Human Resources Management Priorities
As outlined in the 2019-20 Departmental Plan, the RCMP's Human Resources (HR) Sector focused on two critical initiatives: Safety and Employee Well-being.
As a critical component of employee safety, key preventive program advancements were made throughout the fiscal year:
- Significant progress was made in the drafting of a Firing Range Safety Policy to enhance employee safety at firing ranges by improving guidelines, processes and related tools, and by developing a coordinated National Oversight Policy for all safety issues at firing ranges.
- National alignment of the Respiratory Protection Program was prioritized, including key developments in the creation of a respirator fit test database, the organization of a train-the-trainer program for fit testers, and the release of a national Fit Testing Refresher Guide.
- A working group for the implementation of the RCMP Violence and Harassment Prevention Program was launched to develop plans to reduce the incidents of violence and harassment by updating policies, reporting, and intervention measures, all in accordance with new requirements under Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence). The Program will identify and address organizational risk factors through culturally impactful prevention and mitigation strategies, and will also modernize the reporting and investigation structure to incorporate early intervention, conflict resolution, conciliation, and workplace restoration.
- Ongoing consultation and joint studies were examined to establish the best way forward for the Hearing Conservation Program.
- The Hazard Prevention Program was advanced to include a clearer repository of safe work procedures for General Duty activities, which represented important prevention efforts affecting thousands of members across the country.
- The Ergonomic Program made advancements to reduce musculoskeletal injuries by working with the National Vehicle Equipment Committee to develop an ergonomic holistic tool to evaluate the configuration and equipment placement in General Duty vehicles.
- Under the Occupational Safety Strategy, enhancements were made to support the effectiveness of Workplace Health and Safety Committees. Workplace inspections – as conducted by these committees – are a foundational component of a shared responsibility approach to safety culture and a key facet of injury prevention. An awareness campaign was launched which featured a poster promoting random inspections to improve workplace safety as well as a training presentation targeted to Workplace Health and Safety Committees. To ensure strong policy support, a new chapter on workplace inspections was added to the Occupational Safety Manual and published in May 2019.
The RCMP continued to concentrate its efforts on mental health and well-being. The Support for Operational Stress Injury (SOSI) Program supported the pursuit of wellness through several initiatives, including one-to-one and group support/facilitation, as well as outreach/information initiatives. Outreach efforts by SOSI Coordinators included meeting with and presenting to stakeholder groups and external partners who play a role in supporting RCMP employees and veterans in the management of operational stress injuries.
The RCMP also worked to ensure counseling services – provided by community psychologists via telepsychology services (telephone or online) – were made available to all RCMP members. In addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, the RCMP further expanded members' access to mental health services by covering the cost of telehealth services provided by qualified mental health practitioners, including social workers, psychotherapists, and counselors. Community providers were required to – and will continue to – adhere to the scope of practice of the profession, the standards of professional practice, the code of ethics, and legal requirements that guide their general practice.
Moreover, $10 million dollars was allocated under the 2018 Federal Budget through Public Safety Canada to support the Public Safety Personnel Internet Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Program (PSPNET), led by the University of Regina. This internet-based clinical treatment program for first responders was first launched in Saskatchewan and will be next implemented in Quebec and Nova Scotia. Regular rollouts are planned across the country over the next few years and the RCMP will continue to help promote this service for all of its employees.
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