Leadership Competencies for Federal Heads of Evaluation


Through their work behaviours, heads of evaluation in federal departments and agencies demonstrate competencies that support them in their roles as strategic advisors to deputy heads and primary evaluation experts within their organizations.

This competency profile defines the behaviours that heads of evaluation need to demonstrate in order to fulfill the responsibilities outlined for them in the Policy on Evaluation, the Directive on the Evaluation Function, and the Standard on Evaluation for the Government of Canada. The profile constitutes the competency requirements that the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat has established for heads of evaluation, which are referenced in the Directive on the Evaluation Function. In large departments and agencies, heads of evaluation are responsible to meet competency requirements by March 31, 2013 and deputy heads are responsible to ensure compliance with these requirements.

These leadership competencies for heads of evaluation complement and build upon the Key Leadership Competencies that were defined by the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer and are used for talent management within the Government of Canada. In developing these competency requirements, the Secretariat recognized the significant variations that exist across departmental evaluation functions in terms of organizational structure and occupational groups and levels, so that heads of evaluation in all departments and agencies can identify themselves in the profile.

These competency requirements can assist deputy heads when hiring or designating new heads of evaluation for their organizations. The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat is also developing a framework to assist deputy heads in determining whether or not incumbent heads of evaluation meet the competency requirements and for identifying learning priorities and professional development opportunities. The framework may also aid in succession planning for the head of evaluation position or role.

Competencies and Behavioural Indicators

Evaluation Expertise

Possesses and applies broad knowledge of evaluations and evaluation practice

  • demonstrates in-depth knowledge of evaluation principles, approaches, designs and methods
  • demonstrates in-depth knowledge of the Policy on Evaluation, Directive on the Evaluation Function and Standard on Evaluation for the Government of Canada
  • integrates the knowledge generated by evaluations into strategic advice
  • demonstrates ability to assess, interpret and identify gaps in evaluation evidence
  • demonstrates sound knowledge of risk management and how it applies to the planning and conduct of evaluations
  • demonstrates sound knowledge of performance measurement and how it supports the conduct of evaluations

Values and Ethics

Builds and nurtures a culture of integrity and respect within the evaluation function and in its work

Values and Ethics

  • ensures the evaluation function is accountable, competent and demonstrates objectivity and integrity in the conduct and reporting of evaluations
  • ensures that evaluation processes and products comply with the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service
  • practises and fosters a climate of transparency, respect and fairness
  • minimizes potential for ethical dilemmas and/or conflicts of interest and provides direction on their resolution

Professional Credibility

  • takes responsibility for the work of the evaluation unit
  • leads and motivates others to pursue a high standard of excellence in their evaluation work
  • systematically seeks feedback from team members, partners and clients to inform improvements to the evaluation function's partnering approaches and activities
  • demonstrates confidence, composure and integrity in providing information, advice and recommendations to senior management and other clients and when performing evaluation work

Strategic thinking

Understands and adapts to the internal and external environments affecting the organization and the evaluation function


  • thinks creatively and capitalizes on innovative ideas for the evaluation function to contribute to organizational goals and priorities
  • encourages creative thinking and incorporates diverse perspectives into evaluation approaches, designs, methods and uses

Organizational Awareness and Strategic Orientation

  • perceives the needs of the deputy head and senior management and conceptualizes evaluation plans, approaches, products and services that position evaluation to contribute to executive decision making
  • considers organizational, central agency and government-wide needs and priorities, risk, and project interdependencies or synergies and their implications for the evaluation function and its plans and products
  • anticipates and analyzes emerging issues, priorities, risks and opportunities where the evaluation function may contribute value in an innovative but practical manner that meets expectations and objectives
  • champions the use of evaluation for a wide range of organizational purposes
  • openly consults across the organization on strategic issues related to evaluation
  • promotes the organization's understanding of the implications for the evaluation function of the overall state of performance measurement within the organization


Builds and nurtures trusting relationships within and outside the evaluation function

Interpersonal Relations

  • acts as a trusted strategic advisor to the deputy head, the Departmental Evaluation Committee, and senior management
  • solicits and is responsive to input from others, respecting their diverse needs, motivations and preoccupations
  • models openness and integrity
  • builds consensus and manages conflict with diplomacy and discretion


  • exercises sound judgment in selecting issues for communicating advice directly to the deputy head
  • uses persuasive arguments to gain support for evaluation strategies, plans, findings and recommendations
  • tactfully supports or defends the department's or evaluation function's needs and interests to other departments, central agencies and other stakeholders

Teamwork and Partnering

  • promotes and facilitates team building, collaboration and sharing of evaluation knowledge and expertise among team members/partners, the Government of Canada evaluation community and beyond
  • engages in Government of Canada evaluation community meetings and contributes to community initiatives and efforts
  • identifies and nurtures partnerships, networks or relationships while representing, promoting and advancing evaluation practices and the department's views on issues

Management Excellence

Manages the evaluation function effectively and efficiently

Action Management

  • provides timely advice directly to the deputy head when necessary
  • provides timely advice and recommendations to the Departmental Evaluation Committee in support of its roles and responsibilities
  • ensures the implementation of controls to achieve consistent quality and timeliness of evaluation products and services
  • ensures the documentation and application of lessons learned in evaluation practice and in the management of the evaluation function

People and Financial Management

  • identifies the resource needs of the evaluation function and adjusts evaluation unit priorities, strategies, plans, activities and resources as required to meet organizational and government-wide needs
  • develops a human resources strategy to build and/or maintain the necessary evaluation capacity and evaluator competencies
  • encourages and facilitates knowledge transfer among evaluation staff
  • ensures evaluation teams collectively possess the necessary competencies to carry out specific evaluations
  • creates, monitors and promotes an environment that supports work-life balance in a demanding evaluation environment
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