Defence Integrity Framework

Flowchart of the defence integrity framework

The Defence Integrity Framework (DIF) identifies seven ethical processes that must be fully integrated within an ethics programme to make it comprehensive and effective.

The image to the right identifies the seven ethical processes:

  1. Leadership,
  2. Expectations,
  3. Dialogue,
  4. Ethical risks,
  5. Training,
  6. Improvement and
  7. Decision-Making

These processes must be managed both by the invidual and by the organization.

Leadership has the responsibility to provide a strong ethical environment that fosters behaviour to the highest ethical standards.

Expectations are the heart of an ethics programme. They feed all the other elements of the DIF. There is an overriding requirement that members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and employees of the Department of National Defence (DND) must conduct themselves in accordance with fundamental Canadian ethical values.

Dialogue refers to structured interactive sessions between leaders and their personnel that provide a forum for identifying and discussing ethical issues in the workplace with the understanding that they will be followed by appropriate action. Dialogue can only be effective when it occurs in a reprisal free environment and it is absolutely necessary to achieve the highest ethical standards.

Ethical Risks means that leaders must manage risk with vigilance and determination to ensure that the organization maintains its ethical integrity.

Training in ethics for CAF members and DND employees is essential to give them the knowledge and skills they need to fulfill the ethical obligations expected of them.

Improvement is essential for maintaining programme vitality and relevance. Decision-making that is ethical is necessary to keep an organization strong and healthy. The nature of ethical decision-making is the need to always consider the ethical dimension in any situation that requires a decision or choice.

For more information on the DIF and its role in the DEP, please refer to the Archived – Fundamentals of Canadian Defence Ethics (PDF 453kb).

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