Archived [2008-11-19] - Directive on Executive (EX) Group Organization and Classification

This directive describes the requirements for the organization and classification of positions in the Executive (EX) Group. This directive also provides instructions for increasing the departmental baseline of EX-04 and EX-05 positions.
Date modified: 2007-07-25

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This directive replaces:

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1. Effective Date

1.1 This directive takes effect on July 16, 2007.

1.2 It replaces the following:

2. Application

2.1 This directive applies to positions in the Executive (EX) Group in the core public administration as defined in section 11 of the Financial Administration Act unless excluded through specific acts, regulations or Orders in Council.

3. Context

3.1 The sound management of executive level organization and classification is an essential component in the effective management of a department and the cost-effective, efficient delivery of government policies, programs and services.

3.2 This directive describes the requirements for the organization and classification of positions in the Executive (EX) Group. This directive also provides instructions for increasing the departmental baseline of EX-04 and EX-05 positions.

3.3 This directive is issued pursuant to a delegation of the Treasury Board to the President of PSHRMAC authorized by s. 6(4.1) of the Financial Administration Act.

3.4 Additional requirements are set out in the Executive Group Position Evaluation Plan (September 2005).

3.5 This directive is to be read in conjunction with the Policy on the Management of Executives.

3.6 Treasury Board has delegated authority to the President of the Public Service Human Resources Agency of Canada to make technical amendments to this directive.

4. Definitions

4.1 Definitions to be used in the interpretation of this directive are attached in Appendix A.

5. Requirements

5.1 Departmental Organization

  • Departments are to have no more than three layers of positions classified in the Executive (EX) Group below the Deputy Head/Associate Deputy Head.

5.2 Senior Assistant Deputy Minister (SADM), Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), and other Assistant Deputy Head Positions

5.2.1 All classified positions bearing SADM or other Senior Assistant Deputy Head titles demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • Sustain classification at the EX-05 level and normally direct an operation that is the major program or function of the department, and
  • Do not undermine the Deputy's delegation of authority to other ADMs or their accountability to the Deputy. However, a SADM or Senior Assistant Deputy Head may, for a special purpose, coordinate the work of other ADMs or Assistant Deputy Heads and resolve cross-jurisdictional issues to reduce the burden on the Deputy.

5.2.2 In addition, all classified positions bearing SADM, ADM or Assistant Deputy Head titles:

  • Report directly to the Deputy Head /Associate Deputy Head,
  • Sustain classification at the EX-04 or EX-05 level,
  • Are delegated some significant part of the Deputy Head's authority,
  • Reflect accountability for the results and impact of its programs, including the means and resources employed,
  • Reflect full responsibility for advising the Deputy Head and the Minister on policies for areas they direct,
  • Reflect participation on the department's senior management committee,
  • Are delegated a level of signing authority second only to the deputy head's for particular areas of departmental operations and priorities, and
  • Reflect authority to communicate publicly on his or her own programs and, as required, on all the department's activities.

5.3 Titles

5.3.1 Positions with Assistant Deputy Head status have titles that reflect the department's operating mode and the Deputy Head's own title. Such titles include Assistant Deputy Minister, Vice-President, Deputy Commissioner, Deputy Secretary or Assistant Secretary.

5.4 Work Descriptions

5.4.1 Work descriptions are to:
  • Be short and concise,
  • Contain the information required to rate the job using the Executive Group Position Evaluation Plan including:
  • General accountability,
  • Organization structure,
  • Nature and scope of duties,
  • Dimensions, and
  • Specific accountabilities.
  • Reflect current organizational structures, assignment of work and accountabilities, and
  • Be updated and evaluated within one year when affected by significant changes (e.g. mandate, organizational structure, dimensions, reporting relationships or prime accountabilities).

5.5 Organization Charts

5.5.1 Current organization charts are signed and dated if possible by the manager two levels above the top supervisory position in the organization and show the:

  • position in the departmental structure,
  • immediate manager's position,
  • peer and subordinate position(s), and
  • reporting relationships.

