided a broad range of advice on implementing and sustaining a bilingual workplace culture and developing integrated learning solutions, both at a departmental/organizational level, as well as an individual level. Further textment of roles and responsibilities of the School in regards to languagetraining, consistent with the 2006 Treasury Board decision and reaffirmed in the Addendum to Five Year Report to Parliament (2008), is being achieved through a revised integrated organizational structure which is being resourced and introduced in April 2012 with a refocused and enhanced Centre of Expertise.

Effective April 1, 2012, the School no longer provides direct delivery of languagetraining to public servants. This represents the final step in implementing the 2006 Treasury Board decision. While the School continues to work with Public Works and Government Services Canada on a national procurement vehicle, departments can access languagetraining through existing mechanisms of procurement.

Since 2006, the School continues to play an active role in setting standards, developing learning evaluation tools, training pre-qualified external providers on the School's programs, products and tools, monitoring, measuring, reporting and following up on the performance of external service providers.

The School has used, and continues to use, its A-base funding to provide quality and accessible languagelearning tools to federal public servants through the use of emerging technologies and research activities. Modernizing and digitizing core languagetraining programs and infrastructure, as well as developing self-paced languagelearning products, were the principle focus of activity since 2007. As of April 1, 2012, a strengthened organizational structure focused on a Centre of Expertise allows for a better focus on research on new methodologies and on the transfer of results to the languageindustry. These actions have been, and will continue to be, subject to quality monitoring.

There was no need to make internal audit recommendations.

Statement of Assurance

In my professional judgment, sufficient and appropriate audit procedures have been conducted, and evidence gathered, to support the accuracy of the opinion provided and contained in this report. The opinion is based on a comparison of the conditions, as they existed at the time, against pre-established audit criteria that were agreed on with management. The opinion is applicable only to the entity examined. In my judgment, the evidence that has been gathered is sufficient to provide senior management with a high level of assurance for the accuracy of the opinion from this internal audit.

Original signed by:
Basil Orsini, CIA, CGAP, CCSA, CFE, MPA
Chief Audit Executive
Canada School of Public Service

Ottawa, Ontario
March 26, 2012


As required by the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Audit, this final report was approved by the Deputy Minister/President of the Canada School of Public Service, Guy Mc Kenzie, on May 1, 2012.

1. Background

The Canada School of Public Service (the School) was created in 2004 by bringing together three organizations: the Canadian Centre for Management Development, Training and Development Canada and Language Training Canada. The Policy on Official languages for Human Resources Management (April 2004) states: "Institutions provide languagetraining to incumbents of bilingual positions who need to acquire the skills in order to meet the languagerequirements of their positions."

Until 2007, the School received appropriations to provide statutory languagetraining to public servants for direct delivery. Beginning in 2007-2008, direct delivery was funded on a cost-recovery basis. There were long waiting lists to access this service and overall dissatisfaction with this method of delivery. The Mitchell Report, based on consultations with a group of Assistant Deputy Ministers, was issued in 2004-2005. It led to the 2006 Treasury Board decision in which the School's future roles and responsibilities were explicitly stated. The School continued to receive annual funding in support of its role as a Centre of Expertise, including developing and supporting external providers of languagetraining and maintenance services to federal public servants.

In 2006, the Treasury Board issued its decision (quoted below) which defined the future role and responsibilities of the School in regards to Language Training. "The new model is premised on a) a vision of the School's Language Training Centre as a Centre of Expertise and b) a stronger partnership with external suppliers including private, industry, community colleges, universities…."

Specifically, according to the 2006 Treasury Board decision:

"The School's objective is to play a leadership role in building and maintaining individual and organizational second languagecapacity through foundation training and professional development. It recognizes that the acquisition of a second languageis, like other job competencies, acquired and maintained through continuous, lifelong learning.

