Annexes - Return to duty guide for Canadian Armed Forces members

Annex A - The return to duty process

The return to duty process chart - Long description below

* Transition Centre (TC)/Unit Collaboration – The Unit RTD Representative has the responsibility to support their members on RTD. Unit RTD Representatives should work collaboratively with the local TC RTD Coordinator in ensuring this support is provided in a timely and effective manner. The level of engagement of the Unit RTD Representative in RTD Plan development and RTD Process management for their members should be tailored to reflect the local requirements and capacities while respecting the principles and objectives of the RTD program.

The return to duty process chart

Illness/Injury Diagnosis - Does the member have potential to recover from the illness/injury? (Assessed by a Military Medical Authority)

  • YES - High potential
    • Unit Coordinated RTD (Planned and managed at the Unit level. Duration: 30 days maximum)
      • Successful  RTD (Return to Duty in Unit without limitations)
  • YES - Uncertain potential
    • Transition Centre (TC) Coordinated RTD (1st TCAT recommended by Health Provider. Planned and managed at the IPSC level. IPSC/Unit collaboration always*
      • Successful  RTD (Return to Duty in Unit without limitations)
      • RTD Plan Reviewed (2nd TCAT recommended. RTD potential reassessed by Military Medical Authority. Adjustment to RTD Plan. Posting to TC may be considered. Duration 6-12 months
      • Release Transition Plan (PCAT recommended with high risk MELs. No potential for retention. Posting to TC recommended)
  • No Potential
    • TC Coordinated Transition
      • Release Transition Plan (PCAT recommended with high risk MELs. No potential for retention. Posting to TC recommended)

* TC/Unit Collaboration – The Unit RTD Representative has the responsibility to support their members on RTD. Unit RTD Representatives should work collaboratively with the local TC RTD Coordinator in ensuring this support is provided in a timely and effective manner. The level of engagement of the Unit RTD Representative in RTD Plan development and RTD Process management for their members should be tailored to reflect the local requirements and capacities while respecting the principles and objectives of the RTD program.

Annex B - RTD process - Step by step

Recommendation. The member’s PHCP assigns MELs and recommends member be placed on RTD. The member’s CHIT should include the RTD recommendation, duration of the CHIT, what the member can’t do, what the member can do, and the modified work week. The PHCP may consult other PHCPs for additional medical information to assist in formulating the RTD recommendation. For more medically complex cases, the PHCP may require recommendations from Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists (OT).

Referral. The member will be referred to the local TC RTD Coordinator or directly to their Unit RTD Representative to receive an information briefing on the RTD Program and familiarization with the support services available to them. The member’s PHCP can make this referral. The PHCP may also refer the member to the PSP Regional Adapted Fitness (RAF) Specialist and Physical Education (PE) Specialist for a complete assessment with further recommendations. This provides for the rehabilitation and reconditioning component of the member’s RTD Plan. This may also include a referral to the local Soldier On representative if available

Intake. The TC RTD Coordinator or Unit RTD Representative explains the RTD Process and the purpose of the RTD Plan to the member, including the member’s roles and responsibilities, as well as the services provided by the TC. Member meets with Unit RTD Rep or TC RTD Coord to obtain copy of RTD CHIT, discuss RTD Program including CoC authority, member responsibilities, services available, and begin considering options for placement. Member signs Annex C – RTD Consent form.

Consult. The TC RTD Coordinator, the member and the member’s Unit RTD Representative discuss the member’s RTD recommendation with a view to creating an RTD Plan that respects MELs but focuses on building capacity to eventually remove those limitations. The Unit RTD Representative or the TC RTD Coordinator will consult with PHCP (as applicable) to clarify, elaborate MELs and RTD recommendations. They also discuss those stakeholders who should be engaged in the development of the member’s RTD Plan. A decision is made between the TC RTD Coordinator and the Unit RTD Representative as to who will facilitate the development and implementation of the RTD Plan. Depending on the complexity of the RTD recommendation, the Unit RTD Representative, or the TC RTD Coordinator, or both may facilitate the development of the RTD Plan.

