Source of Requirement – Staffing File Documentation

The Appointment Framework requires that all decisions related to appointment-related authorities be fully documented and accessible for a period of five years from the last administrative action. The table below represents minimum file documentation requirements.

Organizations should ensure that staffing files contain sufficient information supporting key decision points and activities, demonstrate that the core and guiding values were taken into consideration, and provide evidence of the Human Resources (HR) Advisor's advice and challenge function. For example, if a merit criterion were added to the Statement of Merit Criteria, there should be sufficient information on the file to explain why it was added.

Staffing files may be documented in hard copy or in electronic format; what is important is that the information be accessible. Unproductive appointment process files must be properly documented up to the point where the process was terminated.

Decision points in the middle column of this document are based on the following resourcing model:


Revised Resourcing Model

Resourcing model – long description

Decision points
  Documentation Required Decision Point Source of Requirement
1 Staffing request, including choice of appointment process, information for the position(s) to be staffed, such as position number, title, group and level, tenure, geographic location, etc. Planning Employment Equity in the Appointment Process Policy

Employment equity objectives are integrated into the design of appointment processes.

Choice of Appointment Process Policy

The choice of advertised or non-advertised, and internal or external, appointment processes is consistent with the organization's human resources plan and the core and guiding values.

Deputy heads must ensure that the appointment process is chosen in a manner that respects the core and guiding values and helps organizations meet their business and human resources needs; and fulfills organizational and corporate responsibilities associated with the priority entitlements of individuals.

Deputy heads must respect the Employment Equity Act, in terms of achieving and maintaining a representative organization.
2 If the area of selection is limited to employment equity (EE) group members, evidence that the decision is linked to the organization's EE or HR plan Planning Employment Equity in the Appointment Process Policy

Deputy heads must be able to demonstrate that a decision to limit the area of selection to members of one or more of the designated groups is consistent with the organization's employment equity plan or human resources plan.

Area of Selection Policy

Where an area of selection is limited to one or more designated groups, it is supported by the organization's employment equity plan or human resources plan.
3 Justification for non-imperative appointments Planning Official Languages in the Appointment Process Policy

Persons appointed must meet the official language proficiency requirements for the work to be performed, except where excluded by the Public Service Official Languages Exclusion Approval Order (PSOLEAO).

Deputy Heads must respect the Treasury Board Directive on the Staffing of Bilingual Positions, which stipulates that bilingual positions are staffed imperatively; in exceptional cases, as specified in the directive, non-imperative appointments may be considered.
4 Work Description Planning Official Languages in the Appointment Process Policy

Persons appointed must meet the official language proficiency requirements for the work to be performed, except where excluded by the Public Service Official Languages Exclusion Approval Order (PSOLEAO).

Assessment Policy

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.

Public Service Employment Act, s. 30(2)(a)

An appointment is made on the basis of merit when the Commission is satisfied that the person to be appointed meets the essential qualifications for the work to be performed.
5 Statement of Merit Criteria Establish Merit Criteria Official Languages in the Appointment Process Policy

Persons appointed must meet the official language proficiency requirements for the work to be performed, except where excluded by the Public Service Official Languages Exclusion Approval Order (PSOLEAO).

Deputy heads must respect the Public Service Employment Act, which requires that official language proficiency in either or both official languages be established as an essential qualification for the work to be performed.

Advertising in Appointment Process Policy

Deputy heads must provide, upon request, further information including the essential qualifications, including official language proficiency, that must be met; and the asset qualifications, operational requirements and organizational needs that may be used when making an appointment.

Assessment Policy

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.

Selection and Appointment Policy

Deputy heads must ensure that:

  • persons proposed for appointment or appointed:
    • meet all the essential qualifications, except official language proficiency when excluded in accordance with the Public Service Official Languages Exclusion Approval Order (PSOLEAO); and
    • meet any asset qualifications, operational requirements and organizational needs that were used to make the appointment decision.
  • appointments take effect only after all conditions of the appointment are satisfied.
6 Evidence of consideration of priority persons where required, and priority clearance number Choose Process Choice of Appointment Process Policy

Priority entitlements are applied before another appointment process is decided upon.

Deputy heads must respect any requirements and procedures implemented to administer priority entitlements.

Deputy heads must respect the Public Service Employment Act, which states that priority rights may not apply if the decision to make a priority appointment would result in another person having a priority entitlement.

Selection and Appointment Policy

Deputy heads must respect the Public Service Employment Act and the Public Service Employment Regulations which require that a person with a priority entitlement who meets the essential qualifications of a position must be appointed in priority to all other persons.
7 Set area of selection Choose Process Official Languages in the Appointment Process Policy

Deputy heads must respect the Official Languages Act, which requires federal institutions to ensure that employment opportunities are open to both English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians, taking due account of the institution's obligations under Part IV, Communications With and Services to the Public, and Part V, Language of Work, of the said Act.

