Frequently Asked Questions

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1. General information

1.1 The Public Service Commission (PSC) of Canada

What does the PSC do?

Among many other functions, the PSC:

  • facilitates the staffing of federal government positions by advertising employment opportunities at;
  • develops policies and guidance materials for managers responsible for staffing federal public service positions;
  • holds managers accountable for their staffing decisions;
  • conducts audits and investigations to confirm the effectiveness of the staffing system and to make improvements; and
  • provides federal departments and agencies with assessment instruments and services for selection/recruitment and development purposes.

What does the PSC not do?

The PSC does not staff positions in the federal public service. This responsibility, for the most part, was delegated to individual organizations.

1.2 PSC publications

Where can I find reports, research papers, studies or any other document the PSC publishes?

You can find electronic formats of our publications by title, topic or type on our Publications page. For print copies, send us an e-mail.

1.3 Rates of pay for the federal public service

Where can I find rates of pay for the public service of Canada?

The rates of pay for the public service of Canada are available on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Web site.

1.4 Security clearances

Each federal organization coordinates the security clearance process for its new employees or contractors. The public service of Canada does not perform security clearances for non-governmental organizations.

1.5 Statistical information

Where can I find information or statistics related to employment in the public service of Canada?

Information, such as number of public servants by region, by gender, by language, are available from the Treasury Board of Canada.

2. Information for Canadians interested in working in the federal public service

2.1 Employment in the federal public service

How do I get a job with the federal public service?

  • Visit the jobs Web site at
  • Once you have submitted an application, please ensure that you keep a copy for your reference. The PSC is not able to track the status of individual applications.
  • Do not send your résumé to the PSC. We do not accept unsolicited requests for employment.

How do I become part of the public service inventory?

The inventory of names used for referrals to federal public service positions is managed locally by the PSC's regional offices across Canada. Go to the PSC Offices page to find the office nearest you.

I am a public servant. How do I view internal job postings when I am away from the office?

You must be logged in to your account at in order to view internal job postings.

Who do I contact for help if I am having trouble with the on-line job applications (Public Service Resourcing System – PSRS)?

Submit your request using the contact us form on the Jobs Web site.

2.2 Student programs

What kinds of recruitment activities does the federal public service have for students?

There are several programs for students:

I am a hiring manager. How do I bridge a student into the public service once he or she graduates?

Please visit the Recruitment Toolkit for more information on hiring former students.

2.3 Testing

Confirmation of Previous Test Results

Complete the on-line form or send a request by fax at 819-420-8594 indicating:

  • Name (as it appeared on the answer sheet);
  • Personal Record Identifier (PRI), if you are a public servant (Do not send your Social Insurance Number);
  • Name and/or number of the test (i.e., Office Skills Test or Test 200);
  • Date of birth; and
  • Fax number (include your address if you want the confirmation to be sent to your home).

Note: Confirmation of previous test results is only done for tests conducted by the PSC. Expect a minimum five-day turnaround time.

For general inquiries concerning previous test results:

Telephone: 819-420-6686

Questions on PSC assessment tools

For general inquiries:

Telephone: 819-420-8671

Where do I find on-line practice tests?

Practice tests are available for the following exams:

I wish to write the public service entrance exams. How do I register?

The nature of the position to be filled determines which assessment instrument is needed. Therefore, there is no set exam that external applicants can write before applying to a federal public service position. However, when participating in a competitive process, external applicants may be required to write one or more entry exams. Note that being successful on a PSC test does not automatically ensure employment, as other type of assessments may be part of the hiring process. Please visit http://jobs-emplois.gc.cafor positions suitable to your qualifications.

Who do I contact for help if:

  • I need to speak to someone in person? Please call 819-420-6686 only for questions regarding tests results.
  • I can't make the test date? Please contact the person who arranged the test for you.

3. Information for Canadians who are working, or who have worked, in the federal public service

3.1 Investigations

I have concerns regarding an appointment process. What do I do?

Certain processes can be investigated by the PSC, while other cases are now heard by the Public Service Staffing Tribunal (PSST).

What does the PSC investigate?

The PSC can investigate:

  • external appointments (formerly known as open competitions);
  • internal appointments, if not delegated to an organization (formerly known as closed competitions);
  • appointments involving possible political influence; and
  • appointment processes where fraud is suspected.

More information about these investigations is available on the Investigations Branch Web site.

What complaints does the PSST hear?

The Tribunal has the authority to deal with complaints related to:

  • internal appointments;
  • lay-offs;
  • the implementation of corrective measures ordered by the Tribunal; and
  • revocations of appointments. 

More information is available on the PSST Web site.

3.2 Requesting permission to be a candidate in an election

I am a federal public servant and I wish to run as a candidate in a federal, provincial, territorial or municipal election. What do I need to know?

A federal public servant must request the PSC's permission prior to running as a candidate in a federal, provincial, territorial or municipal election. See the Political Activity Web site for more information.

3.3 Adding my name to a priority list

Where can I find information on how to get my name on a priority list?

According to governing legislation, employees meeting very specific conditions may, for a limited period, be considered for appointment to a position in priority to others. More information on priority entitlements is available on the Priority Administration Web site.

3.4 Personal Record Identifiers (PRIs)

How do I obtain a PRI?

PRIs are issued only to individuals who are employed by the public service of Canada. If you have forgotten your PRI, please check your pay stub or contact your organizational human resources advisor.

3.5 Employment verification

I need to confirm my employment history. Who should I contact?

You must contact the human resources section of the last federal public service organization you worked for.