Royal Canadian Navy Code of Conduct

Alternate Formats

Our Naval Compass: Collective and individual principles of the RCN Code of Conduct.

1. Identification

NAVORD 1001-0

Date of Issue: 2015-11-18

Application

This Naval Order (NAVORD) applies to members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) who serve or are employed in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN).

Supersession

Nil

Approval Authority

This NAVORD is issued by the Commander RCN (CRCN) under the authority of QR&O 4.12.

Enquiries

Director Naval Personnel and Training (D Nav P&T 2-3).

2. Introduction

2.1 Context

Personnel employed in the RCN are expected to maintain the highest standard of personal conduct at all times.  The RCN Code of Conduct reinforces the DND and CAF Code of Values and Ethics, thereby guiding personnel in their daily duties and activities, and outlining what is expected of them.

The RCN encourages and promotes a respectful and professional working environment.  Personnel employed in the RCN must strive to adopt this lifestyle and, at all times, abide by the RCN principles of being ready for service and of serving Canada before self, an attitude that is reflected in the ‘Ready Aye Ready’ RCN motto.

2.2 CRCN Intent

The intention of the CRCN is for all personnel employed in the RCN to understand and adhere to the four CAF core military values, namely: Duty, Integrity, Loyalty and Courage. It is expected that personnel will conduct themselves to the highest standard at all times, on and off duty, in and out of uniform, at sea and ashore, at home and abroad.  It is the responsibility of the Divisional System, through Deck Plate Leadership, to communicate, emphasize, teach and exemplify the essence and the importance of these four CAF core military values in a way that reflects the realities of service at sea and thus resonates with our sailors.

3. Conduct

3.1 Appropriate Conduct

Behaviour that conforms to prevailing norms, standards or laws (military and civilian), that at a minimum does not bring the reputation of an individual or a group into discredit.

3.2 Misconduct/Unacceptable Behaviour

Unprofessional, reckless, deliberate, or negligent behaviour that breaches established standards of conduct or ethics, and which may bring the reputation of any individual or their organization into discredit. The CAF identifies several types of misconduct (e.g., academic, alcohol, sexual).

4. Core Values

All personnel employed in the RCN should understand and adhere to the four CAF core military values. The principles of Duty, Integrity, Loyalty and Courage are expanded upon below from both an individual and group perspective.

5.  Duty

5.1 Definition

Duty entails service to Canada and compliance with the law. It calls for individuals to train hard, pursue professional self-development, and carry out tasks in a manner that reflects pride in themselves, their unit and their profession.

5.2 Collective Principles

We remain operationally focussed while being mindful of our role as ambassadors for Canada, whether at home or abroad.

5.3 Individual Principles

I serve Canada, the CAF and the RCN before self. 

6. Integrity

6.1 Definition

Integrity implies a commitment to moral principles and obligations. Accordingly, being a person of integrity demands honesty, the avoidance of deception and adherence to high ethical standards. Integrity means doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances.

6.2 Collective Principles

We serve with honour and obey regulations, orders and instructions at all times.

6.3 Individual Principles

I am responsible and accountable for my actions.

7.1 Loyalty

7.2 Definition

Loyalty must be reciprocal and based on mutual trust. It requires that all RCN personnel support and obey lawful orders and directions. In return, leaders must ensure their subordinates are treated fairly and in a manner consistent with professional military values.

7.3 Collective Principles

We fulfill our duties and act in a manner that reflects positively on the CAF and the RCN.

7.4 Individual Principles

I obey lawful commands and orders and my actions reflect CAF and RCN values.

8.  Courage

8.1 Definition

Courage is both physical and moral. It is the ability to control fear or do what is right when faced with difficult situations.

8.2 Collective Principles

In the face of adversity we act with determination and perseverance to meet the demands of our profession.

8.3 Individual Principles

I do what is right.

9. Deck Plate Leadership

9.1 Definition

Deck Plate Leadership is the act of actively engaging and interacting with subordinates in their workspaces. It involves not only being present, but participating in their daily routines and looking after their well-being.

Through Deck Plate Leadership, RCN personnel lead by example, demonstrate what right looks like, and behave with respect and in a manner that brings credit to our Navy.

