Commissioner's Directive

Mission, Values and Ethics Framework of the Correctional Service of Canada


  • To support the integration of the Mission, Values and Ethics Framework
  • To promote an ethical organizational culture characterized by healthy workplaces and professional excellence


Applies to all staff in their interactions with offenders, colleagues, partners, stakeholders and the public


CSC Mission and Commitment

  1. The Correctional Service of Canada’s (CSC) Values and Ethics Framework provides a common understanding of CSC’s shared beliefs and expected standards of behaviour in achieving its Mission.

    Our Mission: The Correctional Service of Canada, as part of the criminal justice system and respecting the rule of law, contributes to public safety by actively encouraging and assisting offenders to become law-abiding citizens, while exercising reasonable, safe, secure and humane control.

    Our Commitment: We, CSC employees and those working with us, recognize the importance of accomplishing our Mission within a framework of values, policy and legislation. We use shared, reciprocal values to guide our behaviour, decision making, and discretionary judgement. These shared values are useful in day-to-day work within CSC and with all partners and stakeholders. In living these values, we demonstrate our commitment to personal and professional integrity and to working together to shape an organizational culture aligned with these same values.

    We are proud of our work and accomplishments, and the spirit of collegiality and cooperation in which we achieve them. We believe in the human capacity for positive change and recognize that relationships are at the core of our work. Through our relationships, we contribute in diverse and significant ways to Changing Lives and Protecting Canadians.

CSC Values Statement

  1. CSC’s Values Statement guides behaviour, decision making and discretionary judgement in the Service. CSC staff are expected to demonstrate the following shared, reciprocal values in all their interactions with offenders, colleagues, (peers, subordinates and superiors), partners, stakeholders and the public:

    Respect: Respectful behaviours honour the rationality and dignity of persons – their ability to choose their own path, within lawful order, to a meaningful life. A good test of respectful behaviour is treating others as we would like to be treated.

    Fairness: A complex value in both theory and practice, fairness involves balancing conflicting interests, and exercising impartiality, objectivity, equality, and equity in interpersonal relationships. Similar to respect, a good test for fairness is to treat others as you would like to be treated.

    Professionalism: Professionalism is a commitment to abide by high ethical standards of behaviour as well as relevant group standards, and to develop and apply specialized knowledge for the public good. Professionalism is anchored in a commitment to integrity – a commitment to uphold our values in even the most difficult circumstances.

    Inclusiveness: Inclusiveness is a commitment to welcoming, proactively accommodating and learning from cultural, spiritual, and generational differences, individual challenges, and novel points of view.

    Accountability: Accountability involves the notion of being willing and able to explain, answer to and justify the appropriateness of actions and decisions. Accountability is applicable to everyone within CSC. Accountability is also about accepting and ensuring responsibility – providing necessary support, feedback, and oversight.

Public Sector Values and Ethics

  1. CSC’s Values Statement aligns with, and supports Public Sector values. Acceptance of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and adherence to the expected behaviours constitute a condition of employment for all CSC employees.

    Respect for Democracy: The system of Canadian parliamentary democracy and its institutions are fundamental to serving the public interest. Public servants recognize that elected officials are accountable to Parliament, and ultimately to the Canadian people, and that a non-partisan public sector is essential to our democratic system.

    Respect for People: Treating all people with respect, dignity and fairness is fundamental to our relationship with the Canadian public and contributes to a safe and healthy work environment that promotes engagement, openness and transparency. The diversity of our people and the ideas they generate are the source of our innovation.

    Integrity: Integrity is the cornerstone of good governance and democracy. By upholding the highest ethical standards, public servants conserve and enhance public confidence in the honesty, fairness and impartiality of the federal public sector.

    Stewardship: Federal public servants are entrusted to use and care for public resources responsibly, for both the short term and long term.

    Excellence: Excellence in the design and delivery of public sector policy, programs and services is beneficial to every aspect of Canadian public life. Engagement, collaboration, effective teamwork and professional development are all essential to a high-performing organization.


