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Attempt at Boiling Down the Reg Force Application Process


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I have been combing for information on the recruiting process up to and including selection.
This is the Great big list of information that I brought together.  I am sure it is not all completely accurate but it is all from previous posts.

First off no two people are identical. Timings have so many variables that it is near impossible to give solid answers to “how long” enquiries.
You apply online by filling out the form accurately and to the best of your abilities. Then you receive an automated replay saying they have received it. (make sure you allow emails from @forces.gc.ca so they do not go to your spam folder).


Normally 2-3 weeks later you will get an email response informing you to contact your local recruiting office to proceed with booking your CFAT. (2-3 weeks wait sometimes depending on scheduling).

You will be there with the listed paperwork in hand ready to go. Get briefed on the ins and outs of the test.  After you are done the test you are given a debrief indicating if you had met the minimum standards for the Trades you had chosen on your electronic application.  They do not give you your score just a fuzzy indication on how well you did.    The CFAT from what I have distilled is about 60% of the total package that will make up your Military Potential Score or MP#.

After your CFAT you await your Medical Booking and Interview appointment. At this time you start your paper work for you security check.  This can take a few weeks again depending on the timings at the recruiting center.


The day of your medical you get your assessment and if you are clean bill of health it goes on to Ottawa for a senior review. This review process can be lengthy even for simple files.  Three Months is a good average depending on manning at the medical review offices.  Now, if you are in need of special doctors notes as a result of medical conditions this whole process can slow down considerably.  Depending on complexity it can be up to a year-long process (medicals are good for one year). I am guessing but this Medical is a pass/fail so I am not sure it affects your MP#.


Interview day is all about you.  How much time have you invested in learning about the life in the military and your chosen trades.  What skills have you demonstrated or acquired through education/employment/ volunteer work.  Can you talk about all these things clearly and concisely?  They are looking for signs you are motivated and serious about a career in the Forces. What leadership qualities have you displayed, how good are you at picking up and learning new concepts?  Can you work in a team environment?  So, present yourself well, both in your dress and mannerisms. Invest in the time needed to have your answers already processed in your own mind.  I believe the interview results make up the bulk of the rest of the MP#. So it is as critical as the CFAT.


Your security clearance normally commences after you are passed the Medical phase but I have read in some instances they are pro-active and it might be done in parallel.  This is done by a civilian contractor and it can be anywhere from a month to half a year depending on your history. The more  times you have lived/travelled outside of Canada, the more complex your file will be. Complexity equals Time. Again, this is a pass/fail and not sure it changes your MP#


Then you patiently wait. Checking in with your recruiter once every two weeks just to unsure your paperwork is moving along without incident.  A lot of hands touch your file so checking in can help keep your file on track.  You have no more input unless you  have updates or are contacted for more information.


At this point the recruiters will have your MP# and all your data needed to rate you against all the others in the trade you have requested.  Now depending on how many people that trade is recruiting that year and how many positions have already been filled, the trades will run a “Merit board”. The board takes your file and compares it to all others who have applied for that trade. (Of note is that your file only goes to one board at a time. So make sure you have truly indicated your first choice) This list is a “cream of the crop” list.  Not a first come first serve list. That means they will recruit from the highest rated downward. This list is also a living document, so you will not be given this ranking number. It changes every time someone accepts an offer or declines one. As well with each board the newest applications might be higher than yours and you will slip behind them.  If you do not reach the top of the list in a year then you have a secondary interview where you update your information and decide if you wish to proceed with another trade or continue to pursue the same one.


All the way through the process it is important to update your file. If you obtain more education or volunteer and demonstrate leadership  the recruiters need to know so that they can judge if it will affect your file.


When you do get your offer then you have 10 days to decide.  Do turn it down if you have good reason to, like a parent got ill etc.  It will not negatively affect your application other than having to wait for the offer to come up again later.  Set yourself up for success and understand it is not a simple thing to change trades once in the CF.  Re-mustering is not a given and you have to compete for positions and normally after the rank of Corporal (ie. After four years in or so.)


During this whole process you should be ensuring you work on your physical fitness (beginning of basic you do the new FORCE test vice Express test from the past). Continue to research and stay up to date on your chosen trades.  I have personally told my own son that he is to consider himself working for the CF just not paid yet.  Show work ethic and drive!

In the end, if you meet the requirements of the CF you will find yourself with an offer.

Be prepared and be patient!!