To provide the framework for offender opportunities to develop employability skills and acquire employment experience in preparation for reintegration into society
Applies to all staff involved with offender program assignments and vocational training in the institutions and communities
The Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, will:
set the overall policy direction and authorize the delivery of employment and employability programs and services
authorize the development of Guidelines for the Employment and Employability Program
ensure that a Memorandum of Understanding is signed in each region with the Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Services, and the Regional Deputy Commissioner, at the beginning of each fiscal year, to determine the joint and individual responsibilities of CORCAN and CSC
approve the annual vocational training plan.
The Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Services, will ensure that employment opportunities for inmates are available wherever feasible and appropriate.
set strategic objectives through innovative and effective client-oriented partnerships that help offenders to successfully reintegrate back into society.
The CORCAN Senior Director, Operations, will:
in consultation with the Directors of the relevant branches of the Correctional Operations and Programs Sector, the Corporate Services Sector, the Women Offender Sector, the Health Services Sector and the Indigenous Initiatives Directorate:
develop and integrate a national approach to employment and employability programs
ensure that employment and employability programs constitute an integral part of the overall correctional planning process in support of safe reintegration
ensure that gender and ethnocultural considerations, including strategies to support the diverse needs of women and Indigenous offenders as well as offenders with physical and mental health needs, are taken into account in the employment and employability programs
The Institutional Head will ensure that employment and training needs are identified at intake, where applicable, that the Employment and Employability Assessment at Intake (CSC/SCC 1549e) form is completed, and that employment is an integral part of the overall Correctional Plan.
The Institutional Head/District Director will:
ensure that the provisions of employment and employability programs are in line with Correctional Plan referrals and identified employment needs
ensure that reasonable accommodations are provided to offenders with specific physical and/or mental health care needs and/or disabilities in order to allow them to participate in employment and employability program assignments.
The Institutional Head/District Director and CORCAN Directors will ensure all staff who manage offenders in the workplace are trained in accordance with the targeted National Training Standards required for all work supervisors.
The Manager, Programs, will ensure that the vocational certificates and final reports are entered in the Offender Management System.
The Chief, Health Services, the Chief, Mental Health Services, and the Security Intelligence Officer will provide comments on applications for inmate employment as needed, using the Inmate Application for Employment (CSC/SCC 0843) form, within 10 working days of the consultation by the Correctional Intervention Board.
At the site where a CORCAN operation exists, the CORCAN Operations Manager, or other designated CORCAN staff member must attend the Correctional Intervention Board meeting to support the referral to employment and employability programs.
The CORCAN Operations Manager, or departmental Manager within the institution will ensure that inmates have the necessary training and equipment to safely perform their tasks and that they are compliant with occupational health and safety standards.
The institutional Parole Officer will:
review the offender case files and make appropriate referrals, as outlined in the Employability Assessment at Intake section of this policy, for participation in vocational training, the National Employability Skills Program, and employment and apprenticeship programs, if applicable
encourage the inmate’s participation in apprenticeship programs, if applicable.
The institutional Employment Coordinator or the staff member identified by the Manager, Programs, will:
assist the offender to develop and implement an employability plan
liaise with staff in the institution concerning employment and employability programs
report annually to the CORCAN Regional Manager, Employment and Employability, on presenting career interests and abilities of the offenders being admitted at their site.
The community Employment Coordinator will:
participate in case conferences with Parole Officers and/or the Case Management Team, as appropriate, to discuss employment needs and progress of offenders
liaise with potential employers in collaboration with other government and community partners to help offenders released into the community who are still under CSC jurisdiction to find training or employment
conduct annual labour market analysis for his/her geographic area, including both urban and rural areas
ensure that partnerships with community-based groups, non-governmental organizations, employment service agencies, municipal, provincial and federal partners and employers, including Indigenous organizations, are established and maintained
ensure that a pool of employers is established and maintained in order to effectively and continuously stream offenders to employment upon release. The pool of employers will be maintained in the Employer Inventory screen in the Offender Management System.
Offenders are expected to:
actively participate in employment and employability program assignments approved by the Correctional Intervention Board
complete the Inmate Application for Employment (CSC/SCC 0843) form when they wish to apply for employment and submit this form to the Manager, Programs.
Employability Assessment at Intake
Once the functioning educational level has been determined and the education/employment domain indicators have been identified, the Employment and Employability Assessment at Intake (CSC/SCC 1549e) form is completed.
The results of the assessments will be documented and incorporated in the Correctional Plan by the Parole Officer.