Under the new model, the aim is to ensure:

  1. Language training will become an integral part of each department's human resources strategy. The School will provide advice on implementing and sustaining a bilingual workplace culture and the development of integrated learning solutions.
  2. Departments will take increased responsibility for languagetraining. The School will no longer provide statutory languagetraining free of charge to departments, although it will provide cost-recovered services when the expertise and/or services of pre-qualified partners are not available. Language training program delivery costs will be assumed by departments/agencies contracting with service providers. The School will work with Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) to put in place a Master Standing Offer to ensure access to quality-assured, pre-qualified service providers.
  3. The School will set standards, develop learning evaluation tools, train providers on the School's programs, products and tools, monitor, measure and report on performance. As a result, departments will have better access to high-quality languagetraining services without having to wait in line.
  4. Individuals will be responsible for maintaining their languageskills. The School will provide access to learning tools. It will modernize and digitize core languagetraining programs and infrastructure for delivery through e-learning. It will also develop self-paced languagelearning products and make them accessible to public servants. To ensure that public servants have access to the best possible languagelearning opportunities, the School will conduct research on learning technologies and methodologies as well as on learning disabilities. Research results will be tested in pilot classrooms, and then transferred to the languageindustry."

Later, the Addendum to Five Year Report to Parliament, tabled and published on June 18, 2008, reaffirmed the direction and actions being taken by the Canada School of Public Service, consistent with the Treasury Board decision in 2006.

The excerpt from the Addendum to Five Year Report to Parliament (2008), repeated below, is found on the School's Web site.

"Adopting Leading Practices in Official Language Maintenance: The Public Service's languagetraining model recognizes bilingualism, like other leadership competencies, can be acquired and maintained through continuous learning. Public servants need to be able to acquire languageskills early in their careers and be provided with the tools to maintain and improve those skills throughout their career. The School should continue to develop learning tools using technologies to support maintenance and improvement of languageskills.

The School continues to deliver training only where there is no alternate qualified market, in instances where a department has specifically requested that the training be provided by the School and for persons with learning disabilities. For those departments and agencies that access languagetraining through the School, the School provides timely and accurate languagetraining plans for their employees and assures that they have access to quality-assured and cost-effective languagetraining. The School should also continue to provide quality assurance of those qualified private sector training providers who provide services under the Standing Offer for languagetraining in the National Capital Region. The School will continue to seek external qualified languageproviders in the regions."

The School's Language Training activities in the National Capital Region (NCR) and other regions support public servants in acquiring and maintaining languageskills, providing students with access to the School's online languagetraining tools. The School leads the design, development, research and pilot of languagelearning programs, products, tools and methodologies. It also provides advice to departments to help them meet their languagetraining needs.

Profile of the School's Human Resources dedicated to Language Training and Maintenance Endnotes4

Projection of Canada School's Financial Position for Language Training and Maintenance based on continued direct delivery. Read down the first column to find measures of the School's financial position, including revenue and A-base funding, expenditures, and deficit. The second column lists the projection of the School's financial position based on continued direct delivery for years 2010-2011. The third column lists the projection for years 2011-2012. The fourth column lists the projection for years 2012-2013.">
Date Indeterminate Term Casual Assignment In
(Seconded In)
Student Total
March 31, 201086903410211 Endnotes1
March 31, 201177923020201 Endnotes2
March 21, 2012691011900189 Endnotes3

The School's Program management advised that the human resources allocation for 2012-2013 is 65 full-time equivalents (FTE).

2. Internal Audit Objective and Criteria

The internal audit objective was to assess the adequacy of management actions to ensure the School offers relevant, high-quality languagetraining services that offer best value for money to clients.

The internal audit opinion is based on an assessment of the extent to which the following two criteria were achieved: measures taken to ensure relevance of languagetraining and maintenance services; and measures taken to ensure high-quality of those services.

The internal audit objective and criteria, taken from the School's Report on Plans and Priorities for 2011-2012, were approved by the Deputy Minister on September 14, 2011, and supported by the Departmental Audit Committee at its next meeting on October 24, 2011.

3. Internal Audit Scope and Approach

The internal audit examination focused on the School's implementation of the new delivery model prescribed for its languagetraining and maintenance program by the Treasury Board decision that was communicated to the School on January 25, 2006.

The findings presented below in Section 5 cover the period from 2007-2008 until March 9, 2012.

The scope of the examination includes Language Training and Maintenance Program activities undertaken by the School across Canada. There were no scope exclusions. Program and corporate management in the School provided the following kinds of information in support of their actions that were examined by internal audit: accountability reports published by the School; data from School financial and human resource systems; internal analyses and reports on activities; contractual arrangements with pre-qualified external providers; and finally, testimony from 20 national and regional managers on the accuracy of the draft internal audit findings.

