A career with the TSB
A word of welcome
Not everybody can say his or her job makes life safer for an entire country. Then again, not everybody works at the Transportation Safety Board. Since 1990, we've been deploying to accident sites across Canada, interviewing witnesses and examining evidence to answer three key questions: what happened, why, and how can we stop it from happening again? That's a tall order, but the people who work here are up to the task.
TSB employees are qualified, dedicated experts who take pride in what they do. Whether they're in the field or behind a desk, sifting through wreckage, facing the media, or balancing the books, their contributions have made us a world leader in accident investigation changing laws, upgrading equipment, and improving operating practices at home and across the globe. But it's a challenge, especially in a country as large and geographically varied as Canada. Downed or missing planes, train derailments, exploding pipelines, capsized fishing vessels: no two days are alike—in Vancouver, Halifax, or anywhere in between.
Knowing that you've made a difference, though, is worth it. I'm proud to be a part of the TSB, proud to be a part of an organization that strives to make transportation safer, one investigation at a time. Want to help us make a difference? Think you have what it takes? Check us out.
Wendy Tadros, Chair
The TSB: who we are, what we do
We are an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Our sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. We often work in partnership with our international counterparts, and assist other international organizations concerned with advancing transportation safety world-wide as well. Watch a video about the TSB and its work.
The Transportation Safety Board employs about 230 people. The Head Office is located in Gatineau, Quebec, but most investigation staff are in offices across Canada so they can respond quickly to transportation occurrences anywhere in the country.
According to the 2011 Public Service Employee Survey, the TSB is one of the top places to work in the federal government. Our employees rate job satisfaction high, knowing the work they do is crucial to transportation safety in Canada and even around the world — and that it will be recognized (see Awards and recognition). We ensure employees have the tools, training and networking opportunities they need to do their work; we provide flexible work schedules; and we are committed to achieving a diverse workforce.
Our head office is located in Gatineau, Quebec; however, most investigation staff are located in various regional offices across Canada from where they respond quickly to transportation occurrences anywhere in the country.
TSB offices (Text description of the map)
Where would you fit in?
All areas and levels of the organization depend on the skills of administrative staff as they provide essential support to ensure the TSB runs smoothly. If you have good organizational and effective communication skills, then you may enjoy working here.
Administrative support staff usually belong to these occupational groups:
Members of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada are Governor in Council appointees with transportation-related experience. The Board members establish, either generally or in relation to specific classes of transportation occurrences, policies to be followed in the conduct of investigations; review reports submitted to them by the Directors of Investigations; and determine the Board's findings as to the causes and contributing factors of transportation occurrences. Board Members also identify any safety deficiencies as evidenced by transportation occurrences and make recommendations as they consider appropriate.
The appointment process is administered by the Privy Council Office. For more information see Governor in Council Appointments.
The Communications Branch employs specialists in strategic communications, media relations, writing and editing, Web development and graphic design. They ensure investigation reports are of the highest quality in both official languages, and are published on the Web. They play a vital role in making sure that TSB safety messages are heard and understood by the public, the media, and stakeholder groups around the world. Our specialists offer strategic advice and support to investigators and management, and facilitate relations with the media, develop public outreach programs, and organize events across the country.
Employees who work in the Communications Branch usually belong to these occupational groups:
Engineering and laboratory services
Our laboratory carries out some of the transportation world's most influential engineering analyses in support of aviation, marine, railway and pipeline investigations. Specialized fields of work include vehicle performance, structures, systems and rail dynamics analysis and materials and metallurgical examinations. If you have a mechanical, metallurgical, electrical, aeronautical, or some other engineering specialty and experience relevant to our various positions, consider joining our team. Our laboratory also employs engineering technologists who provide specialized support to investigations. Whether it's conducting engine teardowns, ensuring that an accident is well documented or that occurrence findings can be communicated through detailed animations, the work is varied and always challenging.
Employees who work in engineering and laboratory services usually belong to these occupational groups:
Our financial officers manage the department's financial system and accounts. They also are responsible for preparing both internal and external financial reports as well as helping to foster effective comptrollership in support of our organization's financial management policies, operations and reporting. Ideal candidates possess a professional accounting certification as Certified General Accountant (CGA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA) or Chartered Accountant (CA) and have experience working in government accounting.
