Auxiliary Employee Transition Program (AETP)

The AETP will soon be accepting applications! The first application intake commences on May 1, 2017 with the deadline for applications being Friday, July 27, 2017.

Program Overview

The purpose of the AETP is to provide developmental work opportunities to targeted auxiliary staff from 4 months to up to a maximum 6 month term (i.e. auxiliaries who have expressed interest in pursuing a career in the Public Service, who have demonstrated leadership competencies and who are looking to broaden their skills and competencies by gaining hands-on experience) in positions outside of their regular business area in order to assist them in furthering their skills, competencies and experience.

By focusing on developing the ministry’s auxiliary staff, the AETP is able to prepare for anticipated vacancies at an accelerated rate because these employees already have knowledge of, and experience with, the ministry and have begun to develop the skills and competencies which are required to successfully compete on regular positions.

In addition to serving the succession needs of the ministry, the AETP also improves career planning, strengthens relationships between different parts of the ministry and enhances the skills of the ministry’s current auxiliary staff.

The AETP does not replace traditional hiring practices, but provides another avenue for preparation for career advancement.

The Job Opportunities

This AETP is offering the following development opportunities (4 months to up to 6 months):

  • Financial Analyst - Financial Analyst 18 (Position may be located in: Victoria, Nanaimo, Surrey, Kamloops, Williams Lake, Nelson, Cranbrook, Smithers, Prince George or Fort St John (Position may be located in:  @ 4 to 6 month auxiliary term)
  • GIS Technician - Scientific/Technical Officer 18 (Position may be located in:  Kamloops @ 4 month auxiliary term)
  • Resource Technologist - Scientific/Technical Officer 18 (2 Positions located in Dawson Creek @ 6 month auxiliary term)

*Please take note of where the position(s) you are applying to are located, there will be no relocation expenses paid for this opportunity. 
*Successful applicants will be limited to two weeks’ vacation during their work term.
*Please check back regularly as more positions may be posted.

Find out how to apply

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Eligible Applicants

Interested applicants need to ensure that they are available for the full term of the AETP appointment and that they meet the following minimum eligibility criteria:

  1. Be a ministry employee with auxiliary status in BCWS (working on recall), with a minimum 12 months total service, prior to August 31, 2018;
  2. Auxiliary status in the BCWS or in the public sector for more than 80% of their overall employment with the public sector;
  3. No more than 5 years in a full time regular position with the public sector;
  4. Have a combination of education/experience relevant to the position to which they are applying through AETP (see job descriptions);
  5. Be willing to relocate* for the duration of the AETP opportunity if required; and,
  6. Must be willing to commit to training and development opportunities during their term. 

Successful candidates will be selected on the principle of merit.  Preference may be given to candidates who have not successfully completed an AETP placement in the past 12 months. The AETP Program Manager will conduct preliminary screening to ensure that applications are complete based on the eligibility criteria.  Candidates meeting these criteria will have their application forwarded to a selection team who will conduct the selection process.

*Please take note of where the position(s) you are applying to are located, there will be no relocation expenses paid for this opportunity.

*Please take note that some positions posted may only be a maximum 4 month auxiliary term.

  • Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their current BCWS auxiliary appointment accommodates a placement for the entire duration it is for.
  • Placements are for the duration noted for the position. However, we will inquire into the flexibility of the duration for a placement at an applicant’s request.

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The general timeline for the recruiting process is:

  • July 27 – Application deadline
  • Early-July – Application screening
  • Mid-July – Notification of applicant eligibility
  • Mid-August – Applicants selected
  • October – Auxiliary work terms begin

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How to Apply

1. Confirm your eligibility to apply

Confirm that you are eligible to apply to the AETP program based on the criteria above. Consider your leadership abilities and your desire to grow and develop within the BC public service.

2. Complete the Applicant Form

Please take into account that there is a section of the application which must be completed by your supervisor, further to this, the application requires signatures from your supervisor and the Fire Centre Manager in order to indicate their support.

3. Prepare your Resume

Ensure that your resume includes the relevant education, work experience, skills, and competencies required for the position(s) you are applying to. 

4. Submit to AETP

Your fully completed application form and resume must be submitted to the AETP Program Manager and/or the AETP Program assistant by the deadline of Friday, July 27, 2018 at Midnight PDT. Failure to meet the deadline will result in an immediate determination of ineligibility. 

Please note that your application can be submitted electronically to or via mail to the address below (envelope must be postmarked no later than July 31, 2018). 

