Ethics Training and Learning Tools


Training Courses

Training in defence ethics is essential to give Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and Department of National Defence (DND) employees the knowledge and skills they need to fulfill the ethical obligations expected of them.

Introduction to Defence Ethics (Online course)

To register: those with a DNDLearn account can self-enrol ( Learning times will vary, but the course takes an average of four to six hours to complete. All DND employees and CAF personnel are encouraged to take the course and to include it in their personal learning plans. The online course covers the essential content of the classroom version it replaces, while meeting the very high demand for that class — and is open to DND and CAF students across Canada and around the world. The online course serves both as a stand-alone introduction to Defence ethics and as a prerequisite to a planned supervisor-level classroom course.

Ethics Session Guides

For Leaders

This guide is a tool for CAF/DND leaders to structure and facilitate dialogue sessions with their personnel on ethical concerns specific to their work or mission environment.

For Participants

This guide assists participants in preparing for dialogue sessions that focus on ethical concerns specific to their work or mission environment.

Archived—Guidelines for Defence Ethics Training (PDF 641kb)

These guidelines were issued under the authority of Assistant Deputy Minister (Review Services) – the Defence Ethics Programme (DEP) Authority. They serve as the basis for the validation of ethics training required by Level One (L1) Advisors, CAF Commanders and ADMs - in their DEP implementation plans.

Canadian Armed Forces Ethics Training

The Military Personnel Generation (MPG)  has the mandate to develop common education and training programmes for CAF personnel. The MPG has chosen to include ethics training within the CAF Leadership Development continuum rather than creating a standalone course. It has taken a four-phased approach to create ethics training for both non-commissioned members and officers that will be integrated into each CAF Development Period, training geared to the needs of personnel as they progress through the ranks. In the first phase, a draft framework was produced. The MPG is currently in the second phase. It involves receiving input and guidance from the DEP as subject matter experts and integrating their recommendations into the framework. The third phase will address the question of how to teach and implement the material and the final fourth phase will involve delivery of the training at CAF schools.

The DEP will endeavour to keep users of our website updated on the progress of this initiative.

Case Studies

Case Studies

Ethical case studies can help further develop knowledge in ethical behaviour and ethical decision-making. Case studies, often based on actual events, are excellent learning tools since they examine ethical dilemmas and ethical decision-making.

  • Ethical Scenarios: What Would You Do?
  • 2016 Ethics in the CAF Video: Used as an educational and awareness tool, the 5 minute length  bilingual video is comprised of a series of Combat Camera photos with visual captions and music (no spoken words). The video pertains to the nature of ethical thinking and challenges and how they apply to military personnel in all environments. Incorporating the theme 'Time to Talk' with the three DEP principles (Respect the Dignity of all Persons, Serve Canada before Self and Obey and Support Lawful Authority), the video is meant to be used in a group setting to help frame the thinking for an ethical dialogue in a military setting. Contact the DEP to get a copy of the video and accompanying Facilitator's Guide.
  • 2015 Defence Ethics Movie: The Defence Ethics Programme (DEP) has produced a movie entitled An Unlikely Adventure. Used as an educational and awareness tool, the 20 minute length movie using actual Department of National Defence (DND) civilian and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel and based on the story of Alice in Wonderland, presents a series of ethically problematic situations. These situations address an issue from each of DEP’s five ethical values: Integrity, Loyalty, Courage, Stewardship and Excellence, as well as the Programme’s first Principle: to Respect the Dignity of all Persons. Accompanying the movie is a Study Guide that includes specific questions related to movie situations geared at facilitating and encouraging ethical dialogue in group situations. Contact the DEP to get a copy of the movie and accompanying Study Guide.
  • 2009 Language Training Scenario Video: The DEP has developed a video ethics case entitled "Language Training". The video presents a simulated workplace scenario that raises ethical questions and issues. It is intended primarily for use as a case study. A facilitator’s guide has been produced to assist discussion facilitators by describing a defined, practical, step-by-step ethical decision-making process that can serve as the basis for leading group ethics discussions. The video and facilitator’s guide serve to meet one of the DEP’s primary objectives — to encourage an ongoing dialogue on values and ethics throughout the CAF and DND. Contact the DEP to get a copy of the video and accompanying Facilitator's Guide.
Tools and Readings

Tools and Readings

The following tools and readings can be used to improve knowledge and skills in defence ethics.

  • Ethics Terms: Commonly used ethics terms and their definitions.
  • Leader’s Ethics Self-Awareness Tool (LESAT): A tool for your personal use as a leader, to help give you a sense of how you perceive ethics in your own leadership and in your unit.
  • Defence Ethics Pocket Card: Developed by the Defence Ethics Programme (DEP) as a tool to assist Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and Department of National Defence (DND) employees in making ethical decisions.
  • Suggested Reading: This is a bibliographic listing of books and articles on ethics recommended by the DEP.
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