Appointment Delegation and Accountability Instrument

from the Public Service Commission to Deputy Heads

In accordance with section 15 of the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA), the Public Service Commission (PSC) authorizes specified deputy heads to exercise, in relation to their organization, the appointment and appointment-related authorities found in this delegation instrument (Annex A). These authorities may be exercised as soon as they are appointed or designated, unless otherwise stipulated.

In accordance with subsection 4(7) of the Employment Equity Act (EEA), the PSC authorizes deputy heads to exercise, in relation to their organization and within the applicable authorities provided by the PSEA, powers and functions related to implementing employment equity as set out in this delegation instrument.

Deputy heads are accountable to the PSC for the application of all of the appointment and appointment-related authorities delegated to them, including those that they have sub- delegated. Deputy heads and sub-delegated persons must respect the requirements of this delegation instrument, the PSEA, the EEA, other applicable statutes and regulations, the PSC’s Appointment Policy as well as organizational staffing policies and the sub-delegation instrument.

Terms and conditions

Section 1 – Organizational staffing system

Deputy heads must:

  1. Establish a policy on area of selection for internal appointment processes that, at a minimum:

    1. Provides reasonable access when advertising;
    2. Provides reasonable access to recourse; and
    3. Respects the lifeline provisions of employees from Veterans Affairs Canada and the Canada Energy Regulator.Footnote 1
  2. Establish direction, through policy, planning or other means, on the use of advertised and non-advertised appointment processes.
  3. Establish requirement(s) for sub-delegated persons to articulate, in writing, their selection decisionFootnote 2 .
  4. Ensure that the employer or bargaining agents have been consulted with respect to organizational staffing policies upon request, or if they consider such consultations necessary or desirable.

  5. Ensure the review of their appointment or appointment-related employment systems, policies and practices, where underrepresentation has been identified, to determine whether they present any biases or barriers to persons who are members of the designated groups as defined in section 3 of the EEA and, if so, make reasonable efforts to eliminate them or to mitigate their impact on such persons.

Section 2 – Sub-delegation

Only the deputy head may sub-delegate appointment and appointment-related authorities or limit or revoke sub-delegation. Only authorities listed in Annex A may be sub-delegated, according to the terms and conditions established in this instrument. 

In sub-delegating appointment and appointment-related authorities, deputy heads must:

  1. Identify and document the appointment and appointment-related authorities being sub-delegated and to whom those authorities are being sub-delegated.
  2. Establish training pre-requisites for sub-delegation, which must include training on unconscious bias.
  3. Prior to sub-delegating, ensure that persons being sub-delegated:Footnote Footnote 3 

    1. Have completed the training requirements; and
    2. Have signed an attestation form that, at a minimum, includes the requirements found in Annex C.
  4. Provide, in writing, to persons being sub-delegated, the terms and conditions of sub-delegation and the appointment and appointment-related authorities being sub-delegated.
  5. Ensure that sub-delegated persons are provided with the information and human resources advice and services they require to exercise their sub-delegated authorities.

Persons eligible for sub-delegation may be found in Annex B.

Section 3 – Monitoring and reporting

Deputy heads must:

  1. As a component of the on-going monitoring of their staffing system, assess on a cyclical basisFootnote 4 , adherence to the requirements established in this delegation instrument, the PSEA, other applicable statutes and regulations, the PSC’s Appointment Policy, as well as organizational staffing policies and the sub-delegation instrument.Footnote a
  2. Ensure that appropriate remedial action is taken to address any deficiencies.
  3. Report to the PSC on areas identified in Annex D.


