Next Generation Human Resources and Pay Final Findings Report

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Next Generation Human Resources and Pay's Final Findings Report – Research and Experimentation‌
ISBN 978-0-660-69606-5
Cat. No. P118-30/2024E-PDF‌

Publié aussi en français sous le titre :‌
Rapport de constatations finales de l'Initiative Ressources humaines et paye de la prochaine génération – Recherche et expérimentation‌
ISBN 978-0-660-69601-0
No. de catalogue P118-30/2024F-PDF‌

Executive Summary: Final Findings Report

The Government of Canada (GC) needs to transition to a more modern and sustainable Human Resource (HR) and pay capability to meet current and future HR and pay requirements in a rapidly changing work and technological environment and ensure accurate and timely compensation for its employees ‌

Technology alone cannot solve the current challenges. Transformation must also include changes to the business of HR and pay, process simplification and standardization, and human-centered design as well as integrate HR and pay functions into a single solution and provide a seamless, end-to-end experience for users.‌

The Next Generation Human Resources and Pay (NextGen HR and Pay) Initiative mandate is to assess the viability of adopting a commercially available, integrated HR and Pay Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutionFootnote 1 given the GC's complex HR and pay requirements. In September 2021, after an agile procurement process to pre-select qualified vendors, the GC signed a contract with Ceridian to test their Dayforce SaaS solution. This testing assessed the viability of the core functions an integrated solution would need to replace current HR and pay systems. Limiting testing to core functions allowed the GC to save time and money when determining the solution's technical viability, which was necessary for setting a way forward.‌

This Final Findings Report (FFR) presents the results and findings of the Initiative. It is an overview of the Initiative's context and challenges, its agile procurement process and the design of its testing approach and methodology. It also analyzes the testing results and draws conclusions about the technical viability of Dayforce.‌

In consultation with stakeholders, other government departments, industry leaders, bargaining agents, subject‑matter experts and GC employees, the Initiative took an iterative approach to: ‌

The Initiative formed partnerships with 5 departments:‌

The goal was to assess if Dayforce could meet the varied and complex needs of the government's HR and pay system. The Initiative's work was reviewed by independent oversight bodies and a governance framework of senior government officials and external experts in private and public sector HR and pay transformations. ‌


Stakeholders and subject‑matter experts helped the Initiative identify 17 critical HR and pay capabilities essential for ensuring timely and accurate pay. The Initiative tested a range of business requirements and scenarios linked to these critical capabilities, from the most common and straightforward HR and pay transactions to more complex situations. Examples of complex situations include shift work, employees with multiple roles over the course of a work period and worksites with limited Internet access.‌

The Initiative evaluated testing results against 4 categories of viability with the following assessments:‌

The results presented in the FFR on the critical HR and pay business capabilities show that Dayforce is a viable option for an integrated GC HR and pay system. Although this report confirms viability, it does depend on multiple factors. This is why the FFR also identifies the limitations of the testing and validation work, and the additional layers of testing that would be required if the GC decides to pursue implementation of Dayforce.‌

Way forward‌

More testing is required in future phases to address the issues and gaps discovered during initial testing and assess all functionality currently offered by the various HR systems in use today ‌

There are several conditions unrelated to the technical viability of Dayforce that are critical to the successful implementation of a modern, integrated SaaS solution for HR and pay. These include: ‌

The findings highlighted in this FFR and the confirmation of the technical viability of Dayforce will inform an assessment of the rough order of magnitude (ROM) cost estimate, a comparative costing exercise and a strategy for implementing a modern HR and pay solution ‌

In turn, these elements will inform an overall integrated recommendation and plan on the way forward for HR and pay in the GC. ‌


The purpose of this FFR is to present the assessment of whether Ceridian's Dayforce SaaS solution can serve as the enterprise, integrated HR and pay solution for the GC, now and in the future. This FFR: ‌

Although the Initiative did not test Dayforce in its entirety or test it against all GC requirements for HR and pay, the work undertaken did identify and assess key elements representing the complexity of the GC's HR and pay requirements. Findings related to these elements informed the viability assessment of Dayforce for the broader GC HR and pay environment.

This report presents the final results of NextGen HR and Pay's testing and experimentation work. It will also serve as a foundational source to inform a recommendation to the GC on implementing a modern HR and pay solution.‌


Drivers for change

The GC needs a more modern and sustainable HR and pay capability to: ‌

Transformation and renewal of GC HR and pay business has been a persistent challenge for more than 40 years. This challenge stems from the fact that the GC does not operate as a single employer. The federal public service is a complex enterprise made up of over 200 distinct organizations and roughly 380,000 people. Its HR and pay business models are organized around the authorities, controls, and policies governing the Public Service. These include thousands of pay rules flowing from numerous collective agreements that are managed by Deputy Ministers within their authorities for each GC Department, and a web of regulations, legislation, policies, negotiations, and contractual obligations under the authority of Chief HR Officer of Canada. ‌

The responsibility for HR administration is decentralized and divided among departments and several central agencies. Each has tailored their HR administration to their own unique business needs. The technology landscape is outdated and complex. It includes one pay system, over 33 separate HR systemsFootnote 2 and a suite of peripheral HR management applications. This has produced a disjointed and complex landscape with: ‌

In addition, the end-to-end processes are diverse, non-standardized and do not allow for efficient enterprise HR and pay management.‌

The GC has traditionally customized its systems and solutions to meet its complex requirements rather than adopting leading practices and common business processes. This approach has resulted in challenges, including most recently with the current pay system (Phoenix).‌

To address this, the GC has committed to examining options to replace the current pay system, including an intention to transition away from the complex array of existing legacy systems and non-standardized business practices and onto the next generation of the federal government's integrated HR and pay system. ‌

Next Generation HR and Pay

The GC created the Initiative to: ‌

After a competitive, agile procurement process, the Initiative: ‌

HR and pay are intimately connected, so must be considered together to address the challenges the complex GC business and technology landscape poses. Combining HR and pay into a single application would: ‌

The Initiative is also exploring the changes to the business of HR and Pay that would be needed to adopt such a solution and enable the full breadth of features and benefits available, including automation and integration. Doing so necessitates wherever possible adopting industry best practices in place of the years of embedded processes and layers of customizations which currently exist within the GC context. Industry best practices were determined through engagement with industry experts (Gartner, EY) and two global scale vendors of SaaS Human Capital Management software (SAP, Ceridian). Such changes include process changes and the simplification and standardization of rules, regulations, legislation, and collective agreements. It is important to note that the GC is not a typical industry player and has unique HR and Pay needs, and opportunities exist that reflect this (e.g. configuration and cloud extensions). ‌

The early work of the Initiative has been divided into 2 phases:‌

This report focuses on the results of the research the Initiative has conducted into the technical viability of the selected solution and how these results support the 4 objectives of Phase 1: ‌

  1. Test the proposed solution against the complexities of the GC's HR and pay requirements
  2. Prove there is a viable solution to solve the defined business problem
  3. Seek clarity of business process redesign, change management activities and training required to adopt a new solution
  4. Test viable working relationships with vendor(s)
NextGen HR and Pay mandate and phases
Refer to the following long description.
Long description

The NextGen Human Resources and Pay Initiative has the mandate to Explore the viability of a flexible, modern, and integrated Human Resources and Pay Software-as-a-Service solution to the Government of Canada to make a recommendation regarding adoption.

