Targeted Audit of the Assignment Process

Executive summary

The objective of this targeted audit was to provide assurance that governance and controls over assignment and acting staffing processes have been established and are working effectively to meet the needs of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).

The scope of the audit focused on reviewing assignment and acting staffing processes and related staffing policies, procedures and practices from the most recent 12-month period, covering August 1, 2019, to August 31, 2020. Where applicable, more recent policies and processes were considered to ensure that audit findings and recommendations reflected current practice.

Why this is important

The CNSC’s regulatory effectiveness depends on having the necessary talent in place to carry out its mandate. Both acting and assignment staffing activities are used to fill an immediate need in specific circumstances, such as a short-term project or backfilling a temporary vacancy from an employee on leave, training or assignment.

A flexible, effective, fair and transparent staffing framework provides greater opportunities for management to customize its approaches to staffing, while supporting the goal of attracting and retaining talented people with modern skills in a timely fashion.

Key findings

The audit found that, overall, human resources (HR) policies and processes for the staffing of assignment and acting opportunities have been established and maintained. A file review showed that, on the whole, staffing process documentation is complete and consistent. Recent Executive Committee (EC) decisions to be involved with staffing processes across the CNSC have caused some confusion regarding the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities within the staffing process, as the current process is no longer aligned with documentation, such as the CNSC Staffing Policy and chart of delegated authorities.

The recourse section within the CNSC Staffing Policy appears to not always be well known or understood by managers and employees, who may have questions or concerns, nor is it consistently communicated to candidates throughout the staffing process.

The Human Resources Directorate (HRD) provides support to sub-delegated managers in the form of advice and tools. In addition, hiring managers receive formal and informal training to support them in exercising their delegated authorities.

The Internal Audit Division (IAD) was unable to find evidence to conclude on whether monitoring activities are conducted consistently, with action plans developed as a result. HRD aims to conduct peer reviews on a quarterly basis, however this is not a formally established process.

The audit includes three recommendations aimed at addressing the above-noted areas for improvement.

Management agrees with the recommendations, and its responses demonstrate its commitment to taking action.

1. BACKGROUND

The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment; to implement Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy; and to disseminate objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public.

As a separate agency, the CNSC has the authority to establish its own staffing framework and recruitment strategies, and the CNSC’s President may delegate the power to appoint employees to CNSC managers.

The CNSC’s regulatory effectiveness depends on having the necessary talent in place to carry out its mandate. The nature of the work performed by employees is multifaceted and complex. In order to ensure that the CNSC has the right talent at the right time to support its mandate, HRD has developed the CNSC Staffing Policy, which aims to position the CNSC to “effectively acquire and retain the talent it needs in an environment of increased competition for highly skilled resources”.

The CNSC Staffing Policy outlines a number of options for talent acquisition, including the use of assignment and acting staffing processes. Assignments are defined in the CNSC Staffing Policy as “the temporary movement of an employee within the organization to perform the duties of another position or to take on a special project. The employee continues to be paid against their substantive position.” Acting opportunities are similar in nature, but are defined as the “temporary assignment of an employee who is substantially performing the duties of a position at a higher level for a specified period, with a start and end date.” The CNSC has identified two main categories of acting processes for the purposes of determining specific eligibility requirements: less than six months and six months or more. Specific requirements have to be met depending on the duration of the acting appointment.

Both assignment and acting processes are used to address an immediate need in specific circumstances, such as a short-term project or backfilling a temporary vacancy from an employee on leave, training or assignment.

According to the HR data provided as part of this audit, from August 1, 2019, to August 31, 2020, there were a total of 566 staffing processes (including, but not limited to, acting and assignment processes). Complementing this figure, the HR Annual Dashboard indicates that 16% of the workforce was either acting or on assignment during the 2019–20 fiscal year (see Appendix D).

2. AUTHORITY

The President requested that this audit be undertaken. The Terms of Reference were approved by the President on August 28, 2020.

