Rescinded [2020-04-01] - Standards on Knowledge for Required Training

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1. Effective Date

1.1 These Standards take effect on June 15, 2007.

1.2 Implementation of requirements found in paragraph 5.1 relating to knowledge elements for managers at all levels (Appendix 1) will be phased in no later than September of each year starting in 2008.

1.3 Implementation of requirements found in paragraph 5.2 relating to knowledge elements for employees newly appointed to the core public administration (Appendix 2) will be phased in no later than September of each year starting in 2009.

2. Application

2.1 These Standards apply to the core public administration - as defined in the Financial Administration Act, i.e. the departments named in Schedule I and the other portions of the federal public administration named in Schedule IV of the Act.

3. Context

3.1 These Standards establish the common knowledge elements linked to legal responsibilities of managers at all levels and employees newly appointed to the core public administration regardless of their functions, organization or profession. They do not replace professional standards established by functional authorities.

3.2 These Standards help implement requirements stipulated in subparagraphs 6.1.1, 6.2 and 6.4 of the Policy on Learning, Training and Development (the Learning Policy). They provide guidance to the Canada School of Public Service (CSPS) on knowledge elements to incorporate in courses, programs and knowledge assessment instruments developed to meet policy requirements in relation to required training.

3.3 Effective implementation of these Standards results in the following:

3.3.1 employees newly appointed to the core public administration share a common understanding of their legal responsibilities as public servants; and

3.3.2 managers at all levels have the necessary knowledge of legal responsibilities to effectively exercise their delegated authorities.

3.4 These Standards are issued pursuant to a delegation of the Treasury Board to the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO), the Secretary of the Treasury Board (TBS), and the Comptroller General of Canada (OCG) to issue standards for the portion of the Learning Policy for which they are responsible. This delegation is authorized by section 6 of the Financial Administration Act.

3.5 These Standards are to be read in conjunction with the Policy on Learning, Training and Development, the related Directive on the Administration of Required Training and the Foundation Framework for Treasury Board Policies which explain the purpose of Treasury Board policies and other policy instruments; summarize general requirements common to all Treasury Board policy instruments; and build on the Guidance for Deputy Ministers and Accountable Government: A Guide for Ministers (Privy Council Office) by explaining the general responsibilities, accountabilities and expectations of ministers and deputy heads in applying Treasury Board policy instruments.

4. Definitions

4.1 The definitions to be used for purposes of these Standards are those included in the Directive on the Administration of Required Training.

5. Requirements

5.1 The list of knowledge elements found in Appendix 1 is to be used by the CSPS to design and regularly update the content of required training courses, programs and knowledge assessment instruments for managers at all levels. Knowledge elements followed by an asterisk (*) are to be integrated on a priority basis in the content of required training courses, programs and knowledge assessment instruments for managers at all levels. The remaining knowledge elements will be integrated in other educational venues.

5.2 The list of knowledge elements found in Appendix 2 is to be used by the CSPS to design and regularly update the content of the required training orientation program for employees newly appointed to the core public administration.

The Orientation to the Public Service program will focus on the employee responsibilities which derive from legislation and related policy instruments listed in Appendix 2: Knowledge Elements for Newly Appointed Employees.

Specific priority elements have not been identified in Appendix 2; rather all are essential content for the required training program for new employees

5.3 Knowledge elements for managers at all levels are organized in the following categories:

  • Values and Ethics;
  • Official Languages;
  • Management of Communications and Government Information;
  • Management of Human Resources including Employment Equity;
  • Expenditure and Financial Management; and
  • Management of Assets and Acquired Services (including contracting).

5.4 Knowledge elements for newly appointed employees are organized in the following categories:

  • Values and Ethics
  • Official Languages
  • Terms and Conditions of Employment
  • Employment Equity and Duty to Accommodate
  • Communications and Government Information
  • Labour Relations and Benefit Plans
  • Financial Resources

5.5 The Chief Human Resources Officer, the Secretary of the Treasury Board, the Comptroller General of Canada and the President of the Public Service Commission (PSC) are responsible for establishing and regularly updating these Standards for policy sectors under their responsibility. Policy sectors will update knowledge elements under their responsibility as needed, and provide their updates to OCHRO.

