Government of New Brunswick

Succession planning is a strategic approach to ensure that necessary talent and skills will be available when needed, and that essential knowledge and abilities will be maintained when employees in critical positions leave.

Succession planning has been identified in the Corporate HR Plan as a key initiative for addressing a number of critical human resource issues in the New Brunswick public service including:

  • An aging workforce
  • Increasing turnover rates
  • Fast-paced changes in work, and
  • The need for a diverse workforce at all levels.

These tools will help to establish an integrated approach to succession planning, capacity building and renewal for the NB public service. 


  • To identify and proactively plan for critical work force positions, by developing a pool of potential successors and encouraging a culture that supports knowledge transfer and employee development.
  • To build human resource programs that attract and retain qualified individuals to the NB public service.
  • To implement a framework that identifies the competency requirements of critical positions, assesses potential candidates and develops required competencies through planned learning and development initiatives.

Guiding Principles

Succession planning must respect the legislative and policy provisions that ensure  a consistent and equitable approach to competency-based selection and the principle of merit.  The following guiding principles apply to succession planning:

  • Supports the five fundamental values of the New Brunswick public service:  Integrity, Respect, Impartiality, Service and Competence.
  • Conducted in accordance with the Civil Service Act, its regulations and the policies established by the Board of Management.
  • Strikes a balance between the values of fairness, accessibility, transparency, and efficient use of government resources for current and future needs.
  • Aligned with current and future business needs of government and departmental/agency strategic plans;
  • Aligned with the goals of the Corporate HR Plan and the Executive Development Strategy to develop current and aspiring leaders;
  • Candidates are assessed using methods that are competency-based and free from favoritism;
  • Communication is open and transparent.

Responsibility for Succession Planning

The Deputy Minister and Executive Management Committee (EMC), in consultation with HR Director, are responsible for guiding the succession planning process in their respective departments and agencies and ensuring that a Succession Plan for identified positions is developed, communicated and implemented. In some organizations, a Steering Committee has been appointed to oversee the succession planning process.  Each organization has also designated a Project Coordinator or Director to plan and facilitate the completion of deliverables, including the appropriate involvement of managers and employees.

The Office of Human Resources (OHR) provides subject matter expertise and advice to departments and agencies to assist in developing and executing their succession plans.