Position Profile

Job Title:  Program and Policy Advisor

Work Unit:  Municipal Assessment and Grants Division, Assessment Services Branch

Ministry:   Alberta Municipal Affairs

Competition Number:  1041712

Date:  April 2017



Reporting to the Executive Director (ED) of the Assessment Services Branch, the Program and Policy Advisor provides strategic advice on branch and corporate programs and policies. This position provides support to the ED in the development, implementation and interpretation of strategic directions for the branch through its assessment of emerging issues and the subsequent development of strategic responses for internal and external stakeholders.

The Program and Policy Advisor develops and implements initiatives and tasks related to the branch's business planning, performance measurement, and reporting activities.

Responsibilities and Activities


Knowledge Management and Coordination - The Program and Policy Advisor contributes to the development and maintenance of the branch's corporate knowledge base.

This outcome is achieved through:

  • Developing and implementing and monitoring the use of effective evaluation processes for branch projects, assessing project outcomes and recommending appropriate actions.
  • Developing and implementing practices or the effective documenting of processes and procedures and the results of branch programs, projects and initiatives to assist in maintaining a source of corporate knowledge.
  • Developing and implementing and monitoring the effectiveness of best practices relating to effective communication within the branch.
  • Researching and providing recommendations on the scope of key projects that require inter-unit participation and collaboration.
  • Representing the Executive Director and participating in project risk management initiatives.
  • Researching and recommending tools and information on project management processes for branch use.
  • Working with unit Directors in assessing client satisfaction by collaborating to develop desired outcomes and measures or success for branch projects.

Issues Management - issues that impact the department are addressed with policies that are responsive to branch needs, flexible, forward thinking, and

This outcome is achieved through:

  • Researching business intelligence to prepare the ED to communicate strategically to stakeholders, inter-ministry colleagues and representatives of other departments and agencies.
  • Representing the Executive Director and the Branch by providing leadership, guidance and assistance on project teams and interdepartmental committees to develop and support implementation of branch best practices.
  • Liaising with Ministry staff to resolve issues and develop policy recommendations.
  • Consulting with internal stakeholders in order to recommend policy alternatives and evaluating outcomes where appropriate.
  • Representing the Executive Director or the branch on project teams, working groups and committees as required.
  • Providing the Executive Director with advice and updates on priority action items and information to ensure successful outcomes.
  • Maintaining documentation in support of branch staff working in cross-functional teams or other complex project roles tangential to core business activities.

Corporate Business Planning - the Assessment Services Branch provides input into the Division and Ministry business plans, is accountable for its goals and strategies, and reports on its progress to enhance organizational performance.

This outcome is achieved through:

  • Monitoring staff involvement in business planning and other strategic activities and assisting the Executive Director in communicating relevant Ministry and government goals, priorities, and processes to staff.
  • Participating in consultations on the Ministry Business Plan and compiling staff input for review by the Executive Director.
  • Represent the Executive Director in environmental scanning and performance measurement activities as required.
  • Monitoring enterprise risk management initiatives on behalf of the Executive Director.
  • Assisting in representing the perspectives and requirements of the branch and its clients and stakeholders during strategic and tactical decision-making processes within the Ministry.
  • Assisting with the provision of branch input into the Annual Report.

Staff Engagement - the Assessment Services Branch seeks to build a collaborative partnership with staff to better realize government objectives and respect the personal ambitions and aspirations of staff.

This outcome is achieved through:

  • Documenting Assessment Services Branch staff feedback on department, division and branch practices through informal and formal channels, including the employee feedback survey, so they may be addressed by the Executive Director or Senior Management as necessary.
  • Developing capacity building resources and initiatives for staff through the Executive Director's Office, ASB committees or working groups, such as:
    • Promoting inter-disciplinary learning through coordination of speaking events, lunch and learns and forums for staff discussion
  • Coordinating organizational development by:
    • Working with the Executive Director and Executive Director's Secretary to plan and deliver branch meetings and retreats
    • Facilitating and capturing staff input on key policy and workplace issues
    • Recommending new policy with respect to issues, opportunities and challenges associated with branch activities
  • From the results of the annual employee satisfaction survey, identifying one or more opportunities for improvement each year and proposing options for improvement to the Executive Director and the Senior Management Team.

Stakeholder Engagement - where appropriate, the Executive Director works, advises and consults with key municipal and industry stakeholders directly, to ensure issues and potential solutions are brought forward for consideration within the framework of government policy and priority objectives.

This outcome is achieved through:

  • Coordinating the Executive Director's contributions for external initiatives such as conferences, stakeholder meetings and communications, including input on appropriate messaging.
  • Assisting the Executive Director in building capacity in knowledge of stakeholder issues and goals to help ensure that branch business goals meet the stakeholder expectations.
  • Acting as an alternate contact for key stakeholders on emerging issues when the Executive Director is unavailable.
  • Researching, developing briefings and proposing possible courses of action for consideration by the Executive Director and/or the Senior Management Team on emerging issues.
  • Participating in policy, planning and priority setting processes within the Division and Ministry.

