Formative evaluation of the Compliance Program - cover page

Publication information

Office of Internal Audit and Evaluation
Parks Canada
30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, QC J8X 0B3

©Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Chief Executive Officer of Parks Canada Agency, 2022

CAT. NO R62-579/2022E
ISBN 978-0-660-42132-2

Ce document est disponible en français.


Figures
Figure 1: Compliance program timelines
Figure 2: Compliance Program governance structure
Figure 3: Perceived increase in prevention strategies since the introduction of the Guidelines
Figure 4: Perceived increase in implementation response strategies since introduction of the Compliance Guidelines
Figure 5: Extent to which LEB respondents (Park Wardens/LEB Regional Operations Managers) felt that the compliance planning helped to align the field unit and the LEB planning processes
Figure 6: Field Unit Compliance Leads Confidence in Information Shared with LEB
Figure 7: Park Wardens/LEB Regional Operations Managers Confidence in Information Shared with LEB
Figure 8: Park Wardens/LEB Regional Operations Managers Confidence in Information Shared with Field Unit
Figure 9: Field Unit Compliance Leads Confidence in Information Shared with Field Unit
Figure 10: Example of the Mobile Compliance Reporting App

Acronyms and abbreviations

Acronym Words
ERVE External Relations and Visitor Experience
FUS Field Unit Superintendent
IEM Incident and Event Management
LEB Law Enforcement Branch
NP National Park
OIAE Office of Internal Audit and Evaluation
SDA Service Delivery Agreements
QVE Quality Visitor Experience
VE Visitor Experience

The Compliance Program

History of the Compliance Program

"The Compliance Guidelines are designed to encourage safe, legal, and appropriate behaviour at Parks Canada sites in accordance with applicable acts, regulations, and current jurisprudence." (Compliance Guidelines, 2018).

In 2008, the Agency introduced the Prevention Guidelines (now known as Compliance Guidelines), which laid out roles and responsibilities. In November 2016, the Agency approved the roll-out of the Integrated Compliance Planning Process. The process was designed in collaboration with the Law Enforcement Branch (LEB) to provide a framework for assessing compliance requirements and implementation and to help field units prioritise on-the-ground actions.

The 2018 Compliance Guidelines are a modernisation of the former Prevention Guidelines. They rest on the same governance structure but have been updated to reflect the Integrated Compliance Planning Process. The implementation of the Guidelines remains voluntary.

Figure 1: Compliance program timelines
Figure 1: Compliance program timelines
Text description

Compliance Program Timelines:

2016: Development of Integrated Compliance Plans begins
2016 to 2018: Delivery of Compliance Planning workshops
2018: Compliance Guidelines Approved
2019: National compliance strategy for cannabis use in PCA places
2020: Completion of Formative Evaluation
2018 to present: Ongoing implementation of the Compliance Guidelines

Compliance planning process

The compliance planning process brings together all relevant stakeholders to help managers and functional specialists examine specific issues and their causes and impacts; identify compliance objectives; and develop prevention and response strategies to mitigate, reduce, or eliminate issues at each individual site.

Compliance workshops

In support of the implementation of the 2018 guidelines, the Visitor Experience Branch facilitated over 32 compliance workshops in 28 field units as of the end of April 2018. Compliance workshops were conducted in order to determine compliance issues and to develop Annual Priority Tables and integrated compliance plans.

The workshops typically involved the functional leads and the LEB. Subject matter experts (e.g. Park Wardens, Visitor Safety Coordinators, Departmental Security Staff and the local Police Service of Jurisdiction) also participated in order to share their insights on prevention and response strategies.

Reporting, tracking and monitoring

Reporting, tracking and monitoring parameters are developed according to the local site or field unit protocols. These parameters should also be linked to the field unit's Compliance and Law Enforcement plans to ensure that relevant information regarding an incident is recorded and communicated in an appropriate manner.

The Annual Priority Table is a tool that can be used by field units to identify and prioritize compliance issues and goals on an annual basis.

Based on the priorities identified, an Integrated Compliance Plan is created to help develop strategies to manage, monitor, and improve prevention and response actions. Ideally, Integrated Compliance Plans are updated annually to reflect changing priorities and response efforts.

The success of the program hinges on collaboration between multiple programs. The relationship between the field unit and the LEB plays an important role.

