Rescinded - Policy on Classification System and Delegation of Authority

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1. Effective Date

1.1 At the latest, this policy will be effective on the date on which the first collective agreement with a new pay structure for an occupational group undergoing a classification conversion is signed. The Treasury Board Secretariat will send written notification to departments of the signature of the first such collective agreement. At the earliest, this policy will be effective on the date on which the policy guidelines are issued.

1.2 This policy replaces the policy set out in Chapter 1 "Classification System", Chapter 2 "Classification Delegation" and Chapter 3 "Classification - Training and accreditation" of the Classification Section of the Personnel Management volume of the Treasury Board Manual.

2. Definitions

2.1 To ensure consistency in the use of terminology, certain terms used in this policy are defined below:

Classification conversion (conversion de la classification)

a change made in the method of establishing the relative value of work for an occupational group with a resultant new pay structure. It is based on one or more of the following conditions:

  • the introduction of a different method of evaluating work;
  • the replacement of a classification standard by another standard;
  • the addition, deletion or substitution of one or more of the evaluation factors or elements significantly affecting the structure of a classification standard; or
  • the combination or restructuring of previously existing occupational groups.

The Secretary of the Treasury Board must declare such a change to be a classification conversion.

A classification conversion is not a reclassification and does not require a staffing action.

Classification committee (comité de classification)
a group of at least three persons authorized by their respective departments to evaluate work. The committee should have knowledge about the work being evaluated and the organization in which the work occurs. Where practicable, classification committees should be composed of both men and women.
Classification standard (norme de classification)
a document that describes the factors, elements, and other criteria used to establish the relative value of work for an occupational group.
Classification system (système de classification)
the infrastructure for the effective management and control of the classification of positions in the Public Service, including policies, guidelines, classification standards, occupational groups, work descriptions, job evaluations, active monitoring, and grievance mechanisms. The system ensures the determination of the relative value of work and provides a basis for employee compensation in the Public Service.
Department (ministère)
a department or other portion of the Public Service of Canada listed in Part I of Schedule I to the Public Service Staff Relations Act.
Deputy Head (administrateur général/administratrice générale)
the deputy head or the chief executive officer of a department.
Evaluation (évaluation)
the process of assessing work against a classification standard; it determines the relative value of work, based on the work requirements.
Human resources/classification advisor (conseiller/conseillère en ressources humaines/classification)
an employee who provides organization and classification advice to managers and, where so authorized, is considered by the Deputy Head to have met all the requirements of the Treasury Board Secretariat to make classification decisions (see sections 6.9 and 6.10).
Job (emploi)
a unique position, or a number of positions that are similar or identical and whose work is described by one work description.
Level (niveau)
a numerical indicator of the relevant ranking of a position within its occupational group according to its value as established by its evaluation using the appropriate classification standard.
Occupational group (groupe professionnel)
a series of jobs or occupations related in broad terms by the nature of the functions performed.
Position (poste)
the work requirements assigned by the respective manager that can be performed by one person.
Update/evergreening (mise à jour)
a periodic classification standard amendment to reflect the evolving environment of the Public Service and to maintain the standard's relevancy, currency and relativity of application.
Work description (description de travail)
a document approved by the respective manager that describes the work requirements of a position or a job. A work description contains all the information that the appropriate classification standard requires for its evaluation.

3. Policy Objectives

3.1 To ensure that the classification system described in this policy establishes the relative value of all work in the Public Service in an equitable, consistent, efficient and effective manner, and provides a basis for the compensation of Public Service employees.

3.2 To authorize Deputy Heads to classify positions in their respective departments in accordance with this Treasury Board policy, the appropriate classification standard, and the guidelines developed and issued by the Treasury Board Secretariat.

4. Policy Statement

4.1 It is the policy of the Treasury Board to provide a classification system by which all work can be evaluated to determine its relative value.

