Safety and Security 2019-20 Integrated National Oversight Plan

Table of contents


As outlined in the Departmental Result Framework, the Safety and Security Group has two key mandates:

  • oversight, and
  • regulatory frameworks

The National Oversight Plan gives an overview of the plans and operational context for the oversight business line.

Executive summary

The Integrated National Oversight Plan explains the external and internal factors that affect Transport Canada’s safety and security programs.

Transportation manufacturers, carriers and other regulated entities are responsible for maintaining a safe and secure transportation system through their assets, infrastructure, operations, and training. The Safety and Security Group works to help keep the risks to the Canadian transportation system low. For this reason, operational plans are based on the risk analysis conducted by each Program and included in their planning environment documents. These are then added to the Safety and Security Group’s Risk Register.

Our programs oversee the transportation system in many different ways, including:

  • issuing certificates and licenses to people, organizations or for equipment
  • inspecting and auditing transportation carriers
  • enforcing legislation and regulations
  • running education and outreach programs for key stakeholders and the public

Meanwhile, a rapidly changing world is challenging our ability to deliver on Transport Canada’s safety and security goals. These challenges include:

  • the speed of technological, economic and social change
  • the human factors that contribute to accidents
  • active security threats, including cyber threats
  • the growth of e-commerce, and
  • the public’s expectation that we immediately respond to recommendations from outside bodies, like the Transportation Safety Board

Long-term challenges include:

  • the anticipated global air traffic growth of 4.6% per year in the next 20 yearsFootnote 1
  • new or improved designs, fuel efficiency, aerodynamics and manufacturing technology for aeronautical product changes in volumes of rail freight traffic
  • cyber threats that require our security programs to constantly adjust based on new intelligence and information from our national and international partners

We’re addressing these challenges by:

  • working with domestic and international experts on research
  • improving the department’s digital roadmap
  • leveraging Enterprise Business Intelligence through pilot projects
  • testing artificial intelligence for air cargo security screening
  • using behavioral science to understand the human factors that lead to accidents
  • working with Public Safety Canada on their government-wide approach to protecting critical cyber systems

In addition to these challenges, the government’s agenda includes key priorities, namely:

  • improving safety and security outcomes
  • supporting economic growth and environmental sustainability
  • engaging with Indigenous peoples

Oversight design and delivery is also changing. Cross-modal initiatives include:

  • improving our investigative capacity by centralizing multimodal investigations in Regional Enforcement Units that report functionally to the Centre of Enforcement Expertise
  • supporting the Open Government Agenda by moving towards a “digital and open-by-default” approach
  • using an integrated approach to address some important gaps in occupational health and safety, especially for inspectors

Our programs are using new digital applications or improving existing ones, partnering with private groups in order to reach out to the public, and using new technologies to conduct oversight (e.g. drone to help with inspection activities).

Our oversight levels in 2019-20 are consistent with previous years.

Operating context

In 2019-20 there were few changes to the operating context for most of our programs. Many of our operating environments remained stable, although some faced a transition or outside threats.

Air transportation

Airbus’ 20-year forecast indicates that traffic will grow at an average annual rate of 4.6% over the next 20 years. Along with passenger growth, technology will continue to change quickly. By 2036, around 94% of the commercial aircraft fleet will include new technology. This will put pressure on our civil aviation program as demands for technical expertise and certification grow.

We have improved our aviation safety certification program to meet the needs of industry and keep Canada’s aerospace sector competitive. We’re also working with the international aviation community to strengthen Canada’s influence and regulatory expertise on an international level.

The aviation sector is a key security target, and intelligence has shown that the overall threat to Canada is roughly the same as in previous years. Regulations and security measures are in place to make sure that Canada’s civil aviation system is protected from attacks, and an oversight program exists to make sure that companies follow regulations.

Aviation Security also works with domestic and international partners to identify risks, share information, and improve our civil aviation system using a risk-based approach. This work recently included developing and deploying new technologies that can help personalize the air travel experience, while maintaining security.

We are still developing the foreign inspection program to assess aerodromes that are considered “last points of departure” for flights to Canada. The Air Cargo Security Program has also expanded to reflect updated regulations. These changes have expanded the stakeholder base and require us to assign our resources efficiently and effectively.

Marine transportation

As a trading nation, Canada relies on marine transportation to support sustainable economic growth. Around 90% of worldwide trade is transported by sea, such as container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers, chemical tankers, reefer ships, general cargo ships and other specialized ships (See

Overseeing marine safety and security is complex. We address regulatory requirements that relate to climate change and clean air, protecting oceans and waterways, and marine safety and security. The government’s environmental agenda has also expanded our oversight activities. Recruiting and retaining marine technical experts is still challenging, and makes it hard to maintain a full team of inspectors.

Rail transportation

A few quick figures on Canada’s rail system:

  • In 2018, Canada’s railways transported 88.1 million passengersFootnote 2
  • In 2018, around 341.7 million tonnes of rail freight was carried, a 5.0% decrease from 2017.

The railway industry is renewing its workforce. This has created an opportunity for culture change, but can also increase risks due to the limited experience of new staff. New technologies continue to be introduced, while a growing mix of goods (especially dangerous goods) are being transported by rail.

We’re responding to these changes by improving how we identify and analyze risks, getting new and better equipment to inspect tracks, and creating ongoing training for inspectors.

Road transportation

There are around 25 million registered motor vehicles in Canada. Of these, 22.7 million are light passenger vehicles which are driven roughly 16,000 km every year. There are high social and economic costs for the sector - about 1,900 people lost their lives on Canadian roads. Another 160,000 were injured by accidents.Footnote 3,Footnote 4

New technologies and safety features are making vehicles more automated, connected and integrated with the wider transportation system. Technologies like automated and connected vehicles create opportunities for improved road safety. At the same time, these advances present new security and privacy considerations.

While we’re adapting our oversight regime, we will continue to work with internal and external partners to support the development and use of guidance, temporary instruments, and best practices that will help pave the way for a flexible regulatory regime that keeps pace with new technology. This will also help position Canada as an attractive place for companies to test and roll-out their technology, while making sure that Canadians feel safe on the roads.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods

The Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) is another key piece of our safety and security regime. There are 22,993Footnote 5 known commercial dangerous good sites in CanadaFootnote 6 that handle, offer for transport, transport, or import dangerous goods. There are also 2,442 registered Means of Containment facilities in CanadaFootnote 7, and abroad.

Our Transportation of Dangerous Goods Program is continuing its inventory of dangerous goods sites. Our Client Identification Database, to be launched by 2022, will further strengthen our approach.

Lack of awareness of regulatory requirements and insufficient training pertaining to regulatory requirements on the part of industry is a risk driver. If industry doesn't comply with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, then our work to reduce the number and severity of incidents could be jeopardised.

In response, our Transportation of Dangerous Goods Directorate has increased the frequency of risk-based inspections, which are partially based on the inspection history of the site or facility. Our follow-up process for non-compliant businesses is now more intense.

Program design and program delivery context

Over the past five years, the Safety and Security Group has become more integrated. We’ve made significant progress in explaining our:

  • risk analysis
  • oversight findings, and
  • actions when companies don’t comply with rules or we find safety/security issues

This integration has been possible through the creation of groups like:

  • Departmental Regulatory Affairs
  • Strategic Planning and Policy Integration
  • The Centre of Enforcement Expertise
  • Multimodal Integrated Technical Training

These multimodal groups provide a variety of guidance to programs. They also provide services like:

  • cost-benefit analysis for new regulations
  • investigation services and advice on enforcement actions, and
  • multimodal and modal technical training

In order to strengthen our ability to conduct administrative and penal investigations, Transport Canada’s Executive Committee (TMX) asked the Centre of Enforcement Expertise to set up five Regional Multimodal Enforcement Units. These units are made up of trained investigators who serve all modes, and will be responsible for all evidence-based investigations, when required, such as prior to imposing fines or laying charges. This is a major change and the Centre of Enforcement Expertise has been working with all areas of the department (both in headquarters and the regions) to make this change possible.

Open Government is another area where Safety and Security Programs are looking to better integrate. A taskforce of subject matter experts from each mode, along with other internal partners, have developed a three-phase approach to improve the public’s access to oversight-related information and data. This plan is already in motion and several priorities were completed in order for key documents to be published in the first quarter of 2019-20 (See Annex 2)

We recognize that this approach requires a culture change so that “digital and open by default” becomes our “new normal” when developing documentation and managing data and information. This is why the Transformation Office, Open Government Office, Communications and Strategic Planning and Policy Integration are partnering to make this change easier.

The Multimodal and Road Safety Programs Directorate is playing a leadership role to achieve greater consistency and coherence within the Safety and Security Group’s occupational health and safety. They have developed a comprehensive roadmap and implementation plan that address gaps in governance, task hazard identification and analysis, personal protective equipment and clothing, and awareness and training.

While this is a multi-year project, some key steps include establishing a Project Management Office, developing Occupation Health Safety policies and directives, and ensuring Occupational Health and Safety initiatives respond to specific priorities (e.g. defensive driving, working alone, working in remote areas and confined spaces).