Service Delivery Agreements

The LEB supports the planning process through the development of Service Delivery Agreements (SDAs). SDAs contain a commitment to complete the integrated planning process, which defines law enforcement and compliance priorities, as well as law enforcement level of service on an annual basis. SDAs outline mandatory prevention measures (e.g., education, patrols) as well as enforcement measures to be delivered by Park Wardens (where corrective measures available to other staff are insufficient or not appropriate). The requirements outlined in each SDA are one portion of each individual Compliance Plan.

The agreement is drafted by the Park Warden/Park Warden Supervisor and is renewed every 5 years. The agreement is established between the Director, Law Enforcement Branch and the field unit superintendent (FUS).

LEB Tactical Plans

Tactical plans describe the Park Wardens' planned activities, time investment, capacity, and resource requirements to carry out the LEB's role identified in the Integrated Compliance Plans. Tactical plans are to be updated annually in conjunction with the Compliance Plans in order to ensure that activities are aligned with field unit/site priorities. Some high-priority compliance issues will not require law enforcement measures but will require prevention measures. Similarly, some high priority issues will not require prevention measures but will require a higher-level law enforcement approach.

Compliance Program governance structure

Figure 2: Compliance Program governance structure
Figure 2:  Compliance Program governance structure
Text description

Organizational Chart:
The three directorates responsible for the Compliance Program are:

  • External Relations and Visitor Experience (ERVE),
  • Operations (Ops), and
  • Protected Areas Establishment and Conservation (PAEC)

From ERVE (from less to more senior positions), there is the Visitor Safety Officer and Compliance Advisor, who reports to the Manager of Visitor Service, Safety and Activities. The latter reports to the Director of the Visitor Experience Branch, who reports directly to the Vice President of ERVE.
From Operations (from less to more senior positions), starting with the Specific Compliance or Prevention Lead Position (where it exists) and with other positions identified as the lead for Compliance (e.g., Fire Coordinator).  The former reports to Visitor Experience Managers (responsible on Compliance) and the latter reports to Resource Conservation Managers (responsible lead on Compliance). The two manager positions previously mentioned report to, Park/Site Managers and/or Field Unit Superintendents (FUS)/Parks Superintendents (PS) /Directors Waterways (DW). The Park/Site Managers, report directly to the FUS/PS/DW, which in turn reports to the Executive Director, who reports to the Senior Vice President of Ops.

From PAEC (from less to more senior positions) there are the Park Warden Supervisors/Park Wardens, who report to Regional Operations Managers. The latter reports to the Director of Law Enforcement Branch who directly reports to the Vice President PAEC.

Two important notes to make regarding the Compliance Program Governance Structure:

  1. FUS/PS/DW and the Regional Operations Managers work together to develop Service Delivery Agreement. This is not a reporting relationship.
  2. There are specific positions that have a direct involvement in the Compliance planning process, from the Ops directorate: 1) Field Unit Superintendents/Park Superintendents/ Directors, Waterways; 2) Visitor Experience Managers; 3) Resource Conservation Managers; 4) Specific Compliance or Prevention Lead Positon; and 5) Other positions identified as the lead for Compliance. Under PAEC there are Regional Operations Managers; and Park Warden Supervisors/Park Wardens.

About the evaluation

The data contained in this report was collected in 2019-20. The evaluation had been scheduled for approval and publication in 2021; however, with the significant effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Parks Canada's operations, all evaluation activities were put on hold while the Agency focused on business continuity, resumption and managing its system of national parks and national historic sites. As a result, the report, management responses and action plans were approved in February 2022. Despite this delay, the recommendations and associated action plans remain relevant.

Methodology

Survey

An online survey of Parks Canada field unit staff involved in the Compliance Program was administered to FUSs/Site Managers, Managers (Visitor Experience, Resource Conservation, other Managers as appropriate), Park Wardens, other staff identified as leading the compliance process for their sites, front-line staff (i.e., Visitor Services Team Leads, Resource Management Officers, etc.) who deliver the Compliance Program, and Law Enforcement Regional Operations Managers. The survey was conducted as a means to collect information and feedback from program stakeholders and reflected evaluation questions and indicators outlined in the Evaluation Plan.

Document review

The document and file review of Compliance Plans, Annual Priority Tables, SDAs/Tactical Plans and other relevant documents (i.e., Quality Visitor Experience training materials, Law Enforcement Planning reports) provided a view as to the current state of the program.

Key informant interviews

Structured interviews were conducted in-person and by phone with selected senior managers, Park Wardens, National Office staff, and field unit staff.

