Early Intervention

This page describes the Early Intervention process of the Investigations Branch of the Public Service Commission for investigations pursuant to sections 66 and 67 of the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA).

What is Early Intervention?

Early intervention (EI) is a joint process to resolve issues related to the appointment process. It is voluntary. The concerned persons – namely the person who raised the issue and the person responding to it – agree to have a facilitator attempt to guide them to a mutually beneficial resolution of the issue.

The facilitator encourages each concerned person to consider carefully the interests of the other person. He or she assists the concerned persons in reaching an agreement by helping them to identify the issues, to explore and collaborate on a possible basis for agreement, and to recognize the likely consequences of not settling the dispute through EI.

The concerned persons alone decide whether to settle and, if so, on what terms. The facilitator never imposes a decision.

What are the benefits of Early Intervention?

  • EI enables concerned persons to address and hopefully resolve an appointment process issue(s) early, before undue time, energy and money are spent.
  • EI is voluntary. Nothing happens during EI without the concerned persons' consent. Each concerned person may withdraw from the process at any time. The facilitator may also end the EI if, for example, it appears that no resolution is possible.
  • No decision is forced on the concerned persons. With the assistance of the facilitator, the concerned persons themselves come up with the solutions that may meet their needs and interests.
  • All communications in EI are confidential. The concerned persons control what they want the facilitator to know. The expectation is that the concerned persons will be open and forthcoming with information and ideas for resolution.
  • EI allows for creative solutions to disputes. Often concerned persons come away from the EI process with benefits that would not have been possible if an investigation had been used to settle the problem.
  • The facilitator can help remove the emotional and confrontational elements from the discussion of the issues. The emphasis is on working together to solve a problem without an admission of fault on anyone’s part.

What happens at the Early Intervention Session?

The facilitator arranges for the EI session which the concerned persons attend. If they wish, the concerned persons may be accompanied by a person of their choice. At the beginning of the session an agenda is negotiated. The following is a brief description of the main elements of the early intervention sessions.

  • The concerned persons present their perspective on each issue. This helps the facilitator understand the issues and clarifies for both sides the problem to be solved. The objective of this step is not to prove a case.
  • The facilitator ensures that individual issues are prioritized and dealt with systematically.
  • Any time during the proceedings, a concerned person may ask for a private and confidential meeting with the facilitator to discuss matters that may help in working toward a solution.
  • More than one EI session may be required. The concerned persons and the facilitator decide this. If a resolution is not reached at the initial session, the concerned persons may also decide to authorize the facilitator to do follow-up work. This may consist of further information gathering and exchange among the persons, meetings by telephone, and so on.
  • Following a successful EI session, the facilitator may draw up a draft memorandum of agreement for the consideration and eventual signature of the concerned persons.

Normally, a "face-to-face" meeting is utilized. Sometimes "shuttle early intervention" may be necessary. The principles and objectives are the same as those in "face-to-face" approach. The primary difference is that the facilitator goes back and forth between the concerned persons exchanging information, ideas for possible solutions, etc.

What if the Early Intervention is not successful?

The Investigations Branch of the Public Service Commission will proceed to an investigation. To this end, an officer other than the facilitator is assigned to conduct such investigation.