Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

May 28, 2013 12:42 ET

Treasury Board President Announces Major Initiative Toward a High-Performing Public Service

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 28, 2013) - The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, today announced a new mandatory system for tracking employee performance aimed at boosting productivity and ensuring Canadians receive modern, effective and efficient public service.

"Hard-working Canadians look to us to provide high quality, affordable service. The Government's new performance management regime will ensure that we are employing the public service to its fullest potential," said Minister Clement. "Complacency and the status quo are not an option. Excellence must be the benchmark. Canadians deserve no less."

The new Directive on Performance Management introduces, for the first time, a government-wide system for tracking employee performance. The goal is three-fold:

  • To recognize and reward excellent performance;
  • Work with all employees to maximize performance; and
  • To deal decisively with unsatisfactory performance.

"Performance management is about ensuring good workers have an opportunity to become great workers and dealing effectively with poor performers," said Minister Clement. "Either poor performers improve and become productive employees or we will let them go."

The Directive, which comes into effect in April 2014, includes a number of standardized measures for tracking performance. These measures include: establishing annual performance objectives for all employees, mid-year evaluations, annual written performance assessments and an action plan for improving performance with clear established time-lines, as well as steps to be taken if performance does not improve. These steps could include demotion or termination. Processes will ensure that employees are treated fairly.

"Doing things the way they have always been done is no longer good enough if we want to build a 21st century public service," said Minister Clement. "We owe it to Canadians and we owe it to the vast majority of committed, hard-working public servants to make sure everyone is pulling their weight."

For more information, please consult the Directive on Performance Management and visit the Performance Management website.


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The Government of Canada is implementing a new employee performance management program to foster excellence in service delivery to Canadians and improve productivity.

This Directive will introduce for the first time a systemic, mandatory performance assessment for all core public sector employees. Rigorous performance management is a best practice and an essential element of a modern public service.

The new Directive on Performance Management applies to federal employees in the core public administration(1), and will come into effect on April 1, 2014.

The approach to implementing Performance Management is system-wide and will support deputy heads, managers and employees in achieving and sustaining a culture of high performance in the public sector.


The Directive calls for consistency in how employee performance is managed and how employees' skills are developed across the federal public service.

Each federal organization will establish an employee performance management program that includes requirements such as:

  • Mandatory annual performance management objectives for all employees, including commitments, performance objectives and expected behaviours, and learning or development plans;
  • Mid-year evaluations of each employee;
  • Annual written employee performance assessments at the end of each fiscal year;
  • An action plan to support and guide employees to improve performance within clear timelines; and
  • Mandatory attestation by deputy heads that an employee has successfully completed the probation period.

Requirements for performance agreements are already in place for public service executives and non-unionized employees. With the new Directive, performance agreements will be mandatory for all.

To support managers and supervisors in adopting the new Directive, mandatory training will be provided. Each department will have a committee made up of senior officials to coach managers through the process. Managers will also be supported with additional labour relations advice, and a Labour and Employment Law Centre of Expertise is also being created by the Treasury Board Secretariat to deal specifically with employment law and litigation.

The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector that came into force in April 2012 underpins the objectives of the new Directive.

The Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer is responsible for monitoring departments' compliance with the directive and conducting reviews to evaluate its impact.

(1) Core public administration: see Schedule I and IV of the Financial Administration Act for a complete list of organizations.

Contact Information

  • Matthew Conway
    Press Secretary
    Office of the President of the Treasury Board
    and Minister responsible for FedNor

    Media Relations
    Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat