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NOC Code: NOC Code: 4155 Occupation: Parole and Probation Officers and Related Occupations
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Probation officers monitor the conduct and behaviour of criminal offenders serving probation terms. Parole officers monitor the reintegration of criminal offenders serving the remainder of sentences while conditionally released into the community on parole. Classification officers assess inmates and develop rehabilitation programs for criminal offenders who are incarcerated in correctional facilities. They are employed by federal and provincial governments and work in the community and in correctional facilities. Probation officers monitor the conduct and behaviour of criminal offenders serving probation terms. Parole officers monitor the reintegration of criminal offenders serving the remainder of sentences while conditionally released into the community on parole. Classification officers assess inmates and develop rehabilitation programs for criminal offenders who are incarcerated in correctional facilities. They are employed by federal and provincial governments and work in the community and in correctional facilities.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
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Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4 5
Writing Writing 1 2 3 4
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3 4
Money Math Money Math 1 2
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3 4
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3 4
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Skim short text entries in logbooks. For example, classification officers may read correction officers' logbook entries to learn about the actions of offenders while in custody. (1)
  • Read about treatment and employment programs, community events and workshops in bulletins, brochures and other marketing materials. For example, read brochures to learn about treatment programs available for addicted offenders. Read bulletins to learn about professional development opportunities. (2)
  • Read short email, memos and text entries in forms. For example, read memos and email from co-workers and supervisors to learn about upcoming meetings and changes to policy. Classification officers may read text written in request forms to learn about offenders' requests for meetings and complaints. (2)
  • Read case management notes. Learn about offenders' behaviours, treatment program successes, progress being made toward goals and the conclusions and recommendations of others who have interacted with offenders. (2)
  • Read various reports and orders. For example, parole officers read pre-sentence reports to learn about offenders' backgrounds, upbringings, criminal histories, education, cognitive abilities, addictions and mental health concerns. Probation officers read probation, conditional sentence and disposition orders to learn about the terms and conditions of probations. They also read police reports to learn about new charges being laid against offenders. (3)
  • Read textbooks, research papers and journal articles to learn about new therapeutic approaches, criminal mindsets and factors such as alcohol and drug use which influence criminal behaviours. For example, read research articles about the mental and physical characteristics of violent offenders and the attitudes, crime cycles and habits of sexual offenders. (4)
  • Read policy and procedural manuals. For example, read procedural manuals to learn how offenders are to be treated from the time they are charged to when convicted and remanded into custody. Refer to policy manuals to learn the organization's rules governing items such as caseloads, hours of work and sick leave. (4)
  • Read lengthy psychological, psychiatric and criminogenic risk assessments. For example, read psychological assessments to learn about offenders' cognitive functionings, interests, personality styles and mental health conditions such as borderline personality disorders, anxiety and depression. (5)
  • Read and interpret criminal justice Acts and codes. For example, probation officers may refer to sections and sub-sections of the Criminal Code of Canada to identify the seriousness of criminal charges and the minimum and maximum lengths of sentences available to the courts. Parole officers may read sections of the Corrections Act and the Prison and Reformatories Act to understand offenders' rights and responsibilities. (5)
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Writing
  • Write reminders. For example, parole officers may write notes in daybooks to remind themselves of upcoming meetings and court dates. (1)
  • Write brief email and notes to co-workers and colleagues. For example, email co-workers and supervisors to request information on offenders and to schedule meetings. Write short notes to inform colleagues about new employment programs. (2)
  • Write rehabilitation plans. For example, youth probation officers may write rehabilitation plans to identify the goals and objectives to be achieved by offenders and the resources such as counselling that are required. (3)
  • Write letters to offenders, their parents, co-workers, employers, parole boards, management review committees and colleagues such as psychiatrists and psychologists. For example, write letters to businesses to confirm the employment of offenders and to community-based organizations to support offenders' applications. Write letters to offenders and their parents to remind them of upcoming proceedings and to inform them of consequences for breached probations. (3)
  • Write case management notes. Record meeting events and outcomes, observations about progress made, matters for follow-up and information such as offenders' health problems, living conditions and concerns. The information is of sufficient detail for use in court proceedings. (3)
  • Write a variety of sentencing and pre-sentencing, risk assessment, progress and classification reports. For example, classification officers write short classification reports to record offenders' past convictions, levels of education and family backgrounds and to summarize events since their incarcerations. Probation officers write pre-sentencing reports for the courts that outline offenders' criminal histories, current charges, behavioural tendencies, observed improvements in behaviours and recommended treatments and incarceration options. (4)
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Document Use
  • Locate data on product labels. For example, scan labels on medications to identify drug names, expiry dates and dosages. (1)
  • Locate data in graphs. For example, locate offenders' cognitive percentile rankings and statistics such as incarceration, crime and recidivism rates in graphs. (2)
