Self-assessment

Correctional Services

Careers in Corrections

Correctional Officer Self-Assessment Questionnaire

Please note this questionnaire is for your own self-assessment and is NOT to be submitted with your application

You should complete this self-assessment questionnaire before applying to become a Correctional Officer. Doing so will help you decide whether or not this is the right career choice for you.

The ministry is committed to upholding its obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Ontario Public Service’s Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy to ensure that its workplaces and its service delivery are inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible and are free from harassment and discrimination.

The objective of this self-assessment questionnaire is to give you a better idea of the role, requirements, skills physical demands and expectations related to the Correctional Officer position. Situations presented are part of the daily routine and the working environment of Correctional Officers.


  1. Are you legally eligible to work in Canada?

o Yes

o No

  1. Are you at least 18 years of age?

o Yes

o No

  1. Have you successfully completed the requirements for and received an Ontario Secondary School Graduation Diploma (or equivalent)?

o Yes

o No

  1. Do you have current (or would you be prepared and able to obtain prior to training) Emergency First Aid, Cardiopulmonary Heart Saver (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) certificates that would be valid if you received a job offer?

o Yes

o No

  1. Do people consider you trustworthy and as having integrity?

o Yes

o No

  1. Do you believe in an inmate's ability to participate in and successfully complete treatment programs?

o Yes

o No

  1. Do you believe that inmates have the capacity to become law-abiding citizens again?

o Yes

o No

  1. Correctional Officers have continuous interaction with inmates and colleagues from diverse backgrounds during the course of their shifts. Do you believe that you can maintain good interpersonal relationships with a diverse group of people whom you are in contact with on a daily basis and treat them with dignity and respect?

o Yes

o No

  1. The ministry is committed to upholding its human rights obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”) and related OPS policies. Inmates of various races, ethnic origins, religions and sexual orientations, inmates with disabilities and inmates who belong to other Code grounds-protected groups are incarcerated in Ontario institutions. Correctional Services also employs individuals from these various diverse backgrounds.
  1. (a) Are you able to interact professionally with people (e.g., inmates, visitors, colleagues) of diverse backgrounds?

o Yes

o No

  1. (b) Do you believe you can conduct yourself in the workplace in a non-discriminatory manner?

o Yes

o No

  1. (c) Do you believe you can model appropriate, professional behaviour and speak out against harassment and discrimination in the workplace?

o Yes

o No

  1. (d) Do you have the ability to learn about different cultural practices and have the ability to effectively interact with people from different cultures?

o Yes

o No

  1. The Correctional Officer selection process includes strict verification of security and reliability as determined through an extensive personal background check. Do you consider yourself an honest person who is respectful of laws and regulations, demonstrated by your attitude, behaviours and lifestyle?

o Yes

o No

  1. Are you prepared to pay for, travel to and attend an eight-week training program at the Ontario Correctional Services College in Hamilton, Ontario?

o Yes

o No

  1. Would you consider completing the Correctional Training Program knowing that there is no training allowance or other compensation for the duration of the 8-week training program?

o Yes

o No

  1. Are you prepared and able to follow a training program that includes self-directed and in-class learning sessions, physical training, weapons certification, and simulation exercises involving self-defense and the use of equipment?

o Yes

o No

  1. Following formal training offered by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS), do you believe that you would be ready to use physical force and the self-defense techniques as may be required, individually or with the assistance of colleagues, to intervene with a non-cooperative inmate showing signs of extreme agitation?

o Yes

o No

  1. Following MCSCS formal training, do you believe that you would be able to use equipment (e.g., handcuffs, chemical agents) on an inmate, individually or with the assistance of colleagues, if the situation required it, in accordance with the law?

o Yes

o No

  1. Following MCSCS formal training, do you believe that you would be able to be a first responder and attend to, assist and/or direct deal with inmates with mental health issues and who may have self-harmed, or in case of fire (wearing a self-contained breathing apparatus), or in the case of medical emergency of an inmate or colleague (e.g., proceed with cardio-pulmonary resuscitation [CPR] or automated external defibrillator [AED])?

o Yes

o No

  1. Do you like to work as part of a team?

o Yes

o No

  1. Do you readily accept instructions, suggestions or constructive criticism offered by someone in a position of authority or a colleague?

o Yes

o No

  1. Do you believe you are able to interact with a diverse group of colleagues and inmates on a daily basis in a respectful and professional manner, including during stressful or emergency situations?

o Yes

o No

  1. New inmates are continuously admitted to institutions and new personnel members regularly join the work force. Can you easily adapt to change and interact with people from diverse backgrounds whom you don't know well or don't know at all?

o Yes

o No

  1. Interaction between staff members and inmates or between the inmates themselves can sometimes lead to conflict or crisis situations. For example, inmates may use inappropriate language, display inappropriate behaviours, utter obscenities or shout insults at you (e.g., cursing, inappropriate terms with sexual connotations). Your reaction will be critical as it could increase the tension or defuse the crisis. Do you think you would be able to show self-control and professionalism with inmates and with other staff members, even under stress and provocation?

o Yes

o No

  1. Dangerous and unexpected situations for you, your colleagues or for inmates can occasionally occur in prison. Do you believe you would be able to react effectively and professionally during situations where your personal safety and/or that of another person could be threatened?

o Yes

o No

  1. Do you believe in your ability to make effective decisions in ambiguous or complex situations?

o Yes

o No

  1. Would you accept a job that required you to work various rotating shifts (days/evenings/nights), weekends and statutory holidays (e.g., Canada Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, etc.)?

o Yes

o No

  1. Unforeseen situations can happen in an institution which leads to certain consequences for the personnel on duty, such as the requirement to continue a shift in order to address an incident. Would you accept a job that required you to work overtime on short notice?

o Yes

o No

  1. The responsibilities of a Correctional Officer include numerous tasks, such as monitoring inmate behaviour and movement, counts, supervision of inmates, visitor and staff movement inside and outside the institution, and conducting searches. Some of the tasks have to be performed within a confined environment (e.g., control posts, inmate cells). Would you be able to work in such an environment?

o Yes

o No

  1. As part of their functions, a Correctional Officer must wear a uniform and use various pieces of equipment. Would you be prepared to wear the required uniform, along with a protective vest (when needed), and job-related equipment (e.g., radio, CPR mask)?

o Yes

o No

  1. Correctional Officers must be in good physical condition to complete the tasks associated with their work, such as climbing stairs, carrying heavy equipment, searching cells, responding to emergency situations, etc. Do you believe you possess the physical capability required to carry on these tasks?

o Yes

o No

  1. Interventions with inmates bring interesting challenges; however, they can sometimes lead to difficult situations on a personal level and may have an impact on your personal life outside of work. Do you have a positive attitude and self-confidence?

o Yes

o No

If you have answered YES to all or most of the above questions and feel you meet all essential qualifications identified in the job advertisement, you may be personally suitable for a Correctional Officer position. We encourage you to apply.

If you have answered NO to one or more of the above questions, given the nature and demands of the job requirements and the work environment, you may want to consider and re-assess if this career choice is for you.