5.6 In addition to providing yearly updates, these organizations are responsible for promptly informing OCHRO and the CSPS of any change to legal and policy instruments that may have a substantial impact on required training knowledge elements.

5.7 OCHRO is responsible for the coordination of updates to the list of knowledge elements by policy sectors and for the release of revised Standards by January 30th of each year starting in January 2009.

5.8 OCHRO, TBS and the PSC are responsible for working in close collaboration with the CSPS to determine, having regards to the level of participants and training time constraints, the extent to which knowledge elements under their responsibility will be integrated in the required training courses, programs and knowledge assessment instruments.

5.9 CSPS is responsible for establishing, having regards to the level of participants and training time constraints, the proportion of the required training to be devoted to the acquisition of knowledge and its application in the context of their work.

6. Monitoring and Reporting Requirements

6.1 OCHRO is responsible for reviewing the effectiveness of these Standards at the five-year anniversary of implementation of the Learning Policy. Where substantiated by risk-analysis, OCHRO will also ensure an evaluation is conducted.

7. Enquiries

7.1 For interpretation of these Standards, please contact:

Public Service Learning Policy
Leadership and Talent Management
Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R5
Tel: (613) 943-5507
Fax: (613) 943-6688
Web site:

Appendix 1 - Knowledge Elements for First-Time Managers at all Levels

Preamble - excerpts from the Foundation Framework for Treasury Board Policies

The government's management regime establishes minimum standards for how ministers and deputy heads use their authorities and manage public resources. This management regime consists of sound management practices, strong public service values, and clear rules set out in legislation and Treasury Board policies.

Consistent with the Expenditure Management System renewal, managers are expected to design and manage their programs in a way that achieves results for Canadians. The intended results should be clear and measurable; performance should be tracked and evaluated and reliable performance information should be factored into all expenditure management planning, decision-making and reporting.

Modern public sector management practices are set out in the Management Accountability Framework (MAF), which establishes general expectations of deputy heads. The MAF describes the general and interdependent management practices, such as accountability, stewardship, values, and performance that every organization needs in order to create a productive and innovative working environment. The MAF also serves as a tool for both departments and Treasury Board to assess management performance.

The MAF emphasizes strong values as being fundamental to guiding sound management decisions. The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service states "how ends are achieved should be as important as the achievements themselves". The manner in which results are achieved is an important reflection of the democratic, ethical, professional, and people values described in the Code. Canadians will look to both the results achieved and the means used to assess their trust in the competence and integrity of the government.

Beyond the general expectations of MAF and the requirements of the Code, certain management functions must be conducted according to specific rules that are set out in legislation and policies. As appropriate, the Treasury Board issues policy instruments pursuant to the Financial Administration Act and more than 20 other pieces of enabling legislation that provide it with the authority to establish pay rates and benefits for government employees, control and report on public expenditures, and establish rules for managing people and public resources.

