Foreign service (FS) group - Application Guidelines

Table of Contents

Introduction

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

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

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 FS Group
  • are common to all FS jobs
  • reflect the business, values and culture of the two primary FS Departments
  • 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 FS Group
  • a method of ensuring equal pay for work of equal value within the FS Group
  • 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 FS Classification System

The new FS classification system comprises 8 elements of work:

  • Knowledge
  • Information Analysis
  • Communication and Influencing
  • People and Operational Management
  • Horizontal Leadership
  • Problem-Solving / Decision-Making
  • Psychological / Emotional Effort
  • Working Conditions

The FS classification standard uses a point rating method. In this method, each element in the standard is given a relative weight, that is, a range of points that can be granted under that element. Each element is subdivided into levels or degrees, to each of which a specific point value is assigned. When a job is evaluated, a degree corresponding to the value of the work is assigned within each element. The value of a given job using this method is measured by totalling the points corresponding to the degrees or levels assigned within each element.

The structure of this document

This document presents each of the 8 elements in the FS standard separately. Each element includes:

  • general guidelines;
  • specific guidelines; 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 give key definitions or 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 how to use the rating scale by providing clarification of each degree and an indication of how to differentiate among degrees.

The examples of work activities (EWAs) illustrate how various aspects of FS work should be rated. These EWAs are not exhaustive, i.e., you will not find an EWA for every possible type and level of work that could be subject to evaluation. Rather, the EWAs are intended to provide indicators of what kinds and levels of work should be assigned to a given degree within a given element.

As with all components of the Standard and this guideline document, it is critical for evaluators to understand both the full context of the work description, as well as the full context of the FS Standard and associated guidelines. Words and language should not be interpreted in isolation of their overall context, nor should any phrase or EWAs be interpreted too literally – i.e. assignments to degrees and levels should reflect the actual nature and level of the work, and not merely some word-for-word correspondence between the work description and the Standard.

Application guideline

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 to ensure consistency in interpretation and application of the standard.

Each element contains a number of degrees that describe the various levels of each element that may be present in FS jobs. 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 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 FS jobs. Recognition of an individual incumbent's performance or achievements is not considered under Classification.

Typical Ongoing Job Responsibilities

  • Select the statement that best describes the level at which the job is typically expected to work and that best represents a significant part of the regular responsibilities of the job.
  • Do not consider exceptional, one-time circumstances or those developmental or stretch opportunities that are sometimes provided to employees that require them to assume responsibilities that are above and beyond their substantive job.

Element 1 – Knowledge

General Guidelines

Each job within the FS Group requires knowledge in order to competently perform the associated job responsibilities. This element measures the level of knowledge and business acumen required to perform the job effectively. Knowledge includes job related concepts, principles, practices, processes or approaches and legislation. Knowledge may be acquired through formal training or education, as well as through experience, including experience in the international milieu.

Specific Guidelines

  • Consider only the knowledge required for the job, and not the knowledge that the incumbent happens to possess.
  • 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 skill levels.
  • The first phrase in each degree includes an adjective that qualifies the depth and the breadth of knowledge required in a relevant area of expertise – this phrase does not stand alone, but rather serves to strengthen and supplement the rest of the text. The 'relevant area of expertise' corresponds to the content expertise required to work in the assigned stream. For example, the "area of expertise" in the Immigration stream primarily includes immigration legislation.
  • The reference to the Department's business includes the business of the Foreign Service, the administrative machinery of the Department and of other government departments (OGDs) and Canada's role in the international scene.
  • The "international context" refers to the programs, legislative and policy context, as they relate to Canadian priorities abroad. Knowledge of the international context is critical for all levels of FS work – however, the degree or extent of knowledge required increases from FS 01 to FS 04.
  • At degree 1, the work requires some understanding of the international system – the system of international governance, roles and structure of international organizations, knowledge of Canadian governmental structure and institutions and the relationships of the work to other departments.
  • At degree 2, the work requiresdeeper knowledge of a specific stream, and broader knowledge of the international context. At this level, there is a need to cultivate a specialty, and hands-on knowledge of some diplomatic techniques.
  • At degree 3, the work requires expert knowledge that allows for sharing with others, or is on the way to requiring subject matter expertise.
  • At degree 4, the work requires an authoritative level of knowledge of the international context and the incumbent is regularly called upon to teach or mentor others in the field.

