The term “deployment” is frequently used in relation to the distribution of staff, but rarely defined. One of the few definitions can be found in the Canadian Public Service Employment Act which states that deployment means “the transfer of a person from one position to another” . An alternative definition given by the HRH Global Resource Centre is “how health workers are assigned to different posts or how the distribution of personnel is determined”.a We interpret deployment as including all the relevant human resource management functions: recruitment, selection (which for those entering public service and being funded by the government often takes place on entry into pre-service training), initial posting (often linked to bonding). Once the staff member is in post, there may be development activities including post-basic training and promotion. Both will have implications for staff movements: post-basic training may lead to promotion or the individual seeking a higher-level role; promotion usually involves a change of post and possibly a change of location if higher-level positions are not available locally.|
Other possible movements from the initial posting include: secondment, or deputation, to another post (normally temporary with the person returning to the original posting); transfer to another position (either decided by management or granted at the request of the individual); or exit from the organisation (resignation to take up another job, retirement or dismissal). These functions and movements are represented in Fig. 1.