Improvements coming for CAF relocation services
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is making key changes to improve relocation services, effective April 1, 2019. These changes are based on feedback from members and their families, and aim to improve how relocation services are delivered.
Every relocating member will begin the process of moving by scheduling a customized individual planning session with a BGRS agent. This will be done either on the phone or through video-chat. The first session will be within five business days of a member registering with BGRS. Upon registering, the website will launch a video. It is important for members and their families to watch this video before their first session with BGRS.
During that first session, the agent will explain the program, outline the process, and assist members with website navigation. If there is an issue, or the member requires additional one-on-one support following this session, they will be able to schedule additional sessions. Members will be offered a final session at the end of their relocation to ensure that all applicable items and benefits have been covered and claimed. Members will also be able to contact their base Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program (CFIRP) coordinator or Director Relocation Business Management to resolve issues.
In addition, the program is being amended so that BGRS, CAF’s relocation contractor, handles payments to third party service providers (TPSP) instead of the member. Third party service provider services include: home inspection, appraisals, real estate commission, rental searches, and legal/notary fees. That means, beginning April 1st, 2019, BGRS will be responsible to reimburse participating TPSP fees directly. The aim is to reduce the pressure on members who will no longer have to request an advance, pay the TPSP, and reconcile the claim – BGRS will handle that workload. This applies to members who use third party service providers from the approved TPSP directory.
Members may also choose to use third party service providers that are not listed in the directory. If they do so, they will pay those third party service providers directly and claim the reimbursement. It is important to note the amount to be reimbursed must be within authorized limits.
To help facilitate a smooth relocation for members and their families, members will be given time during their work day to organize their moves. Specifically, following registration with BGRS, members will be given a half day to conduct their first call with their agents and to familiarize themselves with the online service. Members will also be given relocation administrative time as required. This will be conducted in 1-2 hour blocks, in coordination with the member’s chain of command. For new members who have just completed their training, the chain of command will ensure they have access to computers.
The BGRS website and mobile app are now available. Members who are posted to a new location will have further details in their posting messages, such as how to access the BGRS website and who to contact in case of problems with the online service. They can also expect to have their claims settled within 15 business days of BGRS receiving the required information. To ensure Bases and Wings are prepared to support our members who will be posted this summer, representatives from all Bases and Wings will meet in Ottawa at the end of March for demonstrations and familiarization by subject matter experts from the Department of National Defence and the contractor.
Your feedback matters and the CAF leadership is listening. The payment card (Relo Card) was eliminated and all funds due to the member will be through electronic funds transfers (EFT). In addition, the CAF leadership wants to know more about your relocation experience, including the information and service provided by BGRS. This will be measured using an annual relocation satisfaction survey following the Active Posting Season. The results of the survey will be provided to CAF leadership. This is to ensure the service being delivered continues to meet the needs of members and their families.
One of the most stressful things the CAF demands of its members and their families is relocating from one post to another. The Department of National Defence and the CAF leadership are invested in a relocation program that is fair to military members and their families, and will continue to work on improving the move process.
For more information, contact your BGRS agent, your base or wing CFIRP coordinator, or visit the Military benefits webpage.