Police Training in Canada

Police Recruit Training

RCMP  |  British Columbia  |  Alberta  |  Saskatchewan  |  Manitoba  |  Ontario  |  Quebec  |  New Brunswick  |  Nova Scotia  |  Prince Edward Island  |  Newfoundland and Labrador  |  Yukon  |  Northwest Territories  |  Nunavut


Police Recruit Training is delivered in either pre-employment or post employment models depending on the province you are located in, or the organization you are seeking employment with. 

Even with the variance of delivery models and the absence of a national standard, Police Recruit Training in Canada is of the highest caliber, a benchmark for others to achieve in the western world, and the envy of many around the globe.

Although the roots of policing are founded on a para-military structure and recruit training was at one time entrenched in such forced discipline, there has been a significant shift over the last 10-15 years to embrace adult learning practices, problem solving and community based policing initiatives.  Canada has been a leader in this regard. 

Each recruit is expected to possess self discipline, dedication and motivation in pursuit of success.  The new police officer is required not only to enforce the law but to be an independent thinker, facilitator, mediator, problem solver, relationship builder and community leader. 

The following provides an overview of Police Recruit Training across Canada.  For more detailed information there are links to each of the recruit training programs and institutions, included below.

For information on Police Recruiting please visit our Career Opportunities section.

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RCMP - Cadet Training Program (CTP)

The RCMP is Canada's national police force and has members deployed across the country providing federal, provincial, municipal and First Nations policing services in every province and territory.  As a result, the RCMP's recruit training program is centralized and delivered at the RCMP Academy, Depot Division, located in Regina, Saskatchewan. 

The RCMP offer a pre-employment 24 week long Cadet Training Program (CTP) that requires successful completion before being offered a position as a peace officer with the RCMP.

The RCMP trains in excess of 1,400 cadets annually through the CTP in troops of 30.  Intake to the program generally occurs on a weekly schedule and the program is offered in both French and English.

Room and board in modern barracks and travel to and from Depot are provided at no cost, however, cadets should budget approximately $5,000 to cover other expenses such as academic supplies, athletic footwear and spending money during their stay at the Academy. 

Upon successful completion of the CTP you may be deployed anywhere in Canada where the RCMP are present.  Operational needs will dictate deployment, although members can identify preferences and may be accommodated, when possible.

A six month field coaching component takes place upon deployment where the newly hired officer works in an operational setting under the guidance of a experienced trainer.

For more detailed information please review the RCMP's CTP web page.

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British Columbia

Police Recruit Training for BC's independent municipal police agencies, transit police and First Nations police is provided for by the Police Academy, Justice Institute of BC (JIBC). 

The Police Academy delivers a Block System of Recruit Training in which the 13-17 week field practicum (at the recruit's police service) is sandwiched between the the theoretical and practical training components of Block l (approx. 13 weeks) and Block lll (approx. 8 weeks), that are held at the Justice Institute of BC in New Westminster.

The Police Recruit Training program is post employment and all recruits must be hired and sworn in by a BC police agency prior to attending the program.  Although it is post employment training, recruits are required to to pay a tuition fee of approximately $9,500 for the nine month program. 

The Police Academy has four to six intakes a year, depending on demand, and has the capacity to graduate approximately 140 and 180 recruits annually.

The Academy's police recruit training program is delivered in a mix of theory and practice and includes realistic simulations in which actors are employed.

JIBC's main campus in New Westminster (picture by Google Earth)

The Police Academy is a division of the Justice Institute of BC, a unique organization in Canada and beyond that delivers education and training to professionals in Justice, Public Safety and Human Services, including Fire Fighters, Paramedics and Corrections Officers, among others.  The Justice Institute of BC is also a fully accredited post secondary institute in the province of British Columbia.

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Alberta does not have centralized police recruit training, however, the creation and development of the Alberta Police and Peace Officer College to meet this need, is in the preliminary stages.

Currently, police recruit training is delivered by both the Calgary Police Service and the Edmonton Police Service to meet their own needs and that of smaller police agencies in the province.

Both Calgary and Edmonton police services are very progressive organizations providing high quality police recruit training in a post employment delivery model.  There are no tuition fees for recruits, but outside agencies sending their new officers for training to one of the two Academies would be levied a training fee.

Upon completion and opening of the future Alberta Police and Peace Officer College, all police recruit training will be centralized in that facility,  Further, there is also the possibility that the delivery model may shift to tuition based pre-employment training from the current post employment model.  If so, this is a significant departure from the traditional department based post employment model of training currently in existence. 

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The Saskatchewan Police College, located on the campus for the University of Regina, provides police recruit training to the province's independent police agencies.

The four month long training program is post employment requiring all recruits to be hired and sworn in by a Saskatchewan police agency before attending the College.

Saskatchewan Police College

Located on the University of Regina campus the College enjoys all the amenities that the University has to offer.  On-site accommodation is available for officers attending the College, if required.

There are two recruit class intakes scheduled for 2006 (January 3 and August 14) and this will vary annually based on demand.


The Saskatchewan Police College Recruit Training Program has also been incorporated as a fourth year component in the University of Regina's Bachelor of Arts in Police Studies.  To qualify for the degree, students must have completed three years of liberal arts studies as approved by the University of Regina, or equivalent.

For more details please visit the Saskatchewan Police College web site.

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There is no centralized police recruit training in Manitoba.  Training is provided by the major independent police agencies in the province, primarily the Winnipeg Police Service

Recruit training with the Winnipeg Police Service is delivered in a 37 week post employment model, requiring all recruits to be hired and sworn in prior to attending the training program. 

There are no tuition fees associated with the recruit training program.