3. OBJECTIVE, SCOPE AND APPROACH

The objective of the targeted audit was to provide assurance that governance and controls over assignment and acting staffing processes have been established and are working effectively to meet the needs of the CNSC.

The audit lines of inquiry and criteria are set out in detail in Appendix A.

The scope of this targeted audit included all information on the governance and controls related to closed assignment and acting files (i.e., completed, whether or not the staffing action resulted in placement of a candidate) across the CNSC. The audit scope period covered the most recent 12-month period, from August 1, 2019, to August 31, 2020. Where applicable, more recent policies and processes were considered to ensure that audit findings and recommendations reflected current practice.

The audit approach included:

  • a documentation review, including a review of the CNSC Staffing Policy and related instruments
  • benchmarking of CNSC policy instruments against the Public Service Employment Act Footnote 1 (PSEA) and related applicable instruments
  • walkthroughs of the assignment and acting staffing processes
  • interviews with HR advisors, hiring managers, NUREG representatives, senior management and other stakeholders
  • testing of a sample of assignment and acting files

The audit was conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Treasury Board’s Policy on Internal Audit and Directive on Internal Audit, which set out mandatory procedures for internal auditing in the Government of Canada.

The audit was planned and performed to obtain reasonable assurance that the audit objective would be achieved. A risk assessment was conducted during the audit’s planning phase to establish the audit criteria, which were accepted by management. The audit findings are based on a comparison of the audit criteria with the conditions at the time of the audit.

4. STATEMENT OF CONFORMANCE

This internal audit was conducted in conformance with the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.

5. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The audit team would like to acknowledge and thank management and staff for their support throughout the conduct of this audit.

6. Findings and observations

6.1 Governance

Governance is the combination of processes and structures implemented by an organization to inform, direct, manage and monitor the activities of the organization toward the achievement of its objectives. Organizations require sound governance within HR in order to ensure that the HR planning process, policies and procedures for carrying out the work, as well as accountabilities regarding the monitoring and reporting of results, all support the organization’s HR goals.

Roles and responsibilities

IAD expected to find that roles, responsibilities and accountabilities relating to the staffing of assignment and acting opportunities have been established and communicated.

HRD has developed a staffing policy, revised in 2017, that outlines roles and responsibilities related to staffing activities. An HR delegation of authorities chart has also been established and approved to provide clear guidance on authority levels required for HR actions. In addition, the roles and responsibilities have been communicated through various means, including on-the-job training and formal training, as well as policies, tools and templates on the CNSC intranet.

However, based on interviews, not all staff involved in the hiring process were clear on what their roles and responsibilities included. While HRD staff clearly understood their roles and responsibilities as they relate to the staffing process, hiring managers' understanding of their roles and responsibilities was at times limited, and they were not always fully aware of their decision-making authority. Moreover, through interviews with hiring managers, IAD found that there was a gap in understanding as to HRD’s role in staffing processes, with some interviewees believing HRD’s role was to provide strategic support, while others felt it was only to administer staffing processes and monitor for compliance with policy requirements. Interviewees felt that these two roles were not always complementary and generally saw more value in receiving strategic advice from HRD than in the more compliance-focused aspect. HRD’s role is defined in the CNSC Staffing Policy, and HRD should continue to communicate its roles and responsibilities to hiring managers to enhance their understanding.

Senior management’s role

As of August 1, 2019, all staffing and hiring actions require Vice-President (VP) level approval. This decision was made as a result of a quarterly performance report presented at the time by the Finance and Administration Directorate (FAD). FAD recommended that all staffing actions be approved at the VP level to ensure that they do not result in budget deficits.

Furthermore, an email from the EC members to the CNSC’s management cadre was circulated on October 13, 2020, outlining that changes to staffing processes were being made effective immediately to address employee concerns. As per this email, until further notice, “all non-advertised staffing processes of more than six months at the REG7 level or above, are to be tabled by the responsible VP for an EC decision.” While this directive was formally provided outside the audit scope period, interviewees noted that it appears to have been informally in place in some form prior to October and resulted in some confusion as to the approved staffing process to follow.