Section 4 – Investigation-related responsibilities

Deputy heads must ensure that their personnel:

  1. Refer to the PSC:

    1. Any matter where there is reason to believe an appointment or proposed appointment was not free from political influence or where fraud may have occurred in an appointment process; and
    2. Any matter where there is reason to believe improper conduct affected the selection of the person appointed or proposed for appointment in an external appointment process.
  2. Ensure that investigations and the process followed for corrective action and/or revocation respect the principles of procedural fairness, including:

    1. The right to be heard;
    2. The right to an impartial investigation;
    3. The right to be represented; and
    4. The right to have a decision, with reasons.
  3. In circumstances involving revocation following an investigation conducted pursuant to subsection15(3) of the PSEA, inform the person in writing of:

    1. The effective date of the revocation and the reasons for the decision;
    2. Whether or not they may be appointed to another position for which they are deemed to meet the essential qualifications; and
    3. Their right to file a complaint, and the time period within which to make a complaint, to the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board on the ground that the revocation was unreasonable.

Section 5 – Modifications to and establishment of additional terms and conditions to delegation

The PSC may make modifications to update specific sections of this delegation instrument, including the Annexes. Any modifications that may have an impact on the delegation of authorities will be communicated to deputy  heads.

The PSC may establish additional terms and conditions on the delegation of a deputy head, including the partial or complete withdrawal of the delegated appointment and appointment-related authorities, if it concludes that there has been a contravention of the terms and conditions of this delegation instrument or an abuse or misuse of delegated or sub-delegated authorities. Additional terms and conditions related to delegation are communicated separately to the deputy heads to whom those additional terms and conditions apply.

Annex A – Delegated authorities

The Public Service Commission (PSC) delegates to specified deputy heads the following appointment and appointment-related authorities found in the statutes and regulations mentioned below:

These appointment and appointment-related authorities are subject to any terms and conditions that the Commission directs.

Delegated deputy heads and sub-delegated persons may make appointments only to and within their organization.

Note: The descriptions of the appointment and appointment-related authorities serve to explain the provision in plain language; however, should there be an issue or question regarding the provision or the authority being delegated, the wording and meaning of the PSEA, PSER, PSOLAR and EEA will prevail.

A. The following authority may not be sub-delegated and may be exercised only by the deputy head:

Revocation following an internal investigation

Revoke an appointment after an investigation by the deputy head PSEA 15(3)

B. The following authority may be exercised by the deputy head or may be sub-delegated to the associate deputy minister or assistant deputy minister level (or equivalent) only:

Extension of time to become bilingual

Extend the period to become bilingual for non-imperative appointments for:

  • Exceptional operational requirements;
  • Exceptional personal circumstances;
  • A physical, mental or learning impairment that hinders learning of the other official language;
  • Inability to obtain language training at public expense.

C. The following authorities may be exercised by the deputy head and by persons to whom they have sub-delegated:


Make appointments on the basis of merit PSEA 29 (1), 30
Determine whether to use an advertised or non-advertised appointment process PSEA 33
Determine area of selection PSEA 34
Use any assessment method considered appropriate PSEA 36 (1) Revised
Before using an assessment method, conduct an evaluation to identify biases or barriers that disadvantage persons belonging to any equity-seeking group. If one is identified, make reasonable efforts to remove it or to mitigate its impact on those persons. PSEA 36 (2) New

Preferences and priorities

Give preference, in the following order, to:

  • A person in receipt of a pension by reason of war service
  • A veteran or survivor of a veteran
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident

Appoint persons with a legislative priority entitlement ahead of all others and in the following order of precedence:

  • A person who is released from the Canadian Forces for medical reasons attributable to service
  • A surplus employee from within the deputy head’s organization
  • An employee with a leave of absence priority or the person who replaced that employee
  • A person who has been laid off
PSEA 39.1, 40, 41

Appoint a person with regulatory priority entitlement, in no order of precedence:

  • A surplus employee from another organization
  • An employee who becomes disabled
  • A member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) who is discharged for medical reasons, or a member of the Reserve of the RCMP
  • A member of the Canadian Forces who is released for medical reasons
  • A person with a surviving spousal or common-law priority
  • An employee who is on a leave of absence granted as a result of the relocation of their spouse or common-law partner
  • An employee with a reinstatement priority
PSER 5, 7, 7.1, 8, 8.1, 9, 10
Decide to not apply the provisions of the PSEA that relate to appointing a person with a priority entitlement if the appointment will result in another person having a priority right PSEA 43

