Privy Council Office
Ottawa, ON
Privy Council Office - Prime Minister’s Products
Ottawa (Ontario)
$80,274 to $86,788
For further information on the organization, please visit Privy Council Office

Closing date: 29 September 2019 - 23:59, Pacific Time

Who can apply: Persons residing in Canada and Canadian citizens residing abroad.
Apply online

Important messages
The Privy Council Office (PCO) is dedicated to building an inclusive workforce with a diversity of experience, perspectives, and backgrounds that represents Canada now and in the future. We are passionate about fostering a workplace where all people feel welcome, can reach their full potential, and contribute their unique perspectives and experience to the success of the team.

We encourage applications from all qualified candidates, regardless of race, colour, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity and/or expression), national origin, sexual orientation, civil union or relationship status, disability, age, parental status, military service, or other status protected under federal law.

In order to submit a COMPLETE application, you must:
1. Submit your résumé
2. Answer all of the pre-screening questions
3. Provide a writing sample, which will be used to assess your ability to write high quality communications products in English

When answering the pre-screening questions, you must provide concrete and detailed examples to clearly demonstrate when, where, and how you gained the experience needed to meet the qualifications. We can’t make any assumptions about your experience. Simply saying you have the required qualifications or listing your current duties is not enough. We’ll only use your résumé as a secondary source of information. If you don’t clearly demonstrate you have the required experience and education, we won’t ask for additional information and you may be screened out.

As part of the application process, you will be required to provide a writing sample of 250 to 350 words answering one of the three questions below:
  • What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done, and why did you do it?
  • Who is someone you look up to, and why?
  • If you could ask a question to any one person, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you ask them and why?
Priority will be given to candidates who are able to translate short passages from English to French, and review and edit texts in French.

We’re looking for talented writers who can draft high-quality communications products that tell a story about what the government is doing and why. Ideally, we are looking for people who can also meticulously edit and parallel review products in French.

A keen interest in history and a hunger for breaking news will help drive you as you write about high-profile domestic and world events. Within a supportive team environment, you will:

  • Write non-partisan communications products to support the Prime Minister’s activities and announcements
  • Play a leadership role by mentoring and coaching junior analysts
  • Provide strategic advice directly to senior officials
  • Work with departments and colleagues to research, review, and finalize high-quality products
  • Work on highly sensitive files that require discretion, tact, and attention to detail
You will also be expected to work stand-by on a rotating basis with other team members to ensure somebody is always available to write and coordinate communications products as needed after hours and on weekends.

Work environment
PCO is like no other organization in the Government of Canada. Working here, you will get first-hand experience providing non-partisan communications advice to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and working directly with the Prime Minister’s chief advisors on some of the most high-profile issues facing the country.

The Prime Minister’s Products team works in a fast-paced, 24/7 environment that requires the team to be available to support PMO at a moment’s notice. As a member of the team, you will write high-quality communications products on a wide variety of topics, often on tight deadlines. You may begin your day writing a news release to announce a new state-of-the-art research laboratory, find yourself working on a congratulatory message for the new president of a foreign country before lunch, and end your day drafting an urgent statement from the Prime Minister to respond to a fire that has displaced hundreds of Canadians.

You will work on a team where peer support and feedback is viewed as an integral part of the writing process. We consider advice from all team members – regardless of level – on each product we write to help make sure that all of our work reflects the diversity of the Canadian public we serve.

Through daily interactions, you will also develop strong relationships with communications colleagues across the Public Service and advisors in PMO. You will be challenged to think through the complexities and nuances of any given topic so you can write in a tone and voice that reaches and engages Canadians.

The broad range of subjects will give you the chance to build a wide network and work with a variety departments and agencies. If you’re looking to develop new skills and be pushed beyond your comfort zone, PCO will help you grow and propel your career forward.

