Outdated Policy on Promotion for Medical Officers


Outdated Policy on Promotion for Medical Officers

Case number


Canadian Forces Administrative Order (CFAO) 11-6 has long been the principal policy instrument for promotion of Medical Officers. However it is clear that CFAO 11-6 is no longer congruent with the way in which Medical Officers train and become licensed. 

More recent promotion policy guidance for Medical Officers is found in the 15 June 2009 version of the Canadian Forces Manual of Military Employment Structure, Volume 2 Part 1, “Officer Job Based Specifications (JBS). This policy is being validly used as the authority for promotion of Medical Officers, and contains more specific requirements for the promotion of Medical Officers than those found in the CFAO

Although various Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) authorities rely on the JBS provisions to guide the promotion requirements for Medical Officers, the now out of date CFAO 11-6 continues to be cited as the CAF promotion authority.  This contributes to confusion in the occupation on the part of members and superiors alike, as to the requirements for promotion. For example, in the present grievance case the advisor for the Medical Officer occupation supported the grievor’s view that the provisions of the CFAO 11-6 took priority over the relevant JBS policy. Such confusion is clearly problematic for the occupation and should be resolved.


The Committee recommended, for clarity purposes, that the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) issue a Canadian Forces General message confirming that the JBS, and not CFAO 11-6, is the proper authority for the promotion of Medical Officers.

Final Authority decision

The CDS agreed that there is still a discrepancy in the CAF promotion policy between CFAO 11-6, Annex B - Special Provisions - Specialist Officer Occupations, and the more recent policy contained in the Canadian Forces Manual of Military Employment Structure, Officer JBS for the Medical Assistant. Answering to the Committee’s systemic recommendation, the CDS was satisfied that the CFAO 11-6 is in the process of being replaced by a Defence Administrative Orders and Directives. 

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