DAOD 5005-3, Employee Assistance Program

1. Introduction

Date of Issue: 2007-05-25

Application: This DAOD is a directive that applies to employees of the Department of National Defence (DND employees) and an order that applies to officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF members) who act as managers or supervisors of DND employees.

Alternative Formats: This DAOD is available in alternative formats upon request.

Supersession: CPAO 7.16, Employee Assistance Program

Approval Authority: Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources - Civilian) (ADM(HR-Civ))

Enquiries: Director General Civilian Employment Strategies and Programmes (DGCESP)

2. Overview


2.1 Recognizing that DND employees may experience personal or professional issues which impede work performance, the DND encourages them to seek help at an early stage.

2.2 There are numerous internal and community resources to help DND employees with personal or professional issues. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides the assistance which is often required to determine the most appropriate resource.

Awareness and Access

2.3 The ADM(HR-Civ) shall ensure that DND employees, and CAF members who act as managers or supervisors of DND employees, are provided with information about EAP services through various promotional means.

2.4 All DND employees are encouraged to access EAP services as required. EAP services are made available to all DND employees without prejudice to job security or career progression.

2.5 EAP services are made available in both official languages.


2.6 Confidentiality constitutes the fundamental tenet of the EAP.

2.7 In accordance with the Employee Assistance Program Standards and Operating Manual, a referral agent (RA) shall:

  1. adhere to a promise of confidentiality regarding information obtained during an interview with a DND employee seeking assistance (the "client"); and
  2. always protect the identity of the client.

Voluntary Participation

2.8 Participation in the EAP is always voluntary. A supervisor may formally suggest that a DND employee seek the advice of an RA; however, it is always the choice of the DND employee to seek the advice of an RA or not. While a DND employee is responsible for making every effort to improve work performance, refusing EAP assistance does not constitute grounds for disciplinary action.

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3. Administration


3.1 Key EAP officials and offices consist of the following:

  1. RAs;
  2. EAP chairpersons;
  3. EAP coordinators;
  4. Corporate EAP Office;
  5. National Employee Assistance Program Advisory Committee (NEAPAC); and
  6. EAP champion.

Selection and Role of RAs

3.2 An RA shall be an indeterminate DND employee who:

  1. volunteers to help others in the workplace with their personal or professional issues;
  2. is endorsed by applicable unions, bargaining agents and management;
  3. receives EAP training; and
  4. agrees to serve as an RA for a minimum of two years.

3.3 The role of the RA is to:

  1. listen;
  2. assist the client in determining the problems and identifying options;
  3. provide information and support to the client; and
  4. refer the client to appropriate departmental or external resources, if required.

3.4 The RA is not a professional counsellor nor psychologist and shall not offer advice nor attempt to resolve a problem for the client.

Ratio of RAs

3.5 Sufficient RAs shall be recruited and trained annually to maintain a ratio of one RA per 100 local DND employees.

Neutrality of RAs

3.6 A supervisor or manager who acts as an RA shall not provide EAP services to a DND employee who is their subordinate or under their supervision.

3.7 An RA shall not take part under any circumstances in representing a DND employee or acting as a mediator or harassment advisor between the DND employee and:

  1. a supervisor;
  2. a union or bargaining agent representative; or
  3. any other party involved in a dispute.

EAP Chairperson

3.8 An EAP chairperson is an RA who administers a committee of other RAs at a unit or other element.

EAP Coordinator

3.9 An EAP coordinator is appointed by a group or command and reports directly through their respective chain of command to the regional EAP authority.

Corporate EAP Office

3.10 The Corporate EAP Office liaises with unions, bargaining agents and EAP coordinators on behalf of senior management in the groups and commands.

3.11 The Corporate EAP Office shall monitor and provide reports as set out in the following table:

Activities Frequency
  • Conduct comprehensive monitoring activities to:
    • ensure the EAP is meeting stakeholders requirements and the needs of DND employees;
    • make improvements;
    • enhance communication; and
    • develop best practices.

as required

  • Present a statistical report to the NEAPAC, outlining utilization rates and providing an analytical synopsis of the nature of the demands for service and the type and volume of resources and referrals provided by RAs.


  • Provide a written report on activities and a statistical summary to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.


  • Initiate a request to visit each unit or other element in order to:
    • promote and monitor the EAP; and
    • provide opportunities to identify, discuss and resolve local level EAP issues with the unions, bargaining agents, RAs and management representatives.



