Training Development Officer

Job description

Training Development Officers promote, guide, coordinate and advise on the systematic approach to training and education. They analyse operational job performance requirements, identify needs, suggest and implement solutions to performance problems.

As experts in military training, education and professional development programs, Training Development Officers are responsible for managing and providing training, conducting human performance research and development, ensuring quality and quantity control, teaching in a variety of school settings, and managing learning resources.



Training Development Officer

I’m Captain Rob Tucker from St. John’s, Newfoundland and I’m a Training Development Officer at the Canadian Forces Training and Development Centre at CFB Borden in Ontario.

And I’m Lieutenant Navy Jim Meadley from Halifax, Nova Scotia. I’m the Training Development Officer at Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston, Ontario.

TUCKER: Training Development Officers really advise on the design of curriculum in the CF, but we also go back to see at the need for training in the CF. We actually do needs assessments and advise on that process where, in the beginning is there a need for training? Normally it starts with a gap in performance which is where we are now where we want to be. For example, if on operations in Afghanistan, if something’s not going well, the experts within that field will lead an analysis of that situation, but if training is deemed to be deficient, they will actually hand it over to teams including Training Development Officers to advise on a way ahead in training.

MEADLEY: The first thing that happens is we take a look at all the tasks, skills, knowledges and references that are associated to that and we identify where the gap has occurred. What was missing, what is new? We’re not the drivers of these boards, but we certainly have a responsibility to ensure that they use a systematic approach, they answer all the unanswered questions and the choices that they make in the way to deliver is sound and makes sense.

TUCKER: Training Development Officers really have to go out and observe training – watch instruction in a classroom, watch instruction on the ship, on the flight line or in the field.

MEADLEY: Being out here where the soldiers are doing their job allows you to look at what they’re doing in a real world environment. It allows you to bond with them, ask questions. You’re seen as part of their group and when you go back into the boards and into the classrooms, you have a better appreciation of what the expectation is. You can speak from your gut and not strictly from a book. Change is good. Innovation is good, but don’t do it for the sake of change. You have to have some tangible at the end, some value. Be it efficiency or student satisfaction or in a financial way, there has to be some benefit. But innovation doesn’t come from a Training Development Officer. Sometimes innovation comes from the Private or the Corporal that sees a better way of doing it, but he doesn’t know how to make that innovation or that idea come forward and if we can be an agent or a venue for that change to come forward, that’s where we should be.

MEADLEY: After basic officer training, Training Development Officers spend five months at Canadian Forces Base Borden, in Ontario. This is the course that gives you an in-depth perspective of the Canadian Forces Individual Training and Education System and the Systems Approach to Training which is at the core of everything we do.

TUCKER: And then what’ll happen is you’ll go out and do on-the-job training with a qualified Training Development Officer where you’ll be advising on the development of training. What you’ll usually advise on training plan development. You’ll also advise on the development of training standards. You’ll also complete a program evaluation where you’ll evaluate a complete training program and recommend ways and means of improving your program. Once you do that OJT which lasts up to 6 months depending on where you are, you’ll be deployed to one of the training centres where you act as a training education advisor to a training establishment.

TUCKER: Even as a junior Training Development Officer, you are in fact having strategic implications on performance on operations. We advise the training and education of sailors, soldiers and members of the Air Force who are going on operations. If your advice is wrong, operations are at risk. Lives are at risk. So even as a junior officer, you can have a significant, strategic impact, so actually, quite frankly, we’re important in the system and we are really punching above our weight, if I may say that.

MEADLEY: The Systems Approach to Training allows us to take the job, in this case or a problem, and apply a systematic set of analysis tools to find out what do we need to do, how do we need to train it, how well does a person need to do it. We then move on to what does the training look like? We design it. Then we go into a delivery mode where we actually deliver the training to the students, we evaluate the training that we’ve given them and then at a period of time beyond when they’re out on the job, we validate to ensure that what we trained them was correct and this cycle will continue – analysis, design, delivery, evaluation, validation – and everywhere we allow it to go back and make changes. And it ensures that we provide the same training consistently to every person.

TUCKER: If you’re interested in the military and interested in instruction and teaching and instructional design, this is a great job.

MEADLEY: The best part of this job is that I go to work, I deal with professionals who really care about what they do. The work that I put in – I see an instantaneous result. At the end of the day, I see a student succeed.

TUCKER: I go to work every day, I enjoy what I’m doing, in uniform. And if you look around at people around you, how many people go to work every day and actually want to go to work? That’s the biggest key to being a Training Development Officer is – go to work every day knowing that you’re having an impact improving performance on operations.


Working environment

Training Development Officers work in an office setting at a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) school, unit, base, command, or at National Defence Headquarters.

Pay and career development

The starting salary for a fully trained Training Development Officer is $51,000 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Regular promotions through the junior officer ranks take place based on the completion of required training and on the length of service as an officer. Once promoted to the rank of Lieutenant (Navy) or Captain, their salary is approximately $74,000 per year.

Training Development Officers initially work as a training and education advisor, where they monitor instruction, supervise instructional staff, and ensure effective course management. As they gain knowledge and experience they may lead a training platoon or section, or act as a School Standards Officer. With additional training, they may qualify for a position as a training and education manager, or as a staff officer at a Command or national headquarters level.

All Officers are expected to maintain a regular professional reading program, and are encouraged to participate in civilian professional associations. All Officers are required to complete the Officer Professional Military Education Program or equivalent.

Related civilian occupations

Although this occupation has no direct related civilian job, the management, leadership and instructing skills developed in this position are highly valued by employers.

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Basic military officer qualification

After enrolment, you start basic officer training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, for 15 weeks. Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the CAF, basic weapons handling, and first aid. Opportunities will also be provided to apply such newly acquired military skills in training exercises involving force protection, field training, navigation and leadership. A rigorous physical fitness program is also a vital part of basic training. Basic officer training is provided in English or French and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.

Following basic officer training, official second language training may be offered to you. Training could take from two to nine months to complete depending on your ability in your second language.

Professional training

Training Development Officers receive in-depth training on the specific responsibilities of the position for five months in Borden, Ontario. The course is designed to provide an in-depth perspective of the Canadian Forces Individual Training and Education System and the Systems Approach to Training.

Training Development Officers then complete three months of on-the-job training at a base in Canada under the supervision of a senior Training Development Officer. During this portion of the training, they are expected to apply and consolidate their knowledge and skills to solve real training and educational problems.

Specialty training

Training Development Officers may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including graduate training at a recognized Canadian university.

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Entry plans

Direct entry

The preferred degree for those wishing to apply for this job is any Master’s degree in Education and three years of full-time experience as an educational or training consultant.

If you have any Bachelor’s degree in Education and experience working as an educational or training consultant, the CAF will decide if your education and experience match the criteria for this job and may place you directly into the required on-the-job training program following your Basic Military Officer Qualification. You will be required to pass this qualification before being assigned

Paid Education

Regular Officer Training Plan

Because this position requires a university degree, the CAF will pay successful recruits to complete a bachelor degree program at a Canadian university. Officer Cadets receive a full-time salary including medical and dental care, as well as vacation time with full pay in exchange for employment with the Canadian Armed Forces for a period of time. Typically, candidates enter the Canadian Military College System as an Officer Cadet where they study subjects relevant to both their military and academic career. In some instances, the CAF is able to pay for Officer Cadets to attend other Canadian universities in a relevant degree program. Those who attend other Canadian universities typically attend university during the regular academic year and participate in additional military training during the summer months. If you choose to apply to this program, you must apply both to the CAF and the Canadian university of your choice. For more information, see Paid education.

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