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Correctional Officer

All across Canada, correctional officers play a critical role inside the country’s federal and provincial correctional facilities. Their primary job is to monitor, supervise and interact with incarcerated offenders and to help them become law-abiding citizens after serving their sentences.

The Correctional Officer program at the Atlantic Police Academy is specifically designed to offer students with the training and knowledge they need for a rewarding career in corrections anywhere in Canada.

Cadets learn fundamental skills needed to ensure the safety and well-being of inmates, themselves and their colleagues. This includes training in:

  • the supervision of inmate movement – escorting them both inside and outside the institution
  • searching cells, offenders, visitors, vehicles and common living areas
  • appropriate use of control tactics, firearms, and other control devices
  • the principles of human relations, sociology and psychology
  • excellent communications techniques – including briefing visitors and other criminal justice professionals entering the institution
  • extracting inmates from cells and conducting security checks
  • the role of corrections in the Canadian justice system
  • safety equipment checks, drafting daily logs, submitting reports

As part of the Corrections Officer program, all cadets undergo on-the-job training at provincial and federal correctional facilities throughout Atlantic Canada. This real-life experience offers students the opportunity to use their skills and knowledge and it plays an integral role in preparing them for a career in corrections.

The program also includes practice on a driving course and gun range, use of force/control skills, as well as communication and mental health training. Academic components include coursework in sociology, psychology and law.

Cadets also learn effective communication on campus, where they are required to live for the duration of the program.


Living in residence provides cadets with experiential learning, such as cooperation, problem solving and time management. Through this interaction with fellow students outside the classroom setting, cadets develop a professional appreciation for teamwork and diversity.

Each single-occupancy room includes a bathroom, fridge, television, air conditioning and heat. Common areas include a sitting room, television, laundry (coin operated) and kitchen (non-cooking) facilities.

Cadets are provided with 14 meals a week: breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday, breakfast and lunch on Friday.

Brittany Rowe, Class of 2016

Brittany Rowe“As a woman, I wanted to know that I could take care of myself in any situation. I’m pretty tough already, so I knew I’d be comfortable doing this kind of work. My on-the-job training was at a correctional facility in my home province, where I hope to get hired. It gave me hands-on experience with inmates, and I got to use all the skills I learned at the Academy. Now I know I’m prepared to take on anything – in my career and in life.”

Annette Guthro, Class of 2016

Annette Guthro“I had just lost a full-time job and had to think about what my next step would be. I knew there would always be criminals, so there would always be a need for correctional officers. I liked that I could learn a whole new career in just 24 weeks. Knowing I can go straight into a job that pays good money and has good benefits is the main reason I chose Holland College. It’s an excellent school, with everything you need. It was the best experience of my life.”

Program Facts

Start: September
Length: 24 weeks
Location: Atlantic Police Academy, Slemon Park, Summerside
Credential: Certificate, Correctional Officer
Minimum passing grade per course:


Admission Requirements

  • Grade 12 or equivalent with credits at or above the general level
  • Must be 19 years of age or older by program start date
  • Criminal Record Check (CRC) and Vulnerable Sector Verification (VSV) with no findings of guilt. For students wishing to complete their On the Job Training component in Nova Scotia, a Child Abuse Registry Search must also be completed in advance.
  • Proof of Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident status (a copy of a Canadian birth certificate, Canadian citizenship certificate, or a permanent resident card)
  • Must hold a valid driver’s license (Students holding restricted or graduated licenses must abide by the conditions of this license, regardless of Holland College training.)
  • Completion of a Holland College Medical Form
  • Three letters of reference, not from family members
  • Completion of Immunization Verification Form PDF or MS Word  This completed form is not required until after an applicant has been accepted.
  • Current CPR – Basic Rescuer Level C and a Standard First Aid certificate from a recognized First Aid/CPR trainer. – must be valid for the duration of the program
  • Automated external defibrillator certification – must be valid for the duration of the program
  • Résumé including work and volunteer experience with applicable dates, membership in groups, associations or athletics, awards and distinctions, and any other information about yourself relevant to the program

View Course Information

Graduate Opportunities

Graduates from this program may find employment with:

  • Federal & provincial correctional facilities

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is the nationally accepted reference on occupations in Canada. It organizes over 40,000 job titles into 500 occupational group descriptions. It is used daily by thousands of people to compile, analyze and communicate information about occupations, and to understand the jobs found throughout Canada’s labour market. This program provides skills training that falls within the duties described in the following: NOC 4422.

Open Academic Studies program

Feeling like you’re not quite ready for college? Check out the Open Academic Studies program.

Credit Courses

Interested in taking a credit course but don’t want to register for an entire program? Credit courses provide credit toward a diploma or certificate program. Holland College has a variety of options for studying part time during the day, or, in some instances, in the evening or on the weekend.

Tuition & Fees

View a full breakdown of costs for this program.

If you have any questions concerning the Correctional Officer program, contact:

Arlene Heffell



Degree Pathways

This program has degree pathways. For more information, see our Degree Pathways section.

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