Auditor General’s Report: ‘The Royal Military College of Canada risks becoming just another university’

The recent Fall Report of the Auditor General of Canada on the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC), concludes that unless National Defence resolves issues highlighted in its report, then the RMC “risks becoming just another university and not providing the Canadian Armed Forces with the leaders it requires.”

Founded in 1874, the RMC is operated by National Defence in educating and training officer cadets and commissioned officers for effective military service and leadership roles.

The recent audit examined whether the RMC is producing the quality of officers for the Canadian Armed Forces at a “reasonable cost”. It also looked at the conduct of officer cadets and staff at the Royal Military College of Canada.

The report concludes:

“6.107 We concluded that the Royal Military College of Canada could not demonstrate that it produced officers at a reasonable cost, and we concluded that there were weaknesses in military training. In addition, for most of their careers, there was no significant difference in career progression between graduates of the Royal Military College of Canada and officers who entered the Canadian Armed Forces through other entry plans. The Royal Military College of Canada emphasized academic education over military training, and the academic environment did not consistently support military training objectives. While the quality of its academic programs was good, the cost per student was significantly higher than other universities and other officer entry plans.

“6.108 We also concluded that, while the Royal Military College of Canada took action when serious incidents were reported, the number of investigations and incidents of misconduct involving senior Officer Cadets showed that it needed to improve military training.

“6.109 The primary role of the Royal Military College of Canada is to be a military institution. Unless National Defence can resolve the issues identified in this report and the Special Staff Assistance Visit report, the Royal Military College of Canada risks becoming just another university and not providing the Canadian Armed Forces with the leaders it requires.”

In response, Minister of National Defence Harjit S. Sajjan issued a statement that reads, “As the Auditor General has indicated, the cost per student of an RMC education is higher than that of other civilian universities. It should be noted that RMC is the only degree-granting institution in Canada where graduates must not only complete academic work, but military, physical fitness, and bilingualism components as well. The unique nature of the Military College program adds to its costs. That said, I agree with the Auditor General that more can be done to improve efficiencies while maintaining the excellent programs delivered by RMC.”

For the report, go here.

Author: Marcello Sukhdeo

Marcello is the managing editor of Vanguard, IT in Canada and Canadian Government Executive and the host of Vanguard Radio and WRLWND Radio podcasts. He is an avid technology and security enthusiast, who has worked on content leadership strategies for a number of industries including the public sector, life science, technology and defence.

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