Plan. The plan is developed collaboratively with the member, the professional clinical team, the chain of command, and the TC RTD Coordinator and/or the Unit RTD Representative. The plan incorporates the recommendations, goals and objectives of the identified stakeholders. The more engaged all stakeholders are, the better the plan can achieve the goals for both member and organization. The RTD Plan should provide a duty placement that is:

  • Specific to the member’s rank, occupation, skills
  • Realistic and achievable
  • Progressive and action-oriented
  • Integrated with recovery and rehabilitation plans
  • Measureable
  • Time-Framed
  • Reviewable

The RTD Plan is submitted to the member’s CO (or delegated authority) for approval. Once approved, the member, member’s CO (or delegated authority), duty placement employer or supervisor, and the TC RTD Coordinator (or Unit RTD Representative) sign a Statement of Understanding (SOU), Annex D, that establishes the parameters of the member’s RTD and the commitment of all the signatories to that plan. This form details the modified work week, duty schedule, responsibilities of member, contact numbers for CoC and employing unit supervisor, annual leave plan, and commitment of member.

Placement. Most members are normally placed within a few weeks of receiving RTD recommendation. The above steps take time and must be done with the principles of RTD in mind. Placements can be in unit, out of unit, or within a civilian work environment. Placements should be understood as progressively working towards the duties they performed before their illness or injury. They can include:

  • unit/same job
  • unit/same job with accommodations (physical/time/task)
  • unit/different job
  • unit/different job with accommodations (physical/time/task)
  • different unit/same job (same rank and skill set)
  • different unit/different job with accommodations (physical/time/task)
  • within a civilian environment to facilitate readiness for re-integration into a military environment (unit/job)
  • within a military environment pending medical/career decision

Monitor. The TC RTD Coordinator or the Unit RTD Representative will conduct regular follow-up with the member and his/her duty placement employer or supervisor to assess the member’s progress. Progress is assessed at established intervals based on the duration of the RTD Plan. Progress can be reported on standard PDR (Tasks, Expected Results, Action Plan, Accomplishments and Goals, Areas for Development and Action Plan).

Adjust. The PHCP is expected to assess the member after beginning the RTD, with the frequency of assessments determined by the PHCP on a case-by-case basis. The RTD plan will be reviewed and adjusted accordingly, especially with any changes in the member’s MELs or the RTD recommendation from the PHCP. There will always be a requirement to adjust the plan, either from improvements or challenges. Changes to the RTD Plan must be approved by CO.

Monitor. Follow-up continues and progress is evaluated for potential to be returned fit full duties. The TC RTD coordinator or the Unit RTD Representative also assists the member in preparing for the member’s actual reintegration into the unit.

Return or Transition. Member is to be considered on RTD until such time as they are declared fit full duties. Reintegration of the member to former position and responsibilities or new position should be gradual and monitoring should continue. The member requires supportive environment and colleagues concerns should be understood and managed.

If the member’s recovery and rehabilitation lead to the assignment of permanent MELs that will most likely lead to the member’s release, the PHCP should inform the TC. In the latter case they should be referred to the TC RTD Coordinator to begin transition planning. The TC RTD Coordinator (or the Unit RTD Representative) will then schedule a meeting with the signatories to the SOU to discuss the end of the member’s participation in the RTD program and the beginning of the member’s participation in a Release Transition Plan. RTP can look very much like RTD with the exception that the goals begin to increasingly support the Member’s transition requirements and decreasingly support the organization’s operational requirements. There is no defined shift and it is up to the CO to determine (with consultation, guidance and advice) how and when that shift begins. It is in the CO’s interests to focus on prioritizing the member’s interests as soon as possible to ensure member feels supported through transition and release.

Annex C - RTD plan administration, statement of understanding (SOU) form

See Annex C in PDF version of document.

Annex D - RTD compliance and consent form

See Annex D in PDF version of document.

Annex E - Base/wing RTD committee terms of reference

References: DAOD 5018- RTD

Aim

The aim of this Terms of Reference is to define the responsibilities and duties of the Base/Wing RTD Committee.

Purpose

The purpose of the Base/Wing RTD Committee is to collaborate in the effective and efficient management, support and promotion of the CAF RTD program on the Base/Wing. The Committee represents a community of practice for Unit RTD Representatives to network, exchange ideas and best practices, and talk about issues or challenges related to the RTD Program. The Committee also provides an opportunity for local RTD Program partners to provide advice and guidance to Base/Wing leadership and Unit RTD Representatives.