4.2 The characteristics of the system are that it:

4.2.1 specifies and defines occupational groups;

4.2.2 recognizes the relative value of work and resulting internal relativity requirements by which each position within an occupational group can be appropriately placed relative to others; and

4.2.3 provides a framework for establishing the compensation structure.

4.3 Classification standards shall determine the relative value of work. The Treasury Board Secretariat shall develop and issue guidelines with respect to the management and monitoring of the classification system and the implementation of this policy.

4.4 Deputy Heads shall make classification decisions that are consistent with this policy, the classification standard that applies to a particular occupational group, and the guidelines developed and issued by the Treasury Board Secretariat.

4.5 Deputy Heads shall make classification decisions for all occupational groups and levels within their respective departments unless otherwise stated in the following Treasury Board policies: the "Classification of Executive Group Positions policy", the "Career Assignment Program Policy", and the "Management Trainee Program Policy", all of which are found on the Treasury Board Secretariat Web site.

4.6 Deputy Heads may authorize:

4.6.1 managers in their respective departments to make classification decisions; or

4.6.2 human resources advisors in their respective departments or in another department to make classification decisions; or

4.6.3 both managers referred to in section 4.6.1 and human resources advisors referred to in section 4.6.2 to make classification decisions.

5. Application

5.1 This policy applies to all departments and other portions of the Public Service listed in Part I of Schedule I of the Public Service Staff Relations Act.

6. Policy Requirements

6.1 The level of each position shall be established by the evaluation of the work description for that position through the use of the appropriate classification standard as determined by the relevant occupational group definition for that standard.

6.2 The Treasury Board Secretariat shall develop, publish, review and update classification standards (evergreening) as required in consultation with departments and other stakeholders.

6.3 The Treasury Board shall approve the Treasury Board classification standards (factors, elements, degrees, weights and levels). The Secretary of the Treasury Board may approve updates to classification standards that do not entail a classification conversion or require additional funding.

6.4 The Treasury Board Secretariat shall develop and issue guidelines for work description writing and evaluation, and related matters pertaining to classification. If there is a discrepancy or contradiction between such guidelines and the current version of the appropriate classification standard, the current version of the appropriate classification standard shall take precedence.

6.5 Deputy Heads are authorized to make classification decisions in accordance with this Treasury Board policy, the appropriate classification standard, and the guidelines developed and issued by the Treasury Board Secretariat. In so doing, Deputy Heads shall:

6.5.1 establish appropriate measures for ensuring the effective management of the classification system and ensure its effective control within their departments through monitoring, review, and internal audit including the taking of corrective action as specified in the Monitoring section of this policy;

6.5.2 ensure that managers and human resources advisors understand and apply the classification system in accordance with the conditions for exercising classification authority specified in sections 6.8, 6.9, and 6.10 of this policy;

6.5.3 consult with the Treasury Board Secretariat prior to authorizing any classification decision that may have a significant impact on interdepartmental relativity, have collective bargaining implications, or result in a significant increase of salary expenditures;

6.5.4 establish a process to effectively handle situations within the department where there is an impasse in classification determination due to disagreements between or among classification advisors, classification committees, and managers;

6.5.5 seek to resolve anomalies in the classification of positions similar or identical to those in another department or other departments by bilateral or multilateral consultation with the other department or departments in question; and

6.5.6 bring any disagreement in the resolution of anomalies with other departments to the Treasury Board Secretariat, which will obtain relevant information and will facilitate a resolution among the departments.

6.6 In exercising classification authority, Deputy Heads shall promote classification competence in their managers, by ensuring that all managers:

6.6.1 understand the classification system including the classification standards and the allocation of positions to occupational groups;

6.6.2 ensure that work descriptions in their area of responsibility reflect the work being assigned to and performed by their employees within the organizational structure and have a reasonable and defensible effective date; and

6.6.3 when participating in evaluation committees, apply the classification standards consistently and appropriately in accordance with the appropriate guidelines.

6.7 Deputy Heads may authorize managers and human resources advisors in their respective departments or human resources advisors in another department to exercise classification authority where they determine that such employees meet the conditions specified in section 6.5.2 of this policy, and follow the requirements of this policy.

