Commissioner's Directive 026
In Effect: 2019-06-17
- Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA),paragraphs 4(b) and 5(e)
- Policy on Communications and Federal Identity
- Official Languages Act
To provide comprehensive direction to Correctional Service of Canada staff on the role of internal communications and external communications as well as related activities, initiatives and products
To provide an overarching policy framework for all current and future communications-related Commissioner's Directives and Guidelines
Applies to all Correctional Service of Canada staff
- Communications Planning
- CSC Badge and Corporate Identity
- Official Languages
- Plain Language
- Use of CSC’s Legal and Applied Titles
- Consent to be Identified
- Internal Messages
- Film and Video
- Social Media
- Let’s Talk Express
- Graphic Design
- Photography and Photo Requests
- Promotional Items
- Events and Announcements
- Site Visits
- Speeches and Speaking Notes
- Communicating with Offenders
- Communicating with Other Audiences
- Public Opinion Research
- Communicating During an Emergency
- Use of GC Directory and Official Signature Block
- Annex A - Cross-References and Definitions
- Annex B - Communications Products and Tools
- Annex C - Communications Approval Levels
- Annex D - Plain Language Guidelines
- Annex E - Examples of the Canada Wordmark and Departmental Signature
- Annex F - Communications Product Development and Approval Checklist
- The Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, will ensure that:
- communications activities comply with the Government of Canada’s Policy on Communications and Federal Identity and other relevant Government of Canada directives
- communications products, activities and initiatives are led and guided by Communications and Engagement staff at National Headquarters (NHQ), specifically staff from the Public Affairs Division, and Communications staff at Regional Headquarters (RHQ)
- NHQ Communications retains ultimate responsibility for all national-level communications products, activities and initiatives across the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC)
- they or their delegate will be the final approval authority for any product, activity or initiative that falls under their responsibility
- the Deputy Commissioner for Women will approve all national-level communications products, activities and initiatives related to the management of women offenders.
- Each Regional Deputy Commissioner will ensure that:
- regional communications activities comply with the Government of Canada’s Policy on Communications and Federal Identity
- regional-level communications products, activities and initiatives are led and guided by Communications staff at RHQ
- they have ultimate responsibility for all regional-level communications products, activities and initiatives in their region
- they or their delegate will be the final approval authority for any product, activity or initiative that falls under their responsibility
- the Deputy Commissioner for Women will be consulted on all regional-level communications products, activities and initiatives related to the management of women offenders.
- NHQ/Regional Communications staff will:
- adhere to the Policy on Communications and Federal Identity, and ensure that all national-level communications products, activities and initiatives follow the policy as well as all other related directives
- lead the development and approval of, and maintain ownership of and accountability for all national-level or regional-level communications products, activities and initiatives
- provide communications advice and support to all staff, as required
- provide advice and/or feedback to operational staff on products that do not fall under the responsibility of NHQ/Regional Communications (e.g., corporate reports, tools used for operational requirements such as strategic planning posters, training materials, etc.)
- consult appropriate staff (i.e., subject matter experts) in the development of communications products, activities and initiatives, and provide opportunities for input and feedback
- seek input from NHQ or Regional Communications, as required.
- Staff within an institution or facility who have specific communications duties (e.g., Assistant Warden, Management Services, and designated operational spokesperson) will:
- adhere to the requirements of this CD and CD 022 – Media Relations
- consult with Regional Communications to ensure any communications products, activities and initiatives follow the Policy on Communications and Federal Identity as well as all other related directives
- consult with Regional Communications on products that do not fall under the responsibility of Communications in their region (e.g., reports, tools used for operational requirements such as staff directives, memos, training materials, communications with partners, community presentations, etc.)
- carry out their duties (e.g., drafting operational news releases, acting as a CSC spokesperson, etc.) as prescribed by the Institutional Head and/or Regional Deputy Commissioner in consultation with Regional Communications.
- NHQ Communications and/or Regional Communications are responsible for communications planning that reflects a region, sector, branch or directorate’s needs on a short- and long-term basis.
- Staff will contact their NHQ Communications Advisor or Regional Communications Advisor when launching a new project, initiative, product or program, to determine if communications support is needed. This contact should occur at the beginning of the project, initiative, product or program.
- With the exception of factual subject matter or content, staff will adhere to and comply with decisions made by their NHQ Communications Advisor/Regional Communications Advisor or the Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, or their delegate, regarding communications products. This includes decisions made on use of language, style, formatting and other communications-specific concerns.
- NHQ/Regional Communications are responsible for determining if a communications plan, strategy or approach is required at their level (national or regional). NHQ/Regional Communications is also responsible for drafting each plan, strategy or approach, including all subsequent communications activities, in consultation with subject matter experts. Subject matter experts will verify content (i.e., ensure factual accuracy).