Deck Plate Leadership is achieved by leading, developing, communicating, and supporting subordinates while consistently exemplifying the expectations of the RCN Code of Conduct.

9.2 Outcome

Good Deck Plate Leadership results in increased morale, productivity, esprit de corps and fosters appropriate behaviour.

10.  Responsibility

10.1  Table of Shared Responsibilities

All members of the CAF who serve or are employed in the RCN are expected to adhere to the RCN Code of Conduct.

 

Allare responsible for …
 
  • Leading by example and displaying a personal commitment to CAF core military values;
  • Adopting and maintaining a healthy and addiction-free lifestyle;
  • Familiarizing themselves with and abiding by the CAF core military values on and off duty, ashore and abroad wherever they serve; and
  • Fostering appropriate conduct and supporting each other through a positive team attitude.

 

10.2 Table of Leadership Responsibilities

Leaders within the RCN are required to assume increasing responsibilities in communicating and exemplifying the RCN Code of Conduct and the four core military values. Each responsibility specific to a seniority level escalates from and encompasses those of its subordinate levels. The following table is not exhaustive as promoting acceptable conduct is, above all, an inherent leadership responsibility.

 

The …is/are responsible for …
Flag Officers
  • Providing institutional leadership through strategic advice and executive coaching in a way that reinforces the RCN Code of Conduct and the four core military values.
Senior Officers
  • Providing strategic leadership that strengthens the RCN Code of Conduct and the four core military values.
Junior Officers
  • Developing a professional body of knowledge and critical thinking skills that embraces the RCN Code of Conduct and the four core military values.
Chief Petty Officers First Class
  • Providing advice and input to plans, programs and policies that reinforces the RCN Code of Conduct and four core military values.
Senior Non-Commissioned Members
  • Providing leadership and management skills that exemplifies the RCN Code of Conduct and four core military values.
Supervisors (including those mentioned above)
  • Promoting a healthy and addiction-free lifestyle;
  • Executing the principles of the RCN Code of Conduct through rigorous use of personnel management processes, including those in the Guide to the Divisional System;
  • Inculcating CAF core military values to subordinates and set clear expectations of personal conduct and behaviour;
  • Encouraging the “buddy system”; and
  • Identifying and promptly correcting any professional or personal misconduct.

 

10.3  Table of Specific Responsibilities

 

The …is/are responsible for …
D Nav P&T
  • Managing the Guide to the Divisional System so that it clearly reinforces CRCN’s expectations relating to personal conduct; and
  • Ensuring that the RCN Code of Conduct remains aligned with DND and CAF Code of Values and Ethics, and other orders and governance.
CNPTG
  • Developing and delivering conduct-related Individual Training and Education, consistent with the RCN Code of Conduct and the Guide to the Divisional System.
Commanders, Commandants, and Commanding Officers
  • Leading by example and display a personal commitment to CAF core military values;
  • Applying the principles of the RCN Code of Conduct through Deck Plate Leadership and rigorous use of the processes included in the Guide to the Divisional System;
  • Conveying CRCN’s intent through the Divisional System to ensure all personnel within their unit understand and abide by the CAF core military values;
  • Promoting a healthy and addiction-free lifestyle;
  • Briefing new members on the CAF core military values;
  • Fostering a healthy command climate in which all personnel therein have the confidence to report wrong-doing without fear of reprisal;
  • Delivering unit formal training on the CAF core military values yearly; and
  • Identifying and promptly correcting any professional or personal misconduct through appropriate administrative and disciplinary processes.

 

11. References

11.1 Source References

  • DND and CAF Code of Values and Ethics
  • Duty with Honour – The Profession of Arms in Canada, A-AP-005-000/AP-001
  • CFJP 01 Canadian Military Doctrine
  • Guide to the Divisional System – Chapter 3 on RCN Code of Conduct (to be promulgated)

11.2 Related References

  • DAOD 5019 Series
  • DAOD 7023 Series
  • RCN Executive Plan – 2013 to 2017
  • NAVGEN 017/14 141224Z JUL 14 PERSONAL CONDUCT
  • External Review Report on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces 27 March 2015
  • CDS OP ORDER – OP HONOUR, 14 August 2015
  • RCN OP ORDER – OP HONOUR, 10 September 2015