Strategic Plan

Why a Strategic Plan?

The TSB performs a key role within the large and complex Canadian transportation system. This system is dynamic by nature and is in a constant state of change, resulting in particular challenges for the TSB. Canada's vast geography; the critical importance of the transportation system and its safety to Canada and Canadians; industry consolidation, globalization and privatization; rapid advances in technology; and the increased scrutiny and needs of an informed public are just some of the daunting issues we face.

In addition to these external considerations, the TSB is challenged internally by issues related to the efficiency and effectiveness of its product delivery, its organizational effectiveness, the quality of its management systems and processes, and the adequacy of the current resource envelope to provide effective investigative coverage and timely safety products.

To meet these challenges, the TSB Senior Management Committee, using a broad participatory approach, undertook to establish a planning framework to be used in decision making regarding how to focus the Agency's activities and resources for the future. The obvious first step was the development of a strategic planning process - a process designed to determine where the TSB is going over the next three to five years, how it is going to get there and how it will know if it got there or not. The first tangible product of that planning is this Strategic Plan.

TSB Strategic Plan

The TSB Strategic Plan contains clear statements of Mission, Values, Strategic Objectives and Strategies that represent the type of organization we wish the TSB to be. These statements form the basis for the TSB Outcomes - outcomes that are important to Canadians in general, to the traveling public and to those who work in transportation-related industries.

The Strategic Plan is a framework for strategic directions that underlie the organization's outcomes and the results it wishes to achieve. The plan sets the direction chosen for the organization and supports the TSB's effort in achieving its legislative mission within the context of the identified challenges. It provides a structure for future actions and guides other planning initiatives.

The Strategic Plan is not an action or work plan in that it does not assign specific tasks within the organization. Rather, it defines strategic directions to focus the attention and energies of all staff and management in a common direction, and suggests priorities which should be the first focus of this effort. It challenges all of us to embrace change.

TSB Mission Statement

A Mission Statement is a formal, public statement of an organization's purpose. It is the unique aim that sets the TSB apart from all others. The Mission Statement is used by TSB management to set direction and values. The TSB Mission Statement, taken from Section 7 of the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act, is as follows:

The mission of the TSB is to advance transportation safety by:

  • conducting independent investigations, including, when necessary, public inquiries into selected transportation occurrences in order to make findings as to their causes and contributing factors;
  • identifying safety deficiencies as evidenced by transportation occurrences;
  • making recommendations designed to eliminate or reduce any such safety deficiencies; and
  • reporting publicly on its investigations and public inquiries and on the findings in relation thereto.

TSB Values

Articulating values provides guidance to TSB staff dealing with those outside the organization and interacting within the Agency. Values are to be manifest in everything the TSB does as an organization, both when dealing with our external clients and when working with our colleagues within the organization.

The Government of Canada has committed to managing its business according to the highest public service values. In meeting this commitment, the TSB acknowledges the basic values related to respect for democracy, professionalism, ethics and people. The TSB-specific core values are those that guide the Agency on an ongoing basis in conducting its work and affairs, both internal and external, in an independent, non-partisan and responsive manner. These core values are:


We will maintain a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce through continuous development, for the professional delivery of our services.


We accept and share information freely and openly, respecting both our information providers and users to the full extent of the law.


We treat all individuals and organizations equitably.


We are guided by honesty and propriety in conducting all of our affairs.


We are committed to treating all with whom we deal with consideration and courtesy.

TSB Outcomes

An outcome is defined as an external consequence or result attributed to an organization, policy, program or initiative that is considered significant in relation to its commitments. Outcomes are the long-term and enduring benefits to Canadians that stem from the Agency's vision and efforts. Some outcomes may be attainable in the short term; others will be more distant goals.

The outcomes describe the difference to Canada and Canadians that the TSB is committed to making. In most cases, these outcomes will require the combined resources and sustained effort of several partners over a long period of time. Most importantly, however, progress toward these outcomes will require, and Canadians will expect, the leadership of the TSB.

TSB outcomes, based on its mission, current context and environment, are as follows:

  • Increased and justified public confidence in the safety of the transportation system.
  • Timely implementation of appropriate safety actions.
  • Increased awareness of safety issues and a strengthened safety culture on the part of government, industry and the public.
  • Increased level of safety through the reduction of risk.
  • Effective organizational performance.

Strategic Objectives

An examination of the internal and external environment provided support to the strategic planning process by identifying issues that must be resolved to maximize the potential for achieving the TSB outcomes. These issues provided the basis for Strategic Objectives - objectives that provide the basic sense of direction for the future activities of the TSB. Each of the following Strategic Objectives is related directly to the TSB outcomes:

  1. Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of TSB products in terms of timeliness and quality.
    • The TSB will ensure that its products are developed in a manner that maximizes their potential to advance transportation safety and meets the needs of clients and the system as a whole.
  2. Focus on the identification and communication of safety deficiencies in the marine, pipeline, rail, and air transportation systems.
    • The TSB shall strike a balance in its effort and allocation of resources between investigating transportation occurrences for the identification and communication of safety deficiencies and managing effectively in a federal public service context.
  3. Improve organizational effectiveness in terms of leadership in the conduct of TSB activities and ensuring that the organization is properly resourced.
    • Create a working environment that is properly managed and resourced and which fosters the continual improvement of the individual and the organization.
  4. Optimize the use of alliances, partnerships and linkages to advance the mission of the TSB.
    • To benefit from the efficiencies and economies accrued by the pooling of resources and expertise, the TSB will broaden and strengthen its strategic relationships with organizations within, and outside of, the federal government.
  5. Enhance the national and international reputation of the Board as anauthoritative and independent resource in the area of transportation safety.
    • The TSB will position itself to be viewed with confidence by the public, industry and other departments, and thus enhance its ability to have a positive impact on transportation safety.


Strategies are clear and succinct statements on how the organization will achieve its strategic objectives and outcomes for the term of the planning period. As such, the following serve as indicators of commitments the organization has made to address its challenges:

  1. Resource Planning: Develop a formal planning, budgeting and reporting cycle thatconforms with government planning cycles and requirements, and prepare a business plan that facilitates short-term and ongoing resource allocation.
  2. Process Optimization: Conduct an assessment of TSB processes starting with activities relating to the investigation of transportation occurrences and the identification of safety deficiencies.
  3. Profile and Impact: Undertake a consultative process that will give the Agency a better assessment of how it is viewed and enable it to achieve the required profile and awareness for the Agency and its products.
  4. Effective Linkages: Take steps to broaden organizational awareness and strengthen involvement in extra-agency activities to maximize benefits from government programs and central agency initiatives.
  5. Organizational Performance: Conduct an assessment of the Agency's organizational framework with a view to optimizing its effectiveness, efficiency and overall functionality.
  6. Safety Advancement: Develop a program to increase the awareness of safety issues and to foster a safety culture in the transportation community.

The Way Ahead

This Strategic Plan is a forward-looking blueprint to guide the TSB as it focuses its activities and resources through the next three to five years. It provides a firm basis for business and action plans that will detail the tasks associated with each of the strategies.