The Committee is affiliated with the local Integrated Personnel Support Centre for RTD Program policy guidance and direction, data consolidation, exchange of information, resources and support. However, the Committee is responsible to the Base/Wing Comd.

Scope

The Committee performs the following functions:

  • provide oversight, advice, guidance and support for the RTD Program on the Base/Wing
  • support RTD promotion and training on the Base/Wing
  • establish and maintain an RTD placement opportunity database
  • collect Unit RTD data and provide collated data to designated IPSC RTD Coordinator
  • provide administrative intervention for specific cases requiring non-clinical resolution when requested by Unit RTD Representatives
  • facilitate the resolution of administrative, non-clinical issues which cannot be resolved by Unit RTD Representatives
  • collaborate with IPSC and RTD Partners to improve and promote the RTD Program

Organization

The Base/Wing RTD Committee shall be organized as follows:

  • Primary Chairperson – Base/Wing Admin O (or delegate)
  • Alternate Chairperson – Base/Wing CWO/CPO1
  • Members – Unit RTD Representatives
  • RTD Program Partners as required
  • Secretary – as delegated by Chairperson

Meetings

Meetings will be held as required at the call of chair, but no less than quarterly. Unit RTD Representatives will be solicited for agenda items no less than two weeks prior to each meeting, with the agenda promulgated approximately one week prior to the meeting.

Minutes

Committee meeting minutes will be maintained by the Secretary who distribute to all members.

Unit RTD Committees

Units may establish respective RTD committees should the requirement exist in order to address local issues and bring forward any unresolved issues or concerns to the Base/Wing RTD Committee.

Annex F - Unit RTD Representative Terms of Reference

References: DAOD 5018- RTD

Aim

The aim of this Terms of Reference is to define the responsibilities and duties of the Unit RTD Representative.

Role

The role of the Unit RTD Representative is to serve as the Subject Matter Expert (SME) within the unit regarding the effective and efficient management of ill and injured members on RTD. This represents the unit’s link to the RTD Program partners on their base/wing.

The Unit RTD Representative develops collaborative relationships and SOPs with their IPSC Team and RTD Program partners in order to facilitate the development and implementation of RTD plans for ill and injured members in their units.

The Unit RTD Representative is a secondary duty. The Unit RTD Representative does not replace the role of the member’s Chain of Command in facilitating and supporting their members on RTD.

Responsibilities

  • Advise the unit Commanding Officer on the development and coordination of RTD plans for the ill and injured members within that unit.
  • Provide effective and efficient support to assist unit members on RTD in developing and implementing their RTD plan and monitoring their progress.

Requirements

  • Compassion, empathy, and commitment to the well-being of the ill and injured members in their unit who are on RTD.
  • Advocacy for the ill and injured members in their unit who are on RTD but responsible to represent the interests of the CO.
  • Collaboration with the member’s Chain of Command in the development, implementation and monitoring of their member’s RTD plan.

Scope of Duties

  • Provide oversight, advice, guidance and support for the RTD Program to the CO
  • Assist members in developing their RTD Plan with support of their Chain of Command
  • Provide RTD promotion and training in the unit
  • Establish and maintain an RTD placement opportunity database within their unit
  • Collect Unit RTD data and provide collated data to designated IPSC RTD Coordinator
  • Represent the CO as a member of the Base/Wing RTD Committee
  • Provide administrative intervention for specific cases requiring non-clinical resolution
  • Facilitate the resolution of administrative, non-clinical issues
  • Collaborate with IPSC and RTD Partners to improve and promote the RTD Program on their base/wing

Qualifications

Rank: Typically a Sr NCO or Jr Offir. Sr NCO’s and Offrs responsible for unit level discipline and administration should not be assigned this role. However, this is the CO’s call and will reflect local realities and requirements.

Competencies: Unit RTD Representatives must be compassionate, empathetic advocates for the ill and injured, yet still be able to balance the operational needs of the unit with those of the members on RTD.

Employment: The CO should employ the Unit RTD Representative to the fullest extent of their capacity and competency with respect to supporting their members on RTD. They should not be employed as general ‘casualty support and management specialists’.

Training: All designated Representatives must complete a 1-3 Day Unit RTD Representative course delivered locally by the IPSC. This training provides the information, knowledge and practical skills the Unit RTD Representative requires for assisting their members on RTD in developing and implementing their RTD Plan.

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