Cost Recovery Initiative: Consultation Document
6. Service standards

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The CFIA's objective in introducing service standards is to provide regulated parties with increased predictability and more consistent service levels across the organization.

Explicit service standards currently do not exist for many CFIA services. Some informal service standards exist (e.g. approximately ten business days to process simple import permit applications and longer for complex applications).

The CFIA is proposing service standards for each of the nine service categories. Once approved and implemented, service standards will be tracked. The CFIA will also report annually on how it has met these service standards.

In developing these standards, the CFIA observed the principles of:

  • Objectivity - based on facts
  • Feasibility - based on what is possible in terms of capacity
  • Measurability - based on what is quantifiable

Service standards tell you:

  • How quickly you will receive a response
  • What amount of time is required to complete a requested service

As outlined in Table 2, there are two different types of service standards being proposed. The first type of service standard provides an acknowledgement of a request within a set time period together with an expected timeframe for completion of a requested service. This service standard will apply to the majority of services.

Although acknowledgement of a request will be provided within a set time period, more precise service standards for completion of services such as inspection, technical review, audit and issuing official documents are not proposed at this time. The diverse range of requirements and activities that are captured within and across each of these service categories does not allow for a one size fits all approach. In addition, demand fluctuations over the course of the year make it difficult to predict in advance what the capacity will be to complete requests.

The second type of service standard commits to providing the results of an inspection or diagnostic test within a set time period. For inspection results, the service standard commits to providing the report within five business days of a completed inspection. For laboratory tests, timeframes for the results of each test will be standardized and published in the revised Fees Notice.

As programs change and technologies evolve, efficiencies may be gained that allow for additional refinement of service standards over time. For example, the transition from paper-based to electronic administration of services may enable the Agency to adopt shorter service standards.

The CFIA is committed to achieving the proposed service standards. It will track progress to ensure that these standards are being met and will take corrective measures when needed. As part of the implementation of any new service standards, the CFIA will ensure that personnel have the training and tools required to consistently and efficiently apply and meet them. Complaints about the quality and timeliness of CFIA services can continue to be communicated with the CFIA's Office of Complaints and Appeals.

Table 2 - Proposed service standards for service categories
Service Service Standard
Application Acknowledgement of request, including an expected timeframe for completion, will be provided within 2 business days of receiving the request
Technical review Acknowledgement of request, including an expected timeframe for completion, will be provided within 2 business days of receiving the request
Requested inspection

Inspection reports, as required, will be provided within 5 business days of a completed inspection

Where inspection service is provided as a result of a work shift agreement Table Note 2, services will be provided according to the terms of the agreement

Follow-up inspection Inspection reports, as required, will be provided within 5 business days of a completed inspection
Audit Acknowledgement of audit request, including an expected timeframe for completion, will be provided within 2 business days of receiving the request
Requested laboratory test Timeframe for the release of test results will be standardized for each test and published in the new fees notice
Follow-up laboratory test Timeframe for the release of test results will be standardized for each test and published in the new fees notice
Official document Acknowledgment of request for document (i.e. application), including an expected timeframe for completion, will be provided within 2 business days of receiving the request. Document will be provided within 15 business days of all requirements being received by the CFIA
Technical training Acknowledgement of request, including expected timeframe for completion, will be provided within 5 business days of receiving the request

Table Notes

Table Note 2

A workshift agreement is specific to the meat slaughter sector and outlines the schedule by which the operator conducts activities subject to CFIA oversight in a registered facility.

Return to table note 2  referrer

In certain circumstances, regulated parties have expressed an interest in paying increased fees to have service delivery expedited. The CFIA is interested in hearing more from regulated parties on their willingness to pay increased fees in exchange for expedited services.

We want your feedback. Please provide your views on the following questions using the contact information identified in Section 12:

  1. Is it clear to you how the proposed service standards would apply to the CFIA services that you receive? 
  2. Going forward, what areas should we focus on when considering additional refinements to service standards?
  3. To what extent are you willing to pay increased fees for expedited services? Which services in particular would this apply to?
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