Area of Selection

Q. Can the area of selection criteria differ for different appointment processes? Do they always have to be the same for the same type of process?

A. This will depend on the internal area of selection policy established by the organization. Neither the legislation nor the Commission's appointment policy dictate how this will be done. Organizations should however, work to identify the appropriate area of selection that would target a reasonable number of persons to address their needs.

Q. What is meant by an employment equity criterion for area of selection?

A. All area of selection criteria are used to define who is eligible to apply in the case of an advertised process and who has the right to complain to the Public Service Staffing Tribunal in the case of an internal non-advertised process. The employment equity criterion would specify that persons must be a member of one or more of the employment equity designated groups (as defined in section 3 of the Employment Equity Act) in order to be in the area of selection.

Q. Is it possible to limit an area of selection exclusively to the members of one or more of the employment equity groups?

A. Yes. Subsection 34(1) of the PSEA allows for an area of selection to be limited to one or more employment equity groups. The Commission policy requires that the use of this criterion be supported in an organization's employment equity plan or human resources plan.

Q. Is it possible to use the area of selection to increase the representation of employment equity groups in the appointment process?

A. Yes. Subsection 34(2) of the PSEA allows one or more criteria (geographic, organizational and occupational) of an area of selection to be expanded for one or more of the employment equity groups. This will allow designated group members to be included in an appointment process that they would not otherwise be eligible for, since they would not be within the regular area of selection. Organizations may use this provision at their discretion in order to further their employment equity objectives.

Q. When do the mobility provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter) apply with respect to areas of selection?

A. Section 6 of the Charter provides that citizens and permanent residents have the right to move to and take up residence in any province to pursue their livelihood. These provisions apply to all advertised appointment processes where the area of selection includes a geographic criterion, as permitted by Subsection 34(1) of the PSEA.

Q. In what circumstances does the policy on area of selection apply?

A. The policy applies to internal and external advertised appointment processes and internal non-advertised processes. It also applies to all occupational groups and levels, including the Executive group.

Q. Is an area of selection necessary for external non-advertised appointment processes?

A. No. In the case of non-advertised appointment processes, an area of selection is established solely for the purpose of recourse. Since external appointment processes are not subject to recourse, no area of selection is required.

Q. Given that the PSC policy on area of selection obliges organizations to establish their own policies on area of selection, are there any specific requirements for these policies?

A. The degree of formality will vary depending on the organization, but the policy must include those requirements identified in the PSC area of selection policy, specifically:

  • an area of selection must provide reasonable and fair access to employment opportunities and recourse;
  • limiting an area of selection to one or more designated groups must be supported in the organization's Employment Equity Plan or the human resources plan; and
  • a national area of selection is established for all advertised external appointment processes, with the exception of those circumstances outlined in the policy.
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