This is supported by the principles of; Adapt to adopt; Enterprise by Design; Employee Centric and; Iterative Approach

The initiative is divided into two phases

Phase 1: Research & Experimentation (2020-Summer 2023) with the Objectives of:

  • Test the proposed solution against the complexities of the GC’s Human Resources (HR) and pay requirements
  • Prove there is a viable solution to solve the defined business problem
  • Seek clarity relative to business process redesign, change management activities and training required to adopt a new solution
  • Test viable working relationships with vendor(s)

Phase 2: Recommendation & Investment Decision (Summer 2023-Spring 2024) with the objectives of:

  • Consolidate findings and expand testing and configuration to more comprehensive requirements.
  • Propose the new business model and enable the GC’s readiness to enact the required changes to organizations, the enterprise, and the business of HR and Pay.
  • Deliver a recommendation to Government, including an implementation blueprint, costing estimates, risk analysis, and considerations.

Software-as-a-Service model

The solution the Initiative tested (the Ceridian Dayforce SaaS solution) uses a SaaS delivery model, which has become a best practice of large organizations—including the Province of Ontario, the State of California, the City of Columbus, Molson Coors, Danone and Accenture.

A modern and flexible SaaS model helps to reduce the risk of becoming dependent on end-of-life legacy systems. For example, support for the current on-premises PeopleSoft solution will end in 2033. A SaaS model helps avoid these concerns by allowing users to benefit from existing software that the developer maintains, updates, and supports over its lifecycle, rather than an on-premises system designed and customized for the static "moment in time" needs of the user and relying on the user's own support teams to maintain.

As a subscriber to a SaaS solution, an organization receives ongoing support and a continuous flow of innovative features and functionality the developer releases to all global clients. Through configuration of core functionality in their solution, a vendor can offer flexibility to meet the specific business needs of each client within certain limits. The subscriber may be able to influence, but not directly control, the vendor's product roadmap, including the timing of updates. This means certain internal functions would become obsolete, as core technology management is the responsibility of the SaaS vendor, while new internal functions and services would become necessary.‌

In the GC context, this would shift the investment approach away from the large capital expenditures it makes to plan and execute upgrades to systems it owns and maintains. Doing so would require the GC to accept that it will not have full control of HR and pay system development and maintenance priorities. Such a shift will require the GC to continue adapting its processes throughout the lifecycle of the solution – in keeping with the product roadmap and releases from the vendor, and in alignment with industry best practices. In addition, it requires GC to build a healthy and trustworthy relationship with the vendor, and to collaboratively plan for and manage with them the routine and non-discretionary changes inherent in a dynamic collective agreement environment. The vendor will be sharing some risks that traditionally were all owned and managed by the Government, such as security. ‌

If the GC is to fully benefit from a SaaS model, it must embrace an "adapt to adopt" mindset to bring HR and pay processes into alignment with the new functionalities that the vendor will release as part of their periodic enhancements.‌

Adopting a modern SaaS model would follow the Policy on Service and Digital, GC Digital Standards and the Cloud Adoption Strategy, and would support Canada's Digital Ambition 2022. ‌

SaaS Solution being tested: Ceridian Dayforce

The Ceridian Dayforce SaaS solution combines payroll, HR, benefits, talent and workforce management in a single cloud application. Dayforce is a proven, made-in-Canada solution, and has been sold to thousands of organizations in various industries, reaching over 6 million users worldwide. Ceridian was named a leader in human capital management technology by Gartner for the third consecutive year, ranking number 1 in: ‌

Dayforce is an integrated, all-in-one solution for HR and pay. Notable features include: 

As a SaaS solution, it has elastic capacity to scale on-demand based on the needs of each client. Employee access is supported from anywhere at any time. The cloud platform allows continuous availability with built‑in redundancy and robust monitoring and workload analysis to deliver predictable performance. Integrated modules ensure that changes are reflected across Dayforce, making them easy to track. ‌

Research and Experimentation Phase

In September 2021, the GC signed a contract with Ceridian to test their Dayforce SaaS solution. The Initiative: ‌

These capabilities form the key components of the technical viability assessment.‌

Phase 1 experimentation focused on assessing whether the Dayforce solution could meet the needs of the GC's landscape of business rules and requirements—from the simplest to some of the most complex. Particular focus went to the operational realities of pilot departments and the common elements that drive complexity across different collective agreements, such as scheduling and varying allowances. ‌

This testing aimed to provide a solid but cost-effective base to assess the core functionalities and abilities of the tool. It was not equivalent to the scope of testing typically done during final preparations before going live on a new human capital management solution. The iterative format the Initiative followed is consistent with industry standards and best practices for managing SaaS solutions over the development lifecycle. ‌

Should the GC choose to proceed, future phases will include:

Phase 1 activities and results also informed future process design and business transformation efforts, including the development of a new business model for HR and pay. While the viability assessment of this FFR is primarily based on Dayforce's technical capabilities, the Way Forward section of this report also outlines:‌

The core of the Initiative's activities and mandate focuses on a "people-centric" approach, engaging with the employees, managers, HR professionals, compensation advisors and administrators who will use the new solution. The Initiative has engaged with thousands of stakeholders across government, including HR communities, employees, managers, policy owners and bargaining agents in workshops, a Pay Simplification Working Group, and the Joint Union Management Committee. Since the start of Phase 1, the Initiative has engaged with 4750 participants from 50 organizations. The feedback received has informed the work completed so far and will continue to do so.‌

The Initiative is incorporating lessons learned from the previous pay system implementation and recommendations intended to guide future projects of similar size and scope. In particular, recommendations around stakeholder engagement and governance informed strategies for Phase 1. Work was also guided by the Lessons Learned from the Transformation of Pay Administration Initiative (Goss Gilroy Report) and its recommendations, including: ‌

Oversight and governance‌

The Initiative has an enterprise-wide governance structure co-approved by the President of SSC and the Chief Human Resources Office (CHRO), integrated across SSC and TBS-OCHRO. The structure follows recommendations from the Office of the Auditor General on the governance of complex procurement IT systems. It includes: ‌

Other safeguards the Initiative uses include:‌



The Initiative took a deliberate and iterative approach to gathering requirements for the pilot testing. This approach received support from: ‌

Industry best practices were determined through engagement with:‌

In 2021, SAP led a Functional and Technical assessment, with support from Accenture and Deloitte. The aim was to capture areas of complexity in the GC's business requirements. This work generated an initial list of business requirements within the 17 critical HR and pay capabilities. These later became the basis for: ‌

The testing strategy defined specific phases and related activities that focused on the different elements of the viability criteria. Taken together, these criteria contributed to assessing the technical viability of Dayforce. ‌

The Initiative did not gather or test the complete list of requirements from all GC departments and agencies in Phase 1. Instead, it designed a testing strategy that tested a broad spectrum of complexity across the GC. This strategy tested a range of business requirements from the most common and straightforward HR and pay transactions to others with the most commonly occurring complex situations (such as variation in schedules, allowances, actings, and collective agreement interpretation, or processes involving multiple roles and handoffs). Pension requirements were not included in the testing scope, beyond the capabilities of Dayforce to share data with existing pension systems. ‌

Testing the full, end-to-end scope for all requirements was not part of the viability assessment. For example, testers assumed roles to test section 34 approvals and section 33 authorization functionality in Dayforce. The identification of employees with the appropriate financial delegation was not configured or tested. ‌

The Initiative validated and refined the list of business requirements through:‌

These efforts also contributed to increasing Ceridian's understanding of the GC requirements and the GC's understanding of the Dayforce solution's capabilities to meet them.‌