Our safety and security programs have made many changes this year. Some are organizational while others are related directly to how we oversee the transportation sector.

Civil Aviation

  • Continues to implement recommendations to develop a more strategic approach to quality assurance, additional inspector training, and better tools for inspectors.
  • Introduced efficient and effective surveillance tools and methods that balance system and process level oversight. These changes allow for a more nimble and focused approach while ensuring consistent surveillance application throughout the system.
  • Improved the Aviation Safety Certification team’s ability to meet industry service demands.
  • Engaged with the international aviation community to strengthen Canada’s influence and regulatory expertise on the international stage.
  • Acted on Transportation Safety Board recommendations as required. These recommendations helped us modernize our oversight regime through the new Surveillance Program initiative.
    • Any risks identified by Transportation Safety Board recommendations can inform how Civil Aviation’s planned surveillance regime is delivered within a given year.
    • Transportation Safety Board recommendations are also integrated into reactive surveillance through targeted inspections.

Marine Safety and Security

  • Improved their planning and reporting system by developing an online tool for oversight activities called the Collaborative On-Line Reporting of Activities Ledger (CORAL).
  • Enhanced their engagement with provincial counterparts and representatives from the fishing sector to reduce risks and encourage a culture change in the fishing industry.
  • Improved the availability of suitable marine training in the North, in collaboration with other departments, particularly the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard.
  • Modernized the cost recovery regime to better respond to industry demands.
  • Established sustainable funding for Transport Canada’s services by implementing cost recovery for 12 business lines over the next five years.
  • Enhanced the ability of Marine Security Operations Centres to contribute to national security objectives by improving the current and future operational and technical abilities and marine domain awareness with domestic and international partners.
  • Continued to manage safety risks to the marine transportation system. Within these risks, commercial fishing safety, safety management and fatigue management are issues of particular concern.

Rail Safety

  • Focused on implementing the recommendations from the Rail Safety Act Review, responding to the Transportation Safety Board Watchlist and recommendations (fatigue management, railway employee qualification and training standards and implementing the regulations for the Transportation Modernization Act).
  • The program continues to monitor growth in oil by rail and is working with the Canada Energy Regulator and Transportation and Economic Analysis to obtain specific information on routes where it is transported.

Motor Vehicle Safety

  • Enhanced domestic and international engagement to promote the development of nationally and globally consistent safety requirements for emerging vehicle technologies. Key partners engaged include the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Global Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (where Canada currently co-chairs a working group on the safety validation methods for connected and automated vehicle technologies).
  • Maintained web access and a hotline for companies and individuals, which will support investigation and identification of potential safety recalls and support the safe importation of vehicles through the Registrar of Imported Vehicles and Canada Border Services Agency.
  • Evaluated stakeholder requests for temporary exemptions from safety standards if the dispensation supports safety features or new technology.
  • The next key deliverables of program improvement are being developed, including an Administrative Monetary Penalty program and an Information Integration and Analysis unit to encourage compliance and identify potential safety defects as early as possible. Both programs require the creation of policies, procedures, regulations, and data management, all of which will take place over a few years in cooperation with others.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG)

  • Researched how to monitor dangerous good shipments and analyzed trends.
  • Developed information sharing agreements between the federal and provincial/territorial governments and other groups within the department (e.g. Economic Analysis) which are improving the group’s ability to collect data and monitor the movement of dangerous goods.
  • Completed site visits as part of its National Oversight Plan and has analysts in the regions updating their knowledge of dangerous goods sites.
  • Used open source data and partnerships to improve their knowledge of dangerous goods sites and their location
  • Carried-out risk-based inspections of known dangerous goods sites in remote communities as part of their National Oversight Plan.
    • This plan is informed by TDG’s Risk Score Calculator and is contained in TDG’s Inspection Prioritization Framework

Aviation Security

  • Strengthened the Air Cargo Security program by improving regulations for mail and all cargo flights. They also improved security for these flights by adding canine screening.
  • Improved their planning and reporting abilities by using tablets which were introduced in 2018-2019. The Transportation Security Information System will also be moving online.
  • Planned to report on five international oversight activities:
    • Airport Assessments
    • Air Carrier Assessments
    • Foreign Air Operator Certificates
    • Capacity Building Missions
    • The Universal Security Audit Program’s Continuous Monitoring Approach (USAP-CMA) Audits

Intermodal Surface Security and Emergency Preparedness

  • Moved to a regulatory framework as the new Transportation of Dangerous Goods by Rail Security Regulations came into effect in early 2019.
  • Developed an oversight program which took effect on April 1, 2019. The program was developed to go along with the new TDG Security Regulations.
  • Worked under a Memorandum of Understanding on Railway Security while Intermodal Surface Security and Emergency Preparedness is developing and launching new regulatory programs.

Innovation in oversight delivery

Safety and Security Programs have highlighted innovations in oversight delivery as part of the overall transformation agenda. Some of these innovations have focused on improving planning and reporting systems, while others have focused on making organizational changes to strengthen their business processes.

Civil Aviation

  • The group will improve its risk-based oversight capabilities by prioritizing surveillance. They will use a new method to assign resources based on risk profiles.
  • They are strengthening their risk profiles to include not only the risks that are part of the organization’s operations, but also the safety performance of the organization and the results of previous oversight activities.

Marine Safety and Security

  • The group is improving National Oversight Plan reporting tools, and working with the Digital Services Directorate to make oversight data readily available in real time.
  • They are working with Arctic partners and using the expertise of Indigenous Peoples to be part of Transport Canada’s oversight delivery. An example is the Inuit Marine Monitors Program.
  • They are using drones to help with inspection activities and to monitor heavy traffic shipping lanes to assess and find the source of oil spills.
  • They are changing the Marine Personnel Documentation Issuance System so that seafarers can apply online for their Small Vessel Operator Certificate of Competency. This could generate efficiencies and costs savings for Transport Canada and stakeholders.

Rail Safety

  • Randomly selects some equipment to inspect. Random selections helps us make sure that items chosen for inspection are an adequate sample.
  • Is expanding inspections to include railway companies’ paper work and processes.
  • Is also introducing targeted audits as part of risk control actions available to address systemic issues.
  • Is using new mapping software to identify high risk sites or subdivisions and to allow the public to identify grade crossings at their location.

Motor Vehicle Safety

  • The group is working with Treasury Board and Amazon to improve recall completion rates, which it monitors as part of its oversight duties. The Alexa personal digital assistant is linked with the vehicle recall database so users can check if their vehicle is affected by a recall. Amazon created a web-application to support this service, which could increase completion rates and improve safety.
  • The Motor Vehicle Safety Oversight Program is developing a new authority to gather more technical data from manufacturers. The Directorate is also looking at a multi-year project where analytical data could be used to improve how trends and commonalities are detected, which could lead to investigations to identify potential safety defects. The IT platform would be significantly more effective and efficient than analyzing large volumes of technical data manually.
  • Is accelerating the use of effective, low-cost technologies that improve pedestrian and bicyclists' safety around commercial vehicles.
    • Most collisions involving large trucks and pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists occur at very low speeds, and there is often a degree of inattentiveness on the part of the road user, the vehicle operator, or both. An affordable after-market technology that can detect the presence of a vulnerable road user, and alert the commercial vehicle operator of a potential collision, could save lives, reduce injuries and property damage.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods

  • The Transportation of Dangerous Goods group has increased the frequency of its risk based inspections. The frequency of inspections is partly determined by the compliance history of a given site. They have also begun more intensive follow-up at non-compliant operations.
  • They are forming three National Oversight Management subcommittees: Air Operations, Rail Operations, and Marine Operations.
    • The subcommittees will review potential gaps in oversight, recommend ways to improve the monitoring of regulatory requirements, and assess whether regulatory changes are needed to help with these improvements
  • Once these committees have developed their individual strategies, these documents will inform a plan to further modernize Transportation of Dangerous Good’s Oversight Program.

Aviation Security

  • The group is reviewing the Transportation Security Information System and the system’s user needs. This is to make sure that the next version will help make oversight activities more efficient, and modernize planning, reporting, communication and risk-based tools.
    • This system is the primary application used by Aviation Security inspectors and headquarters. It manages and tracks the use of oversight programs.
  • They’re working with Public Safety Canada and the Canadian Border Services Agency to create a central hub for the Passenger Protect Program.
    • The Program is designed to prevent aviation security threats by identifying individuals believed to pose a risk and to require all passengers 18 and over to present valid government-issued ID before boarding a flight.
    • This hub and further integration with Transportation Security Information System will improve communications on Passenger Protect Program related situations.
  • In 2019, more safeguards and aviation security levels came into force. Aviation security levels are the Minister's means of informing operators when we find that extra safeguards can be of help to manage high risk situations.
  • Additional safeguards in relation to aviation security levels will make sure that operators are prepared and allow for the rapid communication and response to heightened risk conditions. They will also give aerodrome operators the flexibility to determine the best risk management strategies for their operations. Aviation security levels came-into-force August 31, 2019 for all aerodromes.
  • The Air Cargo Security Program will be improving the risk engine embedded in the Secure Supply Chain Information Management System. This is to make sure that risk scores include a comprehensive analysis of risk data.
    • By making these improvements, the group is looking to expand the stakeholder portal to make sure a consistent and effective method of communications for all aviation security partners, including those outside of the Air Cargo Security program.

