Renewal of the Treasury Board Classification Policy Suite


To: Heads of Human Resources

Classification in the core public administration directly affects 185,000 employees in 86 departments and agencies and translates into an annual wage bill of approximately $14B.

As you know, the existing classification policy instruments are out of date. They do not enable efficient and effective classification program management or practices. With that in mind, I am pleased to introduce the new Treasury Board Classification Policy Suite. This information bulletin will provide you with general information about the policy suite and highlights of the changes.

General - Classification Policy Suite

The new classification policy suite has been developed with the objectives of streamlining and clarifying deputy head accountabilities and harmonizing reporting requirements. It aims to improve how departments and agencies manage their day to day human resources operations by creating a foundation for sound classification decision-making through increased competency, oversight and, ultimately, it contributes to better management of the wage bill.

The new policy suite includes the:

  • Policy on Classification;
  • Directive on Classification;
  • Directive on Classification Oversight; and
  • Directive on Classification Grievances.

The new policy streamlines and clarifies the organization and classification responsibilities of all stakeholders

It changes the approach and responsibilities with regard to organization and classification training provided to managers and human resources advisors. Of particular interest is that classification accreditation will be administered centrally by OCHRO.

It also introduces a new approach to classification oversight, which includes monitoring, audits and reporting, which will move from an annual to a biannual cycle.

The new Policy on Classification introduces the concept of standardized job descriptions. Over the coming months the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer will work with organizations to:

  1. familiarize the human resources and management communities with the concept; and
  2. begin the work to develop standardized job descriptions.

For the time being, organizations should endeavour to reduce or keep the number of unique job descriptions to a minimum.



  • Upon successful completion of all components of the learning curriculum, classification accreditation will be administered centrally by the Treasury Board Secretariat.
  • The Treasury Board Secretariat accreditation will be portable across the core public administration.
  • An organization and classification component has been added to the mandatory training provided by the School to all core public administration managers.
  • Various learning components, such as the on-line modules, are still being finalised. We will share more detailed information about their availability and transition for the accreditation program in the coming months.


  • The new Directive on Classification Oversight replaces the Classification Monitoring Framework. It provides clear guidance for organizations. Please note that the reporting requirement is changed from annual to biennial.
  • The oversight component will be implemented in phases. We will share the implementation calendar with departments at a later date.

Classification Grievances

  • The format of committee reports has been revised to reduce the administrative burden on organizations.
  • Procedural requirements have been reviewed to align with current practices and recent jurisprudence.
  • Participation on grievance committees is restricted to employees who are unrepresented or occupy a managerial or confidential position.
  • The language has been revised to ensure compliance with the upcoming changes to the Public Service Labour Relations Act.
  • All grievances heard on or after the coming into force date of will be dealt as per the new Directive on Classification Grievances.

Communication Strategy

The Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer will inform Deputy Heads, the managers' community, and bargaining agents about the new policy suite. A presentation on the new Directive on Classification Grievances has been offered to core public administration organizations in June. The Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer will also provide on-going guidance to the core public administration organizations through their existing portfolio officers. Where required, targeted information sessions may also be offered.

All questions pertaining to this information bulletin should be directed to your Departmental Corporate Classification office, who, if required, will direct their questions to the Workforce Organization and Classification group.

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

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