New Public Service-Wide Direction in Staffing Launches

April 4, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

A new public service-wide direction in staffing, meant to give Deputy Heads hiring flexibility and the ability to tailor staffing requirements according to their own unique business needs, launched on Friday.

There is now one single appointment policy, replacing twelve policies that previously existed. The goal is to provide Deputy Heads and hiring managers with greater opportunities to apply their own judgement and exercise discretion when making staffing decisions when it comes to considerations such as non-advertised appointments, assessment methods for EXs, and other issues depending on their own staffing needs.

The new direction in staffing is the biggest change to happen to hiring in the public service in over 10 years:


Going forward, Deputy Heads will be responsible for developing a framework, customized to their own staffing needs, leaving behind the rigid, one fit all, blanket system that has existed for all departments and agencies traditionally.

Public services in other countries, such as the UK government have taken notice to the new direction in staffing:


The Public Service Commission sent out a message to all public servants on Friday that read:

In today’s fast-paced world, a modernized public service requires a modernized staffing system. The New Direction in Staffing (NDS) is the most significant change to the staffing system we have seen in over ten years. Designed to simplify and streamline staffing, these important changes come into effect on April 1, 2016.

Departments and agencies will now have greater ability to customize their approaches to staffing, based on their own day-to-day realities. Our goal is to ensure that departments and agencies are able to attract talented people, with modern skills, in a timely fashion.

The NDS provides for:

  • More variety in hiring processes;
  • Agile approaches to staffing and policies;
  • More room for managers to apply their judgement when staffing; and
  • Increased focus on outcomes, including the quality of the person hired, and less on process.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) and other organizations have worked together to lay a solid foundation for this new approach. All indications we have received show organizations are ready and able to implement these changes.

For more than 100 years, the PSC has safeguarded merit-based appointments and non-partisanship in the public service and we will continue to do so in this new environment, in a more strategic way.

A video was developed for public servants to help better explain the NDS in plain language terms (click image below to play):


Other Links

Read the new appointment policy here.

Find your departmental/agency staffing support advisor if you need more information here.

Visit the NDS web page on the Public Service Commission’s website here.

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