  1. CSC strives to ensure that its offender policies, programs, practices and decisions respect and respond to gender and diversity considerations relative to its complex offender population.
  2. CSC is committed to developing and maintaining a strong and diverse workforce that reflects the wider Canadian community. Staff are dedicated to ensuring that the Service functions in an inclusive fashion, valuing the merits and strengths of all employees.
  3. For simplicity, the masculine has been used in the French text in CSC policy documents as the neutral gender, but should be interpreted to include both men and women as federal corrections service providers and recipients.


  1. All members of the Executive Committee will:
    1. promote ethical decision making
    2. promote and model values-based behaviour
    3. support healthy workplaces and professional excellence
  2. All members of the Regional Management Committee will:
    1. consider the ethical implications of their decisions
    2. develop and implement activities that support an ethical organizational culture
  3. The Assistant Commissioner, Policy:
    1. will ensure that CSC policy is consistent with and supports the CSC Values Statement and the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector
    2. may create guidelines related to gender and diversity-based analysis
  4. The Assistant Commissioner, Human Resource Management, will:
    1. ensure that the CSC Code of Discipline and Standards of Professional Conduct are consistent with the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and the CSC Values Statement
    2. ensure that awareness and training on values and ethics are provided to CSC managers and staff
    3. support the consistent application of the Values and Ethics Framework throughout CSC
  5. The Director General, Values, Integrity and Conflict Management:
    1. will ensure the ongoing development of programs to raise awareness, promote values-based behaviours and support ethical decision making in CSC
    2. will provide support to all levels of the organization to ensure a productive workplace climate, particularly with respect to conflict management
    3. is the Commissioner’s designated Senior Officer responsible to promote a positive environment for disclosing wrongdoing as defined in the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act through CSC’s Office of Internal Disclosure
  6. A Director General from each NHQ Sector and all Assistant Deputy Commissioners, Corporate Services, will:
    1. support the Director General, Values, Integrity and Conflict Management, in the development of annual work plans
    2. be the operational contact for the implementation of values and ethics initiatives
  7. All member of the executive cadre and all managers will:
    1. provide direction and leadership on the integration of values and ethics into the everyday functioning of their area of responsibility
    2. use the Values Statement as a guidepost in their behaviour, decision making and discretionary judgement
    3. provide employees with copies of the following and engage them in a dialogue about:
      1. CSC Values Statement
      2. Standards of Professional Conduct and the Code of Discipline
      3. Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector
      4. Treasury Board Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post Employment
    4. act, in regular circumstances, as first line of communication for staff bringing forward concerns and complaints that relate to values and ethics
    5. act when they become aware of concerns or complaints related to values and ethics
  8. All staff will:
    1. promote healthy workplaces through their behaviours
    2. ensure conflict is resolved at the lowest level, using the services of the Office of Conflict Management where necessary
    3. bring forward instances of inappropriate behaviour and/or wrongdoing by any CSC staff member, including management, to either his or her supervisor, CSC's Office of Internal Disclosure or the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada
  9. The performance management and performance evaluation programs will be used to assess the integration of CSC’s Values Statement and all employees’ contributions to a healthy and ethical workplace.


  1. CSC’s National Advisory Committee on Ethics will provide advice and guidance to:
    1. the Commissioner on:
      1. issues related to organizational values and ethics, including awareness building
      2. significant matters where a particular action, policy or direction might conflict with CSC’s Values and Ethics Framework
    2. Regional Management Committees as their members practice values-based leadership


  1. CSC’s Office of Internal Disclosure will:
    1. a. provide information to employees about making disclosures related to wrongdoing in the workplace, as defined by the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, and other possible redress mechanisms
    2. receive disclosures from employees, assess the information and follow-up as required
    3. protect the identity of employees involved in the disclosure process, including those making disclosures, witnesses and those alleged to be responsible for wrongdoings, and ensure the confidentiality of the information collected
    4. convene investigations, as appropriate, in relation to allegations of wrongdoing in the workplace
    5. report publicly all founded cases of wrongdoing
  2. CSC’s Office of Conflict Management will provide the following services:
    1. consultation
    2. informal discussion
    3. mediation
    4. coaching
    5. group processes


Original Signed by:
Don Head



CD 060 – Code of Discipline

CSC Guide for Reporting Wrongdoing
Treasury Board Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution
A Strong Foundation: Report of the Task Force on Public Service Values and Ethics (Tait Report), Canadian Centre for Management Development, 1996

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.