List of core skill competencies

These are knowledge, skills and abilities which are being assessed during the entire selection process, which must be demonstrated to be considered for the position of a correctional officer with the jail or correctional facility. 

They are:

  • Analytical Thinking: The ability to analyze situations and events in a logical way, and to organize the parts of a problem in a systematic way.
  • Self-Confidence: A belief in your own abilities and judgment, and a recognition of personal limitations and development needs.
  • Communication: The ability to demonstrate effective listening, verbal and written communication skills.
  • Flexibility/Valuing Diversity: The ability to adapt your approach in a variety of situations, and to work effectively with a wide cross-section of the community representing diverse backgrounds, cultures, and socio-economic circumstances.
  • Self-Control: The ability to keep your own emotions under control and to restrain negative actions when provoked or when working under stressful conditions.
  • Relationship Building: The ability to develop and maintain a network of contacts, both inside and outside the police service.
  • Achievement Orientation: The desire for continuous improvement in service or accomplishments.
  • Medical/Physical Skills and Abilities: Job-related medical/physical skills and abilities, including vision, hearing, motor skills, cardiovascular endurance, and upper-body strength.

These competencies can be acquired through training after a person has been hired as a correctional officer.

The competencies are as follows:

  • Information Seeking: The ability to seek out information from various sources before making decisions. 
  • Concern for Safety: The ability to exercise caution in hazardous situations in order to ensure safety to self and others.
  • Assertiveness: The ability to use authority confidently and to set and enforce rules appropriately.
  • Initiative: Demonstrated ability to be self-motivated and self-directed in identifying and addressing important issues.
  • Cooperation: The ability to collaborate with others by seeking their input, encouraging their participation and sharing information.
  • Negotiation/Facilitation: The ability to influence or persuade others by anticipating and addressing their interests and perspectives.
  • Work Organization: The ability to develop and maintain systems for organizing information and activities.
  • Community-service Orientation: Proven commitment to helping or serving others.
  • Commitment to Learning: Demonstrated pattern of activities which contribute to personal and professional growth.
  • Organizational Awareness: Understanding of the dynamics of organizations, including the formal and informal cultures and decision-making processes.
  • Developing Others: Commitment to helping others improve their skills.

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Correctional Service Officer Diploma Outline

List of specific knowledge and skills

  • Excellent Communication Skills
  • Teamwork Promoter
  • Possess Practical Problem Solving Techniques
  • Decisiveness
  • Resilience
  • Selflessness
  • Practice Open-Mindedness
  • Be Dedicated

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Learning Outcomes:

The successful graduate will:

  • Know the importance of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Criminal Code of Canada legislation regarding criminal and civil law
  • Understand the laws that police officers and those working with the general public experience
  • Understand federal and provincial legislation involving crime and deviant behavior
  • Understand the connection between social surroundings and crime
  • Understand the importance of Criminology and Psychology in the field of law enforcement
  • Understand important legislation regarding police powers, with specific reference to the Ontario Police Services Act
  • Understand law enforcement powers of authority and public accountability
  • Understand the importance of working cohesively with peers and the general public
  • Understand the importance of fitness and a healthy lifestyle
  • Understand the concept of community policing
  • Understand the important role diversity and cultural differences play in our vast community
  • Understand how to plan, research, and conduct effective interviews and investigations
  • Understand the various trends emerging regarding deviance and crime


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