Understanding the application process: Opportunities at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Apply to Government of Canada jobs

If you are not sure how to apply to a job with the federal government, learn about the process and what to expect.

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Apply to positions at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat is currently looking for applicants from the employment equity groups for positions at the following occupational groups and levels:

Occupational groups and levels

The work that an employee does in their job, or position, determines the position’s occupational group. It is a group of jobs or occupations that have similar duties.

The occupational level is the position’s rank within its occupational group.

Executive positions (EX)

In the federal public service, senior management is referred to as the Executive occupational group. This group is divided into five levels: EX-01, EX-02, EX-03, EX-04 and EX-05.

Non-executive positions

Administrative Services (AS)

The Program and Administrative Services Group is made up of positions that primarily plan, develop, deliver or manage administrative and federal government policies, programs, services or other activities for the public service.

Administrative Services (AS)

Economics and Social Science Services (EC)

Positions in the Economics and Social Science Services Group primarily:

Economics and Social Science Services (EC)

The intent of staffing processes

Creating staffing pools

A pool is a list of candidates who have successfully completed various assessments that demonstrate they meet the qualifications, or merit criteria, of the position as identified on the poster.

A qualified candidate’s results could be shared with other organizations so that they can use the pool for an appointment within their own organization.

At the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, pools of qualified candidates are valid until:

You will be notified in writing of any changes to the status of the pool.

Types of pools

A fully assessed pool is a list of candidates who have been assessed and who meet the merit criteria of the position. This type of pool enables organizations to fill vacancies quickly.

A partially assessed pool is a list of candidates who have been assessed for some merit criteria, but who require further assessment before being eligible for a position.

General pools and inventories: fully and partially assessed

Length of employment

Positions are either indeterminate (permanent), or determinate (specified period or temporary).

An indeterminate appointment is when there is no present end date to the appointment.

A term appointment is for a limited or defined period of time.

Your qualifications

Appointments are based on merit

The Public Service Employment Act states that appointments to or from within the public service must be based on merit and be free from political influence. An appointment is made on merit when the person to be appointed meets the essential qualifications for the work to be performed.

Public Service Employment Act

Essential qualifications

To be found qualified, candidates must prove they meet each essential qualification listed for the job, starting with the application screening stage.

During the screening stage, your application will be reviewed to decide whether you meet the essential education and essential experience criteria. Therefore, it is important to provide concrete examples when answering the experience questionnaire section of your application.

If you have been deemed to meet all the essential education and experience criteria, you will move to the next assessment stage to determine whether you meet the other essential criteria (such as knowledge, abilities and competencies, among others). This can be determined with the use of an exam, interview and references, to name a few.

If it is found that you do not meet all the identified essential qualifications, you will not be considered further for the position.

How to apply

You must answer screening questions to demonstrate how you meet the essential qualifications (education and all essential experiences).

When answering the screening questions, it is not enough to say that you have the required qualifications or to list your current or past responsibilities. Rather, you must provide concrete examples of tasks you have accomplished with significant details to explain the what, when, where and how you acquired each qualification.

For each experience criterion, provide the following information:

  1. Name of the department or organization where the experience was acquired
  2. Title of the position occupied, level and the period(s) in which you performed the functions (M-Y to M-Y)
  3. Specific details of tasks or projects demonstrating how the experience was acquired (situation/challenge, tasks, action and result)

If your responses to the screening questions do not have enough details to demonstrate that you meet the screening criteria, your application will not be given further consideration in this process. Candidates  will not be contacted for incomplete or missing information.

Asset qualifications

Asset qualifications are other criteria that may be required for the job. This does not mean that you must have all these qualifications, but they may be a deciding factor in choosing the person to be appointed. Therefore, we strongly encourage that you prove all the qualifications that you have.

An acceptable combination of education, training and/or experience

Depending on the job and at the manager’s discretion, a combination of education, training and/or experience can be accepted to meet the education criterion. This combination may be:

The combination should mean that the candidate has similar skills or knowledge as someone who has completed the required minimum level of education. If used, it will be specified in the statement of merit criteria on the job poster.

Qualification standards

Conditions of employment

Conditions of employment are any requirements other than qualifications that must be met before being appointed to a particular position. These conditions must be kept while in the position. A candidate who is found qualified can be placed in a pool without meeting the conditions of employment for the position.

Conditions of employment

Official language proficiency

The person being appointed must meet all essential qualifications, which includes the official language proficiency established for the position(s).

Unilingual and bilingual

Some positions are unilingual, so they require proficiency in only one language. It is listed as English Essential, French Essential, and English or French essential.

Some positions are bilingual and require proficiency in both English and French. The level of proficiency can vary between positions and are based on specific job requirements.

Imperative and non-imperative

An imperative appointment is when a candidate meets the language requirements of the position at the time of appointment. The candidate must have valid language test results at the levels required for the job or must be tested to confirm that they meet the requirements.

A non-imperative appointment is when the position can be staffed by a candidate who agrees to become bilingual through language training within two years.

Imperative appointments are standard; non-imperative appointments are the exception.

Bilingual Positions in the Public Service

Top-down selection

A top-down selection is normally used when a manager needs to limit the number of applicants to assess. It proceeds with the candidates who obtained the highest mark on an assessment.

What to look for in a job poster

The difference between ‘may’ and ‘will’

When applying to a process, it is important to pay attention to the words being used. The use of ‘may’ means management could decide to continue this way but it is not decided yet. The use of ‘will’ means that management has decided that they will proceed this way. For example:

The difference between ‘and’ and ‘or’

When applying to a process or being invited to an assessment, it is important to pay attention to the word being used in order to be successful. The use of the word ‘and’ means that both elements will be required. The use of the word ‘or’ means that only one of the stated elements will be required. For example:

Contact us

If we did not address your question(s) or concern(s), email us at recruitment-recrutement@tbs-sct.gc.ca and a member of our team will reply.

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