Intermodal Surface Security and Emergency Preparedness

  • The group is revamping their database to strengthen the program’s ability to develop data analytics and to make the system more user-friendly
  • They’re creating two risk-based methods for assessing risks at rail sites and facilities as part of the new Transportation of Dangerous Goods regulatory program
  • Regional inspectors will combine oversight activities and trips where applicable, in order to increase efficiency and cost savings

Oversight delivery levels and targeted performance indicators

Safety and security programs will continue to undertake the full range of oversight activities for 2019-20. Oversight is about activities that help promote, monitor or enforce Transport Canada’s safety and security mandate.

The tables that follow include the planned levels of activity for 2019-20. Please note that there is some variation in the use of oversight activities. For example, Rail Safety rarely uses regulatory authorizations, but often uses risk-based inspections to ensure safety.

InfoBase contains targeted performance indicators. These performance outcomes and indicators reflect Safety and Security’s commitment to ensuring that our stakeholders understand how we are measuring the effectiveness of our oversight activities and to foster continuous improvement in program and service delivery.

Regulatory authorizations

Regulatory authorizations are approvals or denials of regulated parties’ applications to the government asking permission either to conduct a regulated activity or to be exempt from it. They typically cover three elements:

  • people (mariners, pilots)
  • equipment (aeronautics, ships)
  • operations (railway companies or a commercial airlines)

We will consider this type of breakdown for future refinements of the National Oversight Plan and program delivery monitoring. The government may grant permission in many forms such as permits, licenses and certifications. These are demand driven and can fluctuate significantly from year to year. As such, Transport Canada does not control the number of regulatory authorizations that will be carried out in a given planning cycle.

Table 1: Regulatory Authorizations
Program 2019-20 2018-19
Estimate #
Estimate #
Estimate #
Estimate #
Annual (#)
Annual (#)
Variance explanation
if more than 10%
Civil Aviation 25,023 25,026 25,024 25,027 100,100 122,883 The variance is 10.4%, lower in 2019-20 from 2018-19 – Forecast volume fluctuates each year as a result of industry demand and continuous program improvements related to program planning and reporting.
Marine Safety and Security 22,676 14,841 12,992 13,429 63,938 60,209  
Rail Safety 0 0 0 0 0 0  
Motor Vehicle Safety 850 680 700 720 2,950 2,560 Regulatory authorizations are reactive audits and importation inquiries, which are generated by external requests outside program control, and as such, will vary. Forecasts are based on prior year annual averages.
Transportation of Dangerous Goods 611 533 462 508 2,114 2,066  
Aviation Security 416 408 335 367 1,526 1,523  
Intermodal Surface Security and Emergency Preparedness 12,075 13,906 11,572 12,797 50,350 49,300  
Total 61,651 55,394 51,085 52,848 220,978 238,541  

Civil Aviation

  • Control of entry into the national civil aviation system is governed by the Aeronautics Act and the Canadian Aviation Regulations, as well as international Memorandums of Understanding and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and regulations.
  • Certification is made up of all activities related to granting and maintaining permission for people and organizations to operate in the Canadian civil aviation system. Many of these certification activities and services include inspection of a company or other verification activities as part of their process.

Marine Safety and Security

  • Given the extensive regulatory framework for Marine, most of their oversight activities are either mandatory or on-demand regulatory authorizations.
  • Marine undertakes various certification activities to permit Canadian vessel owners, seafarers, shippers, ports and marine facilities to operate. Most of these certifications have fixed schedules and are cyclical, however Marine Safety and Security will respond to the demand.
  • In 2018-19, Marine Safety and Security responded to higher demand for all vessel inspections, cargo inspections, requests for seafarer certificates, identity documents, and marine security certifications.

Rail Safety

  • Railway Operating Certificates are issued as part of the Railway Operating Certificate Regulations that came into effect January 1, 2015
  • These certificates have no expiry dates. With the Railway Operating Certificates issued to federally regulated railways in the last few years, Rail Safety now receives only 1 or 2 requests per year as there are seldom new railways that start operations.

Motor Vehicle Safety

  • Regulatory authorizations are issued in response to a request. Examples of requests include:
    • Permission to attach Transport Canada’s National Safety Mark, which is used to show that the vehicle or equipment is following the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and related safety regulations and standards. The Minister of Transport authorizes their use and any company that wants to use a safety mark has to apply to the Minister.
    • Registering for our importation pre-authorization program. This program lets Canadian commercial importers and foreign original equipment manufacturers (OEM) that pose a low risk of non-compliance, use a streamlined process to import new, fully compliant Canadian-specification vehicles into Canada. The program is available to Canadian commercial importers who import fewer than 2500 vehicles per year.
    • Applying to import new vehicles on a case-by-case basis and review process, which allows importers who buy new, Canadian-specification vehicles directly from foreign manufacturers to get pre-authorization.
    • Applying to temporarily import non-compliant vehicles for:
      • for the purposes of exhibition, demonstration, evaluation, innovation or testing

Transportation of Dangerous Goods

  • There are four types of regulatory authorizations:
    • Equivalency and Temporary Certificates
    • Registration Certificates for Designs, Facilities or Persons
    • Emergency Response Assistance Plans
    • Civil Aviation Document Reviews

Aviation Security

  • Headquarters is responsible for reviewing and approving exemptions. They also review, analyse and approve applications for Canadian Aviation Documents as they relate to the Air Cargo Security Program.
  • Regions are responsible for issuing Screening Officer Designations to Canadian Air Transport Security Authority employees and contractors who have completed the required training and received the certification.

Intermodal Surface Security and Emergency Preparedness

  • Regulatory Authorizations refer to Transportation Security Clearance applications submitted and granted to people working at marine and air ports.

Planned risk-based wversight activities and reactive oversight activities - Excluding Safety Management Systems and Security Management Systems related oversight activities

Planned risk-based oversight activities include all compliance verifications and inspections that are carried out in a given planning cycle. They include both the inspections that are announced and expected by the regulated entity, and those that are not announced.

These figures presented do not include estimated numbers of demand-driven activities such as regulatory authorizations, which are covered in the previous section. They also do not include Safety Management Systems or Security Management Systems related oversight activities.

Safety and security programs have estimated the reactive inspections they will perform by providing numbers in a second category below. These include follow-up inspections, opportunity inspections due to proximity with other planned inspection sites, and inspections that arise because of a change in the operating environment or risk profile of the regulated entity.

Table 2: Planned Risk-Based Oversight Activities and Reactive Oversight Activities (Excluding SMS/SeMS related oversight activities)
Program   2019-20 2018-19
Activities Q1 (#) Q2 (#) Q3 (#) Q4 (#) Planned/
Estimated Annual (#)
Estimated Annual (#)
Variance Explanation
if more than 10%
Civil Aviation Planned Risk-Based Oversight activities 258 170 179 187 794 927 As Civil Aviation continues to improve the surveillance program, fluctuations in volume will occur as these planning precisions continue to improve. Planning in this manner allows Civil Aviation to adapt to the industry fluctuations related to the volume of enterprises that fall within the yearly scope of oversight. It also allows Civil Aviation to adjust what areas of risk it deems necessary for inclusion in its oversight regime.
Reactive Oversight Activities 2,753 2,761 2,761 2,764 11,039 10,632 In regards to annual forecasting of reactive surveillance, Civil Aviation utilizes 3 years of historical data, and as such, each annual forecast will be more precise as yearly improvements are made, incorporating the behaviours of industry demand. In particular, based on this historical data, Civil Aviation is forecasting an increase in industry requirements related to reactive surveillance for 2019-20. During this period, as part of the continued improvement of the surveillance program, Civil Aviation will also forecast Targeted Inspections as part of its reactive surveillance regime.
Marine Safety and Security Planned Risk-Based Oversight activities 2,564 3,744 2,491 2,375 11,174 7,023 The increased planned numbers in 2019-2020 compared to 2018-2019 are due to the Executive decision to report on more activities MSS conducts
Reactive Oversight Activities 172 157 125 151 605 0 In previous years, reactive inspections were counted with planned risk-based inspections. From 2019-2020 onwards, reactive inspections will be monitored separately.
Rail Safety Planned Risk-Based Oversight activities 8,313 8,313 8,313 8,313 33,252 32,263  
Reactive Oversight Activities 935 935 934 934 3,738 3,518  
Motor Vehicle Safety Planned Risk-Based Oversight activities 89 126 165 261 641 335 The variance between years is mainly attributed to more people importing vehicles when factors (exchange rate, weather) are favourable. In addition, more inspections occur later in the year to recognize that newer vehicle models selected for testing are only available later in the fiscal year.
Reactive Oversight Activities 9,268 9,092 8,915 8,977 36,252 28,371
Transportation of Dangerous Goods Planned Risk-Based Oversight activities 1,276 1,256 1,238 1,018 4,788 4,830  
Reactive Oversight Activities 318 276 238 261 1,093 1,031  
Aviation Security Planned Risk-Based Oversight activities 2,473 2,048 1,959 2,130 8,610 7,577  
Reactive Oversight Activities 172 172 172 172 688 1,782 As a result of a new inspection activity that had come into effect in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the decision to have them accounted for as reactive inspections was made. As a result of these once to twice daily inspections, these significantly affected overall reactive inspection numbers.
Intermodal Surface Security and Emergency Preparedness Planned Risk-Based Oversight activities 218 343 494 346 1,401 686 ISSEP is moving from a voluntary oversight regime to a regulatory one in 2019-2020. As such, new entities and rail sites have been added under the new regulations.
Reactive Oversight Activities 6 6 6 6 24 28 Forecasted numbers are based on the number of rail incidents occurring in previous years.
Total Planned Risk-Based Oversight activities 15,191 16,000 14,839 14,630 60,660 53,641  
Reactive Oversight Activities 13,624 13,399 13,151 13,265 53,439 45,362  

Civil Aviation

  • Planned surveillance activities validate that aviation businesses, which have been given permission to operate within the civil aviation system, maintain strong mechanisms that make sure they comply with regulatory requirements. These include:
    • Safety Management System assessments
    • program validation inspections
    • process inspections
    • targeted inspections
    • compliance inspections
      • Reactive surveillance activities are done in response to a safety trigger. Examples of a safety trigger could be an unforeseen event or issue, a follow-up activity to determine that compliance has been met, or other relevant local safety information.
      • These activities can take the form of assessments, or program validation inspections, but are often in the form of process inspections which are generally focused inspections. They include aircraft ramp inspections, in-flight inspections and aviation facility inspections.

Marine Safety and Security

  • This group has a smaller portion of its resources dedicated to planned and risk-based work. Within this category, the group includes activities specifically designed for compliance monitoring and all activities where the Minister has some discretion to determine how to meet the regulatory requirements.
  • These activities include:
    • various monitoring and compliance inspections
    • audits
    • evaluations of Environmental Response Organization and plan reviews
    • threat assessments completed in support of government intelligence priorities
    • site visits
    • unplanned - deficiency follow-ups and complaints
    • dangerous goods cargo and container inspections
    • security assessments
    • oil spill reports
    • sulphur fuel testing

Rail Safety

  • Types of oversight activities include inspections of:
    • railway equipment
    • operations
    • occupational Health and Safety
    • crossings and signals
    • tracks
    • railway bridges
    • international bridges
    • natural hazards

Motor Vehicle Safety

  • Planned, risk-based inspections, and reactive activities conducted by the Oversight Program are:
    • vehicle and equipment testing
    • compliance audits and defect investigations and recalls
  • Defect investigations and recall oversight activities are reactive as they are largely driven by complaints and information from the public and other sources. Similarly, recall activities depend on the issuance of Notices of Defect and Notices of Non-Compliance by manufacturers.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods

  • Planned inspections include:
    • risk-ranked general compliance inspections of dangerous goods facilities
    • risk-ranked Means of Containment facility inspections
    • Compliance Estimation Program inspections
      • A sample of known industry sites that are regulated under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations. The purpose of the Program is to measure industry’s general compliance with the Act and Regulations.
  • There are five types of demand-driven reactive oversight activities: follow-up inspections; unplanned MOC facility inspections, opportunity inspections, triggered inspections, and consignment inspections.

Aviation Security

  • The program involves a number of regulated entities:
    • designated aerodromes
    • primary security line partners
    • commercial air carriers
    • secure cargo supply chain participants and
    • Canadian Air Transportation Security Authority
  • Planned risk-based oversight activities range from verification of access control at aerodromes to security of aircraft and assessments of personnel security in the secure supply chain.

Planned Risk-Based and Reactive Safety Management System and Security Management System Oversight Activities

The Safety Management System (SMS) and Security Management System (SeMS) regulations go beyond technical safety and security requirements for the transportation industry. They add another layer of protection by making operators responsible for having policies, structures, procedures and processes in place to manage existing and emerging safety and security risks.

This system complements prescriptive and performance-based regulations. It has been recognized as a best practice on the international stage in order to continuously improve safety and security.Footnote 8 Transport Canada began using this approach in the 1990s. The direction was set in a 2007 policy document reiterating the importance of using safety management systems to achieve a strong safety and security culture.Footnote 9

This section includes all activities by Transport Canada programs to ensure entities have an effective Safety Management System.

These activities can range from a comprehensive in-depth review of a company’s overall national system to a targeted inspection of a few requirements in a specific area such as maintenance or training for a given regional operation.

Table 3: Planned Risk-Based and Reactive SMS/SeMS Oversight Activities
Region   2019-20 2018-19
Activities Q1 (#) Q2 (#) Q3 (#) Q4 (#) Planned/
Estimated Annual (#)
Estimated Annual (#)
Variance Explanation
for more than 10%
Civil Aviation Planned Risk-Based Oversight activities 58 31 45 50 184 N/A  
Reactive Oversight Activities Not available  
Marine Safety and Security Planned Risk-Based Oversight activities 4 2 1 2 9 17  
Reactive Oversight Activities Not available N/A  
Rail Safety Planned Risk-Based Oversight activities 3 9 6 3 21 35 Committed to a 5 year cycle to audit all companies, some regions have met this target in advance of the 5th year and will now focus on reactive activities until the plan is revised
Reactive Oversight Activities N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A For auditing, Rail Safety focuses on planned activities.
Motor Vehicle SafetyFootnote * Planned Risk-Based Oversight activities              
Reactive Oversight Activities              
Transportation of Dangerous GoodsFootnote * Planned Risk-Based Oversight activities              
Reactive Oversight Activities              
Aviation SecurityFootnote **** Planned Risk-Based Oversight activities Not available  
Reactive Oversight Activities Not available  
Intermodal Surface Security and Emergency PreparednessFootnote * Planned Risk-Based Oversight activities              
Reactive Oversight Activities              
Total Planned Risk-Based Oversight activities 65 42 52 55 214 52  
Reactive Oversight Activities N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A  

Civil Aviation

  • Civil Aviation is updating its risk-based oversight approach to make surveillance a priority. This risk based approach influences how Civil Aviation will plan its oversight activities. They will allocate resources based on organizations’ risk profile so that they can focus on areas of concern.
  • The group is strengthening its approach to risk profiles. They will take into account not only the risks inherent to the organizations’ operations, but also the safety performance of the organization and the results of previous oversight activity.
  • Civil Aviation is also improving the balance between compliance-based and performance-based oversight.
  • Compliance-based oversight assesses how well an organization is following regulations to achieve an intended outcome that the regulator sets. The intended outcome can have a prescriptive requirement or a performance-based requirement.
  • Performance-based oversight assesses how well an organization’s management system performs to meet safety objectives. This could include a safety management system or a quality management system.
  • Performance-based oversight, which focuses mainly on performance results, adds another layer in the regulatory scheme. The goal is to continuously improve safety.
  • Civil Aviation has recognized the need and benefit of using both the compliance-based oversight and performance-based oversight together in order to get the best results.

Marine Safety

According to the International Safety Management Code, three types of vessels that operate in international waters have to use a Safety Management System:

  • passenger ships, including high-speed passenger craft
  • oil tankers, chemical tankers, gas carriers, bulk carriers and cargo high-speed craft of 500 gross tons or more
  • other cargo ships and mobile offshore drilling units that weigh 500 gross tons or more

These types of vessels have to be certified every five years. They also have to be audited to make sure they meet the regulations explained in the code between the second and third year of the five year interval. The companies that own these vessels have to go through a certification process every year to continue to operate.

Marine Security

  • Marine Security requires its Security Management System (SeMS) regulated ports, marine facilities and vessels to be certified every five years to continue to operate.
  • To issue or renew an operating certificate, Marine Security inspectors do a comprehensive inspection of certificate holders to verify that they develop and put in place the applicable SeMS requirements.
  • Inspectors also do smaller scale inspections between the second and third year of a five year interval to make sure that certificate holders are following their SeMS requirements.
  • Marine Security can adjust the effective date of the certificate if they find significant non-compliances by the certificate holder during any of the inspections.

Rail Safety

To monitor how well companies follow SMS requirements, Rail Safety does SMS audits in a five-year cycle. Right now, the Rail Safety group is developing company profiles to rank risk factors of companies based on common criteria for risks. The group will use the rankings to determine higher-risk companies. The higher risk companies will be inspected earlier in the five-year cycle.

Rail Safety monitors how well the rail industry follows its SMS regulations and other regulations separately. Rail Safety’s SMS audits are done by a separate group of SMS auditors located in headquarters and in each region.

Aviation Security

Transport Canada consolidated and renewed the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations in 2012. Since that time, Security Management Systems (SeMS) regulations were integrated into the Aviation Security regulatory framework. Transport Canada introduced the requirements in stages, starting in 2013.

Aviation Security’s SeMS system is still in the implementation stages, and its elements are integrated with non-SeMS oversight activities. Because of this, Aviation Security will not be able to report specifically on the security system oversight compliance numbers.

