Co-development of directives and policies is the central activity of the National Joint Council. NJC co-development is a joint problem-solving process where representatives of the parties work to reach consensus on terms and conditions of employment and on policies that have application across the Public Service. NJC promotes a model of co-development that resembles interest-based negotiations. It emphasizes the co-operative exploration of issues and interests, flexibility and the search for innovative solutions.

For co-development of NJC directives, the By-Laws of the National Joint Council outline the following process:

Increasingly, the Executive Committee is working with members of Council to tailor the co-development process to specific situations and to the needs of the parties.  With the agreement of Council, timelines for the directive review process may be modified and procedures simplified as circumstances require.