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Preparing for an assignment

Congratulations! You’ve been selected for an assignment. Whether you are new to CESO and this is your first assignment, or you’re a seasoned pro and have many assignments under your belt, there is nothing quite like being in the field on an assignment and experiencing something different than what you’re used to. 

In order to have the best experience possible, there is a lot to do even before you leave Canada. Outlined below are some important steps and pre-assignment information.


If you are a new VA or this is your first assignment you will be required to have a medical exam with your family doctor to be eligible for CESO insurance. CESO will cover the costs related to this as well as any inoculations and related medications. Medical exams are valid for one year. If you have recently had a medical please check the date to ensure it is still valid. The medical form to share with your doctor is here and the medical approval letter.


CESO provides travel, health, and accident and emergency insurance.
If you already have your own travel health insurance and would like to use that instead, please advise your Program Coordinator. You will need to sign a waiver.


Please check your passport to ensure that the expiry date is more than six months beyond the planned date of your return to Canada. If your passport expiry date is before the six months of your return date, you will have to renew your passport.


When booking airfares, CESO must comply with the requirements stipulated in our funding agreement with our program funder, which states:
“Global Affairs Canada will limit the reimbursement of plane tickets to the lowest fare available at the time of reservation even when the Organization chooses not to use this fare”

This means that you must accept the most direct and cost effective route to and from the assignment and travel will be in economy class. If you would like to book upgraded seats, you will be responsible to pay the difference. Please speak with your Program Coordinator if you would like to learn more.


In some cases with appropriate program approval, spouses or partners may accompany you on your assignment. If approved (by both client, local CESO office and CESO Canada, as appropriate), you will be completely responsible for all expenses incurred by your spouse/partner, including for example, food and expenses, any additional lodging fees and the full cost of the flight. Your Program Coordinator can provide you with more details.


As part of our reporting requirements to monitor our assignments, you are required to complete a set of forms both before and after your assignment. Examples include:

  • a work plan
  • a VA assignment assessment report
  • a service assessment report
  • your expense claim forms

All forms can be found in myCESO in the Assignment Documents section at the bottom of the page,


Please ensure you keep all receipts related to your assignment, including your boarding passes for flights. A list of ineligible expenses is provided with the expense claim form for your guidance here.

Our project accounts and supporting documents are regularly audited by our funders, therefore we must comply with their requirements. Please contact your Program Coordinator if you have any questions.


Your health, safety and security are a priority for CESO. We provide a Health, Safety and Security guidelines manual. Please ensure you read this manual carefully and comply with the guidelines while on assignment.


Additional briefing and pre-departure documents can be found at the bottom of the myCESO page


In addition to your Program Coordinator, our Program Managers and Client Relations Coordinators are also key contacts and can provide more information or guidance related to your assignment.
Have a great assignment! 1-800-268-9052
Canadian Executive Service Organization CESO | SACO is a registered charity (BN 11883 0850 RR 0001), with no political or religious affiliations. Copyright CESO-SACO 2019 • All Rights Reserved
CESO thanks and gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Global Affairs Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, and our private-sector supporters.
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