The Initiative developed a dedicated digital testing environment, in compliance with GC security and privacy standards, to store personal HR data in the cloud. This was central to the testing strategy and allowed the Initiative to: ‌

The Initiative then formed partnerships with selected departments (see Figure 2) for pilot testing of Dayforce. ‌

Being agile and iterative, the Initiative followed TBS's best practices to manage and coordinate a combination of outputs from a number of linked projects and business change activities. This allowed the testing activities to evolve as research progressed. They added additional pilot departments, business requirements and test phases to further confirm the viability of Dayforce and better reflect the complexity of GC HR and pay operations. ‌

NextGen HR and Pay Pilot Departments
Departments Test Case Coverage
Canadian Heritage (PCH) Test the critical-to-pay capabilities for HR and pay scenarios common across the Core Public Administration.
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)
  • Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC)
  • Indigenous Services Canada (ISC)
Verify that Dayforce can meet complex requirements in collective agreements with a higher degree of complexity (e.g., shift schedules, salary structures, allowances) and regional considerations.
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED-Q)

Ensure an effective user experience in French and confirm a product that works effectively in both official languages.

Confirm if Dayforce can service small and regional government organizations with headquarters outside of the National Capital Region equally well.


To support its objectives, the Initiative: ‌

Lessons learned from implementing the current pay system recommended a more comprehensive oversight role by governance. To help ensure the viability assessment was adequately informed and risks were considered, the Initiative: ‌

The pilot testing results were assessed in 4 categories to determine technical viability. For each viability category, the Initiative's internal governance reviewed quantitative and/or qualitative results to endorse the viability criteria, decision, interpretation and considerations for the way forward. These reviews were informed by ongoing risk, oversight and quality assurance assessments, as well as internal consultations to ensure each viability assessment was well understood. The specific criteria under each category and corresponding results are presented in the following section.‌


Findings and results of testing against the viability categories are provided below. Each section presents the specific methodological approach that informed the testing, an assessment by the GC, the identification of any risks or considerations, and, where applicable, next steps.


Result: Viable
  • Dayforce is viable for the critical HR and pay business requirements
  • Gaps can be resolved through product enhancements, simplification and standardization, or cloud extension if simplification is not possible
  • Dayforce demonstrated flexibility and configurability
Business requirements and functionality

A viable solution delivers on the identified GC business requirements, with plans identified to resolve the outstanding gaps in functionality.

Ceridian performed a fit-gap analysis of the initial business requirements gathered for the critical HR-to-pay capabilities, which GC HR and pay experts validated.‌

During its testing and in collaboration with pilot departments, the agile and iterative Initiative: ‌

Analysis at the conclusion of testing (May 2023) shows that Dayforce meets 85% of the GC requirements deemed in scope for off-the-shelf testing (492 fitsFootnote 3 and 90 gapsFootnote 4). ‌

Testing could not be completed for requirements that were identified as gaps. Instead, the Initiative and Ceridian worked together to determine how to resolve these gaps and identified 3 approaches.‌

Approach Gaps to be resolved
HR and pay simplification and standardization opportunities to change GC procedures, either through business process review or simplification. This can involve changes to policy instruments and/or collective agreements governing HR and pay. We present more information on these opportunities in the Complexity and Conditions for Success sections of this FFR.


(35 business process reviews; 18 simplification opportunities)

Cloud extensions could address some of the 18 gaps linked to pay simplification opportunities. This is a viable interim option to mitigate the risk of delays or complications associated with simplification efforts. TBC
Product enhancements, The requirement can be met by upgrades and enhancements which are part of Ceridian’s planned releases, according to their roadmap and priorities. 37

The analysis found that Dayforce currently supports 15 out of the 17 critical HR and pay capabilities. Although Position Management capabilities are partially available and Classification has not been tested, the critical-to-pay related components of these capabilities were included in testing (e.g., position structure is available in the current Dayforce solution and was tested against employee movements between positions to test deployment, promotion, acting, reclassification, etc.) ‌

The viability assessment was completed based on the ability of the solution to meet the GC's HR and pay requirements (i.e., Can it perform the critical HR and pay functionality required?) not against an evaluation of whether the full offering is available (i.e., non-critical HR and pay functionality related to position information automation). Full functionality for both capabilities is on Ceridian's roadmap for future releases. Once available, they will automate allowances based on position requirements and personal qualifications (for example, the bilingual bonus), while also providing an integrated classification system for ratings and decisions ‌

Ceridian planned and achieved successful releases of Dayforce in 2022 and 2023, resolving 22 of the 59 identified product enhancement gaps during the pilot. This leaves 37 remaining product enhancements gaps. Ceridian's current functionality, development roadmap and ongoing demonstrations of Dayforce's evolving features give the GC confidence that: ‌


For each of the 492 requirements identified as a fit, where the core SaaS product could meet the requirement, Ceridian configured Dayforce and verified that it performed as expected through quality assurance (QA), then handed the solution off to the GC for testing. ‌

To assess Dayforce's functionality and flexibility as configured by Ceridian, subject-matter experts (SMEs) from NextGen HR and Pay and pilot departments (PCH, DFO, CIRNAC, ISC and CED-Q) completed thousands of User Acceptance Test (UAT) cases. Tests ranged from validating specific configurations to role-based "day‑in‑the-life" scenarios involving multiple steps and requirements. The objective of UAT testing was to confirm that Dayforce operated as expected and met business requirements.‌

Across all testing phases, 95% of test cases passed. The outstanding 5% of test cases that did not pass include: ‌

Throughout testing, issue resolution and refinement of the configuration work to meet requirements, Dayforce has demonstrated a high degree of flexibility, configurability and, ultimately, viability. Ceridian has made substantial progress toward establishing the GC Dayforce standard solution.‌


Result: Viable
  • Dayforce meets complex GC requirements
  • Complex GC requirements need dynamic collaboration with Ceridian to properly understand and configure in Dayforce
  • Simplification opportunities are being pursued as a priority over cloud extensions for unique requirements
Complex business requirements

To examine the flexibility of Dayforce to meet the complex needs of the GC, the Initiative used 2 sets of conditions to define cases as complex: ‌

Functionality testing with pilot departments identified additional complex scenarios that were not accounted for in the original definition of the requirements. Continuing its agile and iterative approach, the Initiative added more test cases to the scope. This was in response to requests from pilot departments to ensure broader coverage of the unique complexities within their collective agreements.‌

The results of overall complexity testing showed that, based on the requirements tested, Dayforce was viable. It obtained a 99% pass rate for all complex test cases dealing with varying schedules and a 92% pass rate for multi-step GC events test cases.‌

The testing process showed that the time needed to work with Ceridian to appropriately capture, interpret and configure GC requirements was commensurate with the complexity of those requirements. The Initiative must allow adequate time in future phases to ensure Dayforce is configured correctly and aligned with business requirements, in collaboration with those who best understand the requirements. ‌

It is also important to note that testing was only performed for requirements that could be configured in Dayforce (i.e., the "fits" identified in business requirements above). Some of the most complex GC HR and pay scenarios represented in the requirements were found to be gaps for Dayforce. The Initiative's approach was to analyze the impact of each gap and pursue changes to policy rules for the simplification of the GC's HR and pay landscape as much as possible. ‌

Proposals to simplify rules and align processes with industry best practices have been developed and presented to TBS-OCHRO, as well as policy and business owners such as PSC, PSPC, and the Pension Centre of Excellence. Where possible, and with endorsement from policy owners, 4 simplification opportunities were tested through UAT cases of these simplified processes, rather than current day requirements:‌