In addition, pursuant to subsection 12(3) of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA), the CNSC’s President may delegate the power to appoint employees to “any officer or employee of the Commission.” However, IAD has noted that a committee cannot be delegated formal decision-making authority on staffing decisions; clarification on the decision maker based on this new process may be required if the process is retained.

The EC’s membership consists of the CNSC’s President and senior management, and its authority is thus derived from the authority of the President, as Chair of the EC. Its members’ roles and responsibilities include the strategic management of the organization as a whole, including HR, and it is within their collective authorities to make decisions as and when needed to further enhance and support the achievement of the CNSC’s mandate over the long run. However, it was noted that, as per the EC’s Terms of Reference, the EC is documented as being a weekly informal round table where senior executives (VP and above) provide updates on current issues. The EC does not currently keep records of decision. Furthermore, the audit team found that the EC’s involvement in the staffing of acting and assignment opportunities is not currently documented within the staffing framework and is not being applied consistently, based on a file review (see 6.2 for the results of the file review). In addition, interviewees at both the REG and management levels expressed that there is a lack of clarity on the role of the EC as a committee and its decision-making authority in staffing acting and assignment opportunities. Throughout the interviews, it was expressed that there is a need for greater transparency and consistency in decision making among employees, hiring managers and senior management. A governance review of senior-level committee structures within the CNSC is currently ongoing to review and provide recommendations on various issues, such as the opportunities for clarification raised above.

Testing of a sample of files from within the scope period also demonstrated that senior management’s involvement in these staffing actions has been at times significantly higher than what is outlined in the CNSC HR delegation of authorities chart. Through interviews, employees shared with IAD that the new directive of having the EC participate in assignment and acting staffing actions has negatively impacted the perception of senior management’s confidence and trust in hiring managers’ decision making, as this new process is viewed as a sign that decisions made by hiring managers at the documented delegated authority levels are not dependable. Employees at all levels also felt that the frequent changes to the hiring approval process make it difficult to know what is expected of them and increased the perception that hiring decisions themselves cannot be trusted.

In addition, hiring managers pointed out that both the assignment and acting processes are designed to be used to quickly fill positions. A concern was voiced among hiring managers that a more rigorous process may make managers less likely to propose short-term assignment and acting opportunities because the additional time and reporting burden make it less desirable to do so. As a result, interviews with hiring managers and employees revealed that there may also be an impact on succession planning and employee development at all levels, as fewer employees would be given the opportunity to act in or explore other areas of the organization at different levels.

It was noted that the CNSC Staffing Policy did not yet include the EC/VP updated roles and responsibilities at the time of conduct of the audit. Moreover, neither the 2019 memo requiring VP sign-off on staffing requisitions nor the new directive on the EC’s involvement in certain staffing processes are reflected in the CNSC’s HR delegation of authorities chart. Both these changes were put in place with the intention that they would be temporary in nature, and the President, with her VPs, has the authority to make any decisions that are deemed necessary (within the CNSC statutes) to ensure and protect the CNSC’s operations, activities and resources. However, it was noted that the current version of the chart delegates these authorities to lower levels, which may cause confusion.

Recommendation 1

It is recommended that the President, through the Executive Committee, have further discussions regarding the Executive Committee’s role in the assignment and acting staffing processes, and ensure that decision making is documented as being delegated to employees and not to the Committee itself, in line with the NSCA. Once confirmed:

  • it is recommended that HRD update the delegated authorities and references within the CNSC Staffing Policy.
  • it is recommended that the President’s Office update the Executive Committee’s Terms of Reference expeditiously once the governance review of senior-level committee structures, which is currently underway, is complete.

Management response and action plan

Management agrees.

