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Community Management

GS1 Canada’s unique community management involvement includes working with a variety of work groups, technical groups, task groups and focus groups that report to GS1 Canada sector boards.

The groups are made up of subject matter expert representatives from businesses of all sizes operating in Canada. They provide a forum for collaborative commerce and for ensuring that GS1 Canada is developing standards and solutions that meet the requirements of the Canadian industry.

GS1 Canada's Community Management Groups:

  • Review new or proposed global standards and develop a Canadian response
  • Develop support materials to help GS1 global standards gain industry-wide adoption
  • Identify requirements for non-competitive issues by offering industry-wide solutions

Here is a list of our Work Groups, Technical Groups, Task Groups and Focus Groups:

Mission: The Work Group’s mission is to prove the operational concept within 2017 through a contained pilot study. The participants will each supply their case measurement data regularly in a semi-automated way to the GS1 analytical team, and use the resulting clean AIM database for use in their planning and distribution operations. Feedback throughout the 2017 pilot and documented successful outcomes could be used to recommend that GS1 and industry partners develop an automated robust service.

Scope: Prepare a recommendation for approval by the Grocery Sector Board and Foodservice Sector Board concerning ambient food and non-food case product dimensions:

  • Agreed upon solution principles and processes
  • Expected investment required
  • Value to industry participants
  • An implementation plan (both GS1 Canada and stakeholders) with timelines


  • Mark Thomas, Meta Management Consulting

Mission: To consider a practical method for trading partners to exchange key details about pending product changes. The Work Group tables its recommendations for review by the GS1 Canada Grocery Sector Board.

Scope: To develop a comprehensive implementation guide and clarification document which is leveraged within all industries.

This is achieved by:

  • Developing agreed upon guideline principles
  • Collaborating on the assumption that the rules, as written, are un-mutable
  • Developing and maintaining community roadmap phases and timelines


  • Sean Bryne, Nestle Canada Inc.
  • Daniel Clark, GS1 Canada
  • Alfredo Conte, Metro

Mission: To develop and maintain a leading practice for the proper usage of data synchronization attributes and to publish in respective Implementation Guidelines (IG) for industry use and reference.

Scope: The work group commitment is to continue the development of standardized business requirements within the following categories: grocery, dairy, frozen, fresh foods, hardlines, general merchandise, seafood, poultry, chemical, beverages, alcohol, health and beauty, pharmaceutical, publishing, tobacco, garden and office supply.

This is achieved by:

  • Collecting, defining and evaluating business and technical needs specific to the Canadian supply chain
  • Determine if and how current and/or emerging regulations impact data-capturing requirements


  • Sean Byrne, Nestle Canada Inc.
  • Heather Leger, Sobeys Inc.
  • Zubair Nazir, GS1 Canada

Mission: The eCommerce GDSN Machine to Machine Focus Group (Focus Group) will help guide the eCommerce Industry Managed Solution to support requirements gathering and confirmation for integrating Suppliers GDSN data and images to the Vault eCommerce Solution

Scope: Attributes and Images – Review GDSN Alignment:

  • Review and confirm the GDSN mapping to the Vault
  • Assess if any gaps in supporting the business need to the eCommerce using Global Standards
  • Support any new submissions to Global for additions and modifications
  • Assess the current implementation practices by GDSN industry to reflect these practices in the mapping to the eCommerce Solution

GDSN M2M engagement:

  • Review the proposed rollout and engagement plan to implement the M2M solution that address the business requirements
  • Review and provide feedback for the supporting documentation for the rollout (Mapping guides, FAQs, Capture rules…)


  • Fairouz Ghiati, GS1 Canada
  • Jason Laxdal, GS1 Canada

Mission: To will help guide the eCommerce Industry Managed Solution requirements to support evolving market and environmental conditions.

Scope: To confirm requirements within the following key areas of focus:

Attributes – review consumer driven attributes:

  • Normalized description business rules
  • Category top up requirements for Pet, HABA, and Fresh
  • Minimum attribute requirements for products without on pack data
  • Key word search by in scope categories (also supporting voice)
  • Expanded romance capability beyond existing scope available in the Vault
  • Optional vs. mandatory attributes for Machine to Machine (M2M)

Images – review eCommerce image requirements beyond existing scope:

  • Mobile / high resolution images
  • Additional image types/views (sides, back, perception etc.)


  • Francois Bouchard, GS1 Canada
  • Jason Laxdal, GS1 Canada
  • Susan Alikhan, GS1 Canada

Objective: The Foodservice and Grocery Traceability Task Group (Task Group) is being established to define the business process and data requirements for traceability in the Foodservice and Grocery sectors. The Task Group will agree on how basic (one up/one down) traceability will be implemented within the Canadian Foodservice and Grocery retail sectors, based on existing GS1 Traceability standards. GS1 Canada Task Group will leverage implementation guidance documents developed and supported by the GS1 US Foodservice and Grocery communities, with the goal of aligning Canada’s implementation with the US. This will be accomplished in 2 phases and the conclusions reached in both phases will be presented to the relevant GS1 Canada sector boards for approval:

  • Phase 1 will focus on the production of commodity-specific implementation guidance documents as well as guidance documents on the deployment of standard case labels to enable traceability.
  • Phase 2 will involve the definition and agreement on an implementation roadmap including an understanding of the resulting costs & benefits.

