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.
Ulcaster555
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby Ulcaster555 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:59 pm

Dave Brown wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:33 pm
Yes, there are changes to be made, but the issue is that CBSA must staff all POEs, not just the popular ones or the POEs near a major city. If they gave every new officer their full choice, some POEs would remain understaffed, and the experienced officers who had been working there for years and hoping for a transfer, would not be happy.

There is no easy solution. But the fact remains:

If you are not willing to go anywhere in Canada and do what they tell you to do, do NOT apply to CBSA. Period. Don't waste their time (or yours.)
What Dave said, and I would like to add that the 2016 posting was across Canada many issues obviously with the postings, after that in 2018 they changed to regions, East coast, Quebec, Northern Ontario, Southern Ontario and the Prairies, wonder if they gonna stick with that one in the new and improved competition.
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IronWolf
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby IronWolf » Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:14 pm

Ulcaster555 wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:59 pm
Dave Brown wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:33 pm
Yes, there are changes to be made, but the issue is that CBSA must staff all POEs, not just the popular ones or the POEs near a major city. If they gave every new officer their full choice, some POEs would remain understaffed, and the experienced officers who had been working there for years and hoping for a transfer, would not be happy.

There is no easy solution. But the fact remains:

If you are not willing to go anywhere in Canada and do what they tell you to do, do NOT apply to CBSA. Period. Don't waste their time (or yours.)
What Dave said, and I would like to add that the 2016 posting was across Canada many issues obviously with the postings, after that in 2018 they changed to regions, East coast, Quebec, Northern Ontario, Southern Ontario and the Prairies, wonder if they gonna stick with that one in the new and improved competition.
It seems year after year, CBSA attempts to fix what is proven to have been broken and they narrow the process down to ultimately let applicants select preferred locations, which makes me believe they are working to address the issue, which affects over 30% of the active BSOs and if not fixed will keep producing 30% + dissatisfied future workforce.

The 2019 Application process gave the option to select much smaller regions as preferred, like cities and part of provinces, so they are narrowing it down.

CBSA may make the transition slowly, granting priority transfers when possible to existing BSOs and then fill the POEs that need force with new recruits that listed these areas as preferred.

I am sure there are some candidates that don't mind a posting anywhere, but reality is most want to be at their preferred location.

Change for the better is the way, otherwise CBSA will keep producing a large % unhappy recruits/BSOs and many quality candidates will never apply because of the Mobility clause.

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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby Bswain » Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:37 am

well my preference would be a REMOTE NORTHERN LOCATION, not interested in living within a 1000KM of any city.

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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby Kevlar » Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:51 am

I know in my process with the CBSA, it specifically asked at the application stage to list three areas you would like to work (check boxes beside ports) and they were all in the same region. This differed from previous postings and differed greatly from when I started with the feds 10 years ago and you got what they said you got. That said at the interview stage they make you sign a statement agreeing you will go where youre told; no ifs ands or buts. However they also mentioned that the CBSA was trying to work out a way to keep people closer to home outside of operational requirements of course.

It always made no sense to me when I went through depot 10 years ago. Youd have a guy from Alberta going to Nova Scotia, and a guy from Nova Scotia going to Alberta. You couldnt trade, and then the Feds end up spending 10 grand x2 moving you both across the country just to spend 10 grand x2 to move you back to where you wanted to be in the first place after you got your transfer approved. And as an aside, as an OJT instructor it was frustrating for myself and fellow senior officers to constantly train a revolving door for all these eastern folk that wanna get home asap and pulled some pretty underhanded stuff to do so (compassionate BS) and if they didnt get home within a year or two they'd piss and moan about how bad they miss family yet would crap on anyone that said "didnt you agree to the job posting?" Or "youd still be unemployed or underemployed if you hadnt moved out west".

In my opinion, If you want the job, you accept it for face value, its not up to you or some sense of entitlement to dictate the terms. The terms are outlined in the posting.

Its quite funny.
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cbmcmsa
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby cbmcmsa » Thu Feb 27, 2020 8:42 am

Bswain wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:37 am
well my preference would be a REMOTE NORTHERN LOCATION, not interested in living within a 1000KM of any city.
You may not get that right out of Rigaud. You need to fulfill your FB-02 OIDP competencies on the job, and you just simply won't get those without working at either an airport or a land border that sees more than 1 car a month. As for those "REMOTE NORTHERN LOCATIONS" not exactly sure how often transfers get to or from them, all I know is that if you go and it's by choice, you'd better be damn sure that's where you want to spend the next 20 years (at least) of your life.