- All communications products, activities and initiatives should take into consideration CSC’s mission, values and ethics, as identified in CD 001 – Mission, Values and Ethics Framework of the Correctional Service of Canada.
- CSC’s communications will be representative, inclusive, and reflective of diversity and gender-related considerations. This includes using language and wording that is gender-inclusive (e.g., “their” instead of “his/her”) rather than binary (either man or woman). This also includes developing communications products that respect diversity (e.g., visual representation of individuals from visible minority groups and those who are female-identifying, ensuring that Indigenous cultural symbols or signifiers are used in an appropriate manner, etc.).
- Every effort should also be made to ensure that both the English and French used in any communications product reflect accuracy of terminology and quality of language.
CSC Badge and Corporate Identity
- For the purpose of this CD, the term “badge” refers to the specific graphic design image in the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges, and not to any metal/numbered/retired/cap/shoulder badges or other CSC uniform elements.
- The badge is CSC’s unifying symbol. It provides a consistent, recognizable brand for all publications, products and other items developed and owned by CSC. The CSC badge is listed in the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges and registered as a trademark with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
- All communications products and publications will adhere to the Federal Identity Program. This includes two main elements: the Canada wordmark and CSC’s departmental signature (refer to Annex E for examples). The Canada wordmark and departmental signature will be the only identifier used on products targeted to external audiences (e.g., members of the public, partners, stakeholders, the media). The CSC badge will only be used on products targeted to staff and offenders.
- Staff are not permitted to alter the badge in any manner or conceal the badge with other design elements on a publication or on any other form of medium or product. Staff are also not permitted to alter the wordmark or departmental signature.
- Staff are not permitted to develop or use logos, identifiers or symbols for their headquarters, institution, section 81 Healing Lodge, district, parole office, Community Correctional Centre, branch, directorate or sector. The existing CORCAN logo is exempt from this directive.
- All requests for use of the CSC badge in any format, on any item, or in any medium will be sent to the Chief of Protocol and to NHQ Communications for review of compliance to Federal Identity Program standards. NHQ/Regional Communications will provide graphic design formats of the badge, wordmark and/or departmental signature (e.g., jpegs) to staff for use as required.
- Staff will submit non-communication products (e.g., corporate reports, strategic planning posters, etc.) that will be widely circulated (e.g., across CSC, to all offenders, to partner organizations) to their NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor to ensure compliance with the Federal Identity Program.
- Corporate documents (e.g., Departmental Plan, Departmental Results Report) that are produced and published according to Treasury Board Secretariat templates are not subject to this CD. All other products will use CSC’s corporate identity templates to ensure a common look and feel.
- All communications products and materials produced by CSC will adhere to the Official Languages Act.
- All communications products and materials that are distributed nationally will be issued simultaneously in both official languages.
- For any communications events, materials and services (e.g., CSC spokespeople available for media interviews, speeches, etc.) will be provided at similar levels and based on what is required for the event’s regional location.
- Regional Communications, in consultation with Regional Official Languages Coordinators, will advise headquarters, institutions, section 81 Healing Lodges, districts, parole offices and Community Correctional Centres in their region on the language requirements pertaining to the distribution of communications products and materials.
- All communications products and materials will adhere to the Policy on Communications and Federal Identity requirements with regard to plain language. (Refer to Annex D for more information.) Products will be written in a clear, concise and accessible way, and at a grade level that is as low as possible while being appropriate for the target audience. Both English and French communications products should adhere to plain language requirements.
- Material developed for offenders should be easily understood by a person reading at the grade 8 level (averaging 13-14 years of age).
- Material developed for staff, the public, media and stakeholders/partners should be no higher than the grade 10 level (easily understood by a person who is 15-16 years of age).
- Products developed specifically for narrow target audiences (e.g., research reports or a request from a technical/scientific journal) may use more sophisticated language than the standard grade 10 level.
- All web content must follow the Canada.ca Content Style Guide. All other written communications content and/or products should follow The Canadian Style.
- NHQ/Regional Communications will assess communications products and materials for plain language considerations, and provide feedback and plain-language editing as part of the routine review and approval process.
- For internal-only communications content and/or products, CSC does not need to be spelled out with its full title – the acronym only (“CSC”) can be used. For external communications content and/or products, the full title (“Correctional Service of Canada”) must be used on first reference, followed by the acronym in parenthesis. All subsequent references should use the acronym only.
- With the exception of changes impacting the factual accuracy of the content, staff will adhere to and comply with decisions made by their NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor or the Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, or their delegate, regarding plain-language editing.
Use of CSC’s Legal and Applied Titles
- As per section 2 of the CCRA, the “Correctional Service of Canada” is the Service’s legal title. This legal title appears in the enabling legislation (i.e., the CCRA), proclamation, order in council, or other instrument used to create a branch of government.
- The applied title is the approved name commonly used to identify a department, program or activity. CSC’s applied name, as approved by the President of the Treasury Board, is “Correctional Service Canada”.
