Temporary help services at a glance

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Pre-solicitation phase

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Identified users allowed to use the supply arrangement

Possible identified users of temporary help services (THS) for the National Capital Region (NCR) include any government department, agency or Crown Corporation listed in Schedules I, I.1, II, III, of the Financial Administration Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. F-11.


Our new mandatory online training is being handled by the team in charge of the Centralized Professional Services System ePortal and questions or problems with enrolment should be directed to them.

Determining if you can use this supply arrangement for your requirement

When it comes to using the THS in the NCR supply arrangement (SA) procurement personnel must first determine if their requirement meets 1 of the following 3 situations:

These are the only 3 situations under which the SA can be used. THS for the NCR must not be used when the client is seeking a solution to a departmental business requirement or for requirements outside the NCR. Other professional services methods of supply are available for these types of requirements.

Outside the National Capital Region

Currently, the other regions in Canada use their own, individual procurement tools.

The diverse (underrepresented) suppliers program

THS for the NCR is participating in a pilot program to promote social procurement which creates greater inclusiveness and opportunities for participation by underrepresented groups in federal government procurement. Groups currently included in the pilot program are women, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, and Indigenous peoples. These underrepresented supply groups will be referred to as diverse suppliers and will have the opportunity to self-identify when submitting their arrangement.

The solicitation process

In this section

Using competitive method 2

When reviewing our request for proposal templates for your use, note that competitive method 2 may be considered the “default” procurement instrument. It can be used for any contract amount under $2 million, even those for less than 40K or for a single resource.

By comparison, the non-competitive and competitive method 1 template contracts are for specific situations. The non-competitive template must only be used when a requirement under 40K is paired with a substantiated client request to direct the contract to a known supplier, while Competitive method 1 should be considered an “express” instrument, useful only for:

The right-fit selection method

The right-fit basis of selection is a pilot program. It will be monitored for a year, during which time it may be modified or removed. This method allows identified users to choose a bid which is technically responsive to the minimum mandatory criteria and has a price which is within a pre-determined band. Interviews may be administered to select the best resource among the responsive bids.

This basis of selection is only an option when using method 1, for a single resource only, under $400,000.

The rules for using the right-fit basis of selection are:

  1. to be declared responsive, a bid must:
    1. comply with all the requirements of the bid solicitation
    2. meet all mandatory criteria
    3. comply with the following pricing rules:
      • a band between -20% and +20% of the median hourly rate will be used when 3 or more bids are responsive to the mandatory technical criteria. Any bids outside of this band will be considered non-responsive
      • when only 2 bids are responsive to the mandatory technical criteria, the higher priced bid may be selected if the hourly rate is within 25% of the lowest priced
  2. bids not meeting a, b, or c will be declared non-responsive
  3. the selection will be based on the following justifications only:
    1. specialized education which will improve the quality of services to be provided
    2. additional certifications which will improve the quality of services to be provided
    3. additional experience which will improve the quality of services to be provided
    4. knowledge of relevant government policies or procedures which will improve the quality of services to be provided
    5. better proficiency in 1 or both official languages which will improve the quality of the services to be provided
  4. if only 1 bid is responsive to the mandatory technical criteria, the identified user should determine that the bid represents fair market value to Canada before awarding a contract
  5. unsuccessful bidders must be advised of the results including the justification and the median rate used

How to calculate median price

Example of basis of selection: Right-fit
Category Bid A Bid B Bid C Bid D Median price Lowest price
Data entry clerk, Jr. $25.00 $21.87 $18.00 $26.00 $23.44 $18.00

The median price is calculated as follows:

Order the bids from lowest to highest: $18, $21.87, $25, and $26

The median price = {(n + 1) ÷ 2}, where “n” is the number of bids = {(4+ 1) ÷ 2} = 2.5

$21.87 is in the 2nd position and $25 is in the 3rd position, so 2.5 is the price halfway between these = $23.44.

Example of results: Right-fit
Category Lower median limit
Upper median limit
Within median band Lowest price
Within 25% band
Data Entry Clerk, Jr. $18.75 $28.12 A,B,D $22.50 B and C

If you have been contacted by a supplier who was not invited

All THS requirements above the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) threshold within the NCR require that a notice of proposed procurement (NPP) be posted on CanadaBuys. In cases where a NPP has been posted and one or more THS pre-qualified supplier(s) request to participate in a request for proposal (RFP), clients should include them only if the supplier(s) are pre-qualified for the category(ies) identified in the RFP, as well as if time permits and it is operationally feasible. Please note that a client is not obliged to provide these suppliers with additional time to submit a proposal. Upon request, the contracting authority (CA) shall send a copy of their RFP document to suppliers.

Contract management

In this section

Issuing a contract for more than 48 weeks but less than 72

THS contract duration cannot exceed 48 weeks at the time of issuance.

Extending contracts beyond 48 weeks

On an exceptional basis only, contracts can be amended to extend up to a maximum of 24 consecutive weeks beyond the limit of 48 consecutive weeks. PSPC does not have to approve the amendment. However, you must send a copy within 2 working days for administration purposes by email to: tpsgc.pasat-apths.pwgsc@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca.


Contracting rules and principles prohibit “directed payrolling” – the practice by which firms are asked, or are suggested, by federal government departments or agencies to employ specific individuals who are then assigned to provide services to that government or agency under a contract.

Terminating a contract for convenience

It is possible to terminate a THS contract for convenience under the terms of 2010B (2022-12-01) Termination for convenience. We always recommend consulting with internal stakeholders, such as the legal services, before proceeding with a contract termination.

Employer-employee relationships

Contractor resources are employees of the contractor. Performance and administrative matters must be managed through the contractor. Ensure that no work begins until a written contract is in place.

Business rules table

Identified users must consult their delegation of authority before using any of the contracting options described below.

Business rules comparative table
  Non-competitive Competitive method 1 Competitive method 2
Contract financial limits $40,000 including applicable taxes and travel. Multiple resources possible.

$400,000 including applicable taxes and travel

Limit of 1 resource per contract

$1 million including applicable taxes and travel (over $1 million with THS SA Authority approval).

Multiple resources possible

Contract period

The contract period must not exceed 48 consecutive weeks. Beyond that limit, the Contract could be amended to add a maximum of 24 consecutive weeks (maximum contract period of 72 consecutive weeks) if the amendment to extend its duration is issued after the first 40 consecutive weeks of the contract period and the CA of the Identified user can fully substantiate this rational for the decision.

For your information, the identified user will notify the THS for the NCR Authority of the issued amendment by email within 2 business days of issuing the amendment.

Evaluation criteria in addition to the minimum mandatory criteria for the SA category No additional mandatory criteria

Maximum of 2 additional mandatory criteria only

No rated or asset criteria allowed

Additional mandatory and rated criteria allowed
Basis of selection Directed to 1 supplier provided they are responsive to the minimum mandatory criteria for the SA category
  • Lowest Price responsive
  • Right-fit
  • Lowest price responsive
  • Highest combined rating of technical merit & price
  • Minimum point-rated
  • Any other option except right-fit
Financial criteria for right-fit n/a Median Band from 20% below to 20% above median rate n/a
CPSS search list of pre-qualified suppliers (expires at Request for Proposal issuance) Identified user selects any supplier from the CPSS search list
  • System randomly chooses 5 suppliers that are certified as diverse suppliers, 3 being low volume
  • System randomly chooses another 6 suppliers
  • Identified user chooses 0 to 4 additional suppliers
  • See rules for joint ventures under 6.2.3 below
Recommended minimum solicitation period n/a
  • Lowest price 48 hours
  • Right-fit 96 hours
Identified user’s choice
Bid validity n/a 15 calendar days 60 calendar days
Publication of Notice of Proposed Procurement (NPP) n/a For requirements above the prehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) threshold. For requirements above the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) threshold.
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