Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Recommendation P.59 - RCMP Management Culture

Content warning

The information on and linked from this webpage references the mass casualty that occurred in Nova Scotia in April 2020. This information may be disturbing or upsetting to some audiences.

On this page

  1. Introduction
  2. Holistic culture change at the RCMP
  3. Current criteria – How we select, develop, recognize and reward
  4. Steps taken to modernize leadership at the RCMP
  5. The approach to change
  6. Annex A - Action plan


This is the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) response to the Nova Scotia Mass Casualty Commission Public Inquiry final report, Turning the Tide Together (the "Mass Casualty Commission Report"), Volume 5: Policing, recommendation P.59:

(a) Within six months of the publication of this Report, the RCMP Commissioner should provide the responsible Minister and the Management Advisory Board, and publish on the RCMP website, a document that explains the criteria on which the RCMP presently selects, develops, recognizes, and rewards its commissioned officers and those in equivalent civilian roles. This document should include a detailed explanation of the following: (i) how the RCMP will change these criteria to disrupt the unhealthy aspects of the RCMP's management culture; and (ii) what other steps are being taken to address the unhealthy aspects of the RCMP's management culture identified in this Report, in the Bastarache Report, and by the Brown Task Force.

(b) Starting no later than one year after publication of this Report, the Commissioner should provide semi-annual written updates to the responsible Minister and the Management Advisory Board on its progress in addressing the recommendations made in this Report. These updates should include timelines for the achievement of each milestone and should also be posted to the RCMP website.

Over the years, there have been a number of recommendations outlined in various reports that speak to the need to improve leadership and management culture at the RCMP.

Many of the recommended improvements highlighted in these reports have been addressed through the RCMP's culture change agenda. While some progress has been made, there continues to be opportunity for improvement, especially with regard to planning for the future leadership of the RCMP, including leadership development, and improved and transparent communications to RCMP members.

Further to the tragedy that occurred in Nova Scotia in 2020, the Mass Casualty Commission reaffirmed that improvement is still required and highlighted the need for a dedicated approach to change focused on developing leadership skills and capacity within the RCMP. This approach to change is predicated on the RCMP's renewed core values and is a fair, transparent and principled approach geared towards improving the officer and executive employee experience and creating sustainable management culture change. It takes into consideration the changing demographic landscape of the workforce, the complexities of leading in a policing environment, and the skills needed to do so. The objective is to foster a healthy management culture, create a positive and meaningful employee experience during tenure at the RCMP, and to better equip officers and executives to develop as senior leaders within the organization. This includes ensuring that our senior leaders have the competencies, values, ethics and character to lead, and are representative of and accountable to RCMP employees and the communities we serve.

The RCMP welcomes working with the Management Advisory Board, the Commissioner's national advisory committees, and external review bodies who bring varied backgrounds and expertise to advance its leadership agenda. Our Senior Executive Committee is committed to supporting this approach to change and to leading by example. Transforming workplace culture is a priority for Senior Executive Committee, including instilling a healthy management culture.

This document responds to this recommendation in four sections:

  1. Holistic culture change at the RCMP
  2. Current criteria - How we select, develop, reward and recognize
  3. Steps taken to modernize leadership at the RCMP
  4. The approach to change

Holistic culture change at the RCMP

Transforming workplace culture is a priority for the RCMP, including instilling a healthy management culture. Our vision is for a healthy, inclusive and trusted RCMP that our employees, stakeholders, partners and the communities we serve expect and deserve. Realizing this vision will ultimately enable the RCMP to achieve operational excellence.

Over the past decade, a series of external reviews and reports Footnote 1 have identified challenges with the RCMP workplace culture and put forward a number of recommendations highlighting the need for a long-term, comprehensive approach to culture change. Since 2018, the RCMP has advanced a holistic approach to change, focused on addressing four key foundational issues, which are woven through the findings and recommendations of external reviews and reports, including the final report of the Mass Casualty Commission:

  • Strengthening accountability and expectations for behaviour
  • Supporting employee health and wellbeing
  • Promoting a more equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace
  • Strengthening leadership and training

Progress to date has focused on setting a strong foundation for sustained culture change over the long-term. Responding to reports and reviews of RCMP culture, the organization is working to strengthen accountability and expectations for employee behaviour.

  • The recently renewed RCMP Core Values provide the basis for change in employee behaviours, practices and processes. The renewed Core Values were released in April 2023, following extensive consultation with employees and stakeholders, including employment equity and diversity groups.
  • In response to the concerns raised by the Honourable Michel Bastarache in his final report on the Merlo-Davidson settlement (herein referred to as the Bastarache Report), the RCMP contracted an expert consultant to conduct a review of its Conduct Measures Guide. The goal of the review was to make sure the RCMP's conduct measures meet modern expectations of fairness, transparency and effectiveness. The RCMP supports the recommendations stemming from the review, and changes are underway to strengthen the conduct measures to ensure our conduct measures are modern, consistent, and applied in line with best practices. This will help increase public and employee trust in the organization and bring the RCMP one step further on the path toward a healthy, inclusive and trusted RCMP.