Auxiliary Employee Transition Program  Attn: Tania Hogan
Integrated Resource Operations Division
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
PO Box 9352 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC   V8W 9M1

Click here to download the Application Form

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Testimonials from Successful AETP Candidates and Supervisors

Connor Dolighan, Auxiliary Fire Crew Leader, BCWS, South

Successful Candidate AETP Ecosystem Restoration Technician, Williams Lake 2017

The AETP program has been an amazing opportunity for me. It has allowed me to gain experience in another field in between fire seasons and learn about how other areas and agencies within FLNRORD operate. The Ecosystem Restoration Technician position has been particularly valuable in my case because the position has acted as a bridge between my wildfire experience and post-secondary education. I have been based out of the Cariboo Fire Centre for six fire seasons and completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology and Environmental Biology at Thompson Rivers University. This experience and education fit extremely well with the Ecosystem Restoration Technician position, as it combined work such as, prescribed fire planning with more ecology-based knowledge and decision making. Overall, the 4 month AETP term was an invaluable learning experience. This experience has caused me to become more passionate about several potential career paths within FLNRORD and avenues for continued education in the future. I would highly recommend this program for BC Wildfire Service personnel who are looking to expand their skills and knowledge in other areas within FLNRORD. - Connor Dolighan

Matt Melville, Auxiliary Fire Crew Leader, BCWS, South

Successful Candidate AETP Ecosystem Restoration Technician, Kamloops 2017

For the past 5 wildfire seasons I’ve been on the Unit Crew in Lytton, BC, as both a Crew Member and Crew Leader. I was hired through the AETP program to work over winter, as one of four Ecosystem Restoration Technicians throughout the province within the Range Branch of FLNRORD.

The work term has been fulfilling, and the exposure to another side of government has certainly been a positive learning experience for me. I had the chance to work on a number of projects that will positively shape our province moving forward. One such project has been improving maps that will inform decisions on the management of our dry forest ecosystems provincially. Largely unaware of the role of the province’s small Ecosystem Restoration program before applying, I have fully bought into the importance of this work, and the need for it in an increasing capacity given cumulative wildfire risk.

The role exposed me not only to the simple aspects of online and communication tools, but also to the more procedural aspects of applying science to practice, and processing contracts and grants. Working with a different group of passionate professionals has provided me with a fresh set of insights and ideas for the future.

AETP is well worth it for anyone who is eligible and wants to diversify their experience within our organization. The program not only strengthens competencies and supports succession needs but it is an enjoyable and worthwhile experience. - Matt Melville

Colm Gallen, Auxiliary Wildfire Assistant, Parattack Operations, BCWS, South

Successful Candidate AETP Resource Technician, Fort St. John, North Area 2017

I had previously tried to find winter work in a different part of FLNRORD to gain some different experience, but I didn’t know who to contact, or how to offer up the idea. Last year the AETP program did that work for me, by canvassing the ministry with this relatively unfamiliar idea of hiring BCWS people between fire seasons and seeking out win-win scenarios for the candidates and the ‘mainstream government’ offices.

I was thankful to have been awarded a position in the Peace Natural Resource District, Tenures Department. Working in the BCWS I know that a weakness for me was having no training or experience with forestry work. This opportunity has helped me to bridge that gap. I soaked up all the knowledge I could from the very helpful and patient staff that I worked with in the District.

This experience also afforded me the opportunity to get to know many of the people who work in Regional Operations in my local area. They are great people, and I’m sure we will be able to help out one another across the division lines in the future. - Colm Gallen

Paula Flaa – Columbia Unit Crew, Revelstoke, BCWS, South

Successful Candidate AETP Facilities Coordinator, CSB, Victoria 2017

As an auxiliary staff with experience as both an Operations Assistant and Wildfire Crew Member, I was impressed to see the variety of positions posted as options for the Auxiliary Employee Transfer program. My six month term as the Facilities Coordinator in Victoria has been an enlightening and enjoyable experience. Not only did I learn more about the functioning of FLRNORD at the corporate level, but I had the opportunity to take part in the constructing of contracts and all of the processes that lead up to it. It was an invaluable experience to be a part of the team building the new Wildfire base in Quinsam, transferring assets from old offices to Asset Disposal, and other unique projects that occurred during my time there. The team I worked with was very patient and helpful when I needed clarification on anything, and had many interesting stories from their long careers with the Public Service.