Once the security system is fully put in place and our inspection data collection and analysis system have the capability to differentiate between SeMS and non-SeMS oversight activities, including reporting, then Aviation Security will be able to report on SeMS oversight activities.

For more information

You can find more information about modal Program Safety Management System and Security Management System in Annex 3.

Enforcement and immediate risk mitigation measures

Enforcement measures

Enforcement includes many activities and functions that occur as a result of a finding of non-compliance. It includes, responses and measures to make sure that companies and individuals follow rules and regulations.

An enforcement action is taken by a representative of TC to respond to a non-compliance. When non-compliance is found, TC uses a graduated approach to determine which type of enforcement measure to apply. The graduated approach involves choosing the most effective instrument to make sure that a person or regulated party complies with the rules and regulations.

Although the severity of the non-compliance and enforcement response available may vary by statute, enforcement actions where the severity of the non-compliance is low generally include:

  • verbal warnings
  • written warnings
  • written notices
  • corrective action plans
  • tickets

Where the severity of the non-compliance is moderate, available enforcement actions may include administrative monetary penalties and assurances of compliance.

Generally, in cases where the severity of the non-compliance high, enforcement actions may include punitive suspensions and prosecution.

The terms low, moderate and high are often used to refer to how non-compliance with TC safety and security legislation and regulations is assessed with a view to encourage the party to come into and remain in compliance.

Enforcement Officers work with inspectors to analyze any non-compliance against the seven standard factors explained in the Departmental Enforcement Standards, which is also known as the Desk Book.

These factors, which must be considered, are:

  1. Magnitude of harm or potential of harm, if any (none, some, significant)
  2. Intentionality of violation (accident, reckless, deliberate)
  3. Compliance History (none, some, more)
  4. Economic Benefit (none, some, significant)
  5. Mitigation of harm (significant, some, none)
  6. Cooperation with inspection/investigation (significant, some, none), and
  7. Contravention Detection (self-reported, during inspection, following incident)

These factors are individually evaluated and their combined score determines which enforcement measures will be most successful in encouraging the regulated party to a state of compliance.

Immediate risk mitigation measures

They can include:

  • detention or grounding
  • notices and orders
  • directions
  • public interest suspensions of certificates or licenses
  • medical suspensions of certificates or licenses

Immediate risk reduction measures are taken to mitigate situations where Transport Canada representatives determine, using a risk assessment, that there could be an imminent or immediate threat to safety or security.

These situations can also lead to enforcement actions, but TC’s priority is to mitigate or reduce risk before considering using enforcement actions. Because of this, the Centre of Enforcement Expertise also gives advice and guidance related to risk reduction measures.

In previous National Oversight Plans, it wasn’t mandatory for our programs to include quantitative information about the number of enforcement actions or immediate risk reduction measures that had to be taken. Instead, groups had to report on the relative level of effort overall that enforcement was expected to occupy in their oversight regimes. This has varied from 1.9% to 4.5% depending on the Program.

Programs have started monitoring enforcement actions and immediate risk reduction measures in Quarter 2 of 2018-2019. This will allow for better forecasting in the future.

Education, outreach and awareness

Programs provide education, outreach and awareness to support oversight using a variety of methods. The cost of education, outreach and awareness activities for all safety and security programs ranges from 0.2% to 10.2% of the total cost of oversight activities.

How programs deliver their education, outreach and awareness methods varies from year-to-year and from program to program.

Following are examples from program areas:

Civil Aviation

  • Civil Aviation attends events such as regional air shows and industry conferences. They also host education, awareness, and outreach sessions. The most recent outreach platform relates to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones).
  • They also engage with national and international stakeholders. Additionally they engage with the media and have a social media presence to inform the public.
  • The group created a website to provide helpful information on various safety topics . The website is available to both the TC aviation inspectors and the aviation public.

Marine Safety and Security

  • Marine Safety and Security did not receive dedicated funding for formal education, awareness and outreach activities. Informal training and awareness is performed however through inspection and audit activities.
  • There are plans to conduct outreach to support compliance with fishing vessel regulations in 2019-2020. This work adds value to the group’s portfolio and goes a long way to improve compliance as non-compliance often stems from a lack of familiarity with the regulations. This is particularly true among pleasure craft and small vessel operators.
  • The group also engages with national and international stakeholders. Marine Safety and Security coordinates and chairs the Canadian Marine Advisory Council (CMAC), which is a consultative body which includes parties with interests in shipping, navigation, and marine pollution.

Rail Safety

  • While Rail Safety does not receive funding specific to education and outreach, this is an informal activity done by inspectors and auditors.
  • Inspectors and auditors help stakeholders understand the railway safety requirements set out in the Act.
  • The Rail Safety Program strives to make sure that all regulated parties know about and have access to, all of the regulatory requirements that apply to them.
  • For example, the group posts information on the Transport Canada website like:
    • railway safety regulations
    • rules
    • engineering standards
    • guidelines
  • The group also notifies affected stakeholders when regulatory requirements are approved and posted
  • The group also responds to complaints and inquiries, the majority of which are from the general public.

Motor Vehicle Safety

  • This group works to promote voluntary compliance. They will continue to meet with industry stakeholders on a planned and ad-hoc basis to provide awareness and education on changes to the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.
  • Measures to increase public awareness of the program and provide information to promote compliance and increase motor vehicle safety include:
    • Posting information on Transport Canada’s website such as:
      • Explanations of the roles and responsibilities for motor vehicle safety issues for:
        • Transport Canada
        • Registrar of Imported Vehicles
        • Canada Border Services Agency
    • potential safety defects
    • recalls and technical issues
      • This could include clarifying the requirements within a specific standard or test procedure
    • Responding to inquiries to defect complaint analysts and recall officers through the defect complaints and recalls hotline
    • Sharing notices of defect and non-compliance with nationwide motor vehicle registration partners
    • Responding to inquiries about the importation of vehicles from the United States of America through the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) program, which operates a toll-free telephone system (1-888-848-8240) and a website (
    • Responding to inquiries on importation of vehicles from other countries and other general vehicle safety topics through a toll-free telephone system (1-800-333-0371) or through Transport Canada’s Road Transportation webpage
    • Engaging with:
      • industry
      • provincial and territorial authorities
      • other federal government entities,
      • non-governmental organizations and
      • U.S National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Transportation of Dangerous Goods

  • This group carries out various education, outreach and awareness activities to achieve regulatory compliance or mitigate specific safety issues.
  • The Safety Awareness Policy Program delivers course training to federal, provincial and territorial Inspectors.
    • The training includes the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations course and the Highway Tank Training for provincial and territorial inspectors, which was also recently adapted for federal inspectors.
    • In addition, inspectors provide educational support to their provincial and territorial counterparts during their annual “blitz”, when they conduct roadside compliance inspections.
  • The Program is not responsible for providing training to industry. Because of this, efforts to improve the compliance rates of the industry focus on producing awareness materials such as newsletters, safety advisories and handouts which can be found on Transport Canada’s website (Transportation of Dangerous Goods Program).
  • The group also gives presentations to relevant stakeholders
  • Transport Canada has commissioned the Canadian General Standards Board to develop a competency-based training and assessment standard that will improve industry’s compliance with the upcoming regulatory amendment which would require that persons who handle, offer to transport and transport dangerous goods, be competent

Aviation Security

  • The security of Canada’s aviation transportation system is a collaborative effort. Effective awareness and outreach to support security culture among stakeholders is an important part of the work that Aviation Security Operations does
  • The Aviation Security Operations Branch promotes transportation security awareness and supports best practices with domestic and international security and industry partners
    • Domestically, the Branch participates in regular face to face regional and national meetings with industry stakeholders. Topics of discussion include current threats and risks to aviation security, as well as program initiatives.
    • Internationally, the Branch participates in ability development initiatives to boost security culture and practices on an international scale.
  • The Program takes a collaborative approach to develop policies and regulations
    • This includes consulting with industry, sharing information and providing the necessary education and guidance for both current and upcoming programs within the Aviation Security Program legislative framework.
    • For example, the Secure Supply Chain Information Management System is used to manage and communicate Air Cargo Security Program information with program participants such as:
      • program registration
      • risk management
      • cargo security plans

Intermodal Surface, Security and Emergency Preparedness

  • Along with its oversight activities, the group will be conducting education, outreach and awareness activities as part of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Program.
  • New funding has become available in order to hire and train inspectors.
    • These inspectors have been working on dangerous goods education, outreach and awareness activities since 2017-18.
    • This work continues into the 2019-20 oversight period.
  • For the 2019-20 period, outreach activities will focus on identifying and verifying dangerous goods by rail stakeholders, both rail carriers and loaders.
  • The group started giving training workshops to inspectors and they’re also developing guidance materials, information brochures and relevant forms for the workshops.

Internal quality assurance and quality control of the programs

It is essential that safety and security programs have procedures and processes in place to make sure that their oversight activities follow all relevant policies and procedures. The programs also have to complete required documentation.

The Directive on Safety and Security Oversight requires programs to have quality assurance and quality control oversight activities in place.

Quality Assurance is a set of activities that programs use to ensure that they meet quality requirements. Programs use these activities to prevent errors throughout their systems.

These are:

  • systematic measurement
  • comparison with a standard
  • monitoring of processes
  • an associated feedback loop

Quality Control is a part of quality assurance. Quality control is used to find any potential problems in an output, rather than in the system as a whole.

For inspection activities conducted as part of safety and security oversight programs, quality control refers the responsibility of supervisors/managers to make sure that inspectors:

  • conduct inspections according to the inspection plan
  • follow relevant policies and procedures
  • complete required documentation
Table 4: QA/QC of the Programs
Program 2019-20 2018-19 Variance Explanation
for more than 10%
Q1 (#) Q2 (#) Q3 (#) Q4 (#) Estimated Annual (#) Estimated Annual (#)  
Civil Aviation 258 170 180 186 794 N/A QA/QC program has been under review over the last couple of years due to complexity of planning and reporting surrounding this program. As a result, the Directorate has moved to a centralized QA/QC program which will be implemented this fiscal year.
Marine Safety and Security
(see explanation below)
Rail Safety 114 122 123 117 476 476  
Motor Vehicle Safety
(see explanation below)
0 0 0 0 0 2  
Transportation of Dangerous Goods
(see explanation below)
1,598 1,575 1,530 1,522 6,225 7,252  
Aviation Security
(see explanation below)
67 70 69 71 277 301  
Intermodal Surface Security and Emergency Preparedness
(see explanation below)
16 16 16 16 64 60  
Total 2,053 1,953 1,918 1,912 7,836 8,091  

Civil Aviation

  • Civil Aviation identified that they needed a nationally consistent approach to quality control checks of surveillance activities.
    • This was identified as part of the quality assurance assessment of the Civil Aviation Quality Control program. The assessment was conducted in 2016-2017.
  • The group made improvements to programs as part of the new Surveillance Program initiative. These improvements showed the need to make changes to the approach to quality control and quality assurance related to surveillance activities.
    • As a result, the group developed tools and guidance material to support these changes during 2018-2019 which will be implemented in 2019-2020. This will allow for a nationally consistent approach to both the planning and reporting of quality control and quality assurance activities

Marine Safety and Security

  • Marine Safety and Security builds quality control into their day-to-day operations. The group’s inspectors adhere to standard operating procedures, policies, regulations and work instructions that reinforce quality control.
  • The group embeds quality control checks in many of their systems. This includes mandatory managerial approvals as well as paper-based review processes.
  • The group will continue to work to standardize quality control and monitoring activities to help with reporting efforts. The group is also working towards implementing a national quality assurance program that fosters continuous improvement across management and delivery of their programs and services.

Motor Vehicle Safety

  • Some functions of quality assurance/control have been transferred to the Programs Group, in keeping with the transfer of Motor Vehicle Test Centre/Innovation Centre (Blainville, QC) to Programs. Internally, options are being explored for an optimal approach to quality assurance and control that complements ongoing efforts by the Innovation Centre to undertake this work.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods

  • The group has planned 6,916 quality control and quality assurance activities in 2019-20, which includes:
    • 678 inspection report reviews
    • 5,938 follow-ups, which are confirmations of compliance
    • 300 Inspection Information System clean-ups and removal of closed sites
  • More than 85% of these activities, which consist of the verification of inspection reports, were undertaken to meet “follow-up” and “confirmations of compliance” standards which were implemented in 2015 to respond to a 2011 audit of the program by the Commissioner for the Environment and Sustainable Development.

Aviation Security

  • In Aviation Security Operations, Regional Managers perform quarterly quality control checks of inspection records completed by each transportation security inspector that reports to them.
  • At the end of each quarter, Regional Managers select one inspection record from each inspector to make sure that inspections are conducted, recorded, reported, and filed in the Transportation Security Information System in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures, Policy Directives and the Transportation Security Information System User Guide.
  • If issues or inconsistencies are identified in inspection records, the Manager will direct the inspector to take corrective action. The Manager will also follow-up to make sure the identified corrective action has been executed. Once all regions have completed quarterly quality control (QC) checks, they are submitted to headquarters for a national QC review.
  • The Quality and Risk Management Team then conducts a review of each Regional Manager’s QC submission, and will follow up with Regional Managers on any remaining issues requiring corrective action. Meeting the estimated number of QC checks per quarter can be difficult as the number of TSIs fluctuates in response to personnel and resource changes due to assignments, promotions or unforeseen leave.

Intermodal Surface, Security and Emergency Preparedness

  • Regional Managers are expected to conduct, at a minimum, one quality control check for each inspector during each quarter.

Oversight costing

This section contains aggregated tables for each Program that show their oversight costs using the core activity categories and the common costing method that have been in place since 2017-2018.

These include indirect costs and direct costs.

Indirect costs include:

  • leadership and management
  • financial and HR management
  • general consultation
  • data governance and risk analysis

Direct oversight delivery costs include:

  • regulatory authorizations
  • planned risk-based and reactive oversight
  • enforcement and investigations
  • education and outreach

The dollar amounts and breakdown of oversight costs are estimates, since the department does not yet have activity-based costing in its financial system. This financial information is based on the initial budget delegation. Actual spending and in-year budget allocation may be adjusted to take into consideration supplementary funding obtained through Treasury Board submissions, budgetary adjustments within safety and security and other departmental budgetary updates.

Directorate Personnel OOC Revenue Total
Civil Aviation 97,386,000 11,259,000 (9,595,000) 99,050,000
Aviation Security 15,670,432 1,070,983 0.000 16,741,415
Marine Safety & Security 49,276,950 6,606,263 (10,834,245) 45,048,968
ISSEP 3,040,648 569,542 0.000 3,610,190
Rail 18,337,790 2,793,648 (190,460) 20,940,978
MVS 3,234,121 1,593,750 (1,475,000) 3,352,871
TDG 17,665,003 /td> 3,392,398 0.000 21,057,401
Total 204,610,944 27,285,584 (22,094,705) 209,801,823

Annex 1 — Safety and security program regulated environment

Safety and Security Program
Regulated environment

Civil Aviation

  • Air Navigation Services, operated by NAV CANADA
  • 18,000,000 km2 of airspace
  • 3rd largest aerospace sector in the world
  • The civil aviation industry contributes 211,000 jobs to the Canadian economy
  • 36, 588 Canadian registered aircraft fleet, which is the 2nd largest fleet in the world
  • 68,812 Licensed Pilots
  • 17,658 Aircraft Maintenance Engineers
  • 1,214 Approved Check Pilots
  • 74 Design Approval Representative; 2,361 Air Carriers (31% Canadian; 69% Foreign)
  • 1001 Approved Maintenance Organizations
  • 517 certified aerodromes and 1,055 non-certified aerodromes
  • Airlines, airports and related services employ 140,000 Canadians

Marine Safety and Security

  • 559 port facilities
  • 866 fishing harbors
  • 129 recreational harbors
  • 3,000,000 Domestic Pleasure Craft
  • ~50,000 Small Domestic Vessels (<15GT) non-pleasure craft
  • 18,000 Large Domestic Vessels (>15GT)
  • 8,000 foreign visits to Canada per year (3,800 unique vessels)
  • >500 Canadian vessel manufacturers & importers
  • 150 Vessel Equipment Manufacturers (fire and life-saving)
  • Hundreds of Vessel Machinery Manufacturers
  • 7 Recognized Organizations
  • 346 Oil Handling Facilities
  • 4 Environmental Response Organizations
  • 243,000 kilometers of Canadian coastlines
  • Atlantic, Pacific & Arctic Oceans
  • St Lawrence Seaway & Great Lakes
  • 26,000 Certified Seafarers in Canada
  • 3,500,000 Licensed Pleasure Craft Operators
  • 260 Designated Marine Medical Examiners
  • 90 Marine Schools (Nautical & Engineering)
  • 22 Training Institutions (Pleasure Craft Operator Competency)
  • 10 Recruitment & Placement Agencies

Rail Safety

  • Approximately 41,700 kilometers of track under federal jurisdiction
  • Approximately 253,000 rolling stock, including locomotives, freight cars, and passenger cars; Rail Safety is also be responsible for oversight of the locomotive emissions regulations
  • Approximately 4,500 operating crews
  • 23,080 grade crossings (approx. 14,000 public and 9,000 private) 1,460 municipal and provincial road authorities, federally regulated railways
  • Approximately 8,800 signals
  • 5,600 railway bridges under federal jurisdiction; 1,200 highway/roadway/pedestrian bridges constructed across federal rail lines
  • Under the International Bridges and Tunnels Act (IBTA) and the International Bridges and Tunnels Regulations (IBTR), Rail Safety is responsible for safety oversight of 25 vehicular international bridges and tunnels
  • 68 companies currently holding a Railway Operating Certificate

Motor Vehicle Safety

  • Affixation of TC’s National Safety Mark to vehicles and equipment
  • Compliance of imported vehicles with safety standards
  • Testing of vehicles and equipment bearing TC national safety mark
  • Manufacturers safety related reporting requirements
  • Investigating possible non-compliance and safety defects
  • Of 25 million registered vehicles, there are 22.7 million light passenger vehicles each of which are driven approximately 16,000 km annually