Case study

Based on survey results, document review and key informant interviews, the PEI Field Unit was identified as efficiently and effectively implementing the Guidelines. A case study was conducted in order to highlight an example of a field unit that has fully implemented the Compliance Guidelines. Additional document review and interviews were conducted within the field unit to collect information on effective implementation practices.

Evaluation findings

Accountabilities

Expectation:

It was expected that the Compliance Guidelines would clearly articulate an appropriate governance structure to ensure efficient program delivery.

Key finding 1:

It was found that the Compliance Guidelines clearly outline program accountabilities. Challenges with the governance structure were noted where accountabilities do not align between compliance and law enforcement.

Considerations

The Guidelines state that the Vice-President, ERVE is accountable to the President & Chief Executive Officer (P&CEO) for the development and overall implementation of the Compliance Guidelines. The Field Unit Superintendents (FUS) are accountable to the P&CEO (through the Senior Vice President, Operations) for the management and operations of the field unit (delivery of the program) and for integrated compliance and law enforcement planning.

In regards to the LEB, Park Wardens are accountable to the Vice President of Protected Areas Establishment and Conservation (through the Director, Law Enforcement Branch) for delivery of the Compliance Program, as well as their involvement in the compliance planning process and developing their SDAs.

Survey responses and interview data from senior management and FUSs indicated that there are areas of concern in regards to the accountability structure and its ability to adequately support field units in delivering the compliance program. This was largely related to the splitting of accountabilities for delivery of the Compliance Program between with the FUSs and the LEB.

Additional findings point to the need for a more formalised approach between the responsible directorates (ERVE, Operations, Protected Areas Establishment and Conservation) regarding the implementation of the Compliance Guidelines. A more formal approach would lead to improvements in consistency, relevance and better integration between policy, operations and Agency priorities in relation to the Compliance Program.

Roles and responsibilities

Expectation:

It was expected that the Compliance Guidelines would clearly articulate responsibilities to ensure efficient program delivery.

Key finding 2:

It was found that there is opportunity to improve the identification of and communication of the functional manager responsible for the Compliance Program. The clarity and awareness of roles and responsibilities of staff supporting the Compliance Program was also identified as an area for potential improvement.

Considerations

Compliance Lead

As indicated in the Compliance Guidelines, the FUS is responsible for "designating a lead manager for the Compliance Planning Process to ensure its thorough application (usually the Visitor Experience Manager or Resource Conservation Manager)" (Compliance Guidelines, 2018).

The survey revealed that some field unit staff were unaware of which manager was the designated lead for the Compliance Program within their field unit. Without the designation of a clear compliance lead by the FUS, it becomes difficult to manage the participation of all relevant managers, which is important in implementing the issues identified in the compliance plans.

The survey found that the majority (66%) of field unit staff indicated that the compliance lead role was not clear or that compliance staff were not aware of who the lead for compliance was.

The ERVE Directorate maintains a VE Resource Person Directory with staff identified as the leads for compliance. In several field units, the leads in this directory did not match those identified by survey respondents. For example, in at least six field units surveyed, the lead was considered the Resource Conservation Manager or was a shared role between the managers of VE and Resource Conservation, while the ERVE Directorate identified the lead as a VE Manager.

A comprehensive and validated list of staff responsible for the Compliance Program within each field unit would be useful for communicating and providing information updates, best practices, new tools and assistance.

The results of this finding have been addressed in Recommendation #1.

Compliance support staff

Survey respondents commented that identification of a clear lead for compliance, or the existence of a Compliance/Prevention Officer, greatly improves the clarity of roles and responsibilities among compliance support staff.

Quality Visitor Experience (QVE) training provides information on compliance roles and responsibilities to compliance support staff. The quantitative survey data demonstrated mixed results for the extent to which respondents felt that QVE training provided sufficient guidance. The qualitative data highlighted that respondents felt that more training related to roles and responsibilities is required. The survey found that there was a high level of agreement that park wardens can play a role in strengthening communication of roles and responsibilities around the Compliance Program, either during participation at management meetings or at training sessions such as QVE.

The survey found that overall, the program was more effective when the functional managers were aware of and promoted the Compliance Program.

In particular, it was found that a strong compliance advocate at the FUS and functional manager level is useful in ensuring that roles, responsibilities and priorities are continually discussed or reinforced.

Staff turnover, particularly since the start of the roll-out of the pilot workshops in 2016, was felt to have impacted awareness of the Compliance Program in general and the roles and responsibilities in particular.

