Classification, Policy on

Provides deputy heads with the requirements pertaining to exercising their classification authority and to managing classification activities within their organization.
Date modified: 2015-06-19

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1. Effective date

1.1 This policy takes effect on July 1st 2015.

1.2 This policy replaces the following:

  • Classification Conversion Grievance Policy (April 25, 2002);
  • Policy on Classification Grievances (June 23, 1994), Chapter 4 of the Classification Section of the Personnel Management volume of the Treasury Board Manual; and
  • Policy on the Classification System and Delegation of Authority (July 23, 2004).

2. Application

2.1 This policy applies to the core public administration (CPA) as defined in section 11 of the Financial Administration Act, unless excluded through specific acts, regulations or orders-in- council.

2.2 Only sections 5.2.9, 6.1.1.2, 6.1.1.3, 6.1.3.1, 6.1.3.2, 6.1.3.3, 6.2.1 and 6.2.6 of this policy and the Directive on Classification Grievances apply to positions within the Executive (EX) group in the core public administration.

2.3 This policy does not apply to members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

2.4 The provisions in sections 7.2.1, 7.3.2, 8.1 and 8.2 relating to the role of the Treasury Board Secretariat in monitoring compliance and directing measures to be taken in response to non-compliance do not apply with respect to the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and the Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner. The deputy heads of these organizations are solely responsible for monitoring and ensuring compliance with this policy within their organizations, as well as for responding to cases of non-compliance in accordance with any Treasury Board instruments providing principles and guidance on the management of compliance.

3. Context

3.1 This policy is issued pursuant to sections 7 and 11.1 of the Financial Administration Act.

3.2 The Treasury Board, in its capacity as employer, has broad responsibilities for people management and leadership excellence, including supporting the associated infrastructure and ensuring an appropriate degree of consistency in people management across the CPA. The Classification Program is an integral component of the broader CPA people management agenda, namely as it contributes directly to well managed organizations.

3.3 The Classification Program establishes the principles for the sound organization and measurement of work in the CPA; supports the creation of a hierarchy of work to which compensation can be mapped; provides a policy framework, direction and tools to foster the prudent management of the wage bill through appropriate classification decisions and classification relativity across the CPA.

3.4 The Treasury Board authorises deputy heads to classify positions in their organizations in accordance with the requirements set out in this policy and related instruments.

3.5 Deputy heads may sub-delegate their classification authority to employees (managers trained in classification and/or accredited human resources advisors) in their organizations.

3.6 This policy seeks to provide deputy heads with the requirements related to the exercise of their classification authority and to the management of classification activities within their organization.

3.7 This policy should be read in conjunction with the Policy Framework for the Management of Compensation and the Policy Framework for People Management.

3.8 In exceptional circumstances, the deputy head may direct a specific classification decision.

3.9 Additional mandatory requirements are set out in the following documents:

  • Directive on Classification;
  • Directive on Classification Grievances;
  • Directive on Classification Oversight;
  • Guide to Allocating Positions using the 1999 Occupational Group Definitions;
  • Job Evaluation Standards (Classification Standards);
  • Occupational Group Definitions; and
  • Table of Concordance.

4. Definitions

Definitions to be used in the interpretation of this policy are in Appendix A.

5. Policy statement

5.1 Objective

This policy:

5.1.1 Supports the equitable, consistent and effective establishment of the relative value of work in the CPA and ensure that jobs are classified appropriately, in accordance with the relevant occupational group definitions and job evaluation standards (classification standards);

5.1.2 Supports the sound management of classification activities in organizations across the CPA;

5.1.3 Supports the equitable evaluation of work performed by both genders; and

5.1.4 Ensures the accountability of all those involved in classification decisions and activities.

5.2 Expected results

5.2.1 The prudent management of the wage bill through appropriate classification decisions while ensuring the integrity of the Classification Program.

5.2.2 Positions within the CPA are classified at the appropriate occupational group, sub-group (if applicable) and level, within their organizational context.

5.2.3 Classification decisions and activities comply with the requirements set out in this policy.

5.2.4 Classification sub-delegation is properly defined and exercised.

5.2.5 Efficient and cost effective organizational structures support business requirements and mandates in organizations.

5.2.6 Classification relativity is sound and maintained, i.e. identical work is classified at the same occupational group, sub-group (if applicable) and level across the CPA and within organizations.

5.2.7 Departmental and interdepartmental standardized job descriptions are implemented wherever possible, and applied appropriately; unique job descriptions are used on an exceptional basis.

5.2.8 Organization and classification competence is acquired through training linked to the responsibilities and/or authority sub- delegated to managers and human resources (HR) advisors.

5.2.9 Classification grievances are dealt with in accordance with the Directive on Classification Grievances.

5.2.10 Deputy head directed decisions are taken on an exceptional basis. They may not be taken to resolve a classification grievance.

6. Requirements

6.1 Deputy heads are accountable for

All classification activities and decisions made within their organization.

6.1.1 Sub-delegation

6.1.1.1 Sub-delegating the authority to make classification decisions to employees (managers trained in classification and/or accredited HR advisors) within their organization in accordance with this policy;

6.1.1.2 Sub-delegating classification grievance authority in accordance with the Directive on Classification Grievances; and

6.1.1.3 Ensuring that the exercise of sub-delegated classification authority complies with this policy and related instruments.

6.1.2 Classification Program within their organization

6.1.2.1 Organizing their classification program to best meet their business needs;

6.1.2.2 Contributing to the integrity of the CPA Classification Program through appropriate classification decisions;

6.1.2.3 Ensuring that positions within their organization are classified in accordance with this policy and related instruments;

6.1.2.4 Ensuring that organizational structures support the mandate and business requirements of the organization;

6.1.2.5 Ensuring that inter-departmental standardized job descriptions are implemented wherever possible;

6.1.2.6 Ensuring that standardized job descriptions for jobs exclusive to their organization are developed and implemented wherever possible and that unique job descriptions are used on an exceptional basis; and

6.1.2.7 Ensuring that the Chief Human Resources Officer is consulted prior to authorizing any classification decision that may have a significant impact on interdepartmental relativity or result in a significant increase of salary expenditures.

6.1.2.8 Deputy head directed decisions are documented and may be used for present incumbent only.

6.1.3 Classification Grievances

6.1.3.1 Ensuring that classification grievances are dealt with in accordance with the Directive on Classification Grievances;

6.1.3.2 Issuing final and binding classification grievance decisions for all classification levels and responding to grievors in writing, except when they have authorized the classification decision; and

6.1.3.3 Ensuring that final and binding classification grievance decisions are implemented in the organization.

6.1.4 Classification Oversight

6.1.4.1 Ensuring the effective management and control of their classification program through the fulfillment of oversight responsibilities;

6.1.4.2 Authorizing organizational audit and biennial monitoring reports to the Chief Human Resources Officer; and

6.1.4.3 Taking action and ensuring that appropriate corrective actions are taken to address issues of non-compliance with this policy and related instruments.

6.2 The Chief Human Resources Officer is accountable for

6.2.1 Developing and maintaining the CPA-wide Classification Program including the occupational group structure, policies and related instruments, classification grievance procedure and requirements, job evaluation standards, tools, learning and oversight;

6.2.2 Ensuring the integrity and oversight of the Classification Program across the CPA;

6.2.3 Issuing classification accreditation, via the Canada School of the Public Service, to participants who have successfully completed the Organization and Classification Learning Curriculum requirements;

6.2.4 Directing organizations to take specific actions to avoid or correct classification anomalies and imposing consequences in cases of non-compliance as required;

6.2.5 Developing and maintaining central classification information management systems; and

6.2.6 Issuing final and binding classification grievance decisions and responding to grievors in writing for all positions where the classification decision was authorized by the deputy head of another organization.

6.3 The Secretary of the Treasury Board is responsible for

6.3.1 Approving technical amendments to this policy and related instruments; and

6.3.2 Approving updates to job evaluation standards and occupational group definitions that neither entail a classification conversion, nor require additional funding.

7. Monitoring and reporting requirements

7.1 Within organizations

7.1.1 Deputy heads are responsible for ensuring compliance with this policy and related instruments within their organization.

7.2 By organizations

Deputy heads are responsible for

7.2.1 Providing the Chief Human Resources Officer with a biennial classification monitoring report and, as required, any other information considered necessary for assessing compliance with classification policy instruments and evaluating the organization’s classification practices or any other purpose;

7.2.2 Notifying the Chief Human Resources Officer of significant concerns in relation to the Classification Program, as they arise.

7.3 Government-wide

The Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer is responsible for

7.3.1 Assessing the effective management and control of the Classification Program across the CPA;

7.3.2 Providing feedback and direction to organizations on the result of departmental monitoring and audits as well as audits conducted by the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer; and

7.3.3 Reviewing this policy and its effectiveness at the five-year mark of its implementation.

8. Consequences

8.1 In cases of non-compliance with the Policy on Classification and related instruments, the Chief Human Resources Officer may direct deputy heads to take appropriate corrective actions to address issues or may impose any other measures deemed appropriate.

8.2 These measures may include recommendations by the Chief Human Resources Officer to the Treasury Board to add conditions to, modify or revoke the classification authority of deputy heads. A range of consequences of non-compliance can be found in the Directive on Classification Oversight.

