Commissioner's Directive

Code Of Discipline


  1. To ensure high standards of conduct for employees of the Service.


  1. Management of the Service is responsible for:
    1. ensuring that all employees are adequately trained and informed of the Standards of Professional Conduct and the Code of Discipline and other directives and regulations;
    2. promptly and impartially taking appropriate corrective action when necessary.
  2. Employees of the Service are responsible for adhering to the Standards of Professional Conduct. Arising from the Standards of Professional Conduct are a number of specific rules that employees of the Correctional Service of Canada are expected to observe. Some examples of infractions are given in a list below each specific rule. These lists are not exhaustive.
  3. Each employee of the Service is also expected to be conversant with, and adhere to the various Acts, Regulations and policies affecting employees of CSC as well as the instructions and directives of the Service.


Responsible Discharge of Duties

  1. Staff shall conduct themselves in a manner which reflects positively on the Public Service of Canada, by working co-operatively to achieve the objectives of the Correctional Service of Canada. Staff shall fulfil their duties in a diligent and competent manner with due regard for the values and principles contained in the Mission Document, as well as in accordance with policies and procedures laid out in legislation, directives, manuals and other official documents. Employees have an obligation to follow the instructions of supervisors or any member in charge of the workplace and are required to serve the public in a professional manner, with courtesy and promptness.
  1. An employee has committed an infraction, if he/she:
    1. fraudulently records, or fails to record, his/her attendance or that of another employee;
    2. is late for duty, absent from duty or leaves his/her assigned place of duty without authorization;
    3. fraudulently seeks to obtain, or fraudulently obtains, documentation required for approval of leave of absence from duty;
    4. refuses to testify before or submit evidence to, or obstructs, inhibits or otherwise hampers any investigation which is conducted pursuant to any act of Parliament or any investigation as defined in the Commissioner's Directive 041 - Incident Investigations;
    5. makes public statements which harshly criticize the Service, the Government of Canada, or the Federal Crown, concerning policies, practices and/or programs of the government, or violates the Oath of Office and Secrecy;
    6. fails to take action or otherwise neglects his/her duty as a peace officer;
    7. fails to conform to, or to apply, any relevant legislation, Commissioner's Directive, Standing Order, or other directive as it relates to his/her duty;
    8. fails to promptly obey the lawful orders or commands of any other employee who is in charge or superior in line of authority;
    9. wilfully or negligently causes unjustified waste, loss, or damage to any property of the Service or the property of any other person in the course of the performance of his/her duty;
    10. wilfully or through negligence, makes or signs a false statement in relation to the performance of duty;
    11. as a supervisor, or as one in authority, condones or fails to take action when an employee has committed an infraction of the Standards of Professional Conduct, a breach of discipline or any other irregularity coming to his/her attention;
    12. fails to report to a superior authority any contraband found in the possession of another employee, offender or member of the public;
    13. performs his/her duty in a careless fashion so as to risk or cause bodily harm or death to any other employee of the Service, or any other person(s), either directly or indirectly;
    14. uses excessive force (that is, more force than is reasonable and necessary) to carry out his/her legal duties;
    15. through negligence, permits an offender to escape;
    16. neglects to take, to the utmost of his/her ability, appropriate action when an offender:
      1. escapes,
      2. assaults an employee, another offender, or member of the public,
      3. engages in any action likely to endanger life or property.

Conduct and Appearance

  1. Behaviour, both on and off duty, shall reflect positively on the Correctional Service of Canada and on the Public Service generally. All staff are expected to present themselves in a manner that promotes a professional image, both in their words and in their actions. Employees dress and appearance while on duty must similarly convey professionalism, and must be consistent with employee health and safety.
  1. An employee has committed an infraction, if he/she:
    1. displays appearance and/or deportment which is unbecoming to an employee of the Service while on duty or while in uniform;
    2. is abusive or discourteous by word or action, to the public, while on duty;
    3. acts, while on or off duty, in a manner likely to discredit the Service;
    4. commits an indictable offence or an offence punishable on summary conviction under any statute of Canada or of any province or territory, which may bring discredit to the Service or affect his/her continued performance with the Service;
    5. fails to advise his/her supervisor, before resuming his/her duties, of being charged with a criminal or other statutory offence;
    6. fails to account for, improperly withholds, misappropriates or misapplies any public money or property or any money/property of any other person(s) coming into his/her possession in the course of duty or by reason of his/her being a member of the Service;
    7. consumes alcohol or other intoxicants while on duty;
    8. reports for duty impaired or being unfit for duty due to influence of alcohol or drugs;
    9. sleeps on duty.

Relationships with Other Staff Members

  1. Relationships with other staff members must promote mutual respect within the Correctional Service of Canada and improve the quality of service. Staff are expected to contribute to a safe, healthy and secure work environment, free of harassment and discrimination.
  1. An employee has committed an infraction, if he/she:
    1. interferes with the work of others;
    2. is abusive, by word or action, to other employees, while on duty or under circumstances related to his/her duties;
    3. participates in an illegal strike or concerted action which results in absence from duty or failure to perform his/her duties;
    4. coerces, incites or attempts by any means to obtain the participation of another employee(s) in an illegal strike, concerted action, or in the commission of an infraction of the Standards of Professional Conduct;
    5. commits any act of personal or sexual harassment, or discrimination against another staff member;
    6. disregards established safety practices;
    7. fails to promptly report a work accident;
    8. fights with other employees of the Service or a member of the public while on duty.

