2023-2028 Business Strategy
Priority 3

Priority 3: Be a high-performing organization that is built for the future

On this page

Defining success

  • CIPO employees are healthy, engaged, connected and productive.
  • CIPO's workforce is inclusive, diverse and representative of the Canadians we serve.
  • Management excellence and good governance will create a sustainable position to meet client needs, now and into the future.

What we will do

Establish a modern and healthy workplace

  • Establish a positive and productive workplace culture that fosters diversity, inclusion and mental health.
  • Transition to a hybrid work model that promotes the best of on-site and remote work arrangements.
  • Create a modern and accessible workspace that provides employees the resources to work effectively and collaboratively.

Recruit and develop a diverse and skilled workforce

  • Establish a talent management framework to foster recruitment, engagement, development and succession planning by 2023.
  • Promote equitable HR practices for diversity and inclusion with a focus on recruitment and leadership development.
  • Recruit the people and identify and develop the skills and competencies needed to succeed now and in the future.
  • Foster a bilingual workforce and workplace.

Pursue management excellence

  • Review CIPO's fee structure to ensure long-term financial sustainability.
  • Maintain executive oversight and good governance of CIPO's IT modernization initiative.
  • Institute a data governance structure to ensure sound stewardship of CIPO's data holdings.
  • Modernize CIPO's financial systems.

The overall IP ecosystem proved to be resilient throughout the global pandemic, and many lessons were learned along the way to build back even better. Overnight, the majority of CIPO employees began working from home, and in a matter of months, we made significant digital transformations to our operations, without interruption to service. The necessity of finding solutions laid the groundwork for the CIPO of the future: a modern office that is fully digitally enabled and fosters innovation and success for Canadians. Continuing the shift requires investments in people, IT systems and the workplace as well as the evolution of policies to enable digital transformation. It will also require CIPO to be a more agile and effective organization and to establish more diverse and inclusive HR practices.

Establish a modern and healthy workplace

CIPO takes pride in providing an environment that encourages work–life balance and has long offered telework or alternative work arrangements when operational requirements allow. In defining its "workplace of the future", CIPO will favour best practices and leverage opportunities to build back better. CIPO will adopt a hybrid work model that balances employee preferences with operational needs and support this new model with the necessary tools and an office design that promotes a healthy, collaborative and connected work environment.

The link between employee well-being, engagement and productivity is well established. Employees who work in a healthy work environment are not only happier but also more engaged, productive and committed to their organization. CIPO strives to create a healthy, positive and productive work environment and a culture that is respectful and conducive to the mental health of its employees at all levels. We are committed to equipping managers and employees with the knowledge and critical resources to talk about mental health and provide the support they need. We spend a good portion of our working lives in the workplace, so it is important to our well-being that our work experiences be positive ones.

Recruit and develop a diverse and skilled workforce

Diversity is one of Canada's greatest strengths and at CIPO, we are taking a deliberate approach to building a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization. Having a diverse workforce promotes innovation by bringing multiple perspectives to the table and positively impacts job satisfaction. CIPO will focus on creating an accessible workplace and increasing the representation of people with disabilities, Indigenous peoples and visible minorities. By prioritizing diversity and inclusion, developing equitable HR plans and embracing learning and cultural awareness, we are setting the foundation for change. This will ensure that we are not only recruiting talented people with diverse backgrounds but also developing them so we may be confident that our progress is enduring and result in a workforce that is representative of the Canadians we serve.

The changing IP landscape is altering our resourcing needs, requiring new skills to deal with new innovations, tools and technology. We must understand the impacts of these changes on our workforce and proactively plan to meet the opportunities they present. That is why it is important that CIPO continues to identify the emerging skills, competencies and attributes our employees need to succeed now and in the future and addresses any gap in skills through recruitment, ongoing learning and continuous development. CIPO will expand training and development opportunities that will ensure all employees have the knowledge, resources and tools, they need to reach their full potential and provide clients the best possible service. Our overall approach to recruitment and development will be strategic and proactive and ensure we can continue to thrive in a rapidly changing environment.

CIPO is proud to be part of Innovation Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada. For its efforts on employee recognition, supporting mental health and talent development programs, ISED is recognized as one of Canada's top 100 employers and one of the National Capital Region's top employers. The department is also viewed as one of Canada's best diversity employers with programs aimed at emphasizing equal participation of women in the Canadian economy, Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus) and the provision of meaningful employment opportunities for persons with intellectual disabilities.

Pursue management excellence

Success in the intangible economy is becoming increasingly important and an efficient and agile IP administrative system will be integral to supporting innovation in Canada. As a special operating agency of ISED, CIPO's operations are financed entirely by revenues from our clients. It is vital that we continue to be a well managed and efficient organization that demonstrates sound governance and financial stewardship. To support our continued modernization efforts to improve client service, CIPO will undertake a review of its fees and governance structure to assure the organization is positioned to meet the needs of Canadians now and into the future.

CIPO maintains many established and productive stakeholder relationships, including through formal consultations, regular and ad hoc meetings, working groups and bilateral engagement with partners from across the IP ecosystem. Building on these relationships, CIPO will establish a forum to discuss and share input on topics relating to CIPO's programs and operational policy direction. This forum will include representatives from leading IP associations, business groups and academia with a view to supporting greater efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of CIPO's mandate.

CIPO – After the pandemic

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, CIPO was faced with many challenges as we continued to deliver on our core mandate of providing IP rights and services. Learning from the experience, CIPO looks to seize the opportunity to evolve and even thrive in the aftermath. Fortunate to have a well-established teleworking capability, CIPO deployed the majority of its workforce remotely. Feedback has been positive, and CIPO looks to leverage hybrid work arrangements in a way that serves both employee and operational needs.

The shift to telework also brought significant technological transformations, resulting in different ways of organizing our work and offering services that will have long-lasting positive effects. More than ever, clients expect to be able to transact online, accelerating the transition to digital self-service. CIPO must continue to meet client expectations in this regard, by expanding its electronic filing and IP issuance services.

Collaboration with domestic stakeholders and international IP offices increased considerably during the pandemic, strengthening the resolve of all involved. Moving forward, we will continue to grow these relationships to learn from each others' experiences and share best practices. By focusing on our core mandate, embracing digital transformation and connecting with employees, clients and stakeholders, CIPO is equipping itself to be successful now and into the future.