Ask the CBSA!

Discuss the educational and physical requirements, testing process and background phase involved in the hiring process. Includes the experiences and advice of current and past applicants. All agency application related questions belong here.
mendoza68
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby mendoza68 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:54 pm

Hey guys, I'm waiting to start my OITP in two weeks and in meantime I was wondering if I could get any insight on what the shiftwork is like at the CBSA. How long are shifts usually, how many days on and off? I imagine it varies by requirements and ports.

How much break time do you get and is all of it paid?

And lastly during a shift do you usually stick to one task (ie sitting in the booth checking passports of people driving in) or do you rotate?

Thanks for any info!
Applied- Oct 2017
Interview- April 2018
Security Sent- June 2018
Psych - May 2018
Medical - June 2018/July 2019
Pare- February 2018/June 2019
Security Interview - February 2019
Security Clearance- March 2019
OITP- 15D February 2020
Rigaud ???

A North
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Posts: 116
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby A North » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:27 pm

mendoza68 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:54 pm
Hey guys, I'm waiting to start my OITP in two weeks and in meantime I was wondering if I could get any insight on what the shiftwork is like at the CBSA. How long are shifts usually, how many days on and off? I imagine it varies by requirements and ports.

How much break time do you get and is all of it paid?

And lastly during a shift do you usually stick to one task (ie sitting in the booth checking passports of people driving in) or do you rotate?

Thanks for any info!
Based on what I've read previously both here and in the other CBSA forum, normal shifts are 10 hours each on a 4 days on/4 days off rotation. Every 4 days on period is the same shift, so tomorrow through Monday could be 0800 to 1800 each day for example, Tuesday through next Thursday are off and from next Saturday through the following Tuesday you'll also work the same shift each of those 4 days.

Shift schedules are probably the same at each port, though they may vary between ports and especially in busy periods. I would guess the standard non-meal breaks are paid with a 30 minute unpaid meal break, though I have not confirmed that atm.

You'll definitely do a variety of jobs though busier ports will probably rotate you more within one shift or week than smaller ports will. Likewise, smaller ports will probably have you do more tasks at once than larger ports, just with less mobility.

I believe there's also a website or app for BSOs to trade and pick up shifts and of course densely populated areas like GTA/Golden Horseshoe can often have BSOs trade shifts or work OT at other nearby PoEs as needed (i.e. Pearson 1 BSOs can also take shifts at Pearson 3, Billy Bishop, Hamilton Int. etc).
CBSA
CFSC/CRFSC: 04/16; Sent 01/20
GCT2/WCPT: Exempt (Police Foundations 06/17)
Applied: 12/18
Contacted: 02/19
OTEE: 03/19
G Licence: 02/20

Interview: Postponed (CoVid-19)
PARE: TBD
Psych: TBD
Medical: TBD
Security: TBD
Online: TBD
Rigaud: TBD

cbmcmsa
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Posts: 135
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:00 am
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby cbmcmsa » Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:56 am

A North wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:27 pm
mendoza68 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:54 pm
Hey guys, I'm waiting to start my OITP in two weeks and in meantime I was wondering if I could get any insight on what the shiftwork is like at the CBSA. How long are shifts usually, how many days on and off? I imagine it varies by requirements and ports.

How much break time do you get and is all of it paid?

And lastly during a shift do you usually stick to one task (ie sitting in the booth checking passports of people driving in) or do you rotate?

Thanks for any info!
Based on what I've read previously both here and in the other CBSA forum, normal shifts are 10 hours each on a 4 days on/4 days off rotation. Every 4 days on period is the same shift, so tomorrow through Monday could be 0800 to 1800 each day for example, Tuesday through next Thursday are off and from next Saturday through the following Tuesday you'll also work the same shift each of those 4 days.

Shift schedules are probably the same at each port, though they may vary between ports and especially in busy periods. I would guess the standard non-meal breaks are paid with a 30 minute unpaid meal break, though I have not confirmed that atm.

You'll definitely do a variety of jobs though busier ports will probably rotate you more within one shift or week than smaller ports will. Likewise, smaller ports will probably have you do more tasks at once than larger ports, just with less mobility.

