Review the RCMP’s conduct measures
In response to the concerns raised by the Honourable Michel Bastarache in his final report on the Merlo-Davidson settlement, the RCMP contracted an expert consultant to conduct a review of its Conduct Measures Guide.
The goal of the review is to make sure the RCMP's conduct measures meet modern expectations of fairness, transparency and effectiveness. It also supports the priorities and expectations laid out in the Commissioner's mandate letter as well as other RCMP Vision 150 modernization initiatives related to culture change.
Why it matters
Many survivors of historical incidences of harassment and sexual misconduct have expressed concern over a lack of transparency and the perception of inconsistent application of conduct measures. This can give the impression that making a complaint is futile, discouraging victims from coming forward.
Part of a healthy workplace is ensuring that employees have a strong understanding of the rules governing an organization and the range of possible sanctions that can be imposed when those rules are not followed. Sanctions then need to be applied properly and consistently. There must also be clear processes to remove individuals from the workplace if they demonstrate harmful conduct.
The Phase 2 Final report on the review of the RCMP's Conduct Measures Guide is now available. This report includes findings and recommendations to modernize conduct measures for the remaining sections of the Code of Conduct. This is further to the external review and the Phase 1 report.
The Phase 2 report recommendations provide guidance on proactively monitoring trends. The report also includes considerations for decision makers, particularly in regards to public trust and deterrence for serious misconduct, such as misuse of police databases.
The RCMP supports the expert recommendations from both phases of the review and is continuing engagement with diverse groups and subject matter experts to achieve timely implementation.
Some important changes already underway include:
- increased use of serious conduct measures, including adopting presumptive dismissal for serious sexual misconduct and demoting employees for misconduct related to leadership and supervision
- creation of a select group of full-time decision makers outside the chain of command and centralized under the Conduct Authority Branch. The decision makers will have the time, specialized training and legal support required to effectively manage serious misconduct as well as discipline for all harassment matters. This will allow for improved consistency and increased independence of decision-making in the disciplinary process
In addition, updates to the Conduct Measures Guidebook have begun and are expected to be completed by 2024.
These changes, and a strengthened conduct measures process, will help to bring the RCMP one step further on the path toward a more modern, healthy and inclusive organization, and increase public and employee trust.
The first phase of the review, which focused on established cases of harassment and sexual misconduct over the last six years, has been completed. The RCMP has released the Phase 1 Final Report in June 2022, which includes findings and recommendations to modernize conduct measures guidance across five key areas:
- amendments to the Conduct Measures Guide, including regular updates to keep pace with relevant case law and superior court judgements
- key considerations for decision makers when deciding on conduct measures
- types of decision makers that should decide on allegations of all forms of sexual misconduct
- enhanced support and training for decision makers
- an additional recommendation, outside the scope of the current review, encouraging the RCMP to look at other processes in the current disciplinary framework and modernize as appropriate
The RCMP has consulted on the recommendations with key stakeholders and has a plan in place to support phased implementation. The external review will continue into Phase 2, which will look at the conduct measures and their application for the remaining sections of the member Code of Conduct. The second phase of the review will be completed by the end of December 2022.
The RCMP hired an external independent expert consultant in October 2021 to conduct a review and assessment of current disciplinary measures, including the consistency in their application over the last five years.
This consultant will provide recommendations to ensure that the conduct measures, and their application, support a fair and transparent process that meets the expectation of the public, and our employees, with respect to accountability.
The consultant has relevant experience in the area of labour law specific to police misconduct, is independent, and has no ties with the RCMP. The consultant has the support of a panel of key internal and external stakeholders in this process, including the use of a Gender-Based Analysis Plus lens.
The first phase of this review will be completed by the end of January 2022 with an initial focus on harassment and sexual misconduct followed by other forms of misconduct. This second phase will be completed by December 2022.
The RCMP's senior leaders continue to reinforce expectations and responsibilities with respect to the application of discipline.
- Date modified: