Federal Public Service Inclusive Appointment Lens

Inclusive appointment processes designed for a diverse workforce

“Canada will […] continue to gain from a public service that strives for excellence, that is representative of Canada’s diversity and that is able to serve the public with integrity and in their official language of choice”

“the public service, whose members are drawn from across the country, reflects a myriad of backgrounds, skills and professions that are a unique resource for Canada.”

(Public Service Employment Act – Preamble)
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The Federal Public Service Inclusive Appointment Lens helps build diversity, accessibility and inclusion into appointment decisions.

If you’re a hiring manager, or involved in running an appointment process, here are some key diversity and inclusion-related questions you may wish to consider.


  • What type of appointment process will help you attain a diverse workforce: advertised or non-advertised, internal or external?
  • Is there an employment equity group underrepresentation or forecasted gap in your organization, in the public service, or in the occupational group and level of the vacant position?
  • Are there best practices from other hiring processes in your organization or elsewhere that you could draw from to better ensure diversity, accessibility and inclusion?
  • What personal biases may affect your decisions in running an appointment process? How can you challenge these assumptions to minimize their potential impact? Have you made assumptions about what an ideal candidate’s work experience or background should be?
  • Have you considered consulting with members of the designated group communities for planning purposes and to learn about barriers and past hiring experiences?
  • Have you consulted with subject matter experts (for example, on accommodation needs)?

Did you know?

  •  You must respect employment equity obligations, the duty to accommodate and official languages obligations throughout appointment processes.

Establishing qualifications

  • Are the requirements written in plain and neutral language (free of cultural references, government or technical jargon, acronyms and idioms)? Can the concepts and language used be understood by candidates from diverse backgrounds?
  • Do the qualifications reflect the job requirements? Are the qualifications artificially inflated (for example, asking for a Bachelor’s degree when a secondary school diploma is the qualification standard)?
  • Have you considered linking the merit criteria to the job in order to attract a specific group of candidates (for example, knowledge of an Indigenous language and culture)?
  • Can the qualifications focus on abilities rather than knowledge and experience that could be acquired on the job?

Did you know?

  •  Using specific or quantified requirements (for example, “recent experience,” or “experience in the past 3 years”) may be a barrier to some candidates.


  • Is your advertisement strategy designed to reach diverse groups of people? What communications strategy will you employ to attract a diverse workforce (for example, sending the information to community organizations)? What other approaches can be tried in order to reach additional groups?
  • Is the job advertisement written concisely and clearly? Is the language and terminology appropriate, gender and diversity-sensitive?

Did you know?

  •  Job advertisements must include a point of contact for accommodation requests.


  • Is the assessment board diverse (does it include members of employment equity groups)? Have the board members reflected on their own assumptions and biases (based on age, accent, disability, or race) and how they may impact their perception of candidates?
  • How will the information on assessment tools be communicated, to ensure that applicants are aware of their right to accommodation? What measures are in place to ensure that applicants are accommodated to the point of undue hardship?
  • How will you ensure the assessment material effectively evaluates the qualifications without barriers to inclusiveness? Do the assessment tools favour or disadvantage specific groups of candidates? Were the tools developed with an inclusive lens in mind and are they available in accessible formats if required?
  • How will board members evaluate time out of the workplace or a gap period in the candidate’s résumé? The missing period may be due to disability, family obligation or any number of factors that are completely unrelated to the applicant’s ability to do the job.

Did you know?

  •  Assessment tools that are inclusive in their design may reduce the need for assessment accommodation.


  • How will you ensure that selection decisions are bias-free (for example, ensuring that the appointment is not tainted by selecting someone because they are similar to you)?
  • How can your selection decisions create teams that are diverse and inclusive, and that could bring a range of skills, competencies, strengths and approaches to work?
  • While ensuring the integrity of assessment materials, how can you provide helpful feedback to candidates on their assessment performance? How can you learn from this feedback experience in order to make the process more inclusive in the future?

Did you know?

  •  Employment equity as a merit criterion (organizational need) can be applied at any phase of the appointment process, including the selection phase.


Have you considered taking training in unconscious bias and/or in diversity and inclusion? The Canada School of Public Service offers various products on the subject.

Have you considered consulting the following Public Service Commission products?

For more information, please talk to your human resources advisor.

Some information inspired by the Ontario Public Service Recruitment Inclusion Lens

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