Career Transition Services – General Policy

Issuing Authority: Director General, Policy and Research
Effective Date: July 5, 2019
Document ID: 2670

Care has been taken to ensure these policies accurately reflect the acts and regulations. Should any inconsistencies be found, the acts and regulations will prevail.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide an overview of Veterans Affairs Canada’s (VAC) Career Transition Services (CTS) Program. This policy provides direction on CTS program components, governing principles, eligibility, application requirements, waiver of application, suspension, cancellation and rights of review.

Policy

The Veterans’ Well-Being Act and the Veterans’ Well-Being Regulations set out the authority, eligibility and other requirements for the Career Transition Services Program.

Intent of Program

1. The policy intent of the CTS Program is to ensure that eligible CAF members, members of the Supplementary Reserve, Veterans, spouses, common-law partners and survivors have access to services that will help them develop the skills and tools they need to effectively search, apply for and obtain civilian employment. With increased knowledge and skills, program participants will be prepared to navigate the civilian labour market not only on their initial transition out of the CAF but also at any point where they may be faced with the transition from one type of employment to another. This is accomplished by providing services that will assist these individuals in having the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to prepare for and obtain civilian employment. 

The CTS program will be delivered by a contracted service provider with policy guidance from the Department.

Program Description

2. The CTS program is comprised of the following program components: 

a. Providing labour market information may include:

  1. Labour market trends on a national, regional, provincial and sector basis;
  2. Availability of employment on a national, regional, provincial and sector basis;
  3. Skills employers are looking for, which industries are hiring and where they are located;
  4. Where to find employers who are hiring, what the working conditions are like for specific industries, and what education and training is needed for specific jobs; and
  5. What factors can prevent obtaining employment, what jobs are growing in the future, and other related statistics.

b. Career counseling may include:

  1. Identification of skills transferable from military to civilian employment;
  2. Self-assessment of education, skills and experience;
  3. Aptitude testing;
  4. Interest inventory;
  5. Resume and cover letter preparation and updating;
  6. Tailoring resume and cover letter for a specific job;
  7. Job search techniques and research;
  8. Interview and self-marketing skills and techniques;
  9. Identification of further training requirements and assistance with referrals to other organizations; and
  10. Any other career counseling activity which could reasonably be expected to facilitate the securing of civilian employment.

c. Job-finding assistance may include:

  1. Assessing employment barriers that may exist in obtaining or retaining employment in the civilian workforce;
  2. Assistance in locating specific job opportunities suited to the client’s skills and experience;
  3. Individual support in job application process including assistance with preparation of cover letter, participating in mock interviews, support in organizing, recording and maintaining job search logs;
  4. Facilitation of client access to existing networks of potential employer contacts, both by industry sector and province, to which clients with appropriate skills and knowledge may be further supported to find employment; and
  5. Any other job-finding assistance activity, such as job placement assistance, which could reasonably be expected to result in securing civilian employment.

Governing Principles

3. The governing principles of CTS include:

  1. The provision of support is based on need and eligibility for services;
  2. The provision of services will build on transition supports provided by the CAF, as well as services and programs available through other government departments and agencies; and
  3. The provision of support is contingent on the participant’s ongoing involvement in developing and completing their career transition plan.

Definitions

4. For the purpose of this policy, the following definitions apply:

"Intent to Release" means a formal notification from a member to the Canadian Forces/Department of National Defence with a specified release date (although not subject to release on that date).

"Participation in the Career Transition Plan" means a person's participation in the plan.

"Plan" means a career transition plan.

Eligibility

5. Subsection 3(1) of the Act provides that the Minister may, on application, provide CTS to:

  1. a member who has completed basic training;
  2. a Veteran who completed basic training and who was released from the CAF on or after April 1, 2006;
  3. a Veteran who is entitled to a Canadian Forces Income Support benefit;
  4. a spouse or common-law partner of a Veteran who completed basic training and who was released from the CAF on or after April 1, 2006;
  5. a survivor of a member who completed basic training and who died on or after April 1, 2006;
  6. a survivor of a Veteran who completed basic training and who was released from the CAF and who died on or after April 1, 2006; or
  7. a survivor who is entitled to a Canadian Forces Income Support benefit.

6. CTS may be provided to a member only if:

  1. the member resides in Canada; and
  2. the Minister is satisfied that the member requires assistance in making the transition to the civilian labour force.

7. CTS may be provided to a Veteran only if:

  1. the Veteran resides in Canada;
  2. the Minister is satisfied that the Veteran requires assistance in making the transition to the civilian labour force; and
  3. the Veteran is not receiving rehabilitation services or vocational assistance under Part 2 of the Act.

8. CTS may be provided to a spouse, common-law partner or survivor only if:

  1. the spouse, common-law partner or survivor resides in Canada; and
  2. the spouse, common-law partner or survivor is not receiving rehabilitation services under Part 2 of the Act.

9. For the purposes of this policy, members of the Supplementary Reserve are eligible for all the services provided to Veterans, and subject to all the same requirements and limitations. Spouses and common-law partners of members of the Supplementary Reserve may also receive services as outlined in paragraph 12.