It is my hope that more opportunities are created from this program, as it is extremely useful and valuable to retain some of the highly skilled and educated staff that are attracted to working with BC Wildfire. By creating jobs for the many seasonal staff, it has shown me that more value is being placed on retaining staff and developing skills. I would highly recommend this opportunity to anyone who is interested in seeing what other positions are available while still working for the Provincial Government. - Paula Flaa

Hayley Scott – Initial Attack Crew Leader, Robson Valley

Ecosystems Restoration Technologist, Range Branch, Prince George 2017

Within the last 7 seasons employed with BCWS, I’ve been fortunate enough to find some very valuable experiences, the AETP program being one of them.  I spent most of my time with BCWS on a Unit Crew, and just recently made the leap to the Initial Attack world, both of which have provided me with a more well-rounded perspective and knowledge base within the realm of wildfire.  As an AETP employee, this development has just continued to grow.  I have been offered many valuable opportunities during the last 5 months and there is no doubt in my mind that it will aid me in the next wildfire season, as well as, my long term career.   As wildfire has been my main source of employment for the last 7 years, I am thankful to have been exposed to other branches of the ministry; it is truly so vast and diverse that you’re constantly humbled by the work being done by the people around you.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this term was that I had an opportunity to experience a little bit of everything. I was involved a variety of projects, from prescribed burning research and policy review, to forest carbon analysis. I assisted non-government organizations and different sectors of government with projects, and I was able to network with industry and a variety of contractors. Not to mention, the fantastic training I received; there was tremendous support for professional growth throughout my AETP term.  I was able to bring my experience from wildfire into this position, which helped me greatly, and I will be taking back just as much valuable expertise to aid BCWS this summer.  The transfer of knowledge is quite beneficial to both sides, and I believe it’s a fantastic way to utilize the skills of auxiliary employees more effectively within the ministry.

I would definitely recommend the AETP program to others, as it not only offers winter employment and continued health benefits, but also allows you to work in different fields applicable to your post-secondary education and learn about opportunities for your future.  Overall, a very enjoyable and worthwhile experience. - Hayley Scott


Mark Griffin, Manager Provincial Facilities and Operations, Fleet & Facilities

Nate Lussier, Auxiliary UC - Crew Leader - Titans Unit Crew, BCWS, IROD

Successful Candidate AETP GIS Technician, GeoBC, Victoria 2016

Blog: Out of the Fire

A journey from the front lines of B.C.’s wildfires to the geomatics world of GeoBC: My AETP Experience

“I’ve been with the B.C. Wildfire Service since 2013 as a crew member and more recently a crew leader with the Titan Unit Crew in Vanderhoof B.C. I worked for the BCWS during the first few summer while I was pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Geography with a concentration in geomatics from the University of Victoria. After I graduated from UVic in 2015, I wanted to continue to work for B.C. Wildfire during the summers; however, the question remained what do I do during the off-season? Until last year, I had school to fall back on when my contract with B.C. Wildfire ended.

While skimming through my daily emails during my fire season, I came across an email that was entitled Auxiliary Employee Transition Program (AETP). AETP is an initiative that’s main goal is to give auxiliary employees a chance to pursue job opportunities in other fields in the form of six-month temporary contracts. Given my background in geomatics, I decided to apply to a posting for a GIS technician with GeoBC. I was one of two successful AETP candidates. My time at GeoBC has been incredibly valuable for my personal career development. I have learned an incredible amount about how GeoBC supports clients with GIS and remote sensing products and expertise. I could go into immense detail about all my projects and things I’ve learned but you would be reading all day!

Instead I want to talk a little bit about how I was still able to support the B.C. Wildfire Service during my time here at GeoBC. I had the opportunity to work closely with BCWS Geospatial Services and provide support during their busy off-season. My favourite project was updating the BCWS public website maps and Google earth maps which I’m sure many will view in the coming year!

I have exceeded my own expectations and have gained an incredible amount of knowledge and experience in my short time at GeoBC. I have gained a unique perspective coming from the front lines of wildfires in B.C. to a roll that supports these efforts through geomatics. I was quite surprised to see how much planning and work goes into the upcoming fire season and to be able to support myself and my fellow B.C. Wildfire staff in a different setting was rewarding. I believe the AETP program is a great initiative and successional planning step to not only transition B.C. Wildfire Service employees to full time careers in the B.C. public service but, to increase retention rates with the added benefits of year round work for auxiliary staff (e.g. receiving full-time staff benefits).