  • HRD will update the HR delegated authorities charts. Once completed, HRD will reflect the authorities section with the existing policy with the delegated authority changes.
  • The Terms of Reference of the Executive Committee are currently under review as part of the broader committee structure review, led by the President’s Office.
  • The Executive Committee’s Terms of Reference will be updated upon completion of the review to reflect the Executive Committee’s roles and responsibilities.

Target date for completion: March 31, 2021

Recourse

The CNSC Staffing Policy includes a section on recourse regarding staffing decisions (section 5.12), excerpted below:

CNSC employees can request a discussion with the hiring manager regarding a staffing decision. Should the result of the discussion be unsatisfactory, the employee can request a discussion with the supervisor of the manager responsible for the decision. Where a discussion with the supervisor of the manager does not resolve staffing-related concerns, an employee can request a discussion with the Human Resources Directorate (HRD).

Recourse applies to indeterminate appointments resulting from an advertised or a non-advertised process, as well as term and acting appointments of six months or more and mobility reassignments. The focus is on the treatment of the employee in the staffing process and not on the assessment of other candidates.

Employees can also discuss staffing issues through other mechanisms such as their union representative, the Audit and Ethics team or the Informal Conflict Management System team.

The process described in the CNSC Staffing Policy requires that candidates first speak to the hiring manager, then with the supervisor of the manager responsible for the decision and then with the Director General of HRD. In addition, the policy notes that employees can also raise staffing issues through other mechanisms, such as by consulting their union representative or using the Informal Conflict Management System.

The audit team found that the recourse section was not clear to employees who may seek guidance or recourse following a staffing process. While the recourse action is outlined in the CNSC Staffing Policy, based on interviews, it is not communicated consistently to candidates throughout the staffing process, nor is it well understood. Moreover, as stated in the policy, the recourse process is only intended for staffing actions of six months or more (where there was a full assessment of qualifications). Recourse processes are not in place for staffing actions of less than six months, which may cause further confusion.

HRD has stated that it works with the hiring manager to ensure that all internal candidates are informed before the staffing bulletin is posted to inform the organization of the successful candidate. Some employees noted in interviews that recourse is often only requested after the successful candidate is announced, significantly hampering the options

for recourse. Candidates noted that a notification of consideration,Footnote 2 similar to the process used in the core public administration, or more timely notification of who is successful/unsuccessful in a process would be beneficial.

IAD was made aware of at least two instances during the audit scope period in which staffing issues were brought up directly to the President, without first attempting the recourse process outlined in the CNSC Staffing Policy. Based on interviews with employees, the recourse process was not clearly communicated or understood by the employees in question and there was a fear of reprisal at other levels of the organization. The various avenues for recourse available to employees have also resulted in further confusion as to the appropriate recourse process to follow.

Feedback

In order to foster a culture of staff development, it is essential to provide employees with feedback once a staffing process has been closed or an employee has been deemed unsuccessful, in order to prepare them for future opportunities. Through interviews, multiple employees revealed that they were not given sufficient or timely feedback when they were deemed unsuccessful in a staffing process. A number of employees also noted that they felt they were being judged on reputation rather than their actual performance during the staffing process. HRD has confirmed that past performance is a factor in staffing decisions.

According to HRD, written feedback reports are available to all candidates in executive processes, which include formal assessments. Evidence of feedback provided to candidates in other types of processes is not kept on file within HRD, as the feedback is often provided by the hiring manager. HRD confirmed that feedback provided is for the candidate’s use and is not held in the staffing file for that reason and so as to avoid the appearance that the information is used for any purpose other than to support the development of the individual.

Feedback should be requested and provided in a timely manner and should indicate concrete areas for improvement that will increase the candidate’s chances of success in future processes. It is the employee’s responsibility to request feedback from the hiring manager; this may need to be communicated to employees during the staffing process.

Recommendation 2

It is recommended that HRD communicate the recourse section (5.12) of the CNSC Staffing Policy to all staff to clarify the process for CNSC employees to follow to address their staffing concerns.

