Careers in Finance through the Financial Officer Recruitment and Development (FORD) program

If you are a student or a graduate looking to start your career in financial management within the public service, there are many exciting opportunities for you. Student recruitment through the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) and graduate recruitment through the Financial Officer Recruitment and Development (FORD) program are both great opportunities to explore rewarding careers.

Student recruitment

Do you want to:

  • Pair your school experience with real world experience?
  • Develop your practical skills?
  • Explore career options in the federal public service?

Students can be employed at any point during the year but the majority of students are employed during the summer months. Departments will hire students for summer employment beginning in the spring.

Students can apply to the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) at any time through the Ongoing Student Recruitment Inventory. The Financial Analyst Student Inventory launches each spring to recruit and hire students in financial management positions.

Student Financial Analysts are typically studying in one of the following areas: accounting, finance, business administration, commerce or economics.

In order to apply, students must meet the eligibility requirements for FSWEP.

Graduate Recruitment - Financial Officer Recruitment and Development Program

The Financial Officer Recruitment and Development (FORD) program recruits and develops post-secondary candidates each fall. Entry-level Financial Management positions are available in a wide range of departments throughout the federal government. FORD is a 30-month program that provides support for the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation through rotational work assignments, training and other development activities.

Eligibility requirements

The FORD program is a developmental program for individuals who wish to obtain an entry-level financial officer position and pursue a professional accounting designation. As such, applicants who already hold a professional accounting designation as of June 1st, will not be considered for these entry-level developmental positions.

The eligibility requirements of the FORD program can change from year to year, however the following general eligibility criteria currently applies:

  • Have completed an undergraduate degree OR a graduate degree with a specialization in accounting by June 1st from a recognized post-secondary institution.


  • Have completed a bachelor's degree in any field from a recognized post-secondary institution and, by June 1st, have completed the prerequisite courses for admission to the CPA Professional Education Program (PEP) (either through CPA preparatory courses or post-secondary institution programs).


  • If the applicant has already enrolled in the CPA PEP they must have at least 16 months of CPA practical experience left to complete as of June 1st.

The specific requirements for the 2019 campaign can be found in the 2019 FORD application poster.

What you need to know

Benefits of the FORD program

The FORD program offers:

  • Up to 30 months of training and on-the-job experience
  • A minimum of two job rotations
  • Support to obtain the CPA designation (including paid study leave and training costs in the pursuit of a CPA designation)
  • Work assignments that give you the practical experience you need for a CPA designation
  • Formal public service finance training
  • Professional development plans and performance assessments throughout the 30 months

Types of work

As a qualified financial analyst, you'll be part of a professional team and be able to work in a variety of areas such as:

Accounting operations
Recording, analyzing and reporting financial transactions, including the production of financial statements and other financial reports.
Planning and resource management
Providing advice, guidance and financial services in the areas of planning, budgeting, costing and reporting to ensure the efficient and effective use of departmental resources.
Financial policy
Development and implementation of policies, procedures and controls that are compliant with legislation and central agency direction.
Financial systems
The design and development of standard business processes, controls, data and financial systems that produce financial and related non-financial information.

As a financial analyst, you will play an important role in strengthening the financial management function through improving financial operations, practices and reporting. This in turn will lead to better decision-making and expertise to help support organizations in achieving their objectives efficiently and effectively.

How to apply

The FORD program is part of the Public Service Commission's fall campaign for post-secondary recruitment and applications must be submitted through during the campaign.

Detailed Instructions on how to apply are on the Public Service Commission's website. Your application must be submitted through the Public Service Commission's website within the timelines for this year's fall campaign. You can monitor the status of your application through your personal profile on the Public Service Commission's website.

Only candidates who have clearly demonstrated that they meet all requirements and who have provided all requested information and documentation will have their applications considered.

Apply to the FORD program

Contact us

If you have any questions about the FORD program please contact us at

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