- Commissioner’s Directives (CDs), bulletins and other official documents (e.g., documents related to CSC’s policy and legal framework, Exchange of Service Agreements, Memoranda of Understanding, corporate reports, etc.) will use the legal title.
- In all other cases, while the applied title may be used, the legal title is strongly recommended in order to maintain consistency and ensure proper translation.
Consent to be Identified
- Staff and offenders will provide written consent for the use of their photograph or to be identified in internal and external broadcasts or for publication purposes. This excludes photographs of individuals taken for official CSC records and operational purposes (e.g., identification of inmates).
- An image (e.g., photograph, video) may only be used/published if all identifiable persons in the image, who are not spectators in a public setting, have consented and signed the form Consent to be Identified in CSC and PBC Publications (CSC/SCC 1305). A copy of the completed consent form will be held by the NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor or head of the headquarters, institution, section 81 Healing Lodge, district, parole office or Community Correctional Centre requesting consent. If a consent form is not signed, consent can also be provided in writing (e.g., in an e-mail). This written proof of consent must also be held by the NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor or head of the headquarters, institution, section 81 Healing Lodge, district, parole office or Community Correctional Centre requesting consent.
- For procedures on consent to be identified by the media, refer to CD 022 – Media Relations.
- Commissioner’s Messages are sent on significant issues, such as major events that impact all staff, the implementation of some new legislation, or the observance of special days or events. NHQ Communications will determine if a Commissioner’s Message is required. NHQ Communications, in conjunction with subject matter experts, will develop all Commissioner’s Messages.
- National, time-sensitive or important general communiqués (gen-comms) will be sent by email as required. The decision to send a general communiqué is made by the Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement. These messages may include but are not limited to:
- staff and public safety
- ministerial events
- significant policy changes
- certain human resources messages that staff will be made aware of due to legal or health reasons
- security and/or routine operational messages regarding cancellations, certain Information Technology system issues and/or communications outages.
- All other national messages for all staff are sent via This Week at CSC. These include:
- human interest items
- announcements about publications and resources
- policy changes and Case Management Bulletins
- calls for nominations.
- Regional general communiqués may also be sent from Regional Deputy Commissioners to their specific region. These messages must be developed by or in consultation with Regional Communications.
- Sectors and regions will provide a list of special days/events that impact their area to NHQ/Regional Communications for message coordination.
- This Week at CSC items will be approved by the Assistant Commissioner or the Regional Deputy Commissioner and translated prior to being submitted to the NHQ Communications Advisor. Items for This Week at CSC drafted by non-Communications staff will be reviewed by their NHQ/ Regional Communications Advisor prior to approvals. The NHQ Communications Advisor will ensure the items are reviewed and approved by the Associate Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, or their delegate.
- This Week at CSC items will be posted as soon as possible in the intranet’s announcements section (either national or regional) and then carried in the following edition of This Week at CSC, if applicable.
- Pop-up messages (i.e., a short piece of written text and/or multimedia that “pops up” once a computer user opens their desktop) are used to ensure that staff receive a specific message.
- The decision to send a pop-up message is made at the discretion of Communications, in consultation with the office(s) of primary interest (OPI). Pop-up messages require sector head/ Regional Deputy Commissioner and Associate Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, approval.
- Messages selected for distribution by pop-up will reflect important departmental initiatives that apply to all staff in targeted regions or across Canada.
- Government of Canada messages (e.g., from the Treasury Board Secretariat) will be distributed promptly to staff, as appropriate.
- Each sector and region will develop, approve and upload content to CSC’s intranet site (called the Hub) using the established standard page layout. Each headquarters, institution, section 81 Healing Lodge, district, parole office and Community Correctional Centre will appoint at least one editor who will manage its intranet content.
- NHQ Communications will coordinate the intranet’s announcements section (i.e., the landing page). Any items for the announcements section must be submitted to the NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor. NHQ Communications is also responsible for providing advice on and reviewing intranet content developed by other CSC staff that goes beyond brief factual updates such as revising contact information.
- All intranet content must follow the Canada.ca Content Style Guide (an abbreviated version for the Hub is also available). Content must adhere to the Canada.ca Content Style Guide first and the Hub style guide second. As a best practice, content should also meet the Government of Canada’s Standard on Web Accessibility (e.g., descriptions of images for individuals who use screen readers, etc.).
- Intranet content will be up-to-date, concise, clear and considered necessary for staff roles or responsibilities. The intranet should not be used as a repository for all documents created by staff. Wherever possible, new content should link to existing content, rather than creating duplication.
- All intranet content will be reviewed by sector or regional editors every 18 months, based on automatic prompts from the Hub system, to determine whether it is still up-to-date and relevant.
- NHQ Communications will coordinate, with the intranet team, training for any individual who has been appointed to the role of editor. Mandatory training must be completed before an individual is granted editing rights.
