ARCHIVED - Canadian Air Transport Security Authority 2007-2008

WarningThe Standard on Web Usability replaces this content. This content is archived because Common Look and Feel 2.0 Standards have been rescinded.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Report Card 2007–2008
Canadian Air Transport Security Authority

Factors and Criteria

Summary of Substantiating Data


Management (15%)

(a) An accountability framework, an action plan and accountability mechanisms are in place (5%)

The Official Languages (OL) Policy of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) serves as an accountability framework. The document, which is posted on the intranet and accessible to all staff, provides direction to management, employees and screening contractors about their rights and obligations with regard to Parts IV, V and VI of the Official Languages Act (the Act) and describes the roles and responsibilities of the President and CEO, senior management, the OL Champion, persons in charge of OL and human resources, and employees. The Policy was adopted by the Senior Management Committee (SMC) in 2004.

The President Chief Executive Officer signed off on CATSA's 2007–2008 OL Action Plan in February 2007. All the vice-presidents and most of the directors had previously approved it. It contains specific objectives to be achieved and timelines for their achievement. The Plan covers all four parts of the Act (i.e., Parts IV, V, VI and VII). In June 2007, following a recommendation by the Canada Public Service Agency (CPSA) and in order to share best practices, CATSA agreed to forward its OL action plan to other institutions so they can use it as an example.

In February 2007, CATSA set up an OL steering committee.  The members include one or two people from each of CATSA's sectors. The committee's mandate is to develop the annual OL Action Plan, track quarterly progress against the 2007–2008 plan, to ensure that the official languages component is part of CATSA’s activities and decision-making processes, and to serve as a sounding board/brainstorming group for new CATSA OL initiatives or policies. The group works with the OL Champion, and he and the Vice-President of Communications must sign off on any document it produces.

In 2007–2008, senior management implemented enhanced reporting and assessment mechanisms in order to strengthen managerial and supervisory accountability. Examples include semi-annual audits by CATSA’s Compliance Group of the OL performance of screening contractors, the inclusion of OL questions in the passenger intercept surveys that CATSA occasionally carries out and the introduction of the new Secure Identification and Time Tracking (SITT) system. (See section (d) of Part IV below, for more information on these measures.)


(b) Visibility of official languages in the organization (5%)

CATSA’s 2007 Corporate Business Plan and 2007 Annual Report both mention OL. The Annual Report contains commitments by senior management for each for Parts IV, V, VI and VII of the Act.

OL are part of internal audit activities. For example, in 2007–2008, CATSA’s Compliance Group carried out 12 audits, including a performance evaluation of screening contractors with regard to OL requirements in its main airports. These audits are conducted every six months.

The Senior Management Committee is made up of the President, vice-presidents and the OL Champion (Executive Vice-President and Head of Operations). OL issues are discussed at these meetings. For example, the Annual Review of Official Languages that is sent to CPSA is discussed each year. The institutional performance reports issued by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL), as well as any significant OL complaints, are also discussed.

Since the spring of 2007, a full-time person under the direction of the OL manager helps her manage the OL Program within the organization. This has helped strengthen the implementation and coordination of all parts of the Act. The Champion, the OL Manager, the Compliance Manager, the Client Relations Manager and the Human Resources Manager remain in continuous contact about OL issues through regular meetings, consultations, etc.


(c) Complaints and follow-up (5%)

All complaints from OCOL are reviewed with the CATSA regional managers responsible. CATSA regional managers bring the complaint to the attention of the screening company in their region. The screening company verifies historical records (e.g., of presence of bilingual staff at the screening point) and raises the matter with its “point leader” (i.e., the shift supervisor at the screening point). The point leader questions the screening officer and verifies any apparent contradiction or additional information. Screening officers are reminded again of their obligations by the screening company's supervisors when there are complaints, and all OL complaints are considered during the service contractor's performance evaluation.