100% of these simplified test cases passed. This indicates that if the GC were to adapt to industry standard processes for these requirements, Dayforce could meet them. This would allow the GC to fully benefit from the features of the SaaS solution, including automation, and avoid the costs and risks associated with the use of cloud extensions (see below). More testing of each proposed change will be required in future phases. Given that these opportunities require changes to the GC's legislative and regulatory framework, collective agreements, policies, and business processes, options will need to be explored to determine how best to resolve these gaps. Although bargaining agents have expressed support for simplification efforts, the concurrence of all 17 bargaining agents is necessary for standardized changes. The proposed changes are not all solely in the control of the GC or the Treasury Board.‌

The simplification proposal for Mass Retroactive Transactions, a fifth simplification opportunity, is not feasible. Moving forward, this makes it unlikely that this GC-specific requirement would be simplified, so it would need to be resolved through a cloud extension. ‌

Cloud extensions

A cloud extension is a functionality of a SaaS subscription service that: ‌

These extensions require additional design, development and testing, but do not create a separate, unsupported version of the product like traditional customizations. Extensions complement functionality and address client-specific complexities without impacting the integrity or stability of the core offering. All aspects of Dayforce cloud extensions are maintained and upgraded by Ceridian with new releases, helping to reduce effort and risk. Ceridian would: ‌

Comparison of Configuration, Cloud Extension and Customization
Refer to the following long description.
Long description

The three possible paths of Configuration, Cloud Extension, and Customization

Configuration is a direct path, and involves Setting up existing features to meet requirements and leverage core software functionality E.g., approval flows and visual style. This path is the expected one for the initiative and involves adapt to adopt

Cloud Extension is a slightly detoured path, and involves Bespoke functionality which is part of the SaaS subscription service. Developed, managed, and supported by the vendor throughout the life of the subscription. This path is a possible one for the initiative and may be necessary, until no longer needed

Customization shows a highly detoured path that involves Custom coding and/or some form of special implementation. Creates a separate unsupported version of the product, which must be managed and maintained by the client, and dismantled if no longer needed. This path should be avoided

As cloud extensions could address some of the 18 gaps linked to pay simplification opportunities, the Initiative tested Ceridian's ability to develop an extension that can satisfy specialized GC requirements. ‌

The Initiative identified Establishing Rate of Pay as a suitable candidate because it is foundational to correct pay and involves a medium level of complexity. The objective of this testing was to provide evidence that Ceridian's cloud extensions and development process can satisfy specialized GC requirements. Simplification opportunities are still being pursued as a priority, but cloud extensions could offer a viable interim option to mitigate the risk of delays or complications associated with simplification efforts.‌

12 out of 13 pay calculation test cases passed, meaning the extension correctly applied rules to establish the correct rate of pay in 92% of scenarios tested. The single failed test case was due to a core product defect, currently targeted for resolution by Ceridian in a 2023 product release. ‌

While it meets viability criteria, this cloud extension would require refinement if the GC decides to move forward with Dayforce. The rate of pay was correctly established, but the Initiative: ‌

A more dynamic, iterative approach to the extension development process would help ensure the implications of various design choices are uncovered early and accounted for.‌

Once again, findings suggest that Ceridian and GC experts need collaboration time to appropriately capture complex requirements. As is typical after a limited pilot assessment, the GC must ensure that all aspects of the requirements and downstream impacts on data, records and other systems are included in future phases. ‌

The total number of extensions needed for implementation is currently unknown and depends on timelines and the outcome of HR and pay simplification efforts. The testing of the cloud extension developed for Establishing Rate of Pay provides evidence that this approach is viable. However, the Initiative would have to conduct additional development, testing and risk analysis in relation to the implementation and operation of Dayforce with cloud extensions. This work is necessary to fully understand and account for the potential implications of each extension or the compounded impact of multiple extensions. As such, cloud extensions should not be counted on to resolve GC-specific requirements unless absolutely necessary, owing to the complexity and cost of implementing them. The simplification of HR and pay rules to maximize the number of "fits" with the core functionality of Dayforce must remain the priority. ‌


Result: Viable
  • Dayforce calculates accurate pay according to business requirements, legislation and configuration
  • Dayforce demonstrated configurability in correcting issues

The Initiative used 3 separate approaches to evaluate pay accuracy. Each approach compared Dayforce's pay calculations against a different source, which removed the risk of relying on any single source of data for a definitive source of truth or accuracy. Expected behaviours based on the scope of configuration were also included in the analysis.‌

The objective was to determine if Dayforce can produce accurate pay, according to configuration, GC business requirements and legislation. ‌

1. User Acceptance Testing (UAT): calculations of earnings (i.e., zero-to-gross) were validated as part of 117 test cases from all pilot departments covering complex requirements involving schedules, time and attendance, and allowance transactions.

2. Parallel validation: testing was conducted to determine if the system can generate accurate pay in accordance with GC business requirements. While the current pay system was used as the basis for comparison in this exercise, the focus was to assess the behaviour and processing of pay and the accuracy of the results in Dayforce (in other words, not to simply replicate the payments in the current pay system).

A total of 58,098 pay lines, including earnings, deductions, taxes and garnishments, for 2,371 PCH employees were validated. Of these, 52% had an exact match or within an acceptable variance threshold of +/- $1.00. ‌

The remaining 48% of pay lines were broken down into 2 categories:‌

Configuration refinement resolved 28% of issues investigated, meaning Ceridian was able to account for the difference and update configuration of Dayforce to correct the error. Ceridian released and included all updates in subsequent testing phases, but a re-validation of the configuration updates was not conducted in parallel.‌

Two additional business requirements gaps were identified during this testing phase. Ceridian has added both to its product enhancement roadmap.‌

3. Sampling: as an additional perspective to assess the accuracy of the Ceridian Dayforce pay engine, the Initiative used a sampling of 95 accounts from PCH to compare net calculations against online tools. These accounts covered all provinces and a variety of employee types. Online tools from the Canada Revenue Agency and Revenu Québec were used as part of this exercise.

Sampling of online calculation verification had an 87% pass rate, with the remaining 13% being explained by recently updated provincial tax rules that were not configured in the tested solution.‌

The results of these tests show that Dayforce is able to produce accurate pay for the Government of Canada. ‌

Mandatory requirements

The viability categories discussed above focus on the GC’s business requirements for HR and pay and confirm that Dayforce can produce timely and accurate pay. In addition, there are GC-wide legal, regulatory and policy requirements that must also be met before implementing software within the GC. These mandatory requirements must therefore also be considered as part of an assessment to confirm the viability of Dayforce: accessibility, official languages, and security and privacy. The Initiative also assessed whether Dayforce can securely and reliably interoperate with the necessary systems in the GC’s IT ecosystem.