The 2006 Treasury Board decision provided the basis for the internal audit examination, assessment and detailed reporting. Findings are presented in relation to the four parts of the Treasury Board decision on the Language Training and Maintenance Program. The Treasury Board and the Treasury Board Secretariat provided the School with flexibility in how it would implement the 2006 decision. In addition, the School reported on its program activity in its annual Reports on Plans and Priorities as well as in its annual Departmental Performance Reports. Accordingly, this internal audit focused on obtaining sufficient and appropriate evidence that reasonable management actions were being taken consistently, and that management had adequate controls to implement the Treasury Board decision and achieve the School's objectives of relevance and high quality. Internal audit evidence was gathered in accordance with Treasury Board policy, directives and standards, as well as the standards of The Institute of Internal Auditors.

4. Internal Audit Opinion and Statement of Assurance

In my professional opinion as the School's Chief Audit Executive, the actions that the School's management has undertaken in relation to its Language Training and Maintenance Program were adequate to ensure that the federal public servants that it served were offered relevant, high-quality languagetraining services that offered best value for money. This internal audit opinion is based on an assessment of the management actions undertaken in implementing the 2006 Treasury Board decision concerning the School's Language Training and Maintenance Program. The management actions adequately addressed the four parts of the Treasury Board decision which directed the School to develop and implement a "new model premised on a) a vision of the School's Language Training Centre as a Centre of Expertise and b) a stronger partnership with external suppliers including private, industry, community colleges, universities...." This new model set the School's direction for relevant and high-quality languagetraining services.

In my professional judgment, sufficient and appropriate audit procedures have been conducted, and evidence gathered, to support the accuracy of the opinion provided and contained in this report. The opinion is based on a comparison of the conditions, as they existed at the time, against pre-established audit criteria that were agreed on with management. The opinion is applicable only to the entity examined. In my judgment, the evidence that has been gathered is sufficient to provide senior management with a high level of assurance for the accuracy of the opinion from this internal audit.

Basil Orsini, CIA, CGAP, CCSA, CFE, MPA
Chief Audit Executive
Canada School of Public Service

As required by the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Audit, this final report was approved by the Deputy Minister/President of the Canada School of Public Service, Guy Mc Kenzie, on May 1, 2012.

5. Findings

  • 5.2 Access

    Treasury Board Decision: "Departments will take increased responsibility for languagetraining. The School will no longer provide statutory languagetraining free of charge to departments, although it will provide cost-recovered services when the expertise and/or services of pre-qualified partners are not available. Language training program delivery costs will be assumed by departments/agencies contracting with service providers. The School will work with PWGSC to put in place a Master Standing Offer to ensure access to quality-assured, pre-qualified service providers." The internal audit examined the management actions and controls in relation to the School's implementation of this decision.

    Findings

    Effective April 1, 2012, the School no longer provides direct delivery of languagetraining to public servants. This represents the final step in implementing the 2006 Treasury Board decision. While the School continues to work with PWGSC on a national procurement vehicle, departments can access languagetraining through existing mechanisms of procurement.

    Commencing in 2007-2008, statutory funding to the School for developing integrated learning solutions standards, quality assurance, setting up a Master Standing Offer and providing some direct languagetraining, was reduced consistent with the 2006 Treasury Board decision. Statutory funding decreased annually, from $15 million in 2006-2007 to $10 million in 2011-2012.

    Following the 2006 Treasury Board decision, a blended approach was adopted to allow external providers to develop their capacity and expertise. In 2006, external providers did not have the national capacity and/or expertise necessary to meet the majority of demands of the federal public service. Beginning in 2007, the School pursued a strategy of encouraging and establishing pre-qualified third-party agents/partners, both in the private sector, as well as universities and colleges, in order to meet demand and further the development of alternative direct delivery expertise. By 2010, 40 percent of all direct delivery languagetraining at the School was provided for through such partnerships including the Université de Sainte-Anne (Nova Scotia) and Université de Saint-Boniface (Manitoba). A Regional Standing Offer for which the School assured quality was also put in place.

    The conclusions of the School's formative evaluation of the pilot project with the Université de Sainte-Anne (US-A), entitled Impact of the Pilot Memorandum of Understanding between the Canada School of Public Service and Université Sainte-Anne and dated February 2009, included:

    • "When compared to the previous costs associated with delivering French languagetraining at the LTC (Language Training Centre) in Halifax, US-A was able to deliver the languagetraining at a lower cost."
    • "An examination of the Second Language Evaluation (SLE) results for the students at US-A reveals that all of the students were successful in acquiring, at minimum, a BBB as their linguistic profile.
    • According to information retrieved from the Personnel Psychology Centre at the Public Service Commission, these results exceed the recent success rates exhibited across the public service."
  • The success of this pilot project encouraged the School's management to pursue new partnerships.

