Archived - Staffing Management Accountability Framework



Table of contents

Introduction

The Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) has revised the SMAF with a view to making it a more streamlined and effective management tool for deputy heads.

The new SMAF is closely aligned with the core expectations that are outlined in the Appointment Delegation and Accountability Instrument (ADAI) and the PSC appointment policies. It focuses on areas of ongoing risk based on previous SMAF assessments, audits and investigations.

The SMAF now has one strategic outcome, one desired outcome, five elements (rather than indicators) and 12 indicators (rather than measures), making it simpler and more focused than the previous SMAF, which had 29 indicators and 60 measures. In addition, it is designed to support an approach where the Departmental Staffing Accountability Report (DSAR) would be a shorter and more concise report to both the deputy head and the PSC.

The following sections provide descriptions of the expectations and indicators for the SMAF elements. Deputy heads are required to report on the indicators in the manner prescribed by the PSC.

Strategic Outcome

A non-partisan public service and a merit-based staffing system that reflects PSEA values and expectations and supports business needs

Desired Outcome

Deputy heads and organizations have a staffing management framework in place that ensures the effective sub-delegation of staffing authority, active monitoring of staffing decisions and potential staffing risks and that action is taken to continuously improve staffing management and performance

 

For 2013-2014, organizations are required to report on the following SMAF indicators:

  • Indicator 4: Staffing Decisions
  • Indicator 7: Priority Entitlements
  • Indicator 8: Official Language Qualifications in Staffing
  • Indicator 9: Investigations Into Staffing
  • Indicator 11: Ongoing Improvement
  • Indicator 12: Raising Employee Awareness of Legal Rights and Responsibilities Regarding Political Activities

These indicators are denoted below by an asterix.

Element: Staffing Governance and Infrastructure

Deputy Heads establish the terms and conditions of sub-delegation and governance and infrastructure to manage effectively the exercise of delegated appointment authority

Key Question for DH:

“Are the terms and conditions of delegation clear and current and is the governance and infrastructure that is in place effective to ensure that staffing in my organization is being conducted in a manner that is consistent with my delegated authorities?”

Indicator 1: Sub-Delegation of Staffing Authority

  • A sub-delegation instrument that documents terms and conditions exists and is accessible to all employees
  • Practices are in place to ensure that all sub-delegated managers are identified to human resources (HR) staff

Desired result: A sub-delegation instrument that documents roles and responsibilities exists and is accessible to all employees. Practices are in place to ensure that all sub-delegated managers are identified to human resources (HR) staff, including those on Interchange Canada or other employment status.

Policy rationale: these are existing Appointment Delegation and Accountability Instrument (ADAI) requirements and an ongoing risk area for some organizations based on the results of previous SMAF assessments and audits.

Notes on Methodology: For 2013-14, as they were previously (DEL-1), all organizations will be asked to report and provide evidence that they have implemented a sub-delegation instrument and practices to ensure that all sub-delegated managers are identified to human resources staff, including those on Interchange Canada or other employment status. In 2014-15, only those organizations that receive feedback from the PSC in 2013-14 will be asked to report on this indicator.

Indicator 2: Support to Sub-Delegated Managers

  • Sub-delegated managers have current knowledge and access to the information, tools and a human resources advisor in order to exercise sub-delegated authority (for 2013-14 and every two years)
  • Staffing advisors have access to continuous learning and development (for 2014-15 and every two years)

Desired result: Sub-delegated managers have current knowledge and access to the information, tools and a human resources advisor that they need to fully understand and exercise appropriately their sub-delegated authorities. Staffing advisors have access to continuous learning and development.

Policy rationale: these are existing ADAI requirements. Not having adequate and current knowledge and access to the information, tools and a human resources advisor that can provide authoritative advice is an ongoing risk for organizations based on previous audits, investigations and organizational monitoring results.

Notes on Methodology: In 2013-14, all organizations will be asked to report on their efforts to ensure that sub-delegated managers have current knowledge and access to the information, tools and a human resources advisor (whose expertise has been validated and can provide authoritative advice).

