OLCE/References/FAQ/Annual Review on Official Languages

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Annual Review on Official Languages

What is the Annual Review on Official Languages?

There are two main components to the Annual Review on Official Languages:
1. Excel Questionnaire (Joint TBS-PCH questions, as well as Parts IV, V, VI of the OLA)

  • Collects official languages related information with questions on Governance, Monitoring, Communications and Services to the Public, Languages of Work, Equitable Participation, Leadership, and Human Resources Management.
  • Excel template for tabulation purposes. Mixture of narrative and drop-down menu style questions.

2. Part VII Questionnaire

  • A narrative style questionnaire highlighting key achievements of your institution relating to the implementation of positive measures.

Is my institution required to complete a Review this year?

There are approximately 200 institutions that are subject to the Official Languages Act. In order to reduce the reporting burden, TBS adopted a three-year cycle. A majority of institutions must submit a review at least once over a three-year cycle. TBS takes into consideration the size, mandate and level of risk in terms of official languages of the institution. Institutions that are required to complete a Review this year will be contacted to attend an information session prior to the exercise’s launch.

When is the official call letter for the Annual Reviews on Official Languages sent out?

The call letter for the Review on Official Languages is generally sent by the end of March. The call letter is comprised of two distinct elements:
1. A joint email to Deputy Heads from the TBS Chief Human Resources Officer and the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie at PCH, informing them that the exercise has been launched;
2. This first email is immediately followed by a second email to Champions, Persons Responsible for Official Languages and Section 41 Coordinators within your institution. This second email includes the instructions and necessary templates in order to complete the exercise.

Why is the Review important?

Legislative requirement: The Official Languages Act (OLA)

  • Under Part VIII of the OLA, the President of the Treasury Board must submit an annual report to Parliament (the Annual Report on Official Languages) on the status of programs relating to the official languages of Canada in the various federal institutions under his/her mandate.


Annual Report on Official Languages (AROL)

  • The information submitted in the Reviews on Official Languages is used to draft the AROL for both TBS and Canadian Heritage.
  • Should an institution fail to submit a Review within the established timelines, TBS reserves the right to name that institution in the AROL.
  • Allows parliamentarians and the Canadian public to examine the state of official languages within the federal public service.


Institutional Diagnostic

  • Can help identify areas of strength, and opportunity for improvement.
  • Allows TBS to identify common issues, best practices, and offer horizontal support to institutions.

How do you collect workforce data?

  • If your institution is part of the Core Public Administration, we extract this data from the Position and Classification Information System (PCIS) as of March 31st.
  • If your institution is not part of the Core Public Administration, you must complete an Official Languages Information System II (OLIS II) table - Excel format table that auto-populates certain information once your institution name is selected