Governor in Council (GIC) appointments

​​Key messages

  • The Minister is responsible for recommending the appointment and reappointment of Governor in Council (GIC) members, and takes into consideration the Board’s operational, linguistic, gender and diversity requirements.
  • The Board’s complement of GIC members has grown significantly over past two years, largely due to temporary funding provided to accelerate the processing of refugee claims and appeals (Budgets 2018, 2019 and the recent Economic and Fiscal Update).
  • Currently, the Board is funded for 166 GIC member positions – 119 with the Refugee Appeal Division and 47 with the Immigration Appeal Division.
  • As of mid-November, there are 14 vacancies at the Refugee Appeal Division representing a vacancy rate of 12%. The Immigration Appeal Division is at full complement.
  • The Board works closely with the Minister and the Privy Council Office to ensure that Governor in Council vacancies are filled in a timely manner, ensuring that the Board is at full complement – or as close as possible – at all times.

What are the education and experience criteria that you use to screen GIC members

GIC members are selected using a rigorous merit-based selection process, during which candidates are assessed through an exam, an interview and the verification of references.

Through its selection process, the IRB works to identify individuals with the following attributes:

  • High ethical standards and integrity
  • Impartiality
  • Sound judgment
  • Tact and discretion
  • Sensitivity to multicultural and gender issues

In addition, candidates should have suitable education credentials, recent experience in the interpretation or application of legislation, and the demonstrated ability to gather and assess complex information in order to prepare written and oral decisions. 

The IRB also recently updated its assessment tools to ensure that potential decision makers display competency in areas related to knowledge of gender-based violence, trauma and working with and respecting diversity.

Existing members

  • The IRB has also taken the following steps to enhance quality of proceedings and decisions, particularly for those claims and appeals involving gender-based issues:
    • First, the IRB has provided additional training for all its refugee decision makers on gender violence and the Chairperson’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Guidelines.
    • Second, the Board has established a dedicated team at the Refugee Protection Division with specialized training relating to gender-related claims.
    • Third, the Board is reviewing and updating the Chairperson’s Gender and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Guidelines, in consultation with stakeholders and external expertise.
    • Fourth, the Board is implementing strengthened monitoring of hearings this year, to identify training needs and to strengthen performance management.