Cadet Training Program

Program Training Standard

The Cadet Training Program is an extensive 26-week basic training course, offered in both official languages. The cadet is part of a 32-member troop which is diverse in composition. Upon successfully completing the Cadet Training Program, cadets may be offered employment as members of the RCMP and given peace officer status. Once employed, they must then complete a six-month Field Coaching Program at selected training detachments where they are involved in everyday police duties under the supervision of a Field Coach.

The Cadet Training Program consists of 820 hours broken down as follows:

Program Objectives

Consistent with the RCMP vision, mission and operational framework, and given the competencies required for quality community policing, the following are the objectives of the Cadet Training Program:

  1. To promote among cadets a level of deportment as well as personal, professional and social conduct consistent with :
    1. the RCMP code of conduct and
    2. pride in self and the RCMP necessary for collaborative policing.
  2. To facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and skills necessary for effective police–community interaction and problem solving by:
    1. promoting an understanding of the importance of interaction with the community, of joint problem solving and demonstrating sensitivity and respect for diversity;
    2. instilling the attitudes necessary for demonstrating sensitivity and respect;
    3. developing the skills and knowledge necessary to identify, define and assess problems of interest to the community and the police;
    4. identifying innovative community-based resolutions to those problems and assessing the effectiveness of the resolutions; and
    5. fostering an attitude of life-long learning.
  3. To facilitate the acquisition of knowledge of the law necessary to:
    1. the effective fulfilment of police duties,
    2. the exercise of discretion consistent with the RCMP code of conduct and commitment to community policing; and
    3. support police accountability.
  4. To facilitate the acquisition of communication skills (electronic, verbal and written) required for effective community policing so that cadets:
    1. can successfully complete scenarios which require community interaction and a demonstration of understanding, sensitivity to and respect for the crime-related problems of interest to the community;
    2. can collect and analyse information necessary for identifying, analysing, resolving and evaluating crime and related problems;
    3. can effectively, orally and in writing, present information in a manner that stands up to the scrutiny of the courts;
    4. make effective and efficient use of RCMP information and communications technology and systems necessary to RCMP operations; and
    5. maintain accurate, complete and concise records necessary to fulfil the requirements of accountability.
  5. To facilitate the acquisition of technical skills and knowledge related to:
    1. effective and safe management of evidence, exhibits and crime scenes consistent with the requirements of the law, the RCMP code of conduct and policy and principles of community policing;
    2. safe and competent driving;
    3. safe and proficient handling of firearms as appropriate within the law and policy;
    4. safe and effective application of self-defence techniques;
    5. physical and mental well being; and
    6. improved life style in order to ensure the least intrusive intervention necessary to manage risk and that the least harm or damage is caused.
  6. To facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and skills for applying approved techniques using appropriate intervention and incident management, conflict avoidance and resolution strategies and appropriate levels of force in view of enhanced public and police safety.
  7. To facilitate the understanding of policing as a fulfilling career and its implications for cadets and their families.

The Operational Framework: CAPRA

The CAPRA Model is an operational application of the RCMP's vision and mission. It combines the RCMP's commitment to communities and clients, problem solving in partnership and continuous learning. The CAPRA Model helped to define the competencies necessary for effective community policing.

The acronym CAPRA stands for:

C = Clients
A = Acquiring and analysing information
P = Partnership
R = Response
A = Assessment for continuous improvement

Program Design

The design of the curriculum and the methodologies for delivery are based on the competency requirements identified for quality community policing.

A. Client-centred

The primary beneficiary of policing is always the community and the taxpayer through service, protection, enforcement and prevention. A client-driven approach recognizes that individuals or communities seeking help, victims of crime, witnesses and suspects as clients all deserve a level of service that is professional, ethical, lawful, sensitive and respectful and consistent with the public interest. A client-centred approach emphasizes the importance of organizing policing around the needs of the community and individual clients rather than around policing disciplines or functions.

B. Integrated Problem-based Approach

The client-centred curriculum is designed to teach policing through integrated, life-like situations where the needs, expectations and demands of clients vary. Problem solving approaches are based on the assumption that the relatively automatic application of rules and procedures will be inadequate for achieving the more demanding objectives of community policing.

Cadets learn by solving problems through research and information gathering and group problem solving exercises supplemented by lecture and/or demonstration performance, as appropriate. Case studies provide learning opportunities in which cadets can integrate the knowledge and skills necessary to manage real police situations in a manner consistent with the directions and priorities of the RCMP. The problem-based, scenario approach provides the cadets with opportunities to learn the complexities of policing situations, to discuss alternative responses, to develop techniques for handling varied situations and to engage in cooperative problem solving. Rather than be instructed on a particular content area, students learn to apply all content areas related to a particular type of incident or situation. The program, therefore, is learner-centred rather than instructor-centred. This approach expects more from cadets; it expects them to take responsibility for learning.