    On April 1, 2007, the School implemented a cost-recovery model for languagetraining whereby departments could use the services of languageteachers through departmental agreements where specifically requested. On an annual basis, an average of 20 departments requested this service for languagetraining for federal public servants being serviced by the School. From 2007 to 2011, the requests for on-site services by departments grew from 94 teachers in 2007-2008 to 122 on-site teachers in 2010-2011, a trend that was not consistent with the Treasury Board decision and new model for the School.

    In the regions located outside of the NCR, and depending on the availability of pre-qualified suppliers, in 2010-2011, departments could acquire training through agreements with the School, or through third-party pre-qualified external providers where capacity to meet demand existed.

    In the fall of 2010, the School started a thorough internal review of its languagetraining program. Through research, analysis and consultations, activities were assessed against the 2006 Treasury Board decision. In light of this review, it was decided to implement the last step of the 2006 Treasury Board decision by discontinuing direct delivery of languagetraining to departments as of March 31, 2012, as there was evidence that external providers could assume full delivery of languagetraining.

    According to PWGSC's data, spending for languagetraining services across the government was about $65 million per year. This number increased to about $100 million per year, once spending outside of the School by a few large departments, Crown corporations and government agencies were added. In comparison, the School's revenues for 2010-2011 were approximately $22 million, or about 22 percent of the federal languagetraining market. Approximately 41 percent of this $22 million revenue, or about $9 million, is delivered through external providers via the Regional Standing Offer in the NCR or contracts. The School's residual share was then about 12 percent of the total federal market. This means that about 90 percent of the languagetraining provided in the public service was delivered by external providers or other mechanisms such as languageschools internal to some federal organizations. In 2011-2012, the School's share of direct delivery was a relatively small share of the total federal languagetraining activity.

    A department-wide review of the cost-recovery activities of the Schools' products and services, including but not limited to languagetraining, was launched by the School in June 2011. The results of that review revealed that the School had experienced a loss of about $2.7 million with this direct-delivery program in 2010-2011, and furthermore that a status-quo delivery situation would increase the loss to an estimated $5.2 million in 2011-2012, and a larger loss of $6.9 million in 2012-2013. In addition, the corporate costs associated with third-party delivery by external providers called into question the cost-effectiveness of ongoing involvement of the School in the direct delivery of languagetraining. The financial profile is provided below.

    It is noteworthy that, prior to the 2011 analysis of direct program costs, it was understood that languagetraining costs were being recovered. However, the comprehensive review of all program costs (direct, indirect and internal services) indicated that they were not being fully recovered.

    Projection of the School's Financial Position for Language Training and Maintenance Based on Continued Direct Delivery ($ millions) Endnotes5

    Profile of Canada School's Human Resources dedicated to Language Training and Maintenance. Read down the first column to find the end of each fiscal year from 2010 to 2012 as benchmark dates. The second column contains the number of indeterminate resources. The third column contains the number of term resources. The fourth column contains the number of casual resources. The fifth column contains the number of resources that were assigned in (seconded in). The sixth column contains the number of students, and the seventh column contains the total number of resources per year. There is an important note at the bottom of the table.">
      2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013
    Revenue and A-base Funding$41.3$38.8$37.1
    Expenditures$44.0$44.0$44.0
    Deficit($2.7)($5.2)($6.9)

    In January 2012, after consultations with central agencies, including the Treasury Board Secretariat and the Deputy Minister community, the School proceeded to move forward with the final implementation of the provisions for languagetraining in the 2006 Treasury Board decision by discontinuing its remaining direct delivery of languagetraining in departments, as of March 31, 2012. Considerations on the final steps of implementation were based on three important factors articulated in the 2006 Treasury Board decision and future direction outlined in the Addendum to Five Year Report to Parliament: external provider capacity; expertise of external providers and supply factors, including cost recovery and national access to external providers.

