FAQ: Training and Facilities

Note: This page has been archived and is no longer in use. For the most up-to-date COVID-19 FAQs, please consult the new Defence Team COVID-19 FAQs web page.

Can I continue to take professional development training ?

Yes, you can. While all CSPS in-class courses have been suspended until further notice, the School has made available online its complete curriculum, including self-paced required training and language maintenance tools. Simply log into your account via their new platform [Sign in to CSPS-EFPC].

Note: the CSPS learning platform is accessible through public networks. You do not need to connect to the GC network to access it

Are workplace shower and change facilities open?

Shower facilities and changing rooms fall under the authority of Base/Wing Commanders and are open based on provincial/territorial directives and restrictions. Please engage with your local chain of command or supervisor for information relevant to your region.

Cleaning personal work stations (keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.) has been the responsibility of the cubicle owner. What is being done to ensure workspaces are frequently cleaned?

Enhanced cleaning remains in effect in high-touch areas (e.g.: door handles, entry keypads, washrooms). Each office is responsible for ensuring that there is sufficient cleaning supplies in their own area for employees to wipe down and disinfect their respective work stations.

What parameters must be considered when determining the maximum number of people scheduled to be in the office as part of business resumption ? Is it only the 2m physical distance to be respected ? Or are there other factors to be considered (air quality issues/ lunch room capacity/number of washrooms, etc.) ?

According to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Conditions for Business Resumption guidance, OHS conditions, policies, standards, and procedures for returning to work will be developed locally by the employer (with the exception of the NCR where posture is determined regionally due to the number of separate units present) in consultation with Workplace Health and Safety Committees (WHSC) and Health and Safety (H&S) representatives, in accordance with the Canada Labour Code, Part II, and its accompanying regulations, as well as managers, supervisors, and employees. Conditions for business resumption will be developed and adapted locally based on the specific nature of tasks, workplaces, and environment. OHS considerations for determining business resumption procedures, including the maximum number of personnel permitted to return to work, shall include air quality, potable water quality, sanitary and effective storm system operations, general infrastructure hygiene (including waste and sanitation facilities and systems), dust, and pest infestations.

Public Health Measures (PHMs) are the most important control intervention currently in use. It is critical that all personnel returning to their workplace fully understand all PHMs that they must practice at all times, including physical distancing, cough etiquette, frequent hand washing, routine cleaning of high touch areas, and number of personnel permitted at the workplace. All Non-Medical Mask (NMM) and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) protocols must be adhered to at all times if social distancing cannot be maintained. If you have questions about the implementation of the PHMs at your workplace, please raise the issue with your direct supervisor or local Chain of Command.

How will the CAF catch up on training and recruitment backlogs that occurred due to COVID?

According to the latest CDS/DM Directive for CAF/DND Activities in a COVID-19 Environment, the continuation of training and recruiting remain top priorities for CAF, and plans continue to be developed for the conduct of these activities in a latent COVID-19 environment. At this time, it is not possible to know the extent of the impact that COVID-19 will have on recruitment and training but the CAF has adapted to virtual training, where possible, and has rigorously applied the layered risk mitigation strategy and Public Health Agency of Canada guidelines to recruitment and training activities. The implications of deferred training and recruitment are being assessed and careful planning and preparations are ongoing to ensure that personnel, resources, and equipment are ready. Every effort is being made to ensure the DND/CAF workforce is safe while making progress where possible on critical activities like recruitment and training.

Why are CAF members still paying mess dues while facilities are closed and not providing services to their members? Will members be reimbursed or allowed to claim the expense on their T4s?

According to guidance from the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services and CAF policy, all members must belong and pay mess dues which are used to fully or partially subsidize various mess activities. Even though some messes have been closed, the mess committees have organized some events for their membership, such as: gift cards, drive through wing nights, virtual events and bingo, etc. If the mess committee has limited ways to organise events (which they should not), they will have to plan a major event when the mess re-opens.

If you have any mess related issues or concerns, you can connect with your mess committee and/or discuss with your chain of command as the mess falls under their authority.

Are the use of fans in a COVID-19 environment permitted in DND buildings?

The use of fans should be authorized with the local Real Property Operations detachment. Certain limitations may be imposed based on the availability of power, the type or size of fan or the nature of the environment. Portable or ceiling fans, or single unit air conditioners may circulate air within the room, but they do not exchange air or improve ventilation. If using a window air conditioner unit or a fan is necessary, aim the air stream away from people to reduce the spread of potentially infectious droplets or particles.

The use of fans as a mitigation for COVID-19 is unnecessary in our buildings as they’re equipped with a well-functioning and maintained HVAC system. For more information on indoor ventilation, visit COVID-19: Guidance on indoor ventilation during the pandemic.

Where can I find updated guidance on fitness, sports and recreation facilities?

For guidance concerning PSP programming at your location, select your location to find out the facilities hours and operating procedures that apply to your region. Facilities have been following provincial restrictions regarding Health and Safety protocols since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure a safe fitness environment. PSP staff work in concert with Base/Wing Commander decisions for base accessibility and required protocols, and remains responsive to DND/CAF guidance.

Additionally, CAF members, Veterans and families have access to the DFIT.ca platform as well as PSP Recreation and Health Promotion virtual programming through their local CAFconnection.ca website.

For more information regarding physical training at your location, please contact your local PSP manager.

Is the COVID-19 Awareness course still mandatory?

Yes, the COVID-19 Awareness Course (303415) is mandated by the Department of National Defence for all DND/CAF personnel, as listed in the Defence Learning Catalogue’s mandatory training section.

With COVID-19 transmission being airborne and poor ventilation in some facilities, even a two-metre distance is not safe. What will be the policy in poorly ventilated spaces? Recent data shows it takes 20 minutes for risk to drop in a ventilated room.

In late 2020, guidance was issued via the Canadian Forces Real Property Operations Group (CF RP Ops Gp) emphasizing the need to keep ventilation systems well balanced with a maximum intake of fresh air. The CF RP Ops Gp also works with the Directorate Force Health Protection to ensure that, as the research and data on COVID-19 evolves, the guidance on ventilation and filtration systems remains current.

Leadership is closely monitoring the extent of COVID-19 in the Defence Team. They are committed to strengthen our *Layered Risk Mitigation Strategy (LRMS) by further employing new tools to mitigate risk in an ongoing COVID-19 environment: CDS/DM Directive on DND/CAF Operating and Reconstituting in a Persistent COVID-19 Environment.

*Layered Risk Mitigation Strategy: Each layer in the strategy aims to reduce the risk of COVID-19 cases, in an attempt to minimize the chance of an infected person adversely affecting a mission and limiting the impact if they do.

The following are risk-reduction tools in addition to public health measures; screening questionnaires, quarantine, operational testing, contact tracing, and the sequestering of forces.

The rigorous application of public health measures and the application of the LRMS by the Defence Team is effectively containing the spread of the virus amongst our personnel.

If a member in my office tests positive for COVID-19, do all the other staff who were exposed need to stay home too?

This will be determined by the local base / wing / formation Commander based on local public health guidelines for the regional COVID-19 situation.

Are annual FORCE test requirements in place again?

FORCE Evaluations are once again being offered, but for some locations it could be at a reduced capacity to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 in an indoor environment.

Priority is being given to those who require an up to date test for operational reasons, but everyone is expected to arrange for an evaluation at their earliest convenience. When possible, CAF members should participate in a physical fitness program, prior to completing the FORCE Evaluation.

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