5.6 Position Evaluation

5.6.1 Classification decisions are:

  • consistent with the Executive Group Position Evaluation Plan.
  • supported by the benchmarks accompanying the Executive Group Position Evaluation Plan.
  • reflective of core public administration interdepartmental relativities as confirmed through comparisons with appropriately classified similar positions in departments of similar size, structure, organization and mandate.
  • arrived at in a transparent, equitable and consistent manner respecting the principles of gender neutrality.

5.6.2 Evaluators receive adequate training in the principles of classification and the application of the Executive Group Position Evaluation Plan.

5.6.3 Classification decisions remain valid until significant changes are made to the position e.g., mandate, organizational structure, reporting relationships or primary accountabilities.

5.7 Interdepartmental Relativity

5.7.1 Interdepartmental relativity is to be maintained through sharing of departmental work descriptions, organization charts and evaluation rationales.

5.7.2 When departments are uncertain about interdepartmental relativity, consultation with PSHRMAC is undertaken to determine if they are making decisions that are reflective of interdepartmental relativities.

5.1 Reclassification

5.8.1 Work descriptions are updated and evaluated within one year of changes that result in reclassification of a position.

5.8.2 Documentation is maintained on the position file (electronic or paper) to clearly reflect what has changed when a position is reclassified.

5.9 Effective Dates

5.9.1 The effective date for a new position is a date that falls on or after the effective date of the immediate manager's position.

5.9.2 The effective date for reclassified positions will reflect the date of the changes. A reclassification should not be retroactive more than one year.

5.10 Documentation

5.10.1 A position file (electronic or paper), is maintained for all EX Group positions and contains the following documentation:

  • Current work descriptions with the effective date of the duties, signed and dated by the position's immediate manager (Descriptions should also be signed by the incumbent if possible),
  • Organization charts, signed and dated, as per section 5.5.1, showing the position in the organizational structure i.e. superior, peer and subordinate positions. There is coincidence between the organization chart and the organization structure as described in the work description,
  • Evaluation rationale, including references to benchmarks supporting the classification decision,
  • Authorization document signed and dated by the deputy head, and
  • Any other information used to arrive at the classification decision.

5.11 Evaluation Rationale

5.11.1 The evaluation rationale signed and dated by the evaluator includes:

  • Justification for occupational group allocation,
  • Description of degrees and points chosen for each element,
  • Reference to benchmarks used to support the decision,
  • Description of interdepartmental relativities used to confirm decision, and
  • When applicable, justification for the reclassification of the existing position versus the creation of a new position and the effective date.

5.12 Authorization of Classification Decisions

5.12.1 EX Group classification decisions including ratings and effective date are signed by the deputy head or acting deputy head, authorizing the rating and the effective date. This approval authority may not be sub-delegated.

5.12.2 The senior official responsible for human resources management in a department can sign, on behalf of the deputy head, administrative classification actions (i.e. those that have no impact on the evaluation of the position or do not change its reporting relationship.)

5.12.3 Classification decisions are not authorized before:

  • Advice is obtained on the classification decision from an accredited classification advisor or an advisor experienced in classification who has completed training in the application of the Executive Group Position Evaluation Plan.
  • Consultations with PSHRMAC are conducted on any decision that may have a significant impact on interdepartmental classification relativity.
  • Treasury Board approval is obtained for increases to departmental EX-04 and EX-05 baseline that will affect subordinate positions.

5.12.4 When a classification decision cannot be supported by an acceptable application of the Executive Group Position Evaluation Plan, deputy heads seek Treasury Board approval for authorization of the decision. There is no departmental authority to authorize classification decisions that cannot be supported by the Executive Group Position Evaluation Plan and its benchmarks.

5.13 Baseline of EX-04 and EX-05 Positions

5.13.1 Departments seek Treasury Board approval to increase their approved total baseline of EX-04 and EX-05 positions or to increase the number of EX-05 positions in their approved EX-04 and EX-05 baselines.