Area of Selection Policy

An area of selection provides reasonable access to internal and external appointments and a reasonable area of recourse for internal non-advertised appointments.

A national area of selection is established for all advertised external appointment processes. This requirement does not apply to the exceptions outlined in the policy.

Ensure that an area of selection:
  • respects the core and guiding values while providing flexibility, efficiency and cost-effectiveness;
  • provides for a reasonable pool of potential candidates;
  • when established for an external appointment process, enhances access to persons who reflect a myriad of backgrounds, skills and professions needed to serve Canadians in their official language of choice; and
  • when established for an internal non-advertised appointment process, provides meaningful access to recourse.
Where an area of selection is limited to one or more designated groups, it is supported by the organization's employment equity or human resources plan.
8a For advertised appointment processes, evidence of the advertisement Choose Process Official Languages in the Appointment Process Policy

Deputy heads must communicate information concerning appointment processes in both official languages, except where:
  • the notice is to be made only in a region that is unilingual for language-of-work purposes and the work to be performed only requires the knowledge and use of the language of that region; and
  • the Internet at http://jobs-emplois.gc.ca or the extranet site for employees of the Government of Canada at https://jobs-emplois.psea-lefp.publiservice.gc.ca is not used to advertise the employment opportunity.
Deputy heads must clearly make it known that the information is available in the other official language on request, when information concerning appointment processes is communicated in only one official language.

Area of Selection Policy

A national area of selection is established for all advertised external appointment processes. This requirement does not apply to the exceptions outlined in the policy.

Advertising in Appointment Process Policy

Advertising for appointment processes must provide persons in the area of selection with a reasonable opportunity to apply.

Ensure that persons in the area of selection have reasonable access and an opportunity to apply for employment opportunities, and information is provided to allow persons in the area of selection to make an informed decision.

Deputy heads must provide information in a manner that effectively brings the appointment process to the attention of persons in the area of selection.

Deputy heads must, at a minimum, advertise external recruitment employment opportunities on the Internet at http://jobs-emplois.gc.ca, as well as on Infotel or on an alternative telephone service provider; and, at a minimum, advertise interdepartmental employment opportunities on Publiservice, the extranet site for employees of the Government of Canada, at https://jobs-emplois.psea-lefp.publiservice.gc.ca.

Deputy heads must, for advertisements, provide sufficient information regarding the criteria to be used in the screening of persons in the area of selection and any other information necessary for persons in the area of selection to apply.

Deputy heads must respect the Treasury Board/Public Service Commission Policy on the Duty to Accommodate Persons with Disabilities in the Federal Public Service, which requires, for example, the provision of accessible formats, upon request, for communicating with persons with disabilities.

Selection and Appointment Policy

Deputy heads must ensure that persons proposed for appointment or appointed:
  • are within the area of selection, where required; and
  • applied within the period for receiving applications, if such a period exists.
8b For non-advertised appointment processes, rationale for non-advertised process Choose Process Choice of Appointment Process Policy

Deputy heads must ensure that a written rationale demonstrates how a non-advertised process meets the established criteria and the appointment values. This requirement does not apply to acting appointments of less than four months, except where the same person is appointed to the same position on an acting basis within 30 calendar days.
9 Assessment Plan

The tools to be used to assess the merit criteria; with the rating or scoring criteria or scale(s), weighting, pass marks, etc.
Assessment Employment Equity in the Appointment Process Policy

Deputy heads must use assessment tools and processes that are designed and implemented without bias and do not create systemic barriers.

Official Languages in the Appointment Process Policy

Deputy heads must ensure that proficiency in the second official language, other than specialized or expert proficiency in one or both official language(s), is assessed by means of the Second Language Evaluation, or other assessment method approved by the Commission.

Deputy heads must respect the Public Service Employment Act, which requires that an examination or interview for the purpose of assessing qualifications, other than language proficiency, must be conducted in the person's official language of choice.

Assessment Policy

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.

Deputy heads must 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.

Deputy heads must ensure that those responsible for assessment:
  • 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;
  • conduct their own assessment of expert or specialized official language proficiency qualifications; and
  • assess qualifications for appointment to or within the EX group with a structured interview and a structured reference check, and any additional assessment tools necessary to provide clear evidence for appointment decisions (such as SELEX), or 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.
Deputy heads must respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act, which prohibit certain grounds of discrimination.
10 Evidence that persons to be assessed informed of the assessment methods and right to accommodation Assessment Employment Equity in the Appointment Process Policy

Deputy heads must accommodate the needs of persons through all stages of the appointment process to address, up to the point of undue hardship, disadvantages arising from prohibited grounds of discrimination.