Relationships with Offenders

  1. Staff must actively encourage and assist offenders to become law abiding citizens. This includes establishing constructive relationships with offenders to encourage their successful reintegration into the community. Relationships shall demonstrate honesty, fairness and integrity. Staff shall promote a safe and secure workplace, free of mistreatment, harassment and discrimination, and respect an offender's cultural, racial, religious and ethnic background, and his/her civil and legal rights. Staff shall avoid conflicts of interest with offenders and their families.
  1. An employee has committed an infraction, if he/she:
    1. maltreats, humiliates, harasses, discriminates and/or is abusive, by word or action, to an offender or the offender's friends or relatives;
    2. improperly uses his/her title or authority to personal gain or advantage;
    3. enters into any kind of personal or business relationship not approved by his/her authorized superior with an offender or ex-offender, or the offender's or ex-offender's friends or relatives;
    4. gives, or receives, any gift, gratuities, benefits or favours, or engages in personal business transactions with an offender or ex-offender or the offender's or ex-offender's friends or relatives;
    5. hires an offender to perform any work or provide any service without first obtaining the written permission of his/her supervisor;
    6. gives to, or receives from any offender or ex-offender, or the offender's or ex-offender's friends or relatives, either directly or indirectly, any contraband;
    7. fails to report situations of mistreatment, harassment and/or discrimination of offenders by employees.

Conflict of Interest

  1. Staff shall perform their duties on behalf of the Government of Canada with honesty and integrity. Staff must not enter into business or private ventures which may be, or appear to be, in conflict with their duties as correctional employees and their overall responsibilities as public servants.
  1. An employee has committed an infraction, if he/she:
    1. fails to disclose a conflict of interest as contained in the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for the Public Service, or fails to follow the decision of the Commissioner or his authorized representative with respect to a declaration of conflict of interest;
    2. improperly uses his/her title or authority to personal gain or advantage;
    3. improperly uses the services of another employee, the property of the Service or anything produced by offender labour at any time, for activities that have not been officially approved.

Protection and Sharing of Information

  1. Staff shall treat information acquired through their employment in a manner consistent with the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act, the Policy on Government Security, and the Oath of Secrecy taken by all employees of the Public Service of Canada. They shall ensure that appropriate information is shared in a timely manner with offenders, with other criminal justice agencies and with the public, including victims, as required by legislation and policy.
  2. The Correctional Service of Canada recognizes and respects the confidentiality requirements of particular professional groups such as chaplains and medical staff.
  3. Supervisors are responsible for providing their employees with direction and guidance concerning the protection and release of information.
  1. An employee has committed an infraction, if he/she:
    1. fails to properly safeguard all documents, reports, directives, manuals, or other information of the Service;
    2. fails to observe the provisions of the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act;
    3. commits a breach or violation of the Policy on Government Security;
    4. fails to disclose, where appropriate, any information which he/she has an obligation to share.


  1. Strategic Policy Division
    National Headquarters
    Email: Gen-NHQPolicy-Politi@CSC-SCC.GC.CA


    Original Signed by:
    Don Head



All CSC staff members have the obligation to report any situation where they believe an offender is being mistreated, harassed or discriminated against by a staff member.

Institutional Heads/District Directors are responsible for resolving situations of mistreatment, harassment, or discrimination of which they are made aware, whether or not a complaint/grievance has been made, and to take immediate corrective action as appropriate.


Staff members will report any situation where they believe an offender has been mistreated, harassed or discriminated against by a staff member to either their Manager or to the Institutional Head/District Director. In instances where the allegation is reported to a Manager, the latter must immediately report it to the Institutional Head/District Director.

If an employee does not feel it is possible to disclose such an incident to his/her Manager or the Institutional Head/District Director, he/she can contact the Regional Office of Informal Conflict Resolution, the Senior Officer, Internal Disclosure, Values and Ethics Branch, National Headquarters, to make a formal disclosure, or the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner's Office. For contact information, refer to the Guide for Reporting Wrongdoing Under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act.

Assessment of Allegation

Upon becoming aware of such allegations, the Institutional Head/District Director will take action and act with due diligence to assess the validity and seriousness of the allegations by obtaining the specifics. He/she must also determine if any action to alleviate the potential mistreatment, harassment or discrimination needs to occur immediately, including but not limited to physically separating the applicable parties (i.e. staff member(s) and offender) from each other.

The Institutional Head/District Director will assess whether the matter can be settled by speaking informally with the parties involved. He/she will decide whether it would be appropriate to attempt to resolve the situation through informal resolution mechanisms such as coaching, counselling, mediation and resolution circles. A fact finding/investigation may be convened.

The Institutional Head/District Director will document his/her actions and share their findings with the Regional Deputy Commissioner. The documentation must demonstrate conclusively the basis for arriving at the findings in instances where a fact finding/investigation is not convened. The documentation will be kept in the Institutional Head/District Director's office.

Resources can assist where appropriate, including staff from Labour Relations, Values and Ethics, etc.

Convening a Fact Finding/Investigation

If the Institutional Head/District Director decides to convene a fact finding/investigation, he/she will specify the mandate to the investigator(s). He/she will also ensure that persons conducting the fact finding/investigation are appropriately trained for the particular issue being investigated (e.g. gender, diversity), that they are impartial, that they have no supervisory relationship with the parties, and that they are not in a position of conflict of interest. At least one investigator will not have a reporting relationship to the Institutional Head/District Director.

The investigator(s) will provide the Institutional Head/ District Director with a copy of the draft report within the timeframe outlined in the convening order. The implicated parties will be given the opportunity to make representations, which will be considered in the final report.

The final fact finding/investigation report will be provided to the Institutional Head/District Director, and a copy will be shared with the Regional Deputy Commissioner.

The Institutional Head/District Director will inform the offender, respondent, and the person who made the allegation of the outcome of the fact finding/investigation.

Requests for documents relating to the fact finding/investigation must be solicited formally under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act.


For more information

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