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Professional Development: Guide for unit and formation command teams

By Major John N. Rickard, CD, Ph.D. and Major P.A. Buckingham, CD - October 12th, 2023

Reading Time: 45 min


The Professional Development: Guide for unit and formation command teams is a tool for Commanding Officers and Regimental Sergeants-Major to engage their teams in interesting and relevant guided self-development.  Professional Military Education (PME) plays an important part in the Professional Development (PD) of Canadian Army officers and non-commissioned members (NCM) since its foundation. Therefore, the aim of this guide is to provide an easily accessible reference resource where command teams can draw inspiration and guidance as they develop structured and guided PD programs.  By extension, this guide can be used by soldiers and junior officers interested in self improvement and learning more about PD in the profession of arms.

You can learn more about professional development initiatives in the CAF on the Canadian Armed Forces professional development framework -

This guide was produced by the PME Staff of the Canadian Army Command and Staff College (CACSC), and is a result of considerable research, experience, and expertise on the subjects of formal and informal PME and PD. Additionally, it was developed in discussions with various formation and unit command team cohorts, each of which added their own ideas and recommendations accordingly.  In this complex and ever-changing world, the importance of non-formal PD has increased, and individuals are seeking self-improvement in increasing numbers to remain both competent and competitive.  This guide is a primer for like-minded individuals who are interested in taking the first steps into intellectual curiosity and lifelong learning in the Canadian Army.

If you have professional development ideas or programs you have developed that you want to share across the Canadian Army, send it to us at

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