Courses and Training

Courses and training are designed to increase a Canadian Armed Forces member’s professional knowledge, breadth of experience, and scope of responsibility. These are key to your development and career progression. For answers to common questions about courses and training, review the Frequently Asked Questions below. If you don’t find information specific to your situation, contact us.

  • I was loaded on a compulsory course. Since then, exceptional personal or family circumstances have developed. Now I would like to request to postpone or cancel the course. What can I do? 

    Compulsory courses such as career courses are necessary for occupation and rank progressionFootnote 1 . A voluntary withdrawal from training or a refusal to attend career courses can lead to an administrative review.

    However, in certain instances, deferral or withdrawal requests are the result of exceptional circumstances. If exceptional personal or family circumstances arise that could prevent you from attending a scheduled compulsory course, notify your chain of command. If you intend to ask for a course postponement or cancellation, submit a written request as soon as possible to your commanding officer via a memorandum.

    Your chain of command can outline the steps to follow and the information required to support your request. If more detailed recommendations are required about personal, sensitive, or medical information, your commanding officer may refer you to a social worker. The social worker will draft a report for your commanding officer to make a recommendation and to forward to the Director Military Careers (D Mil C) authority for consideration.

    Note: Depending on your circumstances, you may find it helpful to contact other support resources such as your padre, a Military Family Resource Center family liaison officer, a Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP) financial counselor, or your local CAF Transition Unit.

    While your request is being considered, you may discuss questions or updates with your chain of command. You may also discuss your situation with your Base or Wing Human Resources Administrator (HRA).

    If the D Mil C authority denies your request to postpone or cancel your course attendance, you may request clarification through your chain of command. If you remain unsatisfied with the decision, you can submit a grievance and ensure the time sensitivity aspect is noted in your request. Refer to our Redress of Grievance information for more details.

    If there are exceptional reasons that prevent you from addressing your concerns through regular channels such as time sensitivity, health, security, or financial concerns for you or your family, you can contact our office by phone or in writing. We can assist when there are compelling circumstances to ensure all relevant parties know about your circumstances, and that the proper process is being followed to assist the appropriate authority in taking an informed decision.

  • An Administrative Review was initiated following my: career course failure, withdrawal from a career course, refusal to attend a career course, or return to unit from a career course. What can I do?

    There are various reasons why you may fail a career course, refuse to attend a career course, withdraw from a career course, or return to your unit before completion of a career course.

    In such instances, your career manager may initiate an Administrative Review (AR). This process determines what appropriate administrative actions will be taken.

    If you are in this situation and you learn that an AR will be initiated, contact your chain of command as soon as possible. Request the reasons for the AR and the instructions on the steps you should follow, including the process to provide written representation. Refer to the Defence Administrative Orders and Directives 5019-2 - Administrative Review for more information on the Administrative Review process. You may also discuss your situation with your Base or Wing Human Resources Administrator (HRA).

    Possible AR outcomes may vary according to your circumstances. They may include:

    • recourse,
    • reversion in rank,
    • retention with career restrictions, or
    • releaseFootnote 2 .

    If you have followed all AR process steps and you remain unsatisfied with the decision, you can submit a grievance. Refer to our Redress of Grievance information for more details.

    If there are exceptional reasons that prevent you from addressing your concerns through regular channels such as time sensitivity, health, security, or financial concerns for you or your family, you can contact our office by phone or in writing. We can assist when there are compelling circumstances to ensure all relevant parties know about your circumstances, and that the proper process is being followed to assist the appropriate authority in taking an informed decision.


Note: You should not use this webpage as your sole information source on career management. This page is intended to provide information for your consideration in planning your CAF career. For more information on career questions and for policy clarification, consult your chain of command and career manager.

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