Interpretation related to the allocation of positions to the FS occupational group


To: Heads of Human Resources

Cc: Chiefs of Classification;
Chiefs of Labour Relations;
Chiefs of Staffing

The Treasury Board amended the Foreign Service (FS) occupational group definition to include emergency management and consular work. This change took effect with the classification conversion of .

The purpose of this bulletin is to clarify the circumstances under which work performed in Canada and which has an international component meets the FS occupational group definition.


Classification advisors and managers with classification authority sub-delegated to them by their deputy head are expected to comply with the information and direction contained in this bulletin and to take corrective action as necessary.

This bulletin is effective and replaces previous interpretations on the subject.

FS group definition

The FS occupational group captures internationally focused positions located primarily at the Department of Global Affairs Canada and at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

The FS group definition consists of three parts:

  • a general definition of the work for the FS group;
  • a list of functions called inclusions, which apply to this group; and
  • a list of functions called exclusions, which do not apply to this group and meet the definition of another group.

The general definition states that the group includes positions that are:

  • primarily involved in the planning, development, delivery and promotion of Canada's diplomatic, commercial, human rights, cultural, promotional, consular and international development policies and interests in other countries and in international organizations; and
  • part of the career rotational foreign service.

To allocate a position to the FS group, all of the following requirements must be met:

  1. the definition of the FS group applies;
  2. the position is part of the career rotational foreign service; and
  3. the work must not be listed in any of the exclusion statements or in the definition and inclusion statements of any other occupational group.


For clarification purposes, FS work will include jobs that are part of the career rotational foreign service and:

  1. represent or promote Canada’s interests in other countries or international organizations; and
  2. are engaged within the international context, including relevant legislation, and political, economic and socio-cultural conditions that impact the Government's ability to achieve its mandate.

Types of work included in the FS group definition

The following are examples of types of work that meet the FS group definition and for which the positions are part of the career rotational foreign service.

  • Design, validation and integration of an international-region engagement strategy to promote foreign direct investment in Canada;
  • Negotiating and advising on chapters of an international trade agreement;
  • Responsibility for a foreign country-desk made up of several officers, which consolidates and analyzes political and economic reports from programs at missions and other foreign stakeholders for dissemination to Global Affairs Canada and partners in Canada and abroad, Privy Council Office and the Prime Minister's Office;
  • Provision of advice to Global Affairs Canada on questions of international law, diplomatic and sovereign immunities, including the wording and interpretation of international treaties to which Canada is or will become a signatory;
  • Design and management of a public diplomacy program for an international region which will be implemented by Canada's missions abroad; or
  • Responsibility for providing advice, management and coordination of Canada's response to an international man-made or natural crisis.

Types of work excluded from the FS group

The following are examples of the types of work that do not meet the FS group definition.

  • Responsibility for the staffing of the career rotational foreign service or interpreting the terms and conditions of employment of the FS collective agreement. These positions should be allocated to the PE group;
  • Managing the plans and contracting for property or security projects to be implemented at Canadian missions abroad. These positions should be allocated to the PG or AS group; or
  • Monitoring and reporting on monetary policy of foreign central banks or economic situations in other countries and the position is not part of the career rotational foreign service program. These positions should be allocated to the EC group.


All questions pertaining to this interpretation bulletin should be directed to your Departmental Corporate Classification, who, if required, will direct their questions to the Workforce Organization and Classification Group in the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer.

Manon Brassard
Assistant Deputy Minister
Compensation and Labour Relations
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

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