Information on the recourse process should be made available to all staff via the CNSC intranet, and candidates should be informed of the recourse process at the beginning of the staffing process.

Management response and action plan

Management agrees.

  • HRD will add a visual to illustrate the chain of command to raise staffing concerns.
  • Candidates should be better informed in the staffing process of their responsibilities to initiate a recourse discussion.

Target date for completion: March 31, 2021

Government of Canada staffing policies

Within the core departments of the Government of Canada (as defined in the Financial Administration Act, Schedule I.1), staffing activities must be conducted in accordance with the PSEA. However, as a separate agency, the CNSC has the authority to establish its own staffing framework and recruitment strategies. IAD performed a benchmarking exercise, comparing the PSEA and related instruments to the CNSC Staffing Policy and related instruments to determine whether there were any good practices within the PSEA that could be beneficial to the CNSC and to determine whether the CNSC Staffing Policy could be considered in line with the staffing framework used in core departments. Alignment has many positive benefits for employees and the CNSC, including increased opportunities for interchanges.

IAD found that the CNSC Staffing Policy provides very similar flexibilities and options when compared to the PSEA and related instruments, and includes similar roles and responsibilities. IAD’s benchmarking confirms that the CNSC staffing framework is aligned with the staffing framework in core government departments, thus supporting the CNSC Staffing Policy’s goal to enable movement between the CNSC and the core public administration in order to provide broad career opportunities for CNSC employees and assist the CNSC in recruiting experienced talent.

6.2 Controls

Effective internal controls support compliance with HR policies and help ensure efficient and effective operations that accomplish the goals of the organization. HR tools, templates and training support hiring managers in discharging their responsibilities, enable compliance, and ensure consistency in staffing processes across the organization. Consistent and clear HR processes also help foster transparent decision making.

Training, tools and templates

IAD expected to find advice, tools and training provided to hiring managers. Indeed, it found that staffing tools and templates are available on the CNSC intranet, which is a good practice. Tools and templates provided by HRD support the staffing process and include the Non-Advertised Appointment Rationale and Narrative Assessment template, the Considerations for a Non-Advertised Appointment guide, and the Acting Pay Under Six Months form.

Hiring managers and HR advisors were aware of and had access to current staffing tools (policies, directives, procedures, guidelines), and the managers had also taken Canada School of Public Service courses to support their HR delegation. While formal training on the CNSC’s Staffing Policy and staffing processes is not currently provided, consultation and collaboration between staffing advisors and hiring managers was generally viewed as sufficient in supporting hiring managers in carrying out their delegated authorities and in navigating staffing processes specific to the CNSC. Interviews with hiring managers revealed that their roles and responsibilities are primarily communicated to them via meetings and consultations with HR advisors, and that the support of HR advisors in guiding them through staffing processes is generally appreciated.

Overall, hiring managers felt that they received guidance and support from HR during staffing processes, including those related to acting and assignment activities.

Assignment and acting process controls

IAD sampled a number of assignment and acting staffing files as part of this audit, expecting to find appropriate documentation of justifications and approvals on file, with any deviations justified and approved by the appropriate delegated authority. In addition, IAD expected to find evidence that staffing processes are based on a demonstration of competency and are accessible, transparent, representative, and documented consistently. Process maps depicting the current process (including EC/VP involvement) can be found in Appendix C.

In order to support this assessment, IAD tested a sample of files related to recent assignment and acting staffing activities. IAD found 15 of the 16 files examined had the expected documentation and approvals on file. Both of the files that had been brought directly to senior management’s attention were found to have been in compliance with existing delegated authorities and the CNSC Staffing Policy.

From the files IAD reviewed, three of the 16 staffing files tested were approved at a level higher than that required by the delegation of authorities chart (not including EC/VP involvement, as raised earlier, which has not yet been reflected in the delegation of authorities chart). While this does not constitute non-compliance, it may have resulted in additional time or effort being put into the file, which was not required. None of the files reviewed were signed off on by individuals at a level lower than that required by the delegation of authorities chart.