Intent of the process
This is an anticipatory process, which means that we don’t currently have vacancies, but will create a pool of qualified or partially qualified candidates for future needs that could be used to staff similar positions within PCO with various tenures (term, indeterminate), security requirements, and linguistic requirements.

We may appoint candidates by applying one or more of the following criteria:

  • Breadth, depth, type of specific work experience
  • Matching individual experience or qualifications to the strengths and/or weaknesses of the team
  • Matching individual experience or qualifications to the specific duties of the position being staffed
Positions to be filled: Number to be determined

Information you must provide
Your résumé.

In order to be considered, your application must clearly explain how you meet the following (essential qualifications)

ED1: A degree from a recognized post-secondary institution OR an acceptable combination of education, training and/or related experience.

Degree equivalency


EX1: Significant* experience in assessing the communications implications of announcement and programs.

EX2: Significant* experience in writing and coordinating communications products that support ministers, senior executives, or officials** for public events.

EX3: Significant* experience in providing communications advice directly to senior executives or officials** regarding communications activities.

  • Significant experience is defined as the breadth and depth of experience normally associated with full-time performance of duties for a period of approximately 2 years.
** Senior executives or officials include top ranking members of an organization who are responsible for overall operations and performance or a specific unit within the organization. This definition includes officials at the director level or above for those employed in the Government of Canada.

If you possess any of the following, your application must also clearly explain how you meet it (other qualifications)


AED1: A degree from a recognized post-secondary institution in translation or French.

Degree equivalency


AEX1: Experience performing comparative revision between English and French products, and terminological research.

AEX2: Experience reviewing and editing texts in French.

The following will be applied / assessed at a later date (essential for the job)
Various language requirements
English Essential;
Bilingual Imperative BBB/BBB;
Bilingual Imperative CBC/CBC;
Bilingual Imperative CCC/CCC; or
Other linguistic profiles / requirements.

Information on language requirements


AB1: Ability to write high quality communications products in English within short deadlines.

AB2: Ability to prioritize and work effectively under pressure and under tight deadlines.

AB3: Ability to provide strategic advice.

AB4: Ability to communicate effectively orally.

AB5: Ability to conduct research and accurately synthesize information.


PS1: Judgement

PS2: Initiative

PS3: Effective interpersonal skills

PS4: Attention to detail

The following may be applied / assessed at a later date (may be needed for the job)


AAB1: Ability to translate short passages from English to French.

AAB2: Ability to review and edit texts in French.

AAB3: Ability to quality control texts translated from English to French.

Conditions of employment
Secret security clearance


Ability to work long hours and overtime on short notice.

Ability to be included in a roster for scheduled stand-by and on-call duties.

Other information
The Public Service of Canada is committed to building a skilled and diverse workforce that reflects the Canadians we serve. We promote employment equity and encourage you to indicate if you belong to one of the designated groups when you apply.

Information on employment equity

As part of this process, you can expect to:
  • provide proof of your education credentials
  • write an exam
  • take part in an interview
  • have your references checked
Please note that we will not acknowledge receipt of your application. We will only contact the candidates who meet the essential qualifications at the screening stage.

All communications related to this process, including email, may be used to assess your qualifications. We will send all communication through email or the Public Service Resourcing System. Please ensure your email address can receive email from unknown users (some email systems block these types of email) and that you check your junk mail just in case. It’s your responsibility to keep your contact information up-to-date.

You are entitled to participate in the appointment process in the official language of your choice.

The Public Service of Canada is also committed to developing inclusive, barrier-free selection processes and work environments. If contacted in relation to a job opportunity or testing, you should advise the departmental official (contact information below) in a timely fashion of the accommodation measures that must be taken to enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner. Information received relating to accommodation measures will be addressed confidentially.

Preference will be given to veterans and to Canadian citizens, in that order, with the exception of a job located in Nunavut, where Nunavut Inuit will be appointed first.

Information on the preference to veterans

We thank all those who apply. Only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.