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Statement of Qualifications for Persons Appointed as Returning Officers

I. Statutory Requirements

A returning officer must be qualified as an elector (i.e. be a Canadian citizen and at least 18 years old) and must reside in or adjacent to the electoral district in which he or she is to perform duties under the Canada Elections Act.

II. Qualifications

A. Essential qualifications


Successful completion of two years of an acceptable post-secondary education program


An acceptable combination of education, training and relevant experience


  1. Management experience as a leader of an organization
  2. Experience in managing special events in short time frames
  3. Experience in managing human resources
  4. Experience in financial management
  5. Experience in material management
  6. Experience in managing activities in a computerized environment

B. Additional qualifications that may be used to select candidates for interviews

  1. Experience in the administration of electoral processes
  2. Participation in community-based organizations
  3. Ability to communicate in both official languages
  4. Ability to communicate in a minority language spoken in the electoral district

C. Knowledge and competencies to be assessed during the recruitment process

  1. Knowledge of the mandate, role and responsibilities of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer (Elections Canada) and of the office of returning officer
  2. Ability to implement the statutory and administrative requirements of the office of returning officer
  3. Ability to navigate the Internet, and use e-mail and word processing software
  4. Ability to manage crises and resolve unexpected situations
  5. Ability to communicate effectively orally
  6. Ability to communicate effectively in writing
  7. Ability to negotiate to resolve difficult situations
  8. Ability to plan for the recruitment, hiring and training of personnel
  9. Sensitivity to persons or communities with special needs in the electoral district
  10. Diplomacy, judgment, reliability, adaptability and discretion
  11. Leadership
  12. Interpersonal skills

III. Important Considerations for Appointment

  1. Candidates who are being considered for appointment must:
    1. Supply references
    2. Complete and submit the Treasury Board Personnel Screening, Consent and Authorization Form, which includes providing information required for criminal record and credit checks
    3. Be granted “Reliability” status before they can be appointed
    4. Provide two pieces of valid ID that confirm proof of residency within the electoral district in which the candidate is applying to serve as returning officer
  2. Candidates must be prepared to accept the following conditions of appointment should they be appointed as a returning officer:
    1. Not engage in politically partisan conduct at the federal, provincial, territorial or municipal levels
    2. Not make a contribution to a candidate, a leadership contestant or a nomination contestant
    3. Not belong to or make a contribution to, be an employee of or hold a position in a registered party, an eligible party or a registered electoral district association
    4. Be available between electoral events for pre-event planning and other part-time and intermittent activities
    5. Be available and able to work long hours, without notice, for the duration of an election or referendum period and the post-event period
    6. Attend training sessions in Gatineau or in other locations in Canada, as required
    7. In exceptional cases, agree to establish a returning office and work in a community closer to the majority of people in the riding during an electoral event
    8. Maintain a reliability security clearance at all times during your tenure as returning officer. It is understood that Elections Canada has the authority to monitor compliance with this condition of appointment throughout the term of the appointment.