Correctional Officer banner image Correctional Officer banner image Correctional Officer banner image

Correctional Officer

Start Date: August

Location: Atlantic Police Academy

Length: 24 Weeks

Credential: Certificate, Correctional Officer

Program Availability: Fall 2024 Term

Canadian Applicants: Open

International Applicants with a Valid Study Permit: N/A

Other International Applicants: N/A

Please note: You must be a Canadian citizen or have Canadian permanent resident status to apply for this program.

The primary responsibility of a correctional officer is to monitor, supervise, and interact with incarcerated offenders and prepare them to become law-abiding citizens after serving their sentences. In the Correctional Officer program, you will learn the skills you need to work in a federal or provincial correctional facility while ensuring the safety and well-being of inmates, your colleagues, and yourself.

Learn how to supervise inmate movement, de-escalate conflict, communicate effectively, and use control tactics appropriately. Develop communications techniques, including how to brief visitors and criminal justice professionals entering the institution. Practice extracting inmates from cells and conducting security checks. Learn how to conduct safety equipment checks and how to draft daily logs and reports.

You will study the principles of human relations and receive mental health training. Academic components include courses in sociology, psychology, and law. Students complete crisis intervention training and earn a de-escalation certification.

The program also includes practice on a driving course and simulated training for use of force/control skills including appropriate use of a Taser and other control devices.

All cadets participate in on-the-job training at provincial or federal correctional facilities in Atlantic Canada. This real-life experience offers students the opportunity to use the skills and knowledge they have acquired and prepares them for a career in corrections.

If you are a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident and are interested in the this program, take a look at the Accelerated Correctional Officer program, which offers subsidies for eligible applicants. You must apply for the Accelerated Correctional Officer program through the Government of P.E.I.'s website. 

Please note:  Students in the Correctional Officer program are required to live in residence for the duration of their training (except when they are in on-the-job training) unless they are in the Accelerated Correctional Officer program.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Correctional Officer program at the Atlantic Police Academy, graduates will:

  1. Demonstrate ethical and professional deportment.
  2. Apply the elements of the federal and provincial Criminal Justice systems, including legislation, authorities and policies as they pertain to the role of a Correctional Officer.
  3. Explain the duties, roles and responsibilities of a Correctional Officer, including unit management, crisis management, and strategies for dealing with various offender groups, behaviours and activities.
  4. Apply critical thinking skills to make decisions and solve problems in a timely and effective manner.
  5. Apply written communication skills in the completion of forms, reports, and other documentation as required.
  6. Demonstrate effective verbal communication skills in all interactions, as well as verbal intervention and de-escalation skills and techniques in situations involving conflict and / or crisis.
  7. Demonstrate physical fitness and explain the importance of wellness strategies to deal with occupational stress.
  8. Demonstrate defensive driving techniques.
  9. Apply use of force tactics and procedures using the National Use of Force Framework to select and articulate an appropriate response both inside and outside of the facility.
  10. Identify the importance of ongoing personal and professional development, that will lead to enhanced work performance and career opportunities, and to keep pace with industry changes.

Admission Process

Currently the pathway for acceptance to the Correctional Officer program is through Corrections Prince Edward Island and Corrections Newfoundland and Labrador. Please follow the links provided for information on the process and eligibility:

Corrections PEI

Adult Corrections, Department of Justice and Public Safety

If this process changes the web site will be updated.


This program has degree pathways, giving you the opportunity to receive credit for your Holland College diploma when you continue your education. For a complete list of agreements, visit the Degree Pathways page.

