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Succession planning and management guide

Key documents and references


  • A Blueprint for the Future: Competency-Based Management in the Public Service of Canada A Background and Issues Paper.
  • Overview of the Framework for Competency-Based Management in the Public Service in Canada.
  • The Key Leadership Competency Profile for the Public Service of Canada includes four competencies common to all management levels in all departments (management excellence, engagement, strategic thinking, values and ethics), as well as specific behaviours for each of the six levels of management. For more information visit: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/tal/kcl/dwnld/klc-eng.pdf (PDF version 140kb) Archived
  • The Interdepartmental Committee on Competency Based Management helps build and clarify the application of competency-based management in the federal public service. The committee also publishes highlights of best practices in departments.
  • Meeting the Challenges of the Future: Competencies for the Federal HR Community May 3, 2004.
  • The following functional communities have developed competency profiles: Financial Management, Information Management, Information Technology, Science and Technology, Service Delivery, Program Evaluation, Communications, Community of Federal Regulators, and Procurement, Materiel Management and Real Property. The following competency profiles for functional communities are available on the web:

Development/leadership programs

  • The Management Trainee Program (MTP) recruits high-potential individuals to the Public Service and develops them for key positions of responsibility. The Career Assignment Program (CAP) serves to accelerate the development of Public Service employees who demonstrate executive potential. As of April 2006, the alignment of MTP and CAP came into effect to reflect the continuum of leadership development. For more information about the programs visit: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/prg/mtpsg-eng.asp and http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/prg/cap-eng.asp
  • In addition to these programs, the Accelerated Executive Development Program (AEXDP) serves to accelerate the development of Public Service executives. For more information about the program visit: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/prg/exdcs-eng.asp
  • Professional development and apprenticeship programs (PDAPs) are established in situations where there is a current or projected gap in specific skills or in occupational groups large enough to pose a threat to the achievement of organizational goals. They are intended to develop pools of talent and usually involve a combination of formal training, coaching and developmental assignments in order to recruit and retain talent in hard to find skills areas.
  • A number of departments and agencies have established leadership development programs aimed at enhancing their leadership capacity. These include Statistics Canada, National Research Council Canada, Health Canada and National Defence.

Environmental scan - Public Service-wide

  • To identify short- and long term human resources needs, consult the human resources environmental scan for the Public Service of Canada Public Service wide environmental scan. For more information visit: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/res/esae-eng.asp

Executive community

  • Executive talent management (EX TM) is designed to support the ongoing development and retention of executives to meet current and future departmental business goals. For more information visit: the Website for the executive community.

Knowledge transfer and mentoring

  • Mentoring Programs in the Federal Public Service: Status and Best Practices.
  • Succession Planning for Corporate Knowledge Transfer - A Guide for Managers and Human Resource Specialists. Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. For more information visit: http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection/BT22-84-2002E.pdf (PDF version 457kb)

Talent management


Australian Public Service Commission. Managing succession within the APS. For more information visit: http://www.apsc.gov.au/publications03/managingsuccession.htm (available in English only).

Belcourt, M. and K. J. McBey. Strategic Human Resources Planning. Toronto: Thompson, Nelson, 2004.

Canadian Labour and Business Centre. Status of Skills Shortages in Canada: Sources, Implications, Solutions. IQPC National Forum, November 2005.

Cheloha, R. and J. Swain. “HR's role in succession planning.” Canadian HR Reporter 5–8, October 2005.

Corporate Leadership Council. Succession Planning in the Government Sector. Washington, D.C.: Corporate Executive Board, 2004.

  • High-impact Succession Management: From Succession Planning to Strategic Executive Talent Management. Washington, D.C.: Corporate Executive Board, 2003.
  • Hallmarks of Leadership Success: Strategies for Improving Leadership Quality and Executive Readiness. Washington, D.C.: Corporate Executive Board, 2003.
  • Overcoming Leadership Shortages with Succession Planning. Washington, D.C.: Corporate Executive Board, 2001.

Fulmer, R. M. and J. A. Conger. Growing Your Company's Leaders. Amacon: New York, 2004. Hirsh, W. Succession Planning Demystified. Brighton, U.K.: The Institute for Employment Studies, 2000.

Marson, B. and P. Ross. Deputy Ministers Identify Top Management Issues. Institute of Public Administration of Canada, 2004. For more information visit: http://www.ipac.ca/Research_surveyDMsAndCAOs2004

National Academy of Public Administration. Final Report and Recommendations: The 21st Century Federal Manager, 2004. For more information visit: www.napawash.org (available in English only). Strengthening Senior Leadership in the U.S. June 2006. For more information visit: http://www.napawash.org (available in English only).

Rioux, S. M. and P. Bernthal. Succession Management Practices. Bridgeville, Pennsylvania: Development Dimensions International. For more information visit: http://www.ddiworld.com (available in English only).

Rothwell, W. J. Effective Succession Planning. Amacom: New York, 2001.

Statistics Canada. The Changing Profile of Canada's Labour Force (2003).

Towers Perrin HR Services. Winning Strategies for a Global Workforce: Attracting, Retraining, and Engaging Employees for Competitive Advantage. Stamford, Connecticut: June 2006. For more information visit: http://www.towersperrin.com (available in English only).

United States General Accounting Office. Human Capital: Insights for U.S. Agencies From Other Countries' Succession Planning and Management Initiatives. Report to Congressional Requesters, September 2003. For more information visit: http://www.gao.gov (available in English only).

Weiss, D. S. and V. Molinaro. The Leadership Gap: Developing Leadership Capacity for Competitive Advantage. John Wiley & Sons, 2005

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