    The School continues to work with PWGSC to put in place a national Master Standing Offer to ensure access to quality-assured, pre-qualified service providers. In the meantime, departments can access languagetraining through existing mechanisms of procurement. Prior to implementing the final steps of the work on the second phase of the national supply tool, consultations were held with departments in order to find out if there is interest in using a national supply tool more broadly given the original Regional Standing Offer was not used to its full intent. With their agreement and the School again acting as the technical authority and PWGSC the contracting authority, work on Phase II is underway with the same group of stakeholders.

    In 2007, work started on developing a supply tool in order to provide departments with access to pre-qualified external providers. A consultative committee with representatives from about 20 departments was established to advise both PWGSC and the School on departments' needs and requirements. Through this consultative process, the School acted as the technical authority and PWGSC as the contractual authority for the development of the supply strategy. This resulted in the implementation of a Regional Standing Offer (Phase I) in the NCR in 2007. Although the objective was to have a national tool available to departments through which they could access private providers, regional readiness in terms of volume and pre-qualified external instructors made it difficult for external providers to qualify in the supply process in some regions. In pursuing expanded regional capacity of pre-qualified instructors to meet ongoing regional specific needs, request for proposals were issued and contracts were maintained (third-party delivery) by the School to facilitate external provider delivery where possible.

    As part of the review of languagetraining activities, regions were consulted, in August 2011, on the status of external suppliers' capacity and expertise. Through these consultations with the School's regional languagetraining teams, a better understanding of various regional realities was gained. It was noted that the capacity varied from one region to another, based on the volume (lack of critical mass) and nature of the demand (French, English, part-time, full-time, etc.)

    In October 2011, in order to assess the expertise and capacity of the private sector, the School consulted the Association de l'industrie de la langue/Language Industry Association (AILIA), whose mission includes the promotion of the Canadian Language Industry as a whole and the development of sectoral strategies that promote the emergence of each of its components: Translation and Interpretation, Language Technologies and Language Teaching. During these consultations, representatives from the industry have stated that they have an interest and readiness to meet the public service demand. It was mentioned that to meet the 2007 Regional Standing Offer, the School's rigorous quality standards had forced them to invest a considerable amount of funds. It was also mentioned that the private sector was ready to deliver languagetraining using different methodologies.

    A national procurement mechanism that departments will be able to access directly, and that will be quality-assured, flexible and user-friendly, is being developed. The new supply tools will take into account regional realities in terms of capacity and volume and should provide suitable flexibility outside the NCR. According to the joint PWGSC-School work plan, the tools will be available in the NCR at the beginning of 2013 and then in the regions later in the year. In the interim, existing Phase I supply tool and regional contracts will remain available for departments.

  • 5.3 Quality

    Treasury Board Decision: "The School will set standards, develop learning evaluation tools, train providers on the School's programs, products and tools, monitor, measure and report on performance. As a result, departments will have better access to high-quality languagetraining services without having to wait in line." The internal audit examined the management actions and controls in relation to the School's implementation of this decision.

    Findings

    Since 2006, the School continues to play an active role in setting standards, developing learning evaluation tools, training pre-qualified external providers on the School's programs, products and tools, monitoring, measuring, reporting and following up on the performance of external service providers.

    Consistent with the 2006 Treasury Board decision, the School sets quality standards for the delivery of languagetraining by external providers who have been pre-qualified through supply tools for which the School is the technical authority. For example, the School established these standards as part of its technical authority role for the Standing Offers and Regional Master Standing Offers, commencing 2007 to present. The Annex of this internal audit report presents excerpts from the Offer and Call-up Authority for Regional Master Standing Offers showing the standards set by the School for external providers of languagetraining.

    The School has developed and implemented various quality assurance tools to measure progress and quality. For example, the Oral Interaction Verification is designed to measure the learner's progress in relation to his or her learning plan. Another tool evaluates the quality of training provided by the supplier, namely, the Quality Assurance Measurement tool. Feedback and corrective measures if required are provided to the supplier on a regular basis. This function will be maintained as part of the supply tools that are under development. On April 1, 2012, the School will implement a national centre of expertise organizational structure. This structure will include 13 FTEs in the NCR and 5 FTEs in the regions to specifically support the ongoing quality assurance, monitoring, measurement and reporting function.

    The School evaluates all School pre-qualified external providers against standards based on the best practices incorporated in the languagetraining programs, products and tools developed by the School. For example, when the provision of service did not meet the School's stipulated technical standards or client expectations, the School used the possibility of removal of instructors from the list of eligible providers to negotiate improvements.

