Each correctional peace officer (CPO) helps ensure that Albertans have safe and secure communities in which to live, work and raise their families.
CPOs perform a variety of security-related duties in:
What's in it for you
As a CPO, you get:
- a pension, excellent benefits and job security
- province-wide career opportunities
- a rewarding, challenging and dynamic work environment
- to be a part of a team with a high level of professionalism
- paid training opportunities
- promotion opportunities
- a chance to help people become contributing members of society
Find out the advantages of working with the Government of Alberta.
Learn about CPO salaries and benefits.
CPOs provide safety and security for people who:
- have been charged and remanded to custody
- have been sentenced to provincial correctional facilities for sentences of up to 2 years less a day
- are in custody at one of the 2 provincial youth facilities
- observe behaviour through dynamic and static security
- conduct security procedures and searches
- act as positive role models
- maintain accurate and complete records
- prepare reports like inmate case reports
- enforce laws, regulations, policies and rules
- act as primary responders to medical emergencies, fire, escape attempts or outbreaks of violence
A CPO maintains a physical presence on living units and interacts with inmates on a regular basis. This position functions in a 24-hour operation with rotating shifts.
All successful candidates are hired at the CPO 1 classification.
You may be eligible for reclassification to the CPO 2 level after you’ve successfully completed:
- a multi-week staff induction training program
- your probationary period
- 24 months as a CPO
- high school diploma or equivalent
- 2 years combined of related education or experience:
- experience may come from security and law enforcement work, roles with a focus on managing conflict, working in a team environment, or client or customer relations
- education may include programs in the human services, security or law enforcement, or customer relations sectors
- Canadian citizen, permanent resident or eligible to work in Canada
- valid Class 5 driver's license
- current commercial driver's abstract
- current standard first aid
- current CPR Level-C certification
- current certified criminal records check (also known as a fingerprint-based criminal record check)
- successful completion of the Correctional Officer Physical Abilities Test (COPAT)
Skills and abilities
- professional demeanour
- high degree of integrity and maturity
- impartial nature
- positive attitude
- understanding the role is rehabilitative, not punitive
- well developed interpersonal skills
- sound judgement
- critical thinking skills
- conflict management skills
- verbal and written communication skills
- leadership abilities
- ability to work as a team member
- ability to remain calm in high-stress situations
- ability to function effectively in an environment where the clients may be unpredictable or hostile
- basic computer proficiency
- ability to work shift work, including weekends and holidays
The process to become a correctional peace officer (CPO) includes several steps. Certain documents are required to move from one step to the next. Keep in mind that obtaining these documents – particularly the certified criminal records check – can be a lengthy process. You are encouraged to start the process of document gathering as soon as you know you plan to apply.
Step 1. Resume review
Once you’ve submitted your resume, we will review your education and work experience. Candidates moving to the next assessment stage will receive an email requesting the following documents:
- Reference information form
- Consent to obtain employment and education form
- Personal Disclosure Questionnaire
Step 2. Initial assessments (phone assessment and written assessment)
Candidates that meet the minimum recruitment standards will be invited for a 30-minute telephone interview and asked to complete a 30-minute written assignment immediately after this interview. Candidates that pass the phone and written assessments will be required to submit the following documents:
- Successful completion of COPAT (Correctional Officer Physical Ability Test) or PARE (Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation) (issued within the last 6 months).
- We will provide you with additional information on your options for taking this test via email. You may register to complete testing free of charge at a correctional centre. We also accept the results of testing completed at private testing facilities.
- If you live outside Alberta, we accept the successful completion of the COPAT or PARE test equivalent from the province you currently live in.
- Medical Consent Form for COPAT (required for COPAT at correctional centres) (PDF, 1 MB)
- COPAT Applicant Consent and Test Record form (PDF, 1 MB)
- Current Certified Criminal Records Check with fingerprinting (issued within the last 6 months). Positions at Youth Offender Centres will also require a Vulnerable Sector Check (issued within the last 6 months).
Step 3. Panel interview
Candidates will be invited to an interview with Custody Operations managers and supervisors. Successful candidates from this stage will be required to submit the following documents:
- copy of valid standard first aid and CPR Level-C certification with AED
- current 5-Year commercial driver's abstract (issued within the past month)
Step 4. References and academic verification
We check your references and, if applicable, verify your academic credentials.
Use academic references instead of work-related ones if:
- you don't have any work experience
- your work experience is limited
Step 5. 5-day orientation training session
Qualified candidates will be invited to attend an orientation at the location where they will be assigned to work.
Step 6. Offer of employment
After you’ve successfully completed all the previous steps, we will contact you with the results.
Correctional Services Induction Training is a paid, comprehensive, multi-week training program designed for new CPO recruits. You learn inmate management and security skills, including relevant legal and legislative context, use of force and strategic communication skills.
- Go to the Government of Alberta jobs website.
- Click the 'Jobs board' link.
- Search by 'correctional' and click the big blue 'Search Jobs' button.
If you’re being further considered in the competition process, we will email you a request to provide these documents:
- valid standard first aid certificate
- CPR Level-C certification
- current commercial driver's abstract (issued within the past month)
- current certified criminal record check (also known as a fingerprint-based criminal record check)
If you live outside Alberta, you can obtain these documents from the province you live in. Applicants are responsible for all fees incurred to obtain them.
First aid and CPR-C certification
A CPO must have valid first aid and CPR certification. Learn how to get certified or recertified.
Commercial driver's abstract
A CPO may have to operate a government vehicle to transport inmates throughout Alberta. For this reason, you’re required to provide a current commercial driver’s abstract that includes the last 5 years of your driving history.
Obtain your driver’s abstract from a registry agent.
Certified criminal record check
Due to wait times to receive a completed fingerprint-based criminal record check, you are encouraged to request this check as soon as possible once you have received an invitation for a phone assessment. If you are successful on the phone assessment, you will be required to provide proof that the record check has been requested prior to proceeding to the next stage, which is the panel interview.
We cannot accept online criminal record checks; however, you may make an appointment to have a fingerprint-based check completed at an RCMP-accredited private fingerprint company. Any associated costs will be your responsibility.
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