COS Compliments & Complaints Process

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Every day, the Conservation Officer Service is building on its vision to be a progressive and respected leader in environmental compliance, 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 men and women 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 the following:

  • Explanation of the incident, with as much detail as possible;
  • Date, time and location of the incident, and
  • If possible, name of officer(s) involved.

How Our Process Works

  • All complaints are promptly reviewed to determine if they meet eligibility criteria in the COS Complaints Policy (PDF)
  • The COS will then contact you to discuss options for resolving the complaint, which can include formal or informal resolution. You will also be notified if your complaint does not meet the eligibility criteria.
  • If an informal resolution is deemed appropriate, the COS will work with you to find a mutually agreed upon solution, with a focus on dialogue and education.
  • If a formal investigation is appropriate, an investigator will be assigned.Once the investigation concludes, the investigator will notify you of the decision.
  • Potential outcomes range from verbal reprimands up to dismissal. The COS is committed to an educative and corrective approach for officers, whenever appropriate.

For additional information about the process, read the full COS Complaints Policy (PDF)

How to Submit a Complaint

  Complete the COS complaint form (PDF)

If you require assistance, email 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.