- NHQ Communications is not responsible for generating new content; however, staff should consult their NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor when developing any new content beyond brief factual updates (e.g., contact information). Staff should also contact Communications if they are significantly changing previously posted content, to obtain advice on plain language and other communications-specific concerns.
- All Internet content must follow the Canada.ca Content Style Guide and meet the requirements set out in the Policy on Communications and Federal Identity, including the Standard on Web Accessibility and the Official Languages Act.
- All Internet content will be developed by NHQ Communications and the applicable sector. Staff will contact the NHQ Communications Advisor as the first step in developing proposed new content for the Internet or updating current content.
- Internet content will be up-to-date, concise, clear, easy to understand and navigate, and provide information that is of value to Canadians (e.g., on CSC’s outward-facing programs, initiatives and services).
- NHQ Communications retains ownership of all content developed for the Internet. The Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, is accountable for all information posted on CSC’s Internet site.
Film and Video
- For any proposed film or video requests, staff will consult their NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor. Requests from external sources will be assessed by Communications as per CD 022 – Media Relations.
- NHQ/Regional Communications will identify potential film and video opportunities to foster innovation and meet communications needs as part of the regular, ongoing communications planning process, and will ensure that resources and funding will be available from the requesting sector/region.
- Refer to CD 227 – Use of Web 2.0 Technology and CD 226 – Use of Electronic Resources for directives on individual social media use.
- Staff may create and use social media accounts for professional purposes (e.g., networking, sharing corrections-related content); however, staff should not present themselves as official CSC spokespeople on their accounts. As per CD 227 – Use of Web 2.0 Technology, staff will not use images of the CSC badge or any other CSC identifier in any manner on their personal social media accounts.
- As per CD 227 – Use of Web 2.0 Technology, staff must ensure that their communications using social media comply with all policies on professional standards, as well as ensure the protection of personal information, privacy rights and the security of information.
- Staff who wish to have content posted on CSC’s corporate social media accounts to promote an event, initiative, report, etc. will consult NHQ/Regional Communications. Staff will provide any proposed social media content to their NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor for review prior to approval by their sector’s Assistant Commissioner or Regional Deputy Commissioner, or their delegate.
- Once approval is received from the sector’s Assistant Commissioner, the Regional Deputy Commissioner or their delegate, proposed social media content will be submitted to the NHQ/ Regional Communications Advisor. Once social media content has been submitted, NHQ Communications will finalize approvals with the Associate Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, or their delegate, and post the content on the corporate accounts.
- NHQ Communications retains ownership of all content developed for CSC’s social media accounts. The Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, is accountable for all information posted on CSC’s social media accounts.
- Media requests made through social media will be processed as per CD 022 – Media Relations.
- GCconnex is the Government of Canada’s professional social networking platform. The purpose of GCconnex is to enable public servants to connect and collaborate based on shared interests, knowledge, and experience.
- GCconnex is to be used for activities related to the workplace and should not be used as a replacement for personal social networks. There are several CSC-related GCconnex groups and all employees are free to join or open a group and invite their colleagues.
- For a comprehensive guide on how to use GCconnex, refer to the GCpedia Learning Resources page or contact the NHQ Communications team.
Let’s Talk Express
- Staff may submit articles or ideas to NHQ Communications via GEN-NHQ Let’s Talk Express – Entre Nous Express. NHQ Communications will assess each proposed story and submitted article for potential publication and retains full editorial control of all content for Let’s Talk Express. The Assistant Commissioner or Regional Deputy Commissioner will approve any article within their area that is published in Let’s Talk Express.
- Staff may be approached for interviews or to provide other information for Let’s Talk Express articles. Staff are not required to take part in this process if they do not wish to do so. If a staff member decides to participate, they will give consent in writing and have an opportunity to review the article for accuracy before approvals and publication.
- Staff will consult their NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor for any graphic design requests that fall outside the available corporate identity templates.
- Graphic design requests will be completed by NHQ Communications. If required, the NHQ/ Regional Communications Advisor will obtain quotes from the list of approved contractors held by Communications to complete the request. In this case, the branch, directorate, sector or region will secure the budget for the graphic design work.
- The NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor will work with the contractors and lead any graphic design projects.
- All graphic design requests must meet the requirements of the Federal Identity Program and the Official Languages Act.
Photography and Photo Requests
- Staff who request photography support at an event (i.e., have no internal capacity to take photos) will contact their NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor at least 10 working days prior to the event. NHQ/Regional Communications will provide this support if possible (e.g., costs are covered, travel is not required, staff are available) and if the event meets the parameters of being a corporate event of significance for CSC.
- Staff who request photos for use in products will consult their NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor. NHQ Communications will provide any photos that are available to meet staff’s request, within reason (e.g., reasonable timelines and number of photos). NHQ Communications reserves the right to limit a request if photos are not readily available or if the resource demand required to produce them is too great.