Supporting employee health and wellbeing continues to be a priority. Efforts are underway to prevent and address workplace harassment, and to ensure that employees feel supported and have access to the supports they need.

  • The Employee Wellbeing Strategy focuses on providing support services, early intervention, and the prevention and treatment of employee mental health challenges. The Independent Centre for Harassment Resolution was launched in 2021 to oversee the RCMP harassment resolution process through a centralized, independent unit, staffed by civilian employees.
  • The Independent Centre for Harassment Resolution model is rooted in a trauma-informed approach to ensure that it provides a safe space, with a focus on the needs and experiences of those who access services.

Ongoing consultation with the Management Advisory Board has been critical to the creation and evolution of the Independent Centre for Harassment Resolution, guiding its development at every step. The Board's independent expert advice and leadership has shaped the Independent Centre for Harassment Resolution contribution to the broader RCMP commitments of modernization and improving culture.

Promoting a more equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace is central to culture change. The RCMP is taking steps to embrace diverse identities, perspectives, and experiences in and across our organization. Under the Vision150 modernization agenda, key actions, underway and planned, are making meaningful change across RCMP divisions and business lines toward a more modern and inclusive organization that treats all individuals with dignity and respect.

With regard to Reconciliation, the RCMP is co-developing its first National Pathway (Reconciliation Strategic Plan), in collaboration with an Indigenous consulting firm specializing in corporate planning and change management. The plan will support addressing the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry's Calls for Justice and be a compilation of strategies and efforts from across the RCMP that maps out a sustainable way forward, including a progress measurement strategy.

Furthermore, strengthening cultural awareness training is an important component for advancing Reconciliation and the RCMP. Such courses include: Uniting Against Racism (mandatory), Using a Trauma-Informed Approach (mandatory for Regular Members), Cultural Awareness and Humility (mandatory), and the Indigenous Learning Series. As part of the RCMP training Academy's (Depot) ongoing modernization of the Cadet Training Program and building on the success of delivering the Kairos Blanket Exercise to cadets since 2017, a project is underway to introduce a more comprehensive and inclusive training to further enhance cultural competency. Depot also schedules a number of events throughout the year for cadets to complement the formal curriculum, including tipi raising and sweat lodges. The RCMP is working to employ a Knowledge Keeper position and an Indigenous Advisory position at Depot, both as permanent cultural resources.

Dedicated Leadership for Reconciliation and Indigenous Policing: In 2023, the RCMP created and staffed a new Assistant Commissioner level position for Indigenous Policing and Community Engagement to ensure leadership and a dedicated program structure specific to organizational reconciliation efforts and Indigenous policing, for long-term sustainability.

The RCMP People Strategy has been developed which outlines the Human Resources program's overarching strategy to support Vision150 and the RCMP's Human Resources modernization objectives. It weaves together several transformative initiatives to realize a proactive, client-centered approach to Human Resources and People Management. This strategy stands on three key pillars; Shaping the Workforce of the Future, Modernizing Human Resources approaches and Human Resources Service Delivery Model and Investing in Core programs and Systems to Improve Client and Service Delivery. As part of the People Strategy, current efforts are focused on ensuring that RCMP employees at all levels feel included and respected, and reflect the diversity of communities across Canada:

  • Gender-based Analysis Plus is being embedded across the organization as a key part of culture change to enhance inclusion for everyone, by understanding the needs and experiences of diverse groups of people, and working to identify and remove barriers from RCMP policies, programs and operations.
  • RCMP Indigenous, Collaboration, Co-Development and Accountability Office was established in response to Vision150 and the Government of Canada's commitment to advancing reconciliation. RCMP Indigenous, Collaboration, Co-Development and Accountability Office has both internal and external facing roles to promote a culturally competent environment based on outreach to First Nations, Inuit and Métis employees. RCMP Indigenous, Collaboration, Co-Development and Accountability Office strategic drivers encourage human resource governance modernization through community outreach and reporting resulting in a positive cultural shift reflective of Indigenous realities and supporting a safe and welcoming work environment.
  • In December 2022, in partnership with Knowledge Circle for Indigenous Inclusion, the RCMP Indigenous, Collaboration, Co-Development and Accountability Office launched the Indigenous Career Navigators Program, an innovative Government of Canada response to the Many Voices, One Mind and Indigenous Workforce Retention Survey findings (2017) to create a highly-skilled, diverse, and engaged Indigenous workforce.
  • The RCMP's first ever Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy has been developed which emphasizes the need to value diversity and treat both employees and communities with dignity and respect. The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy establishes a strong foundation for equity, diversity and inclusion practices, by being clear about directions for focused action in support of: solid governance; clear, transparent and accountable practices; stronger education, awareness and training regimes, and the foundations for culture change. It also communicates a clear organization-wide commitment to adopt the values of equity, diversity and inclusion and to respond to broadly held concerns and calls for change.
  • The recruitment process is being modernized, including by improving the proactive recruiting program; identifying and rectifying barriers and biases; and modernizing the screening entrance exam that have impeded women, Indigenous Peoples, Black and other racialized groups, and persons with disabilities from being successful in the application process.

