Border Services Groups (FB) - Application Guidelines

Table of Contents


This "Application Guidelines" document has been developed to assist evaluators in understanding and applying the Border Services classification standard in order to accurately, fairly and consistently evaluate Border Services work. This document is a reference tool and must be used in conjunction with the Border Services classification standard. In the case of discrepancy between the standard and the guidelines, the standard will prevail.

This document will periodically be updated to reflect evolving work and new/revised interpretations.

Overview of Classification

Purpose of Classification

Classification is the systematic process of establishing the relative value of jobs within a target population within an organization. The focus of classification is on the value of jobs and does not consider the performance or seniority of individual incumbents who hold jobs. The hierarchy or relative value is based on an objective, fair, consistent, and gender-neutral measurement of jobs against a series of unique elements of work that:

  • Capture the full nature and diversity of work performed in the Border Services group
  • Are common to all Border Services jobs
  • Reflect the business, values and culture of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
  • Cover the four Pay Equity factors – Skill, Responsibility, Effort and Working Conditions

Benefits of Classification

Classification provides:

  • A method of comparing the relative value of jobs within the Border Services group within the Agency
  • A method of ensuring equal pay for work of equal value
  • A means of classifying new or changed jobs
  • A means of capturing data on jobs for use in recruiting and staffing, career planning and other human resource programs

The Border Services Classification Standard

The Border Services classification standard is comprised of 10 elements of work captured under the four Pay Equity factors: Skills, Responsibility, Effort, and Working Conditions.

Each element in the Border Services standard is designed as a continuum of value that represents the degrees of work performed from low to high within that element of work.

The Border Services classification standard uses a point-rating system. In a point-rating system the relative value of each element in the overall standard is mathematically expressed as a percentage weight. Within each element, this weight is divided amongst the degrees of value of work from low to high and expressed as points. When a job is evaluated, a degree within each element is selected to reflect the value of the work of the job against that particular element. The overall value of a given job using this system is therefore the sum of the points for each selected rating in each element.

The Structure of Each Element

This document presents each of the 10 elements in the Border Services standard separately. Each element includes:

  • General guidelines;
  • Specific guidelines; and where applicable
  • Definitions; and
  • Examples of work activities (EWAs) for each degree

The general guidelines describe the definition and design intent of the element. In some cases, the general guidelines will reference important links with other elements in the standard or describe any caveats that must be considered in order to fully understand the element.

The specific guidelines provide information on the structure and mechanics of the element, and elaborate on the value continuum of the rating scale through key clarification points at each degree along with key points of differentiation.

The definitions present and describe specific terminology used within the element to ensure consistency of application and understanding of the unique aspects of a degree under each element.

The examples of work activities (EWAs) present specific aspects of border services that reflect how individual degrees within a scale of a particular element progress and should be applied and interpreted. These EWAs are not exhaustive, i.e., you will not find an EWA for every possible nature and level of work that could potentially be fairly evaluated at a given degree in a given element. Rather, the EWAs are intended to provide some indicators or "proxies" for the nature and level of work that may be found in a given element at a given degree.

As with all components of the Standard and this guideline document, it is critical for evaluators to understand both the full context of the job description, and the full context of the Border Services Standard and associated guidelines. Words and language should not be interpreted in isolation of their overall context, nor should any phrase or EWA be interpreted in a verbatim fashion.

Application Guidelines

Introductory Notes to Raters

The following pages provide both general and specific guidelines for each element to assist in selecting the most appropriate degree for the job. This information will help evaluators understand each element as it relates to the job, and will ensure consistency in interpretation and application of the Standard.

Each element contains a number of degrees that describe the various levels at which an aspect of work is present in Border Services. Read all of the degrees for each element, along with all of the guidelines and EWAs before selecting the response which best describes the level at which the job is required to operate. Only one degree for each element and or sub-element should be selected.

In selecting the most appropriate degree, apply the following key guiding principles:

Jobs not People

  • The classification tool is designed to obtain a fair and accurate evaluation of all Border Services jobs. Recognition of an individual incumbent's performance or achievements is not captured under Classification.

Typical Ongoing Job Responsibilities

  • Select the statement that best describes the highest level of responsibility at which the job is typically expected to work and that best represents a significant part of the ongoing responsibilities of the job.
  • Do not consider exceptional, one-time circumstances or those developmental or stretch opportunities that are often provided to employees that enable them to perform responsibilities that are above and beyond their substantive job.
  • A helpful challenge question to confirm a proposed rating would be to ask, "If the incumbent was not operating at the higher degree in question, would the work performed be at the level required for the position?"

Element 1 – Knowledge

General Guidelines

Each job within the Border Services Group requires a certain level of knowledge in order to competently perform the job responsibilities. This element measures the level of technical or domain knowledge as well as contextual knowledge required to perform the job in an effective manner.

Knowledge may be acquired through formal training or education, as well as through experience, regardless of the source.

Specific Guidelines

Consider only the knowledge required for the job, and not the knowledge that the incumbent happens to possess.

At degree 1 the focus of knowledge is on the specific work area where the range of duties is well defined. Some specific, short-term practical training may be required; however, the knowledge is not heavily experienced-based, nor is there a requirement to understand the Agency business or contextual environment surrounding the work. It is required to have a knowledge of the specific work processes of the job as well a familiarity with the procedures, files and priorities of the immediate work unit or team members.

At degree 2, the knowledge grows in nature requiring a working knowledge of the techniques and practices associated with a given area of expertise. A basic understanding of the broader operational and legislative context within which the job operates is also required.

For example, in order to provide support to a bigger project, the job needs to have knowledge related to standard project management techniques as well as basic knowledge of the program to know where to go for information and to understand the information in context. Other jobs at this degree require basic program knowledge to obtain documents as determined necessary and to process applications. However, these jobs would not require knowledge of the numerous services and programs administered by the Agency.

At degree 3, the knowledge increases in depth from degree 2 in order to deliver on higher levels of accountability, responsibility, compliance and service. Jobs at this degree require an understanding of technical concepts and principles surrounding their service delivery area, as well as a broad understanding of the business flow, operational and legislative contexts within which they operate to deal with a variety of situations. The term strong understanding refers to the depth of understanding required of the intent and application of legislation, regulations and policies in a variety of situations.

