Correctional Officer Training Standards
This document is provided to assist persons considering a career as a Correctional Officer. The skills and knowledge areas outlined below are usually obtained though formal training acquired before being considered for a Correctional Officer position. Demonstrating these skills and knowledge are part of the recruitment process for new officers.
Describe the components of both the federal and provincial Criminal Justice systems
- Describe the laws, acts, policies and regulations governing the roles and responsibilities of a Correctional Officer.
- Describe the difference between community corrections and facility corrections.
- Define the acts that apply to the workplace of corrections (OHS Act, Access to Information Act, Privacy Act, Labour Act, Food and Drug Act, Human Rights Act, Criminal Code, etc.)
- Describe court processes and sentencing options.
- Outline current events impacting corrections today.
- Identify the various parts of the Criminal Code and how to look up definitions, various parts and sections of the code.
Explain the importance of ethical and professional behaviour
- Explain the definition of ethics as it pertains to Corrections.
- Discuss the ethical dilemmas facing corrections staff.
- Indicate the barriers to making ethical decisions and costs of unethical behaviour.
- Express the importance of maintaining confidentiality of offenders and staff.
- Outline the elements of a Correctional Officer code of conduct.
- Express the negative effects of bullying and harassment in the workplace.
- Explain the importance of following the Correctional Services Act and it’s regulations.
- Explain the importance of and issues pertaining to Human Rights in the workplace.
- Explain the value of cultural diversity in the workplace.
- Explain the importance of maintaining respectful relationships.
Define the roles and responsibilities of a Correctional Officer
- Describe the environment in which a Correctional Officer works.
- Discuss how policy, procedures, and directives impact the correctional workplace.
- Describe the roles and authorities of a peace officer.
- Define the importance of supporting offender programs.
- Describe the partnership with other justice partners and outside agencies (Sheriffs, Community Services, John Howard Society, etc.)
- Explain the dangers of complacency and importance of maintaining routine operations.
- Explain the steps to take when conducting area and person searches.
- Explain the importance of proper use of communication devices (i.e. radio, intercoms).
- Identify procedures for fire and medical emergencies.
- Explain procedures with respect to preservation of evidence seized in a search.
- Demonstrate respectful, appropriate professional behaviour and effective interpersonal activities with others.
- Describe the risk and threat assessment process.
Demonstrate an understanding of case management
- Define case management and the role the Correctional Officer has in case management.
- Explain the temporary absence process and parole.
- Explain the risk/needs assessment process.
- Describe criminogenic needs.
- Describe the core issues of offenders.
- Identify key components of an effective rehabilitation program.
- Describe the process of administering an offender from admission to release.
- Explain the impact of an effective disciplinary system within a facility for modifying offender behaviour to promote long term behavioural change.
- Describe the concept of responsivity in criminal justice.
Demonstrate the skills necessary for effective written communication
- Demonstrate basic skills in grammar, punctuation and spelling.
- Demonstrate ability to compose reports in a factual, clear, legible and concise manner.
- Demonstrate proper use and retention of notebooks.
- Identify types of forms and documents used in a correctional facility.
- Discuss the importance of documentation.
Demonstrate effective verbal communication and verbal intervention skills
- Describe the elements of effective communication.
- Explain the positive and negative effects of styles of communication.
- Demonstrate effective communication skills including reading, writing, speaking, listening and non-verbal methods.
- Utilize effective verbal intervention skills while engaging with difficult offenders.
- Describe the positive effects of relationship building.
- Demonstrate the ability to clearly verbalize instructions.
Demonstrate conflict/crisis intervention skills
- Demonstrate the non-violent crisis skills required to intervene in conflict situations.
- Identify sources and dynamics of conflict management.
- Demonstrate effective decision making and problem solving skills.
- Demonstrate ability to diffuse a potential crisis.
- Explain the effective use of authority.
- Demonstrate skills to effectively disapprove of inappropriate behaviour.
- Demonstrate proper intervention strategies in dealing with a potential suicidal individual.
Demonstrate the various strategies in dealing with offender behaviour and activities
- Describe the dynamics that affect offender population.
- Describe the correctional sub culture.
- Explain the principles of running a direct supervision unit.
- Illustrate the importance of recognizing cultural differences.
- Recognize manipulative techniques.
- Recognize the dynamics of group mentality and gangs.
- Demonstrate basic understanding of human psychology.
- Explain the specific risks and needs of female offenders.
- Demonstrate ability to recognize the signs of a mentally ill offender.
- Demonstrate ability to apply appropriate responses to specific behaviours of the mentally ill offender.
- Identify the fundamental principles of effective rehabilitation programs.
- Demonstrate skills to reinforce pro-social skills and positive behaviour.
- Demonstrate ability to identify offender behaviour that is out of the norm.
Demonstrate understanding of the importance of wellness strategies to deal with occupational stress
- Discuss the unique stressors that correctional work presents.
- Identify stressors and stress reduction techniques to minimize the effects of stress.
- Identify positive physical and mental coping strategies.
Application of use of force tactics and procedures
- Explain the underlying philosophy of the National Use of Force Framework/Model.
- Demonstrate National Use of Force appropriate responses.
- Explain the concept of legal articulation.
- Demonstrate proper use of restraint equipment and control tactics.
- Demonstrate proper application of escape holds.
- Demonstrate correct person search protocols.
- Outline the applicable sections of the Criminal Code in relation to use of force – (specifically Sections 2, 25, 26 and 27).