Terms of Reference
RCAFA Advocacy Committee (AC)
The RCAFA Advocacy Committee (AC) is a sub-committee of the National Executive Council (NEC) and reports to the Royal Canadian Air Force Association (RCAFA) through the NEC.
The mandate of the AC is to advocate on behalf of the broader RCAFA membership on issues related to key organizational objectives: commemoration of the achievements of those who have served as members of Canada’s air forces since their inception; advocacy for a proficient and well-equipped air force; advocacy and support for air force personnel, both serving and retired; and support for the Royal Canadian Air Cadet program.
To accomplish its mandate, the AC will:
- Serve as a focal point for communicating the RCAFA message, both internally and externally: to the public, Parliamentarians, the media and other stakeholders;
- Maintain contact with the RCAF through direct personal contact with the Commander, liaison with SA Comd RCAF and other members of the Air Staff and other opportunities as may present themselves;
- Monitor aviation and air force issues to ensure an adequate understanding of and ability to deal with matters of interest to the RCAF and RCAFA;
- Develop positions and resolutions on issues the Committee and the NEC consider to be of importance to the Association and the RCAF and which might benefit from Association advocacy efforts;
- Enhance the public’s understanding of and support for the RCAF and the RCAFA through articles placed on web sites and in other media (magazines, newspapers etc); and
- Promote RCAFA positions and resolutions in conjunction with other like-minded associations, in particular the Conference of Defence Associations (CDA) and Royal Canadian Legion.
Honourary National President (Committee Chair)
Past Honorary National President
Vice Chair NEC
The NEC will normally appoint three or four other Association members to be Full Members of the AC. These individuals will be chosen based on their willingness to serve and on their particular expertise and access to information, including for example:
- Access to up-to-date information on procurement and other issues at the national level;
- Familiarity with particular aspects of air operations (fighters, transports, maritime, SAR, civilian and commercial aviation etc);
- Professional background (aircrew, public affairs, engineering, cadets, veterans, personnel, logistics etc).
Ex Officio Members:
The AC also includes three ex-officio members:
- The Special Advisor to the Comd RCAF, who helps maintain a linkage between the RCAF and the RCAFA;
- The Executive Director of the RCAFA (who also serves as the Committee’s Secretary); and
- An appropriate representative of the RCAF’s Air Force History and Heritage office.
In addition to the members noted above, the Committee Chair (with the assistance of others) will compile a list of interested RCAFA members who possess skills or contacts that would allow them to usefully contribute to discussions on particular issues. The participation of these ‘subject matter experts’ will generally be indeterminate in nature and will depend upon the issue(s) being addressed.
Since the RCAFA is frequently asked to comment on current issues, it is important for the organization to have a designated spokesperson or persons who can confidently address the media. Accordingly, the NEC will specifically appoint a spokesperson or spokespersons – in addition to the Chairman of the NEC – who are authorized to provide an Association perspective on issues of the day.
The four core members are appointed to the AC automatically at the same time as they assume their respective positions in the RCAFA.
Full Members of the AC will be appointed by the NEC based on recommendations from the Committee Chair or other members of the NEC.
Spokespersons will be appointed by the NEC based on recommendations from the Chair of the NEC.
Duration of Appointments
Core members will serve for the duration of their appointments in the RCAFA.
Full Members will be appointed for two year terms but may be re-appointed for an additional term or terms if the Chair and the NEC considers this appropriate. The goal will be to change one Full Member per year to ensure the Committee has ‘flow through’ while also maintaining continuity.
Spokespersons will be appointed for one year terms but may be re-appointed for an additional term or terms if the NEC considers this appropriate.
Frequency of Meetings
The AC normally will meet at least twice per year, in the spring and fall. However, since most meetings will be conducted by teleconference, additional meetings to address particular issues may be called at the discretion of the Chair.
Records of Meetings
The Secretary will prepare draft minutes of all AC meetings and provide these to the Chair for finalization. The Chair will then circulate the draft minutes to Committee Members for review. Once informally agreed by Committee Members, the minutes will be disseminated for information and action as necessary. The minutes will be reviewed again and then formally approved at the next meeting of the Committee.
Staffing Process – AC Position Papers
The general process to be used for developing, approving and distributing RCAFA Position Papers and other advocacy material is contained in Annex A.
Staffing Process – RCAFA Advocacy Materials
Topics for AC Position Papers may be proposed by the general RCAFA membership, the NEC, Advocacy Committee members and/or other stakeholders. Once the AC has agreed to develop a Position Paper, the Chair will assign an individual or team to prepare an initial draft. Position Papers are titled based on the subject and assigned an identification number based on the year and the number of papers produced that year (for example, 01/2015). The Chair will maintain an updated list of all Position Papers produced by the Committee.
When a draft Position Paper is considered sufficiently mature, it will be circulated to the broader AC membership for review and comment. After a reasonable period (generally two weeks) the author(s) will collate inputs, seek additional views (if necessary) and produce and circulate a final draft.
Once the Position Paper achieves consensus (preferably unanimity) from the core members and is approved by the Chair, it will be forwarded to the Chair of the NEC for promulgation or furtherance.
Papers Destined for CDA
If a Position Paper deals with an issue that goes beyond the Air Force, the Chair may seek NEC agreement to send a copy to the Executive Director of the Conference of Defence Associations (CDA) seeking their agreement to sponsor the paper. If the CDA agrees, staffing ensues. Once this iterative process is complete and a final document agreed, CDA will distribute the paper to appropriate addressees.
To ensure all RCAFA members and stakeholders receive copies of CDA-sponsored papers, the Chair of the NEC will ensure such papers are sent to air force unique addressees as well as to the Executive Director for potential inclusion in Airforce Magazine.
Magazine or Website Articles
The staffing of magazine or website articles will be similar to that used for Position Papers. Once the AC has agreed to produce an article, the Chair will assign an individual or team to prepare an initial draft, which will then be circulated for comment. Since experience indicates that magazines prefer to publish articles under the name of an author (rather than a committee) once the article has been agreed by the Committee, it will generally be submitted to the website or magazine for publication under the name of one or more individuals.