Finally, the need to strengthen leadership and training in the RCMP has been a prominent and consistent finding throughout previous reviews. We know that leadership buy-in, engagement and understanding across all aspects of culture change is crucial to success. This includes ensuring that RCMP leaders are both trustworthy and authentic, and create a safe space for change. For these reasons, strengthening leadership development and training is one of the four key priorities in the organization's holistic approach to culture change. An integrated approach to leadership development, including a focus on character, good judgement and continuous development throughout one's career, is essential to address recommendations from the Mass Casualty Commission and other previous reviews related to RCMP culture.

The following sections outline the current criteria for how the RCMP selects, develops, recognizes and rewards leaders, and highlight key initiatives underway to improve the RCMP's management culture more specifically, including those identified in previous reports.

Current criteria – How we select, develop, recognize and reward

How we select

Commissioned officer staffing

The appointment of all regular members is legislated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act which includes specific appointment requirements for various roles including the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners, Chief Superintendents, Superintendents and Inspectors.

Commissioned Officers are first assessed on their readiness to be promoted to a given rank through the annual talent management exercises and structured assessment programs. When vacancies arise, candidates who are at rank, or have been deemed Ready for Advancement through our talent management processes (outlined below) to the given rank, are assessed on their qualifications for a specific role.

  • In order to become a Commissioned Officer (Inspector level and above), non-Commissioned Officers must pass the Officer Candidate Process. The Officer Candidate Process is an essential part of the RCMP's national succession strategy for identifying future leaders to meet organizational needs at the Commissioned Officer ranks. Prior to applying, candidates must successfully complete three diversity courses and pass an internal Job Simulation Exercise at the Staff Sergeant level. The Officer Candidate Process is in three phases:
    • Phase 1: is the submission by the candidate of an application package containing a Track Record Review self-assessment against eight competencies: Developing Others, Change Leadership, Planning and Organizing, Strategic Thinking, Meeting Client Needs, Stewardship, Communication and Networking and Relationship Building. This phase includes references who attest to the candidate's approach to the RCMP Core Values and conduct and administrative checks.
    • Phase 2: is the review of the application package by a Review Committee, the Deputy Commissioner or Commanding Officer, and the Director General Executive and Officer Development and Resourcing. Candidates who meet the requirements of the Core Values and the eight competencies are supported to move on to the subsequent phase.
    • Phase 3: is an interview which further assesses the eight organizational competencies. Successful candidates are placed on the Officer Candidate Process National Eligibility List.

      The staffing of specific Inspector positions from the National Eligibility List is subsequently carried out on the basis of specific experience and language requirements for the given role, mobility, and career interest.

  • To obtain a promotion to Superintendent, Inspectors who meet the experience and language requirements for the given role, and have a talent management rating of Ready for Advancement based on time in role and performance in job are considered. Details on the approach to talent management are included below.
  • Superintendents who have a talent management rating of Ready for Advancement are invited to participate in a Senior Executive Process, commonly referred to across the RCMP as the Chief's board. The Senior Executive Process examines nine senior executive competencies: Change Leadership, Flexibility, Decisiveness, Strategic Thinking, Results-Oriented, Stewardship, Courage of Convictions, Network and Relationship Building, and Persuasiveness. Candidates who successfully complete the Senior Executive Process are placed on an eligibility list for promotion to Chief Superintendent level roles.

    Efforts are underway to modernize the Officer Candidate Process, with a focus on streamlining, removing barriers, supporting candidates in their development, while maintaining the integrity of the process and adapting new tools to assess leadership potential. Best practices from the Officer Candidate Process modernization exercise will be applied to the Senior Executive Process where appropriate.

  • Assistant Commissioners are chosen from qualified Chief Superintendents with a talent management rating of Ready for Advancement.
  • The RCMP currently has five Deputy Commissioners, which are appointed by the Governor in Council based on the recommendation of the Commissioner for their extensive experience in leadership roles.
  • The Commissioner is appointed by the Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the
    Prime Minister, to hold office during pleasure. Under the direction of the Minister of Public Safety, the Commissioner has the control and management of the Force.

Given the current weight of the Ready for Advancement talent placement, there is opportunity to provide guidance to decision-makers regarding the meaning/definitions of placements to ensure consistency in application and increase transparency for members with respect to how placements are determined and communicated.

