Every correctional service worker (CSW) helps ensure that Albertans have secure and safe communities in which to live, work and raise their families.
CSWs 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.
As a CSW, you get:
- a pension, excellent benefits and job security
- provincewide 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
This CSW role focuses on supervising adult inmates and youth while they serve their sentences.
This CSW role focuses on placing inmates who’ve served their sentence in safe housing.
This CSW role focuses on the care and custody of youth while they serve their sentences and return to their communities.
Your days as a CSW – caseworker, placement officer or youth worker – are varied, often exciting and always meaningful. They’ll include some combination of these duties:
- assist with the care, custody and control of inmates
- observe inmate behaviour
- keep log books and records
- respond to questions, concerns and complaints from inmates
- assign work duties to inmates
- help with the training of new corrections staff
- enforce rules and discipline
- promote recreational activities
- complete case plans and progress reports for inmates
- determine housing options for inmates who’ve served their sentence
- help place inmates who’ve served their sentence in safe housing
A CSW 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 CSW 1 classification.
- university graduation in a related field
- 2-year diploma in a related field plus 2 years related experience
- Criminal Justice certificate plus 3 years related 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
- exceptional investigation and interviewing skills
- 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 service worker (CSW) 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 CSW 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 CSW.
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 CSW 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 CSW 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 adult inmates and youth, 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 CSWs 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 instils the pride and professionalism that comes with being a CSW.
- 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 CSW 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 CSW must have valid first aid and CPR certification. To learn how to get certified or recertified, visit First Aid Agencies.
A CSW 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.
Obtain your driver’s abstract from a registry agent.
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.
Contact your local police agency for a criminal records check.