Scenarios are designed to support incident-based approaches to service, protection, enforcement and prevention, but are also designed to promote a problem solving approach, emphasizing skills and techniques in the identification of problems, problem analysis and response, and evaluation and assessment. Cadets have the opportunity to work through scenarios individually and collectively. They identify skills and knowledge requirements to proceed. To gain the skills and knowledge, various methods are used including: group problem solving strategies, discussions, panel presentations, joint problem solving sessions with experts, research, performance/demonstration, lectures, exercises, role plays, individualized instruction modules, multi-media modules and videos. The problem solving approach requires that students learn what they need to know to proceed with their investigations and preventive problem solving initiatives. Cadets have the opportunity to practice skills learned and are encouraged to practice on their own time as well.

Scenarios were developed by a variety of experts including subject matter experts, experts in policing, educators and community resource people. Involving outside resource people in the development of the scenarios helped to ensure the best possible feedback from the perspective of our clients and colleagues in the justice system and experts in crime and human behaviour.

Program Delivery

Training is delivered in a manner that supports the principles of community policing and the principles of adult learning where applicable. Teams of facilitators with varied expertise facilitate and help to integrate the learning. In some cases, facilitators are cross-trained in one or more skills areas and therefore participate in different aspects of the cadets’ training. Typically, more than one instructor facilitates discussions and participates in debriefing in a particular class at the same time. Also, members of the community are invited to sit on panels to problem-solve and discuss with cadets issues of crime prevention and protection that arise out of their scenarios, from a multi disciplinary, inter-agency perspective. This allows cadets to more fully comprehend how their involvement in and with community groups will result in efficient delivery of quality service.


The assessment process is ongoing and multi-faceted including written, oral, demonstration performance and role play methodologies. All assessment methods assess the competencies defined as necessary to policing, covering conduct, knowledge and performance. The professional standard of performance expected for each competency is defined in behavioural terms. These standards are provided to the cadets at the outset of the Cadet Training Program and form the basis for self, peer and facilitator assessments. These professional standards (Criteria for Assessment Sheets) are included in the Cadet Assessment Procedures.

Feedback may be provided on any competency at any time, if observed as needing improvement or as superior. Each session also specifically addresses particular competencies and various aspects of those competencies. Feedback is provided through the use of Learning Feedback Sheets and Cadet Performance Feedback Sheets. Learning Feedback Sheets are used by peers and facilitators to provide comments on performance while a cadet is learning a skill or knowledge. Cadet Performance Feedback sheets provide ratings and comments on performance once skills and knowledge have been practised.

Cadets must achieve the "professional" level of performance in all competencies to graduate. The Cadet Training Program Assessment Procedures document specifies conditions under which early termination of cadets contracts can result. Based on the needs of the RCMP and the successful completion of the Cadet Training Program, cadets are hired as regular members of the RCMP.


While at “Depot” Division, cadets live in modern barracks. Meals and accommodation costs are covered by the RCMP. Sports and recreation facilities are available.

Pay and Benefits

Cadets receive an allowance while they are participating in the Cadet Training Program. Upon successful completion of training at the Academy, cadets become Level 3 Constables and receive the medical and dental coverage benefits of the RCMP. Pension contributions commence and a life insurance plan is available at a reasonable cost. Upon successful completion of the Field Coaching Program, members are promoted to Level 2 Constables and receive a salary raise. With a successful assessment at the end of the probationary period, a promotion to Level 1 and another increase in salary is received.

Applied Police Sciences

The Applied Police Sciences team is committed to providing an optimum learning environment where candidates acquire the knowledge and problem solving skills to address the needs of the community through the creation of partnerships.

The Program is divided into fifteen modules. Each module is typically built around one scenario. Each module contains problem solving (CAPRA) strategies as well as content objectives. Cadets must successfully pass a midterm and final exam.

