How to Become a Probation Officer in Canada

As a parole officer, you'll keep track of each offender's progress as they re-enter the community.
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Correctional Service Canada has job opportunities in every corner of the country, from bustling urban centers to small communities. As a probation officer, you’ll manage a caseload of recently released offenders, who you’ll have to keep close tabs on. You’ll need to be part disciplinarian and part counselor, as the job’s duties require you to listen to and be supportive of the ex-con’s plight while ensuring they aren’t at risk to commit crimes again.

    Step 1

    Obtain a degree in sociology, psychology, social work or criminology from an accredited college or university. According to Correctional Service Canada, jobseekers with this background are ideal candidates for becoming a Canadian probation officer.

    Step 2

    Apply for Canadian citizenship through your local Canadian consulate or immigration office if you are not already legally eligible to work in Canada. According to the Canadian Public Service Employment Act, non-Canadians aren’t explicitly excluded from roles in the public sector, but Canadian citizens are given preference. As of November 2012, it will take Citizenship and Immigration Canada between 63 and 89 days to process your application, depending on whether you file electronically or through the mail.

    Step 3

    Create an online account through the Public Service Resourcing System (PSRS) and begin your job search. You can use the “Quick Search” or the “Advanced Search” tools to look for probation officer positions available throughout the country.

    Step 4

    Narrow your search to a specific location, eligibility requirements, salary or other criteria.

    Step 5

    Review the “Who Can Apply” section of the job listing very carefully before applying, to make sure you are eligible. Once you’re sure you’re a good candidate, click the “Apply Online” button to begin your online application.

    Step 6

    Submit your application before the listing's closing date through the PSRS system only because e-mailed resumes and applications will not be considered. Once the closing date has passed, PSRS will pre-screen your application and pass it onto an assessment board - typically made up of the hiring manager and a few team members - if you qualify.

    Step 7

    Check on your application status by logging into your PSRS account. If you are a qualifying candidate, the assessment board will invite you to come in for an interview and perhaps a written test.

    Step 8

    Accept the probation officer position, if offered, and participate in the two-week orientation program required by Correctional Service Canada. During training, you’ll learn the correct procedures, laws and policies that ensure you’re capable of fulfilling your duties.

    Things You'll Need

    • Post-graduate or secondary degree

    • Canadian citizenship

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