Canadian Armed Forces Grievance Process

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) grievance process consists of two levels and begins with the grievor's Commanding Officer (CO).

Level I: Review by the Initial Authority (IA)

  • Step 1: The grievor submits a grievance in writing to his or her CO.
  • Step 2: The CO acts as the IA if the CO can grant the redress sought. If not, the CO forwards the grievance to the senior officer responsible for dealing with the matter. Should the grievance relate to a personal action of an officer who would otherwise be the IA, the grievance is forwarded directly to the next superior officer who is able to act as IA.
  • Step 3:The IA renders a decision, and if the grievor is satisfied, the grievance process ends.

Level II: Review by the Final Authority (FA)

Grievors who are dissatisfied with the IA's decision may ask to have their grievance reviewed by the FA, which is the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) or his/her delegate.

  • Step 1: The grievor submits his or her grievance to the CDS for FA level consideration and determination.
  • Step 2: Depending on the specific details of the grievance, the CDS may be obligated, or may, in his or her discretion, refer it to the Committee. The Director General, Canadian Forces Grievance Authority, the CAF organization responsible for the management and support of the military grievance system, forwards the grievor's file, on behalf of the CDS, to the Military Grievances External Review Committee. If the grievance is referred for consideration, the Committee conducts a review and provides its F&R to the CDS and the grievor. Ultimately, the FA makes the final decision on the grievance.
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