  • Scan lists and tables to locate data such as contact information, identification numbers and sentence durations. For example, classification officers scan tracking schedules to locate names, inmate identification numbers, classifications and dates of admittance, transfer and release. (2)
  • Interpret genograms. For example, youth probation officers may scan genograms and other family relationship diagrams to identify offenders' significant family relationships. (2)
  • Locate data in entry forms. For example, youth probation officers scan report cards to understand how young offenders are performing in school. (2)
  • Complete a variety of lengthy entry forms such as for breach of probation, transfer and release. Record inmate identification numbers, dates, order numbers and deadlines. Enter text and check boxes to indicate risk factors, issues and types of breaches, transfers, releases and leaves. (3)
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Computer Use
  • Use word processing applications such as Word and WordPerfect to write a variety of sentencing, risk assessment, progress and classification reports. Use templates to prepare form letters such as breach of probation notices and non-compliance orders. (2)
  • Access the organization's databases to complete case management files and to record expenses and meeting outcomes. Input information such as names and identification numbers to locate information such as offenders' criminal histories, telephone numbers, addresses and lengths of probations and paroles. Use databases to retrieve and print case management notes, logbook entries and shift summations. (2)
  • Use email software such as Outlook to exchange messages with co-workers, supervisors and colleagues and to send and receive attachments such as court orders and assessment results. (2)
  • Use browsers such as Internet Explorer and Netscape to locate information about training opportunities, treatment programs and community services. For example, access password protected on-line databases and download research papers, articles and procedural manuals. Use the organization's intranet to access information about matters such as wages and benefits packages. Enter identification numbers, times and coordinates into surveillance systems using global positioning satellite technology to track the activities of offenders and monitor curfews. (2)
  • Use spreadsheet applications such as Excel to organize data including hours worked and meetings held, and locate information about offenders such as release dates and to record and track expenses. (2)
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Oral Communication
  • Discuss ongoing work with supervisors and managers. Inform supervisors about your activities and situations involving high risk offenders. Discuss caseloads, reporting requirements, holiday cover-off, security protocols, workloads and work procedures. (2)
  • Talk to workers at employment and social service agencies to learn about their programs. For example, probation officers may talk to staff at substance abuse programs and halfway houses to learn about intake procedures, treatment programs and policies. (2)
  • Discuss cases and clients with co-workers, supervisors, lawyers, police officers and other professionals such as psychologists and psychiatrists. For example, parole and probation officers may discuss with psychologists and psychiatrists, assessment outcomes and the risks that offenders pose. They consult co-workers and colleagues such as support workers and counsellors to formulate treatment plans and coordinate their implementation. (3)
  • Lead training activities and give presentations. For example, classification officers in correctional institutions may lead workshops to introduce volunteers to institutional policies and procedures. Parole and probation officers may hold information sessions with high school students to discuss occupations and career opportunities in the criminal justice field. (3)
  • Counsel offenders on a wide variety of topics. For example, ask open-ended questions and listen actively to evaluate the effect of treatment plans and determine offenders' compliance with court orders. Use appropriate tones of voice and language to establish rapport, explain procedures, bolster self-confidence and otherwise engage offenders who are emotionally unstable, angry, defensive and fearful. In some cases, assist offenders by offering constructive advice and suggestions for dealing effectively with family conflicts, addictions and anger. (4)
  • Answer questions and present your opinions, evaluations and recommendations during court hearings. Present precisely worded evidence at trials and respond factually to questions asked by lawyers, prosecutors and judges. (4)
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Money Math
  • Use petty cash to purchase goods and services such as gasoline, taxi and parking. (1)
  • Calculate expense claims for travel, meals and accommodations. For example, calculate reimbursements for using personal vehicles at set per kilometre rates and costs of meals using per diem rates. (2)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Schedule appointments with offenders and their families, co-workers, supervisors and colleagues such as psychologists and halfway house workers. Allocate realistic amounts of time for meetings and reschedule appointments to accommodate cancellations and urgent requests. (1)
  • Calculate start and end dates for offenders' incarceration and probation periods. For example, parole officers consider lengths of sentences, times already served and provisions for early release to calculate the probable offender release dates. They may present this information as timelines with markers for significant dates. (2)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Measure criminal risk factors using rating scales and assessment instruments. (2)
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Data Analysis
  • Scan arrest and conviction data to determine crime trends. For example, parole officers may review rates of fraud crime by year, gender and region to determine trends. (1)
  • Collect data and calculate statistics to describe your activities and those of the office and work unit. For example, calculate statistics such as the total numbers of meetings held, caseload sizes and new offender counts. (2)
  • Analyze psychosocial test scores to assess the risks posed by offenders. For example, parole and probation officers may compare the results of criminogenic risk assessments to norms to determine offenders' degrees of antisocial personalities and attitudes. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate amounts of time required for interviews, meetings and court proceedings. Consider offenders' needs and the durations of previous interviews, meetings and court proceedings. (1)
