13-02 Annex B - Merit Review Board

Cadet Administrative and Training Orders (CATOs)


1. The aim of the Merit Review Board process is to:

  1. establish an equitable and transparent process, able to withstand scrutiny, by which COs can establish the most suitable cadet(s) for promotion to the ranks of CPO2 / MWO / WO2 and CPO1 / CWO / WO1;
  2. establish a prioritized pool of eligible cadets for future promotion; and
  3. identify specific individual deficiencies, so that unsuccessful cadets can be briefed and provided with additional training opportunities to improve to a standard at which they satisfy expectations and might become eligible for promotion.

2. It is the mandate of a Merit Review Board to make recommendations for review by the CO regarding the cadets most deserving of senior rank promotions and to prioritize potential candidates if required.  The final decision for any cadet rank promotion rests with the corps / sqn CO.

3. Merit Review Boards will consist of two parts:

  1. file review; and
  2. interview.

Merit Review Board Members

4. The composition of the Merit Review Board shall include a minimum of three to a maximum of five members. As appointed by the corps / sqn CO, members shall include.

  1. Board Chairperson;
  2. League or local sponsor representative;  and
  3. a minimum of one and maximum of three additional members from the following:
    (1) Representative(s) of the RCSU CO (Area Cadet Instructor Cadre Officer, Regional Cadet Advisor, Area Cadet Officer, etc.),
    (2) Corps / sqn CIC Officer(s) (from within own or members of neighbouring corps / sqns),
    (3) Corps / sqn CPO1 / CWO / WO1 (from within own or members of neighbouring corps / sqns), and
    (4) member(s) of the community (school principal, Legion member, etc.).

5. The composition of the board shall be consistent for all candidates. Any potential perception of conflict of interest must be avoided; therefore, any person who has any personal relationship with any of the cadets under consideration must excuse themselves from participation as a board member. The CO will appoint another board member to take their place.

Advanced Preparation

6. Potential candidates shall be informed that a Merit Review Board will be conducted, and asked whether or not they are interested in being considered for the next rank level.

7. Those cadets that have chosen to participate shall be provided with their Fortress Cadet Information Card to review for accuracy and completeness, and, where applicable, identify updates and/or corrections and provide substantiating documents.  Fortress shall be updated and candidates shall be provided with a corrected copy of their Fortress Cadet Information Card.

8. Criteria for the Merit Review Board shall be established and provided to each candidate and the board members. 

Merit Review Board - Part One : File Review

9. A detailed file review is critical to the Merit Review Board process as it provides the opportunity to assess candidates on their qualifications and achievements.  Although the Board Chairperson may determine a specific list of criteria most relevant for this purpose, a recommended list includes:

  1. attendance;
  2. historical academic review of corps / sqn training;
  3. a review of all Cadet Summer Training Centre (CSTC) course reports and/or Performance Evaluation Reports (PERs);
  4. pertinent positive and/or disciplinary notes kept on file;
  5. a listing of all corps / sqn awards granted; and
  6. a listing of any other awards received by the candidate including national honours and awards.

10. The file review process decided upon for each Merit Review Board shall be applied consistently to each candidate without variance.

Merit Review Board - Part Two : Interview

11. To ensure fairness, each cadet to be interviewed must have as similar an experience as possible.  Each cadet shall be given the same initial instructions and asked the same questions. 

12. Although a Board Chairperson may decide to include any questions they feel most important to their specific situation, questions must be relevant to the rank promotion the candidate would potentially receive. Question areas may include:

  1. candidates recounting their achievements through cadet training (eg, corps / sqn program, CSTC program);
  2. candidates explaining what previous positions of leadership they have held (at cadets, school, etc.) and how they performed in related situations;
  3. personal goals and/or their goals for the corps / sqn;
  4. scenario-based questions that relate to typical corps / sqn situations where the candidate shares how they might approach / deal with the situation; and
  5. candidate achievements outside of the cadet corps / sqn setting (eg, at school, in their community, sports teams, extra-curricular activities).

Proceedings of the Merit Review Board

13. Once all eligible cadet files have been reviewed, interviews have been conducted, and each board member has scored and ranked each cadet, all members of the board shall discuss their individual results to determine whether each cadet merits promotion to the next rank level.

14. The goal is to strike a balance between recognizing past achievement, future potential, and abilitiy to contribute at the next rank level.

15. Ideally, through deliberation, the board will achieve consensus; however, this is not absolutely required.  The role of the board is ultimately to ensure that the procedures and protocols are followed, and that all cadets are treated fairly and equitably through the process.

Closing of the Review Board

16. The Board Chairperson is to ensure that Records of Decisions (RODs) (including candidate questions, answers, and the results of each file review) are retained in an appropriate administration file for reference and/or to answer protest if necessary. This document also serves as reference during the debrief sessions with candidates.

17. The CO must be fully briefed on the majority view, as well as any dissenting position(s) of the board.

18. Where a CO decides that a cadet does not yet merit rank promotion, the procedure described at para 11 in the main body of this CATO shall be followed.

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