The results of this finding have been addressed in Recommendation #2.

Program implementation

Expectation:

Using the direction provided by the Compliance Guidelines, it was expected that prevention and/or response actions were developed and implemented effectively and that guidance would be provided from National Office on issues of importance.

Key finding 3:

It was found that there has been progress in the implementation of prevention and response strategies since the development of the Guidelines. Methods of communication within the program has led to some potential gaps in the provision of appropriate guidance to field units.

Considerations

Prevention/response strategies

The successful implementation of the program can be partly measured by the implementation of prevention and response strategies. There is evidence that the Guidelines have fostered the development of prevention and response strategies as many staff have noted positive changes in this regard.

Overall, fifty-nine percent (59%) of survey respondents noted that there had been an increase in prevention strategies to at least some extent while fifty-four percent (54%) of survey respondents noted that there had been an increase in response strategies to at least some extent since the introduction of the Guidelines.

Figure 3: Perceived increase in prevention strategies since the introduction of the Guidelines
Figure 3: Perceived increase in prevention strategies  since the introduction of the Guidelines
Text description

Perceived increase in prevention strategies since the introduction of the Guidelines
For Field Unit Superintendents (FUS) / Site Managers
Number of respondents = 34:
12% - To a great extent
18% - To a moderate extent
26% - To some extent
9% - Not at all
35% - Don't know

For Compliance Leads:
Number of respondents = 32:
6% - To a great extent
31% - To a moderate extent
41% - To some extent
6% - Not at all
16% - Don't know

For Compliance Support Staff:
Number of respondents = 61:
13% - To a great extent
20% - To a moderate extent
18% - To some extent
15% - Not at all
34% - Don't know

For Law Enforcement Branch, which includes Parks Wardens and Law Enforcement Branch Regional Operations Managers:
Number of respondents = 34:
4% - To a great extent
18% - To a moderate extent
36% - To some extent
18% - Not at all
25% - Don't know

 

Figure 4: Perceived increase in implementation response strategies since introduction of the Compliance Guidelines
Figure 4: Perceived increase in implementation response strategies since introduction of the Compliance Guidelines
Text description

Perceived increase in implementation response strategies since introduction of the Guidelines
For Field Unit Superintendents (FUS) / Site Managers
Number of respondents = 34:
9% - To a great extent
18% - To a moderate extent
26% - To some extent
9% - Not at all
38% - Don't know

For Compliance Leads:
Number of respondents = 32:
3% - To a great extent
25% - To a moderate extent
44% - To some extent
3% - Not at all
25% - Don't know

For Compliance Support Staff:
Number of respondents = 61:
7% - To a great extent
16% - To a moderate extent
23% - To some extent
15% - Not at all
39% - Don't know

For Law Enforcement Branch, which includes Parks Wardens and Law Enforcement Branch Regional Operations Managers:
Number of respondents = 34:
4% - To a great extent
4% - To a moderate extent
46% - To some extent
18% - Not at all
29% - Don't know

Communication

Staff noted that recent guidance and communication from National Office focused mainly on cannabis. There are currently no communication strategies or best practices to assist field units in dealing with the most prevalent compliance issues encountered in the field (e.g., dogs off leash, feeding wildlife). This results in individual parks/sites developing their own communication materials such as posters and brochures, which creates inconsistencies in the products produced across the Agency.

The ERVE Directorate's main communication channel with field units regarding updates on compliance is via monthly calls with VE Managers. As a result of only directly providing updates to VE Managers, the full complement of compliance leads in other functional areas, such as resource conservation, may not be receiving all the necessary information to effectively perform the duties assigned to them.

In order to assist field units with program implementation, the Compliance SharePoint Library provides tools and templates related to a range of issues. Only half of staff surveyed were aware of the SharePoint site. Of those that were aware, just over half had used the tools, with the friendly reminder and formal notice templates being the most common.

The results of this finding have been addressed in Recommendation #3.

Resources

Expectation:

It was expected that the level of resources provided to implement the Compliance Guidelines was appropriate.

Key finding 4:

It was found that many field units have reported challenges in dedicating the staff time and resources required to fully implement the program.

Considerations

Of the Agency's 33 field units, approximately 8 were identified through PeopleSoft data to have dedicated Prevention/Compliance Coordinator positions; however, this data could not be corroborated through the VE Resource Directory.

Field units may choose not to dedicate a full-time resource to Prevention/Compliance depending on staffing complements, operational contexts, geography and varying levels of visitation.