Employees who work in financial management usually belong to these occupational groups:
Human factors and macro-analysis
Human Factors investigators, in conjunction with air, marine, rail and pipeline investigators, carry out interviews, participate in field tests and analyses and provide an understanding of the impact of human factors in accident causation. Our Human Factors investigators address the challenging question of "why decisions or courses of action which may have precipitated an accident made sense at the time."
Our statistical, data and research analysts provide services in macro analysis. These specialists are an integral part of the investigation process as they assist investigators in understanding the significance of modal data and its possible role in an occurrence.
Data analysts develop and maintain technical expertise in at least one modal database and watch for emerging issues in order to present and explain the relevance of those issues.
Statistical and research analysts conduct analyses of accident and incident data and determine the most logical and effective data set selections to support safety recommendations. They also assist investigators in their preparation of occurrence reports by providing technical expertise, background research, and data analysis.
Employees who work in Human Factors and macro-analysis usually belong to the Economics and Social Sciences Services (EC) occupational group.
At the TSB, our HR specialists perform a multiplicity of roles to ensure that our operational and strategic HR needs are realized. The relatively small size of our organization is an attractive advantage as it allows HR specialists to work closely with employees and managers in a collaborative environment.
Employees who work in human resources usually belong to these occupational groups:
Like any other government department, the TSB has a duty to manage all its information resources so that they are accurate accounts of our daily business, and that they are readily accessible. This is a challenging undertaking for a small agency. However, our organization's size permits information management (IM) specialists to experience an array of tasks in all stages of the information life cycle. Our IM officers work with investigators and other TSB staff to ensure that all information is properly categorized, filed and retained according to IM standards and procedures.
The IM Division is also responsible for Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) requests of various complexities pursuant to the current legislation, policies and procedures.
Our TSB library, which is a reference service available to all TSB staff, is part of the information management services group. Our library staff liaises with all clients, manages the procurement of new library material, and coordinates access, preservation and retention of information resources in our collection.
Employees who work in information management usually belong to these occupational groups:
Our IT group is about creating, maintaining, and providing user-friendly IT tools to meet our business needs. Whether it's creating and managing a IM/IT information management platform upon which to case manage our investigations or it's developing and maintaining databases, the work is anything but dull. Our talent pool includes IT positions in the following IT areas: architecture analysis, database administration, project management, security management, business analysis, network administration, programming analysis and system software analysis.
Employees who work in information technology usually belong to the Computer Systems (CS) occupational group.
Investigators conduct investigations, perform research, analyze information, identify risks and prepare clear and concise reports on matters related to safety in the transportation industry. There is no other job like it in government. At the TSB, transportation means all the federally regulated air, marine, rail and pipeline systems; therefore, we need people experienced in and knowledgeable about those systems.
Our investigators include people with backgrounds in the transportation industry and regulatory sectors as well as the military. If you are, just to name a few, an air traffic controller, aircraft pilot, helicopter pilot, aircraft maintenance engineer, master mariner, naval architect, marine chief engineer, locomotive engineer, rail equipment and infrastructure specialist or have engineering certification in pipeline, you may be interested in a change of career that allows you to channel your experience into a rewarding career as a TSB investigator.
Employees who work as investigators usually belong to these occupational groups:
The management team is charged with planning, organizing and controlling their respective areas of responsibility, under the leadership of the Chief Operating Officer. Besides the position of Chief Operating Officer, our senior management team includes
- three Directors of Investigation, who, under the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act, have sole accountability for the conduct of their modal investigations;
- the Director, Communications, who provides advice and guidance to staff, senior management and the Board on strategic communications, media relations, public affairs and publishing;
- the Director, Operational Services, who oversees the laboratory and the Human Factors and Macro-analysis divisions;
- the Director General, Corporate Services, who is responsible for all corporate services that cross organizational boundaries.
As part of the corporate management cadre, the Board employs one legal expert who provides legal advice to the Board and senior management.
Multi-modal training and standards
At the TSB, we have created a Multi-Modal Training and Standards Division to provide investigators and other specialists with training to ensure they have the necessary skills and tools to do their job. Maintaining investigation manuals, procedures and standards is integral to ensuring that all investigations are conducted in accordance with accepted practice. Employees in this division are the gatekeepers of one of our most valuable tools, the TSB investigation methodology, ensuring that it is maintained and updated as required. Working in this field means liaising with investigation staff and other TSB specialists to ensure training materials and other tools are in sync with investigation realities.
