Correctional peace officer
Join a team that plays an important role in providing care, custody and control of adult and young offenders.
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
Many people from across Canada and around the world choose to live and work in Alberta each year. Alberta’s stable economy and innovative business spirit make it an ideal place to work.
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
As a CPO, you:
- ensure the care, custody and control of inmates
- ensure the safety of centre staff and the public
- supervise inmates
- monitor inmate behavior and movement
- conduct patrols
- keep log book and records
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 9-week staff induction training program
- your probationary period
- 24 months as a CPO
- high school diploma or equivalent
- 2 years combined of related education and / or experience
- Canadian citizen, permanent resident or eligible to work in Canada
- valid Class 5 driver's license
- current driver's abstract
- current standard first aid
- current CPR Level-C certification
- current criminal records check
- successful completion of the Correctional Officer Physical Abilities Test (COPAT)
Skills and abilities
- high degree of integrity and maturity
- sound judgement and common sense
- excellent verbal and written communication skills
- function effectively in a team environment
- confident problem-solving and decision-making skills
- strong leadership and role model abilities
- able to function effectively in a potentially hostile work environment
- basic computer proficiency and keyboarding skills
- able to accommodate shift work, which includes weekends and holidays
There’s a 5-step process to becoming a correctional peace officer (CPO) recruit:
Step 1. Resume review
Once you’ve submitted your resume and requested documents through the Government of Alberta Jobs website, we will review your education and work experience.
Step 2. COPAT test and medical clearance
- we contact you by email to complete this step of the recruiting process – to evaluate your level of physical fitness and ensure you’re able to perform CPO duties
- a Medical Consent form – that’s fully filled-in and signed by a physician – is required before you’re permitted to participate in the Correctional Officer Physical Abilities Test (COPAT)
- if you live outside Alberta, we accept the successful completion of the COPAT or PARE test from the province you currently live in
- you're responsible for successfully completing the COPAT or PARE test on your own
Medical Consent and COPAT form (PDF, 1 MB)
COPAT Consent and Test Record Form (PDF, 1 MB)
Step 3. Interview
For the interview, you’re required to bring:
- originals of all the requested additional documents you submitted at the application step
- 3 references from work-related supervisors or managers – 1 from your current / most recent employer and 2 from your next most recent employers
Use academic references instead of work-related ones if:
- you don't have any work experience, or
- your work experience is very limited
The interview panel is made up of a human resources consultant and a senior CPO.
In-person interviews are required; however, exceptions may be made for applicants who live outside Alberta.
Step 4. References and academic verification
We check your references and, if applicable, verify your academic credentials.
Step 5. Offer of employment
- after you’ve successfully completed all the previous steps, we will contact you with the results
- before we make a final decision about your application, we may invite you to attend a short pre-employment orientation
Our ministry’s Correctional Services Induction Training is a paid comprehensive training program designed for you – the new CPO recruit.
The program runs for 9 weeks at the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General Training Academy in Edmonton. It provides you with inmate management and security skills, plus the basic tools and extensive knowledge that a CPO must know.
Our course instructors will lead you in professional development through these subjects:
- inmate management and conflict resolution
- communication skills
- peace officer legislation
- FOIP and other governance
- use of force and other legal issues
- note taking and reporting
- direct supervision
To give you a further understanding of offenders, we provide information sessions on:
- mental health
- brain damage from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
- addiction issues
- gang culture
- multi-cultural awareness
The safety of our CPOs is a top priority. As a result, you're given significant classroom instruction and skill development in:
- tactical measures
- restraint techniques – practice, drills, simulations, scenarios
Our academy is a structured learning environment. It gets you job-ready – and instills the pride and professionalism that comes with being a CPO.
- Visit the Alberta Public Service jobs website.
- In the Job Opportunities section, click the Search Jobs with the Alberta Public Service button.
- In the Basic Job Search box, type in the keyword ‘correctional’ and click the Search button.
- From the Search Results list, find the CPO position you want to apply for and click its link.
If you’re being further considered in the competition process, we will email you a request to provide these documents:
- valid standard first aid kit
- CPR Level-C certification
- current driver's abstract
- current criminal records check
If you live outside Alberta, you can obtain these documents from the province you live in. We only accept documents within 6 months of their issue date.
You’re required to produce all your original documents at the interview step of the recruiting process. As well, you’re responsible for all the fees you incur to obtain them.
First aid and CPR-C certification
A CPO must have valid first aid and CPR certification. To learn how to get certified or recertified, visit First Aid Agencies.
A CPO may have to operate a government vehicle to transport inmates throughout Alberta. For this reason, you’re required to provide a current driver’s abstract that includes the last 5 years of your driving history.
Criminal records check
Any applicant who’s hired to work for our ministry is required to produce a current criminal records check before an offer of employment can be made. Criminal records checks can take several weeks to obtain.