Bilingual positions - Canadian Heritage

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Bilingual positions

When you deliver services in both official languages, certain committees and positions must necessarily be designated as "bilingual." To establish the language requirements of a position, you must identify in conjunction with management the number, nature and frequency of duties that must be performed in English and French. Refer to the "Designating bilingual positions" information sheet.

One person who must be able to speak both languages fluently to members and the general public alike is the receptionist. The "Bilingual position profile" practical tool will help you to establish linguistic profiles and to draft bilingual designations for the appropriate positions in your organization.

To help you locate qualified individuals for these positions, consult the "Recruiting bilingual employees" information sheet.

Information Sheets

Practical Tools

image of a man and a woman

Another Option

Designating bilingual positions is not the only option. Your organization could also establish teams composed of Anglophones and Francophones to ensure that bilingual services are always available.

Some useful definitions

  • Anglophone - Any person, of whatever ethnic origin or mother tongue, whose first official language is English.
  • Bilingual position - A position with at least one function requiring a knowledge and use of both official languages.
  • First official language - The official language with which an employee has a primary personal identification (that is, the official language in which a person is generally more proficient).
  • Francophone - Any person, of whatever ethnic origin or mother tongue, whose first official language is French.
  • Linguistic profile - A description of the language requirements of a bilingual position and the proficiency level required in the second language for each of the skills; Reading, writing, and oral interaction.
  • Mother tongue - The first language learned at home in childhood and still understood by the individual at the time of the census.
  • Official languages symbol - A symbol indicating that service is available in either official language.



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