I believe there's also a website or app for BSOs to trade and pick up shifts and of course densely populated areas like GTA/Golden Horseshoe can often have BSOs trade shifts or work OT at other nearby PoEs as needed (i.e. Pearson 1 BSOs can also take shifts at Pearson 3, Billy Bishop, Hamilton Int. etc).
Shifts are all based on a VSSA which is established by the CBA. You will find out what shifts are like when you get to your POE after Rigaud. Most port have a different way of doing shifts/distribution, so don't expect anything, and take what they give you. Alternately, you may find yourself at a commercial operation where it is M-F 0800-1600. There are so many different ways your schedule can look based on the parameters, so don't go off of what you've read here, however the 4 on 4 is a pretty standard split. Just saying, different ports have different ideas about the VSSA.
Former SBSO (CBSA)
App-08/18
RPAB-09/18
SP-11/18
Suitability-12/18
RMAQ-02/19
RFI-03/19
PEP-05/19
Med/Psych-05/19
Med/Psych Rec-06/19
Sec Clearance-07/19
Sec Clearance Rec-03/20
Troop Offer-March 10, 2020
Troop#2 - Nov 16, 2020-May 17, 2021

Ulcaster555
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Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:39 am
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby Ulcaster555 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:13 pm

A North wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:43 pm
AMZ1418 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:38 pm
Ulcaster555 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:07 pm


Its not clear what interview you are talking about, if you are the point of the integrity interview, every pre-requisite should have been done by now. If nothing has moved in a few months, contact recruitment.
the interview that's administered to evaluate the following competencies:

dealing with difficult situations
decisiveness
effective interactive communication
judgment
personal integrity
values and ethics

I received my results saying I satisfied each component, and I have supplied all my prerequisite documents.

Just trying to gauge how long other people wait following the interview to do the psych eval, medical, and begin the process of obtaining the secret security clearance.
To sum up and average the experience of other users on here, I'd say be prepared to wait a while, and be prepared to travel on your dollar for a lot of those steps.
Wait times have improved, however; expect about a year before security. Security is at least 6 months or less if you've been very good, lived same place, same job etc...These days and specifically for the Quebec region you can count at least 18 months before being invited to online training.

Good luck in the process.
CBSA/ASFC

Here to correct false and/or inaccurate information.
Ici pour corriger les informations fausses et/ou inexactes.

I do not speak on behalf of the CBSA.
Je ne parle pas au nom de l'ASFC.

neonlights97
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Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:43 am
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby neonlights97 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:23 pm

Ulcaster555 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:13 pm
A North wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:43 pm
AMZ1418 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:38 pm


the interview that's administered to evaluate the following competencies:

dealing with difficult situations
decisiveness
effective interactive communication
judgment
personal integrity
values and ethics

I received my results saying I satisfied each component, and I have supplied all my prerequisite documents.

Just trying to gauge how long other people wait following the interview to do the psych eval, medical, and begin the process of obtaining the secret security clearance.
To sum up and average the experience of other users on here, I'd say be prepared to wait a while, and be prepared to travel on your dollar for a lot of those steps.
Wait times have improved, however; expect about a year before security. Security is at least 6 months or less if you've been very good, lived same place, same job etc...These days and specifically for the Quebec region you can count at least 18 months before being invited to online training.

Good luck in the process.
In their OIM document published in October of 2018, they mention that it’s taking too long for applicants to become BSOs from the time their application is pulled until they are invited to the online training portion of the selection process. The average time, per their research, is 12-14 months and they want to reduce it to 9 months altogether. Is this something in the works, or is the year plus wait time still valid and holding still across the board?

A North
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Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:05 pm
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby A North » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:29 pm

neonlights97 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:23 pm
Ulcaster555 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:13 pm
A North wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:43 pm


To sum up and average the experience of other users on here, I'd say be prepared to wait a while, and be prepared to travel on your dollar for a lot of those steps.
Wait times have improved, however; expect about a year before security. Security is at least 6 months or less if you've been very good, lived same place, same job etc...These days and specifically for the Quebec region you can count at least 18 months before being invited to online training.

Good luck in the process.
In their OIM document published in October of 2018, they mention that it’s taking too long for applicants to become BSOs from the time their application is pulled until they are invited to the online training portion of the selection process. The average time, per their research, is 12-14 months and they want to reduce it to 9 months altogether. Is this something in the works, or is the year plus wait time still valid and holding still across the board?
To this day I still have no idea how they pulled an average of 12-14 months from first contact to online invite because that definitely isn't the average on this forum at least.
CBSA
CFSC/CRFSC: 04/16; Sent 01/20
GCT2/WCPT: Exempt (Police Foundations 06/17)
Applied: 12/18
Contacted: 02/19
OTEE: 03/19
G Licence: 02/20

Interview: Postponed (CoVid-19)
PARE: TBD
Psych: TBD
Medical: TBD
Security: TBD
Online: TBD
Rigaud: TBD

neonlights97
Regular Member
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:43 am
Contact:

Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby neonlights97 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:49 pm

A North wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:29 pm
neonlights97 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:23 pm
Ulcaster555 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:13 pm


Wait times have improved, however; expect about a year before security. Security is at least 6 months or less if you've been very good, lived same place, same job etc...These days and specifically for the Quebec region you can count at least 18 months before being invited to online training.