Through her director, CATSA's manager of official languages reports weekly on OL complaints to her vice-president, (Law and Strategy). The Manager of Customer Relations also raises the complaint with her vice-president (of Operations). The Vice-President of Operations, supported by the Vice President, Public and Strategic Affairs, and by the Champion, who is also informed, brings the complaint to the attention of the SMC. Moreover, OCOL's written Notice of Intent is shared with various other people in the two branches. Thus, there is wide sharing of information, together with a clear line of responsibility for investigation of the complaint

At the end of the section on service to the public, there is a description of one specific problem with compliance with the Act, based on the complaints received.




Service to the public—Part IV (25%)

(a) Bilingual services advertised to the public and sufficient bilingual staff (3%)

CATSA advertises its bilingual points of service on Burolis and has a national 1-800 number in the blue pages of telephone directories.

In total, 55% of employees in bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position (Source: unpublished CATSA internal data as of January 23, 2008).

Note: Figures are for CATSA employees. Figures for contractors' bilingual screening officer positions cannot be collected.


(b) Observations on active offer and service delivery (15%)

According to observations of in-person service made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2007, an active visual offer was present in 92% of cases; an active offer by staff was made in 52% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 64% of cases.

According to observations of service over the telephone made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2007, an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 100% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 100% of cases.


(c) Service agreements delivered by third parties or in partnership provide for the delivery of bilingual services (2%)

Since April 1, 2007, contracts with service contractors responsible for airports designated under the Act include a clause that requires screening services provided in both OL to be of comparable quality.

Contracts also include a clause that requires service contractors to provide information about what they deem to be an adequate proportion of bilingual screening officers per screening line, per shift and per designated airport. Moreover, new contracts that took effect as of April 1, 2007 include a minimum requirement clause under which screening contractors must ensure that at least one bilingual employee is providing screening services during operating hours of each pre-boarding screening point.

The purpose of CATSA’s Performance Pay Program is to encourage excellence in bilingual service delivery by its service contractors. CATSA presented this program during the Annual Forum on Best OL Practices held by CPSA on November 29, 2007. In order to further emphasize and underscore the importance of OL, CATSA changed the weight of the official languages criterion in its Performance Pay Program for screening contractors. All new contracts will link 20% of the bonus that is payable to contractors for superior performance to compliance with contractual OL obligations. Thus, CATSA carries out an audit if the screening company does not meet its obligations in this respect, which has an impact on payment of the bonus.

In 2007, CATSA’s Compliance Group carried out 12 audits, including a performance evaluation of screening contractors related to OL requirements in its main airports. These audits are biannual.


(d) Policy on service to the public and bilingual services quality monitoring (5%)

CATSA’s policy on service to the public is included in its OL Policy, the internal SOPs used by screening officers, and its terms and conditions of its service contracts with the security companies.

CATSA has developed internal standard operating procedures (SOPs) for screening officers who greet passengers. The SOPs explain how screening officers are required to make an active offer of service, and what to do if the passenger responds in the minority language. A new corporate video was produced that focuses on CATSA’s main priority, that is to act as a client service-based security agency, and on the importance of ensuring bilingual service delivery to the public. 

In 2007–2008, CATSA focused on improving active offer of oral communications. New initiatives were incorporated into the OL Action Plan in order to enhance the level of bilingual services to the public and meet its language requirements in the area of service to the public. The institution also expanded its customer service module under its refresher training to put more emphasis on active offer.

Screening officers and employees receive regular reminders of the need to offer adequate service in both official languages. Examples of these reminders are the various articles in CATSA News, on the employees’ intranet, on the screening officers’ Web site, and in the President's Vision tour CD and calendar. Moreover, the screening officers’ Web site is updated on a regular basis and contains tools and information to promote front-line bilingual service. This site includes a virtual OL “tool box” that contains a self-teaching tool for screening officers to help them practice their skills in both OL.

CATSA implemented an increasing number and a variety of screening mechanisms for bilingual services. In 2007–2008, the Compliance Group continued with its audit tour that it initiated in 2006 and carried out 12 visits, including an in-depth evaluation of screening contractors' performance with regard their OL requirements at its major airports. The presence of bilingual screening officers, active offer and the overall level of service offered in both OL were evaluated. These audits are conducted every six months.

