2011-2012 Departmental Performance Report
Section IV: Other Items of Interest
4.1 Performance Indicators by Operational Priority
|Associated SO(s)||Operational Priorities||Performance Indicators|
|All Strategic Outcomes||Strategic Outcome: A safe and accessible food supply and plant and animal resource base
Program Activity: Food Safety Program
Program Activity: Animal Health and Zoonotics Program
Program Activity: Plant Resources Program
Program Activity: International Collaboration and Technical Agreements
4.2 Further Information on the Assessment of Compliance
As a regulatory agency, the principal means by which the CFIA carries out its mandate is by measuring rates of compliance with Canadian food, animal, and plant legislative requirements. The CFIA promotes compliance by conducting inspections, audits, product sampling and verifications. The CFIA also carries out education and awareness activities to increase regulated parties' understanding of statutory requirements and standards. Compliance rates are an indicator of the extent to which regulated parties have adhered to federal acts and regulations. The CFIA takes the following approaches to assessing compliance:
- Monitoring: Establishments or products are inspected, sampled and tested in such a way that the resulting compliance rates are representative of the CFIA-regulated population. Monitoring programs provide an accurate overview of compliance in the marketplace in general.
- Targeting: In cases where monitoring has identified significant compliance problems, the CFIA takes a targeted approach to inspections, sampling and testing by focusing on the problem area and areas of highest risk. Non-compliant establishments or products are often sought out for targeting to better define problem areas and reasons for non-compliance. For this reason, compliance rates of targeted programs are typically lower. Improved compliance is promoted through enforcement actions.
- Investigating: Investigations are undertaken for the purposes of prosecution for non-compliance, which includes gathering evidence and information from a variety of sources considered relevant to a suspected violation or offence.
The methods for determining compliance reflect the level and type of risks associated with the food or agricultural products being assessed. The specific methods the CFIA uses to determine compliance are outlined below:
- Compliance results are determined during the initial inspection;
- Compliance results are determined during the CFIA follow up visit conducted after the initial inspection;
- Compliance results are determined during the initial testing of food and product samples; and
- Compliance results are determined on an annual basis, following a correction period after the end of the fiscal year.
Varying by program, non-compliance can be determined if:
- There is a violation that poses a significant health and safety concern; and
- There is any violation even if it is not health and safety related.
Where compliance rates appear in this report, the relevant method used to assess compliance has been noted.
When CFIA inspectors determine that a regulated party is non-compliant, that party is required to take corrective action. If non-compliance persists, Agency inspectors have a variety of tools at their disposal. In a graduated approach, these tools range from procedural actions including letters of non-compliance, seizure and detention, suspension/cancellation of licences/registrations/permits and recommending prosecution.
The complexity of the agri-food sector and the inherent variability of the biological and production systems underpinning it are such that some degree of non-compliance is inevitable. A compliance rate of less than one hundred per cent means that some proportion of the facilities or products inspected by the CFIA has failed to meet certain requirements or standards as defined by the legislation. Major variances have the potential to pose a significant risk to human, animal or plant health and/or other program objectives. These are always met with vigorous enforcement actions to assure protection of Canadians and the plant and animal resource base. Some deficiencies represent minor variances and do not pose a significant risk to human, animal or plant health.
It is critical to note that the nature of the CFIA's mandated responsibilities is dynamic, given their basis in biological and production systems that are ever-changing. The inherent variability of these systems makes them difficult to predict and it is reasonable to expect some shift in compliance from year to year. The specificity of targets and reported results must be considered in this context.
4.3 Organizational Contact Information
Contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency via:
Telephone from Monday to Friday 08:00 to 20:00 Eastern time:
Toll Free: 1-800-442-2342
NCR: 1-800-442-2342 / 613-773-2342
Section IV information listed in the 2011–12 Departmental Performance Report can be found on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's Website at
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