Transportation of Dangerous Goods

  • all 4 transportation modes
  • 22993 TDG sites
  • 2442 Means of Containment Facilities (MOC)
  • 40 TDG hubs
  • 31 Memoranda of Agreement and Memoranda of Understanding relating to the TDG program with other federal departments, provincial and territorial governments as well as other TC program activities to clarify roles and responsibilities and make sure collaboration

Aviation Security

  • 89 Designated Aerodromes
  • 2050 Regulated Entities [designated aerodromes, primary security line partners, commercial air carriers, secure cargo supply chain participants and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA)]
  • 6.4 million aircraft movements in 2017
  • 152 million passengers planed and deplaned annually
  • Over $125 billion worth of good in international trade
  • 73 countries that are last points of departure to Canada, with a total of 146 aerodromes
  • Airlines, airports and related services employ 140,000 Canadians

Intermodal and Surface Security

  • Oversight work is carried out under the TC-RAC MOU, IBT (International Bridges and Tunnels) MOUs with individual IBT owners/operators, and the new TDG by Rail Security Regulations
  • TC-RAC MOU stakeholders are approximately 26
  • IBT MOU stakeholders are currently 12
  • Urban transit systems are located in many major rail-linked transit hubs
  • Oversight focus is primarily on passenger and freight rail systems (TDG and MOU)
  • See Rail Safety and Transportation of Dangerous Goods sections
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) by rail stakeholders are about 880 loaders and 50 rail carriers (to be confirmed)

Annex 2 — Accelerated approach in oversight transparency in safety and security

Our Vision

Provide Canadians with access to timely and accurate information about Transport Canada’s safety security regime, resulting in greater citizens’ engagement, improved accountability for government and private sector partners and improved decision-making for a safe and secure transportation system.

Priorities for Quarter 1 2019-20 (Phase 1)

A task force made of all safety and security programs and other internal stakeholders such as Legal Services, Digital Services, and Transformation is working to make the following information accessible by posting it on Transport Canada’s website by April-May 2019:

Applicable to all S&S Programs
General Data Program
Directive on Safety and Security Oversight (15 requirements on how to manage our oversight programs) Oversight activity data per mode (planned and reactive inspections; licenses and certificates) Oversight Program Description & Delivery (description of the program, risk method and profile, activity level and costing)
Centre of Enforcement Expertise Desk Book (directives and standards on investigations and enforcement measures) # of oversight staffing levels per mode (trends year-over-year) Guidance to the industry (internal policies and procedures for industry guidance)
Administrative monetary penalties
Transport Appeal Tribunal of Canada (TATC) hearings and decisions

In addition, Multi-Modal Road Safety Programs (MRSP) will be advancing the publication of information in Q1 2019-20 that are slated for subsequent phases for the other Programs:

Compliance Research
Aggregated vehicle compliance test results (e.g. vehicle type, type of test, pass/fail with actual test report) Research on vehicle standards
Research on road safety contributing factors (e.g. distracted driving)

Annex 3 - Targeted Performance Indicators

In the fall of 2019-20, safety and security programs updated their Program Information Profiles to align them better with Transport Canada’s Departmental Results Framework.

The performance outcome and indicators in this annex show safety and security’s commitment to making sure that our stakeholders understand how we measure the effectiveness of our oversight activities and that we keep working to improve our program and service delivery.

Program Performance Outcome Oversight Performance Indicators Performance Indicator Goal/Target
Civil Aviation A safe and secure transportation system in which accident rates decline
  • Aircraft accident rates in Canada (per 100 000 movements, excluding ultralights and other aircraft types)
  • Rates do not increase
A safe and secure transportation system in which fatality rates decline
  • Aircraft fatality rates in Canada (per 100 000 movements, excluding ultralights and other aircraft types)
  • Rates do not increase
Compliance with Transport Canada Requirements
  • Compliance rate trends (3-5 years)
  • Rates remain steady and/or do not continue to increase
Entities return to compliance/conformance with TC Requirements
  • % of entities returning to compliance as the result of enforcement actions
  • TBD
Oversight Activities — Inspections, Assessments
  • % delivery of planned risk-based oversight activities
  • % of planned Process Control Checks completed (PC/QC Check Sheets)
  • Varies depending on Program, but usually falls between 80-100%
  • Varies depending on Program, but usually falls between 80-100%
Oversight Activities — Certificates and Licenses
  • % of Regulatory authorizations conducted and reactive oversight activities against forecast
  • TBD
Oversight Activities — Enforcement Activities
  • # of enforcement actions taken (as per the process being implemented by CEE/SPPI for Q2 2018-19
  • TBD
Marine Safety and Security A transportation system in which accident rates decline
  • Accident rate trend over a 10-year period and fatality rate over a 10-year period
  • Target will be developed by 2019-2020
Industry compliance is improving
  • Compliance rates for small vessel oversight will be developed in the future
  • 50%
Oversight of the industry is improving
  • Percentage of planned risk-based oversight activities completed
  • 80%
A safe and secure transportation system in which accident and fatality rates decline
  • National compliance rate of Canadian regulated entities with Marine transportation security regulations
  • 80%
A safety regime which responds to identified risks
  • Number of Marine Technical Review Board exemptions issued
  • N/A
Oversight Activities — Enforcement Activities
  • Number of enforcement actions taken
  • N/A
Policies & regulatory instruments are aligned with national and/or international, standards and/or requirements
  • Percentage of alignment of Marine regulations to international standards
  • Under development (baselines to be established)
Rail Safety A safe transportation system in which accident rates decline
  • 10-year accident rate
  • Decrease in accident rate
A safe transportation system in which fatality rates decline
  • 10 year fatality rate
  • Decrease in fatality rate
Entities return to compliance with Transport Canada requirements
  • 5-year average compliance rate trends to key risk areas, such as: Track Safety Rules, Canadian Rail Operating Rules, Grade Crossing Regulations, Rule 112 of CROR (Securement), and/or any evidence of trespassing
  • The overall target will always be 100% compliance, however an increase in compliance from year-to-year is a shorter-term target
Reduction in the trend of occurrences

The 1 or 5-year rolling average of:

  • 1. equipment-related occurrences
  • 2. human factors-related occurrences
  • 3. Crossing accidents
  • 4. Track-related occurrences
  • 5. Trespassing accidents"
  • % of Non-compliances resolved to compliance
  • Decrease in average
Reduction in number of occurrences

Counts of:

  • 1. equipment-related occurrences
  • 2. human factors-related occurrences
  • 3. Crossing accidents
  • 4. Track-related occurrences
  • 5. Trespassing accidents"
  • % delivery of planned risk-based oversight activities
  • % of planned QA/QC completed
  • Decrease in count
Entities return to compliance/conformance with TC requirements
  • % of Non-compliances resolved to compliance
  • 100%
Motor Vehicle Safety Improved ability to undertake defect and recall investigations
  • % of defect investigations completed within planned timelines
  • 90%
Enhanced enforcement authorities
  • % of regulatory and non-regulatory mechanisms that were updated to align with Bill S-2
  • 10% yearly
More effective defect investigations and recall
  • % of increase in the number of investigations year after year
  • 5% year after year increase
Transportation of Dangerous Goods A safe and secure transportation system in which accident and fatality rates decline
  • Rate of reportable releases of dangerous goods per year
  • (public indicator)
  • 183.8
Compliance/conformance with TC Requirements
  • 5-year percentage average compliance/conformance rate trends
  • Under development (baselines to be established)
Entities return to compliance/conformance with TC Requirements
  • % of inspections that do not require a follow-up inspection as per the Compliance Estimation Program
  • Under development (baselines to be established)
Oversight activities and services are consistent and commensurate to risks
  • % compliance to internal policies, SOPs & other instruments
  • Under development (baselines to be established)
Oversight Activities
  • % of delivery of planned risk-based oversight activities
  • % of planned Quality Assurance (QA/QC) completed
  • % of regulatory authorizations conducted and reactive oversight activities against forecast
  • # of enforcement actions as per the process being implemented by CEE/SPPI for Q2 2018-19
  • % of incidents involving a product requiring an Emergency Response Assistance Program (ERAP) where specialized assistance Tier 1 level was provided, as required by ERAP upon its activation
  • % of requests for ERAP assessment/approvals for all categories that meet internal service standards
  • % of planned versus completed education and outreach activities
  • Under development (baselines to be established)
Aviation Security A safe and secure transportation system in which accidents, incidents and fatality rates decline
  • 10 year fatality rate trends vs current year
  • % of true passenger protect program matches vs all calls for verification
  • Rates do not increase
  • Rates do not increase
Entities comply/conform with Transport Canada requirements
  • % of inspections that yielded no findings
  • Once a baseline is established a target will be set.
Planned oversight activities are conducted on a risk-basis
  • % of planned inspections that are based on risk
  • 100%
Oversight activities are timely and efficient
  • % of call center responses to stakeholders that meet service standards
  • 80%
Entities return to compliance with Transport Canada requirements
  • % of inspections that resulted in findings where enforcement actions occurred
  • Once a baseline is established a target will be set.
Oversight Activities
  • % planned risk-based oversight activities completed
  • % planned Quality Control Reviews completed
  • % estimated reactive oversight activities completed
  • % complete of planned regulatory authorizations
  • 80%
  • 80%
  • 80%
  • 80%
ISSEP Core Responsibility: A safe and secure transportation system in Canada through laws, regulations, policies and oversight activities.
  • Rate of compliance of sector operators with Transport Canada's security regulations; percentage of Transport Canada security regulations aligned with international transportation standards
  • To be established
Entities return to compliance/conformance with TC requirements.
  • Percentage of follow-ups where full compliance/conformance is achieved for elements being followed-up on within a reasonable timeframe
  • 80%
A secure regime which responds to identified threats.
  • Reactive changes to the oversight plan dependent on new threat information
  • 80%
Compliance/conformance with regulatory and voluntary frameworks
  • Percentage of stakeholders complying with the voluntary and regulatory frameworks for the Intermodal Surface Security Oversight Program
  • 80%
Stakeholders are aware of regulatory requirements
  • Number of stakeholders aware of new regulatory requirements
  • 80%
Oversight Activities — Monitoring and Inspections (d2)
  • Percentage of planned risk-based oversight activities completed under the Transport Canada-Railway Association of Canada Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Railway Security
  • Percentage of planned risk-based oversight activities completed under the various Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) between Transport Canada and International Bridges and Tunnels owners/operators
  • 80%
Stakeholder Outreach (d4) C(a4)
  • Percentage of planned outreach activities completed to surface transportation stakeholders to support regulatory initiatives
  • 80%
Oversight Activities — Monitoring and Inspections (d2)
  • Percentage of planned risk-based oversight activities completed under the new Transportation of Dangerous Goods by Rail Security Regulations
  • 80%
Stakeholder Engagement (d4)
  • Number of stakeholder engagement sessions delivered through committee meetings, classified briefings, and teleconference calls
  • 80%
Development and Implementation of New Security Programs (c1) (c2)
  • Number of tools created and/or updated to support program implementation internally and externally
  • 80%