Supervisors, who work on behalf of security screening companies, check for active offer of service in both OL, but often do not check whether the service provided in the OL of the minority is adequate.

In March 2007, Compass Inc., an independent third party company, conducted passenger intercept surveys on behalf of CATSA across Canada (2,694 passenger interviews at 14 airports). These surveys assessed CATSA’s passenger screening process and determined the travellers’ satisfaction with specific aspects of the screening process, such as the level of service offered in the passengers’ chosen OL. The survey showed that 97% of passengers said that they were served in the official language of their choice throughout the entire screening process. 

In June 2007, in an effort to continue improving internal performance assessment mechanisms, the OL team relaunched the OL audit card initiative to check whether there is a verbal and visual active offer and whether bilingual service is provided throughout the entire screening process, by extending the scope to all CATSA employees who are required to make business trips. 

One of the main responsibilities of regional managers as part of their monitoring duties is to inspect screening points on a daily basis, and to check for bilingual signage and whether greeters are making an active offer of service. Regional managers use a checklist to confirm whether there is bilingual signage about active offer at all screening points, to verify active offer of service in both OL at the entry point of each screening line, and to ensure that at least one bilingual employee is present at each screening point. Along with screening contractors, they take appropriate steps if these components are not present at screening points. However, several of these regional managers have limited skills in the other official language, and are therefore unable to verify the quality of bilingual service.

In 2007–2008, CATSA’s persons in charge of OL continued to work closely with the General Manager, Standards and Screening Stability, responsible for SITT in order to ensure that the OL component is properly incorporated into the system. The linguistic profile of officers will be incorporated into SITT starting in 2008–2009, and as a result, CATSA will be in a position to obtain OL-related reports.

CATSA management has developed and implemented an electronic feedback mechanism for comments, especially from screening officers, travellers, partners and main stakeholders. This tool will enable CATSA to continue to improve its programs and services. CATSA intends to ask for feedback from the members on a quarterly basis regarding the quality of bilingual services.


Specific problem

Despite the new measures to improve active offer and bilingual service delivery at screening points in most of the country’s major airports, a specific problem in this respect is not yet entirely resolved.




Language of work—Part V (25%)

(a) Language of work policy and adequate bilingual supervision (12.5%)

CATSA has a language of work policy (in the form of the Policy on Official Languages) that sets out employees' rights and managers' obligations to ensure that employees can exercise their language of work rights.

Measures have been taken to support the use of the OL of the linguistic minority in bilingual regions (e.g., language training, translation and revision services, etc.). CATSA provides continuous access to language training in order to help its employees meet the language requirements of bilingual positions, to reach their career goals and to promote a work environment conducive to the use of both OL.  

In October 2007, following a call for tenders, CATSA awarded a contract to a new language school for delivery of high quality language training services. CATSA also supports employees who wish to take language courses after work hours and reimburses employees who successfully pass these courses.

When CATSA reorganized its intranet site, it created an OL corner in its virtual “learning centre” where employees have access to a multitude of tools to learn the other official language, retain what they have learned, put it into practice, upgrade their communication skills and learn about the Act.

In total, 55% of supervisors in bilingual regions who must supervise employees in both OL are able to do so (Source: Annual Review of OL and the Official Languages Information System II [OLIS II], as of April 1, 2007.)


(b) Use of each official language in the workplace (12.5%)

During the 2006–2007 fiscal year, managers and supervisors received reminders from the SMC about their obligation to create a work environment that is conducive to the use of both OL. They also received, among other things, advice and useful tools to help them chair bilingual meetings, a self-evaluation checklist to help them implement Part V of the Act, a glossary and expressions commonly used in their work environment, etc. 

In February 2007, the OL Champion gave a presentation to the Leadership Committee in order to remind members of the importance of actively supporting CATSA’s core values, including OL. This committee is made up of managers, general managers, directors, vice-presidents, the Executive Vice-President and the President.