The role of contract partners in the selection of Commanding Officers

Article 7 of the Police Service Agreement stipulates:

  • the Commissioner will consult with the Provincial and Territorial Minister prior to the appointment of a Commanding Officer, a Criminal Operations Officer or a Deputy Criminal Operations Officer. A designate of the Provincial and Territorial Minister may participate in the selection process at the request of the Provincial and Territorial Minister, the Commanding Officer will consult with the Provincial and Territorial Minister (and/or with the Chief Executive Officer/Mayor of a municipality) before the appointment of a Detachment Commander.

Similar provisions are included in First Nations and Inuit Tripartite agreements.

While the agreements only specify consultation with the contract partner, in most cases the RCMP invites designates from the province or municipality and appropriate Indigenous partners to participate in the interview process.

In provinces where the RCMP's mandate is limited to its federal jurisdiction (Ontario and Quebec), the RCMP seeks opportunities to engage with the police of jurisdiction, including in some cases, through participation on the interview board.

Experienced Police Officer Program

While the majority of Commissioned Officers are appointed from within the ranks of the RCMP, the Experienced Police Officer Program allows for the appointment of former Regular Members or experienced police officers from other Canadian municipal or provincial police agencies, as well as Canadian Armed Forces military police.

The appointment of Deputy Commissioner, Specialized Policing Services. Bryan Larkin, former Chief of Waterloo Police Service and President of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, is a prime example of the RCMP's bringing outside perspectives to its senior leadership.

Public service employee and civilian member staffing

In addition to Commissioned Officers, Public Service Employees and Civilian Members play important leadership roles in the RCMP.

The Civilian Member category, is no longer used for new employees. A staffing strategy was implemented on June 1, 2016, which aligns the staffing activities for Civilian Members to those of the Public Service Employees. If a Civilian Member is selected for appointment to a public service position, they are not required to resign and convert to a public servant, the position is instead changed to a Civilian Member position.

The staffing activities of Public Service Employees are legislated under Part 2 of the Public Service Employment Act.

Appointments to or from within the public service may be advertised or non-advertised, are made on the basis of merit and must be free from political influence. For non-advertised appointments, candidates are identified via a variety of sources including from other government departments, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's talent management processes, while internal candidates are identified via the RCMP's talent management discussions. Other means include from the direct feeder group to the vacant position, referrals from colleagues, and solicitations of interest on social media platforms, and in some cases the review of unsolicited resumes. In the case of any non-advertised appointment, the Chief Human Resources Officer is closely involved in overseeing these types of appointments.

For each executive level appointment, whether it is into a Civilian Member or Public Service Employee position, candidates must meet the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Executive Group Qualification Standards, as well as all merit criteria based on the duties of the position. Candidates must all be assessed against and meet the approved Key Leadership Competencies (Achieve Results, Promote Innovation and Guide Change, Create Vision and Strategy, Uphold Integrity and Respect, Mobilize People, Collaborate with Partners and Stakeholders), which define the behaviours expected of Civilian Member and Public Service Employee leaders. The RCMP's goal is always to appoint the best person for the role regardless of whether they are a Civilian Member or a Public Service Employee.

For Senior Assistant Deputy Minister level and specialized roles, such as the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Human Resources Officer, and the Chief Information Officer, the RCMP works closely with officials from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to identify and assess top talent.

In-line with our approach to engaging outside partners in the selection of Commanding Officers, the RCMP actively seeks external input on senior Public Service Employee appointments. The Management Advisory Board was engaged in the selection process for the Executive Director of the Independent Centre for Harassment Resolution. The Management Advisory Board may continue to be engaged in future selection processes in an advisory capacity, including for the Commanding Officer of Depot.

Given the role that Chief Superintendents and Assistant Commissioners play within the RCMP, discussions related to the staffing of these positions take place at Senior Executive Committee throughout all phases of the staffing process, from candidate identification to selection. The selection phase ensures there is no conflict of interest between the candidates and their supervisors. The Chief Human Resources Officer provides direction on the staffing strategy and assessment process, as well as advice to Senior Executive Committee colleagues and the Commissioner on employment equity considerations, official languages, and overall succession planning implications such as whether certain candidates with unique skill sets may be more critical for anticipated upcoming vacancies. The challenges facing all police forces and public institutions in identifying talent to fill key roles will only become increasingly complex. As such, the management of our senior leaders as a community is critical to meeting the RCMP's mandate.

How we develop

RCMP officer and executive development is guided by the Performance Management, Talent Management and Leadership Development programs.

Performance Management Program

The executive level Public Service Employee Performance Management Program is governed by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Policy on the Management of Executives and the Directive on Performance and Talent Management for Executives. The performance management of Commissioned Officers and Civilian Members is not legislated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act. As such, the principles outlined in the executive level Public Service Employee Performance Management Program are applied and the Directive on Performance and Talent Management for Executives is also followed.