Detachment visits

The detachment visits are designed to allow cadets the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills learned through practical situations/scenarios. Each troop has the opportunity to take part in three detachment visits: the First Detachment Visit takes place at week 12; the Second Detachment Visit takes place during week 17; and the Final Detachment Practice occurs during week 22. The Final Detachment Practice prepares cadets for their Final Detachment Test scenario which occurs in week 23 of the program. Application of the CAPRA problem solving model is integral to the successful conclusion of each scenario. During the First and Second Detachments, cadets participate as a police officer on four different two-hour investigative scenarios. Cadets also observe, on average, another 10 scenarios where they participate as an actor or observer. Throughout the scenarios, cadets are monitored by facilitators and are provided feedback relating to their performance. Following their scenario, cadets are required to prepare a mock investigative file which is reviewed by their facilitators.

Police Defensive Tactics

The police defensive tactics component of the Cadet Training Program is designed to provide cadets with safe and effective techniques to manage policing-related incidents within the context of the RCMP Incident Management Intervention Model. The Model was designed based on the following principles:

  1. The primary objective of any intervention is public safety;
  2. Police officer safety is essential to public safety;
  3. The intervention model must always be applied in the context of a careful risk assessment;
  4. Risk assessment must take into account the likelihood and extent of life loss, injury and damage to property;
  5. Risk assessment is a continuous process and risk management must evolve as situations change;
  6. The best strategy is the least intrusive intervention necessary to manage risk;
  7. The best intervention causes the least harm or damage.

Cadets learn and practice different techniques under a variety of simulated circumstances. The techniques taught include joint locks, take downs, use of O.C. spray, placement and removal of resistant suspects in/from vehicles, moving resistant suspects through doorways, stances, blocks, strikes, use of batons, carotid control hold, grappling, ground defence, body hold releases, handcuffing and searching suspects, and use of weapon defences.

Operational Conditioning

The fitness component of the Cadet Training Program is designed to develop cadets' commitment to a life-long healthy lifestyle to ensure their physical and mental readiness for police duties. The program addresses issues of nutrition, and stress management. Cadets are taught safe and effective techniques to develop their resistance through weight training, anaerobic, aerobic and cardio-vascular-capabilities through a variety of methods. The on-site swimming pool is utilized to provide cadets a session on life savings skills, as well as circuit and interval training. Cadets also access the pool to complete mandatory fitness competencies and other exercises to assist in their recovery from training related injuries. The program is designed in two phases moving progressively from instructor-centred to learner-centred. Once cadets have learned appropriate physical training techniques, they establish in consultation with their instructors, fitness and lifestyle objectives and select those techniques and strategies best suited to them to maintain standards set. Cadets participate in a series of challenge exercises to understand their limits and use this knowledge in risk assessments when involved in policing situations. Cadets must meet the Police Fitness Assessment (PFA) "gold standard" to successfully complete the program.


The Firearms curriculum covers handling firearms with safety and precision for public and police safety within the provisions of law and policy. Cadets must gain competency with the Force issued semi-automatic 9 mm pistol and the 12 gauge pump action shotgun. Firearms training simulators are also utilised to provide cadets with training specific to decision making in situations where firearms use may be warranted. Safe practices, accuracy and judgement making applying the RCMP Incident Management Intervention Model are all assessed.

Police Driving

The driver training curriculum is designed to provide cadets with police driving skills and related knowledge to ensure public and police safety while on patrol and when responding to incidents. Cadets learn to gather appropriate evidence to ensure the fair outcomes of investigations of traffic related incidents, and to identify opportunities for crime prevention while on patrol. They learn about the laws and policies pertaining to the use of police vehicles and driver- related offenses. Safe and effective handling of the police vehicle, appropriate use of police vehicle equipment, observational skills and use of the radio while driving are emphasized.

Opportunities are provided to apply knowledge and skills in situations calling for officer/violator contact, making sketches, taking measurements and photographs at scenes of motor vehicle accidents, identification and handling of traffic collision related-evidence and identification of preventive opportunities through good observational skills.

This component of the program is designed based on the assumption that basic driving and defensive driving skills have been obtained prior to entry in the Cadet Training Program. However, cadets' basic driving skills are constantly monitored to ensure that they are in fact safe and responsible drivers.

Drill and Deportment Unit

This component of the Cadet Training Program is designed to develop a sense of pride in self through professional deportment. Cadets are taught how to care for and maintain their kit and proper turn out in uniform and mufti.

Cadets are taught the importance of maintaining a clean and orderly dormitory out of respect for those who share their environment with them. They also learn etiquette and proper protocol in formal settings.

This program also aims at developing “esprit de corps” through precision team work in ceremonies and tactical-related exercises. Cadets learn to listen and respond to orders as would be required in situations of celebration, where the RCMP represents Canada on formal occasions, or in situations where public safety may be threatened by potential crowd violence. The skills learned are essential to professional client service.

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