Temporary Appointment Approval Direction

Effective immediately, temporary appointment opportunities are open to all public servants and don't require the approval of the immediate supervisor.

There are two restrictions to this direction:

  • Employee has not completed their probationary period.
  • Extraordinary circumstances where a significant adverse impact to either the delivery of critical services for the public or a critical project directly aligned with the Ministry’s mandate is established that can't be performed by another employee.

The denial of a temporary appointment can only be made by an Assistant Deputy Minister, and the rationale must be provided to the BC Public Service Agency. Where the denial applies to an included position or involves an included employee, the BC Public Service Agency will provide the rationale to the union. If any employee denied an opportunity to apply on a temporary appointment as a result of extraordinary circumstances, the circumstances will be shared with the employee.

With the exception of employees who have not completed their probationary period, under no circumstance will promotional temporary appointments or temporary appointments over seven months be denied. 

To ensure every attempt is made to allow employees opportunities to apply on future temporary appointments, any employee denied application to a temporary appointment due to extraordinary circumstances will be informed the duration for which the restriction applies. This maximum restriction period before an employee will be eligible to apply on a temporary appointment will be six months.

In partnership with ministries, the BC Public Service Agency will monitor all denials of a temporary appointment request to ensure compliance with this direction. An evaluation of the impact of this practice update will occur within one year.

Hiring & Deployment Policy for Temporary Appointments: FAQs

The Corporate Plan, Where Ideas Work, includes a commitment to "enable new opportunities to support employee professional development including access to temporary appointments." 70% of what we learn is achieved through experiential learning opportunities like TAs. These changes support career development for employees and succession management efforts overall.

Extraordinary circumstances include situations where if an employee left, the resulting vacancy would create a significant adverse impact to either the delivery of crucial services for the public, or if a critical project directly aligned with the ministry’s mandate can't be performed by another employee. For example, during last year's wildfire season, it would have been considered acceptable to temporarily decline a TA for an employee whose role directly contributed to the fire response efforts.

The new direction on TAs doesn't impact a ministry’s ability to post geographically restricted and/or ministry-specific temporary appointments. Ministries and hiring managers can continue to fill TA opportunities as they always have in accordance with hiring policies. This change just makes it easier for employees to apply on those opportunities.

Employees are encouraged to notify their supervisor if they're applying on a TA as this will give their supervisor the opportunity to consider how they will manage the vacancy if the employee is the successful applicant and confirm with the ADM that there are no exceptional circumstances at play.

If the employee doesn’t notify the supervisor when applying, they must do so when offered a TA to confirm that no exceptional circumstances apply before accepting the offer. Supervisors and ministries are also encouraged to be proactive in advising employees when exceptional circumstances arise that would limit TAs, including the rationale for that restriction and a timeline for how long it will be in place.

If a TA is denied due to extraordinary circumstances, the employee will be advised in writing how long the restriction remains in place and the maximum duration of that restriction is six months. The restriction can't be extended beyond six months.

Under no circumstance can promotional TAs or TAs over seven months be denied as long as the employee has completed their probationary period. TAs over seven months must still be filled through a meritorious process.

Given that circumstances may change over the course of the TA, the same rules will apply to an extension.

No. This decision is the ADM’s responsibility, and they're responsible for providing a clear rationale to the employee and to the BC Public Service Agency.

It’s important that employees demonstrate that they have established their capability in their current role before taking on a development opportunity. The probation period allows the employer with the requisite time to confidently assess the employee’s knowledge, skills and abilities required to meet expectations in their base position.

It’s good practice to ensure consistent corporate application of this new direction and ensures we, as an employer, are held accountable for our commitment to employee development. It also provides a level of corporate accountability for the appropriate application of exemptions and the timelines for limits on TAs.