Statistics Canada – Canada School of Public Service Skills Inventory - Privacy impact assessment summary


Government of Canada organizations require ready and detailed access to important information about their employees' education, skills and learning interests in order to make better decisions about how to manage programs and policies to meet business objectives, and engage employees to perform at their highest level.


The Skills Inventory project is a collaborative activity between Statistics Canada and the Canada School of Public Service (CSPS) to collect data, on a voluntary basis, from Government of Canada employees on their backgrounds, including skills data. The data collected will be linked with existing administrative data to create a skills profile for participating employees. The data will be used by the employees' organization for HR planning, gap analysis, and to identify possible learning or developmental opportunities. It will not be used for administrative purposes such as performance management or promotional appointments.


The goal is to compile a more comprehensive view of employee skills, competencies and professional experiences with the view of understanding organizational strengths and weaknesses, and individual strengths and opportunities for professional development. The results will contribute to a number of different human resource planning functions, such as identifying improved training, recruitment and retention strategies, at the aggregate level, and identifying possible assignments or special opportunities that match employees' skill profiles and growth interests for those who participate in the survey. These functions are similar to those managers already carry out based on their personal knowledge of their employees. By inviting all employees to participate in this data collection, and by making the data accessible to managers, one of the aims is to contribute to ensuring the professional development of employees is fair and data-driven.

Risk Area Identification and Categorization

The PIA also identifies the risk areas and categorizes the level of potential risk (level 1 representing the lowest level of potential risk and level 4, the highest) associated with the collection and use of personal information in the context of this initiative.

  • Type of program or activity – Level 2: Administration of program or activity and services.
  • Type of personal information involved and context – Level 2: Personal information, with no contextual sensitivities after the time of collection, provided by the individual with consent to also use personal information held by another source.
  • Program or activity partners and private sector involvement – Level 2: With other government institutions.
  • Duration of the program or activity – Level 3: Long-term program or activity.
  • Program population – Level 2: The program's use of personal information for internal administrative purposes affects all employees.
  • Personal information transmission – Level 2: The personal information is used in a system that has connections to at least one other system.
  • Technology and privacy: This activity does not involve the implementation of a new electronic system or the use of a new application or software, does not require any modifications to information technology (IT) legacy systems or the implementation of new technologies.
  • Privacy breach: There is a very low risk of a breach of some of the personal information being disclosed.


This assessment of the Statistics Canada – Canada School of Public Service Skills Inventory did not identify any privacy risks that cannot be managed using existing safeguards.

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