Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Global Affairs Canada

Mandate and Structure

The Canadian Foreign Service Institute's (CFSI) mandate was approved in 2007. It encompasses training and development needs of the various groups and levels of employees in the department, as well as the requirements for management development. CFSI's mandate was revised in 1997 and 2002. A revised mandate was approved in 2007. It encompasses training and development needs of the various groups and levels of employees in the department, as well as the requirements for management development.

CFSI has departmental responsibility for coordinating the implementation of the government-wide policy on learning, training and development and for providing advisory services on the development of individual and organizational learning plans.

The 2007 mandate states that CFSI will:

  • Align its programs with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and Government of Canada priorities
  • Become a recognized Government of Canada (GOC) Centre of Expertise for International Affairs Learning, Foreign Languages and Intercultural Effectiveness
  • Serve the needs of DFATD as defined by its mission and management direction as the primary provider of career-long learning for all departmental employees
  • Provide training on corporate systems critical to DFATD resource management
  • Maximize use of leading edge technologies to enhance learning and streamline operations
  • Offer one-stop learning advisory services through a visible client services centre
  • Conduct systematic learning needs assessments and cyclical evaluations of courses and programs
  • Produce comprehensive Annual Learning Reports covering all DFATD training activities
  • Foster partnerships with other DFATD training providers, the Canada School of Public Service, OGDs, provinces and other learning organizations

The Institute consists of five centres of learning:

The Centre of Learning for International Affairs and Management (CFSD)

CFSD organizes a range of professional training and management development. The programs are tailored for distinct groups—from the new foreign service officers to the new Heads of Mission. Areas of specialization at the Centre include: international affairs; core foreign service skills; international business development; trade and economic policy and international security and cooperation.

The Centre for Corporate Services Learning (CFSS)

CFSS is responsible for the development, design, and delivery of training to employees at headquarters and at missions overseas, including entry-level development programs for Management Consular Officers (MCOs), Administrative Assistants (AAs), and Locally Engaged Staff (LES). Training in the areas of Resource Management, Information Management Technology (IMT) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is delivered at HQ through classroom instruction and self-directed online tutorials, and on a 7-day/24-hour basis to missions around the world and Canadian Regional Offices using remote training technology.

The Centre for Intercultural Learning (CFSC)

CFSC has been preparing Canadians for international assignments since 1969. Its mandate is to support organizations and individuals involved with international activities in developing the intercultural competencies essential for international success.

CFSC delivers training services in the area of intercultural effectiveness to Canada-based staff and locally-engaged personnel working in Canadian missions. It provides numerous other federal and provincial government departments, non-governmental and private sector organizations with a wide range of intercultural effectiveness, pre-departure, re-integration and orientation to Canada courses. CFSC has also developed international personnel selection tools and on-line learning and information services to support greater personal and organizational intercultural effectiveness.

CFSC's government clients include the Department of National Defence (DND), Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), and others.

The Centre for Foreign Languages (CFSL)

CFSL offers full-time Professional Proficiency (PP) training, in classroom or at a distance, in a large variety of foreign languages. New languages are added on a regular basis to adjust to the departmental needs. Immersion sessions are offered in Canada and abroad to complement the PP courses. In addition, the Centre also offers short-term pre-posting training and, on a part-time basis, maintenance and online programs.

Course participants' level of proficiency is determined by foreign language testers certified by CFSL.

The Centre also offers, on a cost-recovery basis, foreign languages training and testing services to other federal government departments and agencies, as well as to foreign countries. The main clients include Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS), Public Service Commission (PSC), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Heritage Canada and the House of Commons.

The Centre for Learning Advisory Services, eLearning and Administration (CFSE)

CFSE provides information on learning opportunities within and outside DFATD, advises managers and employees on the development of organizational and individual learning plans as well as on the interpretation of learning policies and guidelines. The Centre also coordinates the Required Training offered by the Canada School of Public Service and develops learning roadmaps for various employees groups. To expand the CFSI ever growing curriculum of online courses and better serve clients, the Centre manages the design of online courses and products as well as course evaluation instruments.


Date Modified: