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Justice, Community Safety and Emergency Services

Specialist High Skills Major – Justice, Community Safety and Emergency Services


The Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) in Justice, Community Safety, and Emergency Services enables students to build a foundation of sector-focused knowledge and skills before graduating and entering apprenticeship training, college, university, or an entry-level position in the workplace.


Where local circumstances allow, boards may elect to offer one or more variants of the SHSM in a given sector, each with a particular area of focus. This SHSM may be designed to have a particular focus – for example, on legal services, policing and private security services, the armed forces, or correctional services. This focus is achieved through the selection of the four major credits in the bundle.


A bundle of eight Grade 11 and Grade 12 credits


These credits make up the bundle:

  • four justice, community safety, and emergency services major credits that provide sector-specific knowledge and skills. The four courses must include at least one Grade 11 and one Grade 12 credit, and may include one cooperative education credit related to the sector. (This cooperative education credit would be additional to the two that are required in the bundle; see below);
  • two other required credits from the Ontario curriculum, in each of which some expectations must be met through a contextualized learning activity (CLA) for the justice, community safety, and emergency services sector. The two credits include:
    • one in English1 and
    • one in mathematics;
  • two cooperative education credits that provide authentic learning experiences in a workplace setting, enabling students to refine, extend, apply, and practice sector-specific knowledge and skills.

Note: that a compulsory English credit is required in Grade 11 and in Grade 12 for graduation with an OSSD. Schools may determine whether the CLA, required


Sector-recognized certifications and/or training courses/programs


This SHSM sector requires students to complete a specified number of compulsory and elective sector-recognized certifications and/or training courses/programs, as indicated in the following table.


NOTE: Where an item in the table is capitalized, it is the proper name of the specific certification or training course/program that is appropriate for the SHSM. Where an item is lower cased, it is the name of an area, type, or category of training for which specific certifications or training courses/programs should be selected by the school or board. The requirements are summarized in the table below.


Four (4) compulsory

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Level C – includes automated external defibrillation (AED)

conflict resolution

Standard First Aid

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) – generic (i.e., not site-specific) instruction

Three (3) electives from the list below

advanced training in a technique (e.g., climbing)

ambulation, lifting, and transfer

animal first aid

basic electrical safety

compass/map/global positioning system (GPS)

concussion awareness

confined space awareness

customer service

defensive driving

emergency preparedness – basic

emergency response techniques

emergency services tools (e.g., fire hose)

ethical considerations

fall protection

fire safety and fire extinguisher use

geographic information system (GIS)

group dynamics

health and safety – basic

incident management

Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE)

ladder safety training

leadership skills

legal terminology/ language of law

legal/administrative procedures (e.g., handling subpoenas)

life-saving (Bronze Cross or higher)


marine safety/marine first aid

Mental Health First Aid

military – basic

non-violent crisis intervention

personality inventory

Pleasure Craft Operator

portfolio development

project management

radio operator


safe weapon handling

search and rescue


wilderness first aid

wilderness survival

Working at Heights



Experiential Learning & Career Exploration


Experiential learning and career exploration opportunities relevant to the sector might include the following: 

  • one-on-one observation of a cooperative education student at a placement in the justice, community safety, and emergency services sector (an example of job twinning)
  • a day-long observation of a justice, community safety, and emergency services sector employer or employee (an example of job shadowing)
  • a one- or two-week work experience with a municipal government official or a professional in the sector (an example of work experience)
  • a volunteer experience accompanying an emergency first aid provider at a community event
  • a leadership experience in a school related to drug-use awareness
  • a visit to a detention centre
  • a monitoring experience in a traffic court or in a courtroom of a trial, which is open to the public
  • a visit to a fire hall or a military base, or attendance at an emergency services career fair

Sector Partnered Contextualized Experience (SPCE)

Innovative, Creativity & Entrepreneurship Training (ICE)

The ICE training in SHSM programs will allow students to understand the world from the perspectives of others, generate new ideas, and give students the confidence to develop strategies to implement and sustain their ideas while considering the impacts and consequences their innovation has on the world around them.




Sector-delivered Contextualized Coding

(e.g. SHSM-Agriculture:  GPS, GIS, Computer-controlled Devices with Ontario Federation of Agriculture)




Sector-delivered Contextualized Mathematical literacy

(e.g. SHSM-Horticulture and Landscaping: estimating, measuring, and budgeting with Landscape Ontario)


Reach Ahead Experiences


Students are provided one or more reach ahead experiences – opportunities to take the next steps along their chosen pathway – as shown in the following examples:


  • Apprenticeship: visiting an approved apprenticeship delivery agent in the sector
  • College: interviewing a college student enrolled in a sector-specific program
  • University: observing a university class in a sector-related program
  • Workplace: interviewing an employee in the sector


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