Food for thought.
Former SBSO (CBSA)
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby IronWolf » Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:19 am

Kevlar wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:51 am
I know in my process with the CBSA, it specifically asked at the application stage to list three areas you would like to work (check boxes beside ports) and they were all in the same region. This differed from previous postings and differed greatly from when I started with the feds 10 years ago and you got what they said you got. That said at the interview stage they make you sign a statement agreeing you will go where youre told; no ifs ands or buts. However they also mentioned that the CBSA was trying to work out a way to keep people closer to home outside of operational requirements of course.

It always made no sense to me when I went through depot 10 years ago. Youd have a guy from Alberta going to Nova Scotia, and a guy from Nova Scotia going to Alberta. You couldnt trade, and then the Feds end up spending 10 grand x2 moving you both across the country just to spend 10 grand x2 to move you back to where you wanted to be in the first place after you got your transfer approved. And as an aside, as an OJT instructor it was frustrating for myself and fellow senior officers to constantly train a revolving door for all these eastern folk that wanna get home asap and pulled some pretty underhanded stuff to do so (compassionate BS) and if they didnt get home within a year or two they'd piss and moan about how bad they miss family yet would crap on anyone that said "didnt you agree to the job posting?" Or "youd still be unemployed or underemployed if you hadnt moved out west".

In my opinion, If you want the job, you accept it for face value, its not up to you or some sense of entitlement to dictate the terms. The terms are outlined in the posting.

Its quite funny.
The goal of CBSA's hiring is ultimately to Permanently staff the POE with officers. Not to move them around , as RCMP does. The best for all scenario is to match the POE with applicant from the start, to avoid all the costs you mentioned later and low engagement of the officers.

Mobility clause is a deterrent to attract some category of applicants. Imagine a mother of 3 young kids in her late 30-ies with settled home already and a husband that can't move to another location for his job. Will they wish to be posted away from home ? Or will she ever apply to this job ?

Mobility clause should better reflect the operational goal of the agency, which as I read is to Permanently staff the needing POEs with agents.

Of course that being ready to relocate is the best possible attitude when applying to such job.
Reality is that most people that apply to work at CBSA prefer to get a specific region POE.

It can be a Win-Win situation, just HR needs to put some more effort to match the candidate with the POE as much as possible.

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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby cbmcmsa » Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:57 am

IronWolf wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:19 am
The goal of CBSA's hiring is ultimately to Permanently staff the POE with officers. Not to move them around , as RCMP does. The best for all scenario is to match the POE with applicant from the start, to avoid all the costs you mentioned later and low engagement of the officers.

Mobility clause is a deterrent to attract some category of applicants. Imagine a mother of 3 young kids in her late 30-ies with settled home already and a husband that can't move to another location for his job. Will they wish to be posted away from home ? Or will she ever apply to this job ?

Mobility clause should better reflect the operational goal of the agency, which as I read is to Permanently staff the needing POEs with agents.

Of course that being ready to relocate is the best possible attitude when applying to such job.

Reality is that most people that apply to work at CBSA prefer to get a specific region POE.

It can be a Win-Win situation, just HR needs to put some more effort to match the candidate with the POE as much as possible.
I'm going to say this before my breakdown begins. The above is all opinion. The below is all opinion backed by 5 years of being a part of CBSA and 1 in the bridging process to become a full BSO. My statements don't represent the Agency, just my own experience/knowledge/fact-based opinion on the matter.


The goal of CBSA's hiring is ultimately to Permanently staff the POE with officers. Not to move them around , as RCMP does. The best for all scenario is to match the POE with applicant from the start, to avoid all the costs you mentioned later and low engagement of the officers.

Your opening paragraph is based purely on your speculation based on documents that may or may not be accurate/out-dated. As an applicant to the Agency and not, let's say, anyone from the Executive Branch, how exactly do you know what the Ultimate Goal of the CBSA's Hiring process is with 100% certainty? You don't is the answer. The thread is designed for applicants to ask questions and have BSOs/Employees of the Agency/Recruiters answer with fact or well-founded opinion based on facts.

