CNSC Values and Ethics Code

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CNSC Values and Ethics Code (PDF, 2.31 MB)

Message from the President

Ms. Rumina Velshi

This is an important document. Please read it in its entirety and keep it handy. It is a foundational element of our organization – and a critical touchstone for fulfilling our duties at the CNSC.

As Canada’s nuclear regulator, we are entrusted by Canadians with a number of important responsibilities – regulating to ensure their safety and the protection of the environment foremost among them. We must always make it a priority to understand what’s expected and demanded of us as representatives of the CNSC.

Each and every day, we must resolve to adhere to this Code both in letter and in spirit. Following the Code is how we put our core values into practice.

I encourage you to take the time to fully understand your obligations and responsibilities as a CNSC employee. If you’re unsure about anything in this document, please ask for clarity. If you have any concerns about the contents of this Code, please raise them immediately.

As President and CEO, I want to be absolutely clear: If you ever believe that the CNSC or any of its employees are not living up to the values and ethics as outlined in this Code, it is your duty to speak up. Do not be silent. We want to hear from you. We need to hear from you.

Each of us has a different role and different tasks to accomplish at the CNSC. Each of us brings different strengths and perspectives. But to succeed, we must embrace and follow the same set of guiding principles.

For those entrusted with great responsibility, there will always be a need to adhere to clear values and to embrace the highest of ethics.

By following this Code, we put ourselves in the best possible position to fulfill our obligations and achieve our goal of protecting the safety of Canadians, delivering excellence and being one of the best regulators in the world.

Rumina Velshi
March 5, 2021

Introduction: CNSC Values and Ethics Code

As part of the team of CNSC officers and employees, you have a number of important rights and responsibilities.

Among them: You are expected to embrace and embody positive values and ethics in order to earn and maintain the trust of your colleagues and Canadians.

What are the requirements I must comply with under this Code?

At the CNSC, we are committed to the values of Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence, Responsibility and Safety – often referred to collectively as RISERS.

As part of the CNSC team, you must:

  • Respect the rights and contributions of your colleagues and all those with whom you interact. This includes treating colleagues, stakeholders, Indigenous peoples and all Canadians with dignity and fairness.
  • Act with integrity in all that you do, striving to be honest and working continuously to earn the rights and privileges that a trusting relationship brings. This includes ensuring that your advice and decisions are grounded in evidence and that you avoid real, apparent and potential conflicts of interest. It also includes speaking out when made aware of wrongdoing – and never abusing your authority.
  • Commit to being of service to Canadians and the government, to the very best of your abilities. Canadians should feel confident that you are acting in their best interests. This includes judiciously managing public money, travel funds, property and resources entrusted to the CNSC – as well as respecting and protecting personal and confidential information.
  • Strive for excellence in your work. This includes being dedicated, competent and professional – and continually seeking to improve the quality of the CNSC’s policies, programs and services. It also includes carrying out your duties in a non-partisan and objective manner, providing decision makers with the information, analysis and advice needed to reach a fully informed conclusion.
  • Make an ongoing commitment to personal and professional responsibility. This includes engaging in honest, authentic – and respectful – conversation, raising pertinent issues, seeking out divergent and dissenting views, and listening actively to the perspectives of others. It also includes avoiding inappropriate behaviour, such as rudeness, bullying, intimidation, sexual harassment, perceived threats, and physical violence.
  • Promote and adhere to a strong culture of safety so that the CNSC can achieve its mandated responsibilities. This includes taking appropriate measures to ensure health and safety in the workplace.

In addition to compliance with these RISERS, you must:

  • Contribute to the realization of a diverse and inclusive workplace – ensure that the CNSC is representative of Canadian society by being open to the experiences of others and expanding your knowledge and perspective to make sure that each one of us feels able to contribute successfully to the mandate of the CNSC.
  • Know that the Canadian Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability and conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.
  • Speak up if you witness or experience violence, harassment or discrimination – or if you have information that could indicate a serious breach of this Code. Such matters can be raised without fear of reprisal to a supervisor, the Senior Officer for Disclosure (Secretariat), Labour Relations, Legal Services and/or Corporate Security, or the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner.

