ARCHIVED - 3  Fleet Human Resources

Warning This information has been archived because it is outdated and no longer relevant.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats by contacting us.

Demographic shifts continue to be the biggest single risk to Coast Guard's workforce as increasing numbers of experienced employees become eligible for retirement and the Canadian population continues to become more diverse.

Seagoing Personnel

Coast Guard has identified ships' crew and ships' officers as members of groups essential to operations. These two groups comprise the overwhelming majority of Fleet Operational Readiness program staff. Recruitment measures specific to each group are being implemented.

Shipboard occupations and the related operational environment experienced by mariners are quite distinct from those encountered by Coast Guard's shore-based personnel. Ships remain at sea for extended periods of time; the work is demanding and often performed under difficult physical conditions. The work is not only physically challenging, but also occasionally risky. Ships' crews and officers must be well trained and experienced in order to successfully perform their work. To this end, Fleet must not only recruit and retain qualified personnel at pace with attrition, but also ensure that individuals maintain necessary levels of certification to carry out the highly specialized work inherent to key positions aboard vessels.

Table 3: Distribution of Seagoing Personnel by Region and Employment Type, April 1, 2010

 Newfoundland and LabradorMaritimesCentral and ArcticQuébecPacificNationally
Ships' officers
On strength (full-time equivalent) 217 214 100 158 167 856
On strength (term) 3 6 8 6 16 39
Total ships' officers on strength 220 220 108 164 183 895
Ships' crew
On strength (full-time equivalent) 356 298 124 194 249 1,221
On strength (term) 61 56 41 48 99 305
Total ships' crew on strength 417 354 165 242 348 1,526
Hovercraft pilots, navigators, engineers and crew
On strength (full-time equivalent) - - - 16 41 57
On strength (term) - - - 2 5 7
Total specialized personnel on strength - - - 18 46 64
Total 637 574 273 424 577 2,485

In order to mitigate this certification risk, one strategy elaborated on in last year's Strategic Human Resources Plan is to tap into a previously overlooked source of mid-range engineering certificates by developing individual training requirements for qualified ship's crew who possess a fourth-class motor certificate so that they are able to attain a third-class motor certificate.

The ships' crew certification program has established training modules to assist ships' crew in obtaining their third-class certificates in a one- to two-year timeframe. This strategy will provide the flexibility we need to bring in mid-range certificates while providing career progression for our ship's crew personnel.

CCG employees preparing for on-water operations
CCG employees preparing for on-water operations

Table 4: Distribution of Seagoing Personnel by Region and Age, April 1, 2010

Age CategoryNewfoundland and LabradorMaritimesCentral and ArcticQuébecPacificNationally
Ships' officers
Average age (full-time equivalent) 45 48 44 45 45 45
Age under 45 years 85 51 46 69 73 326
Age 45–54 years 110 117 48 75 71 421
Age 55–59 years 16 33 11 17 24 101
Age 60 years or more 9 19 3 3 15 49
Total ships' officers on strength 220 220 108 164 183 895
Ships' crew
Average age (full-time equivalent) 46 50 43 48 42 46
Age under 45 years 158 62 74 74 175 543
Age 45–54 years 168 197 67 110 115 657
Age 55–59 years 59 66 21 44 40 230
Age 60 years or more 32 29 3 14 18 96
Total ships' crew on strength 417 354 165 242 348 1,526
Hovercraft pilots, navigators, engineers and crew
Average age (full-time equivalent) - - - 47 38 43
Age under 45 years - - - 3 33 36
Age 45–54 years - - - 12 12 24
Age 55–59 years - - - 3 1 4
Age 60 years or more   - - 0 0 0
Total specialized personnel on strength - - - 18 46 64

Fleet Safety and Security

Fleet is committed to safety and security, environmental protection and quality of services it provides to its clients. Throughout 2010–2011, in an effort to ensure continuous improvement and to focus on its safety and security mandate, Fleet developed a safety and security management and regulatory system framework paper, and completed both its ship security officer training and its Sea Island diving operational and training program certification. Additionally, Fleet implemented an interregional audit process, conducted external audit contract renewal, and developed and presented Fleet's internal audit course leading to an increase in the number of auditors.

Reported Incidents

In 2010–2011, Fleet saw a decrease in the number of disabling injuries for a total of 158 reported incidents. A disabling injury is an injury that prevents an employee from reporting to work on a day following an injury, results in loss of a body part (or the usefulness of that body part) or results in the impairment of a bodily function of an employee.

Hazardous occurrences continued to decline to their lowest point since 2004–2005 with 126 reported incidents. A hazardous occurrence is an accident/illness or a near miss arising out of, linked with or occurring during the course of employment that results in or has the potential to result in personal injury or damage to property or equipment or in pollution to the marine environment.

Unsatisfactory conditions increased by 47 percent to 324 reported incidents. An unsatisfactory condition includes technical problems, break­downs or deficiencies with systems or equipment that do not meet the definition of a hazardous occurrence but may affect the safe operation of the machinery or the safe/efficient delivery of the program.

Graph 17: Trend of Reported Incidents, 2006–2007 to 2010–2011

Number of Occurrences. 2006-2007: Unsatisfactory Conditions, 55; Disabling Injuries, 99; Hazardous Occurrences, 190. 2007-2008: Disabling Injuries, 114; Unsatisfactory Conditions, 168; Hazardous Occurrences, 217. 2008-2009: Unsatisfactory Conditions, 164; Disabling Injuries, 167; Hazardous Occurrences, 202. 2009-2010: Hazardous Occurrences, 161; Disabling Injuries, 163; Unsatisfactory Conditions, 220; and, 2010-2011: Hazardous Occurrences, 126; Disabling Injuries, 158; Unsatisfactory Conditions, 324.

Employment Equity Within Fleet

Coast Guard recognizes that recruitment is an opportunity to create a workforce that is more representative of the Canadian population. Employment equity is also an opportunity to draw from previously untapped talent pools in order to help sustain the continued effective operations of the fleet. The 2008–2011 DFO Employment Equity Management Action Plan is the Fleet Operational Readiness program's guide to achieving a representative workforce. It identifies employment equity gaps, potential barriers to reducing gaps, and actions to take to address these barriers.

The Fleet Operational Readiness program has eliminated barriers for employment equity candidates vying for seagoing positions, including removal of the second language prerequisite for officer training program candidates. Designated group members at sea are portrayed in Coast Guard promotional materials. A six-month dispensation for all indeterminate employees to attain marine emergency duty certification is being offered, thus encouraging them to pursue careers at sea. The Fleet Operational Readiness program has also created the Operational Women's Network to provide a communication forum for seagoing women.

Environmental Response Services Program Exercise
Environmental Response Services Program Exercise


While seafaring has been predominantly a male career, further effort has been placed on recruiting more women into seagoing positions. Table 5 shows Coast Guard's seagoing demographics as of April 1, 2010.

Table 5: Seagoing Personnel Demographics, April 1, 2010

Occupational GroupSeagoing EmployeesWomenMen
NumberAverage AgeNumberAverage AgeNumberAverage Age
Ships' crew 1,526 46 166 41 1,360 47
Ships' officers 895 46 68 37 827 46

Operational Women's Network

The Operational Women's Network is a voluntary information and communication tool for the women of Fleet who face the challenges of working in a non-traditional role. The network also provides secondary benefits to recruitment and encouragement to the seagoing women. The goal for 2011–2012 is to address the technological issues that currently exist in order to complete the full implementation of the project.