Sept. 22, 2021 The Division of Human Resources & Equity is now called the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture.

Process Optimization and Improvements 

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Streamlined processes

Implementation of large system improvements which reduce administrative overhead within divisions will continue through most of fiscal year 2018-19.

ESS/MSS Leave Requests

Manager Self-Service (MSS) was rolled out starting in January 2018 to a full launch in June to help supervisors view information about their team in a convenient and secure way. More than 1,700 managers now have the ability to view vacation and absence data, supervisory relationships and university training information for their teams via a new module in the existing Employee Self-Service (ESS) suite of online services. The vacation and leave request component is now available to all units at the university (without manager substitution) on an opt-in basis. As of Q1, 2020, over 1665 employees are now using the system. By using MSS, the University is projected to save over $550,000 in people hours during the first year and over $970,000 in three years.


  • Convenient access to self-service leave requests (vacation, sick, personal, training, bereavement leave) for USW, Confidential, PM and RA/SRA staff in the first phase.
  • Ability for managers to approve requests online.
  • Automated recording of leave requests in HRIS.
  • New vacation reports and team calendars (displaying absences for team) for managers.


  • Manager (MSS) vacation and team calendar reports released to all managers & supervisors at U of T (1700+ individuals) in July 2018.
  • New structured position creation process implemented in June 2018 to prevent future system hierarchy errors.
  • Opt-in roll-out of ESS leave request (without manager substitution) now available to all remaining divisions at the university

Academic Administrative Appointment Process

The purpose of this project is to build a University-wide solution that will simplify the Academic Administrative Appointment (AAA) process and create a single, easily accessible and authoritative source of data concerning all Academic Administrators (Deans, Chairs, Directors) and AAA positions within HRIS. With enhancements to HRIS, the solution aims to establish a single interface for AAAs that will enable simplified maintenance of positions, vastly improved data quality and improved accuracy and facility for reporting of current, future and past AAAs.


  • Generate reliable, enterprise level, searchable data relative to all faculty in academic leadership positions in support of multiple purposes.
  • Simplify the nomination and on-lining of approved AAA’s (currently very labour intensive, repetitive).
  • Facilitate off-lining (removal of AAA’s on completion of term – avoiding confusion, overpayment etc.)


  • User acceptance testing underway
  • Revised implementation target: July 2020

Research and Study Leave Calculator

The Research and Study Leave Calculator will fully automate the faculty leave request process across the University through ESS. It will eliminate the current manual process, allowing individual faculty members to check their RSL eligibility online and submit a request for approval. In Phase I, adjustments will be made to HRIS to accommodate all data relating to leaves, creating a single, consolidated, and authoritative source of data reflecting existing individual faculty entitlements. Once records for all data have been reconciled across central and divisional/departmental offices, it will provide reports through HRIS to divisional Business Officers to verify potential research leave requests.


  • Consolidated and accurate leave records maintained in a central authoritative system (HRIS) allowing for risk analysis at any level and a myriad of other reports.
  • Online Research and Study leave eligibility calculator for faculty.
  • Ability to automatically record leaves within HRIS once approved.
  • Future:
    • Ability for faculty to easily check eligibility and request research leaves online.
    • Ability for departments, Dean’s Offices and VP FAL to approve leaves online.


  • Phase 1 solution design and development complete.
  • Data clean up currently underway for April 2020 technical go-live
  • New solution will be run in parallel with Excel tracker until Fall 2020 for business go-live

Incident Management and Workplace Safety Software

This project will streamline incident reporting at the university and ensure issues are quickly and appropriately directed to Environmental Health & Safety, and Health & Wellness/Workplace Safety and Insurance Board for investigation, as regulated by the province. Budget was acquired and the vendor for this application (Medgate/Cority) was confirmed in April 2018. This is a joint project between HR&E and the Vice-President, Research & Innovation, and it will eliminate the need for duplicate systems or modules.


  • New incident reporting form integrated with main systems on campus (Medgate/HRIS) eliminating duplicate entry.
  • Upgraded and supported system to meet provincial safety regulations and WSIB claims.
  • Consolidated incident reporting (EHS & HW).


  • Implementation of administrative view/portal complete July 2019
  • Quality Assurance testing of public view of new Safety Incident Form underway
  • Revised target date for full application: Q2 2020

Consistent Job Description Project

The Consistent JD Project is aimed at transitioning the University to a new, consistent form of job description, which will become an integral part of a more efficient and effective United Steelworkers (USW) job evaluation process. Using advanced software, called JDXpert, managers and HR staff choose from a bank of pre-written, pre-evaluated job class description templates. The application helps managers to create and reclassify USW job descriptions more quickly, accurately and consistently. It also streamlines the USW hiring workflow from position creation to approval and posting. The new job description format does not change the pay band, classification or responsibilities of any job – it simply alters the way in which the work is described. A key goal of this project is to bring clarity and consistency to how similar work is described across the University.

Have questions? Find answers:

Technical Summary [PDF]
FAQ: USW Employees [PDF]
FAQ: Management [PDF]
Email the project team


  • A centralized inventory of consistent job descriptions for all appointed USW staff.
  • Ability for Managers/HR professionals to search the inventory for job content.
  • Ability for Managers/HR professionals to create JDs by selecting pre-written and evaluated content.
  • Streamlined processes for JD creation, classification and posting.


  • Sharepoint site configured with training material, user tips, communication schedule, etc.
  • Completed a successful full roll-out of the application to all areas of the university in Q3 2019

HRIS Operational Improvements

In Q3 2019, Enterprise Applications and Solutions Integration in partnership with HR&E established a new HRIS Change Advisory Board (CAB). The purpose of this new committee is to assist the IT project team in establishing priorities for improving the current operations of the HRIS systems through initiatives such as data quality improvements, new training programs, improved interfaces to related systems, or new operational reports which may be of value to the divisions.

The purpose of this new committee is to:

  • Engage critical stakeholders in approving changes that have organizations impact to systems and
  • Provide visibility and access to HRIS project prioritization process and progress
  • Enable better planning and execution
  • Minimize risk

The board operates on a model of collaborative governance and includes tri-campus functional representatives (mostly HR representatives and business officers) as well as technical leads and managers from EASI. Members of the HRIS CAB are front line users of the HRIS systems.

Examples of projects which this team may be requested to provide feedback on include:

  • Improvements in training material
  • New system error checks
  • Operational reports of value to the divisions
  • Improvements to HRIS in preparation for SuccessFactors Employee Central