Evaluation of the Cadet Recruitment Allowance (CRA) - Summary
National Program Evaluation Service
Internal Audit, Evaluation and Review
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
March 3, 2017
About the program
The Cadet Recruitment Allowance (CRA) was launched in 2008. The objective of the program is to supplement the RCMP's overall National Recruiting Strategy by offering Cadets a $500 weekly allowance during the six months they are enrolled in the Cadet Training Program at the RCMP Cadet Training Academy in Regina, Saskatchewan (i.e., "Depot").
What we examined
To provide an evidence-based assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of the CRA, evaluators examined relevant documents, literature, and data; conducted surveys with Cadets and Regular Members; and conducted interviews with Cadets, Recruiters, and RCMP personnel from various parts of Canada. The evaluation covered the period from 2008-09 to 2014-15.
What we found
Between 2008-09 and 2014-15, the CRA was paid to an average of 1,147 Cadets each year for an average annual cost of $8.8 million. The total cost of the CRA during this period was $61.4 million in support of 8,029 Cadets.
The RCMP needs to ensure it is a competitive employer in the Canadian policing universe, especially in Western Canada where the RCMP draws half of its recruits, and where other police services' Cadets are often full-time, salaried employees.
Since the introduction of the CRA in 2008-09, the RCMP has largely met its overall recruiting targets. From the perspective of age, ethnicity and gender, the profile of applicants has been relatively unchanged since implementation of the allowance.
Applications and enrolments
CRA recipients were divided over whether it influenced their decision to apply to the RCMP. Nonetheless, the CRA played a role in enabling successful applicants to attend Depot, as half of the recruits who received the allowance indicated that they would not, or may not, have attended without it. Responses from women, visible minorities, and Indigenous people were not significantly different from the rest of the population, suggesting that from an employment equity perspective, the CRA is neutral. Furthermore, the CRA decreased financial barriers to attending Depot and reduced the financial stress level of Cadets, especially those over the age of 30, those with children, and those with financial obligations.
Payment and recovery
The CRA has been paid in accordance with documented procedures and rules. Furthermore, there are consistent processes for identifying Cadets and Regular Members within the first two years who do not complete their commitments, and repayment orders are being issued in accordance with the CRA's intent. There are, however, procedural inconsistencies and policy gaps related to the creation of accounts receivables for repayment orders, the collection of interest in cases where the debt is not repaid immediately, and in the sending of derelict accounts for collections.
What we recommend
In order to remain competitive and to address the challenges identified with regard to the recovery of the CRA, evaluators have recommended that the following three actions be taken:
- The RCMP should seek authority to continue offering the CRA, or some comparable form of financial support for Cadets.
- A process should be developed to periodically revisit the amount of financial support offered to Cadets that gives due consideration to changes in the labour market, the needs of Cadets, and the RCMP's ability to pay.
- The financial policies, processes, roles and responsibilities governing the repayment of the allowance should be strengthened, clarified, and documented.
For more information or to view the full report, please visit our website at http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/aud-ver/index-eng.htm.
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