Good luck in the process.
In their OIM document published in October of 2018, they mention that it’s taking too long for applicants to become BSOs from the time their application is pulled until they are invited to the online training portion of the selection process. The average time, per their research, is 12-14 months and they want to reduce it to 9 months altogether. Is this something in the works, or is the year plus wait time still valid and holding still across the board?
To this day I still have no idea how they pulled an average of 12-14 months from first contact to online invite because that definitely isn't the average on this forum at least.
This is true. I've seen timelines on this forum where just the Security Clearance alone takes 10-12 months... but this is also why I think the OIM study was published to try to determine a way diminish excessive wait times.

A North
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Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:05 pm
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Contact:

Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby A North » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:06 pm

neonlights97 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:49 pm
A North wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:29 pm
neonlights97 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:23 pm


In their OIM document published in October of 2018, they mention that it’s taking too long for applicants to become BSOs from the time their application is pulled until they are invited to the online training portion of the selection process. The average time, per their research, is 12-14 months and they want to reduce it to 9 months altogether. Is this something in the works, or is the year plus wait time still valid and holding still across the board?
To this day I still have no idea how they pulled an average of 12-14 months from first contact to online invite because that definitely isn't the average on this forum at least.
This is true. I've seen timelines on this forum where just the Security Clearance alone takes 10-12 months... but this is also why I think the OIM study was published to try to determine a way diminish excessive wait times.
From what I've read there are a lot of people with equivalent or higher clearances already which is an irritant as they're being made to get clearances again. Stopping that would help and maybe adopting more of the RCMP process where everything can be done concurrently as opposed to piece by piece with CBSA, so long as they don't give you unrealistic deadlines for 250-300 pages of paperwork.
CBSA
CFSC/CRFSC: 04/16; Sent 01/20
GCT2/WCPT: Exempt (Police Foundations 06/17)
Applied: 12/18
Contacted: 02/19
OTEE: 03/19
G Licence: 02/20

Interview: Postponed (CoVid-19)
PARE: TBD
Psych: TBD
Medical: TBD
Security: TBD
Online: TBD
Rigaud: TBD

JEagle10
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Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:14 am
Contact:

Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby JEagle10 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:37 am

A North wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:43 pm
AMZ1418 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:38 pm
Ulcaster555 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:07 pm


Its not clear what interview you are talking about, if you are the point of the integrity interview, every pre-requisite should have been done by now. If nothing has moved in a few months, contact recruitment.
the interview that's administered to evaluate the following competencies:

dealing with difficult situations
decisiveness
effective interactive communication
judgment
personal integrity
values and ethics

I received my results saying I satisfied each component, and I have supplied all my prerequisite documents.

Just trying to gauge how long other people wait following the interview to do the psych eval, medical, and begin the process of obtaining the secret security clearance.
To sum up and average the experience of other users on here, I'd say be prepared to wait a while, and be prepared to travel on your dollar for a lot of those steps.
Depending on where you live you won't have to travel far at all, I didn't spend a dollar extra or travel out of my way once during the process
CBSA
Applied - Sep 2018
OTEE - Sep 2018
Interview - Nov 2018
Pysch - Jan 2019
Pare - Jan 2019
Security papers sent - Feb 2019
Medical - March 2019
Integrity Interview / Clearance granted - Sep 2019
Online: Jan 2020
Rigaud: March 2020

Oli123
Rookie Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:18 am
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby Oli123 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:52 am

I was wondering how the process works for the FSWEP student program.

Did my interview, medical exam, finger prints, and sent my letter proving I am a full time student for the winter 2020 semester. What steps are next? And are the shifts really as intense as they seem to be, as in full-time, over-time, stat holidays and weekends? Especially at the student level.

Thanks!

cbmcmsa
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Posts: 135
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:00 am
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby cbmcmsa » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:18 am

Oli123 wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:52 am
I was wondering how the process works for the FSWEP student program.

Did my interview, medical exam, finger prints, and sent my letter proving I am a full time student for the winter 2020 semester. What steps are next? And are the shifts really as intense as they seem to be, as in full-time, over-time, stat holidays and weekends? Especially at the student level.

Thanks!
There's a thread to ask SBSO/FSWEP questions up already so I apologize if my answer seems curt in any way. The shifts will be determined, more than likely, by a superintendent at whatever POE you get sent to. You will almost 100% not be offered OT. You might be, but it goes to BSOs first (as it should). You will not be working full secondaries, whatever you do will be determined at your POE per national policy/port policy. YOU WILL WORK WEEKENDS! Sorry to burst your bubble, but adults work weekends, and since you're an adult now, guess what! Weekends! But you'll get some kind of hourly premium for weekends and nights. So the incentive is there! Stats, generally, SBSOs won't work.