When there is no dedicated compliance position, the responsibilities are usually assigned to the VE or Resource Conservation Managers. Some of these staff indicated having competing priorities that has led to insufficient time to coordinate and manage the compliance program.

The Compliance Program is often delivered in the field by the Visitor Services Team Leads and students, which are often seasonal positions. During the off season when these staff are not employed, the responsibility for program implementation on the ground shifts to the responsible manager, leaving less time for forward planning and reporting.

Some parks may be as busy during the shoulder seasons as the operational season (i.e., Rouge National Urban Park) when they have reduced staff to assist with compliance activities. This makes it harder to implement any prevention or response actions that may be required.

Data demonstrates that parks with the highest number of compliance incidents tend to be those places with the largest volume of visitors. As Parks Canada places experience more visitors, this can result in compliance staff managing crowded and overflowing parking lots, busier trails and campgrounds as opposed to dealing with other types of compliance issues that could help minimize risk to public safety, loss of life or damage to property and/or natural or cultural resources (i.e, human-wildlife conflict, vandalism, etc.).

The limited availability of Park Warden presence in several field units was identified as a concern for the Compliance Program. This issue is particularly evident in northern parks, the waterways and some national historic sites. There are currently seven field units without a dedicated Park Warden, most of which are in the north.

Fast Facts:

8 Prevention Coordinator positions identified in PeopleSoft: Quebec Waterways, Ontario Waterways, Rouge NUP, Georgian Bay and Eastern Ontario, Western Newfoundland and Labrador, Eastern Newfoundland, Québec, Lake Louise, Yoho, Kootenay field units (2 positions).

Visitor Service Team Leads 84% are seasonal positions.

Visitation – increased from 20 million in 2010-11 to 25 million in 2018-19. Majority of increase has occurred in national parks.

Alignment of planning processes

Expectation:

It was expected that the Compliance Guidelines would assist in aligning the compliance and law enforcement planning processes.

Key finding 5:

There is evidence that the compliance planning process has helped to align and create efficiencies between the planning processes of the field units and the Law Enforcement Branch.

Considerations

A high proportion of respondents in the LEB (a sum total of 81%) felt that to some extent, to a moderate extent or to a great extent that the compliance process helped to align planning processes.

The high satisfaction in the sharing of information (i.e., number and nature of prevention and response actions taken) in a reliable and timely manner could indicate that the work of the field units and the LEB, as it relates to compliance, is becoming further aligned. There was a high level of agreement that when information is shared, there are efficiencies in the program, such as reduced duplication of efforts of field unit staff and Park Wardens (see next slide for further information).

Staff indicated that the information sharing and communication involves many formats, including emails, phone calls, team meetings, shared accessible databases, weekly meetings/reports and annual meetings. The main factor was having a continual dialogue and understanding of key concerns.

Figure 5: Extent to which LEB respondents (Park Wardens/LEB Regional Operations Managers) felt that the compliance planning helped to align the field unit and the LEB planning processes
Figure 5: Extent to which LEB respondents (Park Wardens/LEB Regional Operations Managers) felt that the compliance planning helped to align the field unit and the LEB planning processes
Text description

Extent to which LEB respondents (Park Wardens/ LEB Regional Operations Managers) felt that the compliance planning helped to align the field unit and the LEB planning processes.

To a great extent: 7%
To a moderate extent: 37%
To some extent: 37%
Not at all: 11%
Don't' know: 8%

Further to the previous slide, LEB staff had the highest confidence overall that they were sharing reliable information with the field unit. The confidence of LEB staff that the field unit was sharing reliable information with them was also quite high.

Compliance Leads had similar levels of confidence that the field unit was sharing reliable information with the LEB and that the LEB was sharing reliable information with the field unit (approximately two thirds of respondents in both cases).

Information sharing from the field unit to LEB

Compliance leads indicated that they were at least somewhat confident that the field unit was sharing reliable information with the LEB 62% of time.

Figure 6: Field Unit Compliance Leads Confidence in Information Shared with LEB
Figure 6: Field Unit Compliance Leads Confidence in Info Shared with LEB
Text description

How confident are you that Field Units are reliably sharing information on prevention/response actions in a reliable and timely manner with the Law Enforcement Branch?

Percentage of compliance leads that were at least somewhat confident that the field unit was sharing information with the LEB.

