Archived - PSC Appointment Framework Knowledge Test


The Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) and the Public Service Commission's (PSC) Appointment Framework place more emphasis on the PSC's oversight role and on accountability to Parliament. As well, the PSC has maximized the appointment authorities delegated to, and strengthened the accountability of, deputy heads. This includes the introduction of a condition of delegation whereby deputy heads need to ensure that their sub-delegated officials have access to human resources (HR) specialists whose expertise in the Appointment Framework has been validated by the PSC.

The PSC Appointment Framework Knowledge Test (AFKT) is used to validate this expertise. The test has been developed for HR specialists who provide staffing advice to front-line managers.

About the Test

The on-line test assesses a test taker's knowledge of all components of the Appointment Framework (policy, delegation and accountability) and the legislative framework. The test consists of 54 multiple-choice questions. Reference material is not permitted. The passmark is 30/54. Once a person has successfully passed the AFKT, the knowledge is deemed to be possessed, regardless of the overall score obtained. The re-test period for the AFKT is 90 days. The validity period of the test results will be indefinite, unless major changes are made to the PSEA or the PSC Appointment Framework.

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Intended Audience

The primary purpose of the AFKT is to validate the expertise of HR specialists in the PSC's Appointment Framework in order for deputy heads to meet a condition of delegation. The test is not intended to be used as a means to assess merit criteria in relation to appointment processes.

Departments are responsible for determining who should take the test. To assist departments in making this decision, the PSC has developed the following criteria:

1. HR specialists who have had the opportunity to become familiar with the new PSEA (through self learning or attending various PSC fora such as the SmartShops, Canada School of Public Service courses, etc.), particularly those who:

  1. provide staffing advice to front-line managers;
  2. occupy corporate positions at either the national or regional level; or
  3. supervise/coach a team of HR specialists who provide advice to front-line managers.

2. Key HR specialists who are necessary to support department management structure, regional locations, and sub-delegation pattern.

Test Administration

The PSC is responsible for administering the AFKT. In collaboration with its regional offices and the PPC, the PSC will conduct the on-line testing sessions in its offices across Canada. Departments should communicate with the PSC Regional Contacts to register the persons who are to take the test.

Communication of Results

The PPC is responsible for marking the test. The PPC will provide departments with the results (pass or fail) of their employees who have taken the test, as well as a sealed envelope to be distributed to each employee. The envelopes will contain overall scores and sub-scores on each of the four content areas. This information may be of value to employees wishing to improve their knowledge of the Appointment Framework.

Additional Information / Contact

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