Examples of Work Activities

Degree 1

  • A working knowledge of the assigned geographical or sectoral area and of the legislation and regulatory framework surrounding the work.
  • Knowledge of the Immigration Act, regulations, procedures and practices in order to interpret, apply, explain and ensure compliance to these directives. There is also a requirement for knowledge of host countries ministries in order to obtain information and respond to queries.

Degree 2

  • Broad knowledge of OGD programs, policies and concerns, of provincial responsibilities and programs in portfolio countries and assigned sectors, to ensure a coherent and coordinated approach in promoting Canadian interests.

Degree 3

  • At this level, the work requires extensive knowledge of the conduct of international relations and the delivery of multiple programs in an international context.
  • The work requires a strong understanding of Canadian government priorities and how these priorities affect a large program or large geographic region.
  • Broad knowledge of bilateral and multilateral treaties and agreements regulating the assigned region or sector of responsibility; in particular knowledge of the principal provisions of the World Trade Organization and of other institutions regulating the international trade and payments system as well as of relevant legislation and legislative intentions of principal foreign countries.
  • At this level, the work needs an extensive knowledge of immigration legislation, policies and procedures to identify potential horizontal and non-compliance issues and understand the linkages to other statutes such as the Canadian Criminal Code, the Human Rights Act, and the Access to Information Act.

Degree 4

  • Expert knowledge, as the Immigration Program Manager, Full Service Office, of management theories, principles, CIC mandate, structure, organization, programs, policies, new legislation and policy initiatives. The position deals with international issues, which requires a depth of knowledge to direct the delivery of all aspects of Canada's immigration program and to contribute to the management of the overall mission. The position is also the key expert for the delivery of the immigration program for an assigned geographic location.
  • Recognized expert knowledge of Canadian foreign policy and objectives, of the conduct of international relations and of the architecture of the multilateral system and the principal international organizations, which underpin it. This expert knowledge is critical for identifying, analysing and forecasting international trends, their impact on Canada and other international players, for formulating expert advice and recommendations on protecting and promoting Canadian interests for DFAIT senior management, other government departments, ministers and the private sector and for providing leadership to adapt Canadian policies and approaches in light of new developments.
  • Comprehensive and expert knowledge of a major geographic or sectoral issue area where important Canadian interests are engaged, and of the contextual reality; historical antecedents, the legal and regulatory framework, positions of key players, Canadian interests affected and key decision points. This expertise is needed to analyse time-critical developments, to provide high-calibre advice to ministers and senior officials on Canada's position; to design, coordinate and manage interdepartmental and national policies and strategies and to plan, lead and manage international task forces and work teams to promote their implementation.

Element 2 – Information analysis

General Guidelines

This element captures the requirement in FS work to research, compile and analyze information. There are a number of different dimensions that are captured under information analysis, including:

  • the nature of the information that is typical to the functions
  • the level and scope of analysis required
  • the purpose of the analysis, and
  • the extent to which the information is related to the FS work area of responsibility, and the integration of this information in the broader context of the Foreign Service

These dimensions are described throughout the degrees of the element, and progress together to describe increasingly difficult information analysis. Because the dimensions work together to describe an overall level of information analysis skill, one cannot selectively focus on one of the dimensions to score at a particular degree. The overall statement, in the main, or in aggregate, must be representative of the job.

Information includes both oral and written information. Information can refer to files, documents, knowledge of events and situations, and other data sources required to fulfill the job responsibilities.