Assessment Policy

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.
11 Application forms, résumés, covering letters, evidence of academic credentials, citizenship (where applicable), etc. Assessment Area of Selection Policy

Veterans Affairs headquarters employees and National Energy Board (NEB) employees (employed in NEB prior to July 1, 1996), whose substantive positions are located in Charlottetown and Calgary respectively are included in any internal advertised appointment process open to employees or persons occupying positions in the NCR.

Assessment Policy

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

Selection and Appointment Policy

Deputy heads must ensure that persons proposed for appointment or appointed:
  • meet all the essential qualifications, except official language proficiency when excluded in accordance with the Public Service Official Languages Exclusion Approval Order (PSOLEAO);
  • are within the area of selection, where required;
  • meet any asset qualifications, operational requirements and organizational needs that were used to make the appointment decision; and
  • applied within the period for receiving applications, if such a period exists.
Deputy heads must respect the Public Service Employment Act, which stipulates that in advertised external appointment processes, persons in receipt of a pension by reason of war service, veterans or survivors of veterans, and Canadian citizens who meet the essential qualifications are appointed ahead of other candidates and in this order.
12 Evidence of candidate choice of official language(s) in which to be assessed Assessment Official Languages in the Appointment Process Policy

Persons are entitled to participate in the appointment process in the official language(s) of their choice.

Ensure that the linguistic rights of persons participating in an appointment process are respected.

Deputy heads must respect the Public Service Employment Act, which requires that an examination or interview for the purpose of assessing qualifications, other than language proficiency, must be conducted in the person's official language of choice. The assessment of language proficiency in English or French or both, or in a language other than English or French, must be conducted in the language or languages required for the work to be performed.
13 If the area of selection is limited to EE group members, evidence of candidate self-declaration Assessment Selection and Appointment Policy

Deputy heads must ensure that persons proposed for appointment or appointed are within the area of selection, where required.
14 Signed Statement of Persons Participating in Boards form (Screening Board and Assessment Board)

The use of the form itself is not mandatory; evidence of any attestation to the same effect would be sufficient
Assessment Official Languages in the Appointment Process Policy

Deputy heads must ensure that each person conducting the assessment of persons participating in an appointment process is sufficiently proficient in either or both official language(s) to enable effective communication with the persons to be assessed in the official language of their choice and to enable their qualifications to be properly assessed.

Assessment Policy

Deputy heads must 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 chosen by that person in order to assess his or her qualifications fairly; and
  • are not in conflict of interest and are able to carry out their roles, responsibilities and duties in a fair and just manner.
15 For EX assessments, evidence of assessment board members' groups and levels Assessment Assessment Policy

Deputy heads must 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.
16 Assessment Material

This includes screening results, official language proficiency assessments, and any other candidate assessment material, including notes taken by assessors, and ratings obtained
Assessment Official Languages in the Appointment Process Policy

Persons appointed must meet the official language proficiency requirements for the work to be performed, except where excluded by the Public Service Official Languages Exclusion Approval Order (PSOLEAO).

Assessment Policy

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.

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.

Selection and Appointment Policy

Deputy heads must ensure that persons proposed for appointment or appointed:
17 Evidence of Informal Discussion offer and any corrective action taken as a result Informal Discussion Informal Discussion Policy

During an internal appointment process, persons eliminated from consideration are provided with an opportunity to discuss the decision to eliminate them, as soon as possible after the decision is made.

Deputy heads must ensure that:
  • persons are made aware, in a timely manner, of the decision to to eliminate them from consideration;
  • persons eliminated from consideration who request an informal discussion have access to sufficient information concerning themselves to understand and discuss the decision;
  • errors and oversights can be corrected where appropriate; and
  • persons are aware that participating in an informal discussion in no way affects the right to file a complaint with the Public Service Staffing Tribunal.
18 For bilingual positions, verification that SLE results are still valid

This is a separate step from originally obtaining SLE results. Persons proposed for appointment or appointed must meet the merit criteria at the time of both notifications in internal processes, or at the time of appointment in external processes

OR

For non-imperative staffing, evidence of exclusion as per the PSOLEAO, if applicable
Selection Official Languages in the Appointment Process Policy

Persons appointed must meet the official language proficiency requirements for the work to be performed, except where excluded by the Public Service Official Languages Exclusion Approval Order (PSOLEAO).

