Past Work Performance

Past work performance (PWP) is a factor of merit that must be assessed during a hiring process. The factors of merit are outlined in the Public Service Act.

  • All appointments to the BC Public Service require completion of past work performance checks and must include an employment reference from a supervisor or equivalent
  • The checks must be consistent and fair and must be completed for every appointment
  • Thorough reference checks must be completed prior to extending a job offer

Conducting past work performance checks allows you to understand applicants’ history of performance. Past work performance can be assessed through employment references checks, a review of work samples, and review of performance results.  The reference check is the most common method used.

For current or former BC Public Service employees, information concerning their past work performance may be collected, with their permission, from any public body within the BC Public Service for consideration.

Conducting Reference Checks

Reference checks are usually the final step in the hiring process, but may be conducted earlier. The types of questions you may ask include those related to employment verification, conduct, attendance, performance, and questions related to job requirements such as required skills and competencies. Reference check results are usually rated as pass/fail, but can also be numerically scored. Reference check notes must be documented in the competition file and the results must be documented in the final rating guide.

We recommend you speak with current and former supervisor(s) and document the notes in a reference check template and final results in the Competition Results Storyline. For more information on how to conduct reference checks, read the Reference Check Guidelines (DOCX, 231KB).

Reference check templates:

Reference check results can be requested by the applicant under the Freedom of Information Act and Protection of Privacy Act.

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