There are usually two scheduled intakes for recruit classes annually, in the Spring and Fall, but may vary based on demand. 

Further information on the training program may be viewed on the Winnipeg Police Service Recruiting Page.

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Police Recruit Training for Ontario's provincial, regional, First Nations and municipal police agencies is centralized at the Ontario Police College (OPC), located in Aylmer.

The training at the Ontario Police College is post employment requiring all recruits to have been hired and sworn in by an authorized police agency in Ontario. 

Tuition fees currently apply to all recruits attending the program and are the responsibility of the individual recruit and not their employer.  Tax deduction receipts are issued for the full amount of tuition.


The Ontario Police College

The Recruit Training Program at the Ontario Police College is 12 weeks in length and is designed "to prepare police officers to safely and effectively perform their duties, while meeting the needs of Ontario's diverse communities".

With several large intakes in a twelve month period, the Ontario Police College is capable of training and graduating approximately 1,400 new recruits annually.

The OPC provides on site accommodation for officers attending recruit training and other programs. 

The College has been in existence since 1962 and is currently part of the province's Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

For more detailed information please review the Ontario Police College web page.

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Standardized Police Recruit Training is administered and delivered in Quebec through the Ecole nationale de police du Quebec (ENPQ), located in Nicolet.

ENPQ, in its current form, was established September 1, 2000, and provides a variety of training programs for Quebec's provincial, regional, municipal and First Nation police services.


Ecole nationale de police du Quebec (ENPQ)

The Police Patrolling (Basic Training) Program delivered at ENPQ is pre-employment and requires candidates to have successfully completed a diploma in Police Technology at one the province's accredited Colleges before being accepted into the program.

The college based Police Technology diploma provides participants with theoretical and practical learning allowing students to acquire general and professional knowledge and skills.  ENPQ then builds on the college program by immersing the participant in hands on applied learning and advanced skill development through the concept of a virtual police station environment.

Tuition fees apply for ENPQ's Police Patrolling program that includes room and board, books and supplies.

For more detailed information please review ENPQ's web site.

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New Brunswick

Recruit Police Training for New Brunswick's independent regional and municipal police agencies are provided by the Atlantic Police Academy (APA), Holland College, Prince Edward Island.

For information on the APA please see entry under Prince Edward Island.

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Nova Scotia

The majority of Nova Scotia's regional and municipal police agencies hire graduates from the Atlantic Police Academy's (APA) Police Sciences Cadet Program.   For information on the APA and the related program, please see entry under Prince Edward Island.

While the Halifax Regional Police (HRP) Service may hire APA graduates, the agency trains the majority of its new officers through the Department's 40 week long Police Science Program.  The program is delivered in a pre-employment model requiring cadets to pay a tuition fee.  There is no on-site accommodation.

Cadets successfully graduating from the program may be offered employment with the Halifax Regional Police Service. 

The HRP's Police Science Program is not delivered on a regular schedule but offered when it has been determined there will be vacancies in the foreseeable future.

For more information please visit the HRP's Police Science Program web page.

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Prince Edward Island

The Atlantic Police Academy (APA), Holland College, provides recruit training services to support the province's regional and municipal police services through its Police Sciences Cadet Program.

In general terms, with a few exceptions including the RCMP, the APA serves the police recruit training needs for the majority of Atlantic Canada's police agencies.

Firing Range at the Atlantic Police Academy

The Police Sciences Cadet Program is 35 weeks long, including a 10 week practicum with a Canadian municipal police agency and/or the RCMP.

The program is strictly pre-employment and successful cadets may seek employment with a police agency upon graduation.

Tuition fees apply to the program, however, additional fees including, accommodation and meal plans, books, student union, uniform and body armour, etc., significantly increase the overall cost that may be paid in two installments.  A breakdown of fees may be located on the Holland College web site.

Program start dates vary annually and are dependent on police agency needs.  Interested individuals should consult with the Atlantic Police Academy on actual start dates.

The APA also provides a broad range of training for public safety professions including firefighting, correctional services, law enforcement and security personnel.

APA Students in Training

For more information please visit the Atlantic Police Academy's web page.

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Newfoundland and Labrador

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) provides recruit training for new cadets in collaboration with the Memorial University of Newfoundland.

The recruit training program has been built around the University's Diploma in Police Studies and takes three semesters to complete.  Participants entering the program must meet the selection and screening criteria of both the RNC and the University.  The first two semesters are academic based and are held at the University during the Fall and Winter.

The third semester, held in the Spring at RNC headquarters, is a six credit field practicum based component of the program.  Tuition fees are applied for each of the three semesters and will be based on Memorial University guidelines and regulations.  Although the Diploma in Police Studies is delivered as a pre-employment program, cadets will be paid a nominal hourly rate during the third semester.

Only upon graduation from the program and successfully completing a final interview conducted by a selection committee may a cadet be offered permanent employment by the RNC.

The RNC also hires graduates from the Atlantic Police Academy in PEI on an as needed basis.

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Yukon Territory

As all of the policing services to the Yukon are provided by the RCMP there is no recruit training offered in the Territory.  All recruit training is provided through the RCMP's Depot Division, as noted above under RCMP - Cadet Training Program (CTP).

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Northwest Territories

As all policing services to the Northwest Territories are provided by the RCMP there is no recruit training offered in the region.  All recruit training is provided through the RCMP's Depot Division, as noted above under RCMP - Cadet Training Program (CTP).

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Nunavut Territory

As all policing services to Nunavut are provided by the RCMP there is no recruit training offered in the Territory.  All recruit training is provided through the RCMP's Depot Division, as noted above under RCMP - Cadet Training Program (CTP).

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