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Directive on Executive Compensation - Executive Group Special Deployments

For Use by Human Resources Advisors Responsible for the EX Cadre

The Policy on the Management of Executives ensures that there is a consistent approach to managing executives across the public service. One of the directives referenced in this policy is the Directive on Executive Compensation. This fact sheet provides an overview of the directive that is related to the special deployment of executives.

Please consult “Appendix E—Special Deployment for Executives” of the Directive on Executive Compensation for more details on the provisions listed below.


  • EX SD provisions apply exclusively to employees appointed indeterminately to positions in the Executive (EX) group.


  • EX SDs give deputy heads the flexibility to accommodate temporary operational requirements by quickly deploying executives to duties that have not been classified for a temporary period of time while paying them at their substantive salary.
  • EX SDs are made in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act.


  • EX SDs and extensions of EX SDs for executives are authorized by the deputy head. This authority cannot be sub-delegated.

Consent to Executive Group Special Deployment

  • EX-01 to EX-03 levels: The consent of the executive is required in accordance with section 51 (6) of the Public Service Employment Act.
  • EX-04 and EX-05 levels: For executives in positions at these substantive levels, consent to being deployed is not required if the executive has agreed to being deployed as a condition of employment in his or her current position in accordance with the Directive on Executive Compensation.

Executive Group Special Deployment Situations

  • EX SDs may be used to deploy executives to meet the following temporary operational requirements:
    • Special projects (other than pre-retirement)—To conduct or participate in a temporary project that is not part of the usual functions of the department;
    • Training or development—To increase the knowledge and skill of executives for the future advantage of the executive and the core public administration;
    • Knowledge transfer (other than pre-retirement)—To facilitate the sharing of program context, history and guidance; and
    • Pre-retirement—To permit executives who are approaching retirement to apply their knowledge of the department’s objectives, programs, and procedures in a managerial or advisory role and to share their knowledge and experience to assist new executives or their replacement.

Executive Group Special Deployment Duration

  • An EX SD is initially for a period of up to two years. In exceptional cases, deputy heads can extend the EX SD by up to one additional year for a maximum of three years in total. This authority cannot be sub-delegated.

Conclusion of Executive Group Special Deployment Assignment

  • Due to the temporary nature of EX SDs, the intent (except in the cases of pre-retirement) is that the executive’s employment will continue.
  • The executive’s indeterminate status is protected during the period he or she is on an EX SD. Departments must plan ahead and cannot declare the executive surplus at the conclusion of the EX SD.

Letter of Offer

  • The department provides the employee with a letter of offer detailing the following:
    • the work requirements, location, duration, and conditions of the EX SD;
    • a statement that the executive’s indeterminate status will be protected for the duration of the EX SD;
    • the department’s commitment to deploy or appoint the executive to another position at the executive’s group and level at the end of the EX SD, except where the executive is to retire;
    • with the exception of a pre-retirement EX SD, the executive’s consent to be deployed or appointed to a classified position at his or her substantive group and level at the end of the EX SD if that option is presented; and
    • the executive’s treatment under the Performance Management Program during the period of the EX SD.
  • An executive who accepts a pre-retirement EX SD must submit, with the signed letter of offer, a signed letter of resignation effective immediately after the EX SD.

Modifications and Interruptions

  • EX SDs may be modified or extended.
  • If an EX SD is interrupted for an extended period of time, for example, for sick leave, and the duties are still required upon the return of the employee, the period of the deployment may be extended.

Departmental EX SD Quotas

  • The basic departmental quota is as follows:
Total Number of Active EX Positions in Department or Agency EX Special Deployment Quota (maximum allowable number of EX SDs at any one time
1 to 5 1
6 to 24 2
25 to 49 4
50 to 99 5
100 to 149 7
150 to 199 8
200 and above 10
  • Supplementary quota—A supplementary quota can be established for a specified period to help departments meet unusual or temporary needs. Deputy heads must submit a rationale that substantiates their request for this supplementary quota to the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO) for approval.

Performance Management Program

  • Executives on EX SD are not normally eligible for lump sum performance awards. However, if an EX SD is of such scope and complexity as to warrant it, deputy heads may wish to consider eligibility for lump sum performance awards based on achievement of commitments. Additional information can be found in the Directive on the Performance Management Program (PMP) for Executives.

Use of Assistant Deputy Minister or Assistant Deputy Head Titles

  • Normally, assistant deputy minister (ADM) or other assistant deputy head titles are used only for classified positions in accordance with the Directive on Executive (EX) Group Organization and Classification. However, if an executive is placed on an EX SD and is already an ADM by virtue of having been appointed to an EX-04 or EX-05 ADM or other assistant deputy head position, the ADM title may continue to be used.

Language Requirements

  • All EX SDs must be made in accordance with Treasury Board’s Directive on the Staffing of Bilingual Positions and the Official Languages Act.

Monitoring and Reporting

  • Departments establish individual records for each EX SD and provide these records to OCHRO upon request. The records must include the following:
    • identification of the executive, including his or her substantive level;
    • the reason for the special deployment;
    • the start and end date of the special deployment and any extensions; and
    • evidence that the executive was appointed or deployed to a classified position at the end of the deployment, or that the executive is retired at the end of the EX SD.
  • Departments provide a snapshot of quota utilization to OCHRO as of March 31 of each year by May 15 using the following table:
  • Department or Agency:
  • Number of Active EX Positions:
  • Name of Executive:
  • Group and Level:
  • Title:
  • Start Date:
  • End Date:
  • Reason:
  • Reasons:
    • Special project
    • Training
    • Knowledge transfer
    • Pre-retirement

For further information on EX SDs, contact the Executive Management Policy Branch, OCHRO, by email.

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