The PSC's Appointment Policy and associated documents are under review – for assistance please contact your strategic staffing consultant.

Policy Statement

The assessment is designed and implemented without bias, political influence or personal favouritism and does not create systemic barriers.

The assessment processes and methods effectively assess the essential qualifications and other merit criteria identified and are administered fairly.

The identification of persons who meet the operational requirements and organizational needs is carried out objectively.

Policy Objective

To ensure that the assessment processes and methods:

  • result in the identification of the person(s) who meet the qualifications and other merit criteria used in making the appointment decision; and
  • provide a sound basis for making appointments according to merit.

Policy Requirements

In addition to being accountable for respecting the policy statement, deputy heads must:

  • inform the persons to be assessed, in a timely manner, of the assessment methods to be used, their right to accommodation and how to exercise that right; and
  • ensure that those responsible for assessment:
    • have the necessary competencies to ensure a fair and complete assessment of the person's qualifications;
    • have the language proficiency required to permit effective communication with the person being assessed in the official language or languages chosen by that person in order to assess his or her qualifications fairly;
    • are not in conflict of interest and are able to carry out their roles, responsibilities and duties in a fair and just manner;
    • obtain the PSC's approval before using tests of personality, intelligence, aptitude, or tests of like nature;
    • adhere to the guidelines set forth in the document entitled "Testing in the Public Service of Canada", published by the PSC, when developing and using standardized tests;
    • use assessment tools that do not create systemic barriers to employment;
    • use the PSC's Second Language Evaluation test or another instrument approved by the PSC to assess official language skills on a "meets/does-not-meet" basis. PSC's Second Language Evaluation Oral Interaction Test must be evaluated by PSC-certified Second Language Evaluation Oral Interaction Assessors. Second Language Evaluation Oral Interaction Tests evaluated by PSC-certified Second Language Evaluation Oral Interaction Assessors are deemed to have been conducted by the PSC. For appointments of students or casual workers, those responsible for the assessment are permitted to conduct the assessment if they have the language skills required to do so;
    • conduct their own assessment of expert or specialized official language proficiency qualifications;
    • assess qualifications for appointment to or within the EX group:
      • with a structured interview and a structured reference check, and;
      • with any additional assessment tools necessary to provide clear evidence for appointment decisions (such as SELEX);

      • obtain approval from the PSC for exceptions to the EX assessment requirements on a case-by-case basis, except for acting EX appointments over four months.
      • for acting EX appointments over four months, the acceptable alternative to the structured interview and structured reference check is a narrative assessment that:
        • assesses all of the merit criteria for the position, including the Key Leadership Competencies;
        • uses concrete behavioural examples; and
        • is signed by the hiring manager or another manager who is sufficiently familiar with the applicant's performance and accomplishments to attest to the accuracy of the information provided.
      • establish EX assessment boards comprised of members at, or equivalent to, a level above the position being staffed, as well as other parties as necessary for a comprehensive assessment. HR specialists may assist EX assessment boards in an advisory capacity.

Other Requirements

Deputy heads must respect:

  • the Public Service Employment Act, section 37, which states that examinations or interviews, when conducted for the purpose of assessing the essential qualifications or qualifications considered an asset, other than language proficiency, shall be conducted in English or French or both, at the option of the person being assessed;
  • the Employment Equity Act, which specifically sets out the obligation to eliminate any systemic barriers to employment;
  • the Treasury Board/Public Service Commission Policy on the Duty to Accommodate Persons with Disabilities in the Federal Public Service, which makes it mandatory to provide accommodations; and
  • the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act, which prohibit certain grounds of discrimination.