Apply for certification in the Joint Certification Program
Canadian and American contractors must be certified by the United States (U.S.)/Canada Joint Certification Program (JCP) to bid and work on contracts and conduct research requiring access to militarily critical technical data (MCTD).
On this page
- Why certification is required
- Check if you have previously certified
- Who is eligible for certification
- How to apply for certification
- Timelines for the application process
- Application decisions
- Certification revision
- Certification renewal
- More information
Why certification is required
Unclassified MCTD is strictly controlled in Canada and the U.S.
How militarily critical technical data is controlled
Check if you have previously certified
Before you apply, search the Joint Certification Program database to see if you were certified in the past.
Who is eligible for certification
Canadian and American contractors who need access to MCTD must apply for certification through the JCP.
A Canadian contractor is a:
- person who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident located in Canada
- corporation or university that is incorporated under federal or provincial laws in Canada
Access by a foreign parent or foreign subsidiary
Participation in the JCP is restricted to contractors who are located in Canada or the U.S.
A non-Canadian or non-American parent or subsidiary must obtain written government approval before it is allowed to access controlled MCTD through a certified contractor.
Written approval may be provided in the form of an export licence. Contractors may request an export licence through an appropriate export control authority, either from Global Affairs Canada or the State Department in the U.S.
About export and import controls in Canada
How to apply for certification
Canadian contractors applying for certification by the JCP must:
- demonstrate a legitimate need to access MCTD
- obtain a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code
- The NCAGE code is a unique 5-digit identifier for Canadian contractors doing business with governments in Canada and the U.S.—this code must be obtained before you apply for certification
- To obtain an NCAGE code, follow the registration and updating procedures for commercial and government entity code or North Atlantic Treaty Organization Commercial and Government Entity (PDF, 1.23 MB)
- appoint a data custodian, which is a person who will:
- be responsible for receiving and disseminating any technical data transferred to the certified contractor under the provisions of the JCP
- act as the main point of contact between your company and the program
- complete, sign and submit the militarily critical technical data agreement—DD form 2345 (DD2345) with supporting documentation (if applicable)
How to complete the militarily critical technical data agreement form
Timelines for the application process
JCP aims to process certification applications within 5 business days. By completing the forms properly and meeting all requirements, you can help ensure your application is processed on time.
Based on a review of the DD2345, the JCP will decide whether to:
- approve the certification: contractors are considered certified as of the date the JCP approves their application
- reject the certification: occurs when a contractor does not meet the criteria for certification or because of insufficient information
The JCP will return the DD2345, signed by Canadian and American representatives, to your data custodian. The approved DD2345 becomes the contractor’s JCP certificate.
The signed DD2345 constitutes an agreement between the contractor and the program that MCTD will not be distributed to unauthorized individuals.
Once certified, the contractor can request access to MCTD and work sites where that data may be accessed.
Certification is valid for 5 years. If the contractor is shown to have violated the terms of the agreement, the certificate may be revoked or the certification period may be reduced.
Roles and responsibilities of certified contractors
The signed DD2345 will include a 7-digit certification number.
The certification number refers to the facility rather than an individual employee, but extends to employees who are both:
- working directly at the facility
- a Canadian citizen, a U.S. citizen or a person admitted lawfully for permanent residence into Canada or the U.S.
The certification number and a statement of intended use must accompany all requests for access to MCTD submitted to the Canadian Department of National Defence or the U.S. Department of Defense.
The JCP will notify the contractor if their certification is rejected. The rejected DD2345 forms will be returned to the contractor along with a notice stating the reasons for the rejection and instructions about how to appeal or to reapply.
Certified contractors should submit a revised DD2345 if information previously provided becomes outdated.
When to submit a revised DD2345
- Change of ownership
- Change of business purpose
- Change of company name
- Selection of a new data custodian
If approved, the revised certification begins a new 5-year eligibility period for the certified contractor.
Certification can be renewed every 5 years.
To renew their certification, certified contractors must complete a new DD2345, with supporting documentation if applicable, at least 120 calendar days prior to expiry of certification.
If a contractor violates the provisions of the DD2345, their certification for access to MCTD may be revoked.
- each corporate subsidiary, division or site that will receive technical data must be certified separately
- as certification is site specific, technical data transferred to a certified contractor can only be provided to the certified location shown on the DD2345
- The prime contractor must not provide MCTD to non-certified contractors
- this violation may result in revocation of a contractor's certification and potential legal action against the company
Militarily critical technical data agreement—DD form 2345 (PDF, 64KB)
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