Now onto a more in-depth breakdown of your points.

1) Mobility clause is a deterrent
- Yes it is, to those who do not want to move across the country. This is, after all a nation-wide Agency.

2) Or will she ever apply to this job?
- She might, but if she isn't willing to move, she probably shouldn't. There are a lot of local LE Agencies that don't require you to be willing to move anywhere in the country. CBSA is not one of them.

3) Mobility clause should better reflect the operational goal of the agency ...
- How do you propose this is done? Considering the bulk of applicants are from QC/ON do you not want the prairies to be staffed? How about PAC? The Agency isn't perfect, nor is their staffing directive by any means, but as a NATION WIDE AGENCY they need to staff the nation. If you have 30 in a cohort, and 20 are from Toronto, 10-12 of them are going to be really upset after their posting.

4) Of course that being ready to relocate is the best possible attitude when applying to such job.
- It is the only attitude you should have with regard to this conversation when it comes to applying to the job. The Agency does not owe you anything. Remember YOU are applying, and YOU said yes when it came to relocating. YOU don't get to complain if you don't like what YOU are given.

5) Reality is that most people that apply to work at CBSA prefer to get a specific region POE.
- Of course everybody has a dream POE, but the majority of people also read the application and know that they might not get that Dream. Part of the risk you take when applying.

6) It can be a Win-Win situation, just HR needs to put some more effort to match the candidate with the POE as much as possible.
- For someone who doesn't even work for the Agency yet, this statement is something else. Do you know how much work STAFFING AN ENTIRE COUNTRY takes? I can tell you it's a lot of work, done by a lot of really hardworking people and groups. This statement, to me, shows that you maybe don't understand the gravity or nature of the position you applied for. To say "HR needs to put some more effort to match..." is so utterly ridiculous when you look at the whole scope and focus of the Agency. There's a reason they ask EVERY APPLICANT before people are allowed to submit applications, whether they are willing to relocate anywhere in the Country.
Former SBSO (CBSA)
App-08/18
RPAB-09/18
SP-11/18
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RFI-03/19
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Med/Psych Rec-06/19
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Troop#2 - Nov 16, 2020-May 17, 2021

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CaptainMarvel
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby CaptainMarvel » Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:04 am

IronWolf wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:19 am
Kevlar wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:51 am
I know in my process with the CBSA, it specifically asked at the application stage to list three areas you would like to work (check boxes beside ports) and they were all in the same region. This differed from previous postings and differed greatly from when I started with the feds 10 years ago and you got what they said you got. That said at the interview stage they make you sign a statement agreeing you will go where youre told; no ifs ands or buts. However they also mentioned that the CBSA was trying to work out a way to keep people closer to home outside of operational requirements of course.

It always made no sense to me when I went through depot 10 years ago. Youd have a guy from Alberta going to Nova Scotia, and a guy from Nova Scotia going to Alberta. You couldnt trade, and then the Feds end up spending 10 grand x2 moving you both across the country just to spend 10 grand x2 to move you back to where you wanted to be in the first place after you got your transfer approved. And as an aside, as an OJT instructor it was frustrating for myself and fellow senior officers to constantly train a revolving door for all these eastern folk that wanna get home asap and pulled some pretty underhanded stuff to do so (compassionate BS) and if they didnt get home within a year or two they'd piss and moan about how bad they miss family yet would crap on anyone that said "didnt you agree to the job posting?" Or "youd still be unemployed or underemployed if you hadnt moved out west".

In my opinion, If you want the job, you accept it for face value, its not up to you or some sense of entitlement to dictate the terms. The terms are outlined in the posting.

Its quite funny.
The goal of CBSA's hiring is ultimately to Permanently staff the POE with officers. Not to move them around , as RCMP does. The best for all scenario is to match the POE with applicant from the start, to avoid all the costs you mentioned later and low engagement of the officers.

Mobility clause is a deterrent to attract some category of applicants. Imagine a mother of 3 young kids in her late 30-ies with settled home already and a husband that can't move to another location for his job. Will they wish to be posted away from home ? Or will she ever apply to this job ?

Mobility clause should better reflect the operational goal of the agency, which as I read is to Permanently staff the needing POEs with agents.

Of course that being ready to relocate is the best possible attitude when applying to such job.
Reality is that most people that apply to work at CBSA prefer to get a specific region POE.