    Since 2007, in the NCR, the School has trained on-demand more than 500 external providers' learning advisors and teachers on the School's programs, products and tools which are mandatory for them to use.

    The School will continue to play an active role in assuring the quality of the pre-qualified external providers that are part of the current Standing Offer as well as external providers with whom the School has contracts in regions.

  • 5.4 E-Learning

    Treasury Board Decision: "Individuals will be responsible for maintaining their languageskills. The School will provide access to learning tools. It will modernize and digitize core languagetraining programs and infrastructure for delivery through e-learning. It will also develop self-paced languagelearning products and make them accessible to public servants. To ensure that public servants have access to the best possible languagelearning opportunities, the School will conduct research on learning technologies and methodologies as well as on learning disabilities. Research results will be tested in pilot classrooms, and then transferred to the languageindustry." The internal audit examined the management actions and controls in relation to the School's implementation of this decision.

    Findings

    The School has used and continues to use its A-base funding to provide timely and accessible learning tools to federal public servants through the use of emerging technologies and research activities. Modernizing and digitizing core languagetraining programs and infrastructure as well as developing self-paced languagelearning products were the principal focus of activity since 2007. As of April 1, 2012, a strengthened organizational structure focused on a Centre of Expertise allows a better focus on research on new methodologies and on the transfer of the results to the languageindustry. These actions have been, and will continue to be, subject to quality monitoring.

    Starting in 2006, the core languagetraining program for French as a Second Language (Programme de francais langue seconde) has been modernized. It is an interactive, online program with over 1,500 hours of training and it has replaced the previous program, Programme de base de français au travail. Concurrently, the School has developed and made accessible 72 online programs, products and tools for the maintenance and improvement of second languageskills for federal public servants served by the School; a significant increase from the 30 online programs, products and tools that were available in 2006-2007.

    For example, in 2007-2008, the School increased the number of online languagetraining products to a total of 67 and 62,000 learners accessed those products during that year. One of those products is called "Une saison au ministère de l'habitation." It consists of 48 short film episodes that tell the story of 8 employees of a fictitious government department. The series aims to develop the learner's French languagecomprehension of spoken French among colleagues in the workplace. This learning product is targeted at the intermediate to advanced level of French as a second language, but can also be used by those who wish to enhance their comprehension of spoken French.

    In 2008-2009, the School developed the Language Maintenance and Acquisition Cycle which was officially launched in April 2009. The Cycle offers a means of self-directed learning to help employees maintain and even improve their competencies in their second official language.

    In addition, since 2007, the School conducted five research projects in the NCR and the regions, in three distinct areas, and initiated a three-year pilot with Canadian Universities as part of the Roadmap for Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future. In terms of the research projects, for example, in 2009-2010, to address the problem of geographic disparity of public servants in some regions, a pilot project was conducted for distance training. More recently, a pilot project was undertaken with a number of departments with offices in remote locations to experiment distance languagecoaching. The School also adapted its core French program to make it more conducive for part-time languagetraining delivery. This was also done in anticipation of the new supply mechanism that would include part-time delivery. A third project adapted the core French program to be used with learning disabilities. The adaptation consisted mainly to streamline the learning activities including, but not limited to, adding more visual components.

    As for the School's initiative of the Roadmap for Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future, the School has a 3-year pilot initiative with 10 Canadian universities. As of March 31, 2011, there were 206 students participating in this initiative. Participants benefited from the Public Service Commission's second languageexams, English and French curricula, weekly bulletins and access to 16 online languagetraining products.

    In addition to languageprograms that were transferred to external providers (the Programme de francais langue seconde and the Communicative English at Work Program), the School will transfer pilot results to the languageindustry through established curriculum and corporate management governance structures. With its new organizational structure, the School is texting resources and responsibilities to pursue research projects with the goal of transferring results to the industry. A dedicated section in the revised organizational structure has been created and four specialized resources are being added in the regions to support the role especially to transfer results to the industry.

    Currently, the School provides public servants access to 72 languagelearning programs, products and tools. Access to these 72 products is monitored by means of periodic reports generated by the School's Integrated Learning Management System (previously by means of information generated by the School's Campusdirect system). The internal audit found that public servant access to the School's e-learning tools needed to be increased for some tools in 2010-2011. The School developed a life cycle for its online products which was used to adjust the offerings of products to ensure their continued relevance. In the future, the School's Level One system of independent evaluation will be made available to learners on an ongoing basis. In addition, the School developed core languageprograms that are available to public servants, as well as the industry, through Government of Canada Publications. Research and transfer to industry will focus on learning disabilities and programs for distance learning.

