Programs & Services

New program launched to help CAF Personnel find resolution regarding complaints and issues

The Integrated Complaints and Conflict Management (IC2M) program has received more than 100 requests and has resolved 75 per cent of cases in only a matter of months since it was first launched in Oct. of 2016.

The IC2M program, in the works for almost four years, was launched to help streamline any complaints or issues Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel may have in a one-stop-shop manner. Working with the Chain of Command (CoC) and CAF members, the IC2M program seeks to provide comprehensive recommendations on how to move forward with challenging situations in an informal method. It also calls for a centrally controlled harassment/discrimination/abuse of authority investigation capacity, as required.

Among the main objectives of the Complain Management Services (CSM) offices is to resolve complaints early and locally, reaching back to technical authority on complex issues, assisting with harassment Situational Assessment and Terms of Reference, educating members on appropriate internal mechanisms and providing early warning on potential systemic issues.

Still, in its early stages, four prototypes were launched in Borden, Kingston, Montreal and Valcartier in the fall of 2016. According to the data, collected a month and a half in, a third of requests came from CoC while a majority came from CAF members seeking clarification on how to deal with issues and conflicts arising in the workplace. Out of these cases, 75 percent have been resolved informally and in a timely manner.

“The goal was to streamline the process, and I am quite thrilled with the results,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Alain Dugas, IC2M Team Leader. “Knowing that people’s complaints are heard, are being handled quickly and effectively and members are satisfied with the results makes me excited as we continue to roll out this system as quickly as possible.”

At the IC2M offices, complaints are dealt with in an informal and timely fashion, while keeping the CoC informed. If a resolution between parties is unsuccessful or not possible, members are informed on how to proceed and using formal resolution system for determination by an appropriate authority.

The office staff members are qualified complaint and conflict resolution agents.

“Almost every one of our interventions is in itself a daily success. People are lost, do not know their rights, their responsibilities or what process to turn to. We are making their journey less chaotic and easier,” said Jocelyn Lavigne, a CMS supervisor in Valcartier, in a press release.

The IC2M program is based on the direction of the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS) and Canadian Army/Military Personnel Command leadership.

The program was conceptualized in 2011 when the VCDS and Chief of Military Personnel launched Integrated Conflict Management Working Group (ICMWG) to review the current military grievance system, harassment complaint resolution system, and alternative dispute resolution system. ICMWG determined that the current processes were lengthy and ineffective.

The IC2M project was then established by the VCDS in 2014 with a two-year mandate.

The next phase of the project is to train another round of CSM agents and open the second round of prototype bases this fall. The goal is to open offices at four bases every year until the program reaches Final Operating Capability in 2019.

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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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