Since fall 2006, the OL Champion (the Executive Vice-President) or the director responsible for OL has been giving a brief presentation about OL during orientation sessions for new employees in which he reiterates that it is important for each of them to play an active role in maintaining a bilingual culture within CATSA. 

During the employees’ retreat on October 22, 2007 (a meeting that brought together all CATSA employees), CATSA explicitly reiterated to its employees the importance of promoting bilingual meetings. A practical brochure containing information on the benefits of and useful tips for holding bilingual meetings and thus promote a bilingual work environment was distributed to all employees.

Since all members of the SMC are bilingual, executive meetings are held in one language only, alternating each week, i.e., English one week, French the next. The work and discussions (the agenda, minutes, etc.) are also produced alternately in English, then French. This exercise makes senior management more aware of the importance of holding team meetings in both OL.

For the second year in a row, CATSA developed and implemented a project plan so that its employees could participate in the festivities of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie 2007. From March 9 to 25, 2007, several activities took place to promote the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie. The goal of internal activities was more specifically to promote respect for and accessibility of OL in the workplace among CATSA employees. The objective was also to provide employees with an opportunity to demonstrate respect and equity by encouraging them to work in the official language in which they are most comfortable.  

In March 2007, the communications team presented new posters dealing with respect for and use of the language of choice and promoting a bilingual culture in the workplace. Some of these were displayed in boardrooms and hallways. Furthermore, management publishes articles on the language of work on a regular basis in Atmosphere (CATSA’s internal news bulletin for head office employees) or in Destination – the intranet site – reminding staff that employees can use the OL of their choice.

CATSA is committed to using the data collected in the survey on language of work conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of OCOL to learn what employees think of the implementation of the policy on language of work and adopt pro-active measures to create new initiatives and/or programs. The persons responsible for OL will keep working with the human resources group to carry out an annual review of the language course program and to determine how to improve it in order to foster a work environment conducive to the use of both OL.

The survey conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of OCOL showed that overall, 76% of Francophone respondents in the National Capital Region (NCR) "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime. For confidentiality reasons, due to the very small number of CATSA employees who work in Montreal (CATSA's only other bilingual worksite outside the NCR), the survey was not administered to employees outside the NCR.




Equitable participationPart VI (10%)

(a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada (5%)

Overall, the workforce is 21.6% Francophone (Source: OLIS II, April 1, 2007.).


(b) Percentage of Anglophone participation in Quebec (5%)

OCOL did not assess CATSA on this criterion because of the small number of employees in Quebec.




Development of official language minority communities and promotion of linguistic duality—Part VII (25%)

As a Crown corporation, CATSA does not submit memoranda to Cabinet, and it is the Minister of Transport who makes all submissions to the Treasury Board concerning CATSA. Nonetheless, CATSA and Transport Canada work closely together when such a submission is made. CATSA's Corporate Reporting and Policy Group then co-operates with the OL Manager to ensure that CATSA fulfills its OL obligations when submissions are made.

All agenda items for discussion by CATSA's Senior Management Committee must be submitted according to an established template that requires discussion of the OL considerations linked to the item. This includes all Part VII considerations. Similarly, formal briefing notes from staff to individual senior managers are also required to address OL considerations. In addition, the OL Champion has the responsibility to ensure that development of official language minority communities (OLMCs) is integrated into new initiatives as he becomes aware of them. He acts as an integrator concerning all OL considerations towards the Executive Committee.

The OL steering committee is responsible for CATSA’s screening initiatives from the perspective of Part VII. The OL Action Plan specifies that the OL Manager and the OL analyst reporting to her are to meet with OL minority associations in various provinces to establish contact and explore their CATSA-related needs by getting feedback on service at airports, exploring employment opportunities with CATSA, etc. This information was forwarded to the SMC. Current plans call for CATSA to contact these associations before March 2008.

