Commissioner's Directive 200
Policy Framework

Commissioner's Directive

Number: 200

In Effect: 2018-10-01

Related links

Policy Bulletin 616



Establish a policy framework that provides effective governance of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) through consistent and timely policies


Applies to staff involved in the development of policy instruments



  1. This directive authorizes the delegated authority designated in Annex B to develop and approve policy instruments.
  2. The Assistant Commissioner, Policy, is responsible for publishing Guidelines (GL) 200-1 - Policy Instruments and a Policy Development Toolkit, as well as for monitoring the Service’s framework of national policy instruments.
  3. Sector heads will:
    1. develop, review and amend policy instruments, as needed, in collaboration with internal/ external stakeholders and the Strategic Policy Division on aspects pertaining to their responsibility areas
    2. ensure and promote formal consultation within their Sector pursuant to GL 200-1 – Policy Instruments
    3. keep the Director, Strategic Policy, informed of anticipated circumstances that may result in policy changes
    4. assume their responsibilities regarding compliance with Regional Instructions, as applicable, and institutional Standing Orders for the functions reporting directly to their sectors at National Headquarters.
  4. The Assistant Commissioner, Health Services, will ensure that Regional Instructions, as applicable, and institutional Standing Orders on health matters are aligned with national policies.
  5. Regional Deputy Commissioners will:
    1. establish a process for developing and amending Regional Instructions
    2. ensure that Regional Instructions operationalize existing national policies at the regional, institutional and community levels, as needed
    3. ensure that Institutional Heads/District Directors implement Standing Orders and Post Orders aligned with Regional Instructions and policy instruments
    4. promote consultation during the formal consultation process, including with employees of all levels, volunteers and Elders/Spiritual Advisors, as applicable.
  6. The Regional Administrator, Communications and Executive Services, will be responsible for establishing in a timely manner, in their respective region, a process to ensure that Regional Instructions, as applicable, Standing Orders and Post Orders are aligned with policy instruments.
  7. The Institutional Head/District Director will:
    1. ensure that Standing Orders and Post Orders that operationalize national policies are developed and updated, as needed, pursuant to GL 200-1 – Policy Instruments
    2. ensure that staff, or their representatives, potentially impacted by changes to policy instruments are consulted during the formal consultation process
    3. ensure that offenders are consulted pursuant to section 74 of the CCRA.

Performance Indicators

  1. Policy instruments will be developed in a manner that will enable the assessment of the level of compliance and/or achievement of the policy objectives.

Lead Time

  1. National policy instruments come into force on the date of promulgation, unless indicated otherwise.


  1. The Commissioner’s Directives and Guidelines are publicly available in both official languages on CSC’s Hub and CSC’s Web site.
  2. The regions and institutions/district offices will ensure the availability of bilingual documents in accordance with Annex A – Designated Offices of Standard Operating Practices 087 – Official Languages.

Interim Commissioner,


Original signed by:

Anne Kelly

Annex A
Cross-references and Definitions

CD 041 – Incident Investigations
GL 200-1 – Policy Instruments

Policy Development Toolkit
Official Languages Act


Commissioner’s Directive (CD): national policy instrument that provides the written rules and authorities that CSC wants to establish, and sets out the procedures to be followed by staff to meet the policy objective, where consistent application is necessary. More specifically, it stipulates responsibilities and accountabilities on what staff will accomplish and provides indicators on which the performance of the Service will be evaluated. Once a CD is promulgated, it is applicable nationally.

Guidelines (GL): they are not stand-alone documents in that they provide more detailed or practical information than what is contained in a Commissioner’s Directive about how policy direction must be implemented. When Guidelines are required, the Commissioner, through the most relevant CD, will delegate authority to the sector head to establish and sign the Guidelines.

Interim Policy Bulletin: a national policy instrument, signed by the Commissioner, whose purpose is to issue immediate policy direction that replaces, amends or enhances an existing policy, until the CD is updated and promulgated.

Internal Services Directives (ISD): national policy instruments that have the same importance as Commissioner’s Directives and are used to provide direction on the implementation of all Treasury Board approved policies and related instruments for organizations across the Government of Canada. These instruments, such as Human Resources Directives, Financial Directives and Health Services Protocols, are developed and signed by the appropriate sector head.

Policy Bulletin: apart from an Interim Policy Bulletin, a Policy Bulletin is issued every time a new or revised national policy instrument is promulgated. Its purpose is to introduce the policy change(s) and provide the rational for the change(s). It does not contain a signature.

Policy instrument: document containing formal direction or guidance issued by the Commissioner or any Assistant Commissioner. This includes Commissioner’s Directives, Guidelines, Internal Services Directives and Health Services Protocols.

Post Order: document created to specify responsibilities and processes unique to a specific post in the operational unit.

Regional Instructions: document created only where there is a need to provide instructions on the implementation of a national policy based on factors unique to a region.

Standing Order: document created to operationalize a Commissioner’s Directive or Guidelines where there is a need to specify rules and processes unique to the operational unit.

Annex B
Delegation of Authority

  Commissioner Sector Head
Commissioner’s Directives X  
Interim Policy Bulletin X  
Policy Bulletin X *X
Guidelines   X
Internal Services Directives/
Financial Directives/
Health Services Protocols/
Human Resources Directives
Regional Level
  Regional Deputy Commissioner
Regional Instructions X
Operational Units
  Institutional Head/
District Director
Deputy Warden/
Associate District Director
Standing Orders X  
Post Orders   X
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