    There was no need to make internal audit recommendations.

ANNEX: Excerpts from Annex A, Section 3 of the Offer and Call-up Authority for Regional Master Standing Offers

The following are excerpts from Annex A, Section 3 of the Offer and Call-up Authority for Regional Master Standing Offers showing how the School sets standards for languagetraining.

TRAINING REQUIREMENTS

3.1 Training

The Offeror shall deliver second languagetraining services in the NCR to students identified by the Identified User. The second languagetraining will be for the French and English official languages of Canada, as identified in the call-up.

The Offeror shall deliver the training through continuous courses on a full-time basis using the CSPS (Canada School of Public Service) Training Programs on an "if and when requested" basis. The training services include, as a minimum, classroom instruction, the development of weekly training plans, keeping a class register (logbook), keeping a follow-up log on the training students and submitting student progress reports and individual follow-up plans, all as detailed herein.

The Offeror shall deliver the plans, registers, follow-up logs and individual follow-up plans if requested to do so by the Technical Authority. All items shall be delivered no later than two (2) Business Days following Technical Authority's (TA) request for their delivery.

The Offeror shall ensure that the requirements of this SO (Standing Offer) are not modified as a result of student requests. Example: students are required to receive training during the Training Delivery Days listed herein and no modification is permitted.

3.2 Use of CSPS Training Program

This Standing Offer contains Training Programs designed by the CSPS ("CSPS Training Programs"). The Offeror may use parts of its own training programs to supplement or reinforce the CSPS Training Programs; however no parts of this SO may be changed.

Learning Plans for Students (Service provided by the CSPS for both Training Formats)

Employee Linguistic Assessment

Federal institutions will provide the CSPS with identification of employees they wish to send on languagetraining. The CSPS will administer either of the following tests to employees (potential students at this point) in order to determine the employee's learning pace:

  • Modern Language Aptitude Test (MLAT), for students learning French
  • PIMSLEUR, for students learning French
  • Test d'aptitudes en langues vivantes « TALV », for students learning English

In addition, the CSPS will assess certain linguistic achievements in the test in order to determine the total quantity of hours deemed required by the student to meet the required languageproficiency level.

The CSPS will then identify a Training Program corresponding to the student's learning pace and the required quantity of hours. A "Student Learning Plan" will be prepared by the CSPS and will include the results, Training Program, pace of learning and required number of hours. The CSPS will forward this Student Learning Plan to the federal institution.

The Student Learning Plan will form part of a resulting call-up. The Offeror shall utilize, as a minimum, the requisite CSPS Training Programs to correspond to the Student's Learning Plan.

CSPS TRAINING PROGRAMS

The training methodology, course configurations and the corresponding materials designed by the CSPS and detailed below are defined as "Training Programs" or "Programs" or "the CSPS Training Programs".

The Offeror shall utilize the CSPS Training Programs listed below, and, the specific CSPS Training Programs used must correspond to the starting objectives or book as identified in the Student Learning Plan.

The Offeror is reminded that it can use its own program to complement and the CSPS Training Programs, however, the provisions of SECTION I: 2.3.5 of this SOR applies.

The CSPS Training Programs are:

1. for the French language: Programme de français langue seconde (PFL2), levels A, B, C and the Make-up course, of the CSPS.

2. for the English language: Communicative English at Work Program (CEWP), levels A, B, C and the Make-up course of the CSPS.

Familiarization Sessions for Teachers and Pedagogical Counsellors

Following the authorization of the Standing Offer, teachers and pedagogical counsellors proposed to conduct the Work pursuant to a call-up, and accepted by the CSPS for same, will be offered Familiarization Sessions detailing the CSPS's Training Programs and Oral Interaction Assessments. The purpose of these sessions is to have these teachers and pedagogical counsellors become familiar with the CSPS's Training Programs and evaluation tools to facilitate the Offeror's requirement to have these resources utilize the CSPS Training Programs and tools in carrying out the training.

