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Audit of Staffing


The Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA) authorizes the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to appoint and employ its personnel and establish terms and conditions of employment. This legislative authority provides CNSC with flexibility in engaging, retaining and managing the Agency's human resources. Equally, it places responsibility on CNSC management to exercise due diligence in administering this authority.

The audit was approved as part of the 2008-2009 Risk-based Audit Plan. The planning phase was conducted during the May - September 2008 period. At the end of the planning phase, the Vice-President of Corporate Services Branch requested that the audit be delayed for one year due to operational requirements. This request was accepted by the President. Following the agreement on timing, the examination phase was rescheduled for September 2009.


The objective of the audit was to provide independent, objective assurance on the framework to manage staff recruitment in the CNSC; the efficiency and effectiveness of the staffing process; and, compliance with CNSC and other relevant policies and procedures.


The audit examined the following three elements of the staffing process:

  1. The management framework for recruitment and staffing (policies, procedures, etc.)
  2. The efficiency and effectiveness of the staffing process
  3. Compliance with CNSC policies and procedures, including official languages requirements

The scope included the CNSC advertised (i.e., competitive) staffing process which entails a seven-step process: planning; advertising; screening; assessment; post assessment; job offer and notification as well as, for the non-advertised process which entails a three-step process: planning; assessment and post-assessment.

The roles and responsibilities for staffing fall to both the Human Resources Directorate (HRD) and the designated hiring managers throughout the organization. The activities of both of these groups were examined.


The audit approach included interviews with HRD personnel and hiring managers throughout the organization and the examination of staffing files to assess compliance with procedures. The audit also included a survey and focus group with hiring managers.

Staffing practices were surveyed for comparative purposes at other federal separate agencies, including Parks Canada, the Office of the Auditor General, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions and the National Research Council of Canada. The audit team gathered and analyzed sufficient and appropriate information to support the accuracy of the audit conclusions.

The audit was conducted between September and November 2009. The findings and conclusion are based on a comparison of the conditions that existed within the Human Resources Directorate (HRD) as of November 2009 against pre-established audit criteria.

The audit was conducted in accordance with internal auditing standards for the Government of Canada and the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.

Read the full report (PDF).

Read the Managment Response to CNSC's Internal Audit of Staffing Processes.

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