The AETP program is unique in the sense that is helps diversify the skill set of employee’s like myself. While I don’t claim to be an expert in the geomatics world or the firefighting world for the matter, having experience in both fields allows AETP candidates to further pursue different career paths at the same time, which is incredibly distinctive to the AETP program. Overall, my experience has been exceptionally rewarding and I would like to thank the Integrated Resource Operations Division for taking the opportunity to be part of the AETP!” –Nate Lussier


Mike Sidow, Compliance & Enforcement Branch

Mike Sidow, Previous Position:  Auxiliary Unit Crew Leader, BC Wildfire Service, now . . . .

Hired by Compliance & Enforcement Branch, as a full time Natural Resource Officer 2016

Congratulations Mike!

“My name is Michael Sidow and I recently completed my term with the Auxiliary Employee Transition Program where I was employed by the Compliance and Enforcement Branch as an Auxiliary Natural Resource Officer.  Prior to joining AETP I was an auxiliary for eight seasons with the BC Wildfire Service.  I worked for five seasons as a Wildland Fire Fighter and for three seasons as a Fire Origin and Cause Investigator.

While working as an Auxiliary Natural Resource Officer I had the opportunity to work with exceptional people, receive valuable training, learn about BC natural resource law and assist with the investigation and enforcement of provincial statutes and regulations. 

Working in this positive and supportive environment I quickly realized that I wanted a career as a Natural Resource Officer. 

The AETP program provided me with the opportunity to acquire the job specific skills, training and experience that I needed to successfully compete on a full time job as a Natural Resource Officer.  Thanks to AETP I now have full time position as a Natural Resource Officer and am beginning a new and exciting career path.

I had a wonderful experience with AETP and I believe this program is truly beneficial to both auxiliaries and to the BC Public Service.  Thank you to the organizers of AETP and I hope this program will continue to grow and offer future opportunities to our auxiliary workforce.” –Mike Sidow

Mathew Kelly, Crew Leader, BCWS, IROD

Successful Candidate AETP GIS Technician, GeoBC, Victoria 2016

“The AETP program is important and should be utilized in order to promote the development of Auxiliary staff.  The Wildfire Service Branch of the BC government employs hundreds of auxiliary firefighters and officers that are highly skilled and have diverse experience.  In my opinion, it is the place from which other branches of FLNRO should be drawing many of its employees from.  The Wildfire service has a rigorous and stringent screening process that sees thousands of applicants every year. From this the best candidates are selected and put through difficult trials, stress, and training during their careers. With the training and experience gained on top of the platform set through the hiring process many veteran firefighters are highly capable of dealing with complex problem solving and leadership duties. With this type of person already employed by the BC public service, the Auxiliary employee Transfer Program is immensely important for strengthening the staffing needs throughout the ministry.

The AETP program has provided me with an amazing opportunity to gain experience in the GIS field without having to leave the BC Public Service.  During my six month work term I broadened my knowledge and experience in a way that will increase my value as an employee.  This experience supports the competencies and skills needed to pursue a full time career with the BC public service. The skills I have gained are also transferable to my position with Wildfire, increasing my value as an employee of that branch directly.”  –Mathew Kelly

Robert Zeman, Forest Protection Assistant, BCWS, IROD

Successful Candidate AETP Facilities Coordinator, CSB, Victoria 2016

“The AETP program offers many benefits to auxiliaries, which include challenging winter work that exposes participants to diverse aspects of government and offers opportunities to develop behavioural competencies that are required for higher-level positions within BC Wildfire and greater government.

My experience of the AETP program has been advantageous to both myself and my work group.  AETP has allowed me to gain knowledge and skills that will be beneficial to my career, and I have completed important projects that benefit my work group and greater government.

Wildfire folks (and I’m sure other auxiliaries across government) who are looking for a career, could benefit from the broadening of job scope and work experience that the AETP program offers.  In terms of job competitions, BC Wildfire offers few opportunities at the crew level to develop the long-term and complex behavioural competencies that FPT’s and FPO’s need; the AETP program helps build those.”  –Robert Zeman

Wendy Hafemeister, Auxiliary Forest Protection Assistant, BCWS

Successful Candidate AETP District Recreation Technician, Recreation Sites and Trails Branch, Clearwater 2016

“Excellent Learning Opportunity,” –Wendy Hafemeister


Mark Griffin, Manager Provincial Facilities and Operations, Fleet & Facilities, CSB, Victoria 2016

Mark Griffin, Manager Provincial Facilities and Operations, Fleet & Facilities, CSB, Victoria 2016

Supervisor to Robert Zeman

Fleet and Facilities says good bye to Robert Zeman AETP participant.