Percentile bar presenting the results to the question:
For compliance leads:
10% - Very confident
28% - confident
24% - Somewhat confident
10% - Not at all confident
28% - don't know

LEB staff responded that the field unit was sharing information with the LEB in a reliable manner 75% of the time.

Figure 7: Park Wardens/LEB Regional Operations Managers Confidence in Information Shared with LEB
Figure 7: Park Wardens/LEB Regional Operations Managers Confidence in Info Shared with LEB
Text description

Percentile bars presenting the results of the responses to the question: How confident are you that field units are reliably sharing information on prevention/response actions in a reliable and timely manner with the Law Enforcement Branch (LEB)?

Percentile bar presenting the results to the question:

4% - Very confident
15% - Confident
56% - Somewhat confident
26% - Not confident at all
0% - Don't know

Second percentile bar shows the responses of the Field Unit (Compliance Leads): 24% - Very confident 14% - Confident 28% - Somewhat confident 24% - Not confident at all 10% - Don't know

Information sharing from LEB to the field unit

LEB staff indicated that they were at least somewhat confident that LEB staff was sharing reliable information with the field unit 93% of the time.

Figure 8: Park Wardens/LEB Regional Operations Managers Confidence in Information Shared with Field Unit
Figure 8: Park Wardens/LEB Regional Operations Managers Confidence in Info Shared with Field Unit
Text description

How confident are you that Field Units are reliably sharing information on prevention/response actions in a reliable and timely manner with the Law Enforcement Branch?

Percentile bar presenting the results to the question:
LEB (Park Wardens/LEB Regional Operations Managers)
11% - Very confident
48% - Confident
33% - Somewhat confident
4% - Not confident at all
4% - Don't know

Compliance leads indicated that LEB was sharing information reliably with the field unit in a reliable manner 66% of the time.

Figure 9: Field Unit Compliance Leads Confidence in Information Shared with Field Unit
Figure 9: Field Unit Compliance Leads Confidence in Info Shared with Field Unit
Text description

Percentile bar presenting the results to the question:
For the Field Unit (Compliance Leads):
24% - Very confident
14% - Confident
28% - Somewhat confident
24% - Not confident at all
10% - Don't know

Monitoring and tracking

Expectation:

It was expected that a National incident tracking system would be produced to track prevention and response actions associated with the Compliance Program.

Key finding 6:

It was found that the recently completed Mobile Compliance Reporting application presents an opportunity to consistently track prevention and response actions associated with the Compliance Program across the Agency.

Considerations

The majority of survey respondents (65%) indicated that response actions were tracked in their field unit versus half of respondents indicating that prevention actions were tracked.

Evidence indicates that methods currently being used (i.e., spreadsheets, hard copy systems) vary and are not consistently being updated by all compliance related staff.

A consistent monitoring tracking system would provide a more cohesive perspective of the Compliance Program in terms of successes, solutions, best practices and gaps at a national, field unit, park and site level.

The Agency has recently launched the Mobile Compliance Reporting (MCR) application for tracking compliance incidents. The use of the MCR application is voluntary and approximately six field units have expressed interest for 2020-21.

The LEB is currently developing an application for Park Wardens: the Mobile Law Enforcement (MLE) application, which will be tested in the field shortly.

The use of the MCR then becomes more useful to coordinate the efforts of the LEB and Compliance Program through these two applications.

The results of this finding have been addressed in Recommendation #4.

Mobile Compliance Reporting Application

Figure 10: Example of the Mobile Compliance Reporting App

Figure 10: Example of the Mobile Compliance Reporting App
Figure 10: Example of the Mobile Compliance Reporting App
Text description

Screenshot:

Screenshot of the mobile compliance reporting application opened to: Compliance - Georgian Bay Islands. The image shows an example of the use interface of the app (e.g., the filters, how the information is displayed, design, etc.).

Case study – Prince Edward Island Field Unit

A case study was conducted in order to highlight an example of one field unit that has fully implemented the Compliance Guidelines. It must be noted that this is one example of several sites that have successfully implemented the Compliance Program. Additional document review and interviews were conducted within the field unit to collect information on effective implementation practices. It was found that strong buy-in from senior management, communication, collaboration and training were keys to success of the program within the PEI Field Unit.

Leadership

One key element of success is that the program is supported and given priority by the FUS. One demonstration of this support is within the field unit budget, which has been re-allocated to support program. The budget of the field unit has been re-allocated from other areas to provide funding for:

A dedicated Compliance Lead; and

A strong compliance summer student team.

