BC's Indigenous Public Post-Secondary Institute

Community and Public Safety Professional Diploma

Program Delivery Location: Merritt
Credential: Diploma
Format: Full-Time

Community and Public Safety Professional Diploma


The Community and Public Safety Professional Certificate and Diploma program prepares students for a career in the public safety sector. Graduates will be able to use their certificate to pursue applying to their field of interest within public safety agencies.

Graduates will be able to pursue multiple career pathways in the field of public safety. By moving from policing specific and a tone of “law enforcement”, the revised program will introduce students to a variety of opportunities including but not limited to, policing, corrections, border services, conservation, bylaw, sheriff, SPCA, coroner, Fisheries and Ocean Canada, probation, military, and commercial vehicle safety. As students explore the various professions in the sector, they will also examine the complex socio-historical relationship between Canada and Indigenous people, thus challenging their beliefs and assumptions about present day relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, specifically in the criminal justice system. In doing so, learners will develop an enhanced understanding of the impact of colonization on Indigenous people and be better prepared in their selected field and the people they serve.


The Community and Public Safety Certificate Program aims to provide graduates with:

  • a decolonized perspective on criminal justice and a deepened understanding of traditional justice practices relevant to a contemporary movement toward alternative methods for addressing crime and punishment

  • an enhanced understanding of recent publications relevant to the field of public safety including but not limited to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and Bill 41 in British Columbia, and the Murder and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry (MMIWG) and the relationship between public safety and the purpose of these documents

  • an understanding of the disparities that exist in the criminal justice system that has contributed to the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the system

  • an understanding of the mistrust that Indigenous people have for Canada’s criminal justice system

  • an understanding of how political, social and economic environments contribute to challenges faced by Indigenous people

  • an understanding of public service theory and practice

  • excellent interpersonal communication skills

  • a professional manner

  • empathetic and caring attitude

  • a basic understanding of trauma-informed practice

  • an understanding of public safety principles and ethics

  • problem solving abilities

  • an ability to work effectively individually and in groups

  • a combination of academic, experiential and community-based learning

  • skills for self care and mindfulness


The Community and Public Safety Professional Certificate and Diploma program is delivered over two terms in one year and consists of six courses per term.  The delivery model will consist of classroom instruction and opportunites for field study.


Classroom concepts may be evaluated through written exams, assignments, class participation, presentations.  Student’s knowledge and competencies are evaluated by written exams, assignments, and/or classroom participation.  Performance is assessed by instructor observations of students in work experience situations. All courses are evaluated per the NVIT Grading System.


Learners will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the required courses within the program. A minimum 2.00 GPA for course work in the certificate program is required to graduate.


  • Be a minimum of 18 years of age by the start of the program or obtain permission from the program;

  • Grade 12 or equivalent or mature student status

  • C+ minimum in English Studies 12 or English First Peoples 12 or English 12 or English 060;

  • Foundations of Mathematics 11 or MATH 057;

  • Be a Canadian Citizen or have Permanant Resident status;

  • Completed Medical Clearance Form from Physician; and

  • Completed Criminal Record Check.


Applicants are encouraged to meet academic requirements before program entry.

Applicants must contact their local physician to obtain medical clearance to participate in the program, which includes physical education and simulated fitness tests.

Applicants are required to possess a valid, unrestricted Canadian-issued Class 5 driver’s license to apply to most fields in public safety; therefore, applicants are encouraged to start the process of obtaining their license before program completion.

Before participating in the CAPS 280: Public Safety Field School in the Diploma year, students are required to contact their local RCMP detachment to complete a current criminal record check and are responsible for associated fees.

Professional requirements for a career in the public safety field include an enhanced reliability security check and hearing and vision testing. Although these are not requirements for program admission, applicants should consider these requirements when selecting their career pathway.

NVIT is committed to ensuring education is accessible to all people. Students who do not meet program requirements should contact an NVIT Academic and Financial Planner regarding upgrading opportunities.

Diploma Completion Plan

In total, learners enroled in the Community and Public Safety Professional Diploma program will earn 39.0 credits in the second year of the program.

Upon completion of both the Community and Public Safety Professional Certificate and Diploma, learners will earn a total of 75.0 credits from the program.