For example, in order to carry out inspections and examinations of people and goods to determine compliance, the work requires a strong understanding of legislation and regulations and their application. The job would also require knowledge of other units in the Agency and the inter relationship of operations and mandates in order to share information and align actions.

At degree 4, the domain knowledge depth increases further to an advanced level and the discipline is now specialized and includes the knowledge of trends, theories and practices. At this level, there is a requirement to understand the trends and patterns of the broader context in which the job operates; however, the depth and breath of knowledge at this degree is such that knowledge application is typically restricted in scope to services and programs. For example, in order to conduct an investigation, the job would require a thorough knowledge of all professional investigation techniques, as well as a broad understanding of a variety of CBSA programs that could be affected by the investigation, the overall workflow within which the investigation sits, and the legal and compliance frameworks. Similarly, in the work of managing complex cases or operations, there is a requirement to use appropriate risk management strategies and to apply, adapt and modify policies and procedures.

At degree 5, the depth of knowledge in a specialized field of expertise grows further to an advanced level and the breadth of knowledge grows significantly from a contextual perspective to include a thorough understanding of CBSA's business climate. Contextual knowledge at this degree includes a broader knowledge of services and programs as well as their overall impact on other Agency business delivery strategies, undertaking, or initiatives, and knowledge of operational management approaches typically applied through participation in the strategic development and management of the Agency's operations.

At degree 6, the job requires extensive knowledge and business know-how to lead the organization in its strategic activities. At this level, the job is directing a varied and significant subordinate organization requiring operational expertise. As well, knowledge and appreciation of the external environment of the Agency is paramount to understanding, managing and being strategic in how the Agency approaches its mandate.


Operational Management Approaches
refers to knowledge of management processes, procedures, concepts and strategies required in the effective running of an organization, business unit or program area.

Examples of Work Activities

Degree 1

1.1.1 No Examples of Work Activities available at this time.

Degree 2

1.2.1 The work requires knowledge of practices and methodologies associated with administration related to case management and file processing, and administrative decision making to assemble, and process case documentation and documentary evidence related to files/cases

1.2.2 The work requires knowledge of the legislative context to provide information in response to telephone queries about status of Canadian citizens and non-citizens to colleagues and law enforcement agency representatives.

1.2.3 The work requires knowledge of Project Management principles and processes, basic legislation and operational standards as they relate to a program or service area.

Degree 3

1.3.1 The work requires an understanding of the application and intent of legislation and regulations as they relate to the delivery of CBSA program(s).

1.3.2 The work requires an understanding of technical concepts and principals, as well as knowledge of legislation, regulations, policy and procedures in order to support day-to-day enforcement activities.

1.3.3 The work requires knowledge of the general mandates of CBSA and other government departments as well as knowledge of the interactions and interrelationships internally and externally across departments as they apply to CBSA programs and activities to resolve individual cases in a variety of situations.

1.3.4 The work requires knowledge of programs to provide advice and guidance to clients in support of day- to-day operations.

Degree 4

1.4.1 The work requires knowledge of programs and policies and service standards and an understanding of the intent of governing legislation, regulations and operating guidelines and principles underlying the legislation in order to develop and/or fine tune policies and guidelines for the use of others.

1.4.2 The work requires an understanding of the service objectives and priorities, current social and political climate and methods of measuring performance in order to provide advice and guidance on the application of existing programs.

1.4.3 The work requires knowledge of research and analytical techniques in order to apply a rigorous analysis to identify, evaluate, and validate information to support decision-making by others in the delivery of programs and services.

1.4.4 The work requires knowledge of legislation and field and headquarters operations in order to create or change processes, including the design, development, testing and implementation of programs, processes, policies and procedures and systems.

Degree 5

1.5.1 The work requires knowledge of the principles and practices of management in order to manage an operational area. This is required to achieve operational objectives and to establish the business direction for that operational area. Knowledge of the CBSA Regional and Headquarters strategic plan to ensure border protection and appropriate program delivery is also required.

1.5.2 The work requires knowledge of the principles and methodologies of training and development programs as well as knowledge of the existing and future goals and objectives of the Agency, the operational approaches and challenges so that the learning needs and training programs can be planned for and executed.

1.5.3 The work requires knowledge of operational management approaches to plan projects and lead research and analysis; monitor, evaluate and provide input on the progress of subordinate employees; setting priorities, schedules, assignments of tasks for team members

Degree 6

1.6.1 The work requires a strategic level of knowledge of the intelligence field and the sub-disciplines within, such as knowledge of military affairs and conflict, countries of war crimes concerns and specific knowledge of events, culture, socio-economic situations of past and present and uses this knowledge to enable the agency to be positioned to achieve its mandate.

1.6.2 The work requires knowledge of socio-economic conditions in Canada and other countries of origin and destination (the political-cultural climate) to evaluate the impact these factors have on current and future programs and their delivery.

1.6.3 The work requires knowledge of strategic planning practices in order to develop strategic plans to deal with issues with the vision to interpret broad guidelines and to reformulate broad directions into the development of business and program action plans in support of program service delivery. This requires knowledge of assessing business cases, understanding business and management concepts as they relate to the delivery of Border Services operational programs within the region

Element 2 – Analytical Skills

General Guidelines

This element captures the requirement in Border Services work to gather, compile, research and analyze information. This element recognizes the increasing level of analytical skill that stems from factors such as the nature and complexity of the information, and the multiplicity and diversity of sources of information. Information includes both oral and written information and refers to a wide variety of files and documents including financial data, policies and procedures, legislation, client documents, legal documentation, databanks, an individual's knowledge of events and situations as well as any other data sources required to fulfill the job responsibilities.

Specific Guidelines

The element is structured such that each degree has a front half and a back half statement. The front half captures the nature of analytical skills required where the back half uses a description of the general purpose of the analysis as a means of describing and differentiating scope and complexity as work responsibilities progress through the scale. For example:

  • From degree 1 through degree 6, the analytical skill increases from using facts and assessing information requirements to compiling and processing information, to various degrees of analysis, integration, investigation and challenge, where the scope, multiplicity and breadth of information dealt with are key value differentiators.
  • Similarly, from degree 1 through degree 6, the purpose of the analysis increases in scope from doing your own job, to preparing information for others to analyse, through to a variety of levels of delivering client service and ensuring compliance, to making recommendations on a variety of levels of complex issues.