- Stock imagery is also available via NHQ Communications. No other stock imagery should be used by CSC staff on communications or non-communications products.
- As appropriate, photos will be added to CSC’s corporate Flickr account. NHQ Communications, along with the advising sector/region, will determine whether an image should be posted.
- All photos of CSC facilities/institutions for communications purposes (e.g., those posted to CSC’s Flickr account, provided to media, used in communications products) must be approved by the Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, or their delegate.
- All photos including individuals should, as much as possible, reflect inclusiveness and diversity.
- See the Consent to be Identified section in this CD.
- Promotional items purchased with Government of Canada funds will be appropriate, useful and cost-effective, and should be produced as part of an overall communication strategy or initiative. Promotional items must be funded by the OPI sector/division/directorate.
- Any proposed promotional item will meet at least one of the following criteria:
- be part of a communications plan and support its objective(s)
- have a direct correlation to the program or service and the target audience
- To propose a promotional item:
- the Approval Template for Promotional Items and Volume Printing will be completed for all requests, in collaboration with the NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor
- the completed form, along with an example image or photo of the proposed promotional item, will be forwarded to the sector head/Regional Deputy Commissioner for approval and funding, and then to NHQ Communications for final approvals
- the Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, will present the submission and recommendations to the Commissioner, for their approval
- NHQ Communications will inform the sector or region if the item has been approved.
- Any product developed for printing will follow Treasury Board’s Procedures for Publishing, including the following guidelines:
- on-demand printing (i.e., printing only the number of copies required) will be used in almost all circumstances; volume printing (i.e., pre-determined number of printed products that require warehousing) is only allowed by exception
- content will also be available on the Internet.
- If volume printing is proposed, the Assistant Commissioner or Regional Deputy Commissioner will approve the project in principle, including required funding (which must come from the OPI sector/division/directorate). The NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor will then fill out the Approval Template for Promotional Items and Volume Printing for approval by the Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement.
- Once the request is approved, staff will consult NHQ Communications to secure quotes and select an external printer. If possible, CORCAN printing should be selected as one of the printer options. The NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor will work with contractors and oversee any volume printing initiative. Any publishing requirements over $10,000 (excluding those done by CORCAN) will be submitted to Contracting and Materiel Services for approval and processing.
- NHQ Communications is also responsible for applying for an International Standard Book Number, International Standard Serial Number and/or catalogue number, and for providing the publication to the Depository Services Program once it is completed.
Events and Announcemenets
- NHQ Communications will lead communications support on events that involve the Minister or parliamentarians representing the Minister (e.g., members of Parliament) and/or the Commissioner (e.g., recognition ceremonies, opening of new facilities, etc.). If an event is being proposed, staff will contact NHQ Communications at the beginning of the planning process. These events may also be supported by Regional Communications.
- For ministerial events that occur at a location within a region, Regional Communications will coordinate logistics. In these cases, planning will be led by NHQ Communications and division of responsibilities (e.g., development of communications products) will be determined based on discussions between NHQ and Regional Communications. NHQ Communications will manage approvals up to Public Safety Canada and the Minister’s Office.
- For regional-level events (e.g., a Regional Deputy Commissioner change of command ceremony), Regional Communications will plan and coordinate logistics as well as develop communications products.
- For institutional- or district-level events, such as routine change of command ceremonies, OPI staff will work in collaboration with the Regional Communications Advisor to coordinate logistics and develop communications products. Staff will also consult CSC’s Chief of Protocol for ceremonial events.
- Regional Communications will plan and coordinate visits to their institutions and community sites involving media, photographers, filming or NHQ Communications staff. Please refer to CD 022 – Media Relations for more information.
- For visits by individual parliamentarians, Regional Communications will provide a “heads up” notice to the Parliamentary Relations Unit (PRU). A summary of the visit will be provided by the visit organizer to PRU.
- For visits by parliamentary committees, the Parliamentary Relations Unit will contact Regional Communications to coordinate the visit. Communications responsibilities in these cases will vary on a case-by-case basis.
- For visits by international delegates or groups, Regional Communications will coordinate the event with Intergovernmental Relations (IGR).
- Staff who wish to arrange a site visit will consult Regional Communications.
Speeches and Speaking Notes
- NHQ Communications will develop speeches and speaking notes for the Commissioner. Staff who wish to request a speech or speaking notes for the Commissioner will consult their NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor.
- The Parliamentary Relations Unit will draft opening remarks for the Commissioner’s appearances before the House of Commons and Senate committees.
- As appropriate, NHQ Communications will develop speaking notes of a national scope for other staff (e.g., Institutional Heads and District Directors) for specific projects, in collaboration with Regional Communications as required. This may include speaking notes to brief staff members on changes to legislation, new operational procedures, the launch of a new initiative, etc. Staff who wish to have speaking notes developed will consult their NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor. The final decision on developing speaking notes for national-level issues rests with NHQ Communications.
