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Integrated Agency Inspection Model – Consultation Draft (December 4, 2013)

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Canada has one of the best food, animal and plant inspection systems in the world. With pressures from increased globalization and advances in science and technology, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is modernizing its approach to inspection to maintain a robust approach to human, animal and plant health and consumer protection. The move towards a more preventative and systems-based approach under the integrated Agency Inspection Model enables both the CFIA and regulated parties to more readily adapt to emerging risks and global and scientific trends. Canadians will continue to be protected by an effective system that is both science and risk-based.

The improved food inspection model (iFIM) will become the integrated agency inspection model (iAIM).

The improved food inspection model, finalized June 2013, provides the foundation for the incorporation and integration of the animal and plant commodity inspection programs. The improved food inspection model has been revised to create this Draft integrated Agency Inspection Model. All of the requirements, activities and actions described herein were developed to promote the preparation, importation and exportation of commodities that are safe and healthy and in compliance with federal legislation in Canada.

Animal and plant commodity activities (fertilizer, seed, plant health, feed and animal health) have been incorporated to fully align the strategic outcomes for all CFIA inspection work. This has involved expanding the context of a commodity beyond just food. Broader language has been employed to reflect the full Agency mandate.

Four key areas have been adjusted:

The glossary of terms has been revised, it is a good starting point to promote better understanding.

The model represents the CFIA's vision and its approach to regulatory inspection. The integrated Agency Inspection Model is not a stand-alone initiative. For example, the CFIA is currently redesigning those business functions that are necessary to support the core components of the model, as they relate to Permissions, CFIA Oversight, Inspection, Regulatory Response, and System Performance.

Figure 1 identifies the CFIA functions and the model components.

Figure 1 – CFIA Functions and the model components. Description follows.
Figure 1 – CFIA Functions and the model components

The image illustrates the framework of the draft integrated agency inspection model. The image is composed of a pentagon with a number of circles around it, all above a horizontal and rectangular base divided into separate boxes.

  • The pentagon comprises five equal, pie-shaped wedges that represent five key components of the draft inspection model.
  • At the center of the pentagon are two boxes that represent the types of inspector that would be required to deliver the new model.
  • The nine circles around the pentagon represent the various business areas and the business functions of each area that would be required to deliver the new model.
  • The base represents nine components of a foundation that would be required to deliver the new model.


The pentagon's five pieces read as follows (from top right going clockwise):

  • CFIA oversight
  • Permissions
  • Inspection
  • Regulatory Response
  • System performance

The two boxes at the center of the pentagon are titled "Inspectors" on the left and "System Assessment Officers" on the right.


The nine circles that represent agency business areas and that are placed around the pentagon read as follows (starting top right, going clockwise).

  1. Risk assessment
  2. Program management
  3. Licensing
  4. Field operations
  5. Exports
  6. Imports
  7. Control and compliance
  8. Enforcement
  9. Redress of complaints and appeals


The horizontal and rectangular base across the bottom consists of six boxes that read, from left to right:

  1. Human resources (framework)
  2. Organizational design
  3. Training
  4. Culture and integrity
  5. Communication, stakeholder engagement and transparency
  6. Information management and technology
  7. Legislative and regulatory framework
  8. Business architecture
  9. System performance management

Since 2013 and continuing in the years thereafter, the CFIA will be phasing the model into operation. More information about implementation and the phased-in approach for the model and proposed commodity regulations will be provided to stakeholders.

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