Specific Guidelines

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

  • At degree 1, the analysis is largely directed by another person and responds to a specific need. The "how to" is normally defined, and the format is pre-set by virtue of examples, or at the very least, guidance is available. In terms of the conclusion, there is limited risk, as someone else is going to advance the analysis or arrive at a conclusion.
  • At degree 2, there is a greater degree of independence but the research or analysis is still related to the primary area of responsibility. At this level the "how to" is not standard, but would be adjusted based on the situation. Judgement is required to determine the nature or the reporting of information and whether further research is required. The conclusion arrived at is based on the analysis and results in recommending a course of action to a higher body.
  • At degree 3, the work requires the development of expert advice and policy guidance that is grounded in a strong understanding of the broader international context. At this level the nature of the information may be contradictory or incomplete, and the results established or advice provided support the development of policies, procedures or guidance to others.
  • At degree 4, the work typically requires the breaking of new ground, developing frameworks for clarifying and understanding complex issues and creating the linkages between key areas and issues. Accordingly, risk assessments are an important part of this level of information analysis. At this level the work is establishing the "how to" and providing guidance to others on the framework for analysis and evaluation. The work requires the critical review, coordination, refinement, and conceptualizing of information which results in the projection of future trends and impacts on sensitive or major issues.

Examples of Work Activities

Degree 1

  • The work requires the research of issues relating to the promotion of international trade, investments, science and technology, as defined by superiors. The work consists of identifying factors impacting upon program strategies and activities and defining alternative approaches for management review.
  • The work requires gathering information through in-depth interviews with potential immigrants; through verbal and written consultation with external officials and through reading and extracting information from numerous documents in order to determine if the applicant will qualify for a visa.

Degree 2

  • The work requires independent, in-depth analysis of data stemming from multilateral policies for missions abroad. This provides comparative analysis and evaluations of specific developments, policies or factors that could result in modified or new policy frameworks related to the area of responsibility.

Degree 3

  • The work requires an assessment of international policy issues and its impact on the health of the Canadian economy. This involves the coordination of comparative analysis and evaluation of specific developments, policies or factors that may have a prolonged effect on Canada's approach to international trade issues. This entails an assessment of the quality and trustworthiness of the data before the analysis can be carried out. This information is used to define options for senior officials and Ministers or new or revised policies, and to set out new strategies, negotiating positions and programs.

Degree 4

  • The work requires analysis of all aspects of the assigned geographic area (social, economic, and political perspectives) and the requirement to link this information to the social policy development established by the Government of Canada. There is a need to constantly monitor the impact of the department's legislative and policy decisions from an operational perspective and to examine the broader program objectives through continual networking with foreign officials to ensure the successful and effective delivery of all aspects of the Immigration Program. Uses conclusions drawn from an analysis of information to develop program objectives, work plans, operational strategies to represent Canada at bilateral and multilateral discussions, and to defend and influence policy decisions.
  • The work requires the creation of strategic policy and position papers relating to new or emerging International Business Development (IBD) issues or to highly complex files requiring the development of novel and innovative solutions. This involves acting as an authoritative source in the creation of policy recommendations for Minister and Cabinet, coordinating the formulation of advice and strategies, identifying the different linkages and carrying out risk assessments concerning such issues as the promotion of international trade or the impact of an integrated Canada/US Customs Service on the economy in Canada.

Element 3 – Communication and influence

General Guidelines

This element captures the requirement in FS work to apply communication and influencing skills. There are a number of different dimensions that are captured under communication and influencing, including:

  • the nature of the contacts or networks
  • the purpose of the contact
  • the required level of communication and influencing skill
  • the nature of the situation
  • the nature of involvement with clients

These dimensions are described throughout the degrees of the element, and progress together to describe increasingly complex and difficult communication and influencing skills and responsibilities. Because the dimensions work together to describe an overall level of skill, one cannot selectively focus on one of the dimensions to score at a particular degree. The overall statement, in the main, or in aggregate, must be representative of the job.

Specific Guidelines

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

Canada's interests are reflected across all FS streams, and include economic, political, trade or immigration interests.

This element does not measure a job's language requirements.

  • At degree 1, the work is carried out within a well-framed role; contacts are made within a pre-existing network. Typically the situations involve parties with common interests, or at least similar objectives. At this level the work requires providing explanations on policy or positions, but is not providing technical or strategic advice. Establishes and maintains contacts with counterparts.
  • At degree 2, the work is carried out more independently, and the external environment is typified by differing opinion or event conflict. Maintains and expands a network of contacts in a wide range of organizations.
  • At degree 3, the work is required to influence approaches on emerging or sensitive issues. Contacts are at the senior level nationally and internationally and are used to advance Canada's interests.
  • At degree 4, the work requires intervention at the highest levels of business, through outreach, networking and media contacts. This requires the broadening of the network of senior national and international contacts in order to be able to successfully influence policies and develop international frameworks for protecting and promoting Canadian interests.

Examples of Work Activities

Degree 1

  • Counsel clients on routine issues.
  • Performs defined tasks in the presentation of demarches or negotiations.
  • Cultivates contacts to gather and exchange information, identify emerging opportunities and monitor trends.

Degree 2

  • Counsel clients on non-routine issues. Differences of opinions are the norm. Required to deal with lawyers who are representing the immigrant and must establish a relationship that leads to a decision.
  • Represents Canada as a team member in bilateral and multilateral negotiations.
  • Prepares and coordinates demarches and develops negotiating positions. Synthesizes and presents Canadian positions clearly and succinctly to representatives from foreign governments or international organizations as well as to domestic interlocutors.
  • Negotiates wording of texts to reflect final agreements.

Degree 3

  • Address complex client cases to minimize the potential for escalation. Impacts on broader policy issues e.g. continue to search for doctors who wish to immigrate to Canada although their countries of origin have lodged formal complaints with Canada.
  • Negotiates substantive elements of bilateral or multilateral agreements or national policies and agreements.
  • Represents Canada, advocates Canadian positions on complex and sensitive issues related to the assigned sector.

Degree 4

  • Regulate on contentious or high-profile client cases.
  • Represents Canada in bilateral and multilateral discussions and negotiations, advocates and defends Canada's position on a wide range of complex immigration-related issues. Develops and maintains partnerships and positive relations with officials from other foreign missions, international organizations, host governments, Canadian and foreign press corps and key interest groups abroad. Uses network of contacts at the highest level with business, governments and civil society for all aspects of the immigration program to resolve critical situations and issues, develops strategic alliances and partnerships for all aspects of the immigration program to influence policies and exchange intelligence and elaborate on new international frameworks and defend and promote Canada's interests. During crisis situations due to famine or war, deals with the sudden influx of refugees.
  • Uses networks of contacts at highest levels in the assigned subject area with business, government and civil society to regulate or resolve critical situations and issues. Develops strategic alliances and partnerships in the assigned subject area to influence policies, exchange intelligence and elaborate new international frameworks congenial to the defence and promotion of Canadian interests.

Element 4 – People and operational management

General Guidelines

This element deals with formal, delegated responsibility for human and financial resources. Element 5, Horizontal Leadership, is a complementary element, and deals with the management of resources that are not formally assigned to the FS position.

This element addresses both the nature and responsibility of the management of resources, and identifies representative responsibilities that would be typical at each level.

Specific Guidelines:

  • At degree 1, there is no requirement for formal supervision. There is a work requirement to provide guidance to new employees.
  • At degree 2, there is a requirement to provide direct supervision within a work unit of either FS or locally engaged staff to ensure the achievement of specific goals and objectives within the work unit. This includes responsibility for assigning work, reviewing performance and quality of deliverables on an ongoing basis. Provides input in planning and budgeting process.
  • At degree 3, there is a requirement to manage human resources assigned for the delivery of a service. Responsibilities include establishing human resource plans and work standards, adjusting workloads, evaluating performance of subordinate employees, allocating resources to meet changes in work priorities, leading recruitment of new staff and ensuring that established human resource policies are carried out. Provides input and analysis in the planning and budgeting process, and may manage a small budget.
  • At degree 4, people and financial management responsibilities involve more complex operations that typically involve a diversity of major programs or functions, layers of management accountability, fluctuating workforces and geographic dispersion of human resources.

Examples of Work Activities

Degree 1

  • Assigns responsibilities to team members, offers guidance, and monitors progress.
  • May provide input into performance appraisals of staff members.
  • Provides guidance to new employees.

