Training Programs for Public Policing in Canada

Becoming a Police Officer in Nova Scotia

The following are the requirements to become a Police Officer in Nova Scotia:

  • Age: You have to be 19 years old to attend a police recruit training program;
  • Citizenship: Canadian Citizen or permanent resident;
  • Education: Grade 12 with academic post secondary preparatory level courses in Math and English. Note: Preference is often given to individuals with some post secondary education;
  • General Health: When you apply to a police academy there are pre-established and supported standards and tests such as; dental health, hearing acuity and visual acuity;
  • Physical Ability: Before you can be accepted to a police academy you will be required to take a PARE test which is the Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation;
  • Criminal Record: At some point you will be required to provide your fingerprints and undergo a records check;
  • Drivers Licence: You will need a valid driver's licence;
  • First Aid/CPR: You will be required to prove that you successfully completed a standard first aid course with a CPR component, within a year or less of your application to a police academy;
  • Swimming: You must achieve a level recognized from the Life Saving Society known as, the "Bronze Medallion Award" or the "Water Rescue for First Responders Program";
  • Letters of Reference: Any application to a police agency or police academy, will ask for up to three letters of reference from community members or other professionals that are not relatives;
  • Typing: You must be able to type or keyboard no less than 25 words per minute free from error in excess of 5%; in a three minute test;
  • Resume: Start and keep a good resume on yourself and occasionally update it as required, it will be requested at the time of application. Make sure you keep track of all your sports activities, community associations and any other courses you take, Police Recruiters are always looking for what you do with your life and the experiences you have enjoyed;
  • Defensive Driving: Most police academies like you to have this course before you attend recruit training and it is a mandatory requirement in some areas. If you have or will be taking a driver education course for your Nova Scotia driver's permit, you will have sufficient training so keep a copy of your course completion notice. In rare cases, recruit training programs like the Halifax Regional Police, Police Science Program will certify you while you are in recruit training;
  • Testing: Within 6 months prior to being accepted to a police recruit training program, you will have to undergo evaluations for aptitude, ability and a psychological assessment. There is little or nothing additional you can do to prepare for this testing but there is nothing to fear. These tests are used to insure you have the aptitude and personality to carry out the tasks and duties that are assigned to police officers;
  • Personal Interview: Within 6 months prior to being accepted to a police recruit training program, you will be called upon to have a personal interview. What recruiters are looking for is how you handle yourself under questioning and how you might see yourself responding to a variety of situations. The best advise in this area is to be yourself;
  • Background: Recruiters considering you for police training will look into your background to insure you are who you say you are. Pay attention to your lifestyle, make sure you manage any financial debts that you may have or acquire, choose good friends and be considerate to the people in you community and you will have nothing to be concerned with from the check;
  • Ethics and integrity: Ethics and Integrity evaluations test the veracity of your police recruit application. Veracity means the truthfulness of your responses in a questionnaire you will be asked to complete on your "lifestyle"and personal history. Such a questionnaire will ask your questions like, "did you ever take illegal drugs?" Your responses or answers are commonly referred to as disclosures or admissions. The police recruiter is looking for how honest you are about acknowledging your life experiences, good or bad. Studies indicate the best judge or predictor of your future behavior can be taken from your past patterns of behavior, especially for people wanting to become police officers. Therefore, most all police agencies will apply a test to see how forthcoming you are about your past. Police agencies are not looking for people who have never made mistakes but are honest to themselves and have not repeated mistakes.

University Programs

The following is a list of Universities across Canada that offer criminology, criminal justice and social science programs, many of which attract pre-recruit and post-recruit police students:

Dalhousie University, Faculty of Open Learning & Career Development
Certificate in Police Leadership

6100 University Avenue
Halifax, NS
B3H 3J5
(902) 494-2526

University of Winnipeg
Degree in Justice and Law Enforcement

515 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB
R3B 2E9
(204) 786-9159

University of Regina
Police Studies

3737 Wascana Parkway
Regina, SK
S4S 0A2
(306) 585-4591

In addition to these general social science programs, several Universities offer specialized police degrees, certificates and diplomas. There are also Community Colleges across Canada (and cégeps in the Province of Québec) that offer a number of programs attended by pre-recruit and post-recruit police officers. These programs range from social science to criminal justice, paralegal, security management, and law and security administration.

While this table may not contain a complete listing of all available programs, it does provide an overview of what various training institutions offer to the public policing sector.

Police Academies

The following Police Academies across Canada provide individual police services with police specific courses and programs. Some of these academies offer both recruit and in-service type training for sworn police officers currently employed in public police services:

Justice Institute of British Columbia
715 McBride Boulevard
New Westminster, BC
V3L 5T4
(604) 528-5608

École nationale de police du Québec
350, rue Marguerite-d 'Youville
Nicolet, QC
J3T 1X4
(819) 293-8631

Holland College
140 Weymouth Street
Charlottetown, PEI
C1A 4Z1
1-800-446-5265 (press 2) or
(902) 629-4217

Saskatchewan Police College
217 College West Building
University of Regina
Regina, SK
(306) 787-8870

C.O. Bick Police College
4620 Finch Avenue East
Scarborough, ON
M1S 4G2
(416) 808-4800

Ontario Provincial Police Training Academy
777 Memorial Avenue
Orillia, ON
L3V 7V3
(705) 329-7400

Canadian Police College
P.O. Box 8900
Ottawa, ON
K1G 3J2
(613) 993-9500

RCMP Training Academy
P.O. Box 6500
Regina, SK
S4P 3J7
(306) 780-5266