CAF Official Languages Review

Key Observations

  1. The majority of CAF members employed in bilingual (minimum BBB) positions do not meet the language profile of the position
    • Total CAF positions: 54,117; Bilingual positions: 8,819
      - 5,599 or 63% do not meet language requirements
      - 7,059 or 13% are undefined language positions
  2. OL proficiency challenges are not limited to bilingual positions
    • Anglophones in French Essential positions and Francophones in English Essential positions are expected to have a certain level of proficiency in their SOL.
    • 31,795 - Total English Essential Positions
      - 4,732 Francophone CAF members occupy an English Essential position
      - 1,246 persons (26.3%) do not have a minimum profile of BBB
    • 6,444 - Total French Essential Positions
      - 1,026 Anglophone CAF members occupy a French Essential position
      - 790 persons (76.9%) do not have a minimum profile of BBB
  3. OL training needs are dependent on the occupation and rank
    • CAF requires 1.5 to 2.5 members to staff a single bilingual position consistently within a given occupation and rank (based on Director General Military Personnel Research and Analysis (DGMPRA) mobility factor).
    • 87.7% of occupations show a capacity shortfall* and 17.9% of occupations have a capacity shortfall exceeding 20% of its total number of bilingual positions.
    • Overall, occupations can expect to lose 1,347 members with valid language profiles a year due to normal job attritions (retirement, transfer to civilian employment etc.,).
  4. CAF members receive OL training in line with career development/progression
    • Years of service (YOS) at time of SOLET registration varies by rank.
      - 15.8 YOS - average for candidates (officers and non-commissioned officers) in continuous class course type
    • Average YOS for Master Warrant Officers and Chief Warrant Officers (reflecting seniority and SOL requirements of positions).
      - 22.3 and 26.2 YOS for Master Warrant Officer and Chief Warrant Officer at registration respectively
    • Most common officer ranks registering for SOLET early in their careers are those of second lieutenant/acting sub-lieutenant and Captain.
      - 7.2 and 9.3 YOS for second lieutenant/acting sub-lieutenant and Captain at registration respectively

    * An occupation with insufficient members with valid OL profiles of the appropriate skill level (reading, writing, oral) can be considered to have a capacity shortfall

  5. CAF members require SOLET for career progression (i.e., Selection Board points)
    • 55.4% of CAF members do not have the language profile required for their next rank (as per the incentive system).
    • Members requiring A and B-level classes represent the bulk of the shortfall for the next rank - Anglophones are most likely to require SOL training.
  6. CAF SOL Training Costs are dependent on the type of training
    • CAF SOL Training costs are comparable with those of other federal departments and agencies.
    • Cost-effectiveness could be improved by increasing the number of course participants in the CAF Single Progress Level (SPL) courses. Currently SPL courses are on average only at 50% capacity.
  7. Overall Success Rates for Continuous and SPL Classes are similar; however, there are differences when the level a student is attempting to achieve is considered
    • Combined English and French courses success rate for all class types is 63%.
    • Overall success rates for students in SPL Level B and C classes show a drop in their success with SPL C-level students experiencing the largest decrease (39.5% success rate).
  8. There is no systematic collection or standardized format for student feedback which makes reporting on students’ perceptions as a whole difficult
    • For 2012-18, approximately 1,500 student feedback responses were obtained by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Canadian Forces Language School (CFLS).
    • Student critiques are collected at various times during language training - this information is used by the schools to correct issues with the training (e.g., teacher, facility or accommodation).
    • The course critique process monitors the quality of teaching and learning service delivery by gathering feedback from the students, teaching personnel and administrators on all aspects of the course.
  9. Over half of CAF members still had valid language profiles 7+ years after SOLET
    • 54.8% of active members who successfully completed their continuous course between 2009- 2012 had valid profiles as of February 2019.
    • 33.6% of members had expired SOL levels when they were retested.
    • 16.5% of members required classes to reacquire previously earned language levels (usually through SPL courses).
  10. Rank influences the number of SOLET classes that members take
    • To maintain their level, higher ranking officers take more classes
    • 38.9% of the total additional classes were taken by Colonel/Captain(N) and above (400 members out of 1,038).
    • 42.9% of members of the rank of Colonel/Captain(N) and above used both retention and reacquisition classes.

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Main Conclusions

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Action Plan

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ANNEX A—Action Plan

CMP acknowledges the observations of this Review, and has developed the following three-phased approach to address the issues noted.

  1. Review: Perform a comprehensive review of the entire SOL capacity building system with the intent of identifying the solutions to issues identified in the SID Problem Definition annex and the ADM(RS) Review.
    • Present initial recommendations to Commander Military Personnel Command (CMPC) for guidance and comments (April 2021)
    • Decision Brief to CMPC: Recommendations to be submitted to CMPC for decision (July 2021)
    • Engagement of appropriate governance bodies (as required) based on CMPC Decision Brief (Fall 2021)
    • Decision Brief to CDS (October 2021)
  2. OPI: CMP
    Target Date: October 2021

  3. Drafting of implementation directive:
    • Engagement of governance bodies (as required) (November 2021)
    • Approval of Implementation Directive by CDS (March 2022)
  4. OPI: CMP
    Target Date: March 2022

  5. Start of implementation of approved changes
  6. OPI: CMP
    Target Date: June 2022

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ANNEX B—Methodology

Evidence from the following data sources supported the key observations:

Population examined: CAF Regular Force members only

OL activities documentation

Available Databases

Personnel Consulted or Interviewed

On hold

MITE data: The MITE data was analysed to determine historical success rates. The MITE database was cross-referenced with financial data to estimate historical cost, and with the DOL “Thousand Liner” enough students were sent to language training.

HRMS data: HRMS data was used to determine compliance rate regarding language requirement of positions by CAF personnel. An extract of the HRMS database with Human Resources information of former continuous course student was used to track job history following language training.

DOL “Thousand liner”: An analysis was conducted to determine CAF Occupation needs and shortfalls in terms of language training.

Financial review: Financial numbers provided by the TAs for Fiscal years 2016/17 and 2015/16 were used to estimate the cost of OL activities for the 2009-2017 period.

Additional sources of information: Interviews with stakeholders were conducted as needed to provide qualitative context to the quantitative data. In total, 7 interviews with 13 individuals were completed over the course of the review. ADM(RS) also conducted document review of available Type 2 and Type 3 documentation to provide additional context.

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ANNEX C—Relevant Definitions

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ANNEX D—Two Factors that Determine CAF OL Requirements

  1. Language designation of organization/unit:
    • Bilingual unit
    • English language unit
    • French language unit
    • Unspecified language unit – applicable only to Rangers units
  2. Linguistic requirements of positions:
    • Bilingual position – Requires the use of both English and French
    • English Essential position – Requires the use of English only
    • French Essential position – Requires the use of French only
    • Either/Or – Either English or French can be used, as determined by the incumbent

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