Workforce planning in the BC Public Service

Last updated: November 23, 2021

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The BC Public Service Agency (PSA) leads the cross-government workforce planning process aligned with the Corporate Plan (Where Ideas Work) and corporate talent-related strategies, commitments, ministry mandates, service plans, business plans and the established government planning cycle.

Multicoloured vendiagram showing 6 key components of workforce planning in the BC Public Service

Workforce planning (WFP) is the analytic, forecasting and planning process that links business objectives and talent management. It’s about having the right people, in the right place, at the right time (source: Conference Board of Canada).

A workforce plan helps identify important staffing-related needs and builds strategies that align ministry business priorities to achieve business goals and improve outcomes.

Evidence-based workforce planning:

  • Identifies strategies and actions to address workforce needs
  • Builds and supports teams that are skilled, diverse and engaged
  • Supports the organization to prepare for growth, development and future challenges

Who's responsible for workforce planning?

Many different roles contribute to workforce planning:

  • Deputy ministers are accountable for workforce planning
  • Ministry HR teams develop WFPs through a collaborative process, which includes:
    • Consultation with ministry executive and staff
    • Development of evidence-informed strategies
    • Alignment with corporate priorities, business plans, service plans and ministry mandates

Understanding the WFP strategies and business priorities supports alignment at all levels.

For more information, please review the Accountability framework for human resource management.


The workforce planning guide

The guide outlines major workforce plan components and provides instruction to those responsible for developing WFPs on behalf of their ministries.

Review the WFP Guide

A workforce plan should:

  • Align with renewal priorities, corporate values and the Corporate Plan (Where Ideas Work)
  • Promote diversity, inclusion and reconciliation
  • Consider workforce gaps and recruitment priorities
  • Identify priorities for leadership development
  • Identify learning and development requirements aligned to business priorities
  • Identify succession priorities and support knowledge transfer strategies to minimize business risk
  • Promote engagement and a positive workplace culture including employee health and well-being

Workforce planning aligns with fiscal and business planning cycles:

  • For 2022/2023, workforce plans will be due on June 30, 2022
  • Future years will be aligned with the fiscal year planning cycle and will be due on March 31 of each year

For more information about corresponding legislation and corporate accountabilities, please review:

Make your plan data oriented

Access to quality data is critical for workforce planning:

  • Data frames the plan in the context of current and future business priorities and identify and manage risk
  • It’s important to develop workforce plans with evidence-based strategies, actions and performance measures

Data sources

Data resources for plan writers include:

  • Established standards and measures 
  • A glossary of terms

Key components

Ministry workforce plans focus on the following 6 key components.

Learn more about each key component:

Diversity, inclusion
and reconciliation

The BC Public Service is committed to reflecting the demographic profile and values of the citizens it serves.

This section identifies how the ministry will incorporate the diversity and inclusion corporate commitments and priorities to:

  • Support an increasingly diverse workforce
  • Enhance inclusion in the workplace
  • Build a strong foundation for lasting and meaningful reconciliation
  • Remove barriers to accessibility in the workplace

Attraction and recruitment

Effective attraction and recruitment are critical to supporting ministry business priorities by ensuring we have the talent we need at the right time.

This section is an assessment of ministry recruitment needs specific to business priorities that will:

  • Identify gaps in attraction and recruitment
  • Propose strategies and actions to address recruitment priorities

Learning and development

Learning and development has a key role in ensuring employees can effectively deliver services to the public and achieve corporate priorities now and in the future. Focused learning and development opportunities also support career development and contribute to employee engagement.

This section identifies learning priorities, ministry business needs, associated knowledge, skills gaps and areas for development.

This includes:

  • Links to corporate initiatives, such as diversity and inclusion, respectful workplaces and others
  • Corporate and ministry specific learning and development strategies and actions to address learning and development priorities

Leadership development

Achieving our vision of a trusted, talented and modern public service is dependent on the effectiveness of our existing and future leaders.

This section identifies the leadership development priorities for the ministry, including:

  • What strategies and actions are underway or planned to address these priorities?
  • Which staff groups are being targeted for leadership development and why?
  • How do the ministry’s leadership development activities and/or programs align with the corporate leadership development framework (CLDF)?

Succession management

Succession management is a critical business function focused on building bench strength for critical positions and support for knowledge transfer. Succession management efforts build organizational capacity and resiliency.

This section identifies ministry succession priorities and strategies to build capacity and resiliency by:

  • Updating succession priority positions (SPP)
  • Identifying strategies and actions to manage the risk associated with SPPs and other key roles

Culture and engagement

In the BC Public Service, we see organizational culture as the pieces that make up the day-to-day experience of being a public servant. Such pieces include our expectations of employees, the policies and rules that shape how we work, the physical experience of the workplace, the relationships we share and our sense of attachment to a common purpose.

This section articulates how the ministry will support continued development of positive culture and engagement by identifying:

  • How workforce strategies align with the public service renewal (PSR) priorities, the Corporate Plan and corporate values
  • How the ministry supports flexible work
  • Health and safety management strategies in place or planned
  • Culture and engagement strategies that are foundational to your organization

Related links

Review the following Careers & MyHR content for additional context and guidance:

Resource hub

The following guides are helpful in the creation of a workforce plan:

Useful contacts

Employees can submit an AskMyHR (IDIR restricted) service request to connect with the corporate workforce strategies team.

If you're a B.C. government employee without an IDIR, contact the BC Public Service Agency to submit your service request.