Mission: To develop industry guidance on how to implement traceability and the deployment of standard case labels (Phase 1). To advise the relevant GS1 sector boards on a recommended implementation roadmap and an understanding of the resulting costs & benefits (Phase 2).

Scope: The Task Group commitment is to the development of a comprehensive traceability implementation guide for food (including shelf stable and fresh food) which can be leveraged within both the Foodservice and Grocery industries. This is achieved by:

  • Developing agreed upon guideline principles
  • Collaborative work based on review and adaptation of existing standards
  • Guidelines for sharing traceability information for various product types (e.g. seafood, produce, shelf-stable)
  • Guidelines for the application of GS1-128 barcodes and human-readable text on cases
  • Understanding the current deployment of GS1-128 barcodes to establish a base line from which future progress can be measured.


  • Daniel Clark, GS1 Canada

Mission: Reporting to GS1 Canada’s Carenet Healthcare Sector Board, the GS1 Canada Healthcare Provider Deployment Committee (“Committee”) is representative of senior-level healthcare administrators (hospitals, shared services organizations (SSOs) and group purchasing organizations (GPOs)). The Committee is an action-oriented collaboration to share standards based leading practices and drive positive change across the healthcare value chain, including procurement, inventory management, patient care, product recall and analytics.


  • Support the National Movement that brings together stakeholders across the healthcare sector to actively advance the tracking and tracing of products from manufacturer to patient health outcomes to reduce medical error, and create a safer system for Canadians.
  • Participate in peer-to-peer sharing aimed at supporting knowledge transfer, issue identification and resolution, and deployment experiences/recommendations.
  • Finalize and advance an implementation roadmap for the integration of GS1 standards and data integrity/synchronization protocols (ECCnet Registry and GDSN) in the healthcare sector and respective funding model.
  • Establish cross reference strategies that takes into account the various standards and data elements required to link supply chain, to patient care, through to EMR traceability and analytics.
  • Identify and recruit healthcare providers with active or pending back-end system capabilities, with the goal to engage these organizations in standards based data synchronization implementation.
  • Identify and provide advice to the healthcare community / GS1 Canada on management of implementation issues, support needs and barriers to achieving critical mass adoption.
  • Develop and administer a scorecard to monitor adoption levels, and respond to barriers preventing the vision of critical mass adoption.
  • Direct standards development needs and provide tools to advance initial use cases.
  • Forum to provide input to a Canadian Unique Device Identification (UDI) strategy leveraging GS1 global standards and data synchronization protocols.


  • Rob Bell, GS1 Canada
  • David Loukras, Provincial Health Services Authority

If you wish to participate in this work group please email us at

Mission: To create a forum for the Canadian healthcare medical device community to discuss implementation needs and to further develop and maintain the Canadian healthcare medical device technical implementation guidelines. This is to enable capturing national requirements and ensuring continued alignment with North American and global standards.

Scope: The work group operates within the following context:

  • Collect, define and evaluate clinical, business and technical needs specific to the Canadian healthcare medical device sector as requested by the Carenet Healthcare Sector Board and/or the Deployment Committee
  • Determine how current and/or emerging healthcare regulations impact medical device data standards requirements and implementation needs.
  • Examine current healthcare Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and GS1 standards implementation requirements to determine possible use of these standards as the basis to enhance clinical or business processes.
  • Ensure alignment of healthcare business process/use case needs to respective medical device standards
  • Create a forum to discuss implementation questions with healthcare community and to address these questions collectively to support development of roadmaps with timelines, adoption of industry protocols, guidelines and implementation tools


  • Allen Diehl, Plexxus
  • Nicole Golestani, GS1 Canada
  • Eric Joly, BSN Medical
  • Elise Tiessen, Provincial Health Services Authority

Mission: To review industry’s business requirements impacted by nutrition regulations for incorporation into GS1 Canada’s tools - ECCnet Registry and ECCnet Item Certification.

Scope: The group’s commitment is to the develop standardized business requirements for all food products within the Grocery Retail and Foodservice industries.

This is achieved by:

  • Collecting, defining and evaluating business needs specific to Canadian Supply Chain impacted by nutrition regulations
  • Identify emerging regulations and potential impacts to sector and suite of GS1 Canada’s tools and services


  • Debby Atallah, GS1 Canada
  • Janet Chin, GS1 Canada

Mission: To establish and incorporate into ECCnet Registry and ECCnet Item Certification nutritional business requirements for data synchronization and to provide publication in respective Implementation Guideline (IG) for industry use and reference.

Scope: To continue the development of standardized business requirements for nutrition within the Grocery and Foodservice sectors through:

  • Collecting, defining and evaluating both business and technical needs specific to the Canadian supply chain
  • Determine if and how current and/or emerging regulations impact data-capturing requirements
  • Developing and maintaining community roadmap phases and timelines


  • Janet Chin, GS1 Canada
  • Margaret Thompson, Frito Lays Canada
  • Karen Williams, Aramark Canada

Mission: To develop and maintain pharmaceutical image standards, leading practices and implementation guidelines for pharmaceutical product data and image synchronization requirements while ensuring continued alignment with North American and global standards.

Scope: The Task Group will operate within the following context:

  • Define unique standardized image requirements for Canadian pharmaceuticals for all levels of packaging, including the Application Unit (i.e. images of a pill) and identify when a product image is required.
  • Understand current and future pharmaceutical image business processes that would require access to accurate/standardized product images (i.e. validate prescriptions at the pharmacy or bedside).
  • Monitor and evaluate how emerging/current standards and pharmacy regulations may have an impact on the need for standardized pharmacy images in Canada.
  • Explore initial database population opportunities (within distributor facilities and/or at the healthcare provider level).
  • Identify responsibilities regarding pharmaceutical image accuracy, validity and security.
  • Determine system and technical functionalities required for implementation (i.e. search capabilities).


  • Sandra Couto, GS1 Canada
  • Nicole Golestani, GS1 Canada

Mission: The Task Group will draft a position statement and related roadmap on standards-based pharmaceutical traceability in Canada, to be presented during the next Board meeting, November 14, 2018.


Phase 1

  • Will identify a high-level roadmap consisting of the following deliverables that will be presented to the Board.

Phase 2

  • If greenlighted will drill down into specific areas identified by the Phase 1 plan.

Reporting to the Board, the Task Group will:

  • Define and document the Canadian Pharmaceutical Traceability requirements in alignment with the GTSH;
  • Develop Pharmaceutical Traceability implementation roadmap with respective readiness timelines for manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies;
  • Develop a traceability position statement for the Canadian pharmacy community;
  • Identify implementation opportunities and barriers;
  • Evaluate how emerging/current standards and pharmacy regulations may have an impact on the need for standardized pharmaceutical traceability in Canada;
  • Provide input to the pharmaceutical barcoding implementation guide.


  • Sandra Couto, GS1 Canada

Mission: To develop and maintain pharmacy-specific global standards for enabling pharmaceutical supply chain product identification, capture, and sharing to enable use. These electronic processes enable automated identification and verification of pharmaceuticals, thereby averting medication errors.

This includes:

  • Identifying methods for increasing awareness and adoption of global standards and GS1 Canada services to enhance end to end pharmaceutical supply and value chain efficiencies, accuracy and patient safety
  • Developing leading best practices and implementation guidelines
  • Where applicable, developing and maintaining data synchronization attributes

Scope: The work group operates within the following context:

  • Collect, define and evaluate business requirements specific to the Canadian pharmacy sector, including product and location identification
  • Monitor and evaluate standards, pharmaceutical regulations and data-capturing requirements that impact the Canadian pharmaceutical supply chain
  • Define standardized requirements for product description, dimensional data and images that are unique to the pharmacy sector


  • George Craigie, McKesson Canada
  • Moorad Khoorshed, AstraZeneca
  • Nicole Golestani, GS1 Canada
  • Colleen Hong, Sobeys National Pharmacy Group
  • Sandra Couto, GS1 Canada

Mission: The Technical Standards Work Group works under the auspices of the GS1 Canada Collaborative Commerce Committee and governed by GS1 Canada’s various Sector Boards (i.e. Grocery, Foodservice and Pharmacy) their objectives consist of the following:

  • Assist in identifying and addressing all technical issues related to supply chain technical and business requirements necessary to develop
  • Maintain Canadian technical implementation guidelines to ensure continued alignment with North American and global standards. This relates to Electronic Data Interchange and GS1 barcode standards.

Scope: The work group operates within the following context:

  • Support and maintain existing Canadian standards and implementation guidelines (e.g. Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Solutions (VICS) EDI
  • Review and evaluate GS1 Canada change requests that impact technical and business requirements
  • Develop and maintain implementation guidelines for emerging standards
  • Prepare appropriate change request content for submission to the GS1 Global Standards Management Process (GSMP), GS1 US X12 Requirements Group (XRG) and ANSI X12 Standards Organization.
  • Promote the benefits of adopting and aligning with Canadian. North American and global standards
  • Monitor and evaluate relevant emerging/current standards to determine their impact on the Canadian supply chain


  • Richard McTavish, Spin Master