  • Estimate the lengths of time it will take offenders to complete rehabilitation programs. For example, parole officers consider the severities of offenders' addictions to estimate treatment program lengths. Probation officers estimate how long it may take offenders to secure employment by considering labour market conditions and offenders' criminal background, education and work experience. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Parole and probation officers and workers in related occupations organize their daily activities according to the caseloads assigned by courts, supervisors, managers and directors. They organize their own schedules and allocate sufficient times for scheduled visits with offenders, unannounced site visits, court appearances, meetings and administrative tasks such as recording meeting outcomes and report writing. They may be required to modify their schedules when high-risk offenders are missing and in crises. (3)
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Decision Making
  • Choose times and locations for meetings which offenders must attend. For example, parole and probation officers consider the conditions stipulated in court orders, progress being shown by offenders and their own schedules to select the frequencies of offenders' mandatory meetings. (2)
  • May select offenders' security classifications. For example, classification officers decide what level of security should be assigned to offenders sentenced to provincial and federal correctional facilities. They consider offender backgrounds, risk assessment reports and conditions imposed by the courts. (2)
  • Select offenders' classifications and rehabilitation plans. For example, parole officers consider offenders' presenting problems, orders, rehabilitative needs, assessment results and availabilities of services before writing rehabilitation plans. They may refer offenders to programs operated by organizations such as the Elizabeth Fry Society after ensuring that needed supports are available. Classification officers decide that offenders can be transferred to lower level security facilities when they consider they are at lower risk of violence and criminal activity. (3)
  • Recommend the revocation of parole and probation orders. Consider the severity of probation and parole breaches and the risks the offenders pose to themselves and others. For example, parole officers may recommend that offenders be returned to prison after repeatedly acting aggressively toward others and breaching conditions of their parole orders. Probation officers may also recommend the revocation of probation orders after offenders engage in illegal activities. (4)
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Problem Solving
  • Offenders under your supervision cannot be monitored electronically because of shortages and breakdowns of monitoring equipment. Inform supervisors of the shortages and breakdowns and request the expedited delivery of replacement units. Ask police to do periodic checks until the equipment arrives. (1)
  • You are unable to complete legal and reporting documents because important information is missing. For example, you are unable to complete pre-sentence reports because the results of psychiatric and psychological assessments are not available as scheduled. Contact the individuals responsible for the data and complete other work until the information arrives. (2)
  • Deal with offenders who lack the cognitive ability, language skills and maturity to understand sentences, court orders and instructions. Use plain language to explain court outcomes, supervision orders and expectations. Use translators to communicate with offenders who do not speak either official language. (3)
  • You cannot fully implement offenders' rehabilitation plans and access community services due to long wait lists, resource shortages and uncooperative offenders. Help offenders develop contingency plans and provide them with interim support until the appropriate services are available. (4)
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Finding Information
  • Locate information about community resources by searching local resource directories, consulting information available on the Internet and speaking with offenders, co-workers, colleagues, supervisors and the staff of community agencies. (2)
  • Locate information about offenders you supervise. Conduct interviews with offenders and observe their body language. Speak with other offenders, police officers, employers, co-workers, colleagues, friends and neighbours. Read logbooks, case management notes, court orders, and psychological, criminogenic risk and psychiatric assessments. (3)
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Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate risks to personal safety. For example, parole and probation officers evaluate the risks to their safety when meeting with violent offenders. They consider offenders' backgrounds, meeting locations and their proximity to co-workers and colleagues such as police officers and prison guards. (1)
  • Assess the suitability and appropriateness of rehabilitation services such as training programs, halfway houses and social service agencies. For example, parole officers consider the locations, mandates and accessibility of halfway houses when considering day parole options for offenders. Probation officers assess the suitability of training programs for offenders with limited work experience and education. (2)
  • Evaluate offenders' compliance to orders. For example, probation officers compare offenders' behaviours and achievements to those outlined in probation orders. They may judge the degree to which offenders have met requirements such as the injunction to secure employment and to seek counselling for addictions. (2)
  • Evaluate the risks posed by offenders. Consider information collected from offenders and colleagues, assessment results and personal observations and intuitions to assess risks and evaluate supervision and treatments requirements. For example, parole officers study offenders' criminogenic risk assessments, results of rehabilitation plans and information collected from interviews with offenders and their families to assess their likelihood of recidivism. (3)
  • Judge the effectiveness of treatment plans and interventions. Consider anecdotal evidence and information collected from offenders and their families, employers, teachers and social service agencies such as training programs. Study assessments completed by colleagues such as psychologists and psychiatrists and consider your own observations of offenders' behaviours and attitudes. (3)
  • Assess the accuracy and veracity of information gathered from offenders. For example, to assess the accuracy of offenders' statements, youth probation officers will compare information given by offenders to that gathered from reliable sources such as police, social workers and parents. (3)
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