Communication, communication, communication

Communication across all levels of staff is also a key element in the success of the Compliance Program for this field unit.

For example:

Staff in all functional areas, including park wardens, are engaged and consulted during all compliance planning steps;

Functional managers and park wardens meet pre-season to review and reassess priorities from previous year;

FUS receives a weekly briefing on the status of compliance issues; and

Staff from compliance, law enforcement and resource conservation meet on a weekly basis to review any ongoing issues/solutions. Some topics typically discussed include: updates on the number of incidents occurring; potential areas where efficiencies could be made; and, anticipating future areas where the number of incidents could increase.

All hands on deck

All staff, from senior managers/supervisors to students, are involved in the ongoing compliance issue discussions, roles and responsibilities and solutions. This engagement has reduced the need for park wardens on some issues.

The right stuff – the importance of training

In addition to QVE training, all compliance staff receive relevant training from multiple areas (i.e., parking, law enforcement) at the beginning of the season.

The Compliance Lead and students also regularly work alongside the park wardens, which leads to better understanding of the compliance issues, solutions, and roles/responsibilities. Recommendations and management response

Recommendations and management responses

Recommendation 1: Roles and Responsibilities

The Senior Vice-President, Operations, should ensure that each field unit superintendent designates a lead manager for the compliance planning process and shares this list with the External Relations and Visitor Experience Directorate (ERVE) and the Protected Areas Establishment and Conservation Directorate (PAEC).

Management Response
Agree. The Senior Vice-President, Operations, will ensure that each field unit has a designated lead manager for the compliance planning process and will share a list of designated leads with the External Relations and Visitor Experience Directorate and the Protected Areas and Conservation Directorate.
Deliverable and timeline Responsible positions
1.1 Submit a list of designated lead managers for each field unit to the External Relations and Visitor Experience Directorate and the Protected Areas and Conservation Directorate. October 2021 Director, Business & Financial Services (BFS)

 

Recommendation 2: Roles and Responsibilities

The Vice-President, External Relations and Visitor Experience, should clearly define roles and responsibilities for the manager responsible for leading the Compliance Program within each field unit.

Management Response
Agree. The Vice-President, External Relations and Visitor Experience, will clearly define roles and responsibilities for the manager responsible for leading the Compliance Program within each field unit.
Deliverables and timeline Responsible position
2.1 Review the current roles and responsibilities for Compliance Program leads as detailed in the Compliance Guidelines (2018) Winter 2022 Director, Visitor Experience
2.2 Roles and responsibilities will be shared with each field unit through the designated lead managers identified. Spring 2023 Director, Visitor Experience

 

Recommendation 3: Program Implementation

The Vice-President, External Relations and Visitor Experience, in collaboration with the Senior Vice-President, Operations, should facilitate regular communication and information sharing with the field units.

Consideration should be given to the following:

  • Establishing regular National Office-led direct communication with all managers responsible for leading the Compliance Program; and
  • Encouraging the use and sharing of information on the Compliance Program (i.e., Confluence, Sharepoint).
Management Response
Agree. The Vice-President, External Relations and Visitor Experience, in collaboration with the Senior Vice-President, Operations, will facilitate regular communication and information sharing with the field units.
Deliverables and timeline Responsible position
3.1 Once the list of designated lead managers is provided to ERVE, the manager responsible for the compliance program will evaluate the communication path most suited to that group. Fall 2021 Director, Visitor Experience
3.2 A review of the Confluence pages will be done to find ways to increase use. Fall 2021 Director, Visitor Experience
3.3 The chosen approach for the facilitation of regular communication and information sharing will be implemented. Winter 2022 Director, Visitor Experience

 

Recommendation 4: Monitoring & Tracking

The Senior Vice-President, Operations, in collaboration with the Vice-President, Protected Areas Establishment and Conservation and the Vice-President, External Relations and Visitor Experience, should encourage field units to standardize monitoring and tracking systems.

