Information for persons applying for non-military service

A person can apply for non-military service at or after call-up or after having already volunteered for military service. The military service already carried out will be considered when the remaining period of non-military service is calculated. The application is submitted to the call-up board, the commander of the relevant unit or the regional office of the Finnish Defence Forces.

A conscript that has applied for non-military service will be discharged immediately. The call-up board or the regional office of the Finnish Defence Forces must approve the application if it has been properly made.

In the application, the applicant for non-military service must state that reasons of conscience prevent him from doing the service laid down in the Conscription Act. The applicant is not required to give detailed reasons for the application.

The non-military service may not be started before the Centre for Non-Military Service has issued a written order, which will be sent to the person liable for non-military service no later than two months before the start of the service. In most cases, the non-military service starts during the year in which the application has been approved or during the two calendar years following that year. The applicant can enter the preferred start date on the application.

Non-military service comprises basic training and work service

The non-military service starts with the basic training period, which usually takes place 10 - 11 times each year.

The basic training period lasts 28 days and contains training common to all participants and special training in three different areas of specialisation. The areas of specialisation are as follows: fire and rescue services and civil protection, protection of environment and cultural values, civic skills and prevention of violence. Persons liable for non-military service receive their training in the Centre for Non-Military Service at Lapinjärvi.

The work service is carried out at service locations of which there are about 2,000 in different parts of Finland. The service location must have concluded a service location agreement with the Centre for Non-Military Service. The person liable for non-military service may not carry out the service for his own employer.

The persons liable for non-military service must apply for the work service independently, for example using the list of service locations on the website of the Centre for Non-Military Service. If the efforts are unsuccessful the Centre for Non-Military Service can assist in the process.

Persons applying for non-military service after completing their military service will do supplementary service in the Centre for Non-Military Service and they do not take part in basic training or work service.

See also Employment security during military or non-military service

Further information: Centre for Non-Military Service