6.3 Monitoring and Reporting

Monitoring of and reporting on HR processes is essential to ensure that the CNSC's staffing policies are being followed and implemented appropriately and that corrective actions are taken when gaps in compliance are found. HR monitoring and reporting can also provide information on the integrity of the CNSC's staffing framework and the effectiveness of the decision-making processes for staffing activities. Given that the CNSC is a separate employer and is therefore not subject to the requirements of the PSEA, it is especially important for the CNSC to have its own processes for monitoring and reporting on the staffing framework and its associated policies.

The CNSC Staffing Policy states that it is the responsibility of HRD to monitor the application of the policy and its related delegated authorities and to provide recommendations to the President on corrective actions to be taken if the policy has not been applied appropriately. HRD is also responsible for periodically reporting on the integrity of the staffing framework and reviewing the CNSC Staffing Policy to ensure that it meets the needs of the CNSC.

IAD expected to find established processes for monitoring and reporting on compliance based on the HR policy requirements, as well as processes for ensuring that corrective actions arising from the results of monitoring activities are taken.

IAD found that no formal process has been established for monitoring and reporting on HR compliance. In addition, there is no official process for reporting on the integrity of the staffing framework, despite this being a requirement of HRD, as set out in the CNSC Staffing Policy. For example, staffing complaints are not currently tracked or monitored, even though this might be helpful in determining whether systemic trends in complaints exist or in performing other data analysis.

HRD's current process for monitoring staffing activities involves conducting informal peer reviews of staffing files and sharing those lessons learned internally. However, this process is not formally documented or tracked and does not examine the staffing framework in its entirety. In addition, no specific process has been established for reporting on the results of monitoring or rectifying issues of non-compliance.

The audit found that while the CNSC Staffing Policy requires HRD to monitor and report on staffing activities and issues of non-compliance, and to report accordingly, there is no official process to ensure that these monitoring activities are being carried out.

Recommendation 3

It is recommended that HRD establish a process for monitoring the application of the CNSC Staffing Policy and the integrity of the staffing framework, and reporting on the results of monitoring and rectifying any issues of non-compliance.

Management response and action plan

Management agrees.

  • HRD will undertake a review of what measurement tools are critical to monitor the application of the policy and framework.
  • HRD will include discussion on what to report and how to address any compliance issues.

Target dates for completion:

  • September 30, 2021
  • November 30, 2021

7. Overall Conclusion

Based on the results of the audit, we conclude that while there are improvements required to fully meet the audit criteria, there is evidence of an effective governance and control framework over assignment and acting processes and that, overall, these are working effectively to meet the needs of the CNSC.

The successful implementation of the recommendations identified in this report, along with the completion of other initiatives already underway by management, will further strengthen the management of these processes at the CNSC. A management action plan to address our recommendations can be found in Section 8.0.

8. Management Action plan

Recommendation Management response and action plan Target date for completion

Recommendation 1:

It is recommended that the President, through the Executive Committee, have further discussions regarding the Executive Committee’s role in the assignment and acting staffing processes, and ensure that decision making is documented as being delegated to employees and not to the Committee itself, in line with the NSCA. Once confirmed:

  • it is recommended that HRD update the delegated authorities and references within the CNSC Staffing Policy.
  • it is recommended that the President’s Office update the Executive Committee’s Terms of Reference expeditiously once the governance review of senior-level committee structures, which is currently underway, is complete.

Management agrees.

  • HRD will update the HR delegated authorities chart. Once completed, HRD will update the authorities section in the existing policy with the delegated authority changes.
  • The Terms of Reference of the Executive Committee are currently under review as part of the broader committee structure review, led by the President’s Office.
  • The Executive Committee’s Terms of Reference will be updated upon completion of the review to reflect the Executive Committee’s roles and responsibilities.
March 31, 2021

Recommendation 2:

It is recommended that HRD communicate the recourse section (5.12) of the CNSC Staffing Policy to all staff to clarify the process for CNSC employees to follow to address their staffing concerns.

