Information for new students

As a new student working at the Department of National Defence (DND), your welcome starts with the onboarding process.

Who we are

Familiarize yourself with DND by reading our mandate and organization priorities, our organizational structure page and the Canada's Defence Policy - Strong, Secure, Engaged. You'll also want to learn some of the acronyms and initialisms as you'll see and hear them everywhere. Download the HR GO RH app available on iOS and Android for latest updates.

New Student Passport

This comprehensive guide takes you step-by-step through a number of missions. To complete them, you'll have help along the way from your manager, peer partner, or fellow employees.


Critical employees will be issued a work laptop or tablet, while non-critical employees will be able to complete their work using their own personal devices. Discuss with your manager in regards to which category you fall under. For more details, please consult the Defence Team COVID-19 – Working Remotely page.

Collective Agreements

Student positions aren't represented within a collective agreement. Student positions follow the collective agreement of the position classification whose duties that are being performed during the employment period, as specified in the letter of offer. In addition, students do not pay any union dues.

Ask your manager which collective agreement you should follow and read the Directive on Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students (A.2.2) for more information.

Hours of work and duration of an assignment

Under the Federal Student Work Experience Program, you can work as many hours as your schedule permits. You and your manager will negotiate how much you work and when. If you are a full or part time student, you will be automatically paid for your scheduled hours of work, based on the schedule your manager has entered in Phoenix. If you are an "as and when required" student, you will be required to submit your hours of work in Phoenix Self-Service after each pay period.

The academic institution determines the duration of the student assignment. Managers may offer students back-to-back work terms with the institution's approval. To find out more, please discuss with your manager.

Preapproved overtime is only paid in accordance with the relevant collective agreement. If you work more than your own student schedule, but not more than the scheduled work week, you earn extra time at a basic pay rate. Students are not entitled to compensatory time off.

If you need to change your hours throughout your work agreement, talk to your manager.

Read the Directive on Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students (A.2.5) for more information.


Students are entitled to be paid biweekly, on an arrears pay cycle.

Students can access their pay information including their paystubs and T4s, in Phoenix Self-Service. If you don't have access to the DND network, call Public Service and Procurement Canada (PSPC) Client Contact Centre at 1-855-686-4729 from Monday to Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (EST). An agent will explain the details of your pay stub to you over the phone. You can also call HR GO RH at 1-833-747-6363 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (EST) to request your pay stubs via Canada Post e-post. Read more about how to read your pay stub.

If you receive inaccurate pay, let your manager know as soon as possible. Students must report their pay issue by submitting a Phoenix Feedback Form through the Human Resource Services and Support (HRSS) (link only accessible on the DND network), if you have access to the DND network. If you don't have access, call HR GO RH to report their pay issue.

In order for full time students to be eligible for pay for a statutory holiday and receive the full pay for the day off, you must not be absent without pay on either the full working day before or the full working day after the designated holiday. Part-time students are not entitled to pay for a statutory holiday. Phoenix will automatically create a leave without pay (LWOP) of the scheduled hours for the statutory holiday. Instead, part time students will be paid 4.25% of regular earnings, which they will receive on each pay cheque.


Students hired for a term greater than 6 months are eligible for benefits effective from the hire date. Students hired for a term less than 6 months are eligible for benefits when you have completed 6 months continuous service.

The benefits you are entitled to are pension, Supplementary Death Benefit (SDB), Public Service Heath Care Plan (PSHCP) and Public Service Dental Care Plan (PSDCP). For PSDCP, you will be subject to the standard 3 month waiting period.

Read the Insurance Administration Manual and the Superannuation Administration Manual for more information.



In lieu of vacation, students are entitled to vacation pay equal to 4% of your regular and overtime earnings, which you will receive on each pay cheque.

Unplanned absence: Leave without pay

If you take a vacation day or a sick day, it will be leave without pay (LWOP).

LWOP for 5 consecutive days or less: If your manager is a civilian, submit it through Phoenix Self-Service. If your manager is military, submit the approved  form GC178 from the Defence Forms Catalogue through the HRSSas a pay action request (PAR). Once  processed, it will be taken from your paycheque.

LWOP for over 5 consecutive days: Complete form GC178 from the Defence Forms Catalogue and once it is approved, submit a PAR in HRSS. The Pay Centre will cease payment if it is submitted in a timely manner or will create an overpayment

If you need to report an unplanned absence, talk to your manager. Students with military managers must submit a paper leave pass through the HRSS. Students with a civilian manger, request time off with their manager by submitting the time not worked through Phoenix Self-Serve – Timesheets.


For bereavement leave, you are allowed up to 3 consecutive calendar days, which includes the day of the funeral when a member of your immediate family passes away ("Immediate family" in defined in the relevant collective agreement). Such leave is without pay during the first three months of continuous employment and with pay thereafter.

Read the Directive on Terms and Conditions of Employment for Students (A.2.10, A.2.12 & A.2.13) for more information on leave.


You will be able to complete online training through the Defence Learning Network (DLN) and the Canada School of Public Service's (CSPS) Learning Platform. Take a look at the recommended training and CSPS's Learning Path for Students to find out which courses are recommended for your role. Ask your manager when the best time is to take them.

Due to the current COVID-19 virtual environment, you can self-register using your personal email addresses. Should you have any issues with either platforms, please contact the National Civilian Welcome and Integration Team (NCWIT).


We encourage you to speak with your manager about possible indeterminate employment when you are entering or are in your last year of studies. Remember to keep in touch with former employers throughout your education and employment. To be considered for re-employment, you'll need to create a profile to join the Student Integration Inventory on GCcollab.

Students aren't considered official public service employees, which means you can only apply to external government job postings on

Your student employment can count toward years of service if you're re-hired. If you want to buy back your student time, contact the Pension Centre.

Read the Public Service Employment Act for more information.


For human resources related questions, please contact HR GO RH at 1-833-747-6363 or download the HR Go RH App available for free on your mobile device through iOS and Android.

Additional resources

For additional resources and information about Virtual Onboarding, please visit the Working Remotely page on the Defence Team COVID-19 website.

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