Guidance on the use of Interchange Canada assignments

Date: February 29, 2024

To: Heads of human resources

This communication is for heads of human resources of the core public administration and shared with others for reference.

This information notice clarifies the use and proper administration of Interchange Canada assignments.

Interchange allows for easy mobilization of talent in and out of the core public administration (CPA) through temporary, at-level assignments that do not result in employer–employee relationships.

Reporting and recordkeeping

Under sections 4.1.5 and 4.2.5 of the Directive on Interchange Canada, organizations must record all Interchange assignment information or changes in the Interchange Canada Reporting Portal. This should be done when the agreement is signed and within 30 days for any subsequent changes.

CPA organizations should follow Library and Archives Canada’s Standard record keeping requirements for common administrative records (for example, finance and the management of human resources). For audit purposes, assignment documentation for participants from personal corporations must be retained for 6 years after the end of the assignment (section 4.2.29 of the directive).

To ensure policy compliance and the intent of the Standard on the Administration of Interchange Canada Assignments in Appendix A.2.2 of the directive, any modifications to the official template agreements provided by the Chief Human Resources Officers (OCHRO) must be verified by the department’s legal services and Values and Ethics office. Please refer to the Toolkit for Departmental Liaison Officers (accessible only on the Government of Canada network) for instructions and templates.

Costs of hosting Interchange participants

Section 4.2.10 of the directive allows host organizations to pay for all business expenses, including costs associated with candidate interviews, business travel, formal training and relocation (section 4.2.31) while the participant is on assignment. When paying for these business expenses, CPA organizations must follow appropriate financial and procurement regulations, policies and procedures governing payments to ensure good stewardship of public funds. All business expenses are to be managed separately from the Interchange agreement and should not be included in the Interchange Letter of Agreement.

Refunds to be made to the sponsoring organization are only for costs identified in section 4.2.22 of the directive, namely, the total compensation of the participant: full salary (and any adjustments) during the assignment and employer-paid benefits, and if applicable, overtime, performance pay and bilingualism bonus. These must be specified in the Interchange Letter of Agreement according to section A., and proof may be kept in the Interchange file.

Any related questions should be directed to your departmental/agency designated Interchange liaison officers (EX / all other levels). Ensure that the departmental liaison officer’s contact information is kept up to date by notifying OCHRO of any changes.

If you have any questions about this guidance, contact the Interchange Canada Interpretation Team.

Original signed by

Mélanie Laflèche
A/Associate Assistant Deputy Minister
People and Culture Sector
Office of the Human Resources Officer

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