There are obvious correlations between the Skill and Responsibility elements in any classification standard, where a job requires a certain level and combination of skills in order to competently deliver on the associated responsibilities. In this context, this element uses general purpose as a means to better define the value continuum of analytical skills, not the actual purpose of the analysis, which is measured under the three Responsibility elements.

This element is an example of a cumulative progression or "pyramid" style element. By this we mean that a rating at a higher degree assumes that the skill described in the lower degrees is included. For example, degree 3 captures degree 1 and degree 2.

When evaluating jobs against this element, remember that both "halves" of the degree descriptor must be met in order for a job to earn a rating at a given degree. It is critical to read all of the EWAs to get a full understanding of the intent behind each degree and the increasing analytical skills required to deliver on the increasing complexity of job responsibilities.

At degree 1, the skill requires reviewing and processing information using well-defined processes or procedures within prescribed guidelines. Information may be incomplete or inaccurate requiring identification and completion of information prior to processing typically straightforward transactions.

At degree 2, the skill requires assessing information requirements given specific situations or circumstances and guidelines. There is a requirement to gather additional information or obtain data at this degree to supplement the available information. The nature of information at this degree remains fairly straightforward; however, analysis is required to assess the information and apply the appropriate guidelines.

At degree 3, the skill requires compiling and synthesizing information which comes from a variety and diversity of sources (e.g., visual observations, source documentation, interview findings, reference materials, guidelines, etc.) in order to form a cohesive picture against a specific situation, case or circumstance. Judgement is required in determining the best course of action.

At degree 4, the skill requires identifying patterns, trends and inconsistencies and requires the study and evaluation of previous level analyses. Information comes from a variety and diversity of sources. At this degree, the issues or situations for focus can be elusive or unclear, and the information and analysis requirements are often not obviously or specifically related to the situation at hand. The information synthesis requirements involve a higher level of examination, creativity and study in order to clarify situations, identify relevant and meaningful information and look for hidden issues and trends. Judgement is required in interpreting and evaluating information to propose solutions and provide advice.

At Degrees 5, the skill requires investigating, probing and integrating a diversity of complex information, analytical findings and previous analyses. Information sources include previous level analyses, results and recommendations. Analysis at this level may involve evaluating the methodology, assessing potential biases, challenging findings and determining the overall reliability and accuracy of the analysis. At this degree, analysis requirements typically relate to program or service area issues or improvements, overall approach to broad program design or delivery or defining the framework for processing cases/files (case treatment).

At Degree 6, the skill requires investigating complex data and information, identifying linkages and interplay and challenging existing ways of thinking through problems. At this degree, analysis requirements typically relate to service delivery strategy and broad business impacts across the organization involving analyses covering several programs or service areas that are integrated and evaluated. At this level, the work requires conceptualization and forward thinking.


Case treatment
refers to the development of an overall approach to how various categories of cases or situations are handled.

Examples of Work Activities

Degree 1

2.1.1 No Examples of Work Activities available

Degree 2

2.2.1 Compiles technical/administrative reports, documentation, correspondence and briefing materials. Analyses facts and circumstances of cases through observation and review of documents. This information is used by CBSA officers and other law enforcement agencies to assist in case work.

2.2.2 Collects and coordinates data and statistics for use in the development of policies, systems, procedures, forms and guidelines for the delivery of CBSA programs.

Degree 3

2.3.1 Analyzes information from a variety of sources such as, observation, questioning, investigation, review of databases, inspection of documents and the interpretation of technical device images to resolve individual cases.

2.3.2 Researches, analyzes, interprets and evaluates a high volume of information from multiple sources. This information forms the basis for decisions and rulings as well as determining compliance in individual cases.

2.3.3 Analyzes and synthesizes a complex range of factual and situational data to further cases/files. This information enables management to be aware of the status of and issues surrounding cases.

Degree 4

2.4.1 Reviews and analyzes expenditures. Based on this analysis develops estimates and makes recommendations for future budgets. Also conducts cost-benefit analysis on operational programs. Identifies trends with respect to CBSA enforcement strategies in order to define operational and training needs and to plan future activities.

2.4.2 Monitoring the application of and identifying trends relating to existing legislation, policy, programs and procedures and recommending corrective strategies. The work involves gathering and analyzing data and recommending options on strategic, operational and policy issues. Evaluates the results of existing programs against expectations to identify weaknesses or gaps.

2.4.3 Evaluates data for reliability. Through detailed analysis makes recommendations concerning programs for management. This includes current or future areas of risk and the identification of intelligence or program gaps and taking or recommending appropriate action. This involves the probing of various and multiple sources of information and developing and testing hypotheses.

2.4.4 Produces intelligence products from the collection, evaluation and analyses of intelligence and information from a wide variety of domestic and foreign sources and partners through a variety of means. The majority of the information and required analysis is complex in nature and involves probing and investigation into areas such as enforcement, security, fraud and border criminality.

Degree 5

2.5.1 Researches, verifies, evaluates analyses and synthesizes disparate and complex factual and conceptual information. Gathers and compiles evidence and interprets a body of complex federal, provincial and international immigration and refugee legislation, jurisprudence, regulations and conventions. Recommends further actions such as judicial reviews of cases.

2.5.2 Analyzes and evaluates proposed national and regional programs and policies. Through the review and analysis of operational reports and databases as well as analyses done by subordinates, determines the effectiveness of Border programs in ports of entry. Provides comments and recommendations to senior management on the effectiveness of programs. Analyses current trends and patterns with respect to a variety of programs. There exists a multiplicity and diversity of information sources, which make these analyses more challenging.

2.5.3 Develops, analyzes and organizes evidence from various sources to support various enforcement options. These various sources could include border seizures, Compliance Verification audits, previous Investigations cases, interviews, client records and complex and detailed statistical data. This information is then integrated for financial analysis and then evaluated against regulations and legal precedents.

2.5.4 Analyzes the implications of legislative, regulatory or policy and systems changes to determine impacts and to make substantive recommendations to modify/create policies, systems, procedures and legislation. Analyzes and interprets technical information from a variety of sources to link individual disputes or issues to the legislation and regulations.

Degree 6

2.6.1 Identifies emerging key issues and assesses the degree and nature of impact that these issues will have on CBSA programs and service delivery capacity. Evaluates and recommends modification to operational strategies, resource allocation, policy etc. to maintain alignment with strategic direction.

