List of Awards and Nomination Criteria

APEX Awards of Excellence

With the exception of the Public Service Citation Award, executives in the federal public service are invited to submit names of candidates who have excelled in any of the award categories below. The eligibility criteria are defined below.

Career Contribution Award

Recognizes an Executive who is a leader in their field and who, through exemplary work over the course of their career, has made a significant contribution to the Public Service. A minimum of 20 years in the federal public service, with at least five years as an Executive, is required for this award.


  • Achieved concrete results for Canadians throughout their entire career.
  • Demonstrates excellence in service delivery through tangible outcomes.
  • Demonstrates outstanding dedication in their work while maintaining a high level of commitment to public-service values and ethics (respect for others, integrity, professionalism).
  • Is an inspirational model for employees.

Community Contribution Award

Recognizes an Executive who has made exceptional contributions to their community, as a volunteer, while continuing to excel within the Public Service.


  • Volunteers their personal time to help not-for-profit organizations, but for which no monetary or personal gains are received.
  • Demonstrates a sense of care for the community through their involvement in various activities, events, boards of management.
  • Is recognized by a community as a leader.
  • Inspires others to volunteer within their community.

Note: The Community Contribution Award is bestowed in memory of Pierre de Blois, a leader who has demonstrated exemplary achievements both at APEX and in the community.

Healthy Workplace Award

Recognizes an Executive who engaged in and strongly supported the implementation of one or more initiatives designed to foster a healthy workplace.


  • Leads by example in fostering a work environment that is conducive to empowerment, engagement and commitment of staff.
  • Promotes physical, mental, emotional and psychological well-being.
  • Contributes to changing the culture of stigmatization through activities such as awareness, education and conversation on mental health and workplace wellness.
  • Embraces differences, diversity and linguistic duality.

Innovation Award

Recognizes an Executive who has demonstrated outstanding performance and achievement through innovative and creative approaches, resulting in new or improved programs, products, services or initiatives.


  • Generates new ideas, techniques, tools or solutions with practical applications.
  • Proactively and positively pursues opportunities, experimentation and new ways of doing business.
  • Creates an environment that encourages bold thinking and intelligent risk-taking.
  • Ensures value for money is achieved.
  • Results in an outcome that is recognized as a best practice.


Recognizes an Executive who continuously strives for excellence, best management practices and improvements in the workplace. Recognizes outstanding leadership that presents a role model for the Public Service, resulting in improved programs, services or initiatives.


  • Creates a shared vision for others of the direction of the organization.
  • Inspires and enables others through a spirit of collaboration, trust, human dignity and recognition of individual contributions.
  • Models the way by creating standards of excellence and setting an example for others to follow.
  • Mentors and develops others.
  • Embodies fair and transparent decision-making, while taking calculated risks, and being accountable for their actions and decision.

Partnership Award

Recognizes an Executive who establishes effective partnerships and collaboration with a variety of stakeholders both within and outside government, such as with other levels of government, other departments and agencies, bargaining agents, private sector, academics, industry, and Canadians.


  • Creates and maintains trust-based relationships.
  • Is mindful of partners’ needs and constraints when seeking solutions to issues.
  • Looks for opportunities to increase collaboration and to establish partnerships.
  • Successful delivery of initiative, project, program or service is measured and recognized by partners, while lessons are learned and shared as to what could be done differently in the future.

Public Service Citation Award

Recognizes a Canadian who has made an outstanding contribution to the Public Service and contributes to a better understanding of the contributions of the Public Service to Canadian society. For this special award, nominees cannot be public servants currently employed by the Government of Canada, nor currently sitting politicians. Candidates may include a Canadian who is a retired public servant or a former politician.


  • Makes special effort to build links that promote a better understanding between the Public Service and Canadians.
  • Speaks publicly about the positive contribution the Public Service makes to Canada and the world.
  • Educates citizens about the roles and responsibilities of the Public Service.