Duration of Eligibility

10. A Veteran or survivor who is eligible for CTS on March 31, 2018 will maintain eligibility as long as they continue to meet the requirements of eligibility on April 1, 2018. 

11. A spouse or common-law partner (of a Veteran who completed basic training and who was released from the CAF on or after April 1, 2006) may receive CTS until the later of:

  1. March 31, 2020; or
  2. the second anniversary of the day on which the Veteran was released.

12. A spouse or common-law partner of a member of Supplementary Reserve may receive CTS until the later of:

  1. July 4, 2021; or
  2. the second anniversary of the day on which the member was transferred to the Supplementary Reserve.

13. For the purposes of this policy, if the Veteran and his or her spouse or common-law partner legally separate or divorce after the spouse or common-law partner has been found eligible for CTS, the spouse or common-law partner continues to be eligible for CTS until the expiry of eligibility, as outlined in paragraph 10.

Canadian Residence Requirement

14. For the purposes of CTS, a Veteran, spouse, common-law partner or survivor may be absent from Canada for a total of 183 days or less in a calendar year. Still-serving members of the CAF must also meet the Canadian residency requirement. For still-serving CAF members, all absences from Canada, while stationed overseas, for example, are deemed not to have interrupted residence in Canada.

Delayed Applications

15. Spouses and common-law partners must apply for CTS within time limits described in paragraph 11 and 12, unless a delayed application is reasonable in the circumstances. Each ‘delayed application’ will be considered on its own merits under subsection 76(3) of the Act.

16. In cases where eligibility is granted after a delayed CTS application, the duration of eligibility of the spouse or common-law partner will extend only for the period of time required to address their CTS needs.

Waiver of Application

17. Subsection 78.1 of the Act provides that VAC may waive the requirement for an application. The Minister may waive the requirement for an application for CTS if the Minister believes, based on information that has already been collected or obtained by VAC, that the person is eligible for CTS if they were to apply. 

18. If the Minister intends to waive the requirement for an application, the Minister must notify the person either in writing or orally. Likewise, the person may accept to have the requirement for an application waived either in writing or orally. 

19. Where the person has notified VAC of their decision to accept the waiver, the person shall provide VAC with any information or documents requested in the time period specified by VAC. If the information is not received, VAC may request the participant to complete an application for CTS even after a waiver has been offered.

Effective Date

20. The effective date of CTS program eligibility is the date the eligibility decision is made.

Assessment of Needs

21. Under subsection 4(1) of the Act, the Minister, on approving an application for CTS, must assess the needs of the still-serving member, Veteran, spouse, common-law partner or survivor with respect to the services that may be provided.

Career Transition Plan

22. A Career Transition Plan will be developed to identify civilian employment and education goals, the services required to achieve these goals, any required training and anticipated timelines.

23. For more information on the Career Transition Plan, please refer to the policy entitled Career Transition Services – Plan Policy.

Suspension of CTS

24. The Minister may suspend the provision of CTS if the person does not participate in the activities in order to meet the objectives of their career transition plan.

25. Before suspending the provision of CTS, the Minister must provide the person with written notification of the reasons for the suspension and the effective date of the suspension. 

Cancellation of CTS

26. The Minister may cancel the provision of CTS in two circumstances:

  1. the person’s eligibility for CTS was based on a misrepresentation or the concealment of a material fact; or
  2. a suspension of CTS continues for at least six months.

27. On cancelling the provisions of CTS, the Minister must provide the person with written notification of the reasons for the cancellation, the effective date of the cancellation and their rights of review.

28. Notwithstanding a previous cancellation of eligibility for CTS, a participant may submit an application for CTS at a later date and may become eligible for the program again. 

Rights of Review

29. Section 83 of the Act authorizes the Minister, on application or on the Minister’s own motion, to review a CTS decision.

30. Two levels of review are available to a person dissatisfied with a decision rendered in respect of CTS:

  1. A review “on application” means that a Veteran or other VAC client submits a request to have a decision reviewed by VAC; and
  2. A review “on the Minister’s own motion” means that a review of a decision is initiated internally by VAC staff. “Minister” in this context includes public servants who serve within VAC.

31. For more information on rights of review, please see the policy entitled Review of Part 1, Part 1.1, Part 2 and Part 3.1 Decisions under the Veterans Well-being Act.

Participant Expenses

32. Participants in CTS will not be reimbursed for travel or any other expenses incurred (e.g. supplies such as paper/ink, travel to attend interviews, etc.) as a result of their participation in the program.

Transitional

33. On or after April 1, 2018, the Minister may pay or reimburse fees in respect of CTS payable under the reimbursement model for services provided prior to April 1, 2018. Invoices, and proof of payment, if applicable, must be submitted no more than 12 months after the day on which the services were provided.

References

Veterans Well-being Act, sections 3, 4, 5, 5.1

Veterans Well-being Regulations, sections 2, 3, 4, 4.1, 4.2

Review of Part 1, Part 1.1, Part 2 and Part 3.1 Decisions under the Veterans Well-being Act

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