Senior Managerial Simulation Exercise (861)

As of June 30, 2023, this simulation exercise will no longer be available. 


Provide the candidate and the hiring manager with an evaluation of the candidate’s senior management abilities, based on the Key Leadership Competency profile, outlined below.


  • The candidate deals directly with managerial issues and challenges via simulation exercises
  • The simulation requires handling a variety of problems involving services and programs, production, decreasing resources, irregularities in performance, labour relations, clients, management information systems and policies
  • The hiring manager observes the candidate during the exercise
  • Can be useful in selecting or promoting people to senior management positions or selecting individuals for deployment or inter-organizational assignments

Assessment process

Before the assessment, the candidate receives:

  • Background information on a simulated organization, including:
    • a description of its purpose and function
    • organizational charts
    • specific managerial responsibilities

The candidate should study the information carefully and bring it to the next phase of the assessment.

At the time of the assessment, the candidate receives:

  • specific managerial problems requiring the manager's attention and action. The simulation consists of summary reports; emails; variance reports; financial, human resources and operational problems as well as client service issues

The candidate is given two and a half hours to:

  • identify organizational problems, make decisions leading to possible solutions, explore alternate solutions and outline the implications of each alternative
  • prepare a 25-minute oral presentation to the Selection Board concerning management decisions made and proposed solutions to identified problems

The oral presentation is followed by a question period by the Selection Board.


The candidate’s actions and decisions in handling the situations presented are evaluated for their effectiveness within the organization, based on the information provided in the simulation material. The board members then rate the individual on the following key leadership competencies:

Definitions of the competencies evaluated

Create vision and strategy 

Leaders define the future and chart a path forward. They are adept at understanding and communicating context, factoring in the economic, social and political environment. Intellectually agile, they leverage their deep and broad knowledge, build on diverse ideas and perspectives and create consensus around compelling visions. Leaders balance organizational and government-wide priorities and improve outcomes for Canada and Canadians.


Based on the priorities of the organization, identifies and analyzes the essential information of issues in order to arrive at a comprehensive perspective.


Provides sound advice and strategies that will help the organization to achieve its objectives.

Mobilize people

Leaders inspire and motivate the people they lead. They manage performance, provide constructive and respectful feedback to encourage and enable performance excellence. They lead by example, setting goals for themselves that are more demanding than those that they set for others.

Collaborate with partners and stakeholders

Leaders are deliberate and resourceful about seeking the widest possible spectrum of perspectives. They demonstrate openness and flexibility to forge consensus and improve outcomes. They bring a whole-of-government perspective to their interactions. In negotiating solutions, they are open to alternatives and skillful at managing expectations. Leaders share recognition with their teams and partners.

Achieve results

Leaders mobilize and manage resources to deliver on the priorities of the Government, improve outcomes and add value. They consider context, risks and business intelligence to support high-quality and timely decisions. They anticipate, plan, monitor progress and adjust as needed. Leaders take personal responsibility for their actions and outcomes of their decisions.

Action management

Aligns people, work and systems with the organization’s priorities, ensuring that people have the support and tools they need to get the job done, in the immediate and long term.

Financial management

Implements strategies, including monitoring and acting on the results of audits, to achieve operational efficiencies and value for money.

Tips for candidates

  • If you have a disability and require special accommodation, please inform those in charge of administering the assessment tool well in advance so they can take the necessary steps to determine the appropriate accommodation
  • A good night's sleep will help you be more alert during the assessment
  • Bring a piece of identification with your photo and signature and your Personal Record Identifier
  • You can bring your own highlighters and pencils
  • Give yourself enough time to arrive at the site where the exercise (861) will be conducted. It is to your advantage to arrive a few minutes before the assessment begins so that you don’t feel rushed. You will NOT be allowed to enter the room once the assessment has started
  • Perform the Simulation Exercise as if you are on the job. This will result in the most accurate assessment of your management abilities
  • Manage your time and work as quickly as possible. Use all the time allowed

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