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Public Safety Communications: Certificate

All intakes for this program have been postponed.


In 1990, KPU introduced the first Public Safety Communications Program in Canada.

This unique, 8-month program prepares students for a growing industry that requires professionally selected and trained public safety communicators. A public safety communicator's expertise means the difference between life and death for a caller. Rapid technological changes, as well as greater social and cultural diversity, have heightened the need for communicators who can successfully function under considerable pressure. The role of the public safety communicator is that of a "first" First Responder as they are the first point of contact for the public to emergency services. While the duties performed by communicators vary considerably according to the function and structure of the organization, there is a simple common element: the communicator critically links the public to those who provide police, fire, and emergency medical assistance.  Students will apply the knowledge they learned throughout the program by performing as Emergency Call Takers and Dispatchers in the Simulated Communications Centre on the Cloverdale campus. Additional information is available from our program website at:

Student Profile

A desire to help people is an important qualification for public safety communicators but it does not ensure success in this demanding career. The public safety communicator must have superior computer skills, multi-tasking abilities, be able to simultaneously manipulate telephones and radios while thinking quickly and critically, and make sound decisions with limited information. The communicator must have excellent listening skills, be assertive but not aggressive, be able to maintain emotional control, and work well in a team setting.

Students must be prepared to work hard, participate actively in all facets of the program, show enthusiasm and commitment, and be willing to accept constructive criticism to attain the skills necessary for employment. Ideally, applicants will have some related education or experience in fields such as victims' assistance or crisis management.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the Faculty's Admission Requirements, which consist of KPU's undergraduate English Proficiency Requirement, the following program admission requirements apply:

  • Submission of a researched, 500 word essay detailing the job function of a public safety communicator
  • Submission of a resume with 3 current, signed letters of reference
  • Completion of a criminal record check through the BC Ministry of Justice, Criminal Records Review Program
  • Achieve keyboarding speed of 40 wpm or higher (students are required to complete 50 nwpm to graduate)
  • Participation in an orientation interview that includes teamwork exercises and a performance evaluation

Note: A hearing exam, while not mandatory, is recommended as many agencies require them for employment.

Students with mental or physical impairments, who may require program or practicum accommodations, should contact the Program Coordinator at 604.598.6118 to discuss required skills and competencies and a Disability Advisor at 604.599.3233 to ensure appropriate accommodations can be arranged.

Curricular Requirements

This intensive Certificate program is organized according to the following learning goals:

  • The development of an appropriate level of understanding of practical and theoretical concepts that graduates of the program will be expected to apply in industry.
  • The provision of hands-on training in our lab with various communications systems similar to those used in the field. The comprehension of human behaviour patterns and development of the interpersonal skills needed to effectively manage crisis calls, relate to co-workers and supervisors, and cope with on-the-job stress.
  • The integration of learning through a wide variety of experiential activities, oral and written presentations, field trips, and agency practica.

Components of the program focus on cultural and societal diversity and are weighted heavily for teamwork.

Courses are kept up-to-date through instructors' professional development, through consultations with the program's advisory committee and with the field generally, and through the procurement of appropriate equipment. Program curriculum is continually updated to industry needs.

Semester 1 – September – December
  PSCM 1100 Call Processing* 3 credits
  PSCM 1120 Radio Communications* 3 credits
  PSCM 1140 Human Behaviour I 3 credits
  PSCM 1150 Legal & Regulatory Influences 3 credits
  PSCM 1280 Public Safety Communications Lab 1* 1.5 credits
  PSCM 1400 Emergency Planning* 3 credits
Semester 2 – January – May
  PSCM 1200 Police Communications* 3 credits
  PSCM 1240 Human Behaviour II 3 credits
  PSCM 1260 Practicum* 3 credits
  PSCM 1281 Public Safety Communications Lab 2* 1.5 credits
  PSCM 1300 Fire Communications* 3 credits
  PSCM 1500 Emergency Medical Communications* 3 credits

* Note: Minimum grade of 75% required in order to graduate.

Other Information

Special Equipment

Students will be assessed $120.00 program equipment fee for specialized headset required in the Cloverdale Simulated Communications Centre.

Credential Awarded

Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to receive a Certificate in Public Safety Communications.

At a Glance

Faculty of Trades and Technology

Public Safety Communications

Program Type:

  • Undergraduate

Credential Granted:

  • Certificate

Offered At:

  • KPU Tech  Cloverdale

Start Date(s):

  • Fall Intake (September)  September

Intake Type:

  • Limited Intake  Limited intake


  • Full-time  Full-time

Minimum Credits Required:

  • 33

Instructional Cycle:

  • Semester-based

Curriculum Effective Date:

  • 01-Sep-2011

Applying to KPU:

Last Updated: 17-May-2017

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