Information on the recourse process should be made available to all staff via the CNSC intranet, and candidates should be informed of the recourse process at the beginning of the staffing process.

Management agrees.

  • HRD will add a visual to illustrate the chain of command to raise staffing concerns.
  • Candidates should be better informed in the staffing process of their responsibilities to initiate a recourse discussion.
March 31, 2021

Recommendation 3:

It is recommended that HRD establish a process for monitoring the application of the CNSC Staffing Policy and the integrity of the staffing framework, and reporting on the results of monitoring and rectifying any issues of non-compliance.

Management agrees.

  • HRD will undertake a review of what measurement tools are critical to monitor the application of the policy and framework.
  • HRD will include discussion on what to report and how to address any compliance issues.

 

September 30, 2021

 

November 30, 2021

Appendix A – Audit Criteria

Governance

1.    A process for the staffing of acting and assignment opportunities has been established, maintained and communicated.

2.    Roles and responsibilities related to the staffing of acting and assignment opportunities have been established and communicated.

Controls

1.    HRD provides support to sub-delegated managers in the form of advice and tools.

2.    Hiring managers receive training to support them in exercising their delegated authorities.

3.    Staffing processes follow the established process, including seeking appropriate approvals, and any deviations are justified and approved by the appropriate delegated authority.

4.    Staffing processes are based on a demonstration of competency and are accessible, transparent, representative, and documented consistently.

5.    Compliance with HR policy requirements is monitored on a regular basis and corrective actions are taken.

Appendix B – Acronyms

The following table presents acronyms used in this document.

CNSC Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
EC Executive Committee
FAD Finance and Administration Directorate
HR Human Resources
HRD Human Resources Directorate
IAD Internal Audit Division
PSEA Public Service Employment Act
NSCA Nuclear Safety and Control Act
VP Vice-President

Appendix C – Staffing Process Maps (created by IAD and Validated by HRD)

Appendix C outlines the staffing process maps created by IAD and validated by HRD. These maps show the appropriate sequence of actions when staffing positions on an acting or assignment basis.

Executive Acting/Assignment Process MAP

Executive Acting/Assignment Process MAP - Text version

When staffing executive positions on an acting or assignment basis, the process begins as follows:

  1. A vacancy is identified
  2. The HR staffing advisor and hiring manager discuss the best staffing strategy
  3. A staffing request is submitted through NJOYN

The next steps depend on whether the manager is familiar with the CNSC talent pool and on how the position is being advertised. If the manager is familiar with the CNSC talent pool and the position is “non-advertised” or “previously advertised,” the next steps are as follows:

  1. EC/VP approval is sought, with justification provided
  2. Informal fit interviews are held
  3. The hiring manager makes a staffing decision
  4. The decision is submitted to the EC for consultation/approval

If the position is “advertised,” the next steps are as follows:

  1. EC/VP approval is sought, with justification provided
  2. A call for interest is launched
  3. Candidates are screened
  4. The hiring manager makes a staffing decision
  5. The decision is submitted to the EC for consultation/approval

Please note that, as of October 13, 2020, EC approval is required for all non-advertised staffing processes of more than 6 months at the REG7 level or above.

At the EC consultation/approval stage, there are 2 options. If the EC does not approve, the process must be restarted or is sent back to a previous step. If the EC does approve, the following steps are taken:

  1. The offer is drafted in NJOYN
  2. The employee is offered the position
  3. The employee accepts the offer
  4. A staff announcement is made

Assignments Process MAP (REG)

Assignments Process MAP (REG) - Text version

When using assignments to staff REG positions, the process begins as follows:

  1. A vacancy is identified
  2. The HR staffing advisor and hiring manager discuss the best staffing strategy
  3. A staffing request is submitted through NJOYN

