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Coordinating the activities of a parliamentary committee

Committee clerks play a very exciting, albeit little-known, role. Seated to the left of the parliamentary committee chair during committee sittings, they advise the chair on parliamentary procedure and the implementation of the Standing Orders. Their role also consists in keeping minutes of committee sittings and recording committee decisions.

Committee clerks participate in all the planning stages of committee proceedings. They prepare the order of business before each sitting and make sure that members have the documentation they need to accomplish their work. They attend to the committee's correspondence, certify and distribute its official papers and receive the briefs and other papers tabled before the committee. They also coordinate research, analysis or consultations on subjects determined by the committee. In addition, they act as a liaison between the committee and the offices of the parliamentary leaders and whips, the ministers and deputy-ministers, and the CEOs of public- and private-sector bodies.

Parliamentary Committees

A committee is a work group composed of a set number of MNAs who examine issues within the committee's particular area of competence. For example, the members of the Committee on Institutions primarily deal with questions of justice and public security.

Committee proceedings

List of parliamentary committees

Catherine is a committee clerk at the National Assembly: "My work is extremely diversified and each mandate is unique and brings its own set of challenges. For instance, when the committee begins consultations on an issue, I organize the hearings and get in touch with the groups that will be heard. I also answer any questions individuals and organizations may have."



Interested in this job?

To become a committee clerk, candidates must

  • have been passed a public service recruitment competition and belong to the socio-economic research and planning officer job class or agree to a reclassification as such; and
  • hold a university degree, preferably in law, political science, social sciences or another field relevant to the job description.

In addition, a minimum of three years' experience as a professional in a related field would be considered an asset.