The CAF return to duty framework

The RTD Plan

The RTD Plan is the summary of the collaborative effort of all Stakeholders in the RTD process, and is the road map for the CAF member to follow in their return to duty. The RTD Plan establishes a duty placement for the member, specific to their rank, occupation and skills, that reflects the work the member can perform within their functional capabilities while respecting their MELs. It should have realistic and achievable goals that are integrated with, and that cumulatively build on, the member’s recovery, rehabilitation and capacity for reintegration. It should have benchmarks established that are measureable and reviewable, both in terms of time and ability to progressively assume more duties.

Every RTD case is different and each member referred to the RTD program has his/her own unique set of circumstances. Thus, each RTD plan is designed to meet those unique circumstances for the individual while still supporting the operational needs of the CAF. Furthermore, RTD plans are reviewed and adapted as the CAF member’s and organization’s needs and interests change.

The RTD Plan is not simply a new work location during the normal work week or a flexible duty schedule. The RTD plan should facilitate the member:

  • Returning to his/her unit with the same duties
  • Returning to his/her unit with the same duties with limitations (physical/time/task)
  • Returning to his/her unit with different duties
  • Returning to his/her unit with/different duties with limitations (physical/time/task)
  • Working at a different unit with the same duties (same rank and skill set)
  • Working at a different unit with different duties with limitations (physical/time/task)
  • Working within a civilian or private sector environment to facilitate readiness for re-integration into a military environment (unit/duties)

The RTD plan should be developed with the following intent:

  • maintain member’s ties to unit/CAF
  • encourage the member to overcome adversity through a supportive social network
  • respect the MELs recommended by the medical professional
  • support and encourage participation, building on the member’s functional abilities
  • minimize disruption
  • respect confidentiality
  • minimize the impact on the member and the those who work with the member
  • minimize negative impact on career and personal/family life
  • minimize stressors

When developing an RTD plan, the full spectrum of military duty-related activities should be considered:

  • primary duties
  • secondary duties
  • special projects
  • education upgrading
  • professional development
  • physical fitness
  • military community services

There may be instances where the RTD Plan cannot be built around the most available or most suitable duty locations for the member. These cases should be treated as temporary measures until such time as a more suitable placement can be obtained.

Depending on the complexity of the member’s RTD requirements, the RTD Plan can be developed by the TC RTD Coordinator, the Unit RTD Representative, or jointly between the two. Specialist engagement (such as Occupational Therapists) will be essential in these cases to ensure the proper identification of potential barriers (personal, environmental and activity/occupational) and contribute to and organize a goal directed and structured accountability RTD plan.

The RTD Process

The RTD process is represented by a series of steps that ensure an effective RTD Plan is developed and implemented that satisfies the individual goals as well as the organizations’ goals. The steps in the RTD process are general in application to allow for flexibility in the development of a tailored RTD Plan for the member. The often unique needs and circumstances of the ill and injured CAF member, coupled with the local stakeholder relationships, expectations and unit SOPs, require an RTD process that is tailored to reflect those requirements. A detailed description of the RTD Process is provided at Annex A.

RTD Plan Administration

The RTD Plan should be inserted in a Personnel Development Review (PDR) as per CFPAS. Sections 1 and 2 will be used for the actual Plan and Sections 3-5 can be used for progress and meeting the objectives set-out in the plan. This will provide a familiar tool for both the members and the supervisors and integrate the MELs into well-established Chain of Command tools. It will also foster a stronger sense of self-accomplishment for the member. The member’s RTD plan and the RTD SOU are to be stored in a member’s personnel file until the expiry date of the plan. Administrative and operating procedures associated with RTD plans should be established locally through the TC RTD Coordinator and tailored to satisfy local stakeholder preferences or practices. Only the RTD SOU and RTD Compliance and Consent forms are standardized to be used in conjunction with all RTD Plans, whether the member is posted to the CAF TG or remains with their Parent Unit.

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