Archived - Selection and Appointment - Questions and answers

Q. Does a person have to meet any requirements other than the essential qualifications at the time of appointment?

A. If any other merit criteria, such as asset qualifications, have been identified and are being used by the manager to make the appointment, then they must be met before an appointment is made. In the case of priorities, they are only required to meet the essential qualifications.

Q. Can operational requirements be assessed and applied prior to an assessment of the essential qualifications?

A. Yes. Merit criteria may be applied in any order. If the operational requirements will be required for all positions to be staffed, then they can be applied prior to the assessment of the essential qualifications. The exception would be situations where the person is to be assessed only on the essential qualifications (e.g., priorities).

Q. Can a manager add a merit criterion in order to select a specific individual that he/she wishes to appoint from among the persons who meet the essential qualifications in an advertised appointment process?

A. No. First of all, this would not support the guiding values of fairness, transparency or representativeness. Merit criteria must be established based on the requirements of the position and the organization, not to favour a specific individual. This would most likely be considered a case of personal favouritism which is an abuse of authority.

Q. Could a manager make a selection using the scores of the persons who meet all the essential qualifications?

A. Yes. Selection might be based on strength in one or more qualifications, or on the basis of a combination of criteria. If a manager has identified four individuals who meet all the essential qualifications, but at this time the manager needs someone with strong analytical skills, the person who scored highest on this essential qualification could be selected.

Q. Is merit respected if seniority or youth are used as merit criteria?

A. It might be difficult to justify using seniority or youth as merit criteria as people might consider them discriminatory on the basis of age. However, depending on the organization's objectives, it is possible to address these issues.

If, through their human resources planning, an organization identifies the need for renewal, a decision may be made to make more use of students or post-secondary recruitment.

If, through their human resources planning, an organization identifies that they are at risk of losing their corporate memory and experience, it would be possible to identify merit criteria or choose an appointment process that would address this.

Q. Can a manager make a selection based on relative merit?

A. Yes. While there is no requirement that a manager use relative merit to make a selection, there is nothing prohibiting a manager from doing so where it makes sense to use the ranking of candidates in accordance with the qualifications.

Q. How does a manager select from among the persons who meet all the essential qualifications?

A. There are a number of possible options. If other merit criteria such as asset qualifications, organizational needs or operational requirements were identified at the beginning of the appointment process, these can be applied as required for the position to be staffed. This will identify the person who is the right fit for the position. As well, if the particular position requires a high degree of a certain skill or knowledge, the manager could choose the person who had the highest score on that qualification.

Q. What is meant by "other merit criteria"?

A. There are four types of merit criteria mentioned in the PSEA. Essential qualifications are the first type, and a person must meet all the essential qualifications to be selected and appointed. The "other merit criteria", which are asset qualifications, current and future operational requirements and organizational needs, are applied depending on the needs for the position being staffed.

Q. Does a manager have to establish merit criteria beyond the essential qualifications?

A. The establishment of merit criteria is an authority given by the PSEA directly to deputy heads. Certain types of requirements may be established by Treasury Board policy, in which case organizations will be required to include them. However, it will be up to the manager to determine whether or not other criteria such as asset qualifications, operational requirements and organizational needs are needed to staff a particular position in their organization.

Q. The positions to be staffed all require persons to work shift work. This has been established as an operational requirement in the appointment process. Can a manager apply this requirement prior to the assessment of the essential qualifications and further consider only those who meet this requirement?

A. Yes. Merit criteria may be applied in any order. In this case, if it would be more efficient to determine who is willing to work shift-work before assessing the essential qualifications, then it would be appropriate.

Q. A manager has applied all the established asset qualifications, operational requirements and organizational needs, and still has two persons identified for only one position. What can the manager do?

A. There are options available to the manager. The manager may choose to apply an existing criterion in a different manner in order to make the selection. For example, previously, the manager may have considered all persons who achieved a mark in the "Excellent" range on the assessment of written communication. At this point, the manager may wish to return to that criterion, and choose the person who actually scored highest. The manager may also decide to choose the person who has the experience most relevant to the position to be staffed.

Q. An appointment process had an essential education qualification of successful completion of secondary school. Post-secondary studies relevant to the position to be staffed was established as an asset qualification. A person with priority status has been referred for the job. He has successfully completed secondary school, but has no post-secondary education. He meets all the other of the essential qualifications. Must the manager select this priority person for appointment?

A. Yes, a priority person must be appointed if he or she meets all the essential qualifications established. (PSEA s. 40, 41)

Q. An employee who came in from the general public started work Monday, but didn't take the Oath until Wednesday. Can the appointment be dated effective Monday?

A. No. The legislation prohibits this. It would be a good practice to ensure that deputy heads have a process in place for the timely administration of the oath. (PSEA s. 55)

Q. Does the employee get paid for the work she performed on Monday and Tuesday if the appointment doesn't take effect until Wednesday?

A. Yes, the employer's policy governs this. It is necessary to pay the person for work carried out even if the oath has not been administered and the appointment has not taken effect. This situation demonstrates the importance of having an effective organizational process in place to ensure the Oath is administered on a timely basis.

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