9. References

9.1 Related policy Instruments and publications

  • Canadian Human Rights Act;
  • Directive on Executive Group Organization and Classification;
  • Financial Administration Act;
  • Foundation Framework for Treasury Board Policies;
  • Framework for the Management of Compliance;
  • Organization and Classification Learning Curriculum;
  • Policy Framework for People Management;
  • Policy Framework for the Management of Compensation;
  • Policy on the Management of Executives;
  • Policy on Official Languages;
  • Public Service Employment Act;
  • Public Service Labour Relations Act;
  • Public Service Labour Relations Regulations; and
  • Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector.

10. Enquiries

Please direct enquiries about this policy to your departmental corporate human resources office. For advice about the application of this directive, departmental corporate human resources representatives should contact:

Workforce Organization & Classification
Compensation and Labour Relations Sector
Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer
Treasury Board Secretariat


Appendix A

Definitions

accountability
The obligation of an individual or an organization to account for its activities and the associated consequences.
audit
An objective and systematic examination of activities that provides an independent assessment of the performance and management of those activities.
authority
The power to make decisions or take actions
bench-mark
A description of duties and responsibilities illustrating the application of the job evaluation standard.
biennial
Every two years.
classification accreditation
Attestation that classification trainees have successfully completed all requirements of the Organization and Classification Learning Curriculum.
classification conversion
A change made in the method of establishing the relative value of work for an occupational group. It is based on one or more of the following conditions: the introduction of a different method of evaluating work; the replacement of a job evaluation standard by another job evaluation standard; the addition, deletion or substitution of one or more of the evaluation factors or elements significantly affecting the structure of a job evaluation standard; or the combination or restructuring of previously existing occupational groups in the CPA. The Chief Human Resources Officer must declare such a change to be a classification conversion. A classification conversion is not a reclassification.
classification decision
An establishment or confirmation of the occupational group, sub-group (if applicable), level or ratings assigned to a job, which must be made by an employee exercising delegated/sub-delegated classification authority.
classification authority
The power to authorize classification decisions.
classification grievance
A written complaint by an employee against the classification of the work assigned by the responsible manager to the position the grievor occupies and described in the job description. A classification grievance does not involve issues related to the job content or effective date of the job description.
classification program
The infrastructure for the effective management and control of the classification of jobs or positions in the core public administration. It includes policies and related instruments, job evaluation standards, occupational groups, job descriptions, job evaluations, learning, oversight, as well as recourse mechanisms. The program ensures the determination of the relative value of work and provides a basis for employee compensation in the core public administration.
deputy head
Has the same meaning as set out in s. 11(1)(a) and (b) of the Financial Administration Act.
early warning system
A system involving a set of monitoring arrangements, based on indicators supplied by the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer and designed to identify potential issues as they arise.
human resources (HR) advisor
For the purpose of the classification policy instruments, the term HR advisor refers to HR advisors working in organization and classification.
job
A collection of duties assigned by management and performed by one or more employees.
job description
A document approved by the responsible manager, which describes the work requirements of a position or a job. A job description contains all the information needed to evaluate the work using the appropriate job evaluation standard.
job evaluation (classification evaluation)
The process of assessing work against a job evaluation standard to determine the relative value of work, based on the work requirements described in the job description and the organizational context/environment.
job evaluation standard (classification standard)
An instrument that describes the factors, elements and other criteria used to establish the relative value of work for an occupational group.
key activity / Duty
The main duties and responsibilities assigned to a job, which may be composed of several related tasks.
level
A numerical indicator of the relevant ranking of a position within its occupational group according to its value which has been established in accordance with the appropriate job evaluation standard.
monitoring
The activity whereby programs, operations and outcomes are continuously reviewed to assess their effectiveness.
occupational group
A series of jobs or occupations related in broad terms by the nature of the functions performed.
occupational group structure
With regard to the CPA, means the occupational groups defined by the Treasury Board.
organizations
Refers to the organizations named in Schedule I and the other portions of the federal public administration named in Schedule IV of the Financial Administration Act.
organizational structure/organizational chart
The hierarchical arrangement of work and lines of authority of an organization to support the achievement of departmental business objectives. The organizational structure is often depicted graphically in an organizational chart.
oversight
Review of the Classification Program to safeguard its integrity across the CPA. Oversight includes monitoring, studies, reporting and audits.
performance indicators
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of evaluating the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative in light of expected results over time.
position
A specific set of duties and responsibilities assigned to an individual employee and described in the job description. An employee is appointed to a position and the position is linked to a specific job. There can be more than one position linked to a job. Each position has its own identifying number (position number) in the human resources information management systems.
rationale
A document substantiating a classification decision as a result of a detailed analysis and evaluation of duties using the appropriate job evaluation standard.
reclassification
A reclassification occurs when there is a change in the occupational group, sub-group and/or level of an existing job within the CPA in accordance with the employer's classification program. For greater certainty, a reclassification is not a classification conversion.
responsibility
The work, function or activities assigned to an organization, unit or individual.
standardized job description
Document that describes the work assigned to a job classified at a specific occupational group and level, which is common across a number of work units, regions or organizations.
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