The next steps depend on whether the manager is familiar with the CNSC talent pool and on how the position is being advertised. If the manager is familiar with the CNSC talent pool and the position is “non-advertised” or “previously advertised,” the steps are as follows:

  1. Informal interviews are held
  2. The hiring manager makes a staffing decision
  3. Confirmation is obtained

If the position is “advertised,” the next steps are as follows:

  1. The advertisement is posted
  2. Candidates are assessed
  3. The hiring manager makes a staffing decision
  4. Confirmation is obtained

At the confirmation stage, an e-mail confirmation is required if the position is for less than 6 months and a letter of offer is required if the position is for more than 6 months. After confirmation, the final step is to issue a staffing bulletin.

Acting Process Map (REG)

Acting Process Map (REG) - Text version

When staffing REG positions on an acting basis, the process begins as follows:

  1. A vacancy is identified
  2. The HR staffing advisor and hiring manager discuss the best staffing strategy
  3. A staffing request is submitted through NJOYN

The next steps depend on whether the employee is required to substantially perform the duties of the higher-level position. If the employee is not required to perform higher-level duties, the position is classified as “point of contact.” If the employee is required to perform higher-level duties, the position is classified as “acting.”

When a position is classified as acting, the next steps depend on whether the position is advertised.

If the acting position is advertised, the next steps are as follows:

  1. An advertised process is launched
  2. Candidates are assessed
  3. A determination is made as to whether the employee meets the qualifications and requirements

If the acting position is non-advertised, the next steps are as follows:

  1. A non-advertised process is launched
  2. The duration of the position is determined:
    • If the duration is less than 6 months, the process moves on to the next step.
    • If the duration is greater than 6 months, a non-advertised narrative assessment sign-off (proper delegated approval) is required before the process can move on to the next step.
  3. A determination is made as to whether the employee meets the qualifications and requirements

If the employee does not meet the qualifications and requirements, they are not considered for the acting position. If the employee does meet the qualifications and requirements, the process moves to the confirmation stage.

At the confirmation stage, an e-mail confirmation is required if the position is for less than 6 months and a letter of offer is required if the position is for more than 6 months. After confirmation, the final step is to issue a staffing bulletin.

APPENDIX D – HRD DATA ON INTERNAL MOVEMENTS

Internal staffing movements

Internal staffing movements - Text version
Year Temporary movement Permanent movement
2016-17 21.6% 14.6%
2017-18 18.9% 15.0%
2018-19 21.2% 15.5%
2019-20 16.0% 12.4%

Temporary movements include all acting and assignment appointments

Source: HR dashboard 2019–20

DATA on Assignment staffing actions

Types of staffing actions Overall # # at executive level (MGT+) # at employee level (REG2-8, REGS)
Total # of actings less than 6 months * 65 17 48
Total # of staffing processes * 566 53 513
Total # of assignments less than 6 months ** 25 1 24
Total # of non-advertised staffing actions greater than 6 months ** 208 23 185

Notes on the data above:

  • The recording of acting appointments under 6 months in Njoyn (the CNSC’s applicant tracking system) started around September 2019 in response to budget reductions across branches.
  • There may be a few short-term acting appointments that are not captured in this data as a result of the timing of this process.
  • The actions that go to the EC include non-advertised staffing actions greater than 6 months (REG7+).

* Data extracted from Njoyn – Data from August 1, 2019, to August 31, 2020.

** Data extracted from HR Information System Data from fiscal year 2019–20.

References

Endnotes

Footnote 1

As a separate agency, as defined in Schedules II and V to the Financial Administration Act, the CNSC does not fall under the PSEA. IAD was asked to compare the CNSC staffing framework with the PSEA to gain an understanding of whether the framework remains compatible with the principles governing staffing under the PSEA, as this is one of the aims of the CNSC Staffing Policy.

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Footnote 2

Notifications of consideration are designed to inform persons eliminated from consideration in appointment processes of the decision to eliminate them, prior to the appointment of the successful candidate.

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