Expansion of Public Service Commission measures to support departments and agencies

This Letter to Heads of Human Resources replaces the 20-05 Measures to increase Public Service Commission support to departments and agencies.

Dear colleagues,

As the pandemic situation continues to affect government operations, the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) has reviewed and expanded the second language evaluation (SLE) measures already in place so that departments and agencies can meet their staffing needs for all positions.

Effective until June 30, 2020, the following measures to provide flexibility in assessing second language qualifications now apply for all appointments (indeterminate, term, acting) to any bilingual position:

  1. Deputy heads are exempted from the requirement to use the PSC’s SLE tests when assessing second language proficiency (reading comprehension, written expression and oral proficiency). The assessment must respect the Guiding Principles for Alternate Methods to Second Language Evaluation Tests.

  2. Extension of the validity period of expired SLE results.

For all appointments over 12 months made using either of the 2 measures, appointees must confirm their official language proficiency through PSC SLE tests within 12 months of the appointment.

Departments and agencies will be asked to report on the use of these measures in their regular 2020–21 reporting to the PSC.

The PSC is also pleased to announce new second language oral proficiency tests that permit candidates to be assessed at home by PSC assessors. This new assessment method will be in place initially for critical hiring only, but may be expanded to all bilingual positions after a short evaluation period.

More information regarding these tests will soon be shared with Heads of Human Resources. The questions and answers for human resources specialists on the PSC website will be adjusted accordingly, and we will continue to update them regularly.

Thank you.

Patrick Borbey
President

D. G. J. Tucker
Commissioner

Fiona Spencer
Commissioner

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