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Strategic Plan 2021-22 to 2025-26

Table of contents

Introduction

The phone rings in the middle of the night. There's been an accident, and somewhere in Canada, men and women who work at the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) get to work.

Ever since the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act was passed 30 years ago, it’s been the TSB’s job to deploy to occurrence sites from coast to coast to coast and search for answers to three key questions: What happened? Why? What needs to be done to prevent it from happening again?

When we identify safety deficiencies, we report them publicly and we don’t hesitate to make recommendations for change. The goal is always to make Canada’s transportation system even safer.

But at the TSB, we don’t only react, we evolve. Our five-year strategic plan looks ahead to challenges we anticipate and sets out broad objectives for meeting them. We know, for instance, that as a society, we’re going ever more digital—and fast. That’s why two of our six strategic objectives are to “leverage data to drive our choices and decisions” and “to be digital by default.” We also know that in a world where everyone has so much information from so many sources, our voice must be clearer and stronger than ever to cut through the clutter, reach our intended audiences, and produce the desired outcome. That makes it more important than ever to “strengthen the impact of our investigations” and “communicate with impact”.

That said, in some ways our work advancing transportation safety hasn’t changed at all, and it continues to depend on attracting, developing, and retaining “a knowledgeable and highly skilled workforce” of experts who are among the best in their field. Key to this is being determined to “foster an inclusive, diversified and respectful workplace” so that the TSB community is representative of Canada at its best.

As this strategic plan shows, the TSB is moving confidently into its fourth decade, and Canadians everywhere can be assured that our organization is strong enough and flexible enough to meet the challenges of the future.

Our mandate

The TSB performs a key role within the Canadian transportation system. Our mandate provides Canadians with an organization entrusted to advance transportation safety by

The TSB’s mandate is legislated by the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act (https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-23.4/)

Our vision 

A world-leading accident investigation organization that advances transportation safety.

Our values

As federal public service employees, we are guided by the enduring public service values—respect for democracy, respect for people, integrity, stewardship, and excellence. We at the TSB also place a particular emphasis on our own core values, which are of the utmost importance to the successful achievement of our mandate.

Respect

We are committed to inclusiveness and to treating all individuals and organizations with consideration, courtesy, discretion, and fairness.

Openness

We actively share and exchange information to advance transportation safety.

Safety

We maintain and promote a positive and proactive safety culture.

Integrity

We are guided by honesty, transparency, impartiality, propriety, and accountability for our actions and decisions.

Excellence

We maintain a highly skilled and knowledgeable team of professionals through leadership, innovation, and commitment to continuous improvement in the delivery of our products and services.

Our strategic objectives

Over the next five years, the TSB will continue its work to remain a world-leading accident investigation organization that strives to advance transportation safety. The TSB will pursue this vision guided by these six strategic objectives:

  1. Strengthen the impact of our investigations
  2. Foster an inclusive, diversified and respectful workplace
  3. Employ a knowledgeable and highly skilled workforce
  4. Leverage data to drive our choices and decisions
  5. Be digital by default
  6. Communicate with impact

These six objectives are both complementary and interrelated. They will frame our actions and choices in the years ahead. They will also guide change and provide focus as the TSB navigates a rapidly evolving, technologically diverse and data-driven transportation industry.

1 — Strengthen the impact of our investigations

We will continuously improve how we conduct investigations and continue to provide credible, transparent and timely results that inform and influence the advancement of transportation safety in Canada and abroad.

This will be accomplished through the implementation of four strategies:

Maintain a high standard of quality in our investigations

We will implement a continuous improvement program to ensure we standardize best practices and implement lessons learned through training and other means to improve the way we work. As part of this program, we will establish and track internal quality indicators for all of our investigations. A particular focus will be placed on the timeliness of reports in order to improve the overall impact of our investigations.  

We will continue engagement with, and learn from, our international partners and will pursue the advancement of transportation safety within the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and other multilateral organizations.

We will review our investigation processes to gain efficiencies by removing redundancies and bottlenecks, improving investigative tools and incorporating feedback from stakeholders.

Make optimal use of technology

We will continuously review and assess the adoption of existing and emerging technologies to assist us in the conduct of our investigations and keep up with innovations in the transportation industry. We will also improve existing tools to facilitate the work of our investigators.

Update our facilities

We will continue the work currently underway with Laboratories Canada and Public Service and Procurement Canada to modernize our laboratory and head office to provide our employees with a renewed and highly functional work environment that promotes efficiency, scientific collaboration and innovation.

Review the CTAISB Act and propose amendments

The CTAISB Act has not been significantly reviewed since the Hyndman Review Commission in 1994. We will conduct a review of this legislation to reflect changes in both new court decisions and other legislation that may affect the application of our Act. We will develop a detailed proposal to update the CTAISB Act and present it to the Government.

2 — Foster an inclusive, diversified and respectful workplace

We will foster a respectful, harassment-free, diversified and inclusive workplace.