Informal discussion, notification and notices

Informally discuss the decision to eliminate an employee from consideration for appointment


Inform persons entitled to be notified of the name of persons being considered for each appointment

Fix a waiting period that meets or exceeds the minimum established by the PSC Appointment Policy

Inform persons entitled to be notified of the name of the persons to be appointed

Provide notice of acting appointment PSER 13

Casual employment

Appoint a person as a casual worker PSEA 50(1)

Corrective action following an investigation

Take corrective action after an investigation by the deputy head PSEA 15(3)

Reappointment following revocation

Appoint to another position a person whose appointment was revoked pursuant to:

  • Subsection 15(3) after investigation by the deputy head
  • Subsection 67(2) following an investigation conducted by the Commission on behalf of the deputy head
  • Subsection 81(1) as a result of a complaint upheld by the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board

Oaths and affirmations

Administer oaths and receive solemn affirmations PSEA 134

Employment Equity

Review employment systems, policies and practices EEA 9(1)(b)

Annex B – Persons eligible for sub-delegation

Deputy heads may, subject to the terms and conditions of this Appointment Delegation and Accountability Instrument (ADAI), sub-delegate their delegated appointment and appointment-related authorities to the following persons:

1. Employees within their own organization, excluding casual workers appointed pursuant to subsection 50(1) of the Public Service Employment Act.

2. Associate deputy ministers (or other associate deputy head titles) within their own organization.

3. Governor in Council appointees whose functions fall within their own organization and who have both financial and human resources responsibilities.

4. Interchange Canada participants whose assignments are to positions within their own organization and who have both financial and human resources responsibilities, provided that the assignment (including any extensions) is made in accordance with Treasury Board policies.

5. Employees of another organization that is subject to the ADAI. The terms and conditions of sub-delegation applicable to such sub-delegated employees are those of the deputy head of the organization in which the appointment occurs.

Note: Deputy heads who wish to sub-delegate appointment and appointment-related authorities to persons other than those specified above must make a request to the Public Service Commission for a specific arrangement for sub-delegation.

Annex C – Attestation form

I, (name of sub-delegated person), hereby attest that in exercising my sub-delegated appointment and appointment-related authorities:

I will, when establishing qualifications, ensure that individuals are not personally favoured in appointment  processes.

I will consider employment equity objectives.

I will ensure that the rights of persons with a priority entitlement are respected.

I will ensure those conducting the assessment are competent and that qualifications are assessed in the official language(s) of choice of the candidate.

I will ensure the assessment is inclusive and conducted in a manner that is supportive of an individual’s right to accommodation, where reasonable efforts have been made to remove biases or barriers, or mitigate their impact. Revised

I will disclose any personal relationship I may have with candidates participating in appointment processes and ensure that the nature of this association, if any, is such that a decision can be rendered in an impartial manner.

I will make appointments based on merit without undue influence from any individual, group or political body.




(Insert: Name of sub-delegated person)




Annex D – Reporting requirements

On a yearly basis, deputy heads must report to the Public Service Commission (PSC) on:

1. The use of the Public Service Official Languages Exclusion Approval Order and the Public Service Official Languages Appointment Regulations.

2. Approved deputy head exceptions to the national area of selection requirement for external advertised appointment processes.

3. The results of required organizational cyclical assessments if they are completed during the year.

4. The results of any internal investigations, if undertaken in a given year.

Deputy heads must, in accordance with established timelines, report to the PSC on progress made by the organization to implement:

5. Recommendations following a PSC audit.

6. Corrective actions and/or revocations following a PSC investigation.

Upon notice, deputy heads must report to the PSC on:

7. Any additional areas identified by the PSC. The PSC will prescribe the report timeframe (yearly or as needed) and format for this reporting.


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