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0104 - Screening Applications

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  1. Once the advertising period is complete and the assessment materials are prepared, the Selection Committee reviews the applications to determine who meets the requirements listed in the screening criteria and who will be selected for an assignment and/or interview.


  1. Affirmative Action Policy is the Cabinet directive that supports the GNWT’s commitment to a competent Public Service that is representative of the population it serves.
  2. Bona fide Occupational Requirements are the essential and/or statutory standards required to perform the duties of a job. Example: Highway Transport Officers are required to have driver’s license in order to drive vehicles or Bilingual positions require the incumbent to speak an Official Language, such as French.
  3. Competition File is the official record of the competition containing all documents required by policies and guidelines.
  4. Equivalencies are the various combinations of education and experience required to do the duties of the job.
  5. Human Resources Representative means those employees of the Department of Finance designated to co-ordinate the recruitment process.
  6. Screening Criteria are established to determine which candidates qualify for further consideration. They consist of a combination of prerequisite education and experience, along with any bona fide occupational requirements.
  7. Selection Committee includes, but is not necessarily restricted to, a Human Resources Representative and the Supervisor of the position being filled.  Where appropriate, a member with technical expertise or community representative may be added to the Selection Committee, either as a full participant or in an advisory capacity with no vote in the final hiring decision.
  8. Systemic Employment Barriers refer to job requirements that unfairly exclude qualified people from competing for jobs.  For example: requiring "GNWT experience" may discriminate against people who have never worked for the GNWT.
  9. Technical Suitability refers to the education, training, knowledge and skills required to successfully perform the job duties.



  1. The job description is used to create the screening criteria which identifies the education, experience and bona fide occupational requirements required to do the job.
  2. The Selection Committee shall identify one or more combinations of education and experience they consider equivalent to the education and experience established in the job description for the position, for inclusion in the screening criteria.
  3. To assist in the identification of equivalencies, the GNWT practice is to consider one year of directly related experience equivalent to one year of education and vice versa.  However, this is only a guideline.  Experience and education combinations must often be considered on a case by case basis.
  4. As it is not possible to identify all equivalencies, other combinations of education and experience will be considered on a case by case basis.
  5. Bona fide occupational requirements for position qualifications must be included in the screening criteria. Some examples of bona fide occupational requirements are:
    1. for a position which requires the employee to drive, applicants must have a driver's license;        
    2. for a lawyer's position, the applicant must be eligible to be a member of the NWT Law Society; or
    3. for a physician's position, the applicant must meet registration and licensing requirements under the Medical Profession Act.
  6. Screening criteria shall not result in the establishment of systemic employment barriers. 
  7. The screening criteria shall be finalized and approved by the selection committee prior to reviewing applications for the position.
  8. Selection Committee members who find themselves in a potential conflict of interest situation, due to a relationship with a candidate, are required to discuss this with the other Selection Committee members and, if the Committee deems it necessary, recuse themselves from the competition. Selection Committee members should also remove themselves from the committee if they are not able to participate in all aspects of the competition for the duration of the hiring process.
  9. Where a Committee member must withdraw from the competition and it is necessary to replace that member a substitute may be used.
  10. Members of the Selection Committee shall reach unanimous consent on the outcome of the screening process.
  11. All applicant information and the competition process are confidential and all applications are to be considered fairly and in accordance with the Affirmative Action Policy.
  12. Under no circumstances shall Selection Committee members contact the current employer or other references of a candidate during the screening process.
  13. Employees who are on the Staffing Priority List or the Cross Departmental Accommodation List shall have staffing priority status over all other candidates.
  14. If applications are received from individuals on the Staffing Priority List or Cross Departmental Accommodation List who are qualified for the position or can become qualified with one year or less of training, they must be assessed prior to all other applicants. 
  15. The Affirmative Action Policy will guide Selection Committee members in determining who will be considered for an assignment and/or interview (see Section 101, Affirmative Action Policy).
  16. Applications received from employees on probation for their current job will not be considered beyond screening without written permission from their Deputy Head.
  17. Employees who apply on a position and commence a probationary period following their application will require written permission from their Deputy Head to continue in the competition.
  18. An employee who has been dismissed or rejected on probation, or deemed to have abandoned their position in the Territorial Public Service is considered ineligible for re-employment for a period of at least three years from the date of their dismissal, rejection on probation or abandonment.
  19. If at any time during the competition, the Human Resources Representative determines that a candidate intentionally misrepresents any part of their qualifications or work experience, they are immediately eliminated from the competition



  1. The Human Resources Representative, in cooperation with the Selection Committee, drafts the screening criteria based on the education, experience and bona fide occupational requirements established in the job description for the position.
  2. The screening criteria is dated and signed off by all members of the Selection Committee to indicate consensus agreement.
  3. Following the closing of the competition, the members of the Selection Committee review applications received to ensure no conflict of interest exists.
  4. The Selection Committee assesses applications received to determine if the established education and experience or equivalencies and bona fide occupational requirements in the screening criteria are satisfied.  
  5. The Selection Committee may establish a short list of candidates.  Affirmative Action priority is always used to determine those applicants to be short listed.  If the number of candidates in an Affirmative Action priority category who screen in is large, the Committee can use one of the following to help determine which candidates to interview first:
    1. Administer a pre-interview assignment or test to the top candidates. Only those who are successful or the top scorers are considered for an interview; and/or
    2. Identify those candidates possessing qualifications that make the likelihood of success in the job greater (i.e., more education, experience, etc.).
  6. If necessary, applicants may be asked to confirm their Affirmative Action status.


 Authorities and References

Public Service Act

Section 19.(1), Qualifications

Section 19.(2), Discrimination


Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Section 6.(4), Affirmative Action Programs

Section 15.(2), Affirmative Action Programs


Human Rights Act

Section 8.(2), Bona fide Occupational Requirement


Affirmative Action Policy


GNWT Code of Conduct

Conflict of Interest

Confidential Information and the Oath of Office and Secrecy