Under the previous SMAF, organizations were asked to ensure that "continuous learning on staffing is available to all sub-delegated managers" but it was part of six requirements under one indicator (DEL-1). Making this a stand-alone indicator will reinforce this activity's importance to the effective exercise of sub-delegated authority.

As early as possible in 2013-14, each organization will be provided with the Survey of Staffing (SOS) results for their organization and the average results for organizations of similar size on the questions related to managers' satisfaction with quality of overall staffing services (see below). Organizations will be encouraged to review the results and share them with employees. While organizations will not be assessed on the SOS results, the PSC could ask an organization to explain a significant deterioration in the results and identify whether the organization plans to take action.

Survey of Staffing (Manager) Question

H.1 To what extent were you satisfied with the staffing services you received during the course of this staffing process? (Responses range from not at all to a great extent or not applicable)

How “current knowledge” is assessed will be important. Having attended one training course when sub-delegated authority is first granted does not necessarily mean that sub-delegated managers are able to apply knowledge effectively, particularly if they are not involved regularly in staffing processes. The Act encourages sub-delegation to the lowest level possible but this does not work well in practice if managers do not have frequent experience in staffing.

In 2014-15, all organizations will be asked to report on their efforts to ensure that staffing advisors have access to continuous learning and development. In the previous SMAF, there was a similar measure (SUP-3) that assessed "participation in continuous learning by staffing advisors" over the past few years.

Element: Planning for Staffing

Staffing plans to support the organization's business needs are established and communicated to employees

Key Questions for DH:

“Has my organization established staffing plans and related strategies that will ensure that we have qualified people who can deliver programs and services for Canadians?

“Are my employees being kept informed of our staffing plans and related strategies?”

Indicator 3: Staffing Plans and Strategies

  • The organization has established staffing plans and related strategies that are measurable, approved and communicated to employees
  • Staffing plans and related strategies are reviewed and renewed by the Deputy Head on an annual basis

Desired result: Staffing plans and related strategies are documented, measurable, approved and communicated to employees.

Policy rationale: PSC Appointment Policy

Notes on Methodology:

Similar to previous DSAR guidelines (PLN-1) which stated:

  1. Organizational staffing plans and related strategies for 20XX-XX:
    1. Are documented;
    2. Are approved by the Deputy Head (*new);
    3. State intentions about how staffing will be conducted;
    4. Set out measurable expected results and performance indicators;
    5. Are based on a recent workforce analysis or gap analysis; and,
    6. Consider future staffing needs.
  2. The organization's Human Resources plan, Employment Equity plan, or any other equivalent approved document seeks to address gaps in EE representation through its staffing strategies.

Element: Monitoring

Deputy Heads monitor staffing performance

Key Question for DH:

“Do I have the appropriate mechanisms and controls in place to ensure that staffing in my organization is being conducted in a manner that is consistent with my delegated authorities?”

Indicator 4: Staffing Decisions  *

  • The organization actively monitors staffing decisions to ensure that they comply with the sub-delegation instrument, statutory requirements and PSC and organizational policies and reports the results to senior management

Desired results: Active monitoring, through file reviews, internal audits and other control mechanisms, is occurring on an ongoing basis to ensure that the exercise of delegated and sub-delegated authorities comply with the ADAI and the terms and conditions of sub-delegation, and that appointment decisions adhere to statutory requirements and PSC and organizational policies, including ensuring that appointments are based on merit and free from political influence, and respect the values of fairness, access, transparency and representativeness. The results of this monitoring must be reported to senior management.

Policy rationale: existing ADAI, organizational sub-delegation instrument, and PSC and organizational appointment policy requirements.

Notes on Methodology: As they did previously (DEL-1), organizations will be asked to report on the analysis of the results of their monitoring of staffing decisions and demonstrate (supporting documentation) that the results of monitoring are reported to senior management (DG or higher for large organizations, or Deputy Head direct reports for other organizations) for action. Under a separate indicator below (No. 11), organizations will be asked to report, as they were previously (DEL-1), on corrective measures related to individual appointment decisions that have been taken, where needed, if sub-delegated managers' staffing decisions show a concern. They will also report on any actions that have been taken to address systemic concerns that have emerged from the monitoring results.

As early as possible in the reporting year, each organization will continue to be provided with SOS results for their organization and the average results for organizations of similar size on the questions related to merit and fairness (these questions are indicated below). Organizations will be encouraged to review the results and share them with employees. While organizations will not be assessed on the SOS results, the PSC could ask an organization to explain a significant deterioration in results and identify whether the organization plans to take action. It is important to note that during the current post-Budget 2012 environment, the number of appointment processes have declined considerably, which may reduce the number of organizations that would have a sufficient number of data points to create an organizational report.

Survey of Staffing (Candidates) Questions:

  1. D5: “To what extent do you feel you were assessed for the actual job requirements of the position?”
  2. D10: “To what extent do you feel each of the following was evaluated fairly in your case “?
    1. Your knowledge (i.e. general or specialized)
    2. Your abilities
    3. Your training or academic background
    4. Your personal suitability or match to the work team
    5. Your work experience or background
    6. Your potential to develop for positions of greater responsibility

Public Service Employee Survey (2014 and every three years):

  1. No. 35 – In my work unit, I believe that we hire people who can do the job.
  2. No. 36 – In my work unit, the process of selecting a person for a position is done fairly.

Indicator 5: Key Staffing Risks

  • The organization monitors potential staffing risks it has identified and reports the results to senior management
  • The organization monitors the following appointment processes and reports the results to senior management:
    • acting appointments over 12 months;
    • casual appointments to term or indeterminate status through non-advertised processes; and,
    • appointments to the EX group through non-advertised processes. 
  • The organization monitors annually the accuracy and completeness of staffing files and reports the results to senior management

Desired results: Monitoring of potential staffing risk areas as identified by the organization and by the PSC is occurring and the results are reported to senior management.

Policy rationale: existing ADAI, PSC Appointment Policy-Choice of Appointment Process requirements.

Notes on Methodology: Organizations will be asked to report on their assessment of key staffing risks based on their analysis of the results of their staffing-related monitoring, planning, investigations, evaluations and audits and report these to senior management (DH or DH-1 level) for action as required and provide supporting documentation to this effect. Examples of organizational risks would be: staffing volumes and trends, critical skills or employment equity gaps, conversion to new HR information management system.

As they were previously (DEL-2), organizations will be asked to report on their analysis of the results of their monitoring of staffing risks identified in the PSC appointment policy-choice of appointment process, as well as the results of the accuracy and completeness of staffing files, and demonstrate (supporting documentation) that the results are reported to senior management (Directors General or higher for large organizations or Deputy Head direct reports for other organizations) for action.

Under a separate indicator below (No. 11), organizations will be asked to report on any actions that have been taken to address any concerns that have emerged from the monitoring results.

As early as possible in the reporting year, each organization will continue to be provided with a statistical package of centralized data on their appointments for the previous fiscal year.

Indicator 6: Achievement of Staffing Plans and Related Strategies

  • The organization actively monitors and analyzes the results of its staffing plans and related strategies and any variance is reported to senior management

Desired result: An assessment of whether staffing plans were achieved and the strategies were effective is conducted.

Policy rationale: PSC Appointment Policy

Notes on Methodology:

Same as previous DSAR guidelines (PLN-2) which stated:

For organizational staffing strategies, the organization has:

  1. Compared most or all actual to planned staffing results;
  2. Documented its variance assessment, including reasons for any variances;
  3. Identified areas for improvement it determines are applicable;
  4. Reported the variance assessment to senior management, including reasons for any variances, areas for improvement and recommendations where applicable.

Indicator 7: Priority Entitlements  *

  • The organization monitors the respect of priority entitlements

Desired result: Priority entitlements are being managed effectively.

Policy rationale: existing ADAI, PSC Appointment Policy.

Notes on Methodology: An enhanced measure was introduced in 2012-13. Minor modifications were made following the most recent cycle:

  1. The organization monitors the effectiveness of the approach they have implemented to ensure that priority clearance is obtained before initiating any other appointment process (modified from 2012-13)
  2. The organization monitors (by analyzing and reporting results and corrective measures to senior management) the management of:
    • The organization's own priority population, including:
      • The time to register and/or update entitlement changes for priority persons in the Priority Information Management System (PIMS); and
      • The number of its priority persons appointed, resigning, remaining in the system, and with entitlements that are about to expire (new)
    • All priority persons, including:
      • The time to assess priority persons following referral;
      • The number of appointments of priority persons relative to all of the organization's indeterminate appointments; and
      • The number and reasons of clearance requests cancelled following the receipt of PSC referrals.

As early as possible in the fiscal year, organizations will continue to be provided with a statistical package that provides their own results and comparative average results for similar-size organizations and the public service. Organizations also generate their own reports from the Priority Information Management System (PIMS) for some of the above areas. Several organizations have requested that statistics be provided on a more frequent basis and that more detailed information on some of the reports that are currently available in PIMS be provided. The feasibility of providing more frequent statistics is being explored.

Under a separate indicator below (No. 11), organizations will be asked to report on any actions that have been taken to address any concerns that have emerged from the monitoring results.

Indicator 8: Official Language Qualifications in Staffing  *

  • The organization monitors the use of the Public Service Official Language Exclusion Approval Order (PSOLEAO) and Regulations,and the use of Second Language Evaluation (SLE) confirmation period as necessary

Desired results: Monitoring of the use of the PSOLEAO, compliance with the regulations and the use of the SLE confirmation period is conducted and the results are reported to senior management.

Policy rationale: existing ADAI, PSC Appointment Policy – Official Languages in Appointment Process.

Notes on Methodology: As they were previously (DEL-2), organizations will be asked to report on the results of their monitoring and demonstrate (supporting documentation) that the results are reported to senior management (Directors General or higher for large organizations or Deputy Head direct reports for other organizations) for action. As they were previously (MER-2), organizations will also be assessed on how many situations are compliant, non-compliant, exceed the prescribed time periods, etc. Organizations would also be asked to report on the use of the SLE confirmation period.

Organizations currently report directly to the PSC's Policy Development Directorate (PDD), which is responsible for the assessment of compliance with the PSOLEAO and the Public Service Official Languages Appointment Regulations (PSOLAR). PDD reviews how organizations monitor the cases internally and provides feedback if an issue arises and verifies situations of non-compliance.

Indicator 9: Investigations Into Staffing  *

  • The organization monitors the conduct of in-house investigations and the implementation of corrective actions further to in-house and PSC investigations

Desired results: In-house investigations into staffing actions and the implementation of corrective actions further to internal and PSC investigations are being monitored and the results reported to senior management.

Policy rationale: existing ADAI, PSC and Organizational Appointment Policies on Corrective Action and Revocation requirements

Notes on Methodology: As they were previously (DEL-2), organizations will be required to report on the monitoring (collecting and analyzing information on) in-house investigations into staffing actions that are in progress during the fiscal year, indicating the number and status. As they were previously (MER-5), organizations will also be required to report on the monitoring of the implementation of corrective actions further to in-house and PSC investigations. Organizations will be asked to demonstrate (supporting documentation) that the results are reported to senior management (Directors General or higher for large organizations or Deputy Head direct reports for other organizations) for action.

Note: the assessment of whether the PSC is satisfied with an organization's implementation of a Record of Decision following a founded PSC investigation or of whether action is being taken following founded in-house investigations falls under a separate indicator below (No. 11). The PSC's Investigations Branch assists with the assessment of this indicator.

Indicator 10: Results of Survey Data

  • The organization analyzes the results of staffing-related survey data

Desired results: An analysis of the results of staffing-related survey results is conducted and reported to senior management.

Policy rationale: the results of surveys of employees are one indicator of areas of strength and areas for improvement in staffing in an organization.

Notes on Methodology: Organizations will be asked to report on their analysis of the results of staffing-related survey results (e.g., SOS, Public Service Employee Survey (PSES), any internal surveys the organization may have conducted, where available). Organizations will be asked to demonstrate (supporting documentation) that the survey results are reported to senior management (Directors General or higher for large organizations or Deputy Head direct reports for other organizations) for action, as appropriate.

Element: Ongoing Improvement

Deputy Heads take action in response to the results of internal monitoring, internal and PSC audits and internal and PSC investigations

Key Question for DH:

“What actions have been or are being taken in response to the feedback my organization has on our staffing performance?”

Indicator 11: Ongoing Improvement  *

  • The organization improves its staffing management and performance by acting on the results of its internal monitoring, internal and PSC audits, internal and PSC investigations and other PSC feedback, and results are reported to the Deputy Head.

Desired results: The organization is responding to key internal and external feedback to correct deficiencies and to improve its staffing management and performance on an ongoing basis and reporting results to the Deputy Head.

Policy rationale: existing ADAI, PSC and Organizational Appointment Policies on Corrective Action and Revocation requirements

Notes on Methodology: Each organization will be asked to report on action it has and is taking in response to key internal and external feedback it has at its disposal (e.g., corrective actions and other measures being taken following its staffing-related monitoring, its own and PSC investigations, its own program evaluations, PSC and internal audits as well as PSC feedback on SMAF assessment results). The organization will be asked to demonstrate (supporting documentation) that the status of actions taken has been reported to the Deputy Head. In simple terms, it should provide a solid overview of action taken and to be taken in the year ahead by the organization to improve staffing management and performance.

This section will bring together from the previous SMAF some of the former Merit indicator related to investigations (MER-5) and the Organizational Accountability for Results indicator (OAR) where organizations are expected to demonstrate that they have acted on any staffing performance deficiencies identified in feedback from the PSC, including but not limited to audit recommendations, and must demonstrate improvement (evidence required).

Note: The assessment of the former OAR indicator has continued to present challenges as the previous guidelines were whether the organization had taken action and made improvement and not whether they were meeting the expectations under the relevant indicator. As well, on follow-up to audit recommendations, it has been difficult to determine what should be considered sufficient progress within a given year. We are looking at how to more systematically monitor progress by pre-established timelines under the audit actions plans that are submitted by organizations.

Additional guidance to organizations: organizations will be encouraged to review feedback from all sources to proactively improve their staffing performance on an ongoing basis (e.g., Public Service Staffing Tribunal (PSST) complaints, results of informal discussion). In addition, the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO) is leading the development of performance indicators for internal services for Departmental Performance Reports, which may include staffing service standards.

Element: Political Activities

Employees are aware of their legal rights and responsibilities as public servants regarding political activities

Key Question for DH:

“Are my employees aware of their legal rights and responsibilities regarding political activities?”

Indicator 12: Raising Employee Awareness of Legal Rights and Responsibilities Regarding Political Activities  *

  • Employees are aware of their legal rights and responsibilities as public servants regarding political activities

Desired results: Employees are aware of their legal rights and responsibilities regarding political activities and organizations are taking steps, if needed to improve the level of awareness.

Policy Rationale: Part 7 of the PSEA and emphasized in the covering letter to deputy heads for ADAI.

Notes on Methodology:  As early as possible in the reporting year, each organization will be provided with their Survey of Staffing or PSES results on two questions related to political activities to inform their work or improvements in this area. Organizations whose results fall below the public service average for level of awareness will be asked to report on what (new) steps are being taken to improve the level of awareness.

The PSC's Political Activities and Non-Partisanship Directorate assists with the assessment of this indicator.

The PSC will continue sharing innovative best practices among organizations through its Annual Report to Parliament, annual Symposium, designated political activities representatives (DPAR) meetings and other forums.

Survey of Staffing Questions

  1. To what extent are you aware of your legal rights and responsibilities as a public servant, regarding political activities?
  2. To what extent does your department/agency keep you informed of your legal rights and responsibilities as a public servant regarding political activities?

Public Service Employee Survey (2014 and every 3 years):

  1. I am aware of my legal rights and responsibilities as a public servant, regarding political activities as defined under the Public Service Employment Act.
  2. My department or agency keeps me informed of my legal rights and responsibilities as a public servant regarding political activities.

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