Measurement Canada’s strategic vision for 2021-2026

Measurement Canada's strategic vision for 2021-2026Footnote 1 identifies how we plan to expand and redefine our role in the Canadian marketplace.

The following four supporting pillars of our strategic vision outline the steps that we are committed to taking in order to effectively respond to the changing needs of the Canadian marketplace.

Our vision

To continue to excel as a world-class regulator that enables innovation and ensures a fair and competitive marketplace for Canadians.

Our pillars

1.0 Protecting Canadian consumers by ensuring the integrity and accuracy of trade measurement in Canada

Desired outcomes

  • Canada's legislative and regulatory framework for trade measurement is more adaptable, agile, and responsive to the needs of industry, businesses, and consumers
  • Our regulatory oversight is more responsive, effective and risk-based, and better protects the public interest

What we will do

  • Modernize the legislative and regulatory framework and risk-based oversight and enforcement models to ensure they are forward thinking, innovative and collaborative, sustain public trust and support improved consumer protection.
  • Focus our oversight and enforcement activities on a marketplace monitoring model as opposed to mandated inspections.
  • Use a risk-based approach for inspections and audits.
  • Continue to work with and provide oversight and guidance to authorized service providers.
  • Continue to recognize competent testing laboratories in Canada and around the world.
  • Develop programs to facilitate the introduction into the marketplace of innovative technologies used in trade while protecting consumers and the public interest.

1.1 Working on legislative and regulatory modernization

We're taking steps to put in place a more flexible legislative and regulatory framework for trade measurement which focusses on three themes:

  • reducing barriers to business,
  • protecting consumers, and
  • improving service delivery.

The aim is to put in place a more flexible framework that allow for the timely adoption of regulations within existing, new and emerging sectors.

The Weights and Measures Act and the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and their respective regulations require significant review and changes in order for us to become a more flexible regulator for all marketplace sectors where trade measurement occurs. The proposed approach to legislative changes will ensure we have increased flexibility to respond to new technologies in a timely manner and encourage innovation and progress. Stakeholders will be consulted as part of the government legislative process.

1.2 Moving to a risk-based oversight and enforcement model

In today's economy, it's more important than ever for us to move toward a risk-based model for monitoring, inspection and enforcement activities. We will develop a statistical model to help predict the probability of the occurrence of measurement inaccuracy. The model will help predict risk behaviour and allow us to plan effective interventions to reduce and control the risk of loss due to inaccurate measurement.

It has been shown that current mandatory inspections performed by Measurement Canada authorized service providers are helping to ensure compliance in some of Canada's marketplace sectors. We will review the sectors that are subject to mandatory inspections so that Measurement Canada resources and inspection personnel are used for marketplace monitoring and risk‑based inspections in sectors that have a lower level of compliance or in emerging trade sectors where consumers are vulnerable to measurement inaccuracies.

2.0 Increasing our visibility and Canadians' awareness of the importance of trade measurement accuracy for supply chains and consumers

Desired outcomes

  • Our presence and visibility in the Canadian marketplace and with the Canadian public has increased

What we will do

  • Equip our inspectors to increase our visibility.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive communications plan and stakeholder engagement strategy with the goal of increasing Canadians' understanding of the importance of trade measurement accuracy to ensure a fair and competitive marketplace.

2.1 Increasing our visibility

We protect consumers and businesses and help to promote economic growth by verifying the accuracy of the devices and systems used in the purchase and sale of measured goods throughout various supply chains. We work to ensure measurement accuracy in trade measurement transactions, from wholesale through to retail transactions.

Currently, there is low awareness among the general public and many Canadian businesses of our mandate. We're working toward increasing our visibility, while informing the public of the importance of trade measurement accuracy for Canadian supply chains and consumers.

3.0 Increasing our digital capabilities

Desired outcomes

  • The digital infrastructure that we require to be an effective regulator in the digital economy is in place.
  • Our employees have the necessary digital tools to modernize our services and use digital-centric approaches for client and stakeholder engagement.
  • Our laws and regulations governing trade measurement have been modernized and allow us to be more adaptive and responsive as new business models involving trade measurement and digital measurement technologies emerge.

What we will do

  • Continue to consolidate and modernize outdated data systems and introduce new ones.
  • Provide inspectors and authorized service providers with the tools and resources they need to ensure the integrity of data.
  • Continue to convert all paper processes to digital ones.
  • Provide laboratory personnel, inspectors and auditors with new technologies to modernize their work and client interactions.

3.1 Putting a modern digital data architecture in place to proactively intervene in the marketplace

A major part of our modernization plan is to replace our legacy applications used to report type-approval testing and inspection results with a modern digital architecture. With a new digital data architecture in place, we'll be able to analyze and use the data collected by our laboratories, our inspectors and authorized service providers to proactively intervene in the marketplace.

This is a crucial part of adopting a risk-based model, where a modern digital data architecture allows for analysis of compliance trends and risk indicators.

3.2 Investing in new tools and technologies to transform the way that we provide our services

To continue to excel as a world-class regulator, we will invest in emerging digital tools and technology to make our employees as capable and efficient as possible.

Effective databases are crucial to our success as a risk-based regulator. We will be able to track and analyze data effectively in the weights and measures, energy and authorized service provider programs. We'll also begin to use digital tools and new laboratory equipment to upload data in real time.

4.0 Investing in our organization, including building and advancing a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace

Desired outcomes

  • Our workforce, workplace, programs and services are inclusive, accessible and representative of the Canadians we serve.
  • Industry-specific knowledge is passed down to the next generation as experienced employees depart.
  • Our organization's knowledge has been expanded beyond our traditional realm of expertise.
  • Expanded training programs and increased resources allow our staff to keep pace with emerging technologies.
  • Continued cooperation with other government departments and the international trade measurement community.

What we will do

  • Increase the diversity of our workforce and the inclusiveness and accessibility of our workplace, policies, programs and service delivery.
  • Continue to facilitate knowledge transfer to maintain and improve the technical expertise of new employees.
  • Continue to pursue a mentorship program that partners new employees with experienced ones.
  • Recruit staff with a wider range of knowledge and skills in the fields of economics, digital literacy, computer science and risk analysis.
  • Continue to revamp our training program to make it more effective and accessible to our employees and authorized service providers across the country.
  • Continue to participate in joint working groups and committees within the public service and the international trade measurement community.

4.1 Focussing on equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility

To continue to excel as a world-class regulator we will continue to focus our efforts on building a workforce that is inclusive and representative of the Canadian population, and on removing barriers for underrepresented groups both within Measurement Canada and our client population.

We will achieve this through the recruitment, representation and retention of individuals from diverse backgrounds. We are also committed to providing a workplace that is bilingual, anti-racist, free of harassment, accessible, safe and healthy. Our workplace will also support inclusive approaches to program and service delivery and client interactions, and will ensure a barrier-free access to programs and services for all.

4.2 Focussing on increased expertise and a culture of knowledge transfer

It's essential that government agencies that rely on specialized expertise find ways to retain skills and knowledge within the organization.

We're aware of this challenge, and will implement formal mentorship programs that match experienced employees with new or less experienced ones. Ensuring that this expert knowledge is passed on through a working relationship is key to our future success as a regulator and for employee growth and retention.

Traditionally, our focus has always been on the technical expertise that we provide; however, in order to continue to excel as a world-class regulator and innovation enabler, we must increase the range of skill sets to other fields such as economics, digital literacy, computer science and risk analysis to guide our modernization plan.

4.3 Modernizing our training program

Our training program will help us to continue to excel as a world-class regulator and innovation enabler.

With an established team of instructors, we'll be able to offer our employees and our authorized service providers regular and consistent training to ensure they have the necessary skill sets to accomplish their work.

We are also taking steps to ensure that in the short-term we have a plan in place to deal with positions that become unexpectedly vacant, particularly ones that require technical expertise and experience. We'll ensure that we have additional designated employees with the required skills and experience to prevent any delays or reductions in service delivery.

4.4 Working with our partners to provide the best service possible

We are currently active in various working groups to increase our presence in the international legal metrology community, as well as to contribute to the development of harmonized standards and requirements.

We must continue to strengthen our relationship with other government departments and organizations involved in the Canadian and international quality infrastructure. Our work with organizations such as the Competition Bureau, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada, the Canadian Grain Commission and the National Research Council of Canada is key to developing a coordinated consumer protection approach for Canadians. We will also continue our work with the international legal metrology community to align requirements with our trading partners and employ a collaborative approach to reducing barriers to the timely introduction of new measurement technologies.

Finally, we will continue to be actively involved in trade sector consultations regarding the regulation of emerging technologies to ensure continued measurement accuracy in the Canadian marketplace.