5.13.2 Departments consult with PSHRMAC when developing proposals for increases to their EX-04 and EX-05 baseline. For the purpose of these consultations, departments provide to PSHRMAC all documents required to permit an assessment of the request, such as organization charts, work descriptions, proposed rationales, etc.

5.13.3 Departments consult with PSHRMAC to determine their new EX-04 and EX-05 baseline in the following circumstances:

  • When changes to existing departmental mandate necessitate a review of existing EX-04 and EX-05 baseline.
  • When program transfers between departments involve or affect existing EX-04 and EX-05 positions in either department.
  • When a Governor in Council position is created that impacts on the responsibilities, accountabilities or authority of an existing EX-04 or EX-05 position.

5.14 PSHRMAC will:

5.14.1 Maintain accurate records of approved departmental EX-04 and EX-05 baselines.

5.14.2 Review departmental requests and provide advice for increases to their EX-04 and EX-05 baseline.

5.14.3 Review this directive with its associated policy and assess their effectiveness at the five year mark of implementation of the policy. Where substantiated by risk-analysis, PSHRMAC will also ensure an evaluation is conducted.

6. Monitoring and Reporting Requirements

6.1 Departments are responsible for:

6.1.1 Reporting to PSHRMAC all classification decisions relating to EX-04 and EX-05 positions, including changes to titles, within sixty (60) days of such decision being taken. Notification documentation includes:

  • current position description signed and dated by the deputy head,
  • evaluation rationale,
  • current organization charts, signed and dated by the deputy head, that show the position in the departmental structure,
  • authorization document signed by the deputy head, and
  • any other information used to arrive at the classification decision.

6.1.2 Entering classification decision data in the Position Classification Information System (PCIS) once the classification decision is authorized.

6.1.3 Ensuring the proactive disclosure of information on reclassification of encumbered positions.

6.2 PSHRMAC is responsible for:

  • Monitoring and reporting requirements as described in section 6.3.3 of the Policy on the Management of Executives.

7. Consequences

Consequences of non-compliance with this directive or inconsistency in its application are described in section 7 of the Policy on the Management of Executives.

8. Roles and Responsibilities of Other Government Organizations

Note: This section identifies other significant departments in this area. In and of itself, it does not confer an authority.

8.1 The Treasury Board Secretariat is responsible for providing PSHRMAC with a copy of the record of Treasury Board decisions reflecting changes to departmental EX-04 and EX-05 baselines.

9. References

Not applicable

10. Enquiries

Please direct enquiries about this directive to your departmental headquarters.

For interpretation of this directive, departmental headquarters should contact:

Executive Management Policies Directorate
Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0R3

E-mail: TLNCorres/
Telephone: 613-947-2845
Fax: 613-943-5205

Appendix A - Definitions

Baseline of EX-04 and EX-05 positions (allocation ministérielle des postes) – The total number of EX-04 and EX-05 positions approved by the Treasury Board.

Classification grievance (grief de classification) – a formal written complaint filed by an employee against the occupational group allocation or the rating of any or all elements of his or her work description or the level assigned to his or her position as a result of a classification decision.

Classification standard (norme de classification) – a document that describes the factors, elements, and other criteria used to establish the relative value of work for an occupational group.

Executive (EX) Group (groupe de la direction, Groupe EX) – the occupational group as defined in the Canada Gazette, Part 1, March 27, 1999.

Job (emploi) – a unique position, or a number of positions that are similar or identical and whose work is described by one work description.

Position (poste) – the work requirements assigned by the respective manager that can be performed by one person.

Reclassification (reclassification) – a change to either or both the occupational group and level of a position resulting from significant change in the work. A reclassification may be upward or downward.

Work description (description de travail) – a document approved by the respective manager that describes the work requirements of a position or a job. A work description contains all the information that the appropriate classification standard requires for its evaluation.

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