Grievances in the Canadian Armed Forces

What this service offers

The Canadian Forces Grievance Authority (CFGA) oversees the Canadian Forces grievance system and administers the submission of grievances by Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members.

The National Defence Act gives CAF members the right to make a formal complaint called a "grievance" about any decision, act or omission which affects them personally and results from service in the CAF.

Before you pursue a grievance

The grievance process is a formal approach of addressing an issue, and results in a decision that ensures the correct application of policy no matter what the outcome. As a result, it could have a negative impact on the person making the grievance.

Before pursuing a grievance, you should consider whether other complaint resolution processes are more appropriate for your situation.

Submit a grievance

You may only submit a grievance while serving in the CAF. You must state in writing, what you want to happen and send it to your Commanding Officer. It's important that your grievance meets all the requirements under QR&O 7.08 - Submission of a Grievance.

A grievance must be submitted within 90 days of the date of the decision, act or ommission. You can submit a grievance and attempt informal resolution at the same time, and if successful, request to withdraw your grievance.

A grievance will be decided by an Initial Authority. If still unsatisfied, you may then request to have the grievance reviewed by the Final Authority. The only further appeal is to the Federal Court through judicial review. For more detailed information, see the grievance process.

Service standard

An Initial Authority is obligated to acknowledge a grievance within 10 days of receiving it, and to provide a decision within 4 months. They may ask for an extension if the matter is complicated. Other time limitations apply to both the member and the CAF.

Contact us for help

Your local Conflict and Complaint Management Services centre can also help you with the grievance process and advise you on informal and formal resolution services appropriate for your situation. Conflict Solutions and Services (CSS) is easy to access and always confidential whether in-person or online..

To contact CSS directly, please call us toll free at 1-833-328-3351.

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