Self-assessment questionnaires

There are difficult aspects to being a correctional officer or a primary worker/kimisinaw. To prepare for applying for these positions the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) recommends you:

It will give you a better idea of the position's:

  • role
  • requirements
  • skills
  • expectations

The situations in these questionnaires are part of the daily job and the correctional working environment. Completing one allows you to reflect on whether the position is right for you before submitting your application.

Note: The self-assessment questionnaire is not an assessment tool for the selection process.

CSC's mandate

CSC's mission statement is:

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), as part of the criminal justice system and respecting the rule of law, contributes to public safety by actively encouraging and assisting offenders to become law-abiding citizens, while exercising reasonable, safe, secure and humane control.

CSC:

  • contributes to public safety by administering court-imposed sentences of two years or more
  • ensures the safe transition of eligible offenders into the community
  • ensures the safety and security of staff and offenders in institutions
  • enhances the capacity to provide effective interventions for First Nations, Métis and Inuit offenders

Correctional officer (CX-01) questionnaire

Respond either yes or no to each question in this assessment.

  1. Correctional officers help ensure security inside Canadian institutions. They contribute to the inmates' reintegration into society, and as a result, contribute to public safety. Do you agree with CSC's mission?
  2. Do you believe in an inmate's ability to take part in and successfully complete treatment programs? Do you believe they have the capacity to become a law-abiding citizen again?
  3. Correctional officers frequently interact with inmates and colleagues. Could you maintain good interpersonal relationships with people you interact with on a daily basis?
  4. Canadian institutions incarcerate inmates from various ethnic origins (e.g. First Nations, Métis and Inuit). Are you comfortable interacting with people (e.g., inmates, visitors, colleagues) of different cultures and different ethnic backgrounds?
  5. The correctional officer selection process includes a thorough verification of security and reliability. Do you consider yourself an honest person of integrity who respects laws and regulations? Do you demonstrate these characteristics in your attitude, behaviours and lifestyle?
  6. Do you believe that you have personal qualities and values that match those needed to deliver CSC's mandate?
  7. All correctional officers must pass the Correctional Training Program before performing correctional duties. Would you willingly live in government or commercial accommodation if your permanent residence was too far from the training locale?

Note: CSC covers meal and accommodation costs under these circumstances.

  1. Would you complete the Correctional Training Program a 10-week training program?
  2. Are you able to complete online theoretical modules? You would need extended use of a computer, plus the self-discipline and determination to complete them in the planned timeframe.
  3. Would you agree to follow a training program that includes:
    • self-directed and in-class learning sessions
    • physical training
    • weapons certification
    • fire safety training
    • simulation exercises involving self-defence and the use of equipment

Questions 11 to 17 pertain to situations you would encounter after completing CSC's formal training.