Annex 4 — SMS/SeMS description by program and applicable acts, regulations and standards

Programs Definition Principles Limitations Regulations
Civil Aviation

A documented process for managing risks that integrates operations and technical systems with the management of financial and human resources to ensure aviation safety or the safety of the public

In 2005, Transport Canada introduced SMS requirements into Canada’s aviation regulatory framework for Subpart 705 air operators and approved maintenance organizations (AMOs) certificate holders authorized to perform maintenance on aircraft operated under Subpart 705.

Followed by the introduction in 2008 of SMS requirements for airport certificate and air traffic services operations certificate holders, and the introduction in 2014 of SMS requirements for private operators

SMS regulations currently do not apply to:

  • air operators operated under Subparts 702, 703 and 704 of the CARs;
  • approved maintenance organizations (CAR 573) providing services to these operators;
  • flight training units (CAR 406);
  • design organizations (CAR 505); and,
  • manufacturing organizations (CAR 561).

Transport Canada is currently conducting an SMS policy review to complete a thorough internal analysis of SMS (since implementation in 2005 to current day) with the objective to:

  • review the current SMS framework , identifying strengths and opportunities for improvement;
  • identify lessons learned from the implementation of the current SMS framework;
  • examine the experience and identify best practices of SMS implementation in other countries in order to identify lessons learned and industry best practices;

Phase two of the SMS policy review anticipated to begin in Fall 2019 will focus on the engagement strategy.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) does not specify the minimum frequency a country needs to carry out its SMS oversight activities. As a permanent member of the SM ICG and SMP working group, Transport Canada is identifying best practices in assessing SMS and is exploring new avenues to conduct surveillance.

Marine Safety

As per International Management of Safety Code: “The Crewing Regulations require that:

21.1(1) The owner of a ship shall provide to the master written instruction that set out the policies and procedures to be followed to make sure that the complement of the ship:

(a) is familiarized with the ship and their duties; and

(b) can effectively co-ordinate their activities when performing duties vital to safety or the prevention or mitigation of pollution

(2) The master shall make sure that the ship’s complement is trained in and carries out the policies and procedures

This can at the most fundamental level be interpreted to require some of the most important elements of a Safety Management System without calling it a Safety Management System.”

Incorporated into the regulations in 2002 and applies to all vessels other than pleasure craft

SMS requirements were implemented on a worldwide basis in 1998 for almost all tankers, bulk carriers and passenger ships in international trade and expanded to apply to general cargo vessels and offshore drilling units in 2002:

  • No domestic requirements but voluntary adoption promoted
  • Pockets of voluntary adoption, many of the larger operators BC Ferries, Marine Atlantic and larger bulk carriers have adopted International Safety Management Code for their purely domestic operations

Safety Management Regulations were enacted in 1998 pursuant to the Canada Shipping Act and amended to broaden their application in 2002

Applied international requirements from the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention and associated Code as a minimum.

The choice and timing of Marine Safety’s oversight activities are mandated by the International Maritime Organizations’ International Safety Management (ISM) Code

Marine Security

An integral part of an organization’s day-to-day business operations and its management systems.

Marine Security requires its SeMS regulated ports, marine facilities and vessels to go through a certification process every five years

As virtually all of Marine Security’s regulations are SeMS-based, all of its inspectors are trained to carry out SeMS oversight activities. It has very little flexibility in resourcing for its annual oversight plan given the IMO mandated certification cycle

The choice and timing of Marine Security’s oversight activities are mandated by the International Maritime Organizations’ (IMO) International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code

Rail Safety

A formal framework for integrating safety into day-to-day railway operations including safety goals and performance targets, risk assessments, responsibilities and authorities, rules and procedures, monitoring and evaluation processes

Requires all federally regulated railway companies (including some provincial short lines where adopted provincially) to implement and maintain an SMS with mandatory components as outlined in the regulations


SMS Regulations came into effect on March 31, 2001

All federally regulated railways are being audited against SMS regulations


There are three facets:

  • Motor Vehicle Safety has no explicit definition of SMS. SMS principles are embodied in the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA) “self-certification” and Notice of Defect approaches;
  • Motor Carrier Safety has no definition of SMS, but some SMS principles embodied in the National Safety Code, under the Motor Vehicle Transport Act (MVTA); and
  • Road Safety: Definition of “safe systems approach” being jointly developed at international level for use in national programs

Motor Vehicle Safety: MVS regulates the manufacture and importation of vehicles and vehicle equipment and covers all domestic manufacturers and importers (approx. 4,500 companies)


Self-certification regime, notice of defect provision, performance-based regulations and standards in effect since 1971Road Use / Vehicle and Driver Licensing- No regulations or standards because jurisdiction is wholly provincial/territorial


No explicit definitions of SMS, but SMS principles are embodied in the actual workings in the directorate (e.g. risk management, emergency response plans, documentation, industry accountability, prosecutions of companies only and not individuals, performance-based regulations and standards, where appropriate)

TDG Act, Regulations and Standards cover the transportation of all dangerous goods

TDG sets the requirements and process for the classification of dangerous good, design and manufacture of means of containment, selection of containment, containment, shipping, documentation markings of the container, and emergency response when necessary

Operation of the vehicle while transporting the dangerous goods is under the jurisdiction of the appropriate mode while shipping; containment, marking and emergency response when necessary fall within the TDG regulations and standards

The act, regulations and standards require safety management strategies where appropriate

  • Most want to comply because of the large, personal and public consequences (culture)
  • Liability concerns if an accident occurs
  • Fear of prosecution and penalties are a deterrent

Further, the TDG Act is criminal law and hence of wide application

It applies to each person/company in Canada unless they’re specifically exempted

Transport Canada already has a formal SMS in place for rail, marine and air modes

Aviation Security

An integral part of an organization’s day-to-day business operations and its management systems.

Following the consolidation and the renewal of the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations in 2012, SeMS regulations were integrated in the Aviation Security regulatory framework and the requirements were introduced progressively in phases with the coming-into-force date starting in 2013 extending until 2019-2020. Considering Aviation Security’s SeMS system is still in the implementation stages, and its elements are integrated with non-SeMS oversight activities, Aviation Security will not be able to report specifically on SeMS oversight compliance numbers. Once SeMS is fully implemented and our inspection data collection and analysis system (Transportation Security Information System, TSIS) has the capability to differentiate SeMS and non-SeMS oversight activities, including reporting, then Aviation Security will be able to report on SeMS oversight activities.

Inspectors use a compliance assessment tool to evaluate both SeMS and non-SeMS requirements based on if they exist, have been implemented, and to assess their effectiveness. In addition, regulations require certain SeMS components to be submitted to the Minister for validation and approval at least every five years.

The Canadian Aviation Security Regulations, 2012, introduced new regulations for Airport Security Programs (ASP), which are mainly comprised of management and performance based regulations. Aviation Security took a phased in approach to the implementation of ASPs. The final elements will be implemented in 2019.