  • CAPS-200 - Physical Education Development for Public Safety III
  • CAPS-210 - Historical Perspectives on Crime
  • CAPS-240 - Community Based Policing
  • CAPS-250 - Applied Public Safety
  • CAPS-255 - Perceptions, Attitudes and Beliefs in Public Safety
  • CAPS-260 - Approaches to Conflict Resolution II
  • CAPS-270 - Indigenous Justice Practices
  • CAPS-280 - Public Safety Field School
  • CISM-101 - Critical Incident Stress Management
  • CRIM-135 - Introduction to Canadian Law
  • CRIM-230 - Criminal Law
  • CRIM-233 - Introduction to Corrections
  • HLTH-201 - Physical Health and Fitness
  • Course Listing for this program

    CAPS-200 - Credits: 3.000
    Physical Education Development for Public Safety III
    This course encourages learners to continue their commitment to fitness and the development of health and wellness strategies to further build their capacity for a career in public safety. Learners will focus on fitness and nutrition to enhance their overall well-being and in preparation for their chosen career. Leaners will use a variety of training methods such as weight training, anaerobic, aerobic, and cardio-vascular capabilities. Physical aptitude assessments will take place throughout the term. More Details on this course
    Corequisites: Completion of CAPS Year 1 or permission of instructor
    CAPS-210 - Credits: 3.000
    Historical Perspectives on Crime
    The course will explore the nature of historical, political, sociological and economical injustices experienced by Indigenous people as a result of the colonization of Canada. Students will examine how colonialism has led to and sustains present day crime rates. Emphasis will be placed on interpreting the effects of historical systemic bias , social inequality, and institutional policies on the over-representation of Indigenous people in today's criminal justice system. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Completion of CAPS Year 1 or permission of instructor
    CAPS-240 - Credits: 3.000
    Community Based Policing
    Community policing is collaboration between the police and the community that identifies and solves community problems in order to prevent crime. Within this course, learners will explore models, both historical and contemporary, to engage members of the community to solve localized problems pertaining to crime and poverty. Learners will engage with local community groups and seek opportunities to volunteer in a public safety setting. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Completion of CAPS Year 1 or permission of instructor
    CAPS-250 - Credits: 3.000
    Applied Public Safety
    This course will examine various aspects of work involved with public safety employment opportunities in a municipal setting such as: ride alongs, shift work, applying administrative duties, importance of report writing, process of detainment, and the significance of communication. Learners will attend field trips to training facilities and explore opportunities for participating in summer cadet programs. Additionally, learners will participate in skill development opportunities in preparation for the application process for careers in public safety. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Completion of CAPS Year 1 or permission of instructor
    CAPS-255 - Credits: 3.000
    Perceptions, Attitudes and Beliefs in Public Safety
    This course engages learners in critical self-reflection in consideration of deconstructing personal values that influence decision making and interactions with others. Learners will examine individual beliefs, ethics, and beliefs that challenge their assumptions of diversity, backgrounds and experiences. Through role-play, simulations, and active discussions, learners will analyze bias in the field of public safety and how it often leads to over-policing, discrimination and the misuse of force. Learners will explore and define their own values in an effort to understand behaviours and develop individual integrity in preparation for a career in the sector. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Completion of CAPS Year 1 or permission of instructor
    CAPS-260 - Credits: 3.000
    Approaches to Conflict Resolution II
    Building on Approaches to Conflict Resolution I, learners will continue to develop conflict resolution skills relevant to a career in public safety by focusing on interpersonal communication and a collaborative approach to resolving conflict. Learners will further develop their practical skills by examining case studies like the Oka Crisis, Delgamuukw v. British Columbia, the Ipperwash Inquiry Report, the Mount Polley Mine disaster, and the Wet'suwet'en Solidarity Protests. Further, learners will use Indigenous methods of conflict resolution to examine community-based conflict resolution processes like band council resolutions, mediations, treaty resolutions, sentencing circles, and traditional systems-based approaches. Learners will continue to develop interpersonal communication skills by participating in dialogue that focuses on relationship building, interpersonal and intercultural communication, group simulations, and case studies to critically analyze historical conflicts between law enforcement and Indigenous Nations. More Details on this course
    CAPS-270 - Credits: 3.000
    Indigenous Justice Practices