Partner Institution Credential Details of Agreement
Columbia Southern University, Orange Beach, Alabama, U.S.A. Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration Graduates receive 21 credits toward a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration degree.
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship or Canadian permanent resident status
  • Grade 12 or equivalent with credits at or above the general level
  • Must be 19 years of age by program start date
  • Criminal Record Check (Vulnerable Sector)with no findings of guilt.Find out more about Criminal Record Checks
  • Successful completion of a full background check. Please download and complete the Consent to Criminal Record and Background Check Form (This form is a PDF and will open in a new window.)
  • Valid Class 5 (cars and light trucks) driver’s license (students holding restricted or graduated licenses must abide by the conditions of the license)
  • Completion of an APA Medical Assessment Form (This is form is a PDF and will open in a new window.)
  • Three letters of reference, not from family members
  • Completion of Immunization Verification Form (This form is a PDF and will open in a new window) (required after acceptance)
  • Certification in Standard First Aid, CPR Level C and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) (must be valid for the duration of the program). View a list of providers here. This training must be taken in person, NOT online.
  • 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


  • If you are accepted to this program, you can book your immunizations and medical assessment through our Health Clinic. To book an appointment, please email or call 902-566-9392. You will need your health card and your vaccination record. 
  • A Child Abuse Registry Search must also be completed in advance for cadets planning to complete their on-the-job training in Nova Scotia.
  • Don’t have the courses you need to get into this program? Upgrade, earn high school credits, or get your GED in Adult Ed. It’s free!
  • If your first language is not English please review our English Language Requirements page.

2024/2025 Academic Year

Tuition, fees, and other costs are listed in Canadian dollars.

24 Weeks


Tuition $8,130
Fees $11,413*
Other Costs See tuition breakdown below
Total $19,543*

*Includes lease of body armour and mandatory residence fees and meal plan.

Canadian Cost Breakdown

Tuition & Fees

24 Weeks

Tuition $8,130
Student Union $178
Health Insurance Fee $470
Books $550
Lab Fee $300
Uniform $1,850
Body Armour (Lease) $730
Dry Cleaning $110
CPKN Course $630
Accommodations/Meals $6,495
Graduation Fee $100
     Total payable to Holland College $19,543
1st installment due August 19 $15,328
2nd installment due November 15 $4,215

Additional requirements/expenses

1 pair of black shine-able shoes – Military or Police Style) varies
2 long sleeve plain white dress shirts suitable to wear a black tie varies
1 pair of black dress pants varies
1 pair of quality running shoes varies
3 pairs of black socks varies
1 black tie – plain, single colour/no patterns (clip-on preferred) varies
Towels and personal toiletry articles varies
1 alarm clock or clock radio $20
1 mouth guard varies
  • Federal & provincial correctional facilities


Many Holland College programs have degree pathway agreements with other post-secondary institutions. You can receive credit for your Holland College diploma toward a university degree or other post-graduate credential, saving you time and money! Find out more on the Degree Pathways page.

Course Code

Course Name & Description

Credit Values

Course Code:SAFE-1005

PEI Occupational Health and Safety

An overview of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of Prince Edward Island. Students examine the legislation, how PEI employees are protected while on the job and the responsibilities of employees and employers.

Credit Value:0

Course Code:COMM-1040

Workplace Communications

This course is designed to enhance written and verbal communication skills that are used in workplace communications by correctional officers. Students learn the proper use of notebooks and logbooks to document relevant observations and information from investigations including obtaining admissible witness statements. Emphasis is placed on effective report writing, as well as how to testify in court. Additionally, students are introduced to employment interview techniques with an emphasis on Behavioral Descriptive Interviews.

Credit Value:2

Course Code:COROFF-4005

Control Tactics

In this course students develop skills and knowledge in control tactics and learn to react in situations which may require them to apply the principles of the National Use of Force Framework (NUFF). This course trains students to evaluate situations and respond with the appropriate course of action. At the end of this training, students are certified in the use of force in accordance with industry best practices.

Credit Value:5

Course Code:COROFF-4011

Correctional Operations

This course provides students with many of the practical skills that are required of a Correctional Officer. Students are required to perform various security related duties as part of their routine. At the end of this course, students are thoroughly familiar with the laws and regulations surrounding searches, as well as methods of conducting searches, preservation of evidence and protection of the crime scene.

Credit Value:5

Course Code:COROFF-4021

Crisis Management

This course is designed to expose students to a crisis management process within a correctional setting. The training introduces students to the processes involved in identifying, preparing for, and managing crisis situations in a correctional facility.