Offenders who are identified as having a need to enhance soft skills should be referred to the National Employability Skills Program. The Dynamic Factor Identification and Analysis, Revised (DFIA-R) indicator responses used, pursuant to CD 705-6 – Correctional Planning and Criminal Profile, to indicate a need for soft skills is "Yes" to one or more of the following:
cooperative work skills are limited
employment history is absent.
Offenders who are identified as having a need to enhance hard skills should be referred to vocational training and employment. The DFIA-R indicator responses used to define a need for hard skills is "Yes" to one or more of the following:
marketable job skills obtained through experience are limited
marketable job skills obtained through formal training are limited
dissatisfied with job skills.
The Correctional Plan must include an initial vocational and employment plan that will address the offender’s needs and identify the expectations for behaviour, skill or knowledge development related to work placements and future community employment.
All offenders, regardless of need, should be referred to employment (i.e. institutional work or CORCAN shop).
Offenders participating in vocational training programs exceeding two weeks will be assigned the appropriate program code in the Offender Management System. For programs of a lesser period, offenders will remain assigned to their current program or work assignment.
Prior to an inmate commencing a work assignment, the work supervisor will, at a minimum:
provide an orientation to the work area, including the health and safety procedures, and any specific rules and regulations
review the main duties and expectations of the work assignment, as outlined in the generic work description. Both the work supervisor and the inmate will sign and date a copy of the work description to confirm that the orientation has taken place. The original copy of the signed work description will be placed in the offender’s Employment file
review the Inmate Performance Evaluation form (CSC/SCC 1138) with the inmate to ensure that he/she is informed of, and understands, how his/her performance will be evaluated.
The hours of work for CORCAN assignments will be determined in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, the Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Services and the Regional Deputy Commissioners.
Decisions regarding available vocational training courses will take into account the following:
offenders' previous employment, education and training history, interests and aptitudes
institutional and CORCAN needs
labour market conditions and realities
CORCAN training opportunities
short-term modularized programs
offender release eligibility date.
To be eligible to participate in vocational training, the offender will have completed or be in the process of completing provincially determined academic prerequisites.
The selection of offenders for vocational training will take into consideration a variety of factors, including:
serving a sentence of four years or less
an identified high or moderate employment need
involved in a work assignment
approaching release eligibility date.
National Employability Skills Program
Participation to the National Employability Skills Program will be prioritized for offenders who meet the following criteria:
high or moderate employment need
grade 6 or its equivalent, or higher level of education
be involved in a work assignment
be eligible for release within five years
offender status is incarcerated (does not include offenders suspended or temporarily detained).
When an offender is participating in the National Employability Skills Program, the work supervisor is required to complete the pre and post work supervisor assessments. The post work supervisor assessment should be submitted on the last National Employability Skills Program session.
In order to be eligible for apprenticeship opportunities, offenders have to be in compliance with their Correctional Plan and the apprenticeship authority for their province or territory.
Offenders are required to pay their apprenticeship registration fees. Where warranted, based on the offender’s financial situation, the CORCAN Senior Director, Operations, may use discretionary exemptions.
Participation in apprenticeship programs and the National Employability Skills Program as well as vocational training certificates will be entered in the Offender Management System. The offender will be provided the original of any certificates earned once the activity is completed and hard copies of the certificates will be placed in the offender’s Education and Training file.
If an offender has met all criteria for the employment assessment but refused to participate at the intake assessment stage, he/she should be referred for employment assessment if there is a change in motivation level with respect to employability.
If an offender has not met all criteria for the employment assessment, he/she will be reassessed upon the update of the Correctional Plan.
New information, including any revisions to the employability plan, must be recorded in a Correctional Plan Update in all cases. This includes those cases where employment has not been identified as a contributing factor.
All assessment reports will be entered in the Offender Management System by the inmate’s program/work supervisor and a copy will be shared with the offender.
Prior to release, the offender is expected to apply to obtain all documents such as provincial medical coverage, birth certificate, Social Insurance Number card, proof of training or driver’s licence, pursuant to CD 712-4 – Release Process.
At the time of completion of the Community Strategy, the community Parole Officer will refer offenders, who are not prevented from working because of age or disability, to the Community Employment Services, if either of these conditions apply:
the offender has been identified as having moderate or high needs in the employment domain by the community Parole Officer, regardless of whether it is a contributing factor
the offender has been identified with no confirmed employment or is anticipated to have difficulty obtaining employment upon release.
In cases where the offender self-refers to the Community Employment Services, the Parole Officer will enter the referral in the Offender Management System.
The Community Strategy should comment on the appropriateness of the employment plan, if one exists, and whether it will support reintegration pursuant to CD 712-1 – Pre-Release Decision-Making.
Community Employment Services
Each parole office will have a program code established in the Offender Management System to accept referrals to Community Employment Services either prior to release or after release.
