The Prime Candidate Program was formed at some point prior to Zachariah Trench's tenure as Director to generate a pool of powerful parautilitarians capable of handling the paranatural responsibilities of managing the Federal Bureau of Control. In responding to reports of paranatural events, the Bureau made certain to identify any and all notable parautilitarians involved in the nature of the event, sometimes deeming certain individuals to be candidates for the program. At the time of Director Northmoor's stepping down from the position, there were no available candidates, and nothing is known about candidates before this time, or at what time the program was launched.
During Trench's tenure as Director, due to his growing concern over the responsibilities of the Director and the kind of person that would be needed to shoulder such responsibilities, Trench directed the Bureau to more actively search out candidates for the program. By October 2019, the Bureau had identified seven candidates, though candidates 1 through 5 were all considered to be "false leads, dead ends and disappointments." Dylan and Jesse Faden, P6 and P7 respectively, were each considered hopeful candidates to succeed Trench as Director. At the time of their discovery, Dylan was captured by the Bureau and returned to the Oldest House, where he would remain under observation until the Hiss invasion in 2019, specially groomed to become the ideal Director. Jesse was able to seemingly escape Bureau agents, but would be secretly observed and studied from that day onward, of both a passive and covertly direct nature.
Though a Director was never officially pulled from the program to answer this challenge, a chosen candidate must also perform the ritual of the Service Weapon in order to be accepted by the Board in order to fully assume the paranatural obligations and authoritative capability of Directorship. Broderick Northmoor was already acting director of the FBC by the time he discovered the Service Weapon and performed the ritual, and Zachariah Trench was promoted from a Deputy Chief among the Bureau's staff in lieu of a suitable candidate from the program.
- It's worth assuming that there are more than seven candidates in the Prime Candidate Program. Dylan and Jesse were designated as P6 and P7 in 2002 during the aftermath of the Ordinary AWE, but Alan Wake was not considered by the Bureau until 2010 during the Bright Falls AWE. The same can be said about Dr. Tokui, who is spoken of as if the notice and research of his immersion therapy is a recent development in Bureau affairs.