2.6.2 Analyzes trends in human resource plans, in order to develop and implement innovative management practices and to forecast future needs. The work requires researching, analyzing and evaluating data and proposals from subordinate staff such as workload analysis, program delivery effectiveness and budgetary inputs from subordinate managers. Based on this analysis, develops strategic plans taking into consideration other program delivery areas objectives.

Element 3 – Communication Skills

General Guidelines

This element measures the skill required in the work to convey messages. This element includes verbal and written communication skills and is designed to capture all components of communications, and includes messages conveyed through written or spoken words and anything that is used as an alternative such as pictures, graphical work or codes.

Although Communication Skills is strongly correlated to Element 4 – Interaction, please note that the Communication Skills element measures only the skill and the Interaction element explicitly measures the responsibility or purpose of the interaction.

In addition, keep in mind that this element focuses on the skill required in the work and not the capabilities or attributes of individuals doing the work.

Specific Guidelines

This element measures the growth in communication skills required to convey messages. Complexity stems from factors such as clarity and complexity of information, sensitivity of the situation, target audience and receptivity of audience towards the message being delivered.

This element is an example of a cumulative progression or "pyramid" style element. By this we mean that a rating at a higher degree assumes that the skill described in the lower degrees is included. For example, degree 3 captures degree 1 and degree 2.

At degree 1, communication skills are required to convey simple, factual messages where there is a limited requirement to modify or explain information. Information is relayed through straightforward processes.

At degree 2, communication skills are required to retrieve or obtain information that is typically readily available. Part of the complexity lies in the need to compose original content for straightforward communication materials.

At degree 3, communication skills are required to question clients to obtain additional information to uncover facts that are not readily available. At this level, the complexity lies in the requirement to influence and persuade individual clients on specific cases or issues and consulting with relevant parties to discuss or provide information on specific program/operational delivery matters.

At degree 4, communication skills are required to influence and negotiate broad program initiatives in support of the Agency's strategic position. The subject matter is typically horizontal and broad-based. Complexity lies in consulting and facilitating discussions with parties with different views and interests to resolve program/service/operational issues.

At degree 5, communication skills are required to present very complex arguments and strategic positions or issues, often new or innovative concepts to audiences that may not always be receptive or easily convinced. There is a requirement to be persuasive and tactful. Complexity lies in both the content and sensitivity of the message and the complexity of the situation. At this level, extensive communication skills are required to officially present, defend, or advocate the Agency's strategic position on behalf of the organisation as a whole.

Examples of Work Activities

Degree 1

3.1.1 Responds to requests to retrieve files or documents.

3.1.2 Explains work procedures to co-workers.

3.1.3 Conveys straightforward or fact oriented messages in response to enquiries

Degree 2

3.2.1 Composes routine correspondence, replies and/or reports on requests for information by using and adapting available templates.

3.2.2 Explains case details and provides information to colleagues or clients with detailed and precise instructions pertaining to a process or procedure.

3.2.3 Interviews clients to gather straightforward data and information for files.

Degree 3

3.3.1 Conduct investigation-style interviews to uncover facts from those who may be unwilling / uncomfortable to provide information.

3.3.2 Explains options and gets agreement from clients on follow-up action plans and arrangements to correct identified non-compliance.

3.3.3 Deals with specific issues to resolve workplace complaints, work refusals and harassment issues.

3.3.4 Prepares narrative, analytical and statistical reports that summarize events or reach conclusion on issues encountered or actions taken.

3.3.5 Drafts policies, guidelines, and operating directives

3.3.6 Facilitates workshops, develops written training modules /materials and reports on learning requirements.

Degree 4

3.4.1 Discusses and explains legislation and regulations to business and industry associations, clients and their professional services representatives. Issues can be complex, sensitive, and contentious. Clarity of communication is key.

3.4.2 Presents complex cases and persuasive arguments and counter arguments in a court like setting. Defends cases using legislation, case facts, etc to support Agency's position in adversarial conditions.

3.4.3 Articulates, analyzes, rationalizes, and provides recommendations on complex or contentious technical, operational and policy issues to Headquarters, Regions, staff, clients, service providers, other government departments, and industry associations.

3.4.4 Composes comprehensive reports requiring a high degree of clarity and sensitivity to issues based on complex legislation and policies, legal requirements, international agreements and legislation.

3.4.5 Consults with senior client groups, negotiates program delivery strategies and persuades senior management to agree on delivery approaches.

Degree 5

3.5.1 The work requires communication skills to articulate and support strategic positions and decisions of the Agency. Extensive communication is required with a wide variety of stakeholders such as staff, clients, other government departments and the media. The work also requires persuasiveness and sensitivity when presenting and/or defending the Agency's position with outside stakeholders such as municipalities, facility operators and the tourism and commercial importing communities.

3.5.2 Presents cases and evidence and defends the Agency's position, verbally and in writing, against persons or entire governments where evidence shows complicity in the commission of war crimes.

3.5.3 Negotiates service levels and resolves key program specific issues and provides advice on alternative strategies and approaches

3.5.4 Conducts intense/complex negotiations to resolve outstanding issues in order to convince foreign governments to adopt or accept Canadian/Agency positions or initiatives.

Element 4 – Interaction

General Guidelines

Every Border Services job interacts with a variety of contacts within and outside the organization on a daily basis for a variety of purposes. This element measures the purpose of contacts the job is typically required to have in the performance of the job. Please note that this element does not value the level or importance of the person(s) with whom the job exchanges contact, but rather why the job requires the contact. Interaction could be in the verbal or written form.

Specific Guidelines

This element focuses on the purpose of the interaction regardless of whether the job initiates or responds in the interaction.

The nature of CBSA business and the service delivery structures and processes are such that the natural purpose of many interactions are related to issues such as ensuring compliance, delivering client service, providing program, policy or issues advice or direction.

Like Communication Skills, this element is a pyramid style element. This means that the higher degrees of communication skill encompass the communication skill described at lower degrees.

At degree 1, the interaction could be routine or non-routine in nature in that the information requested or provided is straightforward, typically easy to understand and /or directly linked to the work area. It includes situations where further questioning is required in order to clarify and fulfill information needs.

