Archived - Official Languages in the Appointment Process


The PSC's Appointment Policy has been revised and will come into effect on April 1, 2016. Please consult the letter to Deputy Heads for information on changes to the current Appointment Policy and Delegation requirements which remain in effect until March 31st, 2016.

For assistance please contact your Staffing Support Advisor.

Policy Statement

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

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).

Policy Objective

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

Policy Requirements

In addition to being accountable for respecting the Policy Statement, 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 or the extranet site for employees of the Government of Canada at is not used to advertise the employment opportunity;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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; and
  • monitor the use of the PSOLEAO and ensure compliance with its provisions.

Other Requirements

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;
  • 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; this should be interpreted as meaning that official language proficiency cannot be established as an asset qualification, as an operational requirement or as an organizational need;
    • 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;
  • 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; and
  • 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.
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