ARCHIVED - The CFIA's Inspectorate of the Future

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CFIA Transformation

  • Why are we doing this?
    • Globalization and industry consolidation
    • Shifting consumer landscape – aging population and increasing expectations
    • Evolving production and processing technologies
    • Emerging pathogens and diseases
    • Increased knowledge of risk and systems-based approaches
    • Advances in science and technology
    • Modernization initiatives of trading partners

What is CFIA Transformation?

  • A comprehensive agenda to strengthen our legislative foundation, regulatory programs and inspection delivery
  • CFIA's transformation agenda is focussed on the four inter-connected pillars of the Safe Food for Canadians Action Plan:
    • stronger safety rules;
    • more effective inspection;
    • commitment to service; and
    • more information for consumers.
  • Transformation efforts started with food, with plant and animal following

Modernizing the CFIA's Inspectorate

  • To deliver modernized regulations and inspection modernization, the CFIA's inspectorate must be:
    • Trained and knowledgeable;
    • Technology-enab led and flexible;
    • Predictable and consistent in decision making; and
    • Organized and structured to carry out a consistent inspection approach across business lines
  • The inspectorate must also have an organizational culture that is professional and is based on behaviours that demonstrate courage, rigour and respect
  • To make this happen, the CFIA is:
    • Focussing on inspector training and providing modern technology and tools;
    • Providing clear, written, timely and readily-accessible operational guidance;
    • Designing an organizational structure with centralized administrative and service functions to allow for improved service delivery;
    • Promoting and reinforcing behaviours that are consistent with a culture based on courage, rigour and respect; and
    • Engaging with staff, unions and stakeholders

Inspector Training & Tools

  • The vision for training is a career-spanning learning path to develop the progressive competencies needed to resolve increasingly complex situations
  • The CFIA has made significant investments to provide training and tools:
    • Pre-Requisite Inspector Training (PREP) for new inspectors is operational and successful completion will be a mandatory requirement prior to appointment as an inspector;
    • Piloting a national supervisor training program;
    • Continuing to consolidate core and technical training to ensure consistency across the inspectorate; and
    • "Rugged" devices have been distributed to the field to provide connectivity and promote mobility – will continue to provide and support portable and enabling technology for the inspectorate

Operational Guidance

  • In a modernized environment, consistent program delivery and decision making is fundamentally important.
  • To increase consistency and predictability in the delivery of programs and related enforcement decisions, improvements are being made to how operational guidance is provided to the field.
  • Processes and approaches are being established in order to ensure that inspectors have easy access to clear, written and up-to-date operational guidance.
  • Centralizing and streamlining this process will improve consistency in interpretation and predictability in decision making.

Structuring and Supporting the Inspectorate

  • Inspection in the future would be team-based with broader inspection activities and capacity at different levels, promoting a focus on inspection decisions and relationship/leadership issues
  • A modernized organizational structure includes building a service delivery culture by organizing into service units – for instance, the Centre of Administration and the National Import Service Centre
  • Modernizing the organizational culture involves the promotion and reinforcement of expected and desired behaviours:
    • Courage: making decisions based on established procedures and guidance and providing fearless advice
    • Rigour: delivering responsibilities with thoroughness, diligence and consistency
    • Respect: acting professionally, with courtesy and dignity

Looking to the Future

  • A modern, flexible inspectorate – able to react to situations consistently and predictably
  • An inspectorate aligned with the Agency's evolution towards more system-based and outcome-based oversight
  • A workforce trained and prepared to deliver the Safe Food For Canadians Act, and modernized regulations
  • A culture based on courage, rigour and respect


  • By email:
  • By mail:

    Strategic Partnerships Division
    1400 Merivale Road, Tower 1
    Floor 6, Suite 218
    Ottawa, ON K1A 0Y9
    Attn: Linda Webster

  • By fax: 613-773-5606
  • To stay connected with the CFIA, sign up to our Listserv
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