6.8 Deputy Heads shall ensure that managers who are authorized to exercise classification authority:

6.8.1 have access to and seek the advice of human resources advisors as required;

6.8.2 design organizational structures and jobs that effectively complement departmental business objectives and corporate culture;

6.8.3 apply the concepts and goals of work description writing and evaluation, the classification standards, occupational group allocation and related criteria and practices;

6.8.4 consider intra and inter-departmental relativities; and

6.8.5 ensure that the ratings and the occupational group allocations are appropriate within the organizational structure of the department and in accordance with this policy.

6.9 Before a Deputy Head authorizes a human resources advisor to exercise classification authority, the Deputy Head shall ensure that the human resources advisor has demonstrated effectiveness in:

6.9.1 providing advice and guidance in response to the concerns and perspectives of managers, and recommending options and solutions to them;

6.9.2 relating classification goals and objectives and organizational issues and structures to the departmental business objectives and corporate culture;

6.9.3 applying the concepts and goals of work description writing and evaluation, the classification standards, occupational group allocation and related criteria and practices, and dealing with issues concerning the classification system;

6.9.4 identifying intra and inter-departmental relativities and reporting any trends and anomalies; and

6.9.5 ensuring that the ratings and the occupational group allocations are appropriate within the organizational structure of the department and in accordance with this policy.

6.10 Human resources advisors who are authorized by their Deputy Head to classify positions using a classification standard that was approved prior to the effective date of this policy shall be accredited by the department using the following criteria:

6.10.1 successful completion of an introductory course in organization and classification approved by the Treasury Board Secretariat and a subsequent articling period of not less than six months OR the provision of evidence of an equivalent combination of training and experience; and

6.10.2 demonstrated knowledge of departmental organization and program structures to provide effective advice and assistance in the achievement of departmental objectives in job evaluation.

6.11 When the Treasury Board Secretariat determines that a Deputy Head has not fulfilled the terms and conditions of classification authority, the Secretary of the Treasury Board may report to the Treasury Board and may recommend that the Treasury Board modify or revoke the classification authority.

7. Monitoring

7.1 The Treasury Board Secretariat shall maintain central classification information systems, establish performance indicators, and carry out audit, evaluation as well as other measures to monitor and assess the manner in which a Deputy Head makes classification decisions by:

7.1.1 monitoring the effectiveness of the classification system and the manner in which it is implemented;

7.1.2 ensuring the integrity of the classification system;

7.1.3 identifying areas of strength and weakness in the classification system and its administration including unacceptable risks; and

7.1.4 assisting departments in the improvement of the classification system by ensuring that best practices are shared and that remedies and follow-through are appropriate.

7.2 If a Deputy Head does not take timely and appropriate corrective action, the Secretary of the Treasury Board may direct the Deputy Head to correct cases of misclassification.

7.3 Deputy Heads shall:

7.3.1 establish management practices to ensure the integrity of the classification system;

7.3.2 provide input for classification standard review and update by the Treasury Board Secretariat;

7.3.3 provide timely input to the classification information system of the Treasury Board Secretariat;

7.3.4 promptly identify conditions that could lead to a failure of the control system and take early and effective remedial action;

7.3.5 provide early notification of significant management concerns in relation to the classification system to the Treasury Board Secretariat;

7.3.6 prepare internal departmental audit reports on the management and administration of the classification system and provide them in a timely manner with electronic copies in both official languages to the Treasury Board Secretariat; and

7.3.7 prepare internal departmental monitoring reports on the management and administration of the classification system and provide them to the Treasury Board Secretariat upon request.

7.4 The Treasury Board Secretariat shall establish an evaluation framework and shall evaluate and review this policy within five years.

8. References

9. Enquiries

9.1 For an interpretation of a specific provision of this policy, departmental human resources headquarters staff should direct their questions to:

Human Resources Management Modernization
Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada
300 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0R5
Facsimile: 613 952-8100

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