Result: Viable
  • Dayforce can meet the TBS-recommended accessibility standard
  • Dayforce meets GC official languages requirements and demonstrates a high level of configurability for language
  • Dayforce conforms to GC security and privacy requirements for capabilities in scope and in the context of the pilot
  • Dayforce can exchange data with GC and non-GC systems using current interface methods and provides opportunities for modernization

A viable solution must be fully accessible and usable by all, including employees without vision, with limited vision, without perception of colour, without hearing, with limited hearing, with limited or no vocal capability, with limited manipulation or strength, with limited cognition, and must also minimize photosensitive seizure triggers. As an example, the solution will natively support employees who rely on screen readers, such as NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) or JAWS (Job Access With Speech), in order to do their work. To meet this requirement, the NextGen HR and Pay team used the new TBS standard on accessibility as the target for Dayforce.‌

The EN 301 549 (2021) standard, which will be mandated for all GC departments according to the upcoming TBS Standard on ICT (Information and Communication Technology) Accessibility, is the most inclusive and widely used accessibility standard worldwide for Information and Communication Technology, covering both hardware and software. ‌

Through Level Access, a credible and independent third party, the Initiative tested and assessed Dayforce against the accessibility standard. A March 2022 baseline assessment identified 4,729 issues (2,080 on high- and medium-traffic pages, and 2,649 on low-traffic pages) which must be remediated to comply with the standard for full accessibility. ‌

As of May 2023, Ceridian resolved 81% (1,682) of the issues on high- and medium-traffic pages within Dayforce, exceeding their pilot commitment. They also resolved an additional 30% (800) of the issues on low-traffic pages. At their current fix rate, Ceridian appears on track to achieve the goal of full accessibility for the 17 critical HR and pay capabilities (100% fix rate for all issues currently identified as high, medium or low priority) by June 2024, ahead of a potential future implementation.‌

While the commitment has been met for the purposes of the viability assessment, should the GC move forward with Ceridian, a fully accessible solution would need to be delivered before implementation.‌

Of note, the fixes Ceridian has made throughout the pilot have been implemented for its entire client base, making software more accessible for all of its users across the world.‌

Official languages

The Official Languages Act recognizes English and French as the languages of work in federal institutions and requires that work instruments, such as computer software, be available in both official languages. ‌

To assess official language compliance, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED-Q) employees, who perform their duties in French, carried out a specific set of test cases. Testing focused on the users' ability to navigate and access French screens within Dayforce and its flexibility to accommodate GC-specific translations and terminology. Note: The scope of this testing was limited to content access in both official languages, not the quality or accuracy of translated content.‌

Testers were required to execute GC-authored test cases and identify issues and defects for resolution. Test cases included 28 "day-in-the-life" UAT scenarios, which involved all product screens used for the 17 critical HR-to-pay capabilities. Other capabilities outside of the 17 make use of the same screens, which increases confidence in the ability of Dayforce to support official languages requirements more broadly.‌

Testing focused on the language presented in the available screens and validated:‌

Test results showed that users can successfully complete test cases in the language of their choice. ‌

All 28 planned test cases were executed and passed. A total of 42 issues were discovered during the testing and all were resolved. More than half of the issues were related to unclear directions in the test case (21 issues) and tester error (4 issues). These issues are unrelated to the translation or ability to navigate the solution in French or English. When GC-specific language needed to be updated (5 issues), it was possible for the GC to update customizable fields directly. The remaining 12 issues were language issues in the product itself and were reported to and logged by Ceridian's product team for review. ‌

While the sample of French language testers (n=6) was small, the observed flexibility and adaptability in both official languages during the testing gives confidence that Dayforce can meet the GC official languages requirements. ‌

Security and privacy

A viable technology platform and architecture enforces security at all levels of the enterprise (platform, infrastructure and software) and respects all GC security policies and guidelines for deployment in the cloud. Through the pilot, the Initiative validated all security controls related to the end-to-end enterprise architecture in support of the tested solution and the proper safeguarding of HR and pay information and data. This included departmental data segregation and application-level security roles and permission by users. ‌

Additional security and privacy requirements are outside the scope of testing in the pilots, including some that were assessed as part of the original procurement process used to qualify SaaS vendors. For example, retention and disposition measures were implemented in the pilot but their scope was limited to disposing of data at the end of testing, a typical approach for any solution before deployment. Dayforce's complete retention and disposition functionalities for a future enterprise deployment remain to be assessed and tested against the new business operating model and information architecture.

Dayforce has demonstrated the ability to meet the GC's application security and privacy requirements within the scope and context of the pilot. ‌

The testing results provided high confidence in the flexibility of Dayforce to be configured for: ‌

In essence, Dayforce enables client departments to effectively manage personal information. The technical and security architecture is highly modular and expandable and allowed for components to be added to the pilot without changes to the security posture. ‌

While Dayforce meets the GC security and privacy requirements defined for the pilot application, the future technical architecture and its requirements will continue to evolve and new safeguards will be put in place to properly support a production launch. For example, there is currently no common business process across GC departments for identifying individuals during the hiring process and verifying and validating their identity.‌

Dayforce has the potential to support integration with modern identity solutions that provide user authentication and authorization, identity verification and credential management. The Initiative's future phases would need to address these GC infrastructure gaps before a potential enterprise deployment of Dayforce. ‌


The HR and pay technology ecosystem includes hundreds of interfaces between GC and non-GC systemsFootnote 7 and applications, including HR, pensions, finance, unions, benefits providers and more. As part of regular business processes, these systems must exchange data and work together (interoperate). The challenge is to ensure that these systems interoperate in a secure, reliable and efficient manner. ‌

The complexity of interoperability in the current environment adds challenges to the administration of HR and pay. Many customized programs are in place to handle various integration requirements between outdated systems and manual workarounds where systems are unable to communicate directly or automatically. The results include process delays and issues with data accuracy and integrity between systems, requiring further effort to resolve and potentially compounding errors. Although technological fixes have resolved some of these issues, they have often resulted in further customizations. This approach further increased the complexity and reduced the flexibility and adaptability of the ecosystem. As a result, any new systems tend to inherit the integration challenges of the legacy systems they replace, perpetuating complexity and the use of obsolete approaches and data structures.‌

Two key objectives guided the viability assessment of the interoperability of Dayforce and its platform: ‌

  1. To determine if Dayforce can exchange information with current GC and non-GC systems using existing interoperability mechanisms. This capability would allow for implementation in the GC without the need for other systems and applications to develop new interfaces to maintain interoperability.

    The testing for this objective focused on the delivery methods. Six core legacy interfaces were testedFootnote 8. Testing showed that Dayforce can successfully exchange data with other systems using the interoperability methods and technologies in use today and complied with GC standards and mandated interoperability requirements.‌

  2. To determine if Dayforce can contribute to the GC's efforts to adopt modern interfaces and interoperability approaches, while remaining in line with GC standards and other GC modernization initiatives.

    This capability would improve the integration between modules and peripheral systems, take advantage of the single source of data inherent with an integrated HR and pay solution, streamline and automate processes, and improve the user experience.‌

Using common HR and pay scenarios, testing showed that Dayforce was able to exchange information with other modern software systems through modern interoperability approaches. This finding has several positive impacts, including: ‌

A hybrid interoperability model may be needed to support the current and future needs of government through the transition from legacy systems to a fully modernized ecosystem. Dayforce has demonstrated the ability to connect with existing GC tools (e.g., GC Enterprise Service BusFootnote 9) to allow the GC to avoid the complexity associated with customized systems or interfaces and to benefit from a more reliable, flexible and modular approach across the HR and pay ecosystem.‌

While the Initiative has not specifically tested interoperability against the GC financial systems (i.e., SAP) or all interface requirements (i.e., reporting and analytics), the tested interoperability confirms that Dayforce can interoperate with systems within the GC ecosystems. ‌

In conclusion, testing of Ceridian Dayforce's reporting tools and integration features has shown that its SaaS platform can meet the GC enterprise interoperability requirements. In preparation for implementation, the Initiative must compile and analyze a full inventory of all interfaces to determine: ‌

