Annex B: Modernization of NCM Professional Development

Although Non-Commissioned Members (NCM) have repeatedly demonstrated success in operational and institutional contexts, NCM Professional Development (PD) must evolve to reflect the expanding roles and responsibilities that they face in the Contemporary Operating Environment (COE) and the ever evolving Future Security Environment (FSE). In addition to the core traditional skills, attributes and responsibilities of NCMs, particularly the senior NCO’s, they must possess global awareness and an understanding of the Whole of Government team approach. They must be innovative, mentally agile and capable of multi-layered critical thinking. This annex presents the approach to operationalize these requirements, while positioning the improved NCM PD system to fully exploit the opportunities developed through the overarching Individual Training and Education (IT&E) Modernization initiative. At its core, the modern NCM PD system will have a Professional Military Education (PME) that responds to the vision espoused in NCM Corps 2020. These competencies will be developed progressively and be accessible through internal and external education vehicles. The entire curriculum will be powered by modern learning methodologies and technologies optimized to the learning expectations and requirements of current members and future recruit cohorts. Modern NCM PD will incorporate a clearly articulated selfdevelopment programme that will provide access to enriched education opportunities that will parallel and compliment the core PME. The modern approach to NCM PD reflects a cultural change that builds upon the traditional values of the NCM Corps, integrates with development of occupational expertise and recognizes the expectations of NCMs as members in the Profession of Arms. As custodians of the NCM Corps and thereby the agents responsible for the persistence of a modern approach to NCM PD, CWO/CPO1s will be key contributors to this cultural shift; communicating the requirements and components of modern NCM PD to the NCM Corps.

NCM Corps 2020 was published in 2002, nearly a decade ago, as strategic document that defines and provides guidance to PD requirements for NCMs in the 21st century. NCM Corps 2020 speaks to the requirement for NCM mental agility, critical thinking, and comprehension of a common body of knowledge related to the Profession of Arms. It prescribes moving forward on the basis of a strong, complementary and mutually supporting officer/NCM team concept that meets the challenges of the COE. An end-to-end review of the Non Commissioned Member General Specification (NCM GS) was completed in 2010. This updated NCM GS provides the foundation upon which to build the professional military education (PME) program within a PD structure that anticipates career-long intellectual development.


CF CWO Council in fall of 2010 raised concerns over the deficiencies in academic opportunities and the process for accreditation of CF training, education and experience. The Canadian Defence Academy responded accordingly with: · · · · · an emphasis on NCM PD within the IT&E Modernization initiative; an ongoing effort to expand the education opportunities through the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC); the introduction of a process to certify occupations that naturally align with their civilian counterparts; the development of a proposal to improve the mechanism to asses and recognize prior learning and experience obtained both within the CF and externally; and an PD governance model




Aim An NCM PD system that progressively delivers career-long learning to develop the intellectual and professional attributes required to succeed in future operational and institutional roles. Overview The modernized NCM PD system is characterized by the achievement of three objectives: a Modern NCM PME programme; Recognition of Prior Learning and enrichment of Education Opportunities; and Occupation Certification. The overlap between these objectives requires that they be realized through an integrated pursuit of three lines of operation: Definition of NCM PME; Harmonize Existing Education Programs and Enhanced Self-Development. This process is supported by three key enablers described later in this document. Objective 1 – Modern NCM PME The NCM PME program is aligned with the Leadership Development Framework (LDF) and delivers the attributes demanded of NCMs as members of the Profession of Arms in the achievement of CF success in the COE and FSE. In particular, the programme will provide the framework to develop critical thinking skills and describe the methodology to qualify individuals’ mental agility. These core competencies are critical to operational and institutional success and will be delivered within the IT&E System. The PME program will serve all NCMs while providing the unique learning events required in the preparation of succession-planned individuals for success in strategic level appointments.