It can be a Win-Win situation, just HR needs to put some more effort to match the candidate with the POE as much as possible.
It's not quite as black and white as that. The CBSA, first and foremost, is a Federal Government agency, which means that it is subject to not only operational needs, but federal mandates, yearly budgets, adapting to any changes that may be made with federal elections and changing parties, etc.

Not to mention that while all us people applying for CBSA are individuals with needs/priorities, the people working there already, not to mention the staff working behind the scenes within the administration, also face staff shortages, people leaving, mat leave, vacation, getting injured and being on leave but still holding the position (so it can't be 'staffed'), etc. That is not even taking into account the regular surge of applicants they have coming into the process on a semi-annual basis. In addition, they are having to track the thousands of applicants as they meet eligibility at benchmarks throughout the process, new hires as they get posted and start their careers, etc, etc etc. And addition to this, there may be a plethora of other things happening that is confidential and may never be revealed to the general public/applicants.

After reflecting on their annual reports, it does sound as if that they are trying to figure out the best system through trial and error, but who knows how long it will take before they find the ideal scenario? And even then, it may never be perfect. It is what it is, and applicants need to adapt to it.

In short, if:

- you can't accept/follow a requirement for what it is, regardless of whether you personally think it is correct or "fair"

might not be the career for you.

IronWolf
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby IronWolf » Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:09 am

cbmcmsa wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:57 am
IronWolf wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:19 am
The goal of CBSA's hiring is ultimately to Permanently staff the POE with officers. Not to move them around , as RCMP does. The best for all scenario is to match the POE with applicant from the start, to avoid all the costs you mentioned later and low engagement of the officers.

Mobility clause is a deterrent to attract some category of applicants. Imagine a mother of 3 young kids in her late 30-ies with settled home already and a husband that can't move to another location for his job. Will they wish to be posted away from home ? Or will she ever apply to this job ?

Mobility clause should better reflect the operational goal of the agency, which as I read is to Permanently staff the needing POEs with agents.

Of course that being ready to relocate is the best possible attitude when applying to such job.

Reality is that most people that apply to work at CBSA prefer to get a specific region POE.

It can be a Win-Win situation, just HR needs to put some more effort to match the candidate with the POE as much as possible.
I'm going to say this before my breakdown begins. The above is all opinion. The below is all opinion backed by 5 years of being a part of CBSA and 1 in the bridging process to become a full BSO. My statements don't represent the Agency, just my own experience/knowledge/fact-based opinion on the matter.


The goal of CBSA's hiring is ultimately to Permanently staff the POE with officers. Not to move them around , as RCMP does. The best for all scenario is to match the POE with applicant from the start, to avoid all the costs you mentioned later and low engagement of the officers.

Your opening paragraph is based purely on your speculation based on documents that may or may not be accurate/out-dated. As an applicant to the Agency and not, let's say, anyone from the Executive Branch, how exactly do you know what the Ultimate Goal of the CBSA's Hiring process is with 100% certainty? You don't is the answer. The thread is designed for applicants to ask questions and have BSOs/Employees of the Agency/Recruiters answer with fact or well-founded opinion based on facts.

Now onto a more in-depth breakdown of your points.

1) Mobility clause is a deterrent
- Yes it is, to those who do not want to move across the country. This is, after all a nation-wide Agency.

2) Or will she ever apply to this job?
- She might, but if she isn't willing to move, she probably shouldn't. There are a lot of local LE Agencies that don't require you to be willing to move anywhere in the country. CBSA is not one of them.

3) Mobility clause should better reflect the operational goal of the agency ...
- How do you propose this is done? Considering the bulk of applicants are from QC/ON do you not want the prairies to be staffed? How about PAC? The Agency isn't perfect, nor is their staffing directive by any means, but as a NATION WIDE AGENCY they need to staff the nation. If you have 30 in a cohort, and 20 are from Toronto, 10-12 of them are going to be really upset after their posting.

4) Of course that being ready to relocate is the best possible attitude when applying to such job.
- It is the only attitude you should have with regard to this conversation when it comes to applying to the job. The Agency does not owe you anything. Remember YOU are applying, and YOU said yes when it came to relocating. YOU don't get to complain if you don't like what YOU are given.

5) Reality is that most people that apply to work at CBSA prefer to get a specific region POE.
- Of course everybody has a dream POE, but the majority of people also read the application and know that they might not get that Dream. Part of the risk you take when applying.

