Commissioner's Directive

National Standards for the Deployment of Correctional Officers


  • To enhance the security of the public, staff and inmates by implementing national standards for the efficient deployment of Correctional Officers at each level of security and type of facility
  • To achieve consistent levels of safety and security while ensuring effective dynamic interaction and interventions with inmates


Applies to all staff working in institutions, excluding Community Correctional Centres


  1. The Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, will oversee the management of this policy and Standards on Deployment of CX (hereafter referred to as the “Standards”).
  2. Regional Deputy Commissioners will direct the timely and judicious implementation of the Standards.
  3. The Assistant Deputy Commissioners, Integrated Services, will be responsible for:
    1. the actual implementation of these Standards and monitoring of compliance
    2. submitting in business case format to the Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, requests for reviews of exceptions or policy changes.
  4. Institutional Heads will apply the Standards at their institutions, as dictated by the Site Deployment Levels, and will ensure that Post Orders are developed for each security post using the generic templates. Institutional Heads are also responsible for communications with staff, local Workplace Health and Safety Committee, unions and other stakeholders.


  1. The Deployment Standards will be applied to all security activities and institutions. Site-specific results will be documented and maintained by the Security Branch at National Headquarters.
  2. Institutional practices will comply with operational adjustment policies identified in the Standards. Each site must have a documented Operational Adjustment Plan, which will be reviewed on an annual basis, or sooner, if changes are required. This document will identify which security activities can be adjusted in accordance with the Standards. Consultation will occur with the local Workplace Health and Safety Committee on the initial Operational Adjustment Plan and any changes being considered. The form Operational Adjustment – Risk Assessment Tool (CSC/SCC 1295) must be completed as identified in the Standards.
  3. Data from the Site Deployment Levels will be used to establish the national resource indicators which are recorded as full-time equivalent counts and salary budget allocations.
  4. Circumstances may arise which result in the need to review Site Deployment Levels. For example:
    1. new or expanded institutions
    2. physical design changes at an institution
    3. national policy changes
    4. health and safety matters
    5. changes in the security classification of part or all of an institution.

For these and other possible scenarios, a rigorous review process is required to manage exceptions and subsequent variances to the Standards.


  1. Requests for exceptions are not to be submitted until and unless all available adjustments to operational routines are considered and documented. Thereafter, Institutional Heads seeking variances to the Standards must submit to the Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Integrated Services, a “business case” in support of these requests. Business cases must clearly identify whether the issue is related to administrative workload or due to a security risk at the site. If supported by the Regional Deputy Commissioner, the “business case” would be sent to the Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, for review.


  1. In situations where a formal review of an operational environment is required, the team will normally be composed of a management representative from the national, regional and institutional levels.


  1. To comply with the Canada Labour Code, a Hazard Prevention Program must be established in consultation with policy committee (National Health and Safety Policy Committee) comprised of management and employee representatives.



Original signed by:

Don Head




CD 254 – Occupational Safety and Health and Return to Work Programs
GL 254-1 – Occupational Safety and Health Program
CD 560 – Dynamic Security
CD 706 – Classification of Institutions


Correctional Officer: is used generically to refer to CSC staff performing CX-type functions in institutions, including Primary Workers in women’s institutions.

National Generic Post Orders: define the primary duty set for Correctional Officer security activities at all institutions.

Operational adjustment: relates to situations whereby the complement of security staff is reduced for a full or partial shift.

Site Deployment Levels: the document of record which itemizes and quantifies the approved application of the Standards for each institution.

Standards on Deployment of CX: define the security human resource requirements and operational guidelines by institutional type to support the safe operations of institutions.

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.