Removing Barriers

Canada is an inclusive society, rich in diversity, with people from many backgrounds, experiences and cultures. As the institution designed to serve Canadians, the federal Public Service should be comprised of individuals who are qualified to do their jobs, and should reflect the diversity of the population served. The principles of merit and representativeness go hand in hand: the social and cultural diversity that has enriched Canada provides a large pool of highly qualified and diverse talent for Canada's Public Service.

Assessment plays an important role in selection to, and from within, the Public Service. This document provides generic guidelines for the fair assessment of all candidates in federal selection processes, regardless of whether or not they belong to any of the four designated employment equity groups. The four designated groups include: women, members of visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, and persons with disabilities. The document also addresses ways to identify and remove barriers to the fair assessment of two of the four designated employment equity groups, namely: members of visible minorities and Aboriginal peoples.

The Guidelines for Assessing Persons with Disabilities should be consulted for additional information on accommodations for ensuring the fair assessment of persons with disabilities. This document can be found in the Human Resource Management (HRM) Information section of the Personnel Psychology Centre Web site.

The Guidelines for Fair Assessment present fundamental concepts related to fair assessment as well as examples of applying these principles.

  • Part I summarizes the legal framework in which these guidelines are applied.
  • Part II describes six principles for the fair assessment of all individuals and groups.
  • Part III describes personal and cultural biases that can influence assessment, and outlines ways to increase awareness and control of these sources of potential bias.
  • Parts IV and V provide examples of applying the general principles of fair assessment to remove barriers to members of visible minorities and Aboriginal peoples.

Removing barriers in assessment does not follow a single "recipe"; rather, it is based on understanding the legal framework, heightening awareness of potential biases, and using judgment in applying the principles of fair assessment. It is suggested that users of this document read Parts I, II and III before referring to specific examples of removing barriers to assessing members of visible minorities or Aboriginal peoples provided in Parts IV and V.

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