Consideration should be given to:

  • The use of the Mobile Compliance Reporting application as a standard compliance reporting tool for all field units; and
  • Working with the Law Enforcement Branch to enable effective communication between the upcoming Mobile Law Enforcement application and the Mobile Compliance Reporting application.
Management Response
Agree. The Senior Vice-President, Operations, in collaboration with the Vice-President, Protected Areas Establishment and Conservation, and the Vice-President, External Relations and Visitor Experience, will explore tools available to support standardized monitoring and tracking systems.
Deliverables and timeline Responsible positions
4.1 Meet with PAEC and ERVE to assess potential options to support a standardized monitoring and tracking system that field units could incorporate in to operations. November 2022 Director Business & Financial Services (BFS)
4.2 Once a standardized monitoring and tracking system is identified, field-tested, and available for use across Parks Canada, Operations will work with ERVE and PAEC to encourage its consistent use and application in the field. August 2022 Director Business & Financial Services (BFS)

Appendices

Appendix A: Compliance Program logic model

Strategic outcome: Establish national parks and national marine areas; designate places, persons and events of national historic significance; protect and conserve natural and cultural heritage guided by science and Indigenous knowledge; provide opportunities to visit; experience and enjoy Canada's natural and cultural heritage; work with the public, other federal departments, provinces, territories, Indigenous Peoples; and stakeholders to carry out these responsibilities.

Activities Outputs Immediate Outcomes Intermediate Outcomes Departmental Outcome
National Office (ERVE)
  • Review and update Compliance Guidelines
  • Provide guidance on specific issues
  • Facilitate compliance planning workshops
  • Integrate compliance messaging into Quality Visitor Experience training for new staff

 Law Enforcement Branch

  • Participation in compliance planning workshops

 Field Units

  • Identify compliance issues, impacts and causes
  • Identify applicable PC Rules and Regulations (National Historical Parks General Regulations, National Parks Acts, etc.)
  • Develop prevention and response strategies, including field unit lead
National Office (ERVE)
  • Compliance Guidelines and associated templates
  • Compliance incident tracking system
  • Compliance Templates and Plans library

 

Law Enforcement Branch

  • Addresses compliance issues identified through planning process
  • Tracking of compliance actions Tracking compliance actions via databases

 

Field Units

  • Annual Priority Table outlining key issues at the field unit level
  • Integrated Compliance Plans at the field unit level
  • Prevention and/or response outputs (i.e., friendly reminders, formal notices, permit cancellations, secured wildlife attractants, messages on prevention, etc.)
  • Coordinated prevention and response strategies
  • Progress towards, or achievement of objectives identified in Compliance Plans
  • Alignment of compliance and law enforcement planning processes
  • Safe, legal and appropriate visitor behaviour at Parks Canada sites*
  • Safe and high-quality site user experiences*

*As stated in the Compliance Guidelines

Canada's natural and cultural heritage is protected for future generations**

People connect to and experience Canada's natural and cultural heritage in ways that are meaningful to them**

**As stated in the Departmental Results Framework

Appendix B: Online survey methodology

Survey design

The survey questions were both quantitative and qualitative, allowing respondents to answer some open-ended questions. Feedback on the questions was provided by program staff and the survey link was pretested internally to ensure no technical issues existed and that the question flow, skips, and categories were logical. The pretest confirmed that the length of the survey was appropriate and that the technical aspects of the survey were functional.

The survey was deployed on July 9, 2019. Three follow-up reminders were sent: July 23, July 30 and August 5, 2019. The closing date of the survey was August 6, 2019.

Of the 359 deployed, 144 surveys were completed, resulting in a response rate of 40%. An additional 38 surveys were started but not fully completed. The information from these surveys was included in the analysis where possible. The analysis has aggregated and disaggregated results by group (i.e., Compliance Lead, Park Warden, etc.) where appropriate.

In some cases, groups may have been combined in the reporting process where the numbers were too low to maintain anonymity. When presenting percentages, numbers are rounded up for simplicity. For open-ended questions, a qualitative analysis was conducted to identify themes.

Due to an incomplete list of Compliance Leads, Peoplesoft was used to supplement the sample. As this was done by searching on relevant position titles, the sample may have included inappropriate contacts for field units where no contacts were identified. More accurate responses were likely to be gathered from those field units that provided specific names for Compliance Leads and Compliance Support Staff positions.

Survey was sent to:

63 FUS/Site Managers

51 Park Wardens and

3 LEB Operations Managers

61 Compliance Leads (i.e., VE/RC Manager, Prevention Coordinator, etc.)

181 Other Compliance-related positions (i.e., Visitor Services Team Lead,, Visitor Experience Product Development Officer, Visitor Safety and Fire Operations Coordinator, etc.


Contact us

For more information or to obtain a copy of a document not available on-line, please send requests to:

Office of Internal Audit and Evaluation
Parks Canada
30 Victoria Street, 5th Floor (PC-05-F)
Gatineau, Quebec
J8X 0B3
oiae.bvie@pc.gc.ca