  1. Could you use physical force and self-defence techniques to intervene with a non-cooperative inmate showing signs of agitation? Could you do so either individually or with the aid of colleagues?
  2. Could you use equipment (e.g., handcuffs, protective shield, chemical and inflammatory agents, or firearm) on an inmate if needed as per the situation and law? Could you do so either individually or with the aid of colleagues?
  3. Could you handle an offender in crisis who might throw body fluids (saliva, urine, blood, vomit) on you? Could you handle an offender who might have relieved their bowels in their cell?
  4. Could you sometimes work in a closed and restricted environment with inmates who have committed an act of violence against an individual, a child or a colleague? Examples of violent convictions may include:
    • brutal murder with a weapon
    • rape using excessive force or gratuitous violence
    • sexual offence involving a child
    • torture with repeated violence over an extended period
    • robbery
    • a serious offence causing serious injury or involving drugs
  5. Could you work with inmates who have a high rate of hepatitis C infection or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)? Could you work with inmates who have a history of serious problems involving substance abuse or mental illness?
  6. Could you be a first responder and deal with:
    • an offender in mental distress?
    • an intoxicated inmate?
    • an offender who has injured themselves (e.g. self-injury, attempted suicide, etc.)?
    • the medical emergency of an inmate or colleague?
    Could you proceed with first aid, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or automated external defibrillator (AED)? Could you wear a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) in the case of fire?
  7. Could you perform the various duties involved in patrolling an institution? For example, could you:
    • patrol an elevated surveillance walkway
    • patrol ranges during the day, evening and night and in a dimly lit area
    • work alone in a 9-meter outer surveillance tower during the day or evening and during inclement weather
    • work alone in control post alone during the evening or at night
  8. Do you like to work on a team?
  9. Do you readily accept instructions, suggestions or constructive criticism offered by someone in a position of authority or a colleague?
  10. Could you interact daily with colleagues and inmates in stressful or emergency situations but remain respectful and professional?
  11. CSC continuously admits new inmates to institutions. Also new personnel members regularly join the work force. Can you easily adapt to change and interact with people you do not know well or at all?
  12. Interaction between staff members and inmates or among inmates themselves can sometimes lead to conflict or crisis situations. For example, inmates may:
    • use inappropriate language
    • display inappropriate behaviours
    • utter obscenities
    • shout insults at you
    • intimidate you verbally and physically (e.g., cursing, degrading and inappropriate terms with sexual connotations)
    Your reaction is critical as it could increase the tension or defuse the crisis. Could you show self-control even under stress and gratuitous or planned provocation?
  13. Dangerous and unexpected situations for you, your colleagues or for inmates can occasionally occur in prison. For example in a:
    • hostage taking
    • attempted suicide
    • riot
    • murder or death of an inmate or colleague
    • Do you have the necessary psychological balance to react effectively during these situations if:
      • your personal safety and/or that of another person could be threatened, and
      • stress is frequent and cumulative because of these unexpected and potentially dangerous institutional situations?
  14. Are you able to make effective decisions in ambiguous, complex and/or stressful situations while respecting law and policy?
  15. Could you work rotating shifts (days/evenings/nights)? Could you work weekends and statutory holidays (i.e., Canada Day, New Year's Day, etc.)?
  16. Unforeseen situations can happen in an institution, which lead to consequences for the personnel on duty. An example might be the need to continue a shift to address an incident. Would you accept a job that required you to work overtime on very short notice?
  17. The responsibilities of a correctional officer include many tasks. Examples include:
    • monitoring inmate behaviour and movement
    • counts
    • supervision of inmates, visitor and staff movement inside and outside the institution
    • conducting searches
    Some of the tasks must be performed within a confined environment (e.g., towers, control posts, inmate cells). Would you be able to work in such an environment?
  18. As part of their functions, a correctional officer must wear a uniform and use various equipment. Would you agree to wear the required uniform, along with a protective vest and job-related equipment (e.g., handcuffs, CPR mask)?
  19. Correctional officers must have good physical capabilities to do the tasks associated with their work. Examples include:
    • climbing stairs (walkway and nine-meter surveillance tower)
    • running some distance
    • carrying heavy equipment (stretcher, air tank)
    • evacuating possibly wounded individuals from a danger zone
    • searching vehicles
    • physically handling inmates
    • moving objects (furniture and boxes in cells)
    Are you physically capable to carry out these tasks?
  20. Interventions with inmates bring interesting challenges. Sometimes they can lead to:
    • difficult situations on an emotional and personal level
    • have an impact on your family life.
    Do you have a positive attitude and good self-esteem? Is your family supportive of your career choice and plan to apply?

Assessing your responses explains how to analyze the results of the questionnaire.

Primary worker/kimisinaw (CX-02) questionnaire

Respond either yes or no to each question in this assessment.

  1. Primary workers/kimisinaws help ensure security inside Canadian institutions. They contribute to the women inmates' reintegration into society, and as a result, contribute to public safety. Do you agree with CSC's mission?
  2. Do you believe women inmates' ability to take part in and successfully complete treatment programs? Do you believe they have the capacity to become a law-abiding citizen again?
  3. Primary workers/kimisinaws frequently interact with women inmates and colleagues. Could you maintain good interpersonal relationships with people you interact with on a daily basis?
  4. Canadian institutions incarcerate women offenders from various ethnic origins (e.g. First Nations, Métis and Inuit). Are you comfortable interacting with people (e.g., inmates, visitors, colleagues) of different cultures and different ethnic backgrounds?
  5. The primary worker/kimisinaw selection process includes a thorough verification of security and reliability. Do you consider yourself an honest person of integrity who respects laws and regulations? Do you demonstrate these characteristics in your attitude, behaviours and lifestyle?
  6. Do you believe that you have personal qualities and values that match those needed to deliver CSC's mandate?
  7. All primary workers/kimisinaws must pass the Correctional Training Program (which includes a women-centered training component) before performing correctional duties. Would you willingly live in government or commercial accommodation if your permanent residence was too far from the training locale?

Note: CSC covers meal and accommodation costs under these circumstances.

  1. Would you complete the Correctional Training Program a 10-week training program?
  2. Are you able to complete online theoretical modules? You would need extended use of a computer, plus the self-discipline and determination to complete them in the planned timeframe.
  3. Would you agree to follow a training program that includes:
    • self-directed and in-class learning sessions
    • physical training
    • weapons certification
    • fire safety training
    • simulation exercises involving self-defence and the use of equipment

Questions 11 to 17 pertain to situations you would encounter after completing CSC's formal training.