In November 2007, the Vice-President, Public and Strategic Affairs, gave a presentation at the Annual Forum on Best OL Practices held by CPSA. The OL analyst also participated in the talk given by the Commissioner of Official Languages on September 11, 2007 about the arts and the vitality of Francophone minority communities. The OL analyst at CATSA is also an active member of the Crown Corporations Advisory Committee on Official Languages established by CPSA. CATSA’s involvement in this type of networking activity helps the Authority gather information on OLMC needs and identify potential partners for OLMC development and promotion of linguistic duality.
CATSA has not specifically carried out awareness-raising activities among its employees in charge of developing policies or programs likely to have an impact on OLMCs. It has nevertheless reviewed some current policies and programs to identify possible repercussions on the advancement and equal status of English and French.

In 2007–2008, in order to fully recognize the equal status and use of English and French in the delivery of its screening services, CATSA has changed the weight of the official languages criterion in its Performance Pay Program for screening contractors. All new contracts will link 20% (up from 5% in 2006) of the bonus that is payable to contractors for superior performance to compliance with OL contractual obligations.  CATSA made this major change to its Performance Pay Program in order to encourage its screening service contractors to recruit more bilingual candidates, especially in OLMCs, for positions as screening officers.

Also, as part of its awareness campaigns during busy periods (spring break, summertime and the holiday season), CATSA reviewed its advertising plan in order to include ads in OLMC media. In 2007–2008, CATSA also took OLMCs into consideration when it reviewed its internal recruitment initiatives. The human resources group participated in several job fairs in French schools in the NCR.


(a) Development of communities (12.5%)

In February 2007, the President and CEO approved the OL Action Plan, which includes OLMC development. Steps were taken to fulfill CATSA’s duty to support OLMC development. In this respect, senior management was made aware of the requirement to implement positive measures that support the Authority’s responsibilities under Part VII. Discussions on this topic took place when the 2007-2008 OL Action Plan was adopted.

The institution has implemented positive measures to support OLMC development. For example, CATSA established a partnership with the largest Francophone college outside Quebec, La Cité collégiale, to develop and launch the new program “Protection et sécurité aéroportuaire,” the first program of its kind in Canada taught in French. Under this program, CATSA exposes Francophone students to potential various employment possibilities within the institution which in turn may lead to the hiring of future bilingual screening officers. This positive measure greatly contributes to building bridges between a minority language community and CATSA.


(b) Promotion of linguistic duality (12.5%)

CATSA has an OL Action Plan that was approved by the President CEO in 2007 and is meant to promote linguistic duality.

CATSA implemented measures to fulfill the obligation to promote the equal status and use of both English and French within the organization and in Canadian society. For example, in December 2006, CATSA distributed, in the major airports and pre-boarding screening points, new flashcards (in a PowerPoint presentation) with bilingual messages reminding travellers that screening officers will be pleased to serve passengers in the OL of their choice.

In March 2007, the OL group developed and implemented a project plan revolving around the festivities of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie 2007. From March 9 to 25, 2007, several activities took place to promote the Rendez-vous de la Francophonieand encourage CATSA employees and screening officers from across Canada to use French and celebrate Francophone culture in their respective communities. The OL Champion encouraged employees to participate in the numerous activities held during the Rendez‑vous de la Francophonie, including for example a screening of the Quebec film Bon Cop, Bad Cop dealing with linguistic duality in Canada; employees wearing the lapel button to celebrate the Journée internationale de la Francophonie; and a presentation given by a guest speaker. Participants in the activities were eligible for numerous prizes related to the Francophonie (theatre tickets, shows, books, etc.).

Also, creative new promotional posters for internal use were introduced to employees during the launch. CATSA also published an article in the CATSA NEWS newsletter to encourage all screening officers to participate in a contest and activities related to the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie held in their communities.

An article on OL has been published in the monthly CATSA NEWS newsletter at least twice a year for the past four years. This is distributed to aviation industry stakeholders (i.e., extra-mural groups) as well as all screening personnel.

Finally, in 2007, CATSA launched a series of discussions dealing with the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. A working group has been set up to work closely with service providers to ensure that new service agreements include a clause that requires service providers to hire a sufficient number of bilingual screening officers during this international event.