Viability assessment

Overall result: Viable

  • As per the viability assessment indicators identified in this report, Dayforce is a viable option for an integrated GC HR and pay system with no critical shortcomings
  • Viability does not constitute readiness as testing was limited only to the functions most critical to pay
  • Confidence is based on the completeness of available testing results in support of these functions.
  • More work will be needed to test the complete proposed solution in future phases. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Testing additional elements that are beyond the scope of the FFR covering all functionality currently offered by the various HR and pay systems in use
    • Confirming the assumption that business requirement gaps can be resolved

The testing-based research we present in this FFR on the critical HR and pay business capabilities shows that, from a technical perspective, Dayforce is a viable option for an integrated GC HR and pay system. While these positive findings relate to the viability of Dayforce, its successful implementation is conditional on several factors. ‌

The findings and viability assessment are limited to the tested capabilities and functions that are critical to pay (17 of the 42 identified capabilities). These capabilities represent the core functionality and minimum system requirements needed to determine the feasibility of investing in the replacement of current HR and pay systems. While the focus to date has been on confirming the technical viability of the solution, future phases will test the complete proposed solution, covering all functionality offered by the various HR and pay systems in use today, before a potential implementation. ‌

The results in this FFR also assume that gaps can be resolved through: ‌

Between April 2022 and May 2023, Ceridian delivered scheduled releases to successfully meet 22 requirements originally assessed as gaps in Dayforce. Future releases that would resolve an additional 37 gaps are on Ceridian's roadmap, and demonstrations of functionality under construction have provided the GC with confidence they will be delivered accordingly.‌

This report confirms that Dayforce is viable as tested. Findings indicate that it can work for GC HR and pay, and there were no critical shortcomings discovered.‌

However, viability does not constitute readiness. Future stages will address the next level of detail required, including: ‌

This includes, but is not limited to, the following elements, which the Initiative will further develop in future stages in keeping with industry best practices as it moves from Research and Experimentation to Implementation Planning and Readiness.‌


Mandatory requirements‌

Way Forward

Conditions for success‌

Digital transformations of this magnitude require enterprise-level strategic support, internal services, tools and infrastructure that do not currently exist within the GC. They require fundamental operational and cultural changes throughout organizations, which must be adequately supported and reinforced. Several conditions are unrelated to the technical viability of Dayforce but are critical to the successful implementation of a modern, integrated SaaS solution for HR and pay. ‌

Business readiness

Modernizing HR and pay and adopting a SaaS solution requires the GC to adapt how it organizes and delivers HR and pay at the enterprise and departmental level. Such a large-scale transformation will require more than simplifying processes, practices and rules. Employees will require training to adjust to changes in roles and responsibilities to adopt a modern solution and industry leading practices. ‌

Readiness and willingness to change are critical elements of the overall business and technical transformations required for the Initiative's success.‌

In collaboration with the Business and Policy Owner (i.e., OCHRO), the Initiative has defined a business readiness framework and strategies. They establish criteria for assessing readiness, strategies developed for managing change, and tools prepared to enable change management activities at a departmental level.

The Initiative identified 5 dimensions on which to assess business readiness: People, Policy/Process, Organizational, System and Data. These are brought together into a framework for assessing the activities required to reach a state of readiness, both from an enterprise and a departmental perspective.

Business readiness and supporting change management activities are central in future phases of the Initiative to ensure the foundational elements are assessed, addressed and in place before implementation activities. This would require the Business and Policy Owner and the Initiative to engage and collaborate across the GC. ‌

Technical readiness, particularly at the enterprise level, includes key elements and enabling tools to support the business model that also must be in place before implementation activities can begin. For example, a common approach to identity management. This means identifying individuals based on foundational records during the hiring process and then issuing internal credentials for accessing GC systems throughout their career to provide a consistent "hire-to-retire" experience. Employee user groups have placed this requirement as a high priority for any new solution. Roles and responsibilities for managing a single SaaS product for HR and pay must also be established or clarified, including: ‌

IT security is a shared responsibility between client and vendor, and the GC must be prepared to monitor and log the transmission of data to the cloud. The GC must establish these and other technical elements to benefit from adopting a cloud-based SaaS solution for HR and pay.‌

The GC must also consider the connectivity to the cloud from a technical readiness standpoint. The Initiative's testing required all traffic to go through departmental VPN (virtual private network) to meet security requirements, which created bottlenecks from a GC bandwidth perspective. However, no constraints were identified from Ceridian's perspective, and all incoming traffic performed well on the Ceridian servers. Connectivity issues will need consideration in future phases to, for example, ensure constant, secure connectivity to the cloud tenant without use of a VPN, for disaster recovery planning, and for remote areas. ‌

Teams comprising OCHRO, OCIO, PSPC and NextGen HR and Pay resources and change leaders, as well as resources from each department adopting Dayforce, are needed to support successful execution of business readiness, technical readiness and change management activities. ‌

HR and pay simplification

Phase 1 of the Initiative allowed the GC and Ceridian to document the complexity of the pay rules and business processes that stem from collective agreements and departmental practices and how they can address them. Exploration and configuration work has shown that, while Dayforce can meet most requirements at the outset, there are some complex GC-specific gaps (18 out of 582 business requirements) that it cannot meet now and that Ceridian's planned future product development will not address. These gaps exist mainly because of a lack of alignment between unique GC rules and industry best practices for some HR processes, which are critical to producing accurate and timely pay. Nevertheless, GC HR and Pay operations rely on technological capabilities to meet these requirements and would not be able to operate without addressing these gaps through either: ‌

The Initiative collaborated with the OCHRO and focused on identifying the root cause of each of these complex GC-specific gaps in order to simplify both the underlying policy instrument and related business processes. They identified the following simplification opportunities that must be undertaken to resolve gaps in Dayforce and reduce the complexity of current HR and pay operations: ‌

Two additional pay simplification opportunities were identified that could potentially improve efficiencies in the current pay system and the future state of HR and pay by eliminating complexity in the production of pay results:‌

The proposal for simplification of Mass Salary Revision was assessed as not viable and must be addressed through a cloud extension. It is currently not known how many other cloud extensions would be required to address all GC requirements without simplification, or the level of incremental costs and risks they would introduce to the solution. By addressing the list of remaining opportunities for simplification above, the GC could avoid the costs, risks and workload associated with cloud extensions, customization and/or manual workarounds for each unique business requirement. It could also help the GC more fully benefit from the automation and integration capabilities of a modern solution with reduced transaction processing times and fewer pay accuracy and data integrity issues.

The GC should work with bargaining agents to address some of these simplification opportunities. Throughout 2022, the Initiative’s team members participated in OCHRO-led meetings with bargaining agents to explore solutions to address these gaps and other pay administration challenges. As a result of this work, OCHRO is working to establish Memoranda of Understanding with all bargaining agents that will allow parties to reopen collective agreements, by mutual consent, should revisions be necessary to support simplification efforts.

While these priority simplification opportunities have been identified, it is important to note that enterprise wide business requirements have not been gathered. This means the Initiative has not identified all the gaps that may exist or simplifications that may be required across the GC. This work would be part of future phases and would likely identify additional gaps.

As new requirements come to light, the Initiative must take a balanced approach to simplification that takes all factors into consideration (for example, the direct and indirect costs and impacts of simplification against the cost and complexity of an unknown number of cloud extensions at the enterprise scale) and apply it consistently throughout future phases of the Initiative. This approach would also need to consider that HR and pay rules have variations between Core Public Administration and non-Core Public Administration organizations.