The community Employment Coordinator will meet with referred offenders who plan to be released to their geographic area. If it is not possible to meet in person prior to the release, other methods may be used such as pre-release employment workshops, conference calls with Parole Officers, or the use of volunteers.
For Indigenous offenders, when appropriate, the community Employment Coordinator will consult with the Indigenous Community Liaison Officer, in locations where one is in place.
The community Employment Coordinator will complete the Community Employment Assessment form (CSC/SCC 1391) within 10 working days of meeting with the referred offender.
The Community Program Manager will ensure that referred offenders are assigned to the Community Employment Services.
The community Employment Coordinator will prioritize offenders on the waiting list based on their motivation and will take into account, without being limited to, the following factors:
previous institutional employment history
previous vocational training
case conference with Parole Officer
plans for employment as documented in the release Assessment for Decision
attendance in previous interventions
compliance with community-based residential facility rules, if applicable.
The community Employment Coordinator is responsible for closing the assignment to Community Employment Services when the offender has remained employed for 180 days or reaches warrant expiry, whichever is earlier. A final report will be completed within 10 working days of the assignment end date.
Assessment and Reports
The community Employment Coordinator will identify the frequency of follow-up contacts. These follow-up contacts will, at minimum, occur:
upon initial job placement
90 days following the placement – to be documented in a Casework Record and the Placement Details screen of the Offender Management System
180 days following each placement – to be recorded in a final program report and entered in the Offender Management System upon completion of support to the offender.
Approval and locking of the final report is the responsibility of the CORCAN Regional Manager, Employment and Employability.
Every time an offender secures or changes employment, the community Employment Coordinator will review the frequency of the follow-up, amend the action plans, as necessary, and record the change in status in the Offender Management System with the details in a Casework Record within seven days.
Apprenticeship: a combination of on-the-job training and related classroom instruction under the supervision of a journey-level craft person or trade professional where the apprentice earns a trade credential.
Case Management Team: the individuals involved in managing an offender’s case, which includes at a minimum the Parole Officer and the offender, and in institutions, the Correctional Officer II/Primary Worker.
Correctional Intervention Board: a multidisciplinary team that approves interventions and contributes to recommendations or decisions for complex cases. The Interdisciplinary Mental Health Team is considered a component of the Correctional Intervention Board.
Employability program: programs designed to enhance the employment readiness of offenders for institutional and community employment upon release (e.g. vocational training, the National Employability Skills Program, and apprenticeship).
Employment programs: programs providing the opportunity to observe offenders in a work environment that strives to meet community standards as well as assess how well they have integrated the skills they developed through prior correctional interventions.
Hard skills: technical skills learned through on-the-job training.
Labour Market Information: information about occupations and labour market trends, which include skill or labour shortages and surpluses as well as statistics on unemployment rates and the working-age population.
National Employability Skills Program: an in-class program designed in partnership with the Conference Board of Canada to enhance employability skills such as communication, problem solving, managing information, positive attitudes and behaviours, adaptability and working with others.
National Vocational Steering Committee: a committee established to provide strategic guidance, vision, direction and clarity of accountability. A key function of this committee is to develop a sustainable funding model and secure funding for vocational training and employment services in institutions and in the community. It includes the Chief Executive Officer of CORCAN (Chair), the Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, the Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Services, the Deputy Commissioner for Women, and the Senior Deputy Commissioner (Indigenous Initiatives Directorate).
On-the-job training: opportunity to practice soft skills and to learn technical or hard skills as part of employment programs offered in institutions and in the community. In turn, this assists offenders in increasing their level of employability, and therefore facilitates their successful reintegration into society and the labour force. CORCAN on-the-job training includes four business lines: Manufacturing, Construction, Textiles and Services.
Program assignment: any correctional intervention, work assignment, education program or vocational program approved by the Correctional Intervention Board or Manager, Programs/ Community Program Manager. In institutions, inmates may be paid for their participation in program assignments.
Regional Employment and Employability Committee: a committee that tends to issues related to offender employment, provides specialized assistance and advice to the Regional Management Committee and reviews applications for funding of employment and employability programs prior to further consideration by the Regional Deputy Commissioner and the Chief Executive Officer of CORCAN. This committee is co-chaired by the CORCAN Regional Manager, Employment and Employability, and the Regional Administrator, Assessment and Interventions.
Soft skills: skills, attitudes and behaviours such as communication skills, working with others, managing emotions, thinking and solving problems, etc.
Vocational training: training certified by a recognized third party body that will facilitate the offenders’ reintegration and prepare them for employment or further vocational training in the community. It will also provide offenders with marketable work skills for employment with institutional work programs and CORCAN.