1.0 Introduction

This article provides an overview of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Basic Fitness Training Assistant (BFTA) Course.

2.0 What is the CAF FORCE Test?

Every member of the CAF is required to successfully complete the FORCE test (Fitness for Operational Requirements of Canadian Armed Forces Employment), a series of 4 tasks designed to measure operational fitness – a reflection of the CAF minimal physical employment standard related to common defence and security duties known as the Universality of Service principle.

3.0 What is the Aim of the BFTA Course?

The aim of this course is to train CAF personnel who are interested in improving their knowledge of safe and effective physical fitness training methods, leadership abilities and instructional capabilities to enhance their unit’s physical fitness.

4.0 How long is the Course?

The course is 10 days in duration, approximately 70 hours of training (Branscombe, 2015).

5.0 Where is the Course Delivered?

The course is delivered by the National Personnel Support Programmes (PSP) Training Centre located at the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden.

6.0 Who is Eligible for the Course?

The BFTA Course is open to military personnel and criteria include:

  • Successfully completed the FORCE evaluation in the past 12 months.
  • Have the rank of Corporal/Leading Seaman and above.
  • Be currently qualified in St. John’s Standard Level First Aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • Medical standards:
    • V CV H G O A
    • 4 3 3 2 2 5
  • Course attendance approval through the chain of command.

7.0 Outline of Training

During this two week course, candidates will learn a variety of topics, including:

  • PSP fitness training methodologies;
  • Exercise purpose;
  • Exercise risk-benefit analysis;
  • Progressions and options for all fitness levels;
  • CAF fitness evaluations; and
  • Effective leadership styles for a CAF fitness class.

Candidates are taught through a mix of theory, practical demonstrations, group discussions and student presentations and are assessed on their conduct of a group physical training session and implementation of a physical fitness programme.

8.0 Other Courses and Qualifications

9.0 Useful Publications

  • Branscombe, J. (2015) Curriculum Development Issues and Opportunities in the Canadian Military Physical Fitness Program. PhD Thesis. Nipissing University. Available from World Wide Web: https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/92900/1/curriculum%20development%20issues%20and%20opportunities.pdf. [Accessed: 02 January, 2019].
  • FORCE Evaluation Operations Manual.

10.0 Useful Links

  • CAF Connection: https://www.cafconnection.ca/National/Programs-Services/For-Military-Personnel/Military-Fitness.aspx.
  • CFMWS: https://www.cfmws.com/en/AboutUs/PSP/Pages/default.aspx.

11.0 References

  • Branscombe, J. (2015) Curriculum Development Issues and Opportunities in the Canadian Military Physical Fitness Program. PhD Thesis. Nipissing University. Available from World Wide Web: https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/92900/1/curriculum%20development%20issues%20and%20opportunities.pdf. [Accessed: 02 January, 2019].
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