Be Ready – Become a CBSA Officer

Before You Apply

Before applying to become a border services officer (BSO) via the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer trainee (developmental) selection process, learn more about the job, the basic requirements, operational requirements, and the conditions of employment applicants and candidates must meet.

Job Description

BSOs are one of the first points of contact when travellers and goods arrive in Canada. They are Canada's first line of defence in preventing inadmissible people, contraband and other illegal substances from coming into the country. BSOs also contribute to the fight against international terrorism, human trafficking, and illegal immigration.

When necessary, BSOs carry out enforcement activities by applying various levels of sanctions, including warnings and monetary penalties, and by seizing goods and assets. In this way, they help Canadian businesses stay competitive and protect Canada's economy and prosperity.

Key Activities

Border services officers:

  • Ensure all people and goods coming into Canada are admissible and comply with Canadian laws and regulations.
  • Assist in combating human trafficking and money laundering.
  • Detain those who may pose a threat to Canada.
  • Safeguard against the introduction of human, animal and plant diseases into Canada.
  • Guard against the flow of narcotics, firearms, child pornography, and other illegal and prohibited substances.
  • If necessary, apply various levels of sanctions and seize goods.
  • Ensure all applicable duties and taxes are paid.

Values and Ethics at the CBSA

Before applying to the selection process, individuals should familiarize themselves with the Agency's mission, vision, and the CBSA Code of Conduct, which was developed to complement the Treasury Board Secretariat's Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and its Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment. All CBSA employees are bound by these codes and the policy, including CBSA recruits and officer trainees. Breaches are taken very seriously and could result in discipline, termination and\or legal action.

Basic Requirements

Before applying to the selection process, there are certain basic requirements that individuals must meet.

At any the time during the selection process, applicants will be required to submit proof (the original document and one (1) copy) that they meet these requirements. Applicants:

Please note that applicants are responsible for any costs incurred to meet these requirements.

Personal Decision Point

Candidates must accept an assigned posting anywhere in Canada.

When you apply to the CBSA officer trainee (developmental) selection process, you need to be aware that you are volunteering for, and committing to, service anywhere in Canada that the CBSA needs you, including rural and remote areas.  You need to fully understand and embrace the commitment you are making.  The CBSA is very serious about mobility as a condition of employment.  A variety of ports of entry will be available and a process is in place to allow you to indicate some preference; however, it is likely you will be assigned to an area of Canada that is totally new to you.  Please consult the Directory of CBSA Offices for information regarding potential postings.

Candidates are required to pay for their own travel expenses when attending the required tests, interview(s), physical abilities, medical, and psychological assessments, as well as expenses related to meeting some operational requirements and conditions of employment.

Operational Requirement

Operational requirements are current or future requirements of the organization for the proper functioning of the work unit or the organization.

In addition to the firearms safety courses and valid driver's licence in the basic requirements, as well as the personal decision point of accepting an assigned posting anywhere in Canada, there are two other operational requirements candidates must meet to be appointed to the officer trainee position. They are:

Applicants must successfully meet the Agency's physical abilities standard by completing the Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation (PARE) in 4 minutes 45 seconds or less. The PARE is being used by the Agency as a screening tool to assess a candidate's ability to perform the physically demanding use of force training as part of the OITP.

Conditions of Employment

Please note, the job advertisement posted on jobs.gc.ca contains the official version of the conditions of employment and the information provided here is for reference only.

Conditions of Employment are requirements that a person must meet at the time of appointment and comply with for as long as they occupy the position.

Successful candidates will be provided with information regarding the steps to meet the following conditions of employment prior to being appointed to a CBSA officer trainee (developmental) position. These conditions include the basic and operational requirements listed above, as well as several conditions that reflect the successful completion of the OITP.

  • Successful completion of the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course and/or pass the associated firearms safety tests.
  • A valid Standard First Aid Certificate from a qualified provider approved by any province or territory in Canada, and as defined in Part XVI of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. (Obtained as part of the OTIP at the CBSA College)
  • Possess and maintain a valid driver's license that allows the holder to drive a motor vehicle in Canada.
  • Obtain and maintain a secret security clearance as per CBSA security standards.

    Please note that to increase the efficiency of the selection process, candidates could be requested to submit documentation for the personnel security and secret security clearances at any time during the selection process. This request does not necessarily constitute confirmation of the successful completion of any other component of the process.

  • Carry, use and maintain CBSA-issued defensive equipment, in accordance with the CBSA's policies and directives. (The duties of a CBSA officer trainee will require you to carry and use a duty firearm, as well as other defensive equipment in accordance with the CBSA's policies and directives. As prescribed and required by the CBSA, you must meet and maintain the medical, behavioural, psychological and physical requirements to qualify and re-certify in the use and maintenance of the duty firearms and defensive equipment.)
  • Accept an assigned posting anywhere in Canada.
  • Work various shifts on rotation, including weekends and statutory holidays.
  • Wear and maintain a uniform as per the CBSA Uniform Policy and Standards of Appearance.
  • Work overtime as required.
  • Operate a government vehicle.
  • Travel as requested (in Canada, Continental US and/or International).
  • As required, obtain and maintain a Transportation Security Clearance (for positions located at marine ports and airports).

Work Locations

BSOs are employed at highway, air, marine, and rail locations, as well as at certain postal facilities located throughout the country, including rural and remote areas. For more information on CBSA locations of work across the country, please see the map and the provincial/territorial breakdown below.

As a CBSA officer trainee, you must be willing to work anywhere in Canada, including rural and remote areas.

Salary/Benefits

The CBSA has implemented an occupational group called Frontière/Border (FB). This FB group standard recognizes the specialized knowledge and expertise required to perform duties directly related to the management and operation of Canada's border.

Candidates who successfully complete the CBSA OITP will be required to participate in the Officer Induction Development Program (OIDP) as a CBSA officer trainee (FB-02). Upon successful completion of the developmental program, officer trainees will be appointed to a BSO position (FB-03).

The salary range for a CBSA officer trainee (FB-02) is currently between $58,078 and $64,859. The salary range for a BSO (FB-03) is currently between $62,697 and $70,120.

As an employee of the public service, BSOs can take part in the following plans:

Is This Career for You?

We strongly encourage you to complete the self-assessment questionnaire which will give you a better idea of the role, requirements, abilities and expectations related to a career as a CBSA officer.

Apply now