Appointment Policy

Effective date

This policy came into effect on April 1, 2016.

The revised policy, as a result of amendments to the Public Service Employment Act, came into effect on July 1, 2023.


The Public Service Commission’s (PSC) Appointment Policy applies to all appointments to and within the public service made in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act.

Policy objective

Appointments to and within the public service shall be based on merit and free from political influence.

Expected results

  • A non-partisan and representative workforce of individuals drawn from across the country, benefitting from the diversity, linguistic duality and range of backgrounds and skills of Canadians;
  • Appointment processes that are inclusive, free from discrimination, and where reasonable efforts have been made to remove biases or barriers, or mitigate their impact; New!
  • Appointment processes conducted in a fair and transparent manner and in good faith;
  • Appointments of highly competent persons who meet the needs of the organization; and
  • Timely correction of errors and omissions.

Policy requirements

Deputy heads must:

1. Assess persons with a priority entitlement prior to considering other candidates.

2. Respect requirements to administer priority entitlements as set out in the Priority Administration Directive.

3. Respect the duty to accommodate throughout the appointment process.

4. Respect employment equity obligations throughout the appointment process.

5. Respect official languages obligations throughout the appointment process.

When advertising:

6. Apply a national area of selection for external advertised appointment processes, except as set out in Annex A.

7. Ensure advertisements are posted on the Government of Canada public service resourcing website and are accessible to persons in the area of selection for a minimum of one complete business day (at least 24 hours).

8. Provide the following information on the advertisement:

  • The established merit criteria; and
  • A point of contact to whom accommodation requests may be directed.

For assessment:

9. Obtain the PSC’s approval prior to using psychological tests of intelligence, personality, integrity and aptitude tests and tests of mental health.

10. In advance of the assessment(s), advise candidates of the methods and/or tools to be used and the opportunity and process to request accommodation measures.

11. Ensure that those conducting the assessment have the necessary competencies, including official language(s), to assess the qualifications.

12. Use Second Language Evaluation tests approved by the PSC for the assessment of proficiency in the second official language.

Prior to appointing:

13. Inform persons eliminated from consideration for internal appointment processes of the decision to eliminate them, following which they may request informal discussion.

14. Communicate notifications for internal appointment processes, in writing, to persons entitled to be notified;

  • Notifications of persons being considered for appointment must include the end date of the waiting period. The duration of the waiting period must be a minimum of five calendar day.
  • Notifications of appointment or proposed appointment must include information regarding the rights and the grounds to make a complaint to the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board and the manner and time period within which it may be made.

When appointing:

15. Ensure persons to be appointed:

  • Meet each essential qualification, including official language proficiency;
  • Meet any asset qualifications applied in the appointment decision; and
  • Meet any operational requirements and/or organizational needs applied in the appointment decision.

16. Ensure that persons to be appointed complete the Affirmation of Indigenous Identity Form where self-declaration as an  Indigenous person is used in an appointment process,  and where one of the following conditions applies:

17. Ensure that offers of appointment:

  • Are made, in writing, by a delegated or a sub-delegated person; and
  • Set out all the conditions related to the appointment.

18. Ensure that information related to the appointment is documented, as set out in Annex B.


  • Deputy heads are responsible for monitoring adherence to this policy within their organizations and for ensuring that appropriate remedial action is taken to address any deficiencies.
  • The PSC may monitor compliance with all aspects of this policy, as well as the achievement of the policy objective and expected results in a variety of ways, including but not limited to audits, surveys or other means.

Annex A: Exclusions and exceptions to national area of selection requirement

The requirement to establish a national area of selection does not apply to:

1. External advertised appointment processes:

  • Limited to members of designated employment equity groups for which there is under-representation;
  • For opportunities of a specified period of six months or less; or
  • For seasonal work opportunities.

2. Student appointment processes, for appointments made under any student employment program established by Treasury Board, if it is:

  • For a part-time opportunity;
  • For a Co-op placement;
  • For a re-appointment; or
  • Run subsequent to an unproductive process.

3. External advertised appointment processes for which an exception has been approved by the deputy head.

Annex B: Information requirement

Deputy heads must ensure the following information is accessible electronically or through other means for a minimum period of five years after the last administrative action (as applicable) for each appointment:

1. Merit criteria.

2. Priority clearance number and request.

3. Assessment and results of persons referred by the PSC or who self-refer with a priority entitlement.

4. Advertisement (in both official languages).

5. Evaluation of assessment methods and the manner in which they will be applied, including: New!

  1. Identification of biases or barriers that disadvantage persons belonging to an equity-seeking group; and
  2. Efforts made to remove biases or barriers, or mitigate their impact, if any are identified.

6. Assessment and results for all candidates;

  • Essential qualifications, including official language proficiency;
  • Any asset qualifications applied in the appointment decision;
  • Operational requirements applied in the appointment decision; and
  • Organizational needs applied in the appointment decision.

7. Employment equity self-declaration form and Affirmation of Indigenous Identity Form for persons appointed.

8. Letter of confirmation of mobility provisions, by the PSC, for candidates from former ministers’ staff or former incumbents of an excluded position in the Office of the Governor General Secretary.

9. The articulation of the selection decision.

10. Notifications or notice of acting appointment.

11. Oath or solemn affirmation.

12. Signed offer of appointment.

Page details

Date modified: