Project Management Advisory Council

Terms of reference

Date established:
September 25, 2008
Date updated:
October 10, 2012
April 13, 2015

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In response to Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) assessment of PSPC in the Management Accountability Framework (MAF) Round V, the Deputy has asked each Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) to sign a MAF Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MAF 15 undertaking is intended to facilitate collaboration in meeting the requirements of the TB Policy on the Management of Projects introduced in 2007. As per requirements under this policy, departments need to have in place an appropriate capacity for managing projects, which reflects the level of project complexity and risk, and integrates decision-making across projects, which will support the achievement and demonstration of value for money and sound stewardship. This appropriate capacity will also ensure an optimal contribution to program, organizational, horizontal and government outcomes.


In December 2010, PSPC approved the National Project Management System (NPMS) Policy. In so doing, it extended the application of NPMS beyond the Real Property realm to include Information technology-Enabled business projects and other projects, to ensure a standardized approach to project management across the Department. The Policy is built upon the Treasury Board (TB) framework and gating process, and promotes the sharing of best practices and lessons learned resulting in improved project management practices. The Department is using the performance monitoring framework of its recently approved Integrated Investment Plan (IIP) to monitor adherence to the Policy.

In July 2011, TB approved PSPC's first IIP, making PSPC one of the few fully compliant departments to have a TB-approved IIP. The IIP ensures that PSPC's investments are aligned with government and departmental priorities and are managed with integrity and affordability through the established governance structure. TB Ministers also approved PSPC's Organizational Project Management Capacity Assessment (OPMCA) as being a Class 3.


The PSPC Project Management Advisory Council will facilitate inter-branch cooperation in order to:

  • Strengthen departmental project management capacity
  • Share best practices, enhance similarities in procedures, tools, project documentation, and review project practices
  • Develop and maintain a PSPC NPMS project management framework to ensure systematic use of project management tools within the department to monitor progress, expenditure and risk associated with projects in preparation to meet requirements of the TBS Policy on the Management of Projects
  • Facilitate and communicate results lessons learned including the results of the Real Property Branch collaboration with TBS on a dry run implementation of the Policy on the Management of Projects
  • Review Project Management methodologies to ensure milestones are met in a timely manner
  • Explore innovative project management approaches

Scope of activities

The following framework is used to establish the Council's workplan and areas of focus. Items brought forward to the Council are to be clearly linked to those categories in order to easily provide context for the purpose of the items.

Council activities will include the following:

  • Sharing of best practices and project practices for enhancement of NPMS similarities in procedures
  • Identifying commonalties in service delivery to garner support for transformational initiatives
  • Reviewing and recommending approaches for systematic use of NPMS project management tools within the department to monitor progress, expenditure and risk associated with projects in order to develop and establish a framework for project management practices within the Department, which will include at a minimum the following:
    • Identifying approaches to ensure links are clearly established between project business volume and Branch/ Departmental capacity planning
    • An approach to track appropriate skill sets
    • Approaches to ensure milestones are met in a timely manner
  • Coordinating and preparing of PSPC responses to document progress and provide evidence in a manner supporting PSPC's preparations for the annual MAF assessment of Area of Management 15 related to project management aspects
  • Facilitating PSPC continuous preparations for the OPMCA and monitoring progress at least on an annual basis
  • Coordinating and preparing of PSPC responses to document progress and provide evidence to TBS every three years for the OPMCA
  • Investigating standardized project management training and recommending training for branches to provide to staff including training being offered through the Canada School of Public Service



Provided by Real Property Branch, PTSM, and Information Technology Services Branch, PDO.

Branch representation

  • Accounting, Banking and Compensation Branch (ABCB)
  • Acquisitions Branch (AB)
  • Communications Branch (CB)
  • Corporate Services and Strategic Policy Branch (CSSPB)
  • Departmental Oversight Branch (DOB)
  • Finance Branch (FB)
  • Human Resources Branch (HRB)
  • Information Technology Services Branch (ITSB)
  • Integrated Services Branch (ISB)
  • Parliamentary Precinct Branch (PPB)
  • Real Property Branch (RPB)
  • Translation Bureau (BtB)


ITSB—Project Delivery Office

Roles and responsibilities


  • are to contribute their expertise in the subject area, and to provide their advice on the policy in a timely fashion
  • are to attend all scheduled meetings and to identify an appropriate substitute who will assume the responsibilities of the regular member in sufficient time, with advance notice to the co-chairs
  • are to share with non-members the discussions at this Council to ensure the broadest possible input into the recommendations made.
  • Through the implementation of the council recommendations in their own branches, gather and share their experiences to help facilitate the implementation of the proposed initiatives


  • Establish content and desired outcomes
  • Prepare/gather/distribute materials
  • Establish the meeting agenda
  • Determine variations to meeting agendas or dates, taking into consideration internal or external factors including the depth of agenda items available for discussion
  • Present the agenda and previous meeting RODs for member approval
  • Summarize points, have RODs taken
  • Review and approve meeting RODs prior to distribution to members, in coordination with the Secretariat
  • Create working groups as necessary to analyse specific issues and proposals, and
  • Chair and manage the meetings


  • Ensuring that the records of decision (RODs) are stored in a shared, commonly accessible location available to all members, preferably on the Intranet site
  • Arranging venues and dates for meetings
  • Managing all logistics concerning the meetings
  • Distributing the meeting agenda once it has been established and approved through the co-chairs
  • Taking RODs at the meetings
  • Managing the agenda
  • Preparing draft RODs for review and approval of presenters (where necessary) and co-chairs prior to final distribution to all members
  • Receipt of agenda items and material for consideration at the council meetings
  • Distributing meeting materials to all members after approval is received
  • Receiving updates and RODs from working groups for furtherance to members through the distribution process
  • Performing a variety of administrative functions to maintain member lists, translation of documents and other activities
  • Coordinating the initial contact on the investigation or resolution of issues

Frequency/timing of meetings

Meetings shall be held typically on a monthly basis. At the discretion of the co-chairs, special meetings may be called and monthly meetings cancelled.

Records of Decisions will be prepared and tabled for approval at the following meeting.

Currency of terms of rference

These terms of reference shall be reviewed at least once a year by the members.

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