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CFIA leadership competency dictionary
Price of admission competencies for all employees

Service orientation

Focuses one's efforts on discovering and meeting the client's needs, while balancing CFIA's key business and strategic priorities. Acts with the stakeholder's needs in mind by establishing rapport with the other party. Puts oneself into the mindset of the stakeholder to facilitate delivery of solutions that meet their underlying needs.

Illustrative behavioural indicators:

  • Develops means to better reach out to clients and partner organizations involved in food safety, animal health or plant protection to stimulate an exchange of information and keep them and CFIA "in the know".
  • Encourages modification to existing CFIA policies, programs and services to ensure that they remain relevant and responsive to client needs.
  • Ensures that employees consult with various clients to discuss their ideas and proposals.
  • Communicates feedback from clients with front line staff.
  • Ensures that client service becomes the focus of attention in operational planning.
  • Fine tunes the CFIA's approach, as appropriate, based on clients' needs and feedback.
  • Fosters an atmosphere of trust and support with clients by providing high-quality service.
  • Fosters in others the ability to take a long-term perspective in addressing client's business problems.
  • Continually seeks information from multiple sources about client underlying or future needs.
  • Seeks out a deeper understanding/more customized solution for the client, develops understanding of the possibilities, potentials and risks of their business and identifies the internal or external sources or partners able to address them.
  • Thinks and acts with the client in mind, refers them to other business units or CFIA partners to provide solutions when required.
  • Shows a genuine interest in 'connecting' with the client, to know more about them in order to enhance the relationship and provide better service.
  • Understands the value chain and capitalize on where CFIA can add value to its clients.
  • Collaborates with others within CFIA business lines to provide the best service for the client, without regard for personal or team credit.
  • Defines value of service from the point of view of the client.
  • Regularly follows up with clients in a timely fashion.
  • Listens carefully to clients to understand their needs and requirements.
  • Keeps clients informed, provides useful advice, information and expertise.

Values and ethics

Creates and promotes a culture of integrity, transparency, fairness and respect. Acts and behaves consistently with personal integrity as well as concern for and sensitivity to fundamental values of the organization and the Public Service. Makes sound ethical judgment in an ethically complex work environment and in the face of pressures and constraints. Addresses infractions to underlying principles of Values and Ethics to sustain and enhance the ethical culture of the organization.

Illustrative behavioural indicators:

  • Demonstrates integrity and respect in interactions with others.
  • Builds and promotes a bilingual, diverse and inclusive organization, free from harassment and discrimination.
  • Shows commitment to citizen-focused service and the public good.
  • Makes decisions in an impartial manner.
  • Acts with transparency and fairness in all dealings.
  • Keeps promises and commitments made to others.
  • Shows basic awareness of and concern for fundamental values and goals of CFIA and the Public Service as a whole.
  • Seeks guidance on details and special fields of workplace norms (Conflict of Interest etc.) and grasps the rationales behind them.
  • Takes responsibility for one's own actions and for own mistakes once cognizant of them.
  • Learns from ethical failure and from ethically successful initiatives of others.
  • Seeks full understanding of facts and interests of all concerned when confronting ethical issues and dilemmas.
  • Dialogues constructively and transparently.
  • Depicts a thorough understanding of the relevance of fundamental values of the Agency (through key documents, organizational missions and mandates, etc.) to everyday work and consistently attempts to apply them.
  • Acts in support of an open and safe workplace atmosphere in which individuals feel encouraged to safely raise, discuss and address ethical issues.
  • Openly acknowledges own errors of judgment without being prompted by others.
  • Recognizes workplace practices and conventions that diverge from espoused ideal norms of the workplace; questions and challenges the discrepancies.
  • Practices and fosters in others ongoing, creative inquiry into the practical meaning of fundamental values of the Agency and the Public Service.
  • Models ethically exemplary conduct in proportion to one's formal rank of authority; holds oneself to a higher standard than one's subordinates.
  • Promotes dialogue on relevance of ethics and values to daily issues and relevance of daily issues to the public good and food safety, animal health or plant protection.
  • Coaches ethical judgment in others.
  • Gives regular feedback to subordinates on ethical conduct and seeks regular feedback on own conduct.
  • Widely communicates nature and importance of own ethical perspective on work.


Promotes across CFIA the safeguarding and using of all Agency resources, including human, financial, scientific data and other information and material resources effectively and economically by ensuring decisions and operations are either standardized and/or are implemented in compliance with applicable policies, procedures, standards and regulations.

Illustrative behavioural indicators:

  • Appropriately maintains CFIA property and assets (e.g., office equipment, budgets, information databases, etc.).
  • Identifies wasteful practices, or opportunities for greater efficiencies.
  • Monitors the use of CFIA resources or assets by employees, suppliers, or clients.
  • Takes responsibility for the careful use and protection of assets and information under one's control.
  • Ensures compliance with legislation, policies, and practices applicable to the appropriate and effective use of resources.
  • Ensures that there is an adequate internal control system over CFIA assets, liabilities, revenues and expenditures.
  • Establishes and aligns authority, responsibility and accountability with CFIA objectives.
  • Ensures processes and infrastructure are developed and in place to provide managers with integrated financial and non-financial performance information, a mature approach to risk management, appropriate control systems, and a shared set of values and ethics.
  • Builds public confidence in the effectiveness and integrity of the systems and information used to administer programs.


Works co-operatively with others. Fosters respectful, mutual understanding and rapport with others. Contributes to the success of the team by being helpful to others, willingly doing his or her share of the work, and contributing to team activities.

Illustrative behavioural indicators:

  • Cooperates with others.
  • Actively supports team decisions.
  • Is a good and willing team player: accepts doing his or her share of the work.
  • Shows sensitivity to the views of team members.
  • Works co-operatively with colleagues and others.
  • Shares all relevant or useful information, knowledge and experience which might help the team to work effectively.
  • Works harmoniously with others; is responsive to team requests.
  • Keeps relevant people informed about the status of ongoing work.
  • Expresses positive attitudes and expectations of others in terms of their abilities and contributions to team projects, etc.
  • Speaks of team members in positive terms.
  • Expresses opinions and disagreement with tact and diplomacy.
  • Genuinely values others' input and expertise; wants all members of a group to contribute to a process.
  • Displays willingness to learn from others, including subordinates and peers.
  • Encourages and supports others to express diverse views and make effective contribution to the team.
  • Works productively with a broad range of individuals and treats their ideas and opinions with respect.
  • Seeks and accepts feedback openly about his or her contribution to team activities or projects.
  • Develops complete solutions by listening to, and including other's point of view.
  • Shares the credit and recognition for successful projects and solutions with other team members.
  • Encourages and supports team members to express diverse views and makes effective contribution to the team, making them feel valuable and important.
  • Acts to promote a friendly team climate regardless of personal likes or dislikes.
  • Builds good morale or cooperation within the team to build cohesiveness.
  • Promotes open communication and positive resolution of team conflict.
  • Assists work groups to achieve consensual solutions.
  • Achieves team objectives through interpersonal skills, by finding common grounds and handling delicate interpersonal disagreements effectively.
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