This article provides an overview of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) National Personnel Support Programme (PSP) Training Centre.
2.0 What is the National PSP Training Centre?
The National PSP Training Centre develops and delivers all PSP and CAF fitness instructor training.
The centre is part of the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Service (CFMWS).
3.0 What is the Role of the National PSP Training Centre?
The role of the National PSP Training Centre is to:
- Develop and deliver PSP and CAF courses and qualifications.
- Develop and deliver qualifications on behalf of the Canadian Defence Academy.
- Produce training and education in collaboration with:
- All divisional PSP stakeholders;
- CAF training and development subject matter experts (SME); and
- CAF Health Services.
4.0 Where is the National PSP Training Centre Located?
The National PSP Training Centre is located at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden, formerly Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Station Borden, in Ontario, southeast Canada. Established in 1916, it is the historic birthplace of the RCAF and home to the largest training wing in the CAF.
The commander CFB Borden is also the commander of the Military Personnel Generation Training Group (MPGTG), the headquarters of which are also located at CFB Borden. The role of the MPGTG is to train and educate CAF members.
5.0 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.
6.0 Brief History
Military fitness instructors can trace their lineage back to the 1800s when the militia had drill and physical training instructors. “Civilian volunteers accompanied the military overseas to organize sports and recreational activities.” (Lea, 2015).
During the early 1900s, gymnastic instructors were seconded from the British Army to instruct on courses at the Military District School of Bayonet Fighting and Physical Training in Victoria (British Columbia) and Long Branch (Ontario) (Branscombe, 2015).
On 05 December 1980 the Canadian Forces Physical Education and Recreational (PE&R) Branch was established (Lea, 2015), with selected personnel attending courses at the Canadian Forces School of Physical Education and Recreation (Branscombe, 2015). The branch was disbanded on 31 March 1997 (Lea, 2015).
“In 2013, a new curriculum structure was developed, to provide specialized training and education for fitness and sports staff within the CAF Physical Fitness Program (PFP), to be implemented in 2014.” (Branscombe, 2015, p.6).
7.0 Courses and Qualifications
- FORCE Evaluator Course (civilian and military qualification).
- Basic Fitness Training Assistant Course (military qualification).
- Advanced Fitness Training Assistant Course (military qualification).
- Unit Fitness and Sports Officer (military qualification).
- Fitness and Sports Instructor (civilian qualification).
8.0 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.
9.0 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.
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].
Lea, M. (2015) Nearly 200 Canadian Forces Veterans who served as Physical Fitness Instructors to Attend Gathering. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.thewhig.com/2015/08/18/nearly-200-canadian-forces-veterans-who-served-as-physical-fitness-instructors-to-attend-gathering/wcm/c1. [Accessed: 02 January, 2019].