Two correctional officers on duty communicating with each other.
Two correctional officers on duty communicating with each other.

Correctional Officers are peace officers responsible for the care, custody and control of offenders in Ontario’s correctional institutions. According to the Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General, the requirements to become a correctional officer are:

Please note: Ontario Security Hub is a security guard training agency and is not involved in the Correctional Officer hiring process. For any questions please contact a recruiter: https://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/corr_serv/careers_in_corr/become_corr_off/CORecruitment/cs_corecruitment.html

  • minimum 18 years of age
  • eligible to work in Canada
  • Ontario Secondary School Graduation Diploma or successful completion of a provincially/territorially approved secondary school equivalency test
  • successful completion of ministry administered aptitude, cognitive ability and behavioural tests
  • certification in Emergency First Aid, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) that is current on the date you commence employment
  • successful completion of the Fitness Test for Ontario Correctional Officer Applicants (FITCO)
  • successful completion of the Correctional Officer Enhanced Security Clearance process
  • successful completion of the Correctional Officer pre-employment medical exam
  • successful completion of Correctional Officer Training and Assessment (COTA) program.

The Fitness Test for Ontario Correctional Officer (FITCO) test involves 3 components:

  1. Search Station – tests ability to perform an effective search of a cell
  2. Emergency Response Circuit – tests ability to respond to emergencies
  3. Aerobic Shuttle Run – tests the capacity to perform the physically demanding tasks of the correctional officer job.

The Correctional Officer Training and Assessment (COTA) program is an eight-week training course involving both theory and practical skills to prepare you for the correctional officer position. According to the Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General, pay rates for new hires start at $25.09 per hour and move to a maximum of $29.50.

Working as a private security guard will help you build the competencies needed to become a correctional officer in Ontario. However, not all security guard positions will benefit you equally. For example, working as a security guard at a mall, hospital or a mobile security guard will develop the required competencies much more than working at a condominium or construction site. Maybe afterwards you decide that being a correctional officer is not what you thought. Maybe working in policing, by-law enforcement or security is more ideal.

To obtain your security guard license in Ontario there are the 3 steps. Ontario Security Hub offers online security guard training and will guide you in finding the security positions that will move you towards your goal in becoming a correctional officer in Ontario.

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