More than likely your summer (Full-Time) will mirror a BSO-Type schedule, Fall and Winter (if you get invited back) will be determined at your POE. Student BSOs are not full officers. Just remember that. Learn from the experience and be a good worker, that will be way more rewarding to you than being discouraged that you don't get to do 98's and Arrests.
Former SBSO (CBSA)
App-08/18
RPAB-09/18
SP-11/18
Suitability-12/18
RMAQ-02/19
RFI-03/19
PEP-05/19
Med/Psych-05/19
Med/Psych Rec-06/19
Sec Clearance-07/19
Sec Clearance Rec-03/20
Troop Offer-March 10, 2020
Troop#2 - Nov 16, 2020-May 17, 2021

Oli123
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Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:18 am
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby Oli123 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:04 pm

I'm new here so I haven't seen the thread, but I'll check it out.

I don't mind working weekends, I already do now and have been for the past 2.5 years at my current job.

Thank you so much! Just wanted some insight into the job to sort of know what to expect. Sort of nervous about starting so your response helped, thanks again!

cbmcmsa
Regular Member
Posts: 135
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:00 am
Contact:

Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby cbmcmsa » Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:45 am

Oli123 wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:04 pm
I'm new here so I haven't seen the thread, but I'll check it out.

I don't mind working weekends, I already do now and have been for the past 2.5 years at my current job.

Thank you so much! Just wanted some insight into the job to sort of know what to expect. Sort of nervous about starting so your response helped, thanks again!
You'll be fine if you remember the following:
Work Hard even if other people (especially students) aren't.
Don't ask for praise, but accept it graciously if it's given.
Don't talk behind people's backs because words travels quick at POEs
Don't leave work for other people.. I.e. take ownership of things you start and see them through.
MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL
Listen to what BSOs/Senior Students (ones who are said to be "the best") have to say about the job. You're going to hear some negatives, some positives, and a lot of neutrals. Personal gripes about the Agency, as well as extreme pride in the Agency, take with a grain of salt. What I mean is listen to what these people have to say about doing the job, and how to better yourself, and allow yourself to form your own opinions about the Agency. Don't get jaded as a student, but don't be naïve for the sake of trying to impress people. Ya feel?
Former SBSO (CBSA)
App-08/18
RPAB-09/18
SP-11/18
Suitability-12/18
RMAQ-02/19
RFI-03/19
PEP-05/19
Med/Psych-05/19
Med/Psych Rec-06/19
Sec Clearance-07/19
Sec Clearance Rec-03/20
Troop Offer-March 10, 2020
Troop#2 - Nov 16, 2020-May 17, 2021

Ulcaster555
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Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:39 am
Contact:

Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby Ulcaster555 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:19 am

A North wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:06 pm
neonlights97 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:49 pm
A North wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:29 pm


To this day I still have no idea how they pulled an average of 12-14 months from first contact to online invite because that definitely isn't the average on this forum at least.
This is true. I've seen timelines on this forum where just the Security Clearance alone takes 10-12 months... but this is also why I think the OIM study was published to try to determine a way diminish excessive wait times.
From what I've read there are a lot of people with equivalent or higher clearances already which is an irritant as they're being made to get clearances again. Stopping that would help and maybe adopting more of the RCMP process where everything can be done concurrently as opposed to piece by piece with CBSA, so long as they don't give you unrealistic deadlines for 250-300 pages of paperwork.
I've read what they are hoping to do to cut the time of the process, frankly I'm not sure if it will work, just security is 6 months minimum and you can't cut time there, they'll have to find another part of the process that can be expedited. Still waiting on what will happen in the new competition, stay tuned.
CBSA/ASFC

Here to correct false and/or inaccurate information.
Ici pour corriger les informations fausses et/ou inexactes.

I do not speak on behalf of the CBSA.
Je ne parle pas au nom de l'ASFC.

neonlights97
Regular Member
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:43 am
Contact:

Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby neonlights97 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:44 am

Ulcaster555 wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:19 am
A North wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:06 pm
neonlights97 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:49 pm


This is true. I've seen timelines on this forum where just the Security Clearance alone takes 10-12 months... but this is also why I think the OIM study was published to try to determine a way diminish excessive wait times.
From what I've read there are a lot of people with equivalent or higher clearances already which is an irritant as they're being made to get clearances again. Stopping that would help and maybe adopting more of the RCMP process where everything can be done concurrently as opposed to piece by piece with CBSA, so long as they don't give you unrealistic deadlines for 250-300 pages of paperwork.
I've read what they are hoping to do to cut the time of the process, frankly I'm not sure if it will work, just security is 6 months minimum and you can't cut time there, they'll have to find another part of the process that can be expedited. Still waiting on what will happen in the new competition, stay tuned.
There's actually a couple of timelines here (2019 ones if memory serves me right), where the security clearance only took betweek 3 and 4 months. It's quite encouraging to see actually, and I really do believe progress is being made following their OIM report. Now here's hoping there's a new job posting sooner rather than later :D


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