COS Compliments & Complaints Process

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Every day, the Conservation Officer Service (COS) is building on its vision to be a progressive and respected leader in environmental compliance and enforcement, shared stewardship and public safety.

Conservation officers are dedicated individuals with a desire to protect B.C.’s environment, fish and wildlife resources.

The COS recognizes that maintaining public trust and confidence in the communities it serves is essential. Public feedback is welcomed and encouraged.

How to Submit a Compliment

If you would like to pass along a compliment to a conservation officer, or would like to share a positive experience, we would appreciate hearing from you. We are proud of the dedicated officers who make up the Conservation Officer Service and thank you for your comments. If you would like to provide a compliment, please email the COS at Conservation.Officer.Service@gov.bc.ca.

If You Are Considering a Complaint

The COS takes every complaint seriously. Complaints are addressed according to the COS complaints process, which is outlined below. If you are considering making a complaint, you'll be asked to provide:

  • an explanation of the incident, with as much detail as possible;
  • the date, time and location of the incident; and
  • the name of officer(s) involved, if a complaint about officer misconduct.

How Our Process Works

  • All complaints are promptly reviewed to determine whether or not they are admissible under the COS Complaints Policy.
  • If a complaint is accepted, the COS will contact you to discuss options for resolving the complaint, which may include formal or informal resolution. You will also be notified if your complaint is determined to be inadmissible.
  • If an informal resolution is deemed appropriate, the COS will work with you to find a mutually agreeable solution.
  • If a formal investigation is appropriate, an investigator will be assigned. Once the investigation concludes, the discipline authority will notify you of the decision.
  • Should a misconduct complaint be substantiated, any disciplinary or corrective measures imposed will be in accordance with the Collective Agreement for unionized employees and applicable human resource policies. The COS is committed to an approach that seeks to correct and educate officers, whenever appropriate.

For complete details, please see the COS Complaints Policy (PDF). For related information, see:

How to Submit a Complaint

Complete the COS Complaint Form (PDF)

If you require assistance with filing a complaint, please contact the COS at the following email address: Conservation.Officer.Service@gov.bc.ca

Past Complaints & Oversight 

Expand the topics below to learn more about past complaints received by the COS, and what oversight mechanisms are involved in the complaints process. 

Oversight

All complaints are assessed according to the BC Public Service Agency (PSA) Human Resources investigation process. Depending on the circumstances of the complaint, other oversight agencies may be involved, such as:

If complainants are unsatisfied with an outcome and have exhausted all options, the Office of the Ombudsperson can be contacted here:

The table below provides a summary of complaints received in recent years:

Year Complaints Received Resolution
2015 9 substantiated: 1,  unsubstantiated: 7, informal resolution: 1
2016 13 substantiated: 2, unsubstantiated: 5, informal resolution: 6
2017 19 substantiated: 3, unsubstantiated: 13, informal resolution: 2, still under investigation: 1
2018 17 substantiated: 1, unsubstantiated: 13, informal resolution: 3

Definitions

  • Substantiated: a complaint which, following investigation, is proven to have merit, and corrective or disciplinary actions will be taken.
  • Unsubstantiated: a complaint which, following investigation, is proven to have no merit, and disciplinary actions are not appropriate.
  • Informal resolution: an option for resolving a complaint. This means the complainant and COS work together to find a mutually-agreeable solution to a complaint. The focus is on dialogue and education.