At degree 2, the purpose of the interaction is to provide technical information or direction to resolve a client problem, advance an issue or to provide colleagues or others with background information. It is important to note that at this degree, the scope of the problem/issue remains typically straightforward and routine procedures are applied to resolve client situations.

At degree 3, problems or situations are typically more difficult, due to the sensitivity of issues or parties where objectives tend to differ and information is not forthcoming. At this level the purpose of the interaction is to dig and investigate for the purpose of ensuring compliance, or to bring parties together and advance or resolve issues. The purpose of interaction is moving away from information extraction as in previous degrees and is now initiating linkages and being proactive in creating discussions in contentious situations.

At degree 4 introduces a responsibility for providing high-level advice at the service, program or policy level. Issues at this level are often sensitive. The key differentiator between degree 3 and 4 is the breadth in consultation that is needed with business partners to elaborate and fully discuss program/policy development requirements and their implementation. The purpose of the interaction is related to the need to achieve collaboration associated with the differing positions and objectives of the parties.

At degree 5, the purpose of the interaction is to provide expert level management advice on contentious issues with positions in conflict as well as high-level consultation with industry, stakeholders and others with the view to advance broad Agency issues, interests and values. The scope and nature of the issues dealt with at this degree must be of significant importance to the Agency, e.g. the public and political position toward Agency issues, strategies and initiatives.

Examples of Work Activities

Degree 1

4.1.1 Exchanges information with and responds to requests for information from other enforcement agencies and/or colleagues.

4.1.2 Provides information about processing procedures to the public.

4.1.3 Checks databases and provides information to various internal or external clients.

4.1.4 Interviews clients to gather information to ensure accurate completion of documentation.

Degree 2

4.2.1 Explains legal rights, benefits and other information to clients and addresses questions / concerns of clients, travelers or visitors.

4.2.2 Prepares, issues and explains instructions and logistical details for individual cases. This information provides support for administrative and legal processes involved in delivering programs and/or services.

4.2.3 Explains the reasons for inspections, problems with products or documentation, the applicable regulations and the options available to clients

4.2.4 In order to resolve or advance issues, explains technical information or presents options to various internal or external clients regarding the situation. May provide background information and guidance to ensure that clients understand procedures.

4.2.5 Meets with various members of the organization to identify needs, explain or present issues and potential solutions respecting Border Services programs, processes, policies, procedures and systems.

Degree 3

4.3.1 Meets with various stakeholders to explore problems and gather information through questioning. Discusses issues and reaches agreement within existing program and policy guidelines. Provides technical advice on Border Services policy and program issues.

4.3.2 Explores issues and questions various parties to gather missing information needed to establish facts and respond to complaints relating to services provided by employees.

4.3.3 Probes for additional information regarding client situations from clients and/or other law enforcement agencies to resolve issues or to determine compliance with Border Services related legislation.

4.3.4 Interacts with the public/clients where situation can be confrontational and sensitive. Probing for further information to resolve sensitive situations may be required to detect non-compliant persons.

Degree 4

4.4.1 Interacts with a broad range of internal/external representatives to obtain commitment and understanding on the application of new or revised regulations/policies, and to manage and resolve a variety of policies, program delivery and operational objectives.

4.4.2 Develops and manages partnerships with other government departments and private and voluntary sector organizations to solicit input and commitment on proposed regional or national program or policy initiatives, to advocate departmental positions on program and policy issues and to seek support for collaborative projects and common approaches.

4.4.3 Meets with officials of industry, provincial and federal departments and law enforcement agencies to coordinate large-scale investigations, to address key issues and to discuss disputed enforcement actions and complaints and negotiates agreements on issues.

4.4.4 Promotes and advocates positions and policies across the organization to ensure consistent application of programs by providing advice, guidance, issue resolution, policy development and implementation to the field, regional and headquarters staff and delivery partners.

Degree 5

4.5.1 Builds and fosters strategic relationships with other divisions, departments and law enforcement agencies to contribute to the agency's goal of ensuring compliance and the government's objective of combating organized crime and terrorism.

4.5.2 Consults with internal-external contacts to resolve strategic issues, establish frameworks and to facilitate collaboration on policy development.

4.5.3 Persuades, influences and negotiates with a broad variety of other government departments, NGO's and multi levels of governments to set and achieve strategic objectives

Element 5 – People and Operational Management

General Guidelines

The People and Operational Management element measures the responsibility for getting work done through others, through formal people supervision and through formal management of the operations.

This element reflects the reality in a contemporary workplace; the responsibility of the formal management hierarchy with its complexity derived from diverse geographic sites, size and breadth (variety of activities) of the organization and multiple layers of management.

There is a distinction between the scope of responsibility of supervision and that of management reflected in this element. Supervision and management are defined as follows:

Supervision is the administration of pre-defined activities while the deciding/defining what the activities are for a particular work area is management. In government, both supervision and management may hold budgetary responsibilities and responsibilities for the organization of people and work to be done. Management however has the responsibility for directing and controlling the composite of resources involved in the provision of border services in a defined area.

Each degree descriptor describes an overall responsibility, supplemented by a further elaboration of some examples of leadership, planning and accountability for human and financial resources activities that may be included. Please note that the job does not have to include all of the examples listed under each degree in order to score at that degree. Evaluators should look at the ensemble of examples provided in order to obtain an overall view of the nature and level of people and operational responsibility at a particular degree. Evaluators should not focus on one example or one word within an example in order to rate a job at a given degree.

Be careful when rating responsibility for providing leadership to those who may be in a contractual relationship with the Agency (e.g., management and professional services contractors). The amount of leadership that an Agency employee can exercise is legally limited. While a CBSA employee may have some responsibility for technical monitoring of work products and results of a contract or contract resource, there is limited requirement in the job to provide leadership and/or supervise the people delivering the work in this type of arrangement. The responsibility for technical monitoring of work products and results of a contract or contract resource is not captured under this element; but rather is captured under Analytical Skills and Decision Making.

Specific Guidelines

At degree 1 the responsibility is for providing information or one’s own expertise to team members, through leading short term or ad hoc work teams responsible for the delivery of specific tasks. Many jobs and delivery processes within CBSA are structured in a manner that formally requires that the work be delivered as a team such as investigation or training. What is measured in this degree is the responsibility for providing guidance on how to go about delivering the work, monitoring the progress, and providing feedback on the results delivered.

