Sexual harassment is a concern the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is seemingly taking very seriously, as evidenced by recent directives within the military to its members to handle complaints in a timely manner and resolve complaints when a “person is at the core.”
According to a directive issued in a CANFORGEN in February, Chief Professional Conduct and Culture (CPCC) is determined to improve the way complaints are reported, tracked, and addressed. They are also looking to give greater agency and support to those reporting incidents.
“But more fundamentally, a complaint received by the chain of command and management is an opportunity to build the team, establish trust and implement a healthy work environment. This positively and directly impacts the effectiveness and performance of our teams,” stated the directive.
Means of Tracking
To ensure complaints are effectively and timely managed, chain of command and management is recommended to go through:
- Integrated Complain Registration and Tracking System V2 (ICRTS V2): Used to register, track and case manage formal CAF grievances and CAF to CAF harassment complaints;
- Hateful Conduct Incident Tracking System (HCITS): Used to track alleged hate incidents;
- Operation Honour Tracking and Analysis System (OPHTAS): Used to record, track and analyzing incidents of sexual misconduct;
- Workplace Case Management System (WCMS): Used to track public service harassment and violence prevention.
CAF members are also advised to refer members bringing forth complaints to their local Conflict and Complaint Management Services Office. This will ensure members are provided with advice, options, and tools. CAF chain of command is also advised that when a complaint involves DND employees, local labour relation advisors should be consulted.
The overall goal of streamlining the tracking process is ultimately to ensure that sexual misconduct within the CAF is properly addressed and ultimately eliminated.
In addition, if the tracking process is streamlined, it will allow for consistent management, tracking, and reporting.
“It is fundamental to reiterate that Defence team members have the right to submit complaints and must be protected against any form of reprisals.”
Role of CPCC
According to the directive, CPCC will lead a review of the complaint tracking system to support complainants and direct them to the right resources. The review will also assist commanders and DND managers at all levels to better-exercise their leadership for the timely reporting and resolution of complaints.
“CPCC will continue to refocus internal efforts to align Defence culture and professional conduct with the core values and ethical principles we aspire to uphold as a national institution. This will entail developing comprehensive strategies to create a healthier, safer and more inclusive organizational culture. This is a no-fail mission that demands our utmost commitment,” stated the directive.