Discipline appeal process directive

This directive covers the discipline appeal process for Alberta Public Service permanent managers and opted out and excluded employees.


This directive describes the discipline appeal process for permanent managers and opted out and excluded employees. It covers reviews by the deputy head and a Board of Review and sets out time limits and correspondence requirements.

The discipline appeal process for bargaining unit employees is contained in the Collective Agreement.

Deputy head review

Employees will be notified in writing if disciplinary action is taken against them. Within 15 days of receiving the notice, they may request that the deputy head review the action.

The deputy head may establish appropriate review procedures, provided employees are allowed the opportunity to present their case orally or in writing, or both.

The deputy head will complete the review within 30 days of receiving the request, and will notify the employee in writing of whether the disciplinary action is upheld, modified, or rescinded.

If the disciplinary action results in dismissal, suspension without pay, or reduction in present salary, employees may request in writing that the Public Service Commissioner establish a Board of Review. The request must be made within 10 days of receiving the deputy head's decision, or within 10 days of when the decision should have been received.

On receiving a request for review, the Public Service Commissioner will establish a Board of Review and appoint a Chair and two other members.

Disciplinary board of review

A Board of Review conducts an internal review of a management decision; the proceedings are not public. The Board does not have final and binding powers. The discipline appeal process will not review classification decisions.

The Board of Review:

  • may decide on the relevance and admissibility of evidence
  • will require that evidence be given under oath or affirmation but will not be bound by the rules of evidence applicable to judicial proceedings
  • will allow the parties opportunity for cross-examination, rebuttal, and summation
  • will allow the parties to be represented by counsel
  • may retain counsel for their own purposes
  • may require that the proceedings be recorded
  • may order such adjournments as it considers necessary

Within 10 days of completing its review, the Board of Review will recommend to the department head in writing that the disciplinary action be upheld, modified, or rescinded. A copy of the recommendation will be sent to the Public Service Commissioner. 

Within 10 days of receiving the Board of Review's recommendation, the department head will notify the manager in writing of whether the disciplinary action is to be upheld, modified, or rescinded. If the disciplinary action is rescinded, all material related to that action must be removed from the employee's file.


All correspondence, including notification of disciplinary action, should be delivered by hand or double registered mail.

Time limits

Time limits may be extended by agreement in writing between the employee and either the deputy head, department head, Public Service Commissioner, or Chair of the Board of Review.

No time limit is set for the proceedings of the Board; however, this review should be completed as quickly as possible.

An employee may withdraw a request for a review at any time. The Public Service Commissioner will then dissolve the Board.

About this directive

Authority:Public Service Employment Regulation
Application:Organizations under the Public Service Act
Effective Date:November 23, 2000
Contact:Alberta Public Service Commission:
Labour and Employment Practices; Labour and Employment Policy