At degree 2 the responsibility grows to an ongoing full-time responsibility for formal people supervision. The work involves developing work plans, monitoring the progress of work from plans and conducting performance evaluation. There is a requirement to adjust priorities, procedures or processes and workflow and human resources in order to get the work done. Although there may be some influence on developing budgets, there is no accountability for financial resources at this degree.

At degree 3 the responsibility grows to the management of a program or service area. This may include managing areas that have front line supervision. There is an increased responsibility in scope in that at this level the work includes dealing with a variety of stakeholders, broader range in planning and there is an increased responsibility for planning, goal setting and controlling human and financial resources.

At degrees 4 and 5, the management role grows to a responsibility for providing leadership through a subordinate layer of management (does not include front line supervisors), requiring a high-degree of control on resources and accountability for management of programs and services Agency-wide. The key differentiator between degrees 4 and 5 is the complexity of the subordinate operations and the breadth of scope grows from the program or service level to the highest responsibility for leadership and accountability on Agency-wide issues or initiatives.

Examples of Work Activities

Degree 1

5.1.1 Provides information, advice and guidance to team members. May be a member or leader of a project team. After completion of the short term project the effectiveness of the team’s activities must be evaluated and later shared with team members through debriefing.

5.1.2 Participates in an integrated work team, shares knowledge and information, trains, mentors and contributes to new colleagues skill development. Provides advice and guidance to CBSA staff with respect to technical, legal and procedural matters.

5.1.3 Required to work in a team environment and on occasion may assume the responsibility of team leader. Shares skills and knowledge with colleagues. Contributes to the establishment of team goals and monitors and reports on progress and work quality.

5.1.4 The work requires leading projects and chairing committees to establish objectives, determine scope, define terms of reference and develop timelines. May be required to assign work, provide guidance and assistance to ad-hoc team members during the project and to monitor and evaluate deliverables.

5.1.5 Coordinates and leads special enforcement activities. This involves developing operational plans, integrating the participation of other enforcement agencies, sharing expertise with team members and evaluating the effectiveness of the activities upon completion.

Degree 2

5.2.1. No examples of Work Activities available at this time.

Degree 3

5.3.1 Manages multi-disciplinary teams in diverse geographic areas. Manages human and financial resources in a 24/7shift environment. Forecasts and manages budgets and expenditures as well as assets such as vehicles. Establishes goals for the team and monitors and assesses performance.

5.3.2 Manages the activities of subordinate staff. Plans and administers training course content and development. Identifies human resource needs and produces business cases to justify needs. Allocates responsibilities to staff, coordinates and monitors activities and evaluates staff performance. Manages cost-recovery issues as well as managing leased residential accommodations.

5.3.3 Supervises shifts of employees by establishing work objectives and schedules. Assigns and monitors work, provides technical guidance and resolves performance problems and recommends disciplinary action. Involved in operational planning and budget development and prepares cost estimates.

5.3.4 Manages a cost centre budget and exercises delegated financial and human resource authorities. Manages and directs staff through goal development and business plans. Manages staff directly and through team leader/project coordinators. Allocates resources and workload and adjusts priorities for staff in response to new and changing conditions.

5.3.5 Manages a section budget and a team of employees. Prepares work plans, develops priorities, resource allocations, staff requirements and employee learning and development. Redeploys staff and adjusts priorities to meet unforeseen contingencies.

Degree 4

5.4.1 Manages CBSA operations through subordinate managers. Determines responsibility centre budget requirements and authorizes expenditures for salary, overtime, training and learning, operational activities and the upkeep and maintenance of various offices and capital equipment. Responsible for long term planning with respect to operational activities, budget and staffing.

Degree 5

5.5.1 Directs the delivery of various programs through a team that may be comprised of multiple layers of subordinate managers. Controls the budget, which includes forecasting, planning and monitoring of cost center activities. Develops and implements strategic program delivery direction and service standards. The work requires the managing of multiple and diverse programs in wide geographic areas.

Element 6 – Decision Making

General Guidelines

This element measures the increasing level of responsibility for making decisions in the performance of border services work. It captures the level of judgement and latitude applied in making decisions and the impact of the decisions made. The nature of the decision is not specifically valued under this element, but rather, the focus is on the level at which the job is expected to make decisions. Decisions can be policy/program development, program/service delivery or compliance in nature and can include human, financial or physical resources.

When evaluating the level of judgement required in making decisions, it is helpful to look at the amount of guidance or support available to the job in making decisions. Guidance can be in the form of direction, policy, procedures, instructions, or assistance from peer or senior colleagues.

When evaluating recommendations versus "formal" decisions, it is important to make a reasonable assessment concerning the substantive nature of the recommendation. For a recommendation to be considered substantive, it must carry a significant amount of weight, such that, in most cases, it will not go through an additional level of analysis or scrutiny before a decision is made.

Specific Guidelines

As with other elements, each degree descriptor is comprised of a front-half and a back-half statement that each describes the impact of the decisions and the level of judgment and latitude applied.

  • As the scale progresses from degree 1 to degree 7, the impact of decisions moves from the work task level, to the work unit, to a variety of levels of direct client service to the impact on interpretation of legislation and overall program and policy direction at the highest degrees.
  • Similarly, as the scale progresses from degree 1 to degree 7, the amount of guidance available to the job in making decisions decreases from specified work practices through established precedents to the broadest of guiding standards requiring significant judgment and interpretation.

At degree 1, problems, issues or situations are typically predictable and have a known range of possible solutions. Decisions are based on standard instructions and operational procedures. At this level, supervisory support and guidance is readily available. Decisions are straightforward in nature, are case or issue specific and may impact the end user, the public client.

At degree 2, decisions are based on established procedures and protocols and guidance is available where problems are atypical. Decisions impact the specific day-to-day operations of the immediate work group and may impact the end public client.

At degree 3, decisions are based on guidelines, regulations, well-established precedents and experience. Judgement is required in interpreting observation, experience and applying formal guidelines in determining the best approach to resolve a problem or make a decision. Decisions are case or issue specific and impact on how a case or issue will be resolved. Decisions may impact the end public client.

