Conservation Officer Recruitment Process FAQ's

What are some Post-Secondary Institutions that offer Natural Resource Law Enforcement Schooling?

Vancouver Island University and Lethbridge College have dedicated Natural Resource Law Enforcement programs, graduates from these programs often meet our preferred qualifications. There are many additional colleges and universities that offer environmental science and criminal justice programs, however candidates with these backgrounds often need to seek 3 years of related work experience to meet our minimum qualifications.

When does the Conservation Officer Service (COS) generally hire?

Because of the time and resources required, the Conservation Officer Service (COS) generally considers applications once a year, establishing an eligibility list to fill known and anticipated vacancies for a 12-month period. The annual intake for entry-level positions occurs early in the new year, in preparation for the Western Conservation Law Enforcement Academy, in the fall of each year.

However, it would be in your best interest to keep a close eye on the BC Public Service Job Opportunities website for conservation officer job postings.

As well, do not hesitate to contact our headquarters staff if you have any questions about our current hiring situation.

Can I apply directly to the COS?

No, the Conservation Officer Service is unable to accept applications directly. You must submit your application for an advertised vacancy on the BC Public Service Job Opportunities website.

What qualifications do I need?

Please review our selection process for complete details. The selection process can be very competitive and many who apply exceed our basic requirements. Our website clearly identifies preferred education and work experience, both of which would help to improve your chances of being selected.

Can I apply to the COS if I have been deferred from another law enforcement agency hiring process?

Yes. While this information will be of interest, the COS makes all hiring decisions based on our own selection process.

What if I have used drugs in the past?

Each applicant will be evaluated in totality and on an individual basis. The COS selection process is thorough, including an in-depth security screening component. When a candidate discloses illegal activity, it must be closely scrutinized in order to determine whether the individual is able to carry out the duties and uphold the high standards of the position. Adjudicators with Police Services and Security Programs Branch, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, will evaluate the activity and a recommendation will be made to the COS.

While security screening may cause a certain degree of anxiety, we are not looking for individuals with a perfect record. Successful candidates are those who embody our key values, including integrity, service, accountability, impartiality and respect. Accordingly, complete and honest disclosure throughout the selection process is crucial to a successful application.

Can I volunteer for the Conservation Officer Service in order to obtain relevant work experience?

Currently, there are no volunteer opportunities, however school practicums are available with post secondary institutions that have made Practicum Agreements with the COS. Also, we strongly recommend that anyone interested in volunteering consider supporting their local WildSafeBC (formerly known as Bear Aware) Program or work towards instituting a local WildSafeBC program if one does not exist. As well, the RCMP and many municipal police agencies offer auxiliary/reserve police programs which provide training and exposure to law enforcement activities.

If I am interested in a career with your organization, will the COS arrange a ride-along with a conservation officer for me?

Currently, the COS does not have a civilian ride-along program. You may wish to contact your local police department to see if they do.

Does the COS accept international applications?

All applicants must be legally entitled to work in Canada.

What opportunities exist beyond general field duty?

Entry at the conservation officer 21 level offers later opportunities for promotion and professional  development, including the following areas/specialties: plainclothes investigation, commercial investigations, covert operations, intelligence analysis, wildlife conflict response, training and staff development, and supervision.

How much will I be required to travel, as part of the conservation officer selection process?

While the COS will attempt to minimize travel-related costs as much as possible, both for the COS and for applicants, you may be required to attend Vancouver on more than one occasion if you are successful through the competitive process.