Overview of the Management Accountability Framework

A comprehensive and integrated model for management and management improvement

Priority Elements
MAF Vision: the integrated set of 10 management expectations of deputy ministers*
MAF Assessment: oversight of the state of management*
Knowledge ElementsPriority Elements
A Values and Ethics
A1 Legal and Ethical Underpinnings*
A1.1 Values and Ethics as Foundation of Public Service (legislative framework)
A1.2 Public Service Values
A1.3 Roles and responsibilities
A2 Values and Ethics in Action*
A2.1 The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service
- conflict of interest and assets, liabilities and trusts
- post employment
A2.2 Prevention / resolution of Harassment
A2.3 Internal Disclosure of Wrongdoing
A2.4 Lobbying
A2.5 Indemnification of, and legal assistance for, Crown Servants
A3 Legal Ramifications*
A3.1 Fraud/contracting offences
A3.2 Bribery and Breach of Trust
A3.3 Influencing/dealing in appointments
A3.4 Disobeying a Statute
A3.5 Failure to report knowledge of information that the government is being defrauded
B Official Languages
B1.1 Legal and Ethical Underpinnings
B1.2 Official Languages at a glance
C Management of Communications and Government Information
C1 Management of Communications and Services to the Public
C1.1 Legal and Ethical Underpinnings
C1.2 Policy Framework
C1.3 Roles and responsibilities
C1.4 Communications Policy
- communication planning and management
- regional communications
- internal communications
- spokespersons
- communications training and development
C1.5 Federal Identity Program
- corporate identity standards
C1.6 Policy on Language of Work
C1.7 Policy on the Use of Official Languages for Communications with and Services to the Public
C1.8 Directive on the Use of Official Languages in Electronic Communications
C1.9 Directive on the Use of Official Languages on Web Sites
C2 Management of Information and Information Technology
C2.1 Legal and Ethical Underpinnings
C2.2 Policy Framework
- policy on information management
- policy on management of information technology
- policy on access to information
- policy on privacy and data protection
- policy on privacy impact assessments
C2.3 Roles and Responsibilities
- directive on information management roles and responsibilities
- record keeping
- treasury board information technology standard
- access to information
- privacy and data protection
C3 Information Lifecycle*
- planning
- creation, collection, receipt, capture of information
- organization, use and dissemination
- maintenance, protection and preservation
- disposition
- evaluation
C4 Security of Information*
C4.1 Legal and Ethical Underpinnings
C4.2 Policy on Government Security
C4.3 Roles and responsibilities
C4.4 Use of Electronic Networks
C4.5 Business Continuity Planning
C4.6 Information Technology Security
C4.7 Determination of information security level
C4.8 Management of Document Security
D Management of Human Resources Including Employment Equity
D1 Legal and ethical underpinnings*
D1.1 The Legislative Framework and People Component of the Management Accountability Framework
D1.2 Delegated Authorities
- departmental agreements (e.g. appointment delegation and accountability instruments)
D2 Roles and Responsibilities*
D3 Planning*
D3.1 Integrated Human Resources and Business Planning
D3.2 Workforce Adjustment (non-executive)
D3.3 Career Transition for Executives
D4 Organizational Design and Classification*
D4.1 Organizational design
D4.2 Classification
- work descriptions
- occupational groups
- standards
- monitoring
- grievances
D5 Resourcing*
D5.1 Resourcing Policies
- appointment framework
- priority administration
- staffing audits
- occupational group qualification standards
- interchange canada
- student programs and bridging mechanisms
- term employment
- deployment
- special deployment
- casual employment
- volunteers
- secondment and assignments
- personnel screening for security
D6 Diversity, Employment Equity, Multiculturalism and Duty to Accommodate*
D6.1 Legal and Ethical underpinnings
- policy on employment equity
- policy and directive on duty to accommodate
D7 Official Languages*
D7.1 Policy on Official Languages for Human Resources Management
- directive on the linguistic identification of positions or functions
- directive on the staffing of bilingual positions
- public service official languages exclusion approval order
D8 Political Activities*
D8.1 Political Activities Regime under the Public Service Employment Act
D8.2 Requests for permission to be a candidate in elections
D8.3 Investigations and corrective measures
D9 Workplace Well Being
D9.1 Health and Safety under the Canada Labour Code Part II
D9.2 Employee Assistance Program
D9.3 Prevention and Resolution of Harassment
D9.4 Flexible Work Arrangements
D9.5 Day Care and fitness Centre
D9.6 Awards and Recognition
- national public service week
- recognition
D9.8 Policy on Language of Work
D10 Performance Management*
D10.1 Probation
D10.2 Performance Management for non-executives
D10.3 Performance Management Program Executives
D11 Conflict Management*
D11.1 Informal Conflict Management System
D11.2 Classification
D11.3 Resourcing
- staffing complaints
- deployment grievances
- investigations
D11.4 Labour Relations
D12 Terms and Conditions of Employment*
D12.1 Values and Ethics Code
D12.2 Collective agreements
- compensation
D12.3 Policies and Directives on Terms & Conditions of Employment
D12.4 Hours of work
D12.5 Pay Equity
D12.6 Leave with and without pay
- vacation leave
- sick leave