At degree 4, decisions are based on review, interpretation, research, and challenge of established precedents and formal guidelines, requiring significant latitude and considerable judgement and interpretation in determining the approach to resolving issues and making recommendations. Decisions impact the overall program or operation, as well as a wide variety of diverse and complex cases. Decisions may also impact the end public client.

At degree 5, decisions are taken within parameters of program objectives and operational constraints. Significant latitude, autonomy and independence is required in making decisions based on significant professional, business and managerial experience. At this level, decisions involve making programs work in the operational environment, and decisions impact how programs will be delivered, given the operational context, and how the program affects operations.

At degree 6, decisions involve more complexity given the integrated nature of operations, i.e. more constraints, more variables, more sets of program objectives that may not be aligned. Decisions are based on significant managerial or subject matter expertise. Decisions impact how to implement programs in this more complex environment.

At degree 7, decisions involve translating broad business objectives into effective program and service design and development, ensuring that program/operational areas are aligned to the Agency's overall objectives. Decisions impact strategic policy development, implementation and delivery and lead to significant changes of broad operational objectives, identifying priorities and establishing business approaches. At this level, there is significant latitude to affect change.

Examples of Work Activities

Degree 1

6.1.1 No examples of work activities available at this time.

Degree 2

6.2.1 Decisions are based on guidelines and detailed instructions applied to the facts of a case/situation.

Degree 3

6.3.1 Makes decisions that impact individual cases by deciding whether goods and persons will be admitted to Canada and whether sanctions will apply. Decisions are based on information obtained from verbal and non-verbal indicators of compliance and are made based on guidelines and established procedures. Discretion is often used in these circumstances.

6.3.2 Makes final decisions under delegated authorities. Must consider legal precedents and jurisprudence (although in some cases legal precedent does not exist). Must also consider general principles and practices when making these decisions.

6.3.3 Issues orders and directions to appear for an inquiry. Decisions are made within the framework of authorities, principles and guidelines but must also consider precedents. Determines admissibility and imposes conditions on clients that affect their status in Canada.

6.3.4 Issues binding decisions, rulings and assessments to clients to ensure legislative and regulatory compliance. These decisions may or may not be based on previous rulings and precedents and may have an impact on an individual company or an entire industry sector.

Degree 4

6.4.1 Decisions require judgment to ensure that all relevant information is accurate and appropriately classified. Makes decisions regarding the sharing of information with clients, and while these decisions have policy and legislation to guide them, there still exists a degree of latitude to make decisions that may have national and international implications.

6.4.2 Recommendations and decisions are based on complex research and may disregard previous decisions and require judgment in order to determine areas of risk and program gaps to ensure that programs are meeting their objectives.

6.4.3 Makes decisions with regards to appeals. While these decisions are framed by legislation, regulations, policies and conventions, there is latitude to decide on individual cases with respect to issues such as, intent of the law, Agency policy and principles of fairness in order to arrive at fair and appropriate outcomes.

6.4.4 Makes decisions as result of mediation sessions. Decides when to consent to appeals and when alternate dispute resolution isn't achievable. Has the latitude to consider all aspects of a case such as fairness and justice when making decisions in individual cases.

Degree 5

6.5.1 Manages multi-disciplinary teams in diverse geographic locations. Makes decisions with respect to human and financial resources in a 24/7shift operation. Decides on the deployment of resources, which impacts the delivery of the programs as well as making decisions with respect to staff relations' issues. Makes recommendations for future financial planning. A degree of autonomy is exercised in determining budget allocations, staffing levels and deployment of resources.

6.5.2 Makes decisions and recommendations on the operational and fiscal impacts of proposals that affect service delivery and program effectiveness. Has final decision-making authority on individual cases. Decisions are based on substantial interpretation and often involve taking risks that could affect the ability of the unit to deliver the program.

6.5.3 Recommends and directs implementation of new programs and projects in the region. Decisions affect program direction and require judgment to ensure program integrity.

Degree 6

6.6.1 Determines the strategic program delivery direction and priorities within a CBSA operational area. Establishes the business direction of that area. Uses judgment when making recommendations on the operational and fiscal impacts of proposals that will affect service delivery and program effectiveness. Decides on appropriate resource allocation. Provides recommendations on program to senior management.

6.6.2 Provides substantive recommendations to CBSA management and external stakeholders concerning the development or modifications to legislation, regulations and policies. These decisions directly affect how national policies and guidelines will be developed and implemented.

6.6.3 Provides broad perspective, substantive recommendations on the development of multi-disciplinary programs and policies. These decisions impact the development and implementation of national policies etc.

Degree 7

6.7.1 Decisions determine operational policy objectives, systems requirements, implementation strategies and the strategic direction to deliver and monitor programs. The development of complex strategies takes into consideration national priorities and critical relationships between programs. These decisions impact the work environment, clients and various sectors of Canadian industry.

6.7.2 Decides/negotiates alternate program delivery choices with a variety of stakeholders to enhance the effectiveness of the CBSA program delivery framework. This also facilitates the work of partner organizations in supporting the CBSA mandate and influences federal government policies. Makes recommendations with respect to changes in operational policy, resource allocation, programs and public policy. Decisions affect program direction and the outcomes of high profile/complex cases.

Element 7 – Physical Effort

General Guidelines

This element measures the physical effort typically required to perform the job, the frequency and intensity associated with this effort. The element recognizes the effort and energy involved in exerting force, either while moving or while staying still.

Physical exertion while staying still refers to any amount of strength and energy expended when keeping the body, or parts of the body, in the same position for a length of time, or when remaining in the same place or position, where movement is limited or restricted. Physical exertion while moving refers to any amount of strength and energy expended when the body is in motion.

Assume that Agency work is conducted in compliance with established safety codes and practices. For example, the Canada Labour Code stipulates the maximum weight for safe lifting by an individual without any mechanical or human help.

When evaluating this element the following frequency scale needs to be applied:

  1. Rarely: the requirement to exert some physical effort is rare.
  2. Occasionally: There is a requirement to exert some physical effort for short periods of time and this effort occurs repetitively (many times every day or week). To rate at this degree, the effort must be a requirement of the work.
  3. Regularly: To rate at this degree, the effort must be an integral requirement of the work, there is usually limited flexibility to change activities or positions in performing the duties; physical efforts consist an important part of the work in terms of total time.