- Regional Communications will develop speeches and speaking notes for regional-level issues for their Regional Deputy Commissioner, in collaboration with subject matter experts as required. Regional Communications may also review and/or advise on speeches and speaking notes for other regional senior management. Staff who wish to request a speech or speaking notes for their Regional Deputy Commissioner will consult their Regional Communications Advisor.
Communicating With Offenders
- All communications products, activities and initiatives developed for offenders, both in institutions and in the community, will recognize their specific circumstances. Products will be developed in a hard copy format that is easy to print on demand for distribution by staff.
- Communications products, activities and initiatives for offenders should be developed to provide information on issues that may impact them or may be of interest/value to them, such as the implementation of new legislation, the launch of new initiatives and programs, and operational changes.
- All national-level communications products and materials developed for offenders will be approved by NHQ Communications prior to distribution to Inmate Committees, community parole offices and other venues as appropriate. All regional- or site-level products and materials developed for offenders will be approved by Regional Communications, in consultation with NHQ Communications if required.
Communicating With Other Audiences
- Where possible and appropriate, action should be taken by NHQ/Regional Communications to communicate with other external audiences, including partners and stakeholders, institutional visitors, and families of offenders.
- As much as possible, communications should respect and accommodate the specific language, cultural and other needs of the audience.
- NHQ/Regional Communications is not responsible for developing or providing materials for external presentations done by staff (e.g., at schools, conferences, etc.), or seeking approvals for them. If resources are available, Communications may review and advise on external presentations.
- Regional Communications may coordinate any requests received from external individuals for a speaker through the Speakers Bureau. Staff who wish to participate in the Speakers Bureau's activities will consult their Regional Communications Advisor or Citizen Engagement at NHQ.
- NHQ Communications will provide, as appropriate, communications products (e.g., news releases, media lines, social media content, etc.) regarding upcoming announcements or reports to the Communications Branch of Public Safety Canada as soon as possible before the event takes place or the report is published.
- Staff will notify their NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor about upcoming external consultations and/or events. This information will be provided by NHQ Communications to Public Safety Canada for the Privy Council Office’s planning calendar.
- As required, NHQ Communications will coordinate and liaise with other government departments to share communications products for consultation and/or to request information. NHQ Communications will obtain the approval of the Associate Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, or their delegate, prior to sharing products external to CSC.
- When a public notice is required for distribution in the media and advertising space must be purchased, staff will complete the public notice template as well as the associated media planning template.
- Regional staff will prepare the public notice and the media plan in collaboration with Regional Communications, who will seek approval from the Regional Deputy Commissioner. Regional Communications will then submit the approved public notice and media plan to NHQ Communications for review and approval. After this is completed, the documents will be sent back to the Regional Communications Advisor for processing and publication. NHQ staff will submit the public notice and the media plan to their sector’s Assistant Commissioner for approval, and then submit the documents to NHQ Communications.
- Staff who place public notices that require paid advertising space will be contacted by NHQ Communications on an annual basis to verify information for a yearly report (ADmiss).
Public Opinion Research
- Any proposed internal or external survey, questionnaire or similar initiative will be sent to the NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor for assessment.
- NHQ Communications will review each initiative to determine if it is public opinion research. NHQ Communications will provide advice to Regional Communications, as required, on the assessment of potential public opinion research initiatives.
- If the initiative is deemed to be public opinion research, NHQ Communications will seek the necessary approvals from Public Services and Procurement Canada and the Privy Council Office. Proposed public opinion research by an external contractor will also be submitted to Contracting and Materiel Services for approval and processing.
Communicating During an Emergency
- During an emergency situation (e.g., a building evacuation, loss of power), NHQ/Regional Communications will establish and maintain functional support to ensure ongoing communications with internal and external audiences. Regional Deputy Commissioners will provide headquarters, institutions, section 81 Healing Lodges, districts, parole offices and Community Correctional Centres with direction regarding their responsibilities for communicating during an emergency. Site-specific (headquarters, institution, section 81 Healing Lodge, district, parole office or Community Correctional Centre) Business Continuity Plans contain more details. Senior management will ensure that the appropriate staff members have access to these Business Continuity Plans.
- If there is a major incident, CSC’s Emergency Communications Plan (ECP) will be activated. The ECP is managed by NHQ Communications and will be activated by the Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, or their delegate. It is meant to guide all high-level communications with staff, the public and media during and after a major incident, on both short- and long-term timelines. The Emergency Communications Team (ECT), which implements the ECP, includes NHQ and Regional Communications Advisors, site-level staff, and other operational staff as required.
- In the event of a major incident impacting CSC processes or building facilities, the ECP will be activated in conjunction with the existing Business Continuity Plans as appropriate.
