Canadian Forces Return to Duty program (CF RTD)


CANFORGEN 090/03, CF Military Personnel Instruction 05/03,


The CF RTD program is a personnel management tool that works in conjunction and harmony with other programs and services that provide care and support to ill and injured members. The program provides a framework for enhanced communication between the member, the medical authorities and the Chain of Command, while respecting privacy expectations.

The program is a rehabilitation initiative that helps convalescing members ease back into the workplace by adapting schedules and duties to their level of ability. The more supportive the work environment is, the greater the potential for success.


The Return to Duty program applies to members of the Regular Force and the Primary Reserve.


Extensive research demonstrates that the probability of returning to work decreases significantly with the length of time away from work. Ill and injured individuals who are away for more than six months are 50% less likely to return to any type of work, when compared to individuals who are returned to work earlier in some capacity or another.


The RTD program facilitates the restoration of the physical and mental health of injured or ill CAF members by helping them reintegrate into the workplace as soon as medically possible. The ultimate goal is to return members to their regular duties as soon as possible via a transitional employment period of duties modified in duration and/or scope.


Any member who suffers an injury or contracts an illness that temporarily or permanently limits his/her ability to perform duties at their designated place of employment should participate in the program. The actual return to duty process may vary from unit to unit.

The program has many benefits for the ill or injured member. Quick intervention through a planned and gradual reintegration into the workplace gives the member the ability to actively participate in his/her rehabilitation. It also facilitates the responsibility for treatment.

A progressive return to duty plan provides meaningful work in a supportive environment and a social support network. The member will gain motivation through self-satisfaction, trust, and confidence.


To obtain the name of the nearest Return to Duty program coordinator:


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