This winter CSB Facilities, Fleet & Assets, BCP and Security took part in a pilot program called the Auxiliary Extension and Transition Program (AETP).  In a nutshell the goal of AETP is to provide an opportunity for seasonal auxiliary employees to be kept on to receive valuable knowledge and hands-on training in different positions within government so they may eventually have an opportunity to move into a full-time permanent position within our ministry.  Our AETP participant this year was Robert Zeman who works seasonally with BC Wildfire Services (BCWS) in Alexis Creek and we put him to work as a facilities coordinator from October to March this winter.

We are grateful that Rob (who usually calls Fort St John home in the winter) volunteered to move to Victoria to sit amongst us here at Headquarters.  Rob was invaluable to us as his enthusiasm and willingness to learn was immediately put to work on a shed conversion project at the Cobble Hill BCWS Fire Base.  Additionally, Rob was employed in a number of different facility related projects both for BCWS and Tree Improvement Branch over the course of his time with us.

Before he left, Rob spoke to us about his HQ experience.  He indicated that the work he did provided him with a real exposure to procurement and contracting processes in government.  The biggest takeaways for him were getting a greater understanding of government processes outside of BCWS.

Through his experience with us he feels he gained some knowledge and appreciation of procurement, asset management, project management, record keeping, fleet, budget management and the reasons for policy and procedures.  He learned the danger of scope creep – how asking one question or adding one more set of conditions has the potential to expand a project far above budget.

We wish Rob well now that he is back at BCWS and hope he has a low key summer. Thanks Rob!! –Mark Griffin, Manager Provincial Facilities and Operations


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Frequently Asked Questions

BCWS Auxiliary Staff Questions

  1. If I applied last year do I have to re-apply for the upcoming 2nd season of AETP?

    Yes, for every season AETP is run, you must submit a new application form and updated resume to be considered for new job postings.
  2. If a position is quoted for 6 months, can we request a shorter term?

    Yes, the updated application form now has a section for you to state whether or not you want the full term.Requests will be considered and decided upon by your new supervisor.*Please note that there are now offers of 4 month (max) auxiliary positions this year.
  3. Will my relocation expenses be covered?

    Unfortunately, relocation will not be covered under the program.
  4. May I take vacation during my term if I am a successful candidate?

    Based on your initial conversations with your new supervisor, a maximum of 2 weeks’ vacation (for a 6 month auxiliary term) is suggested during your learning opportunity.
  5. I am currently an 18 Step 5.  What step would I be for this new auxiliary position as an 18?

    You would start this new auxiliary position as an 18 step one as this is a new auxiliary position in a different location.
  6. I currently receive First Aid Allowance, will this continue?

    Only if the new position requires this designation to work there.
  7. Will I lose my recall seniority with BCWS if I work a full 6 month term in my new AETP position?

    You will not lose their recall rights as long as they do not exceed nine months from layoff to their start date in their BCWS position.BCWS will be made aware of the successful candidates and are noted on the BCWS recall list as an AETP auxiliary.
  8. I require the fitness test for my recall at BCWS.  This will be during my new AETP auxiliary term.  As this is a required test, I need to take time off.

    Yes, ensure you let your immediate supervisor know that you will require a fitness test sometime in early spring that you will need time off, (days dependent on if travel is required.).Fitness tests are required for re-call and this is a priority to return to your BC Wildfire Service auxiliary position.


  1. Who does the intake/screening/interviews/set-up of new employee/ for each position?  Can we participate in this piece?

    Based upon initial discussion with the supervisor and the AETP Hiring Manager, you can be completely involved from start to finish for your submitted job positions or be involved with certain phases of the hiring process.
  2. Will the Supervisor be on the interview panel?

    The Supervisor and one area expert plus the AETP Hiring Manager should be on the panel.
  3. How much time does the Supervisor have to commit to hiring the positon?

    Again, at the beginning of the intake, the AETP Hiring Manager will discuss how involved the supervisor would like to partake in. All Supervisors and one expert in their area will be involved in the interview panel which is a maximum of 30 minutes.

Any questions do not hesitate to call the Manager of AETP.

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Auxiliary Employee Transition Program
Integrated Resource Operations Division
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
PO Box 9352 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC   V8W 9M1

If you have any questions about the AETP, the opportunities being offered, or need assistance completing your application please contact:

Tania Hogan, Manager, Operations Services, IROD
T: 1 250 387-1780  E: Tania.