Centralized and integrated system with accurate and easy to access data

The GC would benefit from having one master employee record that captures an employee's career life cycle from candidacy, onboarding to offboarding ("hire to retire"), and into retirement. Having a single HR system of record would reduce the administrative burden of having an employee's HR and pay information across several organizations. One system of record would act as a repository for information such as language levels, education, security clearance and delegations, which could be accessed by departments to validate an employee's information. This would: ‌

The requirement for centralized data was confirmed by the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) following their pilot.‌

A single, enterprise-wide source of robust and reliable HR and pay data would be a strategic asset supporting effective HR and pay research, analysis, planning, decision-making and evolving compliance requirements.‌

The NextGen HR and Pay data strategy highlights 3 activities of importance necessary to effectively establish this single source of truth for HR and pay data:‌

Source data profiling and data cleansing were out of scope for Phase 1. By taking the data as is, there was minimal impact on the operations of source systems and pilot departments. It also allowed an opportunity to better understand the level of data cleansing effort required for an implementation. However, the manual data preparation done by Ceridian is not scalable, so it was determined that, for implementation, the GC will be responsible for source data validation and cleansing before data migration. This includes resolving data inconsistencies between multiple existing HR and pay systems.‌

The data migration efforts in Phase 1 were limited and focused on providing data to support all test phases and a technical viability assessment. The GC provided raw data for pilot departments. Ceridian then mapped and transformed it into the Dayforce structure and anonymized it as required. ‌

Testing revealed that the manual process used for data migration for the pilot testing may not be scalable to an enterprise implementation. This highlights the need for an automated process and source data validation and cleansing before implementation. During testing, the management, exchange, protection and access auditing of protected data between project participants was a challenge. Data access accounting, auditing and data loss prevention will be a challenge when scaled to an implementation. Ceridian has proposed the use of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to mitigate this risk.‌

A key lesson learned during the testing is that the GC will need to develop its own infrastructure to support secure data migration from source systems into the Dayforce solution.‌

Establishment of formal GC governance for HR and pay data, which currently does not exist, will be required. Without formal data owners and stewards identified for the pilot testing, the Initiative had to make several assumptions about the data. These did not affect evaluation of the technical viability of Dayforce but would have significant impact in an implementation. Effective data cleansing will require formal data governance to be in place.‌

These are critical GC tools and infrastructure requirements and will require a significant resource investment by the GC so that they are in place before departments can begin implementing Dayforce. ‌

Managing HR and pay as an enterprise‌

As previously mentioned, the GC uses a decentralized HR model and a centralized pay model.‌

While the President of SSC was identified as the single point of authority for the Initiative, this mandate only extends to providing an assessment that would inform a recommendation on the way forward. Accountabilities for different aspects of the transformation of HR and pay within the Core Public Administration are shared between central agencies, PSPC and individual Deputy Ministers. There are also organizations outside of the Core Public Administration that are paid through the current pay system, with further dispersed HR authorities. The impact of a transformation on these organizations would need to be considered. ‌

This decentralized enterprise solution management model has contributed to challenges in previous pay system implementations. A review of accountabilities, responsibilities and the governance model could be considered, with the objective to de-risk the transformation to the future enterprise solution.‌

A new structure more suitable for managing a complex, multi-organization transformation would need to be developed, headed by a single Minister/Deputy Head and supported by effective governance. Without clear accountabilities tied to the transformation of HR and pay, a risk exists that individual authorities may take precedence and affect the timeliness or effectiveness of key decisions or lead to the erosion of a standardized approach and way of working. ‌

Ability to run former systems concurrently

Should the GC decide to move forward with Dayforce, it would be necessary to run the current HR and pay systems concurrently with the new solution. This would help to ensure a gradual and smooth transition, and a back-up plan if issues emerge. In a phased implementation, HR and pay professionals would need to be trained and build expertise with the new system while the legacy systems and models continue to operate. There is a risk associated with the GC’s resource capacity to do both.

Integration and interfaces between GC and non-GC systems will also need to be established for Dayforce and maintained for legacy systems throughout the implementation. Although the length of this transition period has yet to be determined, the absence of this redundant capacity during the previous pay transformation meant that there was no failsafe to fall back on. A decommissioning timeline for the legacy systems should be confirmed only after performance of the new solution has been proven in a live production environment.

Additional considerations

Working relationship with the SaaS provider

The Initiative assessed the viability of the working relationship with Ceridian through 6 quarterly point-in-time assessments. Each vendor assessment included 5 primary dimensions with pre-established thresholds. To conduct each assessment, a Vendor Assessment Tool was developed, modeled after established tools (SSC's Vendor Performance Initiative and Gartner's Balanced Vendor Performance Scorecards for Vendor Management). A cumulative rating for each assessment period enabled trend analysis over time. ‌

By attaining a status of "Achieved" across each primary dimension, the vendor assessment findings indicate that the working relationship between the GC and Ceridian is viable. Since the Experimentation Interim Report (Fall 2022), Ceridian has demonstrated a consistent positive trend in the working relationship, from "Moderate improvement needed" to "Achieved". While the relationship was evaluated in a testing phase only, these results indicate that there is a high potential for the GC and Ceridian to effectively work together and collaborate toward a common, longer-term goal. This result places high confidence in the likelihood of a successful working relationship should Dayforce be adopted.‌

Additional HR capabilities‌

Beyond the 17 critical HR and pay capabilities the Initiative used for the technical viability assessment, a further 25 capabilities were identified as rounding out a fully integrated HR and pay solution. Examples include learning management, recruiting, onboarding/offboarding, and HR strategy and planning. Integrating these additional capabilities in a single solution, beyond those that directly impact pay, has the potential to expand the solution's consistent user experience, automation and reporting capabilities to include other aspects of HR and other events in the employment lifecycle.

To enrich Phase 1 findings and contribute to the development of a new HR and Pay Business Model, 3 non‑critical to pay HR capabilities were selected for testing: ‌

High-level requirements were identified across these 3 capabilities and were assessed using guided testing sessions with GC test cases. ‌

The outcomes of initial testing provided input and insights into the new HR and Pay Business Model. It also helped conceptualize and align the future state vision with a fully integrated HR and pay solution. It ultimately enriched the overall findings of Phase 1 and laid the foundation for Phase 2 work needed before implementation.‌

In addition to the 42 HR and Pay capabilities discussed above, it is also important to consider pension management. Although some testing was done with pension management in mind, it was only focused on the basics of interoperability and methods for exchanging data. A comprehensive exploration of pension-related business requirements is critical and would be included as part of future workplans. ‌

Pilot department perspectives‌

The scope of Phase 1 focused on testing with key pilot departments to inform the 4 objectives of the phase. The experience departments involved in pilot testing gained provides another way of understanding Dayforce in the GC context.‌

Feedback from pilot departments mostly focused on 4 key themes:‌

Responses confirm, from the perspective of the pilot departments, that the pilot successfully demonstrated the technical viability of the system to meet complex government requirements. It also highlighted needs, if a decision is made to proceed with pre-implementation planning, to: ‌

Pilot testers also observed that Dayforce does not fully match how the GC currently operates, using: ‌

Roles and responsibilities in Dayforce would also be a significant shift from the current state, particularly for managers to perform self-serve functions for HR and pay processes. These changes will require significant attention and change management efforts to ensure a smooth transition and likely realignment of resources within the HR and pay ecosystem. ‌