Inquiries/Correspondence Management - Assessment Services Branch provides subject matter expertise and responses to inquiries from internal and external stakeholders

This outcome is achieved through:

  • Establishing and maintaining processes to facilitate the information flow between the Executive Director's office, the branch units and the Assistant Deputy Minister's office.
  • Connecting with internal stakeholders to investigate, mitigate and resolve inconsistencies in briefings and correspondence
  • Researching, drafting, and assisting branch staff with presentations that effectively communicate desired messages
  • Drafting and reviewing action requests and briefings as required by the Executive Director
  • Reviewing and identifying potential issues or gaps in reports and policy papers as required by the Executive Director.
  • Researching issues and recommending solutions to the Executive Director and the Senior Management Team as required.



This position requires a solid understanding of the Assessment Services Branch's business goals, strategies and programs. This branch oversees the assessment and property tax system and provides support and advice to municipalities, industry and other taxpayers. Its diverse stakeholder group with often divergent interests create unique challenges in reviewing and administering policies and procedures and monitoring system performance. Challenges in overseeing the system that generates over 5 billion dollars in municipal and provincial revenue can include economic development, competitive and environmental influences.

This understanding is vital to ensuring that issues are identified and resolved in an effective and timely manner, and to understanding the business planning requirements of the Assessment Services Branch and its units.

The Program and Policy Advisor is focused on strategic outcomes when solving problems and facing challenges associated with the planning and development of key initiatives and branch projects. Considerable analytical, reasoning and evaluation abilities are required to help determine and communicate priorities and to assess results.

The Program and Policy Advisor will be expected to research and investigate current issues, consult with internal stakeholders, and develop and implement new practices to adapt to the changing environment.

This position demands a high degree of creativity to determine the best course of action to produce optimal solutions. The Program and Policy Advisor works both independently and as part of a team.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Related post-secondary education and progressively related experience. (Minimum Recruitment Standards arc a university degree in an appropriate field plus 4 years related experience).
  • Knowledge of the department's structures is required for appropriate routing of requests and knowing where to go for needed support.
  • In-depth knowledge of government and ministry policies, procedures, Acts and Regulations, as well as business plans and planning guidelines.
  • Knowledge of Government of Alberta frameworks and reporting requirements, along with a broad corporate perspective and understanding of policy issues.
  • Ability to analyze and interpret complex public policy issues
  • Knowledge of municipal, industrial and taxpayer communication processes and information needs.
  • In-depth knowledge of branch issues, policies and programs and awareness of how to resolve conflicts and issues at the branch level.
  • Knowledge of research and information management processes and tools
  • Strategic thinking and planning skills, including the ability to develop and articulate visions and plans for innovative programs and approaches to project management and continuous improvement
  • Influencing skills, including the ability to promote innovation and motivate.
  • Organizational skills, including the ability to function at a strategic level while simultaneously coordinating staff and resources involved with specific initiatives and projects
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills. Comfortable in providing concise briefings/presentations to senior management and client groups.
  • Time management skills.
  • Project management skills, training and experience.
  • Negotiation and conflict resolution skills.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills with the ability to build relationships with internal and external stakeholders and appropriately deal with sensitive and confidential issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide a high level of client service to meet the expectations of stakeholders Demonstrated ability to research and analyze issues critically when preparing briefing material, and to perform necessary research.
  • Ability and commitment to deal with sensitive and confidential information with tact, discretion and sound judgement
  • Ability to organize and manage many varied issues and projects in a high pressure and deadline driven environment.
  • Ability to define issues, quickly disseminate data and reorganize into relevant information and reports, briefs etc.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively, cooperatively and productively with others to achieve desired results
  • Ability to effectively lead, facilitate and coordinate work groups.
  • Ability to think critically and act logically.
  • Ability to be adaptable and flexible to evolving priorities, goals and parameters.


  • Direct report to the Executive Director, Assessment Services Branch.
  • Frequent contact with the Executive Director, Assessment Services Branch to obtain background information, direction and timelines related to projects, issues, action requests and other initiatives, as well as to provide advice on project status and updates, etc.
  • Regularly liaise with branch directors and the Executive Director's office and Central Support staff.
  • Regularly liaise with the Assistant Deputy Minister's office staff.
  • When required, liaise with the Deputy Minister's Office and other Ministry contacts on behalf of the Executive Director.
  • Liaise with branch program contacts to effectively identify and resolve issues and to communicate on business and operational planning processes.
  • Liaise with external stakeholders such as municipal officials, associations and professional organizations as required by the Executive Director.

Supervision Exercised

  • N/A


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