- In the case of a major incident that impacts multiple government departments, emergency communications will be led by Public Safety Canada. In this scenario, CSC will participate in a whole-of-government response.
Use of GCDirectory and Official Signature Block
- The email signature blocks of all CSC staff members will adhere to the Government of Canada’s Standard on Email Management.
- All CSC staff members should ensure their personal contact information with the GCdirectory is up-to-date. Refer to http://thehub/En/workplace/communicating/Pages/communication-tools.aspx for more information.
- All requests to reproduce intellectual property (e.g., photographs, articles, reports) will be processed through NHQ Communications, who will consult Legal Services. Staff will send any external copyright requests to their NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor.
- Refer to the CSC Badge and Corporate Identity section for direction on requests to reproduce the CSC badge.
- NHQ/Regional Communications will track the performance of their communications products, measure results and evaluate their effectiveness.
- NHQ/Regional Communications should use all available tools to evaluate communications activities. NHQ/Regional Communications should also seek out new opportunities, where possible, to track and measure the impact of communications work, including: media analysis, media call statistics, staff feedback via internal inboxes, social media metrics/engagement, internal video metrics, and web metrics.
- Evaluation outcomes should guide the development of future communications products, activities and initiatives, or be used to update current products and initiatives as required.
Original signed by:
Annex A - Cross-References and Definitions
CD 001 – Mission, Values and Ethics Framework of the Correctional Service of Canada
CD 022 – Media Relations
CD 023 – Citizen Advisory Committees
CD 083 – Inmate Committees
CD 226 – Use of Electronic Resources
CD 227 – Use of Web 2.0 Technology
FD 350-3 – Contracting
CD 559 – Visits
CD 701 – Information Sharing
CD 767 – Ethnocultural Offenders: Services and Interventions
Depository Services Program (ISBNs and Catalogue Numbers)
Directive on Official Languages for Communications and Services
Directive on the Implementation of the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations
Policy on Communications and Federal Identity
Procedures for Publishing
Standard on Email Management
Communications product/activity/initiative: refer to Annex B for a list of responsibilities that fall under the Communications and Engagement Sector.
Event: any noteworthy activity or gathering that takes place outside of routine operations. This includes, but is not limited to ministerial announcements, changes of command, award ceremonies and visits by dignitaries.
External communications: communications products, activities and/or initiatives that are specifically targeted towards external audiences (i.e., the public, media, partners, stakeholders and offenders). This includes Internet content, social media, media lines/questions and answers, fact sheets for offenders, etc.
Federal Identity Program: the Government of Canada's corporate identity program. Federal Identity Program requirements are made mandatory through policies and standards approved by Treasury Board Ministers. (definition courtesy of the Federal Identity Program)
Internal communications: communications products, activities and/or initiatives that are specifically targeted towards staff. This includes messages to staff, intranet content, internal newsletters, fact sheets and frequently asked questions for staff, etc.
Internet: CSC’s external Web site that is publicly accessible.
Intranet: CSC’s internal Web site that is accessible only to staff and specific partners.
Logo or identifier: a symbol that is used to identify an organization. It appears on communications products.
Major incident: a sudden and unexpected occurrence that has the potential to seriously affect CSC’s overall functions through loss of life, significant property damage at a CSC facility or institution, or a major disruption of normal operations, such as a prolonged hostage taking, a bomb threat, or a major riot.
Media: any organization, group or individual engaged in the business of gathering or transmitting information for publication or broadcast, including print, radio, and television broadcasting and electronic/webcasting.
National-level communications: any product or message that is targeted to, or affects all staff, or staff in at least two regions.
NHQ Communications Advisor: the Communications staff member from the Communications and Engagement Sector, operating out of NHQ, who will provide communications support and advice to staff from NHQ sectors, branches and directorates, and Regional Communications.
Proactive communications: undertaking outreach to internal and external audiences (e.g., media, partners and stakeholders) with communications products, activities and initiatives that promote CSC and its programs, mission, mandate or successes. This can include outreach to media in the form of proposals and ideas for publication or broadcast.
Promotional items: articles of merchandise (such as pens, USB keys and note pads) that are part of a communications strategy. Promotional items are given away to promote institutions and programs of the Government of Canada. Promotional items do not include print publications with ISBN numbers, exhibits, displays, posters and flyers.
Public notices: paid announcements such as those regarding tenders, sales, public hearings, information sessions, offers of job-specific employment (not generic recruitment), business hours and addresses, office moves, and other matters of routine business. The Government also uses public notices for national advisory campaigns to alert Canadians to changes in regulations and for health advisories.
Public opinion research: the planned, one-way systematic collection of opinion-based information from the public, private individuals, and representatives of businesses or other entities by or for the Government of Canada.
