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CAF 3E Team - Frequently Asked Questions


[06 December 2023] Attention! Version 4 of the 2023/2024 MOL – NCMSTEP and PIRA has been published to this site as of 06 December 2023 (version 4 valid as of 06 December 2023). Please note that the “Browse Accredited Programmes” directory is under construction, and the MOL document in PDF published on this website is the only approved source for up-to-date information on subsidized training and education programming, pay increments, and recruitment allowances, and must be accessed via a CAF ACE account. For any questions, please use the "Contact Us" tab in the menu above.

Q1. What is the Canadian Armed Forces Education – Experience – Equivalency (CAF 3E) Consultancy Team’s main goal?
The Canadian Armed Forces Education-Experience-Equivalency (CAF 3E) Consultancy Team facilitates the identification of civilian post-secondary programs that satisfy the training needs of Canadian Armed Forces occupations for which there are equivalent jobs in the civilian sector. The team collaborates with military Occupation Advisors and Post-secondary institutions to achieve this goal. CAF 3E is also responsible for the management of the Military Occupation Lists where enrolment incentives programs are listed.
Q2. Can I access the Military Occupation Lists that offer enrolment incentives?
Q3. What platform does the Canadian Armed Force Education-Experience-Equivalency (CAF 3E) Team use for their daily work?

The platform they use is called the Canadian Armed Forces Accreditation, Certification, Equivalency (CAF ACE) Portal.

The CAF ACE portal serves two different entities:

  • Canadian Armed Force Education-Experience-Equivalency Team (CAF 3E); and
  • Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group.

The CAF ACE Portal houses a repository of Canadian Armed Forces training requirements so that comparative analysis may be conducted with civilian programs of study at Canadian post-secondary institutions, for the purposes of:

  • attraction/retention of personnel (CAF 3E); and
  • transition into civilian life via the My Skills and Education Translator [MySET] tool.

It is also where the Military Occupation Lists (MOLs) are published and kept up-to-date.

Q4. What Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) occupations does Canadian Armed Force Education-Experience-Equivalency (CAF 3E) team deal with?

The Canadian Armed Force Education-Experience-Equivalency (CAF 3E) team deals primarily with occupations that have a civilian equivalent and that are ‘understrength’, or in urgent need of increasing their numbers of trained/functional personnel to meet the operational requirements of the Canadian Armes Forces (CAF).

These occupations have access to CAF enrolment incentive programs which can help attract applicants, particularly those who already possess skills, knowledge, and experience relevant to the job (also known as semi-skilled or skilled applicants).

CAF 3E team assists these occupations in identifying Canadian post-secondary programs compatible with CAF occupational training.

Q5. What do skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled applicants mean?

These terms are used to refer to categories of applicants to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)

A skilled applicant will have already received training in a specific occupation from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and wanting to reenrol in the same occupation.

These can be:

  • Applicants who have departed the CAF but have chosen to return within 5 years of departure and are qualified for immediate employment,


  • Are Reserve Force members who may be interested in transferring into the same occupation in the Regular Force and are considered Occupational Functional Point (OFP).

Semi-skilled applicants. There are two types of semi-skilled applicants:

  • Someone with a Canadian post-secondary diploma/certificate in an area that closely corresponds to a majority of the initial military occupation training.


  • Someone with a technical or vocational qualification that is in part based upon practical work experience and that closely corresponds to the majority of advanced military occupation training (e.g. Red Seal).

An unskilled applicant has not completed education and/or training relevant to a specific CAF occupation, thus all of their occupational training will be delivered through the CAF’s own Training Establishments or delivered by a post-secondary institution if enrolled as part of the Non-Commissioned Member Subsidized Training and Education Plan (NCMSTEP). Refer to the Defence Administrative Orders and Directives - DAOD 5002-7.

Q6. Who do I contact if I want to obtain information about the incentives that apply to me? Depending on your situation…
  • If you are an applicant to the CAF, please contact your local Recruitment Centre for more information on eligible programs and participating occupations or visit the internet site:
  • If you are a Regular Force member interested in Occupational Transfer (OT), please contact your local Personnel Selection Officer (PSO) for more information.
  • If you are Primary Reserve member interested in Component Transfer (CT), please contact your Orderly Room, who will put you in touch with CT personnel.
Q7. What programs exist to attract semi-skilled/skilled applicants?

There are 2 incentive programs that exist to attract semi-skilled or skilled applicants:

  • Pay Increments (PI): The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) offer rank-based or pay-based incentives for CAF applicants to some occupations. For example, an applicant with a relevant diploma/degree/certification may be eligible for an increase in pay and/or rank when joining a particular CAF occupation, and some occupations may also offer time credit towards promotion to semi-skilled applicants.
  • Recruitment Allowances (RA): The CAF offers signing bonuses to skilled and semi-skilled applicants to a specific list of CAF occupations. These occupations have been identified as eligible to offer RA by the Chief of the Defense Staff (CDS). The list of eligible occupations is updated annually, and each of these occupations identifies applicant eligibility criteria and amounts of RA on the Military Occupation List (MOL) – Pay Increments and Recruitment Allowances (PIRA).
Q8. What program exists to attract unskilled applicants?

The Non-Commissioned Member Subsidized Training and Education Program (NCMSTEP) is a program for unskilled applicants that would like to get their education paid while receiving a salary. The CAF subsidizes full-time education for eligible applicants to specific CAF Non-Commissioned Member (NCM) occupations. The list of post-secondary programs approved for this funding is updated annually, and program eligibility can vary year to year, as content and accreditation statuses of programs change.

Q9. What are the Military Occupation Lists (MOLs)?

