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Home About the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT) Career opportunity: Vice chair positions

The Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT) is hiring several full-time vice chair positions – independent, appellate-level adjudicators. An eligibility list may also be created for expected opportunities over the next few years. Ideal candidates will have:

  • Experience in adjudication, client representation before tribunals or courts, or case management and investigations
  • Applied knowledge of administrative law
  • Highly-developed analytical, communication and interpersonal skills

Closing date: Friday, March 5, 2021. The hiring process is estimated to be completed by April 2021 and the target start date is May/June 2021. The hiring process may take longer, depending on the number of applicants, etc. Initial appointments are for three years. A merit-based process is used to reappoint chairs for additional terms.

Apply for the position

Complete the vice chair application form and send it along with a current resume to: WCATRecruit@wcat.bc.ca.

Candidates are assessed based on their application, a case study exercise, panel interview and interview with the Chair

Initial assessment is based on the presentation and content of applications – focus is on clarity, completeness and relevancy of experience, education, knowledge and skills.

Several due diligence considerations are made during the assessment process including:

  • A review of complete and satisfactory work performance references from current and recent employers or supervisors and, in some cases, colleagues or clients
  • Assessing candidates for integrity, credibility, contribution to their profession, reputation in their chosen field and respect garnered amongst professional colleagues, associates and adversaries

Potential nominees who are successful in the assessment process complete a Tribunal Candidate Profile and Declaration, which includes information on background, potential conflicts of interest, personal integrity and public accountability, references, and a declaration acknowledging general responsibilities to the Tribunal.

Nominees are selected based on their Tribunal Candidate Profile and Declaration, results from the assessment process and the Tribunal’s operational considerations.

Working for WCAT

WCAT is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal that operates under Part 7 of the Workers Compensation Act. It provides a final decision on applications and appeals from parties who are not satisfied with a decision they received from WorkSafeBC. Topics include, compensation claims, employer assessments, occupational safety and health, prohibited action claims, applications by employers for relief of costs, and certifications to court. These decisions impact thousands of workers and employers in B.C. every year. WCAT also has:

  • Authority to reconsider its decisions in light of new evidence
  • Common law authority to set aside its decisions when there has been a jurisdictional error

WCAT is committed to creating a diverse workplace to represent and meet the needs of the population we serve. To support employment equity and diversity in the workplace, we welcome and encourage applications from all groups. This includes women, visible minorities, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (LGBTQ2S+), and others who may contribute to diversity in public sector tribunal appointments.

WCAT offers a supportive workplace and career development opportunities. Options to work online or remotely means that vice chairs can work from any location in the province.

The vice chair salary starts at $118,000 and is increased in increments to $132,000 throughout the three-year work term. The benefits package includes medical and dental coverage and participation in a defined benefit pension plan.

Salary and benefits is set by Treasury Board Directive, which is regularly reviewed.

Vice chair salaries and benefits – Treasury Board Directive 2/17 (PDF, 246KB)
Vice chair benefits – B.C. Government Terms and Conditions of Employment for Appointees, Category C: Order In Council Appointees

The role of a vice chair

Vice chairs adjudicate appeals or applications as a single-person panel or sometimes as a member of a multi-person panel. Adjudication is based on reviewing an appellant’s WorkSafeBC file and their presentation of evidence or arguments at an oral hearing or via written submission. They provide a written decision for each appeal.

Adjudicates a high volume of appeals, many of which are complex or contentious, in a fair and impartial manner, and renders a decision within the time frame established in the Act or a further period determined by the Chair. Each vice chair manages a caseload of about 45 appeals on an ongoing basis.

Is responsible for the overall conduct and control of each appeal assigned, including the identification and clarification of issues, provision of procedural directions, research and evidence gathering, and oral hearing proceedings.

Interacts verbally and/or in writing with workers and employers and their respective representatives, witnesses, medical professionals, experts, colleagues or support staff.

Reviews WorkSafeBC files, identifies substantive and procedural issues and ensures that the appropriate appeal process (oral or written) is used. 

Conducts the hearing (either oral or written) in accordance with the WCAT Manual of Rules of Practice and Procedure (MRPP) and principles of procedural fairness. 

Determines what further evidence or information is required to fully and fairly decide the appeal and the procedure for obtaining that information. 

Where appropriate, refers a matter requiring adjudication to the Board for a determination before deciding the appeal. 

Identifies the need for independent medical advice and sets out the terms of reference and the specific questions to be answered in the health care professional’s report. 

Ensures that parties have had an opportunity to address the issues and all new evidence obtained in the process. 

Evaluates the evidence and makes findings of fact. 

Identifies and applies the relevant law and policies to the issues in the appeal or application and, where appropriate, refers an issue regarding the lawfulness of policy to the Chair. 

Produces clear, well-reasoned decisions that are based on the merits and justice of the specific case and confirms, varies or cancels the appealed decision. 

Ensures decisions are issued without identifiers based on the guidelines established by the Chair for permitting public access to WCAT decisions in a manner that ensures the privacy of the parties. 

Participates in peer reading of decisions and other activities, such as continuing education in support of quality, consistent, and timely decision making. 

Related degree and experience, preferably in law or science-based field; or an equivalent combination of progressive and related experience and training.

Minimum of two years current and related experience in the field of administrative law or workers’ compensation with a significant portion of the work involving one or a combination of: investigation/case management of public administration issues; adjudication in a court, tribunal or board setting; or representation of clients in a court, tribunal or board setting.

Applied knowledge of administrative law, specifically the principles of procedural fairness, and the weighing of evidence in the context of an administrative tribunal.

An interest in workers’ compensation and an understanding of WCAT’s mandate and structure and its relationship to the Board.

Highly developed ability to read large volumes of complex technical information, identify issues, analyze evidence, interpret and apply the applicable law and policy, and write well-reasoned decisions.

Highly developed ability to organize and manage a steady and high-volume caseload, producing timely and sound decisions.

Highly developed verbal and written communication skills in order to clearly, concisely and respectfully convey information in plain language.

Potential ability to preside over oral hearings, maintaining the impartiality, gravitas and decorum necessary to ensure procedural fairness and orderly conduct.

Demonstrated ability to work respectfully with individuals from diverse backgrounds, to listen and understand, and effectively manage angry, frightened, or distraught behaviour.

Demonstrated collegial orientation including consulting, listening to and sharing information/opinions with colleagues, and maintaining positive working relationships with all WCAT staff.

Demonstrated ability to identify information gaps or inconsistencies and conduct research to gather complete information.

Demonstrated ability to use a computer for word processing, file and document review, case management, and research.

Integrity, credibility and sound reputation in their chosen field and the respect of peers and clients.

Willing and able to travel throughout the province to adjudicate appeals.

Commitment to the quality and timeliness of work and continuous learning through education seminars, workshops and self-study and to contributing to an organization-wide team effort.

Willing to be guided by the WCAT MRPP, to adhere to a Code of Conduct, and to meet performance, and productivity standards.

Willing to receive constructive feedback.

Willing to attend WCAT offices in Richmond for oral hearings, training and meetings.

Canadian citizen or permanent resident or equivalent.

Review the job description (PDF, 318KB)
Learn about current vice chairs and their roles

Ask questions or get more info

Contact Corinna Laemmerzahl
WCATRecruit@wcat.bc.ca
604 664-7809