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Record keeping

FIPPA and the search process

Our university is subject to Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). This provincial legislation has the dual purpose of:

  • Providing individuals the right to access certain information held by the university, including their own personal information.
  • Establishing standards to ensure an individual’s personal information is protected.

All stages of the search process involve collecting, using and storing the personal information of applicants to the position, including:

  • application letters
  • correspondence
  • CVs
  • letters of reference from internal and external sources
  • memoranda
  • screening information
  • search committee members’ interview notes
  • telephone reference notes

The activities at each stage must be documented in accordance with FIPPA.

Under this Act, the search committee must:

  • Collect personal information directly from the candidate (e.g., from a resume or interview) as necessary for carrying out our responsibility for hiring.
  • Obtain the candidate's written permission when collecting information about the candidate from others (e.g., references).
  • Not disclose any candidate's personal information beyond those requiring access.
  • Keep records secure to prevent unauthorized disclosure.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of all committee deliberations and decisions.
  • Keep all records collected and maintained during the search process for a minimum period of one year, unless the individual to whom the information relates consents to earlier disposal; these records are to be forwarded to Human Resources once the search has concluded.

External FIPPA resources:

FIPPA - Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act regulates the right to access information held by public sector employers and the right to protection of privacy of individuals with respect to personal information. 
Ministry of Government Services – Access and Privacy Office helps employers fulfill their responsibilities under FIPPA.

In addition to complying with FIPPA, it is important to be able to provide evidence of the integrity of the process in case the hiring decision is subsequently challenged. Similarly, if a decision is made to offer an appointment to a foreign academic candidate, the university is required to obtain a positive Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from Human Resources Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). An application for an LMO must include detailed reasons for offering the position to a foreign academic candidate as well as a report on the top three Canadian candidates.