- compensatory leave
- management leave
- family-related responsibilities leave
- maternity, paternity and parental leaves without pay
- educational leave
- self-funded leave
- income averaging
- pre-retirement transition leave
D12.7 Work-related illness and injury
- government employees compensation act
- leave without pay for illness or injury policy
- injury on duty leave policy
D13 Pension and Group Benefit Plans
D13.1 Pension and Superannuation
D13.2 Disability Insurance Plan
D13.3 Public Service Dental Care Plan
D13.4 Public Service Health Care Plan
D13.5 Public Service Management Insurance Plan
D13.6 Supplementary Death Benefit Plan
D14 National Joint Council Agreements*
D14.1 Bilingualism Bonus Directive
D14.2 Health and Safety Directives
D14.3 Travel Directive
D14.4 Commuting Assistance Directive
D14.5 Relocation Directive
D14.6 Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive
D14.7 Foreign Service Directives
D14.8 Public Service Health Care Plan Directive
D14.9 Work Force Adjustment Directive
D15 Labour Relations
D15.1 Discipline
D15.2 Demotion / Termination of Employment Unsatisfactory Performance
D15.3 Termination of employment during probation
D15.4 Collective Agreements
D15.5 Essential Service Agreements
D15.6 Managerial or confidential positions
D15.7 Strikes
D15.8 Labour Management Consultation Committees
D15.9 Co-development
D15.10 Union dues
D15.11 Use of Employer Facilities
D16 Learning and Career Development
D16.1 Required Training
D16.2 Corporate development programs
- career assignment program
- management trainee program
D17 Government Security*
D17.1 Protection of Personnel / Emergency Management
D17.2 Incident response
D17.3 Training and Awareness
D17.4 Personnel Security Screening Process
E Expenditure and Financial Management
E1 Legal and Ethical Underpinnings*
E1.1 The Legislative Framework
E1.2 Treasury Board Policies
- management resources and results structure policy
E1.3 The Financial Administration Act
- delegation of financial signing authority
- expenditure authority
- transaction processing
- internal controls sign-offs
E1.4 Roles and Responsibilities
E2 Planning, Forecasting and Budget Cycle Management
E2.1 Overview of the Expenditure and Budgeting cycle
- supply process
- expenditure management system
E2.2 Planning / Program Management
- government level
- organization level
- responsibility center level
- performance management
E2.3 Costing, including make or buy decision, cost benefits analysis and cost recovery
E3 Financial Management
E3.1 Spending and Payment Authorities
- allotment control
E3.2 Budgetary Control and Control of Expenditures
- acquisition cards
- paying for goods and services
- travel credit cards and accounts
- hospitality policy
- claims against the crown
- interdepartmental charging and transfers between appropriations
- losses of money, offences and other illegal acts against the crown
E3.3 Control of revenue and accounts receivable
- segregation of duties
- collection of revenue and receipts, re-spending public money, external user charges
E3.4 Transfer payments - financial aspects of grants and contributions
E4 Financial Reporting
E4.1 Departmental Performance Report / Report on Plans and Priorities
E4.2 Public Accounts
E4.3 Proactive Disclosure
E4.4 Financial Statements and Accounting Policy
E5 Audit
E5.1 Internal Audit Policy Requirements
E5.2 Departmental Audit Committee
E5.3 Internal Audit
E5.4 Management-led Audit
E5.5 External Audit
E6 Program Evaluation
E6.1 Policy, Directives and Standards on Evaluation
E6.2 Management Response to Evaluation and Action Plans
E6.3 Timely provision of information to evaluators
E7 Program Management
E7.1 Integration of performance results in program decision-making
E7.2 Management of Risk
E8 Transfer Payments Program Management
E8.1 Grants, Contributions, Conditional Grants, Repayable Contributions
E8.2 Transfers to Aboriginal Peoples, international organizations and other levels of government
E8.3 Program design: with recipients, service delivery and service standards, Official Language obligations
E8.4 Audit and Evaluation of Grant and Contribution Programs
E8.5 Audit of recipients
F Management of Assets and Acquired Services
F1 Legal and Ethical Underpinnings*
F1.1 The Legislative Framework
F1.2 Sustainable Development
F2 Delegation of Contracting Authorities*
F2.1 Within Departments
F2.2 Delegations from the Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada for contracting
F3 Roles and Responsibilities*
F4 Contracting Policy*
F4.1 Contracting for goods and services
F4.2 End to end Procurement Process
F4.3 Emergency contracting
F4.4 Acquisition Tools
- local purchase orders
- call-ups against standing offers
- goods and services contracts
- memorandum of understanding (mou) between organizations
- acquisition card
F5 Common Services Policy*
F6 Management of Real Property
F6.1 Accessibility
F6.2 Accommodations
F7 Materiel Management*
F7.1 Lifecycle Management including disposal of surplus materiel
F7.2 Recording of assets
F8 Project Management*
F8.1 Project Approval Process
F8.2 Information Technology Enabled Projects
F9 Monitoring, Oversight and Reporting*
F9.1 Real Property, Materiel and Procurement Reporting
F9.2 Proactive Disclosure of Projects over $10,000
F9.3 Monitoring performance
F10 Government Security*
F10.1 Physical security - identification / categorization and protection of Crown assets
- materiel
- intellectual property
- real property
F10.2 Removal of assets and loans to and from government property
F10.3 Industrial security - contractors