Degree 2

  • Work requires the supervision of staff (including locally engaged employees). Supervisory duties include assigning work, informing staff of performance expectations, monitoring work, assessing performance and recommending disciplinary action. Provides budgetary input.

Degree 3

  • At this level, the work involves resolving issues of service delivery. For example there may be unprecedented or unexpected volumes of applicants received. In order to meet expectations for service and turnaround times, there will be a need to manage the resources accordingly by revising hours of operation, changing the number of available windows or streamlining the process for circulating files within a mission to ensure the ongoing delivery of a service.
  • Leads and manages a unit of work, develops the framework and strategies, manages the staff from recruitment to resolving disciplinary issues and may manage a small budget.

Degree 4

  • The work involves accountability for all financial, human and material resources required to deliver the Immigration Program in a mission abroad and its geographical area of responsibility. This requires the need to establish strategic and operational plans, the accountability for resource shifts from one work site to another and resolving disciplinary problems.

Element 5 – Horizontal Leadership

General Guidelines

The leadership element measures the responsibility for getting things done through others without the benefit of formal power or authority.

There are a number of different dimensions that are captured under horizontal leadership, including:

  • the nature of the project or team leadership required
  • the nature of the issues that are typically dealt with
  • the level or nature of buy-in required for success, and
  • the degree of commonality amongst stakeholders
  • In this element, "project teams" and "work groups" are intended as general terms for work units that don't have an internal hierarchy.

These dimensions are described throughout the degrees of the element, and progress together to describe increasingly complex and difficult horizontal leadership challenges. Because the dimensions work together to describe an overall level of skill, one cannot selectively focus on one of the dimensions to score at a particular degree. The overall statement, in the main, or in aggregate, must be representative of the job.

Specific Guidelines:

  • At degree 1, the work requires organizing and participating with a team working towards a well-defined objective, where it is not necessary to cultivate buy-in. Participants are working towards a common goal within their area of responsibility.
  • At degree 2 the work largely involves the planning and leading of ongoing project teams or work groups which have shared goals or objectives. There may be a need to obtain buy-in of parties.
  • At degree 3, the work consists of varied and diverse goals and objectives. The issues being dealt with typically need to be scoped out or defined which requires a higher degree of negotiating skills to navigate and build consensus. At this level, the work requires stronger leadership than does leadership of project teams or work groups dealing with more precisely defined issues.
  • At degree 4, a higher order of horizontal leadership is required in order to build longer-term alliances or partnerships with organizations representing different interests and priorities. Issues and initiatives are high profile, sensitive or unconventional and goals and objectives of parties involve conflict. The work requires the ability to speak with authority on a given subject in order to effectively persuade the various stakeholders.

Examples of Work Activities

Degree 1

  • Organization and facilitation of activities and people involved in meetings and missions.
  • Expected to facilitate group work on a specific meeting or mission as directed; this does not include the responsibility of identifying who should be involved.
  • Acting as a member of a delegation team to test new legislation or organize a response to a policy paper on a refugee crisis in a specific camp.

Degree 2

  • Heading and organizing working groups and delegations charged with assessing international developments, planning and coordinating activities, or designing and delivering programs.
  • Work requires planning the membership of project teams and leading the teams in order to reach consensus on issues.
  • Working with a group of like-minded countries to reach agreement on a course of action to address issues such as another country's lack of compliance to Human Rights responsibilities.

Degree 3

  • Initiating, leading and coordinating working groups on special projects, or cross-jurisdictional committees on international issues, by defining the agenda, establishing priorities and work plans, assigning project responsibilities, promoting consensus, and seeking an outcome in conformity with departmental or Canadian positions.
  • Initiating, leading and coordinating working groups with another country to reach agreement that visas given to immigrants in that country will not result in allowing unacceptable immigrants into Canada.
  • Taking the lead to organize British, Americans, Australians and South Africans to negotiate with police to get an office at the Pretoria airport.
  • Working with governments and law authorities on interdiction.
  • Establishing and leading work groups to reach agreement on the processes to be set in place to prevent illegal entry of people into Canada. Train and liaise with groups such as Interpol, CSIS and the RCMP to reduce the traffic of undesirable passengers.

Degree 4

  • Forming and leading multi-disciplinary interdepartmental or multinational working groups for the development and coordination of policy or joint initiatives in high profile sectors, including setting priorities and agendas, establishing norms, winning buy-in, and fashioning consensus.
  • Leads bilateral or international negotiations, which includes harmonizing and reconciling diverse Canadian positions to develop a strategy that protects core interests while allowing sufficient flexibility for tactical manoeuvring. Working with considerable latitude, develops innovative options and scenarios for building consensus on issues of common interest and for negotiating the conditions of a successful agreement.
  • Develops plans, undertakes consultations and chairs meetings, working groups engaged to discuss alternative ways to accomplish program objectives through to formation of partnerships with international organizations to transport refugees to Canada and share interviewing facilities and staff, with enforcement authorities and airlines to develop programs to screen out improperly documented travellers and with Non Government Organizations to select candidates for special recruitment programs designed to meet labour market shortages in Canada.

Element 6 – Problem solving / Decision making

General Guidelines

This element measures the responsibility for making decisions in the performance of FS work. It captures the nature, scope and complexity of problems and issues encountered in FS work, the level of judgement applied in reaching solutions or making decisions, and the impact of these decisions.

Decisions can be related to:

  • policy and program development
  • program and service delivery or
  • compliance

There are a number of different dimensions that are captured under problem solving and decision making, including:

  • the nature of the problem
  • the degree of autonomy the position has in making the decision
  • the impact of the decisions
  • the degree of risk involved in decision-making, and the level of precedent the resulting decision will have

These dimensions are described throughout the degrees of the element, and progress together to describe increasingly complex and difficult types of decision-making. Because the dimensions work together to describe an overall level of decision-making, one cannot selectively focus on one of the dimensions to score at a particular degree. The overall statement, in the main, or in aggregate, must be representative of the job.

This element captures the nature and level of overall decision-making required in the role. The rating should not rest on a single, recent decision, but rather should reflect the typical nature of decision-making required in the role.

Specific Guidelines

For the purposes of this element, a decision should be interpreted in a broad sense as including authoritative recommendations or advice that effectively amount to a final decision.

When evaluating recommendations versus decisions, it is important to make a reasonable assessment concerning the decisional weight of the recommendation. If a recommendation carries a very significant amount of weight, such that, in most cases, it will not go through an additional level of analysis or scrutiny before final decision, then it amounts to a final decision.

  • At degree 1, non-routine problems, issues or situations are typically shared by or referred to superiors for decision-making, such that the impact is limited.
  • At degree 2, problems, issues or situations are generally, but not always predictable and there is latitude in arriving at solutions. Decisions are typically case-specific but will affect groups of people or cases.
  • At degree 3, problems, issues or situations are diverse, often unpredictable and sometimes controversial. Decisions are taken with significant autonomy and are broader in their impact, affecting program priorities or delivery and the achievement of broader operational objectives. Decisions have some risk and a direct, practical impact on clients.
  • At degree 4, problems, issues or situations are sensitive and often ill-defined with few or no precedents or international norms for addressing them. Advice and decisions are authoritative and often precedent-setting and can impact on government priorities and the interests of Canadians.

Examples of Work Activities

Degree 1

  • Conducting interviews and making selection decisions to accept or reject applications submitted by prospective immigrants, visitors, refugees, persons in refugee-like situations and returning residents. This is done on a case-by-case basis. Guidance is sought on atypical cases.
  • Monitors, researches and analyzes international problems or issues in the assigned sector, where there are a number of alternatives and each must be assessed in terms of its inherent strengths and weakness. Contributes to the recommendation of the best approach. Guidance is sought when there are uncertainties as to the process to be followed.
  • Analyses political, economic, social, human rights, defence and other developments relevant to Canadian interests in portfolio countries, monitors countries' compliance with international obligations and alerts senior officials to new developments. Information and inputs contribute to recommendations and policy development.

