Student Bridging

Supporting organizational and public service-wide renewal goals

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Did you know?

16.6% of all indeterminate and term hires had prior experience in a federal public service student employment program in the last 10 years.

Did you know?

16.6% of all indeterminate and term hires had prior experience in a federal public service student employment program in the last 10 years.

Do you have feedback or questions? Share them!

Student bridging refers to the non-advertised appointment of a student who was employed in the federal public service through a student program such as the Federal Student Work Experience Program, the Post-Secondary Co-op/Internship Program or the Research Affiliate Program.

Student bridging allows you to:

  • realize your investment in student hires
  • support your organizational and public service-wide renewal goals, including bringing in new competencies and skills
  • support diversity objectives, including enhancing regional and employment equity representation

Bridging a student is an appointment, subject to the same legislative and policy requirements as any other appointment, including considering persons with priority entitlements.  It must also align with your organizational staffing framework and your deputy head’s direction on the use of advertised and non-advertised processes.

Students employed through one of the federal student employment programs can be included in the area of selection of an advertised internal appointment process. In order to be considered, the students need to first meet any other area of selection criteria. Then they also need to demonstrate that they can complete their studies within the timeframe indicated in the advertisement, which shall be before the appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How has student bridging changed?

Student bridging is an informal term that developed under the previous legislative and policy framework and referred to the appointment of a person who had been employed in the federal public service through 1 of 3 Government of Canada student programs: the Federal Student Work Experience Program, the Post-Secondary Co-op/Internship Program, or the Research Affiliate Program.

Bridging someone who worked in a federal department or agency before graduating continues to be a staffing option. There is no specific mechanism in the Public Service Employment Act or the Public Service Commission’s Appointment Policy for student bridging. These appointments are subject to the act, the Public Service Commission’s Appointment Framework, the organizational staffing framework, and any deputy head direction.

Is there a specific timeframe within which these appointments must be made?

There are no legislative or policy requirements that limit a deputy head’s discretion in establishing timeframes related to student and graduate hiring. Deputy heads can establish timeframes which take into account factors such as their operational and workforce needs, renewal objectives and the intent of student and graduate hiring.  

A student may be offered a term or indeterminate appointment before they have completed their studies. If they meet the other qualifications, their appointment could be conditional on completion of their studies. Consult Conditional Offers for guidance on the topic.

Can a person who was employed as a student in one organization be appointed to a different organization after they graduate?

Yes. As with all appointments, the hiring manager determines the depth and breadth of the qualifications required for the position depending on what is relevant to their organizational and operational needs. The nature of the experience gained as a student in any organization can be considered against the job requirements and the sub-delegated manager’s needs, along with the organizational staffing framework, including any deputy head direction on student and graduate hiring.

Can a student who did not participate in a Government of Canada student employment program be bridged?

Work experience gained in various ways can develop skills needed in the public service. While student work experience obtained under one of the student employment programs is valuable, so is experience gained from other types of employment in the public service and in separate organizations that are not subject to Treasury Board policies. Sub-delegated managers will determine the relevance of a student’s or graduate’s work experience based on their operational needs, and in alignment with their organizational staffing framework.

Can someone who is or has been employed on a term or indeterminate basis since they completed their studies still be appointed based on student work experience?

Yes. A deputy head may decide to appoint a qualified person based on the experience they obtained through student employment, regardless of their current employment status.

Can students apply to advertised internal appointment processes while they are working for the Government of Canada?

Section 5 of the Student Employment Programs Participants Regulations allows students employed under one of the Government of Canada’s student employment programs to apply to advertised internal appointment processes, as long as they are specifically included in the area of selection. They must also meet any other area of selection criteria and demonstrate that they will be able to complete their study program within the timeframe indicated in the advertisement.

Students who are employed through a term appointment and not under a student employment program may apply to advertised internal appointment processes when they are in the area of selection. Students employed on a casual basis are not eligible to apply to advertised internal appointment processes.

Is the appointment of a person after graduation made on an advertised or a non-advertised basis?

With the exception of advertised internal appointment processes which are open to students pursuant to section 5 of the Student Employment Programs Participants Regulations, the appointment of a student upon graduation to a term or indeterminate position is generally considered to be a non-advertised appointment.

For more information

Student bridging is one of a number of ways for deputy heads to achieve organizational or public service-wide renewal and diversity objectives. For more information, please talk to your Human Resources Advisor or refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.

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