Performance management is a cyclical process. Officers and executives are required to establish on an annual basis, with their manager, a performance agreement, a learning and development plan at the beginning of the cycle, and undergo a performance review mid-cycle and complete a performance assessment at the end of the cycle.

At the beginning of the performance cycle, the Privy Council Office establishes and communicates government-wide corporate priorities for the core public administration. Each officer and executive is required to develop individual commitments and performance measures in support of the government-wide corporate priorities. These commitments are used to establish performance agreements.

Throughout the year, managers communicate feedback, performance assessment results and participate in mid-year performance reviews. Conversations on progress at mid-year can help officers and executives stay on track and maximize or improve performance. They allow officers and executives to step out of the day-to-day work environment for a thorough look at how they are advancing the departments business priorities and to identify possible areas for improvement.

At the end of the performance cycle, officers and executives are assessed by their managers according to the five-level rating scale described in subsection. A.II.6.3 of the Directive on Performance and Talent Management for Executives. The RCMP uses the same ratings scale for Commissioned Officers and Civilian Members. The performance rating reflects overall performance with respect to results achieved and demonstration of the leadership competencies.

At the end of the cycle, Senior Executive Committee discusses the performance of its officers and executives with performance ratings collected from each Division and Business Line. Senior Executive Committee members then take their outlier cases (ratings of Succeeded Plus and above and ratings of Succeeded Minus and below) and discuss each of those. Further to these discussions, ratings are finalized, officially approved by the Commissioner and are then provided to each officer and executive by their manager.

While adherence to these policies and directives guide the performance management of officers and executives throughout the year, it is recognized that improvements to our practices will ensure more meaningful performance conversations are taking place and desired outcomes are achieved throughout all levels of leadership.

Talent Management Program

What is talent management
Talent management is a process that helps build sustained excellence in the leadership of the federal public service. The management of officer and executive talent undergoes a cyclical process each year. All officers and executives and their managers complete a Talent Management Questionnaire at the beginning of the cycle.
How we use talent management

The Talent Management Questionnaire provides the organization with information to support decisions about the management of officer and executive talent. The Talent Management Questionnaire collects information related to leadership strengths and weaknesses in terms of the leadership competencies; short-term and long-term career goals; challenges sought (for example: lateral movements, assignments, promotions); mobility and retirement potential.

During the completion of the Talent Management Questionnaire, a talent placement for an employee is determined. Talent placements are defined as per Section A2.2.27 Directive on Performance and Talent Management for Executives. The talent placement is proposed by the Officer's and Executive's manager and is approved by the head of the Division or Business Line. The talent placement of an officer and executive identifies their potential and readiness for new challenges by considering the key characteristics of ability, aspiration and engagement, as well as willingness to take on these challenges. Once the talent placement is approved, managers are responsible for confirming the talent placement with and providing feedback to the officer and executive at the end of the cycle.

For Commissioned Officers in particular, a placement of Ready for Advancement is a pre-requisite in order to be promoted to the next rank. Decisions taken by the head of the Division or Business line are raised at a focused discussion at Senior Executive Committee for Chief Superintendents and above.

In addition to the Talent Management Questionnaire, officers and executives and their managers engage in talent conversations. Talent conversations concentrate on the employee's interest, readiness, and ability for future roles in the organization. They are focused on longer-term career aspirations, and are forward looking.

The combination of the Talent Management Questionnaire data, the talent placement and the talent conversations between the manager and employee help inform succession planning. Meetings at the division and business-line level currently take place to match the readiness and career interests of employees to developmental opportunities that are linked to business priorities. However, given the prominence of the talent placements especially for Commissioned Officers, it is recognized that there is opportunity to ensure a clear understanding and consistent application of the talent management placements. More proactive and robust efforts in succession planning are also needed and a formal program will be developed.

Leadership development

Regarding investments in leadership development, the Talent Management Questionnaire is used to make recommendations for officers and executives to attend leadership development programs and training. The RCMP has developed a catalogue of leadership development programs that are offered by government resources as well as third party service prwoviders such as universities. A call-out is issued annually whereby management and employees review the offerings and determine whether an officer's or executive's candidacy should be put forward for nomination. Nominations are reviewed by the Executive and Officer Development and Resourcing team based on the programs' criteria and talent management information entered into the individual's Talent Management Questionnaire and recommendations are provided to Senior Executive Committee regarding supporting the nominations. The individuals then register for the relevant program.

The RCMP provides in-house development programs, such as the Executive Officer Development Program. The primary focus of the Executive Officer Development Program is to provide participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to further enhance their transition into the executive ranks. It is designed to help Executives and Officers maximize their leadership skills and assist them in meeting and rising above the challenges relative to their rank/level while advancing the corporate agenda. The program generally takes 8 to 12 months to complete. All Commissioned Officers and EX-01s (Civilian Member, Public Service Employee) are expected to complete the Executive Officer Development Program.

The RCMP also has a comprehensive leadership development curriculum with programs such as the Foundations of Leadership, Supervisor Development Program, Management Development Program in addition to the Executive Officer Development Program. There are also options to supplement this curriculum with the Strategic Policing Through Action and Executive Development Program at the Canadian Police College, as well as the Canada School of the Public Service. This suite of programs enables emerging leaders to develop the skills necessary to lead well at progressive levels of leadership throughout their careers.

It is recognized that more support for leadership development training and activities is needed and a formal review of existing offerings and the process through which candidates are identified will take place. The review will respond to the gaps identified in the above-noted succession planning program.

How we compensate, reward and recognize

The Performance Management Program for officers and executives discussed above, encourages excellence in performance by setting clear objectives, evaluating achievement of results, recognizing and rewarding performance, and providing a framework for consistency in performance management.

To reflect the nature and scope of officers and executives work, their compensation is different from that of other employees. The compensation regime of officers and executives incentivizes performance by linking a portion of compensation to individual performance.

In addition to base salary, officers and executives may earn performance-based compensation that reflects their level of achievement of objectives and their demonstration of key competencies. Performance-based compensation may be in the form of at-risk pay, in-range salary movement (increments within a salary range). Officers and executives who have achieved exceptional results against all commitments and who have truly demonstrated the key competencies may also receive a bonus.

Once final performance ratings are approved, and performance agreements are signed by both the manager and the officer and executive, performance pay is then issued.

The RCMP has a National Honours and Recognition policy centre to provide direction and support for the administration of various formal and informal award and opportunities to recognize employees and their achievements, including those in the officer and executive cadre.

Internally, the RCMP has several diverse recognition programs which include Commissioner and Commander Commendations for Outstanding Service as well as Professional Ethics and Integrity. There are also informal awards for employee dedication to a project, efforts in improved operations, or other similar achievements.

Externally, the RCMP is eligible to recognize its employees with various awards, such as but not limited to: the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada Awards of Excellence, which highlights management excellence and leadership of federal public service executives; Pubic Service Award of Excellence, which recognizes achievements in various categories; the Order of Merit of the Police Force, established to recognize a commitment to this country and to honour a career of exceptional service or distinct merit displayed by officers or civilians of Canadian Police Services.

In addition, rewarding and recognizing talent and performance can take the form of participation in special projects, leadership development program opportunities, courses, conferences, and considerations for assignments and promotional opportunities.

In summary, the development, recognition and rewarding of officers and executives is guided by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and internal directives and practices and occur on a cyclical basis throughout the year. While the desired outcome of Performance Management is to drive excellence and improve organizational results, it is recognized that more work needs to be done in order to achieve this. The same can be said for Talent Management where the goal is to optimize each individual's contribution and development, while responding to succession planning needs of the organization. More robust practices will be put in place to ensure that our processes are fair and equitable to all employees, which will help the RCMP get one step closer in achieving these desired outcomes, thereby contributing to its vision for a healthy, inclusive and trusted RCMP.

Steps taken to modernize leadership at the RCMP

Modernized leadership development continues to be a key priority for the RCMP, including a greater emphasis on assessing the expected demonstration of the leadership competencies which are required to successfully carry out the responsibilities of senior positions. Recommendations of external reviews and reports on RCMP culture continue to inform modernization and culture change efforts.

External reviews

External reviews, including Bastarache Report and those by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission, have highlighted the importance of leadership development in RCMP culture change. The Bastarache report, related to gender and sexual orientation-based harassment occurring between 1974 and 2016, highlights key systemic issues impacting RCMP culture. Of relevance to management culture, the findings of the Bastarache report acknowledged the importance of leadership in affecting workplace culture and recommends the need for changes to RCMP promotion processes and leadership development, among other issues.

In particular, the report raises concerns about the RCMP promotions system and points to the need to review them to ensure they are blind and solely based on merit, including the ability to support colleagues. The report further highlights the need to ensure fair and transparent allocation of training; calls for leadership training across the career path, particularly in senior Non-Commissioned Officer and officer positions; and notes the importance of accountability and training in developing effective leaders.

A number of activities in response to several recommendations contained in these reports and beyond have been implemented in order to help foster a healthy management culture at the RCMP, most notably:

Promotion processes

  • To improve transparency and recruitment, officer and executive staffing opportunities are advertised in a weekly bulletin that is sent out to all RCMP employees. The bulletin also contains information on appointments at the officer and executive levels.
  • To address systemic barriers, efforts under the RCMP's Equity Diversity and Inclusion Strategy work toward developing strategies to address systemic barriers that affect the career progression for women in all categories of employees.
  • To support recruitment of senior leaders, ongoing efforts have been implemented to improve the Officer Candidate Process over the years including:
    • In 2017, the Officer Candidate Process intake cycle, which previously only occurred in September, was changed to year-round. This change was made to address barriers for parents with school-aged children.
    • In January 2023, the validity period of competencies and the eligibility list was extended to 4 years thereby allowing those with time-sensitive mobility restrictions, to continue to be eligible for a promotion without re-qualifying.
    • As noted above, continued modernization efforts are underway.