    In this course, learners will examine Indigenous justice systems and critically analyze the differences between traditional Indigenous approaches to the existing criminal justice system. Topics include restorative justice, healing circles, Gladue reports, Indigenous court programs, Indigenous justice centers and trauma-informed justice programming that are culturally grounded. Learners will examine the over-representation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system and explore alternative approaches to address systemic disparities. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Completion of CAPS Year 1 or permission of instructor
    CAPS-280 - Credits: 3.000
    Public Safety Field School
    This course is intended for students that are in their final semester of the Community and Public Safety Professional Diploma program. Students will participate in a field school at the RCMP Depot training cadet academy where they will observe and reflect on RCMP training practices and procedures. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Completion of CAPS Year 1 or permission of instructor, Criminal Record Check
    Corequisites: CAPS-210 / CAPS-255
    CISM-101 - Credits: 3.000
    Critical Incident Stress Management
    This course emphasizes basic crisis communication techniques, allowing for hands-on practice opportunities, and will provide the participants with valuable communication skills to be used for individuals and groups in crisis. This will include building an awareness and respect for the cultural protocols within different communities. A focus will be placed upon the SAFER-R Model of Psychological Crisis Intervention (Stabilize, Acknowledge, Facilitate, Encourage, Recovery, and Referral) from an Indigenous perspective. Students will also look at intrapsychic, environmental, situational, and organic causes which impact an individual's behaviour, and develop an understanding of the assessment and referral process. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Permission of the Instuctor
    CRIM-135 - Credits: 3.000
    Introduction to Canadian Law
    This course is a general introduction to the fundamental and competing principles of jurisprudence and to the basic legal institutions of Canada. It focuses on the history of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal relations and interactions with the Canadian legal system. It also reviews the development of Canadian law, and the roles and responsibilities of community members, elders and legal professionals. It explores legal reasoning and application, the doctrine of precedent, principles of statutory interpretation, the fields of contract, torts, and administrative and family law. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: ENGL 060 / or English 12 or English Studies 12 and/or English First Peoples 12, Recommended: CRIM 131.
    CRIM-230 - Credits: 3.000
    Criminal Law
    This course reviews the nature, scope and basic principles of criminal law in Canada. Students will study fundamental legal concepts such as mens rea, negligence and strict liability. The course will analyze the concept of criminal responsibility in Canada and it will critically examine the legislative policies expressed in the Criminal Code. In addition to the exploration of the basic elements of a criminal offence this course will review criminal law as it pertains to and affects Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal populations including the examination of legal principles as they relate to specific Aboriginal crimes and major defences. This course will also review the impact of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Indian Act on criminal law. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: CRIM 135
    CRIM-233 - Credits: 3.000
    Introduction to Corrections
    This course will examine the organization, structure and operation of contemporary Canadian correctional practices. It will consider the history, development, and contemporary social organization of provincial and federal correctional institutions. The experiences of individuals with lived incarceration experiences, their families, communities and correctional staff and administrators will be considered. The impacts of new legislative changes, and the role of sentencing in the correctional process will be explored. In addition, this course will discuss issues relating to community-based Aboriginal (restorative/transformative) practices, parole, continuity of care, and re-entry into the community. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: CRIM-131 / or permission of the instructor
    HLTH-201 - Credits: 3.000
    Physical Health and Fitness
    The aim of this course is to provide students with introductory knowledge regarding improvement in health and physical fitness for the enhancement of a healthy lifestyle and total well being. Students will examine the elements of muscular fitness, cardiovascular fitness, balance and flexibility as it relates to healthful living. Specifically, students will learn to develop personal exercise programs and understand the health implications of physical activity, physical fitness and nutrition. Furthermore, students will improve their current level of physical fitness. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: ENGL 060 / MATH-059 / or English 12 and/or English 12 First Peoples, or equivalent and MATH 11 or equivalent or permission of instructor.

    Current Course Offerings

    01 = Merritt Campus
    V1 = Burnaby Campus

    Spring 2024 (January - April)

  • HLTH-201-01

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