Pedagogical Counsellor Supervision

Each pedagogical counsellor assigned to a class group shall visit the class group at least once every two (2) weeks to ensure that the courses are delivered according to the requirements of the Training Program and that the teaching methods respect the andragogic principles. For each class group visit the pedagogical counsellor shall report his/her findings on a monthly basis, in a written report, and submit this report monthly to the Identified User and the Technical Authority on the first working day of the month following the month reported. The report shall be delivered via e-mail or facsimile. The following items must be addressed in each report; as a minimum:

  • Logbook completion – was it appropriately completed
  • Availability of weekly planning – was it appropriately completed
  • Attendance sheet is up to date
  • Use of the communicative approach by the teachers
  • Clear presentation to the students of the activity objectives
  • Student participation – extent, attitudes, etc.
  • Corrections are well balanced with respect to adult education principles
  • Class group dynamics are conducive to learning
  • Efficient use of the Training Programs
  • Explanations are clear, precise and respond to the students' questions

The TA will analyze the report findings. If classroom/teacher/student difficulties are found or reported and there is no indication of the Offeror having addressed the issues, the TA will determine the cause of the difficulties and if:

  • the cause is borne from the student, will inform the student's institution and request appropriate/reasonable remedy;
  • the cause is borne from the Offeror's services, will advise the Offeror to remedy the situation.

Teachers

The Offeror shall ensure that, in addition to the seven (7) training hours delivered to the students, the teachers dedicate a minimum of five (5) hours per week to class preparation for each class group. Upon request from CSPS or Identified User, the Offeror shall provide documentation showing the preparation time used each week by each teacher for each group. This documentation shall be delivered to the requestor no later than three (3) Business Days of the request.

The Offeror shall ensure that the teacher is prepared to start daily classes at least 15 minutes prior to the start time of 8:00 a.m.

In the case of an unforeseen need to replace a teacher, only those teachers already meeting the Training Resources Qualification Requirements herein and who are confirmed or who have already been trained by the Offeror's pedagogical counsellor on the use of the CSPS products applicable to the Training Program (in particular PFL2 A, B and C and CEWP A, B and C), may be a substitute teacher.

The teacher shall carry out student learning performance monitoring and progress report activities as detailed in article 10.1 herein.

SPECIFIC QUALITY ASSURANCE / PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENTS

10.1 Student Learning Attendance, Progress and Performance Reporting – conducted by the Offeror

10.1.1 Student Attendance Report

The teacher must track the daily attendance. All instances of partial or full-day absences must be recorded. The pedagogical counsellor shall provide, by e-mail or facsimile, a written attendance report to the Identified User no later than the first Business Day of every month following the preceding month for which the attendance was tracked. An attendance report template will be provided to the Offeror by the CSPS.

These attendance reports must be signed by the students before being submitted to the CSPS Technical Authority or to the Identified User.

In addition, the Offeror shall notify the Identified User and the TA of all students who are absent for five (5) or more consecutive days (includes full or partial days). The Offeror must deliver this notice no later than forty-eight (48) business hours following the fifth (5th) day of the absence.

10.1.2 Student Learning Progress Report

A template of this report will be provided to the Offeror by the CSPS. The pedagogical counsellor shall ensure that the duly completed monthly student progress report (prepared by the teachers) is sent to the Identified User by e-mail or facsimile by the first Business Day of the month following the month evaluated.

10.3 Satisfaction Questionnaire

At the phases corresponding to the CSPS Training Programs Objectives, the Offeror will instruct students to complete a satisfaction questionnaire regarding their level of satisfaction with the training received. The Offeror will inform the CSPS when the group has completed each satisfaction questionnaire.

This questionnaire will be in electronic form and the Offeror must ensure that its computer equipment will accommodate this questionnaire to allow student completion of the questionnaire, by computer, and direct transmission to the Technical Authority and to the Identified User. The Offeror shall schedule this activity as part of the training. The Offeror shall not intervene with the content of the questionnaire, or with the students' responses to the questionnaire.

The TA will prepare a summary of remarks and will forward same to the Offeror and a copy to the Client Institution/Identified User.

This questionnaire will evaluate the physical environment, the teaching resources (teachers and pedagogical counsellors), the training program, the training methods, and, the responsibility of the employee relative to his/her own training.

This questionnaire will be used to develop measures that will be addressed during Educational Session to correct aspects signalling difficulties impacting the learning of the student. The purpose is to ensure the training services meet the learning needs of the student.


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