  1. Could you use physical force and self-defence techniques to intervene with a non-cooperative woman inmate showing signs of agitation? Could you do so either individually or with the aid of colleagues?
  2. Could you use equipment (e.g., handcuffs, protective shield or chemical and inflammatory agents) on a woman inmate if needed as per the situation and law? Could you do so either individually or with the aid of colleagues?
  3. Could you handle a woman offender in crisis who might throw body fluids (saliva, urine, blood, vomit) on you? Could you handle a woman offender who might have relieved their bowels in their cell?
  4. Could you sometimes work in a closed and restricted environment with women inmates who have committed an act of violence against an individual, a child or a colleague? Examples of violent convictions may include:
    • murder
    • robbery
    • a serious offence causing serious injury or involving drugs
  5. Could you work with women inmates who have a high rate of hepatitis C infection or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)? Could you work with women inmates who have a history of serious problems involving substance abuse or mental illness?
  6. Could you be a first responder and deal with:
    • a woman offender in mental distress?
    • an intoxicated woman offender?
    • a woman offender who has injured themselves (e.g. self-injury, attempted suicide, etc.)?
    • the medical emergency of a woman inmate or colleague?
    Could you proceed with first aid, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or automated external defibrillator (AED)? Could you wear a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) in the case of fire?
  7. Could you perform the various duties involved in patrolling an institution? For example, could you:
    • patrol living units during the day, evening and night and in a dimly lit area
    • patrol the perimeter during the day, evening and night and during inclement weather
    • work alone in a control post during the evening or at night
  8. Do you like to work on a team?
  9. Do you readily accept instructions, suggestions or constructive criticism offered by someone in a position of authority or a colleague?
  10. Could you interact daily with colleagues and women inmates in stressful or emergency situations and remain respectful and professional?
  11. CSC continuously admits new women inmates to institutions. Also new personnel members regularly join the work force. Can you easily adapt to change and interact with people you do not know well or at all?
  12. Interaction between staff members and inmates, or among the women inmates themselves, can sometimes lead to conflict or crisis situations. For example, women inmates may:
    • use inappropriate language
    • display inappropriate behaviours
    • utter obscenities
    • shout insults at you
    • intimidate you verbally and physically
    Your reaction is critical as it could increase the tension or defuse the crisis. Could you show self-control even under stress and gratuitous or planned provocation?
  13. Dangerous and unexpected situations for you, your colleagues or women inmates can occasionally occur in prison. For example in a:
    • hostage taking
    • attempted suicide
    • riot
    • murder or death of a woman inmate or colleague
    • Do you have the necessary psychological balance to react effectively during these situations if:
      • your personal safety and/or that of another person could be threatened, and
      • stress is frequent and cumulative because of these unexpected and potentially dangerous institutional situations?
  14. Are you able to make effective decisions in ambiguous, complex and/or stressful situations while respecting law and policy?
  15. Could you work rotating shifts (days/evenings/nights)? Could you work weekends and statutory holidays (i.e., Canada Day, New Year's Day, etc.)?
  16. Unforeseen situations can happen in an institution, which lead to consequences for the personnel on duty. An example might be the need to continue a shift to address an incident. Would you accept a job that required you to work overtime on very short notice?
  17. The responsibilities of a primary worker/kimisinaw include many tasks. Examples include:
    • monitoring women inmates' behaviour and movement
    • counts
    • supervision of women inmates, visitor and staff movement inside and outside the institution
    • conducting searches
    Some of the tasks must be performed within a confined environment (e.g., towers, control posts, inmate cells). Would you be able to work in such an environment?
  18. As part of their functions, a primary worker/kimisinaw must wear a uniform and use various equipment. Would you agree to wear the required uniform, along with a protective vest and job-related equipment (e.g., handcuffs, CPR mask)?
  19. Primary workers/kimisinaws must have good physical capabilities to do the tasks associated with their work. Examples include:
    • climbing stairs
    • running some distance
    • carrying heavy equipment (stretcher, air tank)
    • evacuating possibly wounded individuals from a danger zone
    • searching vehicles
    • physically handling women inmates
    • moving objects (furniture and boxes in rooms/cells)
    Are you physically capable to carry out these tasks?
  20. Interventions with women inmates bring interesting challenges. Sometimes they can lead to:
    • difficult situations on an emotional and personal level
    • have an impact on your family life
    Do you have a positive attitude and good self-esteem? Is your family supportive of your career choice and plan to apply?

Assessing your responses

If you answered yes to all of the questions, and you meet all essential qualifications identified in the advertisement, you may be suitable for the position. CSC encourages you to apply.

Note: CSC will formally assess and validate each essential qualification listed on the statement of merit criteria as part of the recruitment process.

If you have answered no to one or more of the questions, CSC encourages you to reconsider whether this job opportunity is for you.

For more information

To get more information about the positions of correctional officer or primary worker/kimisinaw you can:

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