Employees in multi-modal training and standards usually belong to these occupational groups:
Purchasing and supply
At the TSB, you'll be responsible for managing the purchase of new equipment and services, assisting in developing TSB procurement strategies and plans, and participating in bid evaluating and contract negotiations. If procurement is in support of an investigation, you often have to satisfy last-minute, around-the-clock operational requirements.
Purchasing and supply specialists are usually in the Purchasing and Supply (PG) occupational group.
Discover job opportunities at the TSB
The TSB posts all job opportunities on this page.
Federal public servants
Subscribe to Career Watch on publiservice.gc.ca.
Not a federal public servant?
Subscribe to the Job Alert on www.jobbank.gc.ca (students can use this service as well). For more information, see A guide on how to apply for a job in the federal public service.
Note! When setting criteria for job alerts, you may have to use our official legal title: Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board.
Although we're a small organization, we do have opportunities for students. We encourage you to visit the student section of the Public Service Commission's Careers website, and to register with the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP).
The TSB occasionally hires casual workers to meet very short-term needs. Find out more about casual work at Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat website.
Tips for the job seeker
When applying for a position, you need to market yourself so that you stand out from your competitor. Your resume is the tool for doing this. However, a resume can work against you if it is ineffective in selling your skills, knowledge and experience. Use your resume to your advantage; it can make the difference between getting your foot in the door or not.
Get more information on resume preparation.
- Anticipatory staffing
- Anticipatory staffing occurs when a position is expected to be required in the future. Expected is the operative word; although it is anticipated that the position will be needed, there is no confirmed requirement. If you are applying for this type of position, be aware that, at the end of the competition process, the position may be filled at that time, in the future or may not be filled at all.
- Assessment criteria
- Assessment criteria are used to evaluate whether you meet the requirements of the position as well as conditions of employment. These criteria are predetermined and assigned a test score. A selection panel uses these criteria and their score during the actual staffing action to rate candidates. Thus, all candidates are evaluated equally, and it is the results based on the assessment criteria that will determine whether or not a candidate is successful in a competition.
- Assessment method
- There are many options available to assess candidates, such as interviews, tests, role-plays, simulations, and reference checks. Each competition is different and will use different assessment methods or combination thereof. Typically, the method used will be a reflection of the requirements of the job position.
- Assets may be indicated in the screening and/or assessment criteria section of a competition poster. An asset is considered as a "bonus" or "nice to have." Although candidates who have the asset criteria listed may be given preference in a competition, those who do not have them can still be considered if they meet the other criteria.
- Classification level
- The classification level takes into consideration the duties, accountability and responsibility of a position. The work description is one source of information used to determine the occupational group allocation (AS, TI, AO-CAI) and classification level of the position (AS-02, TI-07, AO-CAI-03) based on predetermined classification evaluation standards and methods. The classification level is linked to the salary range for the position which is determined by the collective bargaining process.
- Pool of qualified candidates
- A pool of qualified candidates may be created when there is more than one successful candidate for a selection process. If a similar position becomes available within a specified timeframe, an individual may be appointed from the pool. If a pool is to be created, a note to this effect will be included on the selection process poster.
- Language requirements
- In the public service, positions require knowledge of English, French or both. Three letters are used to depict language requirements (e.g., CBC, BBB, etc.). The first letter refers to the required language competency in Reading, the second to Writing, and the third to Oral Interaction. Letters C, B, and A indicate skill levels as follows:
- C - Superior
- B - Intermediate
- A - Minimum
- (-) No requirement
So, for example, a CBC language requirement would mean you must have superior reading skills, intermediate writing skills, and superior oral skills.
Get more information on second language evaluation.
- Screening criteria
- Screening criteria list what an applicant must possess in order to be considered for the job. The list includes minimum education and experience requirements for the position. As an applicant, you must clearly demonstrate within the context of your application (r sum and cover letter) that you meet the screening criteria listed in order to be considered for further evaluation.
So, you've been screened in and you've made it to the assessment stage of the staffing action. All the hours you've devoted to preparing your resume, making contacts and researching potential employers are little more than preparation for the single most important stage of the job search, the interview.
You need to see the interview as an opportunity to demonstrate to the prospective employer what benefits you can bring to the organization. It's all about uncovering needs and demonstrating how you can satisfy those needs.
Get more information on how to get ready for an interview.
After the interview, you will be contacted to confirm what your status is within the competition. If you were successful in the assessment, you will be notified about the next steps in the process (e.g., references, language testing, security clearance, etc.).
Get more tips
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