During pilot testing remote users noted that they had poor connectivity to Dayforce. This was explained by certain security requirements that were applied to the pilot that required all Internet traffic to use the GC's VPN (virtual private network), creating bottlenecks. An implemented Dayforce would be accessible without a VPN. However, depending on location, certain Internet service providers (ISPs) may offer slower services. ‌

Finally, pilot departments reiterated that viability does not equate organizational readiness. Further work, testing and collaboration are required before implementation if the GC decides to proceed with pre‑implementation planning.‌

Parallel initiatives‌

Other tests of qualified vendors' SaaS products were conducted within the GC at the same time as the Initiative. The lead organizations leveraged the procurement process (pre-qualified vendors) and shared their results to provide a more robust assessment of HR and pay SaaS solutions.‌

Public Service Commission (PSC)‌

As part of its GC Jobs Transformation (GCJT) project, the PSC tested Dayforce as a replacement for the current Public Service Resourcing System, which is used for staffing and associated activities.‌

PSC found that Dayforce's recruitment solution was strong, well-designed, modern and easy-to-navigate, and it met over 85% of the functional capabilities assessed, in part or in full. ‌

Analysis noted that the functional gaps could be addressed either by business transformation or product enhancements proposed by the vendor. Additional explorations related to data and reporting requirements were also deemed necessary.‌

PSC's preliminary assessment of the technical and non-functional capabilities indicated that, at the time of the validation, Dayforce met approximately 50% of the 34 criteria sampled. 17 were deemed to be not met at the time of the validation. Seven of these are critical gaps for PSC operations such as integration, security, and network access. Strategies for mitigating these issues are being planned for future development in collaboration with Ceridian and the NextGen HR and Pay Initiative.‌

Should a positive decision from the GC be received, the PSC will determine the appropriate time to continue its testing with Dayforce, including live pilots. Launching live recruitment pilots with Ceridian would be contingent upon the recommendation, investment decision, and implementation of the foundational core HR components required to run the Dayforce recruitment solution. This digital transformation will also enable integration across a single HR and Pay solution which will help achieve a more complete and efficient experience from hire to retire, and is key for the overall Enterprise transformation proposed by the Initiative.‌

CSE and high‑security organizations

CSE undertook a pilot to test the HR capabilities of a SaaS solution (Workday) and determine whether it could satisfy the specific security needs of high-security organizations (HSO). It should be noted that even though HSOs have elevated security requirements, the organizational complexity associated with processing pay is less than that of the Core Public Administration. This is why these results are not necessarily fully applicable to a SaaS implementation within the Core Public Administration.‌

CSE's approach to testing was multi-dimensional and included:‌

CSE was able to configure, test and deploy a commercial SaaS solution that meets: ‌

CSE has successfully completed Iteration 1 (Core HR and Recruitment) and Iteration 2 (Learning and Talent Management) of its pilot. With the completion of Iteration 1, CSE attests that Workday meets all business and technical requirements for a federal government solution for Core HR and Recruitment.‌

CSE encountered culture-related challenges with moving its HR system off classified systems and into a cloud-based commercial SaaS solution. The organization: ‌

Based on lessons learned regarding process design and data collection, CSE highlighted the value of a common data library for the GC to enable enterprise-wide reporting. This should be prioritized over standardized business processes. ‌

User Experience (UX) assessment‌

User Experience (UX) encompasses and evaluates a user's interaction with a product or service, focusing on how a person feels, their behavior, actions, perceptions and satisfaction. It involves an ongoing cycle of research, design and testing to understand users and ensure that their needs are being met from hire to retire, at each touchpoint in their journey.

In the Initiative, UX is woven across the phases and deliverables, including the Organizational Change Management Plan, Business Model, Service Blueprint, Enterprise and Solution Architecture, and Benefits Management Plan, guided by a principle to be purposefully people-centric.‌

While the Initiative has been focused on confirming the technical viability of Dayforce, key UX requirements and a high-level Service Blueprint were established through a series of exploratory workshops beginning in 2018. The work involved seeking out and capturing user perspectives, collecting the points of view of employees, managers, HR and pay communities and service administers. A new business model was developed with UX concerns and consideration in mind.‌

Pilot testers noted that users may take some time to adapt to the new system, as screens seem fuller than they are used to. However, having all information available in the same place was an observed improvement on current systems.‌

Also, the approach to testing was segmented, meaning that testers often could not experience all aspects of a pay or HR transaction or the full level of automation that could be possible across roles and functions. Testers expressed interest in testing more complete, comprehensive processes as they would occur in the GC context to truly assess the UX. The Initiative should conduct more robust UX testing and activities in future phases to inform implementation planning more directly. ‌


The Initiative has developed a costing approach and methodology for gathering and estimating the cost components for GC HR and pay from current state, through transition, and into an end state (i.e., ongoing costs). Based on analogous experience, including current experimentation activities, project design and costing, in addition to relevant reference projects (e.g., GC Agriculture Cluster implementation, data management related to MyGCHR, and Phoenix), the approach and methodology will include resource levels, timelines and associated costs for the activities required to transition to Dayforce, as well as the estimated ongoing costs. In this way, the approach and methodology will be key to establishing the rough order of magnitude (ROM) cost estimate required to inform a comparative costing exercise in fall 2023 and a recommendation to government.

Implementation strategy

An implementation strategy is being developed to frame the longer-term view and next phases of the Initiative, up to and including the actual implementation of Dayforce. The issues, gaps and remaining work identified above as part of the viability assessment will be incorporated into the strategy.

The strategy provides a high-level view of Dayforce, the technical architecture and a new business model and processes. The strategy also outlines key elements that are needed to move from the current phase to onboarding and adoption of an enterprise-level HR and Pay solution. Key implementation elements include:

The strategy also provides an implementation roadmap, deployment approach and high-level timelines.‌

Should the GC decide to move forward, more detailed plans would be developed. ‌


The Initiative was created to assess the viability of adopting a SaaS solution to meet the GC's HR and pay requirements and address its 4 Phase 1 objectives. ‌

As summarized in this report, the Initiative has tested the proposed solution against the complexities of the GC's HR and pay requirements, drawing on real-world GC scenarios and the experiences and input from HR and pay experts across the GC, bargaining agents, industry experts and two global scale vendors of SaaS Human Capital Management software. ‌

Requirements to adapt GC processes to adopt Dayforce have been identified and, where possible, tested toward enabling business process redesign, change management activities and training required to adopt a new solution.‌

The Initiative has also confirmed the ability of Ceridian to meet the GC's needs and has established a dynamic working relationship with the vendor.‌

Ultimately, the Initiative's activities demonstrate that there is a viable solution to solve the defined business problem. ‌

This FFR confirms the technical viability of Dayforce. It contains adequate information, data and evidence to support informed decisions on the way forward for HR and pay in the GC, thus meeting the Initiative's mandate. ‌

At the enterprise level, steps are under way to coordinate the GC's approach to this key priority. ‌

This FFR and the work the Initiative has done so far will support an assessment of both the technical and business transformation requirements to adopt Dayforce. These include, but are not limited to:

It will also inform a high-level blueprint for the end-state technology solution and business model transformation efforts, and the resources and strategies needed to implement them and manage associated risks.

Work with Ceridian will continue to bolster this information and mitigate known risks, including configuration for end-to-end enterprise business requirements, and understanding the full costs and complexity of all cloud extensions that may be required.

Ultimately, these various components will inform an overall integrated recommendation and plan on the way forward for HR and pay in the GC.

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