Selection and Appointment Policy

Deputy heads must respect the PSOLEAO and the Public Service Official Languages Appointment Regulations (PSOLAR), which require persons proposed for appointment or appointed to a bilingual position on a non-imperative basis to meet the requirements of the PSOLEAO and the PSOLAR in order to be excluded from meeting the official language proficiency qualifications at the time of appointment.
19 Verification that standardized test results are still valid

This is a separate step from originally obtaining the standardized test results. Persons proposed for appointment or appointed must meet the merit criteria at the time of both notifications in internal processes, or at the time of appointment in external processes
Selection Selection and Appointment Policy

Deputy heads must ensure that persons proposed for appointment or appointed meet all the essential qualifications, except official language proficiency when excluded in accordance with the Public Service Official Languages Exclusion Approval Order (PSOLEAO).
20 For external advertised appointment processes, evidence that s. 39 preferences applied Selection Selection and Appointment Policy

Deputy heads must respect the Public Service Employment Act,which stipulates that in advertised external appointment processes, persons in receipt of a pension by reason of war service, veterans or survivors of veterans, and Canadian citizens who meet the essential qualifications are appointed ahead of other candidates and in this order.
21 Justification for the appointment decision (right fit) Selection Selection and Appointment Policy

Appointments are based on merit and are free from political influence and personal favouritism.

Deputy heads must ensure that selection for appointment is fair and transparent.

Deputy heads must ensure that the reasons for the appointment decision have been documented.
22 For internal appointment processes, evidence of the notification(s) of consideration and the notification(s) of appointment or proposal for appointment Notifications Area of Selection Policy

An area of selection provides reasonable access to internal and external appointments and a reasonable area of recourse for internal non-advertised appointments.

Ensure that an area of selection, when established for an internal non-advertised appointment process, provides meaningful access to recourse.

Notification Policy

Notification of the names of persons being considered for appointment, and of the names of persons being proposed for appointment or appointed, is communicated in writing to the persons entitled to be notified.

To ensure transparency by providing the persons entitled to be notified with information about the appointment decision.

Deputy heads must:
  • establish a waiting period of at least five calendar days;
  • ensure that persons to be notified are informed of the duration of the waiting period; and
  • ensure that the notification of appointment or proposal for appointment informs persons of:
    • the right to and the grounds upon which to make a complaint to the Public Service Staffing Tribunal (PSST); and
    • the manner and time period within which a complaint may be made, as set out by the PSST.
Deputy heads must respect the Public Service Employment Act, section 48, which:
  • requires the name of the person being considered for each appointment be provided to all persons in the area of selection who participated in the process in an internal advertised appointment process or all persons in the area of selection in an internal non-advertised appointment process;
  • requires that the assessment of candidates be completed before any notification of consideration for each appointment is given; and
  • stipulates that no appointments can be made or proposed during the waiting period.
23 Evidence that conditions of employment met Appointment Selection and Appointment Policy

Deputy heads must ensure that appointments take effect only after all conditions of the appointment are satisfied.
24 Affirmation of Aboriginal Affiliation Form completed and signed Appointment Selection and Appointment Policy

Deputy heads must ensure that persons proposed for appointment or appointed complete and sign the "Affirmation of Aboriginal Affiliation Form" for appointment processes where the area of selection was limited to Aboriginal peoples, or where the area of selection was limited to members of designated employment equity groups that included Aboriginal peoples, and the person proposed for appointment or appointed is an Aboriginal person.
25 Letter of offer, authorized by sub-delegated official and accepted by appointee Appointment Selection and Appointment Policy

Deputy heads must ensure that:
  • the offer of appointment is extended by someone delegated to do so on behalf of the organization;
  • offers of appointment are in writing and clearly set out all the conditions of the appointment; and
  • appointments take effect only after all conditions of the appointment are satisfied.
When using electronic authorization for offers of appointment, Deputy Heads must implement controls similar to those that are in place for financial transactions. The information, whether in paper or electronic format, must be readily accessible for audit or other purposes.

Please note that there are some documents for which electronic authorization is not appropriate; specifically, the Affirmation of Aboriginal Affiliation Form and the oath or solemn affirmation.

Deputy heads must respect the Public Service Employment Act, which stipulates that:
  • a person being appointed from outside that part of the public service to which the Commission has exclusive authority to make appointments takes and subscribes the oath or solemn affirmation as set out in section 54 of the PSEA before the appointment takes effect; where the oath or solemn affirmation is required, the effective date of the appointment is the later of the date that is agreed to in writing by the deputy head and that person, and the date on which that person takes and subscribes the oath or solemn affirmation;
  • when a person is being appointed from within that part of the public service to which the Commission has exclusive authority to make appointments, the effective date of the appointment is the date agreed to in writing by the person to be appointed and the deputy head, regardless of the date of their agreement; and
  • a period of employment is indeterminate, unless a term of employment has been specified by the deputy head, e.g., term, casual or student employment or an acting appointment.
Deputy heads must respect the PSC policy on Official Languages in the Appointment Process, which requires all communication to persons, including offers of appointment and the administration of the oath or solemn affirmation, be in the official language(s) of choice of the person.

