Skip to Main Content

The Torch: CAF Professional Development (PD) System

Canadian Defence Academy

CAF Self-Development Learning Hub


(Managed by the Canadian Defence Academy)  

(Does not work on DWAN) 


This section explains the CAF Professional Development (PD) System for both NCMs and Officers with links to applicable opportunities.

It also contains: Foundational Leadership Doctrine (including the new 'Trusted to Serve') for the CAF; information about the OSSIDE Institute and papers written by Sr NCOs attending the OSSIDE Institute; Mentoring; and some PD related messages from the CAFCWO.


Chief Warrant Officer Robert-Osside Profession of Arms Institute

Language Programs Portal

Foundational CAF Doctrine

To complement Trusted To Serve, a bilingual Military Dilemmas App has been created:

o    Apple Apps – search Military Dilemmas

o    Google Play – search Military Dilemmas

Message from the CAFCWO, CWO Robert (Bob) McCann, MMM, MSM, CD

Based on our doctrine and policies, such as the new CAF Ethos “Trusted to Serve”, my vision for the future is to shape an agile, adaptable, and highly knowledgeable cadre of trustworthy professional non-commissioned members (NCM) that embody the qualities of skilled leaders, dedicated mentors and coaches, and knowledgeable experts. 

Through effective career management, a fair and transparent succession plan, coaching and mentoring programs and a robust professional development framework supported by professional military education delivered at the Robert Osside Institute, we will prepare our NCMs for the challenges they will face in the future . 

The onus is on each and every one of us to embrace a style of Leadership marked by empathy, compassion, humility, and a relentless adherence to the highest ethical standards. Applying character-based leadership, Sailors, Soldiers and Aviators will be crucial to the continued success of military operations and the overall readiness of their units, both in terms of technical expertise and the ability to lead and inspire others.

Recommended readings by the CAF CWO

Start with why / Commencer par pourquoi . :  This is a book by Simon Sinek,  and it explores the concept of discovering and communicating the purpose, cause, or belief that inspires and organization or an individual to take action.  The book gained significant popularity due to its compelling message and the simplicity of its core idea.

The core idea of “Start with why” is indeed powerful.  Simon Sinek argues that successful leaders and organizations don’t just focus on what they do or how they do it but start with understanding and communicating why they do it.  By defining their purpose or cause, they can create a deeper emotional connection with their audience, leading to greater loyalty and engagement.

OverDrive eBook:

OverDrive audiobook:

OverDrive eBook (Fr ed.):


The Infinite Game: This is a book by Simon Sinek, following his previous work on “Start with why”. The central concept of the infinite games is intriguing and thought-provoking. Simon distinguishes between finite games, which have specific rules and a defined endpoint, and infinite games, which are ongoing with no predetermined end. He argues that businesses and leaders should approach their endeavours with an infinite mindset to drive long-term success and avoid getting trapped in short-term thinking.

Overall, “The Infinite Game” offers valuable insights into adopting an infinite mindset to drive sustainable success in a constantly evolving world.  If you are interested in leadership, business strategy or personal development, you can find inspiration in Simon. Sinek’s exploration of the infinite game concept.

OverDrive eBook:

OverDrive audiobook:


Who moved my cheese?/ Qui a piqué mon fromage? : is a motivational fable by Dr Spencer Johnson. This short read uses a simple allegory to convey a powerful message about dealing with change and embracing it as part of life. “Who moved my cheese?” Serves as a useful reminder of the inevitability of change and the importance of adopting a positive and adaptable mindset. While its allegorical approach may not resonate with everyone, its core message about embracing change, letting go of fear, and seeking new opportunities are valuable takeaways that can be applied in various life situations.

OverDrive eBook:

OverDrive audiobook:

OverDrive audiobook (Fr. Ed.):


Athena rising: How and why men should mentor women: is a book co-written by W.Brad Johnson and David G. Smith.  It is a valuable book that highlights the significance of male mentors in advancing women’s careers and promoting gender equality in the workplace.  By presenting evidence-based research and offering practical advice, this book serves as a resource for both men and women interested in fostering effective mentoring relationships and creating more inclusive and diverse workplaces. 

Ebsco eBook:

OverDrive audiobook:

Officer PD

Mentoring in the CAF

WOMEN AND MENTORING: The following short videos produced for the OSSIDE Institute with female CAF members discuss mentoring of women in the CAF.

CAF Professional Development / Professional Military Education Keystone Documents Summaries (1947-2020)