Objective 2 – Recognition of Prior Learning and Enrichment of Education Opportunities Intellectual development opportunities for NCMs are accessible through mechanisms appropriate to the learning content and in formats appropriate to the individual NCM Learner. Through the communications and encouragement provided by CWO/CPO1s all NCMs are fully aware and motivated to take advantage of these opportunities. The CF and external academic institutions share a common appreciation for the skills and knowledge developed in both learning environments. This awareness coupled with a automated process for comparison enables robust partnerships that support a shared ability to assess and recognize prior learning and experience regardless of origin. In addition to improving PD accessibility and options, this framework supports the individual self-development objectives. Objective 3 – Certification of Occupations NCM occupations with strong correlation to civilian industry, professional certification or trades licenses (e.g. cooks, technicians) will be fully and automatically aligned where feasible. Where the civilian accreditation requires additional training, the PD system will provide a clear map of the self-development required to achieve the civilian accreditation. In addition to achieving warranted respect in the civilian environment that will benefit Civil-Military relationships and success in the full spectrum of operations, this recognition will enhance the CF’s identification as an employer of choice. Lines of Operation Define NCM PME · This LOO supports the objective of achieving a Modernized NCM PME. A comprehensive analysis of the PME program is required to ensure that it provides NCMs the competencies necessary to fulfil their increased roles and responsibilities within the COE and FSE. In addition to aligning the program with NCM PD, NCM PME must exploit synergies and provide competencies complementary to the officer PME. The programme will provide progressive development while allowing the flexibility for individuals to accelerate their engagement of PME according to their personal abilities. Definition of the PME programme will incorporate a consideration of a mechanism to exploit the strengths and interests of individuals in support of the expectations of NCM Corps 2020. Harmonize Existing NCM Educational Programs The various CF programmes available to provide or support intellectual development present a patchwork of administratively complex options. A unified approach to existing NCM self development opportunities will be established. The value of options for self development will be articulated along with the requirements and process to encourage 6


NCM participation. The PD governance framework will ensure that the integrated program is continually modernized to meet the changing military and civil environments. Enhance Self Development. Enrich the breadth and depth of education opportunities to enhance NCM selfdevelopment in support of improving professional acumen while presenting the CF as a learning organization that fosters and appreciates individual intellectual growth. The CF will partner with academic institutions to provide education opportunities that complement CF requirements and support individual desires through programmes that recognize the challenges associated with military service. Enablers Enablers of the strategy to modernize NCM PD are integral to the LOOs to achieve a modernized NCM PD system: · Governance. A clear governance model was approved by PDC and AFC in May 2011. It ensures alignment and responds coherently to the centralized direction in accordance with the strategic guidance from the Chief of Defence Staff. NCMs will be represented at all levels of governance. The governance structure depicted below is an enabler that promotes dynamic, flexible and innovative delivery systems tailored to NCM requirements. It instils within the CF culture that CWOs and CPO1s are the “custodians” of the NCM Corps. Importantly, it ensures NCM PD initiatives are embedded in a CF PD governance structure.

In order to effect the necessary coordination of NCM PD initiatives, the following process is being adopted: 1


• CDA FCWO attends the CF CWO Council whenever NCM PD related issues are on the agenda; • CDA FCWO briefs the NCM PD CPO1/CWO on the issue(s) and provides guidance; • NCM PD Chief presents the issue to IT&E Committee for discussion and a decision. If the issue is beyond the purview of IT&E Committee, it is referred to the Professional Development Council (PDC) with a recommendation; and • CDA FCWO back-briefs the CF CWO Council on the status of the project as required. • Learning Technologies. Technology enables flexible and self-paced the delivery of competencies in accordance optimized to individual learning requirements and preferences. In addition to broadening the content and increasing effectiveness and efficiency of delivery, future members and a large cohort of current members are already embedded in a technically enabled environment and expect their workplace to be seamlessly connected to other aspects of their life. • Communications. Provide timely, complete and clear awareness of the objectives of NCM PD Modernization in general; specific outputs of this effort; and the relationship between these developments and the overarching IT&E Modernization initiative. Conventional communications means will introduce and describe the modernization outputs, but context and comprehension of the importance of a modernized NCM PD will be a shared responsibility with CWO/CPO1s as the lead agents of communications to the NCM Corps. This enabler will simultaneously inform and promote the civil-military academic partnerships thus promoting a more effective and economically efficient joint delivery mechanism. Conclusion A modern NCM PD system fully engages NCMs as members of the officer/NCM team in contributing to success in future operational and institutional environments. The NCM PD system will build on the traditional functions of NCMs, concentrating on developing competencies that support the expanding roles and increasing responsibilities of NCMs consistent with the vision of NCM2020 and their position in the Profession of Arms. Technologies, by virtue of their presence in every aspect of the lives of current and future members, but more importantly as a vehicle for the efficient achievement of requisite competencies, will be a fundamental enabler. Successful implementation of a modern NCM PD system requires a culture shift. NCMs will participate in the development and governance of the PD system. To ensure the persistence of the advancements introduced by modernization, CWO/CPO1s, as custodians of the NCM Corps, will lead the promotion of the modern system within the NCM Corps.



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