Leadership development

  • Performance objectives are developed, and address anti-racism and discrimination. Performance Assessments are completed for all officers and executives and ratings are discussed by the Senior Executive Committee. Performance pay is only issued once both the manager and officer and executive have signed the performance assessment.
  • A series of interactive, online courses have been implemented as part of the RCMP Foundations of Leadership curriculum, which prepares employees for informal and formal leadership roles and provides learners with the knowledge to positively influence workforce culture. Topics include: Leadership Essentials, Exploring Self Awareness (Part 1 and 2), Ethics Essentials which was recently updated to include the Renewed Core Values.
  • The RCMP has adopted Character Leadership - an evidence based, peer-reviewed leadership model to create healthier workplaces, improved business decisions, better outcomes, and increased trust with stakeholders. It has been introduced in a number of development programs ranging from the Cadet Training Program to the Executive Officer Development Program.
  • Initiatives to address unconscious bias and teach the necessary skills required for leadership positions have been introduced into training.
  • Leadership training is being modernized to provide ongoing interactive leadership development opportunities throughout an employee's career.
  • To support senior leadership wellness and morale, the officer and executive Peer to Peer Program has been implemented. Volunteers at the Officer rank and Executive level (Inspector, Director and above) provide well-being support to their peers, who face unique challenges in managing critical incidents and sensitive topics.

In summary, while much work is already underway or has been completed in order to modernize the RCMP's management culture, RCMP culture change is a long-term goal. Dedicated and sustained action is required across the organization.

The approach to change

Building on what has already been completed in response to external reviews and reports, the RCMP is establishing a formal action plan (Annex A) with the objective to foster a healthy management culture, create a sustainable employee experience during their tenure at the RCMP, and to better equip officers and executives to develop as senior leaders within the organization.

We acknowledge that efforts to strengthen leadership development and training are part of, and impacted by, broader work to change the culture of the RCMP. Ensuring our success in achieving this objective will take time, resources and collaboration with partners and stakeholders. Importantly, it will require us to strengthen our focus on addressing key systemic barriers that impact diverse groups of employees - barriers like adequate resources, backfilling parental leave, and access to childcare, housing and social supports - that have been identified in the Bastarache Report, and now in the Mass Casualty Commission Report. These are issues that the RCMP cannot address alone but that are critical to our ability to make meaningful and lasting change. As we move forward on our holistic approach to culture change, we will enhance our efforts to explore and address these systemic barriers.

Regarding leadership, while much work has been done, it is recognized that there are opportunities for improvement in a number of areas, including:

  • succession planning
  • the need for focused leadership development
  • strategic use of talent management processes
  • improved communications to RCMP members to increase transparency, while maintaining flexibility to meet operational needs
  • policy development to guide decision-making
  • modernization of staffing processes

For leadership culture specifically, the RCMP is taking a values-based approach supported by best human resources practices. As such, actions and deliverables are aligned to the following:

  • the five core values of the RCMP: Act with Integrity, Show respect, Demonstrate compassion, Take responsibility and Serve with excellence;
  • the Values and Ethics Code of the Public Sector: Respect for Democracy, Respect for People, Integrity, Stewardship, and Excellence; and
  • the phases of the Employee Lifecycle to foster a positive employee experience while employed by the RCMP: Attract, Recruit, Onboard, Develop, Retain and Offboard.

There are Three Pillars that drive this approach:

  1. Develop foundational policies and tools
  2. Foster sustainable management culture change
  3. Prepare leaders for the future

Pillar 1: Develop foundational policies and tools

Expected outcome: Senior management is enabled to make data and policy driven decisions that are transparent and supported by strong human resources management practices and practitioners.

There is a need to put in place foundational policy pieces and tools in order to guide change. This pillar is focused on building human resources capacity to provide enhanced human resources support to the officer and executive cadre, by trained human resources professionals. Officer and executive community data analysis, business intelligence tools and the development of an integrated human resources policy suite that covers, performance and talent management as well as staffing are under development. Work is also underway to modernize the way we support, assess and qualify candidates most notably at the Inspector Rank which is the entry level into the Commissioned Officer ranks and more senior leadership positions.

Pillar 2: Foster sustainable management culture change

Expected outcome: A leadership cadre that has the competencies, core values, ethics and character to lead, and that is more diverse, inclusive, representative of and accountable to RCMP employees and the communities we serve.