The Military Occupation Lists list CAF occupations that offer incentives to applicants who wish to join the Canadian Armed Forces. There are four (4) lists (updated annually):

  • Pay Increments and Recruitment Allowances (PIRA); which lists the rank, pay, and/or signing bonus incentives offered by specific CAF occupations to skilled and semi-skilled applicants).
  • Non-Commissioned Member Subsidized Training and Education Plan (NCMSTEP); which lists post-secondary programs for which applicants to specific occupations may qualify for CAF funding).
  • Pay Increment for Unskilled Regular Force Non-Commissioned members; which lists the occupations that are understrength. This list is valid until 31st March 2025.
  • Non-Occupation specific enrolment incentives for Non-Commissioned members; which lists incentives related to previous experience acquired within the Cadets, the Junior Canadian Rangers or the Canadian Armed Forces Indigenous Entry Program (CAFIEP).
Q10. Where is the list of programs approved for Canadian Armed Forces incentives found?

The lists of programs approved for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) enrolment incentives are published as a pdf annually on this portal.

Only Defense Team members who have registered for an account are permitted to access these lists.

If you are applying to the CAF and are interested in finding out more about enrolment incentives, please contact your local Recruitment Centre for more information.

Q11. What if a program is not on the list of approved programs for incentives?

Recruiters would need to contact the relevant Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Occupation Authority (OA) to determine whether the applicant’s credentials (prior learning and experience) meet the occupation’s requirements, and/or qualify for incentives.

Q12. What if a program is not on the list of programs approved for CAF funding?

As per DAOD 5002-7 , Non-Commissioned Member Subsidized Training and Education Plan (NCMSTEP) – Regular Force, the Military Occupation List (MOL) contains the CAF occupations and Canadian post-secondary institution programs authorized for funding. If a program is not listed on the MOL – NCMSTEP, it is not eligible for funding under the NCMSTEP.

Q13. How is a post-secondary institution’s program/diploma recognized by the Canadian Armed Forces as qualifying for incentives?

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) compare their training with civilian academic programs. A CAF occupation must compare their training against the curriculum for a similar program of study offered by a Canadian post-secondary institution. If the post-secondary program is determined to be sufficiently compatible with that occupation’s training requirements, then the program/diploma may be recognized as eligible for one or more of our incentive programs.

Q14. Who contacts post-secondary institutions about getting new programs recognized for incentives?

The Canadian Armed Forces Education-Experience-Equivalency (CAF 3E) team contacts post-secondary institutions to obtain information on programs of study aligned with Canadian Armed Forces occupational training, and to request curriculum documentation for comparison with a CAF occupation’s training requirements.

Q15. How frequently are the Military Occupation Lists (MOLs) updated?

The Military Occupation Lists are updated annually, with a new version published each spring. Amendments may include (but are not limited to) changes to occupational eligibility or to post-secondary program accreditation statuses. The timeline for amendments is determined by several factors, including annual occupational and budget reviews.

Q16. How do I register for an account on the CAF ACE portal?

On the right-hand side of the homepage, click the “Register” button. Complete the online form by selecting the account type most applicable to your role and filling in your contact and positional details. Once complete, click “Save User” at the bottom of the form, and wait for the site administrator to activate your account (you will receive a notification of account activation via e-mail).

CAF Training Manager accounts are for those who work with CAF training documentation, and will be uploading CAF Training Requirements (TRs). This account type is able to access the MOL document, and upload/edit TRs related to occupations under their purview.

CAF Recruiter accounts are for personnel who work in recruitment, component/occupational transfers, and/or Personnel Selection. This account type is able to access the MOL document.

CAF Subsidized Education Manager accounts are for those who work at CDA and manage CAF members on the Basic Training List.

College, CÉGEP, or Other Institution Representative accounts are for those involved in the delivery and/or management of post-secondary training and education programs. This account type is able to upload/edit curricular documentation from the post-secondary institution with which the account holder is involved, and review CAF TRs for comparison with their institution’s programming.

Q17. Why is the Military Occupation List only available as a pdf?

The MOL is available as a pdf only to maintain version control. We are committed to the quality, consistency, and accuracy of our data.

Q18. What is the process for a program/institution to be added to the Non-Commissioned Member Subsidized Training and Education Plan (NCMSTEP) List?

Step 1: A Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) occupation recognizes its need to recruit semi-skilled applicants.

Step 2: The occupation enters it Training Requirement(s) into the Canadian Armed Forces Accreditation-Certification-Equivalency (CAF ACE) portal.

Step 3: The Canadian Armed Forces Education-Experience-Equivalency (CAF 3E) team contacts post-secondary institutions to request their curriculum for programs that align with the CAF occupation.

Step 4: Occupational Subject Matter Experts engage in comparative analysis of curriculum. If there is sufficient match to CAF training content, continue to next step.

Step 5: The post-secondary program is recommended for addition to the Non-Commissioned Member Subsidized Training and Education Plan (NCMSTEP) List by the Occupation Authority (OA).

Step 6: Annual approval process for Military Occupation Lists (MOLs) amendments:

  1. CAF 3E Team & Director Personnel Generation Requirements (DPGR): review content of request for amendment of the MOL and confirm the validity of the submission;
  2. Director Pay Policy and Development (DPPD): verifies that request for amendment is in accordance with policy; and
  3. Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) or Chief of Military Personnel (CMP): approves request and confirms that associated funding is authorized.

Step 7: The MOLs are approved and published on the CAF ACE portal.

Step 8 (New): All new authorized programs under the Non-Commissioned Member Subsidized Training and Education Plan (NCMSTEP) will receive a CAF 3E partnership certificate.