This will be accomplished through the implementation of three strategies:

Recruit, retain and promote a diversified workforce

We will identify and remove barriers to the recruitment, retention, and/or promotion of members of designated groups and increase the number of employees recruited within underrepresented designated groups in order to achieve a representative workforce.

Create and maintain a respectful workplace where diversity and inclusiveness are valued

We will ensure the provision of diversity and inclusiveness training to all our employees and will improve the organizational culture. We will also ensure that barriers are identified and eliminated in a proactive manner.

Implement our Mental Health Strategy

We will develop and implement the activities required to achieve the three key objectivesFootnote 1 identified in our Mental Health Strategy and monitor progress to completion. Oversight of workplace mental health will be incorporated into the TSB’s occupational health and safety program.

3 — Employ a knowledgeable and skilled workforce

We will focus on the recruitment, development, and retention of a high-performing and diverse workforce whose collective experience informs our practices and policies.

This will be accomplished through the implementation of four strategies:

Improve learning opportunities

We will ensure our employees have ongoing opportunities to acquire, maintain, and enhance their skills and knowledge through external and in-house training using a blended learning approach and leveraging technology.

Partner with other organizations

We will seek out opportunities to leverage partnerships and work collaboratively with public- and private-sector organizations to enhance curriculum development, identify new and emerging learning needs, conduct research, and promote knowledge sharing.

Collaborate internationally

We will share and learn best practices with other international transportation safety investigation agencies. We will also share our expertise.

Increase use of flexible working arrangements

We will increase the use of flexible and alternate working arrangements to facilitate recruitment and retention within our organization.

4 — Leverage data to drive our choices and decisions

We will manage data throughout its lifecycle as a shared business asset to support evidence-based decision making, meet strategic business needs and objectives, and enable collaboration with stakeholders.

This will be accomplished through the implementation of three strategies from our Data Strategy Plan:

Improve data governance

We will put in place the requirements for sound data governance and management based on best practices.

Improve data quality and usability

We will implement various initiatives to improve data quality to strengthen its accuracy, completeness, timeliness, consistency, validity, searchability, and relevance. We will seek to efficiently leverage the value of data we collect and access to enhance the quality of our data and information products.

Improve data interoperability

We will explore options to support the exchange of data between the TSB and external stakeholders within the Government of Canada, provincial and territorial governments and industry in order to create efficiencies and improve the flow of data and information.

5 — Be digital by default

We will continue to leverage the right digital tools and processes to maximize productivity and efficiency and empower employees to work easily and efficiently from any location.

This will be accomplished through the implementation of two strategies:

Migrate to the cloud

We will complete our migration to the cloud. We will make use of cloud-based products and services where feasible.

Leverage workplace technology

We will continue to ensure that we make full and effective use of available tools and systems. We will manage all our information records electronically to effectively ensure that we are working in a digital-first environment. We will design our processes to leverage industry best practices. Where appropriate, we will use government-wide shared tools, processes, and systems. We will also improve our network capacity to ensure employees have efficient access to workplace technology, whether they are working in our facilities or remotely.

6 — Communicate with impact

We will continue to strategically tailor the development and delivery of information to target media, stakeholders and change agents, and generate overall public awareness through traditional and new media/digital communications channels; and proactively communicate internally, using a variety of interactive tools, to deliver timely information to employees.

This will be accomplished through the implementation of four strategies:

Engage our workforce through open communication

As a national organization, we recognize that strong internal communication is crucial for an engaged, well-informed workforce. We will seek new ways to ensure a continuous open dialogue between employees and senior management and explore new methods to keep employees up to date on the department’s priorities and strategies.

Optimize the use of digital media platforms in our communications

We will expand our digital presence across social media platforms in addition to using more traditional forms of communication to allow our audiences to consume information in their preferred format.

Refine our safety communications

We will continue to communicate our safety messages to those who have a responsibility for taking action on managing risk in Canada’s transportation system, as well as to a broader audience. Recognizing that detailed investigation reports may not suit all audiences, we will identify approaches to broaden the reach and accessibility of our safety messages.

Engage our stakeholders

We will proactively engage our national and international stakeholders through digital communications platforms to inform them of our activities, key safety learnings, and organizational priorities. We will seek new opportunities for collaboration to solicit feedback on key safety issues within Canada’s transportation industry. We will continue to review and refine our outreach strategies to be able to deliver our messages using virtual tools and expand our ability to influence key change agents. We will ensure the timely renewal of our memorandums of understanding with other governments, departments, and agencies locally and internationally.

Measuring success

This Strategic Plan will guide and define projects and activities in both the annual Departmental Plan and the Business Plan.
Our performance management framework will track the achievement of results as we implement our strategic objectives and vision.

Short- and long-term results will be measured, and then reported annually in the TSB Annual Report to Parliament and the Departmental Results Report.