The frequency scale reflects the average amount of effort over the course of a normal work cycle. The scale should however be applied with a degree of reasonability rather than a precise calculation of the frequency. Frequency could apply both to daily effort in the work, as well as a job whose effort lies in peak periods of a number of months over the course of the year.

Specific Guidelines – Physical Effort

Under each of the types of physical effort in this element, there is a short list of examples provided. As with previous elements that made use of lists of activities, these examples of effort represent a sample of what could be considered at each value level; however, they are not intended to represent an exhaustive or all-inclusive list. Evaluators should look at the ensemble of examples provided in order to obtain an overall view of the nature and level of effort intended.

Read through the examples provided for each type of effort and identify the work that requires an employee to hold a posture for a specified period of time, to lift, carry, hold, physically constrain, etc. The assumption under this element is how often the effort is required.

When evaluating this element, keep in mind that the effort must be a requirement of the job and not a choice by the individual employee. For example, if an employee chooses to walk up and down flights of stairs between floors rather than use the elevator, this is not a job requirement, and would not be considered as physical effort under this element.

It is also important to note that this element measures the effort exerted rather than the skills required to perform the various aspects of the job.

Remember that there is a different element that covers the environmental conditions within which the job is required to work.

Examples of Work Activities

A. Light Physical Effort N/A – refer to standard

B. Moderate Physical Effort N/A – refer to standard

C. Heavy Physical Effort N/A – refer to standard

Element 8 – Sensory Effort

General Guidelines

This element considers all factors that contribute to fatigue or strain associated with intense or continuous use of the senses in the performance of the job. The assumption for this type of effort is that the job requires it to be performed on a prolonged basis.

Specific Guidelines

When evaluating this element, keep in mind that the effort must be a requirement of the job and not a choice by the individual employee.

It is also important to note that this element measures the effort exerted rather than the skills required to perform the various aspects of the job.

When evaluating this element the following frequency scale needs to be applied:

  1. Rarely: The requirement to exert some sensory effort is rare.
  2. Occasionally: There is a requirement for prolonged use of senses for short periods of time and this effort occurs repetitively (many times every day or week), with limited opportunity or freedom to rest or shift activity.
  3. Regularly: To rate at this degree, the effort must be an integral requirement of the work, there is usually limited flexibility to change activities in performing the duties; sensory efforts are an important part of the work in terms of total time.

For example:

  • a typical office or management job has a requirement to read and respond to e-mail throughout the day requiring reading the computer screen. This activity, however, is not reasonably required on a prolonged basis with limited opportunity to shift activity or position. As a result, this aspect of work would likely rate at rarely for this type of effort.

Examples of Work Activities

A. Rarely N/A – refer to standard

B. Occasionally N/A – refer to standard

C. Regularly N/A – refer to standard

Element 9 – Risk to Health

General Guidelines

This element is designed to recognize job requirements that present immediate or future risks to employees' health. These are unavoidable risks or dangers that remain present in the work being performed regardless of precautionary measures taken to avoid them. This element is a function of the degree of predictability or lack of control over various circumstances that may pose a risk to health and the resulting ability of the jobholder to exercise caution to avoid the risk.

Specific Guidelines

This element assumes that:

  • The employer is compliant with current federal occupational health and safety legislation and standards;
  • The work does not needlessly endanger the employee;
  • The employer mitigates risk by taking all necessary measures and precautions to protect the employee, including the provision of training and equipment;
  • Employees adhere to work safety standards and avail themselves of all employer provided tools and options to mitigate job risks.

When evaluating the degree of risk to health, select the highest normal level that applies to the work.

This element does not measure the responsibility for the safety of others.

Examples of Work Activities

Degree 1

9.1.1 Employees who spend all day working at a keyboard must ensure that they use proper posture and have rest breaks to prevent injuries such as repetitive strain injuries.

Degree 2

9.2.1 Work poses certain risks as there is face-to-face contact with clients; however, these risks can be managed given that they occur in a controlled environment where assistance is available from a security guard, a nearby colleague, a direct line to the police, etc.

Degree 3

9.3.1 If an investigation is being done at a client site, there is an element of unpredictability since the investigator is on the client's "turf". The environment that the investigator is working in is beyond the limits of their control and they are not in a position where they can manage all the possible variables.

9.3.2 For those jobs that are responsible for the handling of hazardous material; although they may operate in a controlled environment, they are unable to anticipate how certain chemicals may react to one another, and the risk of serious injury is significant.

9.3.3 Contraband searches in seaports, airports, cargo containers, trains and ships.

Element 10 – Work Environment

General Guidelines

This element captures the degree of unpleasantness of the physical and psychological surroundings in which the job is performed. The psychological surroundings include the exposure to aspects of work that result in psychological discomfort, whereas the physical surroundings include the exposure to aspects of work that result in physical discomfort. Note that there are no frequency or duration scales in this element. The rationale for this is that exposure to unpleasant conditions, even if only occasional, is still disagreeable and warrants the higher degree. When evaluating the psychological and physical work environments, select the highest normal level that applies to the work, excluding rare, or chance occurrences that are not an integral part of the work.

Specific Guidelines

Keep in mind that this element is designed to capture the conditions under which the work is normally performed as opposed to the effort required to deal with the conditions.

The lists of examples provided under this element are not exhaustive, but rather, are intended to represent the "type" of environment that may be encountered when performing the job at the various degrees. Examples such as dust mites in files or the scent of a colleague or client's perfume are not captured in this standard.

Examples of Work Activities

A. Psychological conditions include exposure to the following:

10.A.1 Lack of control over pace of work, multiple or competing demands, changing deadlines and priorities, disruption to normal work and personal life due to frequent travel or jetlag

10.A.2 Disagreeable, abusive interactions with people, hostile, or confrontational situations

10.A.3 Disturbing sights and sounds (pornography, hate propaganda, accounts of persecution and torture, police incedent reports illustrating major crimes or violent situations, etc).

B. Physical conditions include exposure to the following:

10.B.1 Glare from computer screens; noise from office equipment or surrounding office conversations; closed office environment; open-concept office, etc.

10.B.2 Wearing cumbersome or protective clothing, fumes/vehicle exhaust, working outside in adverse weather conditions, confined space, grease, oil, noxious odours (e.g.: harmful, toxic, poisonous, chemical residue); exposure to human waste, exposure to potentially infectious substances or persons.

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