Deputy heads must respect the Treasury Board/Public Service Commission Policy on the Duty to Accommodate Persons with Disabilities in the Federal Public Service, which requires the provision of accessible formats, upon request, for communicating with persons with disabilities when making an offer of appointment or administering the oath or solemn affirmation.

Public Service Employment Act, s. 60

The rate of pay on appointment to a position shall be determined by the employer within the scale of rates of pay for that position or for positions of the same occupational nature and level as that position.

Public Service Employment Act, s. 61(1)

A person appointed from outside the public service is on probation for a period (a) established by regulations of the Treasury Board in respect of the class of employees of which that person is an member, in the case of an organization named in Schedule I or IV to the Financial Administration Act; or (b) determined by a separate agency in respect of the class of employees of which that person is a member, in the case of an organization that is a separate agency to which the Commission has exclusive authority to make appointments.
26 Evidence that oath/solemn affirmation taken on or prior to appointment effective date, if applicable Appointment Selection and Appointment Policy

Deputy heads must respect the Public Service Employment Act, which stipulates that a person being appointed from outside that part of the public service to which the Commission has exclusive authority to make appointments takes and subscribes the oath or solemn affirmation as set out in section 54 of the PSEA before the appointment takes effect; where the oath or solemn affirmation is required, the effective date of the appointment is the later of the date that is agreed to in writing by the deputy head and that person, and the date on which that person takes and subscribes the oath or solemn affirmation.

Deputy heads must respect the PSC policy on Official Languages in the Appointment Process, which requires all communication to persons, including offers of appointment and the administration of the oath or solemn affirmation, be in the official language(s) of choice of the person.
27 Post-appointment documentation (inquiries, complaints, investigation or tribunal reports or decisions, revocations, etc.) After Appointment Accountability PolicyDeputy heads must ensure that accurate information is maintained in relation to their appointment system as a whole and in relation to individual appointment actions.

Appointment Delegation and Accountability Instrument

[Deputy heads and their] sub-delegated officials will ensure that appointment and appointment-related decisions are fully documented and are accessible for a period of five years from the last administrative action.

Official Languages in the Appointment Process Policy

Deputy heads must respect the Public Service Official Languages Appointment Regulations, which stipulate that deputy heads must appoint or deploy a person on an indeterminate basis to a similar position as the bilingual position for which he or she meets the essential qualifications, within a two-month period, when the person who, after undertaking to become bilingual, does not meet the official language proficiency requirements of the position within the time period outlined in the PSOLEAO.

Corrective Action and Revocation Policy

If a deputy head decides that corrective action or a revocation of an appointment is warranted, the deputy head provides any person(s) affected by the action a meaningful opportunity to present relevant facts and to have their position fully and fairly considered.

To ensure fairness and transparency in making a decision to take corrective action or revoke an appointment.

Before deciding to take corrective action or revoke an appointment, persons whose appointments or proposed appointments are affected by the decision have been given an opportunity to be heard; and the deputy head is satisfied that there has been an error, omission or improper conduct which affected the selection of the person appointed or proposed for appointment.

Deputy heads must ensure that in circumstances involving revocation, the person is informed in writing of:
  • the effective date of the revocation and the reasons for the decision;
  • whether or not the deputy head will appoint him or her to another position for which he or she is deemed to meet the essential qualifications; and
  • his or her right to file a complaint, and the time period within which to make a complaint to the Public Service Staffing Tribunal on the ground that the revocation was unreasonable.
Deputy heads must suspend an internal investigation and refer the matter to the PSC if there is reason to believe that the appointment may have been subject to political influence or where fraud may have occurred.

Deputy heads must respect:
  • the Public Service Employment Act, which authorizes the Public Service Commission to investigate external appointment processes, to investigate any appointment processes where it believes that the appointment was not free from political influence or where fraud may have occurred; and to take corrective action or revoke the appointment, where appropriate; and states that the deputy head's power to revoke appointments cannot be sub-delegated (subsection 24(2));
  • procedural fairness in the process followed for corrective action and revocation, in particular the right to be heard and the right to have a fair investigation; and
  • the Official Languages Act, in terms of employees' rights to use the official language of their choice.