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5.0 Conclusions and Recommendations

In conclusion, there is a need for the Program. The Program has experienced an annual increase in the number of eligible recipients and the usage of benefits and services, and forecasts indicate this trend will continue. In addition, the Program is aligned with the priorities of the Government of Canada, as well as the strategic plans of the Department.

The eligibility process does not involve an in-depth assessment of applicants' needs. More appropriate health and vocational performance measures would provide additional information to allow for more precise measurement of the participants’ achievement of success. In addition, the assessment process would benefit from earlier and more holistic consultation with health/rehabilitation professionals which should ensure consistency of planning and ultimately, participants’ successful completion of the program.

In general, Veterans are not very successful in achieving their vocational goals. The Financial Benefits Program has a range of monetary benefits which may be deterring Veterans from actively participating in the vocational aspects of the Program and the labour force. These issues may be reviewed under the current NVC Review or in response to the ACVA report entitled The New Veterans Charter: Moving Forward and may be reviewed as part of the upcoming NVC Financial Benefits Evaluation which Audit and Evaluation Division plans to begin in 2015-16.

Finally, the cost allocation method for the Program needs to be revised to more accurately reflect the costs of the Program.

5.1 Management Response and Action Plan

Recommendation 1

It is recommended that the Assistant Deputy Minister, Service Delivery, develops:

  • measurable program-specific performance indicators to assess "improved health and functional capacity" for the intermediate outcome; and
  • more appropriate vocational indicators to assess Program success. (Essential)

Management Response and Planned Action

Management agrees with this recommendation.

Reviewing and updating of the Rehabilitation Services and Vocational Assistance Program’s Program Performance Measurement Strategy and Performance Measurement Plan will be required, including the development of new performance indicators and data collection tool(s). The new data collection tool(s) will be implemented for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Planned Action Office of Primary Interest (OPI) Action Completion Date
1.1 Review current Program outcomes, in consultation with Strategic and Program Policy, and amend if necessary. Update the Program’s logic model if required. Health Care, Rehabilitation and Income Support Programs Directorate March 2015
1.2 Identify and/or develop, in consultation with the VAC Research Directorate, appropriate data collection strategies/tool(s), and obtain the necessary approvals. Identify and request any system changes and/or national vocational rehabilitation contract amendments required to implement the new tool(s). Health Care, Rehabilitation and Income Support Programs Directorate December 2015
1.3 In consultation with Service Delivery, Planning, Reporting and Performance Monitoring and the Statistics Directorate, review and amend the Program Performance Measurement Strategy and the Performance Measurement Plan. Confirm A&E acceptance and obtain ADM approval. Health Care, Rehabilitation and Income Support Programs Directorate December 2015
1.4 Implement the new data collection tool/process in support of the amended Performance Measurement Strategy and Performance Measurement Plan. Develop and/or update impacted business processes, and distribute to affected VAC staff. Health Care, Rehabilitation and Income Support Programs Directorate April 2016

Recommendation 2

It is recommended that the Assistant Deputy Minister, Service Delivery, reviews the assessment process to facilitate earlier consultation with health and rehabilitation professionals. (Essential)

Management Response and Planned Action

Management agrees with this recommendation.

The development of compliant and timely rehabilitation and vocational assistance plans requires initial and ongoing consultation with treating clinicians and other rehabilitation professionals, and access to, as needed, the support of Rehabilitation Program consultants and VAC Health Professionals. This direction was provided as part of Program training completed by VAC case managers last fall, and is also being specifically highlighted in upcoming Program decision-making training.

Planned Action Office of Primary Interest (OPI) Action Completion Date
2.1 Program decision makers will participate in Program decision-making training which highlights initial and ongoing consultation with treating clinicians and other rehabilitation professionals in decision-making processes and accessing the support of Rehabilitation Program consultants and VAC Health Professionals, as needed. Health Care, Rehabilitation and Income Support Programs Directorate Completed
2.2 Review the Program’s business processes.
  • Update the business processes to strengthen the message regarding the need for professional clinical assessments in support of rehabilitation or vocational assistance plans.
  • Update the business processes to provide specific direction consistent with the Department’s Decision- Making Policy Guidebook regarding when to seek advice and/or consult with other VAC staff.
Health Care, Rehabilitation and Income Support Programs Directorate Completed
2.3 Distribute the amended business processes to affected VAC staff via Service Delivery Advisory Team. Health Care, Rehabilitation and Income Support Programs Directorate Completed

Recommendation 3

It is recommended that the Assistant Deputy Minister, Human Resources and Corporate Services Branch, in collaboration with the Assistant Deputy Minister, Service Delivery, develop an appropriate methodology to accurately calculate the costs of the Program. (Critical)

Management Response and Planned Action

Finance agrees to work with Service Delivery Branch, to determine an appropriate methodology to allocate costs. This includes Program expenditures and resources utilized in Program delivery to ensure all costs associated with the Program are captured and reported.

Planned Action Office of Primary Interest (OPI) Action Completion Date
3.1 In conjunction with the Integrated Planning and Performance Division, consult with the Service Delivery Branch to develop an appropriate costing methodology for Program costs and regular operating budget resources, to ensure a more accurate allocation of Rehabilitation costs within the Health Care Program and Re-establishment Services. Joint – Finance Division, Financial Planning Directorate, Integrated Performance and Planning (IPP) Division, in consultation with Service Delivery Branch. March 2015
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