6) It can be a Win-Win situation, just HR needs to put some more effort to match the candidate with the POE as much as possible.
- For someone who doesn't even work for the Agency yet, this statement is something else. Do you know how much work STAFFING AN ENTIRE COUNTRY takes? I can tell you it's a lot of work, done by a lot of really hardworking people and groups. This statement, to me, shows that you maybe don't understand the gravity or nature of the position you applied for. To say "HR needs to put some more effort to match..." is so utterly ridiculous when you look at the whole scope and focus of the Agency. There's a reason they ask EVERY APPLICANT before people are allowed to submit applications, whether they are willing to relocate anywhere in the Country.
What I wrote was all based on facts from the own CBSA audit from October 2018.
All pretty recent conclusions and recommendations that are in the audit.

No need to say more. If you wonder what\where that audit is - https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/agency-agen ... a-eng.html

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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby IronWolf » Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:12 pm

https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/agency-agen ... a-eng.html

"Finding 2: The type of applicants that the Agency attracts could be better aligned with Agency needs and the BSO competencies being sought. The Officer Allowance at the College, the mobility clause, and the lengthy process could be limiting the quality of applications received."

no need to comment ;)

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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby cbmcmsa » Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:16 pm

IronWolf wrote:
Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:12 pm
https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/agency-agen ... a-eng.html

"Finding 2: The type of applicants that the Agency attracts could be better aligned with Agency needs and the BSO competencies being sought. The Officer Allowance at the College, the mobility clause, and the lengthy process could be limiting the quality of applications received."

no need to comment ;)
I've sent you a PM. This issue really doesn't need to be discussed on here and is potentially derailing the intended purpose of the thread.
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RPAB-09/18
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RMAQ-02/19
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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

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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby Jamesscobey » Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:38 pm

Can you apply to work a specific location and if they are not hiring resend your application and apply later for the same location at no cost?

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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby IronWolf » Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:49 pm

Jamesscobey wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:38 pm
Can you apply to work a specific location and if they are not hiring resend your application and apply later for the same location at no cost?
In general currently, when you apply for regular BSO (not SBSO), you can't really apply for one specific location and expect to get it for sure. You are asked to select preferred locations, but CBSA is clear you may be posted anywhere in Canada.

Here's what the 2019 regular BSO job posting stated :

==============
Personal Decision Point:

During the selection process, candidates will be asked to select their desired work locations from a list of districts, located across Canada, including remote and/or isolated posts. While the CBSA will endeavor to assign candidates to one of their desired work locations, postings will be based on operational requirements.

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 in various locations across Canada, which may include rural and remote areas. You need to fully understand and embrace the commitment you are making. Various ports of entry will be available and a process is in place to allow you to indicate your preference; however, there is a chance you may be assigned to an area of Canada that is new to you. Please consult the Directory of CBSA Offices at https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/do-rb/menu-eng.html for information regarding potential postings.

=============

I believe SBSOs get exact airport or mail processing centre they apply for. Hopefully that happens one day with regular BSO applicants.

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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby Rareform » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:38 am

Without disregarding all of the previous discussions on mandate, budgeting, operational requirements, I do agree that matching applicants the best they can with POEs closer to home would make a difference. Seems like a waste of money to move a recent Rigaud graduate from Vancouver, BC to Sault-St. Marie, ON to fill a position if there are already existing vacancies at Vancouver's myriad of POEs.

If they transfer back to BC or quit, then more money has to be spent in replacing that BSO. Especially if they again move someone all the way across the country to fill it again.
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Re: Ask the CBSA!

Postby Sparky87 » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:01 pm

Is there anyone with insight on when the 2020 application process will be open? I ask because they currently have a bunch of recruiting events they are running however no open application for BSO’s only for their science and tech devision. It doesn’t make sense to spend money on recruitment events to generate interest in something if people can’t apply for it. So I was just wondering if anyone knew approximately if and when they will be opening up a new application process?
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Applied: November 2016
Written Tests: Written 09/11/17 - Passed 10/04/17
Interview: 11/16/17 - Passed 11/29/17
Psych: Scheduled 12/2/17 - FAILED 12/19/17
Security: 11/29/17 - cancelled due to psych fail

Reapplied January 10 2019


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