Credit Value:1

Course Code:COROFF-4026

Defensive Driving

This course provides students with enhanced driving skills necessary for working in law enforcement situations. The course covers defensive driving skills, controlled responses, skid control techniques, and emergency stopping techniques.

Credit Value:1

Course Code:COROFF-4040

Fitness and Lifestyle

This course is designed to prepare students for the correctional officer profession and the various physical tests that institutions require of their employees. Students learn and are challenged to lead a healthy lifestyle by improving their fitness level and nutrition. By the end of this course, students are required to successfully complete the Correctional Officer Physical Abilities Test (COPAT).

Credit Value:2

Course Code:COROFF-4056

Canadian Corrections

This course provides students with a substantial overview of the correctional system in Canada as a part of the Criminal Justice system. Students become familiar with the path of justice from arrest to sentencing and the administration of the sentence, and are made aware of the impact of sentencing alternatives on the prison environment, as well as the process for release and supervision. Students also learn about the case management process and the role of the entry level correctional officer in the case management family. Students become familiar with programming opportunities for offenders and the role of the correctional officer in ensuring compliance with programming requirements of offenders. Students learn about the life of an offender and the challenges they face.

Credit Value:3

Course Code:COROFF-4060


This course examines the Canadian Criminal Justice system including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Criminal Code (CC), and the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Students become familiar with the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) and Corrections and Conditional Release Regulations (CCRR) as well as other acts, regulations and powers specific to the correctional environment.

Credit Value:2

Course Code:COROFF-4066

On-the-Job Training

On-the-Job Training (OJT) provides students with an opportunity to put into practice and enhance the skills and knowledge gained throughout the program. In addition, students may gain new skills and knowledge. Students are expected to complete the duties assigned to them by the On-the-Job placement site.

Credit Value:6

Course Code:COROFF-4071

Workplace Health and Safety

In this course students learn about those situations and environmental issues that may have an impact on personal health and safety. Specific topics that are covered include: officer safety, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), fire suppression systems, infectious diseases and harms reduction.

Credit Value:1

Course Code:COROFF-4081

Direct Supervision Housing Unit Management

In this course students learn how to run a direct supervision housing unit. Upon completion of this course students are able to plan and organize the day-to-day functioning of a direct supervision housing unit including inmate and officer safety and managing inmate behavior. Students acquire the skills to become a leader within the unit.

Credit Value:2

Course Code:COROFF-4085

Judgmental Scenario Training

This course is designed to provide students with practical scenario-based activities that simulate the full range of subject behaviours and officer responses that are encountered in the field. Students gain experience responding to incidents with an emphasis on public and officer safety, de-escalation, and decision-making as they learn to apply the National Use of Force Framework. Legal articulation of the intervention level used, and report writing are re-enforced in this course.

Credit Value:1

Course Code:CRES-1000

Crisis Intervention and De-escalation

Participants learn to use the Crisis Intervention and De-escalation (CID) Model and apply techniques to effectively de-escalate crisis situations, specifically those incidents involving intervention in a mental health crisis. This blended course consists of online learning activities through the Canadian Police Knowledge Network (CPKN), classroom training, as well as scenario based training.

Credit Value:1

Course Code:PROF-1050

Professional Ethics and Deportment

The purpose of this course is to examine and practice ethical and professional behaviors to prepare students for making ethical choices during their time at the academy and in their professional public safety careers. Students are required to produce and follow a personal code of ethics, work as a team, and to exhibit behaviors and values that are consistent with the expectations of the profession and the public.

Credit Value:1

Course Code:PSYC-1200

Social Psychology

This course introduces the discipline of social psychology with an emphasis on practical issues in law enforcement. Students learn about social interactions, causes of human behavior, including abnormal behaviors, and how they impact society. Culture, strategies for dealing with stress, recognition of abuse, and attending to the needs of victims are central themes.

Credit Value:6


Police Science Cadet

Study Police Science at The Atlantic Police Academy and learn the academic and tactical skills required to work as a Police Officer in Canada. Real-life situations and simulations prepare you for a career in law enforcement. The program blends real-life situations and simulations to prepare you for the law enforcement profession. This 34-week program will prepare you to work as a police constable.