The Canada Labour Code requires employers to investigate, record and report all accidents, occurrences of harassment and violence, occupational illnesses and other hazardous incidents known to the employer. Recent amendments to the Canada Labour Code strengthened the existing framework for the prevention of workplace harassment and violence – including sexual harassment and sexual violence.

What does this mean?

It means:

  • these values and behaviours are conditions of employment
  • you must be honest and respectful
  • you must demonstrate integrity and responsibility
  • you must be committed to safety, excellence and service
  • you can expect to be treated in accordance with this Code

These are not mere words. At the CNSC, we do important work. Canadians have put their trust and confidence in us. We must at all times act in a manner that honours their trust and earns their confidence.

Only if we demonstrate our commitment to the highest values and ethics will we be deserving of the trust of Canadians and our co-workers.

To fulfill our mandate as a regulator, we must create and maintain an environment where people speak freely, fearlessly and candidly – but also respectfully. Not always agreeing with one another is OK, if done constructively.

At the CNSC, we do not tolerate violence, harassment or discrimination. If you witness or experience violence, harassment or discrimination, it is your responsibility to raise it immediately or when it is safe to do so.

Do not hesitate. It is your duty. You will be supported.

Together, we have a responsibility to protect the safety of Canadians and the environment. We take that responsibility seriously. We are all here with the same dedication to the safety of Canadians.

And we also have a responsibility to each other – to make this a supportive, enjoyable, productive and inclusive workplace.

We fulfill this responsibility when we exemplify a culture of integrity, ethics, safety and respect, and model trustworthy behaviour – and when, in our words and actions, we are guided by our values.

Who is the Code for?

This Code applies to every officer and employee of the CNSC. Along with the internal and external programs and policies listed below, this Code outlines the values and behaviours we each commit to as officers and employees of the CNSC.

What are the Code’s objectives?

The Code aims to:

  • identify and emphasize the values and expected behaviours that guide us in all activities related to our duties at the CNSC
  • outline internal and external mechanisms for disclosure of wrongdoing and for protection from reprisal, in a safe, secure and welcoming environment
  • comply with the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA) to establish a code of conduct specific to our organization and consistent with the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector

When must you abide by the Code?

You must abide by the Code:

  • while on CNSC premises
  • when performing CNSC work or acting on its behalf
  • when using its systems and networks
  • when your name is directly or indirectly associated with the CNSC

Why is abiding by the Code important?

The Code forms part of the conditions of your employment – along with the requirements set out in the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Policy, the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA) and the CNSC Directive on Reporting and Managing Financial Conflicts of Interest.

What happens if I violate the terms of the CNSC Values and Ethics Code?

A breach of this Code or the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector may result in disciplinary measures being taken, up to and including termination of employment.

When does this Code take effect?

This Code takes effect on March 5, 2021 and supersedes the CNSC’s 2012 Code.

Additional information

Other documents further outline what is expected of you and provide essential information that may help to guide your actions in certain situations. Please take the time to visit the Values and Ethics BORIS page and familiarize yourself with these documents so you fully understand your responsibilities – and so you know where to turn should you require assistance.
These resources include:

  • CNSC Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Policy
  • CNSC Directive on Reporting and Managing Financial Conflicts of Interest
  • Declaration of Conflicts of Interest, Form I and Form II
  • Political activities
  • Open Door Policy
  • Non-Concurrence Process
  • Differences of Professional Opinion (DOPO) Process
  • Direct email to the President
  • Respectful Workplace Policy (currently under review)
  • Inclusive Workplace Policy (currently under review)
  • Informal Conflict Management System (ICMS)

Related links

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