Appendix 2 - Knowledge Elements for Newly Appointed Employees

Knowledge Elements


  • A 1 The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service
  • A 2 Policy on the Prevention and Resolution of Harassment in the Workplace
  • A 3 Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (PSDPA)



  • C 1 Terms & Conditions of Employment
    • C 1.1 Unionized Employees
      • Collective Agreements including Workforce Adjustments Appendices
    • C 1.2 Unrepresented Employees
    • C 1.3 Rates of pay, bi-weekly pay, statutory and voluntary deductions, and departmental contacts
  • C 2 Public Service LabourRelations Act
  • C 3 Public Service Employment Act
    • C 3.1 Appointment Regime and Values
    • C 3.2 Political Activities Regime


  • D 1 Canadian Human Rights Act
    • D1.1 Policy and Directive on the Duty to Accommodate (Effective date to be determined) (Replacing the Policy on the Duty to Accommodate Persons with Disabilities in the Federal Public Service)
  • D 2 Employment Equity Act and Regulations
    • D 2.1 Policy on Employment Equity (Effective date to be determined) (Replacing the 1999 Employment Equity Policy)


  • E 1 Communications Policy
  • E 2 Access to Information Act
    • E 2.1 Policy on Access to Information and related directives and guidelines
  • E 3 Privacy Act
    • E 3.1 Policy on Privacy and Data Protection
  • E 4 Security of Information
  • E 5 Policy on Information Management
    • E 5.1 Directive on Information Management Roles and Responsibilities
  • E 6 Policy on Government Security
    • E 6.1 Use of Electronic Networks


  • F 1 Occupation Health and Safety under the Canada Labour Code (CLC) Part II
    • F1.1 Overview of CLC Part II
    • F1.2 Government Employees Compensation Act (GECA) coverage
    • F1.3 Injury-On-Duty-Leave
  • F 2 Employee Assistance Program
  • F 3 Informal Conflict Management System
  • F 4 Pensions and Group Benefit Plans
  • F 5 National Joint Council Directives
    • F 5.1 Travel Directive
    • F 5.2 Workforce Adjustment Directive


  • G 1 Financial Administration Act
    • G 1.1 Contracting Policy

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the President of the Treasury Board, 2017,
ISBN: 978-0-660-20389-8