Programs & Services

Considering transitioning? SCAN Seminars “a must” for Military Personnel

If you are a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member thinking of transitioning within or out of the military, then the military’s Second Career Assistance Network (SCAN) seminar is a must for you.

Offered through the Personnel Selection Office, the military has presented SCAN seminars for decades. This three-day program provides members with all kinds of information under the umbrella of transition.

“Anytime that you do a transition, it’s going to affect you. It’s your transition. Whether it’s in the military or you’re releasing, it’s taking ownership of that. The SCAN seminar provides you with the necessary information, policies, and processes. It gives you a thorough overview of who you need to contact to have a successful release,” said Maj. Robert Vandermolen, director transition services and policy, Director General Military Transition.

About SCAN

SCAN seminars occur at bases and wings across the country throughout the year. Smaller bases may offer only one per year, while larger bases and wings typically offer two seminars: one in spring and one in fall.

Essentially, the seminar covers a breadth of topics from pension benefits to services and entitlements to the entire process of transitioning out of the military and who to contact.

According to Vandermolen, the program started out many years ago as a formal event, but now things have relaxed to create a more welcoming environment, but always with one goal in mind: assisting a member’s transition.

It is recommended that members take the seminar ten years, five years, and one year before release since policies change. Interested members can reach out to their supervisor or look for a notice to connect with their Personnel Selection Officer.

“It’s always been an opportunity to get the information out concerning a release and to allow the military member to ask poignant questions to subject-matter experts,” noted Vandermolen.

COVID-19 & SCAN seminars

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SCAN seminars are now also offered virtually. The virtual format allows members to chat and ask questions in smaller rooms. The virtual format also allows members to have greater access to SCAN seminars, as they can attend seminars even when offered across the country.

“For example, if a francophone member is living in Ottawa and there is no SCAN seminar being offered in French in the NCR, then they can attend a seminar in Bagotville that is being offered in French,” explained Vandermolen.

It is recommended that members take the seminar ten years, five years, and one year before release since policies change. Interested members can reach out to their supervisor or look for a notice to connect with their Personnel Selection Officer.

“The participation of the family in SCAN seminars means our personnel are well supported. They receive the same information in SCAN seminars. It’s able to facilitate discussion with their partners, and they get an awareness of the benefits and services and programs out there,” said the Director-General of Military Transition.

Family Participation

Participation of the spouse is highly encouraged in SCAN seminars, especially for members who are being medically released.

“The participation of the family in SCAN seminars means our personnel are well supported. They receive the same information in SCAN seminars. It’s able to facilitate discussion with their partners, and they get an awareness of the benefits and services and programs out there,” said the Director-General of Military Transition.

Vandermolen also noted that emotionally and mentally, it’s also beneficial for members to have family support.

“It’s so important that when people transition, they have a strong social cohesive group to fall on. And having their family as part of this transition is a benefit to them and their integration back into society.”

Additionally, Canadian Forces Morale Welfare Services also presents for families during the SCAN seminar.

Other Programs

The Personnel Service Office also offers a number of other programs to benefit members during and after their military careers, such as the Career Transition Workshops. The CTW is an opportunity for members to learn skillets that would help them find employment after the military. These skills include:

  • Resume writing
  • Creating a 30-second sales pitch
  • Training for an interview
  • How to write a cover letter.

The PSO also offers Long Term Planning Seminars that are highly recommended for members in their first year so they can plan their future through learning budgeting skills, financial skills, and establishing their long-term goals.

Learn more about SCAN seminars here.

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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