Federal Contractors Program (FCP) compliance assessment policy

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Compliance assessments under the FCP

The Labour Program conducts compliance assessments to ensure that organizations fulfill the terms of their Agreement to Implement Employment Equity (AIEE). This includes meeting the requirements of the FCP by implementing employment equity in their workplace.

The Labour Program conducts a first compliance assessment 1 year after an initial goods and services contract is awarded. This contract must be valued at $1 million or more. For the first assessment, organizations must submit:

  • a copy of the workforce self-identification questionnaire used to survey their workforce
  • workforce survey results
  • a workforce analysis, and
  • a completed achievement report

The Labour Program conducts a second compliance assessment 4 years after the initial contract award date. Subsequent assessments occur every 3 years thereafter. For these types of assessments, organizations must submit:

  • an updated workforce analysis
  • Employment Equity Forms 1 to 6 at the national level, comprising workforce data reports, and
  • an updated achievement report

A compliance assessment ends with a finding of either compliance or non-compliance.

Please contact the Labour Program if:

  • you are not sure if your organization is subject to the FCP, or
  • if you need to submit documents for a compliance assessment

Compliance assessment review

The Labour Program reviews all required documents to assess an organization’s compliance with the FCP requirements. The following are some of the reviews performed as part of this assessment:

  • ensuring the current short-term and long-term goals align with the workforce analysis results
  • verifying that the organization made reasonable progress towards achieving a workplace that is representative of the Canadian workforce with respect to the four designated groups (such as, progress towards labour market availability)
  • determining if the organisation has made reasonable efforts towards their goals

Long-term goals guide employment equity progress for a period of more than 3 years.

Being in compliance with FCP requirements

Organizations must implement employment equity to ensure that their workforce is representative of Canada’s working population with respect to the 4 designated groups. A finding of compliance confirms they are meeting this requirement.

The Labour Program notifies organizations in writing if results of the assessment are satisfactory and the organization complies with FCP requirements. In this case, the organization should continue to implement its employment equity plan and prepare for the next scheduled assessment.

Being in non-compliance with FCP requirements

Non-compliance occurs when the organization has not made reasonable efforts in working towards their goals, leading to a workplace that is not representative of Canada’s working population with respect to the 4 designated groups.  

The Labour Program notifies the organization in writing that they completed the compliance assessment and found that the organization is not in compliance with FCP requirements.

If an organization does not meet any of the FCP requirements, they must correct the situation. In many cases, corrective action includes re-examining workforce analysis results in order to set new goals and plan the necessary interventions. The Labour Program can provide guidance and tools for the workforce analysis and on establishing appropriate goals towards achieving a representative workforce.

Failure to comply with the requirements of the FCP by an organization can result in the following:

  • the deactivation of the organization’s agreement number
  • the organization being prevented from bidding on:
    • future federal government goods and services contracts
    • standing offers, or
    • supply arrangements of any value
  • having the organization's name added to the FCP Limited Eligibility to Bid ListFootnote 1

Non-compliance or withdrawal from the FCP may also result in the termination of any existing or ongoing contracts with the Government of Canada.

Right to appeal

An organization found to be in non-compliance with FCP requirements has the right to appeal the decision to the Minister of Labour. An independent assessor will be appointed to review the findings and decision. If the independent assessor confirms the decision, sanctions will be applied. If the independent assessor reverses the decision, the organization may retain their agreement number and continue submitting proposals for goods and services to the federal government.

Withdrawing from the FCP

An organization may withdraw from the FCP either with or without permission.

Withdrawing without permission:

If an organization refuses to implement employment equity and to meet the FCP requirements without permission, it is non-compliant and the Government of Canada will apply the sanctions prescribed.

Withdrawing with permission:

Withdrawal from the FCP is permitted when an organization's status changes:

  • if the workforce decreased to fewer than 100 permanent employees and is unlikely to increase to 100 or more in the near future
  • if the organization ceased to operate

In these cases, the organization is still in compliance and would not be subject to the Limited Eligibility to Bid List.

Requesting a suspension of sanctions

An organization that is non-compliant may request a suspension of sanctions. To do so, they must contact the Labour Program to undergo a compliance assessment.

Following the compliance assessment, if the Labour Program finds that the organization complies with the FCP requirements, it suspends the sanctions and:

  • the Agreement number is reactivated
  • the organization is once again allowed to bid for contracts with the federal government
  • the organization is removed from the FCP Limited Eligibility to Bid List

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