Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as ¿building blocks¿ because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
This unit group includes government officers who administer and enforce laws and regulations related to immigration, employment insurance, customs and tax revenue. They are employed by government agencies.
- Discover discrepancies and omissions in application forms, declarations and other documents. For example, employment insurance officers may notice that claimants' names on applications do not match the names associated with social insurance records. They try to determine if the discrepancies are caused by internal filing inaccuracies before they contact clients to obtain more information. (2)
- Experience equipment faults and computer malfunctions that impede their work progress. For example, customs officers cannot use passenger screening and tax calculation software to collect duties and taxes. They contact their technical support representatives to inquire about the faults, manually create passenger lists and note each traveller's country of origin, status and other identifying information. They must also manually calculate taxes and duties using past knowledge and available printed resources to verify prices of imported goods. (2)
- Are unable to communicate with travellers who do not speak an official language. For example, customs officers processing travellers who speak only Mandarin may not have access to interpreters. They assess various strategies to communicate with these individuals. They may try asking them if they were given notes and letters written in English, use hand gestures and sign language and encourage other passengers to assist with communication in order to validate travel documents and confirm reasons for travel. (3)
- Choose procedures and methods for investigation and enforcement tasks. For example, revenue officers investigating taxpayers' cases may decide to go out to the field to interview uncooperative clients, their neighbours and relatives to secure clients' co-operation. Immigration officers may find that immigrants' sponsorship documents are unclear and incomplete and may decide to contact the sponsors for clarification. They may decide to ask frank questions about couples' relationships to determine if immigrants have undertaken marriages of convenience to stay in Canada. (2)
- Decide to pass investigation and enforcement tasks to supervisors and other enforcement agencies. For example, revenue officers may decide to forward difficult case files to their supervisors for further review. Immigration officers may decide to involve police forces in investigations if they cannot gain the information they require by other means. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing
- Evaluate the completeness of applications and other documents. For example, customs officers analyze travellers' import documents to ensure the information is complete, receipts for imported goods are included and passport stamps with matching itineraries are supplied. Employment insurance officers evaluate the completeness of applications for benefits. (2)
- Assess the veracity of information gleaned from members of the public through interviews, questionnaires, application forms and requests for information. For example, revenue officers evaluate the truthfulness of responses from taxpayers about claimed expenses and past tax returns. Employment insurance officers judge the authenticity of claims for benefits. They consider if aspects of applications and records of employment are suspicious. They observe claimants for displays of strange and inconsistent behaviour during interviews. (3)
- Evaluate their own safety and the safety of co-workers when carrying out their duties. For example, immigration officers assess the risks involved in searching ships for stowaways and ship jumpers who may act violently to avoid capture and detainment. Customs officers may evaluate the safety of packages, crates and containers shipped from countries with active terrorist groups. (3)
- Evaluate the threat or danger that certain individuals pose to the general public. For example, customs officers assess the risks involved with allowing foreign travellers into Canada. They scan police and Interpol databases, verify the accuracy of documents and perform interrogations and searches. (3)
- May organize and direct complex evaluations to build legal cases for other investigators, lawyers, appeal boards and their departmental Ministers. For example, immigration officers may collect, analyze and present evidence provided by refugee status appellants and assess evidence solicited through expert opinions from medical doctors and lawyers to present complete cases and suggest potential decisions for refugee determination hearings and proceedings. (4)
Own Job Planning and Organizing
Immigration, employment insurance and revenue officers order their own job tasks to ensure they maintain public safety, administer programs and enforce regulations. Although their supervisors assign general duties, many job tasks also originate from questions from the public and from investigative work. (3)
Planning and Organizing for Others
Immigration, employment insurance and revenue officers in senior or supervisory roles may plan and organize typical job tasks for junior staff.
Significant Use of Memory
- May remember which of their co-workers have particular expertise and skills.
- May remember sections of Acts and regulations to quickly apply them to particular situations and to reference sections of Acts in reports and other documents.
- Obtain up-to-date information about industry trends and global affairs by reading magazines and browsing the Internet. For example, customs officers may visit news organizations' websites to read about security breaches at international airports and seaports. (2)
- Find personal information about individuals and financial data for businesses and organizations. For example, customs officers may access 'no fly' lists to locate the names of travellers who are not permitted to leave the country. Revenue officers may speak to disgruntled spouses about their partners' tax frauds. (3)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Immigration, employment insurance and revenue officers integrate and coordinate job tasks with many co-workers and colleagues. As members of large federal government departments, they work in teams to complete investigation and enforcement assignments. They are frequently required to integrate job tasks with workers in other agencies such as municipal police forces and federal courts. They may supervise junior staff and may plan and organize routine job tasks for junior staff. (2)
Immigration, employment insurance and revenue officers must stay abreast of frequent changes to the Excise Tax Act, Income Tax Act, Immigration Act and Customs Act as well as changes to other Acts they may rely on including the Canada Shipping Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. They may design continuous learning plans with their supervisors and managers and identify learning opportunities that will help them complete their work more efficiently and effectively. At work, they may read policy and procedural manuals and newspaper stories that address their work. On their own time, they may read magazines, books and other printed resources about their work and search Internet sites for informal learning opportunities like webinars and on-line instruction. (4)