Any change to management culture needs to be sustainable. Many foundational staffing tools will need to be updated, notably the Job Simulation Exercise - which is used as a pre-requisite for promotion to the Non-Commissioned Officer and Inspector ranks. It will also involve renewing the RCMP Senior Management Competencies to include a leadership lens, and create a link between the RCMP competencies to the Public Service Executive Key Leadership Competencies currently being updated by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. To foster greater accountability to the communities we serve and to our employees, we will expand the sources of input we consider for performance management, beginning at the Deputy Commissioner and Commanding Officer levels as well as Assistant Deputy Minister levels. There will also be increased focus on equity, diversity and inclusion, such as ongoing training opportunities and incorporating equity, diversity and inclusion considerations into staffing, performance and talent management processes and practices. This focused effort will support the Call to Action and government-wide priority to foster a more diverse and inclusive public service.

Pillar 3: Prepare leaders for the future

Expected outcome: Officers and executives are better equipped to take on senior leadership roles and are actively engaged in developing future leaders.

This pillar is focused on ensuring that officers and executives are better prepared to take on senior leadership roles by enhancing their leadership character, values and competencies, including demonstrating a commitment to continuous learning and self-reflection, broadening their strategic perspective and overall leadership skills, and taking responsibility for developing future leaders. This involves implementing an Onboarding Program which also sets out expectations of being an officer and executive, including the obligation to ensure a safe workplace and the repercussions if they perpetuate, participate or fail to address behaviours that result in toxic, unsafe workplaces. This also involves implementing a Succession Planning Program, and building a Leadership Development Roadmap that identifies transferable leadership skills to complement police operations training and prepare our future leaders for various leadership roles. Emphasis will also be placed on Official Languages training and maintenance.


"I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better."

Georg C. Lichtenberg

RCMP's management culture must change to improve our workplace culture. We are committed to sustained action over the long term to ensure that RCMP leaders are well equipped to take on leadership roles, and contribute toward our goal of a healthy, inclusive and trusted RCMP. The ongoing monitoring and reporting of planned activities and the impacts on diverse groups of employees will allow the RCMP to demonstrate progress against intended outcomes. This will be done through a Performance Measurement Framework. Incremental changes over time will occur and will give rise to continuous advancement and improvement.

For ongoing information on Change at the RCMP, please visit: Change at the RCMP

Annex A - Action plan

RCMP and public sector values and employee lifecycle phase Action

Pillar 1: Develop foundational policies and tools

Expected outcome: Senior management is enabled to make data and policy driven decisions that are transparent and supported by strong human resources management practices and practitioners.

Take responsibility



Establish integrated policies for Officer Candidate Process and Officer staffing, performance, and talent management and communicate them

Serve with excellence


Attract, recruit, develop, retain

Further invest in data analytics and business intelligence in order to gain greater understanding of the officer and executive Community demographics, including a review and analysis of employee surveys

Serve with excellence


Attract, recruit, onboard, develop, retain, offboard

Strengthen human resources capacity of the executive and officer development and resourcing team

Pillar 2: Foster sustainable management culture change

Expected outcome: A leadership cadre that has the competencies, core values, ethics and character to lead, and that is more diverse, inclusive, representative of and accountable to our employees and the communities we serve.

Take responsibility and show respect

Respect for people

Develop and retain

Enable stronger performance and talent management conversations regarding the Non-Commissioned Officer, Commissioned Officer and Executive cadre with senior management

Take responsibility and show respect

Respect for people

Develop and retain

Review and update senior management competencies

Explore a new Job Simulation Exercise at the senior management levels

Serve with excellence


Develop and retain

Expand the sources of input collected for performance management beginning at the Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Deputy Minister and Commanding Officer levels

Demonstrate compassion

Respect for people

Attract, recruit, onboard, develop, retain

Recruitment and Promotion of Employment Equity and Equity Seeking Officers/Executives

Continuous training on equity, diversity and inclusion

Incorporate equity, diversity and inclusion considerations into performance and talent management and succession planning processes and practices

Pillar 3: Prepare leaders for the future

Expected outcome: Officers and executives are better equipped to take on senior leadership roles and are actively engaged in developing future leaders.

Show respect and demonstrate compassion

Respect for people

Onboard and retain

Develop and implement an Onboarding Program for new officers and executives, which includes incorporation of obligations to set the standard for the workplace, protect employees of the workforce from inappropriate or offensive conduct and to protect the employer from exposure to civil claims by individual claimants

Take responsibility


Develop and retain

Develop and implement a succession planning program

Serve with excellence


Develop and retain

Review leadership development programs catalogue

Serve with excellence


Develop and retain

Develop and disseminate a Leadership Development Roadmap

Demonstrate compassion

Respect for people

Develop and retain

Develop and implement an Official Languages Training and Maintenance Strategy