Degree 2

  • Reviews selection decisions made by Locally Engaged Program Officers to ensure the best decisions have been made. At degree 2, work requires the experience and seasoning to better know how to address atypical cases, and be able to provide guidance to Locally Engaged Staff and less experienced officers.
  • The work requires the analyses of complex and often conflicting information provided by immigrant applicants. The incumbent exercises judgment in determining the nature and extent of questions required to obtain relevant facts to assess the applicants' eligibility to enter Canada, validating the information presented, recognizing the need for and sources of additional information. The work has the final authority for decisions taken and these decisions cannot be overturned without a judicial review.
  • The work requires the formulation of advice and recommendations of coherent policy approaches in the assigned sectors. This requires the monitoring, researching and analysis of issues, problems, trends, and changes where there are many interlinked factors, which must be balanced, and there are no simple solutions. Decisions are related to a specific sector and impact the Department's policies and responses, as well as Canadians who have an interest in this sector.

Degree 3

  • Analyses data and practices to determine trends and recommends changes to local processes of program delivery (e.g. develops training for airlines on emerging fraudulent documents, alerts Canadian and other diplomatic missions of issues and recommended changes to practice).

Degree 4

  • Exercises discretion and authority to authorize the issuance of visas and permits to immigrant, visitor and refugee applicants who are not otherwise eligible or admissible (e.g. high-profile security or criminal or medical inadmissibility cases where guidance may be sought from National Headquarters). At this level of decision-making on immigration cases, there is tremendous risk of embarrassment to the Minister on whose behalf the Immigration Program Manager takes such decisions and who must report these decisions annually to Parliament.
  • Anticipates, analyses and reacts to complex international issues in the assigned sector, which arise suddenly, lack conventional precedents and have severe implications for Canada. Evaluates foreign and domestic stakeholder perception of and reaction to the issue. Anticipates risks and devises appropriate strategies to mitigate their impact. Identifies constraints to the solutions at hand that would not be apparent to others and generates creative ways of addressing them. The decisions taken impacts on Canada's interests, policies and objectives abroad and, more importantly, have a significant impact on the safety of resources assigned (Canada-based or locally engaged staff).

Element 7 – Psychological / Emotional Effort

This element measures the mental exertion required to cope with psychologically demanding work.

General Guidelines

In order to effectively capture the true psychological and emotional effort required when delivering work this element is structured to capture three levels of psychological and emotional effort:

  • Limited,
  • Moderate, and
  • Intense

Specific Guidelines

This element measures the expected requirement for coping with psychologically demanding work.

Examples of Work Activities

Degree 1

  • Required to deal with tight deadlines and constantly shifting priorities

Degree 2

  • In many instances, psychological and emotional effort is required to maintain composure in the face of unremitting poverty and deplorable living conditions for the local population.

Degree 3

  • Psychological and emotional effort is required when dealing professionally with issues of serious illness, grave distress and death, when working in refugee camps to issue documentation for potential refugees.

Element 8 – Working conditions

General Guidelines

This element captures the degree of unpleasantness of the psychological and physical working conditions in which the job is performed. The physical surroundings include the exposure to aspects of work that result in physical discomfort. The degree of unpleasantness of these elements is divided into three broad categories:

  • Somewhat unpleasant
  • Unpleasant, and
  • Extremely unpleasant

Specific Guidelines

Keep in mind that this element is designed to capture the conditions under which the work is 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 unpleasantness that may be encountered when performing the job. 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.
  • The employee adheres to work safety standards and avails himself or herself of all employer-provided tools and options to mitigate job risks.

Examples of Work Activities

Degree 1

  • The work is performed in an office environment where tight deadlines and ever-changing priorities are the norm.

Degree 2

  • Required to work in an interview booth when dealing with potential immigrants. This involves being in a small, enclosed and poorly ventilated booth in which there is no possibility of communicating with other immigration staff.

Degree 3

  • Working in refugee camps when conducting interviews to issue refugee visas. Involves working in sub-standard conditions where health and safety are in question.

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