Commissioning Policy

1. Effective Date

May 9, 2011

2. Authority

This policy is issued under the authority of the Assistant Deputy Minister, Real Property Branch, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC).

3. Context

This policy is issued pursuant to the Federal Real Property and Federal Immovables Act, (1991), which authorizes PWGSC to manage federal real estate. PWGSC, including the Real Property Branch, delivers its real property projects using the National Project Management System (NPMS) and commissioning is an integral part of the NPMS.

Implementation of this policy will ensure that commissioning is applied consistently across the country.

4. Scope

This policy applies to built works managed by RPB and/or its service providers. This includes new construction, renovations, and fit-up work in Crown-owned and leased premises. It also applies to new build-to-lease buildings and major leased building renovations under the custodianship of RPB.

5. Policy statement

All built works managed by RPB and/or its service providers shall be assessed for applicability of commissioning. Such assessments shall take into account the size, scope and complexity of the project. All commissioning activities identified through these assessments shall be carried out in accordance with the PWGSC Commissioning Manual and the PWGSC Commissioning Guidelines.

6. Policy details

Commissioning is a program of activities that advances built works from the inception of a project to its completion.

Commissioning measures, demonstrates, and documents that:

The overall effectiveness of this policy will be monitored through audits, conducted by national/regional commissioning experts, on randomly-selected projects.

7. Definitions

Built works

Built works refers to buildings, and to engineering assets. The term "buildings" includes new construction, existing building renovations, and fit-ups.


Commissioning is a program of activities that advances built works from the inception of a project to its completion.

Continuous commissioning

Continuous commissioning refers to commissioning carried out throughout the life cycle of the building, on a continuous basis.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

LEED is a green building certification system that provides third-party verification of the environmental rating of a building or community, endorsed by the Canada Green Building Council. Commissioning is a pre-requisite for LEED certification.

National Project Management System (NPMS)

The National Project Management System is the project management methodology used by PWGSC for implementing its projects.


A project is defined as the construction and/or repair of a building, bridge, structure, dock, wharf, sewer, water-main, utility service connections, etc., that is specifically dedicated to fulfilling a program requirement within a prescribed time frame.


Re-commissioning refers to commissioning activities performed after a building has been in operation; it applies to buildings that have already been commissioned

8. Commissioning Policy

Director general, professional and technical service management

Responsible for:

Regional directors general and directors general, National Capital Area operations

Responsible for implementing this policy in the regions, and the National Capital Area.

Project leaders/Directors/Asset managers

Responsible for securing appropriate funding for all required commissioning activities.

Project managers

Responsible for ensuring that commissioning forms part of the projects they manage, and that it is carried out in accordance with this policy.

9. References

10. Enquiries 

Please direct enquiries about this policy to:
Professional and Technical Service Management
Real Property Branch 

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