3.12 The NEAPAC is a joint body of representatives of supporting unions, bargaining agents, commands and groups who provide advice and recommendations in respect of the EAP.

EAP Champion

3.13 A senior manager, whose nomination is supported by unions and bargaining agents, is selected as EAP champion by the Deputy Minister.

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5. Responsibilities

Responsibility Table

5.1 The following table identifies the responsibilities associated with the EAP stakeholders:

The ... is or are responsible for ...


  • overseeing the implementation, delivery and management of the EAP; and
  • planning and allocating financial and human resources as required.

EAP champion

  • representing and promoting the EAP in senior DND and inter-departmental forums;
  • allocating staff, time and financial resources when required; and
  • promoting and encouraging best practices and innovative ways of achieving tangible results.

groups and commands

  • appointing Level 1 and 2 Advisor representatives;
  • providing feedback on policy issues;
  • attending NEAPAC meetings and participating in conferences; and
  • promoting the EAP within their respective organizations.


  • issuing EAP policy and procedures.

DND managers, and CAF members who act as managers or supervisors of DND employees

  • familiarizing themselves with and promoting the EAP;
  • ensuring DND employees are familiar with this DAOD and the fundamental tenets of the EAP;
  • attending EAP awareness sessions and encouraging the attendance of DND employees;
  • participating in the RA recruitment and selection process;
  • ensuring that a local EAP committee is established and supported;
  • reviewing and approving the EAP component of the business plan;
  • granting RAs up to four hours per week, and chairpersons up to six hours per week, for the performance of EAP duties and attendance on the two-week RA course and the one-week chairperson course;
  • enabling RAs and chairpersons the time to conduct employee and supervisor awareness sessions and attend all EAP-related training, promotional and educational activities; and
  • identifying, documenting and dealing with DND employees who show poor work performance, and encouraging DND employees to meet an RA and accept subsequent suggestions for follow-up.

unions and bargaining agents

  • providing regional level liaison officers;
  • establishing and maintaining communications with management, EAP coordinators, chairpersons and RAs;
  • providing representation at NEAPAC meetings;
  • providing feedback on policy issues;
  • identifying issues requiring NEAPAC awareness or resolution; and
  • participating in EAP conferences and national training.

Corporate EAP Office

  • acting as the DND EAP authority by coordinating all EAP activities, delivering training, monitoring and reporting, and researching and highlighting best practices;
  • providing guidance to the ADM(HR-Civ) and the EAP champion;
  • fulfilling the secretariat function for the NEAPAC;
  • creating and disseminating promotional and communications products and tools to all EAP stakeholders and partners;
  • delivering, consulting and communicating EAP policy, directives, guidelines and financial issues through the chain of command and unions and bargaining agents; and
  • liaising with the unions, bargaining agents and EAP coordinators.

EAP coordinators

  • acting as the regional EAP authority by providing direction, guidance, advice, information and support to, as applicable:
    • building, base or wing seniors;
    • regional union and bargaining agent liaison officers;
    • EAP chairpersons;
    • RAs at all units, bases, wings and stations; and
    • the Corporate EAP Office;
  • representing the area, region or command at the corporate EAP meetings;
  • coordinating RA development days;
  • managing and reporting on funding provided by the Corporate EAP Office;
  • providing feedback and information through the chain of command on EAP policy, directives and guidelines;
  • publicizing and promoting the EAP locally and in the community; and
  • overseeing, coordinating and financially managing local RA and chairperson training.

EAP chairpersons

  • publicizing and promoting EAP locally;
  • recruiting and interviewing RA candidates;
  • recommending to the local Labour Management Consultation Committee (LMCC) the appointment, transfer or removal of an RA;
  • planning and chairing regular EAP committee meetings;
  • representing the EAP committee at LMCC meetings;
  • managing and reporting on EAP local budgets; and
  • recording the EAP statistics for those RAs who do not have access to the EAP statistical database and reporting statistics and activities to the LMCC if one exists.


  • listening to clients and identifying appropriate internal or community resources, or both;
  • serving as an RA for a minimum two-year period upon completion of the RA course;
  • attending regular EAP training and committee meetings;
  • organizing promotional EAP activities and participating in them;
  • participating in conferences, training and educational activities;
  • organizing and delivering EAP awareness training to DND employees, and CAF members who act as managers and supervisors of DND employees; and
  • recording all DND employee visits and EAP activities, as they occur, in the EAP statistical database.


Source References

  • Employee Assistance Program, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
  • Employee Assistance Program Standards and Operating Manual, Department of National Defence

Related References

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