Regional Communications Advisor: a Communications staff member, operating out of an RHQ and reporting to a Regional Deputy Commissioner, who will provide communications support and advice to staff in their region as well as to NHQ Communications on regional-level issues.
Regional-level communications: any product or message that is targeted to, or affects staff in only one region.
Social media: online platforms that allow for participants to have a distinct user profile and to create, share and interact with user-generated content, which can include text, images, video and audio (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube).
Speakers Bureau: a tool used by CSC to create public awareness regarding the federal correctional system, by connecting members of the public with federal corrections experts who can speak at their events, classrooms or community groups.
Staff: for the purpose of this Commissioner’s Directive, staff includes all indeterminate, term and casual employees, contractors, as well as students and, in some cases, volunteers.
Annex B - Communications Products snd Tools
Products and tools may include (but are not limited to):
- Brochures (electronic and hard copy)
- Communications plans, strategies and approaches
- Commissioner’s Messages
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Gen-communiqués (including messages from Assistant Commissioners and Regional Deputy Commissioners)
- Graphic design
- Information/fact sheets
- Intranet content
- Let’s Talk Express
- Media advisories
- Media lines/Questions and Answers (Qs&As)
- Messages to partners and stakeholders
- News releases
- Photo requests
- Promotional items
- Public notices
- Public opinion research
- Quick facts
- Scenario notes
- Signage, backdrops and exhibition stands (not facility signage)
- Social media content
- Speaking notes
- This Week at CSC
- Web content
Annex C - Communications Approval Levels
|Written communications products (e.g., non-regional media lines, brochures, non-operational news releases, etc.)||Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, or
Associate Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, and Regional Deputy Commissioner (as appropriate)
|Operational news releases||Regional Deputy Commissioner|
|Regional media lines||Regional Deputy Commissioner|
|Web content||Associate Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement|
|Social media content (Twitter, YouTube)||Associate Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement or delegate|
|Reports||Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement|
|Publications||Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement|
|Marketing collateral (brochures, posters, bookmarks, etc.)||Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement|
|All graphic identifiers/logos||Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement|
|Corporate videos||Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement|
|Commissioner’s Message||Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement|
|General communiqué||Sector head and Associate Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement|
|Regional communiqué||Regional Deputy Commissioner|
|This Week at CSC||Sector head or Regional Deputy Commissioner and Communications Manager|
|National event||Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement|
|Regional event||Regional Deputy Commissioner|
|National poster campaign||Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement|
|Regional poster campaign||Regional Deputy Commissioner|
|Intranet content||Sector head, Regional Deputy Commissioner or designate|
|Printed reports or publications||Sector head, Regional Deputy Commissioner or designate|
|All graphic identifiers/logos||Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement|
Annex D - Plain Language Guidelines
(from the Canada.ca Content Style Guide)
Writing in plain language doesn’t mean over-simplifying or leaving out critical information. Using plain language actually makes critical information accessible and readable for everyone.
By writing plainly and simply, you:
- increase the chances that people will find, read and understand your information from any device
- make your information more accessible to people with disabilities
- allow people who are reading your information on a small screen to see essential information first
- save resources when editing and translating your text
- improve task completion and cuts costs by, for example, reducing enquiries.
To write in plain language:
- start with the most important information
- use simple and common words
- use active voice and positive form
- use verbs instead of nouns formed from verbs
- avoid jargon, idioms and expressions
- use simple sentences
- use short sentences and paragraphs
- explain references to legislation
- check the reading level of the content.
A guide on writing in plain language is available on Canada.ca.
Annex E - Examples of the Canada Wordmark and Departmental Signature
High-resolution versions can be provided by your NHQ Communications Advisor.
Annex F - Communications Product Development and Approval Checklist
- OPI contacts NHQ/Regional Communications to request communications support for upcoming initiative/project
- NHQ/Regional Communications contacts OPI to offer communications support
- OPI provides content/information
- NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor develops draft product (in some cases, the draft product may be developed by the OPI)
- OPI reviews content and provides feedback to NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor
- Additional OPI review (OPI’s Manager, Director and/or Director General), as determined by the OPI
- Communications Manager or regional equivalent approval
- OPI’s sector Assistant Commissioner or Regional Deputy Commissioner approval
- Other relevant sector Assistant Commissioner/Deputy Commissioner/Regional Deputy Commissioner approval (if subject impacts more than one sector/region)
- Associate Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, approval (for national communications)
- Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, approval (for national communications and as mandated by the Commissioner)
- Commissioner approval (if required)
- Public Safety Canada/Minister’s Office/Privy Council Office approval (if required)
- NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor sends the product(s) for translation (where required)
- NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor arranges for printing/production (where required)
- NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor distributes product(s) as required (e.g., submits to This Week at CSC, sends via a memo of the Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, provides to OPI, etc.)
- NHQ/Regional Communications Advisor ensures electronic filing of final versions and approvals, as well as non-transitory project records
- Date modified: