Q. How does the current appointment process differ from the previous one?
A. The current legislation is less prescriptive and eliminates most of the procedural aspects of the previous legislation. This means that deputies have much more flexibility to develop the types of processes that best meet their organization's strategic objectives and HR plans. At the same time, the legislation (PSEA s.16) requires that deputy heads respect Commission policy in exercising their delegated authorities.
Q. What is the most significant difference between the previous and current systems?
A. In addition to the flexibility inherent in the legislation, the most significant difference is the increased emphasis on HR planning in the appointment process. The current system is not only about staffing vacant positions but using planning so that positions that have been identified as future vacancies can be filled more quickly. Where specific vacancies have not been forecast, HR planning can speed up staffing by identifying current and future organizational needs which will be used to fill positions in the future. In the current system, understanding your appointment needs is essential. Without HR planning, organizations won't be able to fully access the flexibility inherent in the Act. HR planning is also important in order to be able to support appointment decisions in front of the PSST.
Q. Why do we have different terminology - "policy" in English and "lignes directrices" in French?
A. We have used the language of the legislation, particularly PSEA s.16, which states that deputy heads are subject to any policies established by the Commission. The legislation translates "policies" as "lignes directrices".
Q. How did the PSC decide on where policies were needed?
A. Once the legislation was passed, a series of internal risk assessment sessions took place to identify key decision points in the appointment process and determine where direction was required, for example in new areas like informal discussion or complex areas like area of selection. While the Commission won't be establishing policy which dictates the selection process itself, policy was developed to support those common decision points and overarching issues (such as Employment Equity and Official Languages) that all organizations will face throughout appointment processes.
Q. Do deputy heads have to develop policy for all the stages of the appointment process?
A. No. Deputy heads are required to develop policy on Area of Selection and Corrective Action and Revocation. When they are developing their appointment system, they may also decide that other internal policies or guidelines are necessary for their organization.
Q. Do organizational policies have to look like PSC policies?
A. No. The PSC has provided a guide to develop organizational policy, but deputy heads will decide what is appropriate based on Commission direction and their business needs.
Q. How formal do organizational policies have to be?
A. The degree of formality depends on the organization, but each policy must include those requirements identified in the PSC appointment policies. For example, a policy for a small organization might be less formal than for a larger organization because it has fewer levels of management or is less geographically dispersed.
Q. How free are organizations to set up their policies, processes, tools, etc.?
A. Organizations are free to set up their own policies, processes and tools as long as they respect the legislation and Commission policies. For example, there are the guiding values such as fairness, transparency, access, and representativeness, and steps such as assessment and selection, that have to be respected when making appointments. Commission policies provide a general framework, within which organizations have a great deal of room to customize their own approach.
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