Pre-employment psychological assessment directive

This directive explains which positions need a psychological assessment prior to appointment.

About this directive

Reference to applicable legislation (act or regulation):Section 18(3), Public Service Act
Application:All individuals to be appointed or employed, pursuant to the Public Service Act, to designated law enforcement roles (unless the individual has already been appointed or employed and currently retains the designation of “Peace Officer” and carries a weapon).
Last updated:February 2022
Last reviewed:February 2022
Amended by:Alberta Public Service Commission:
Strategic Services and Public Agency Secretariat; Workforce Policy Branch, Workforce Policy


Departments that hire individuals who are to be issued weapons are required to first conduct pre-employment psychological assessments to determine suitability for weapons issuance and to mitigate the risk of hiring an individual who is not suited to carry a weapon(s). Pre-employment psychological assessments ensure a common and consistent approach to the evaluation of suitability for weapons issuance across the Government of Alberta.


This directive explains what a pre-employment psychological assessment entails and which positions require pre-employment psychological assessments prior to appointment.

Definition of terms

Disclaimer: If there are any discrepancies in how the terms are defined below and the Public Service Act and Public Service Employment Regulation, the act and regulation supersede.

Pre-employment psychological assessment: a series of validated psychological assessment tools administered and interpreted by a registered psychologist(s), to determine individuals' suitability for weapons issuance for designated law enforcement roles in the Alberta Public Service. These psychological assessment tools include psychometric testing and clinical stress interviews.

Pre-employment psychological assessment

A pre-employment psychological assessment is required when an individual is appointed, through competition, exemption from competition, or reclassification to a designated position. As per this directive, these positions are those that meet all of the following criteria:

  • perform a law enforcement role
  • require Peace Officer status as per the Alberta Peace Officer Act, and
  • carry one or more of the following weapons:
    • pistol
    • long-gun
    • baton, and/or
    • pepper spray

Costs associated with the assessment are the responsibility of the department.

Resources and related

For more information, see​ ​Privacy Impact Assess​​​ment – Pre-employment Psychological Assessment.

For more information, including provisions for wage employees, HR Professionals can refer to the Administrative Guidelines for Pre-Employment Psychological Assessment.