Questions and Answers: Applying for a job at the CFIA

Q1. What post-secondary courses or programs should I enrol in if I want to work at the CFIA as an inspector?

Under the "Inspectors" heading on the Career Profiles page you will find information on the broad education and training requirements to be an inspector. If you are not sure what "specialization in the technical sciences" refers to in the educational requirements, then the following information may be of assistance.

The CFIA hires inspectors for a number of different commodities and what is considered to be a relevant specialization may vary depending on the type of position being filled. For example, programs and courses that are relevant for a plant inspector may be different from those relevant for a meat hygiene inspector. In some cases desired programs of study will be listed directly on the job poster.

A university degree is required in most cases, while in some cases a college or Cégep diploma, or other post-secondary diploma or certificate, may be acceptable.

The examples below illustrate the kind of programs and courses that we might be looking for. These are some examples of specializations that have been used for screening purposes in the past. However, please keep in mind that this list is neither a complete list, nor will all the specializations on the list be considered relevant for every position. As noted above, the specializations required may vary depending on the duties of the particular position being filled.

Examples of post-secondary education specializing in relevant technical sciences

Post-secondary education with a specialization in or relating to the following:

  • Agriculture
  • Agrology
  • Agronomy
  • Animal Production Technology
  • Animal Sciences
  • Animal Welfare
  • Bacteriology
  • Biochemistry
  • Bio-engineering and Biomedical Engineering
  • Biological and Life Sciences
  • Biological Control
  • Biological Research Technology
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biology
  • Biology – Medical
  • Biology – Natural Resources
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Community Health
  • Crop Science
  • Dietetics
  • Environmental Health Sciences
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Environmental Science
  • Epidemiology
  • Food Engineering
  • Food Processing Technology
  • Food Product Processing and Development
  • Food Safety and Quality
  • Food Science and Food Production Science
  • Food Science and Technology
  • Food Sciences
  • Food Technology and New Foods
  • Forestry
  • Health Sciences
  • Horticulture
  • Horticulture Science
  • Immunology
  • Mammalogy
  • Medical and Health Sciences
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Oenology and Viticulture
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Plant Biotechnology
  • Protein Chemistry
  • Public Health and Hygiene
  • Seafood Processing
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Zoology
  • Zootechnology

Q2. How do I become a certified inspector so that I can work at the CFIA?

The education requirements to become an inspector are listed on the Career Profiles page. There is no requirement for outside certification because the CFIA provides in-house training for its inspectors. For information on education requirements, see question one above, and visit the Career Profiles page.

Q3. Where should I send my resumé in order to be considered for a job in the future?

Resumés are normally accepted only as part of an application for a specific position.

You can also submit an application for one of our inventories (for example, veterinarians). An inventory is a type of job poster that is used for ongoing staffing needs, and therefore does not have a closing date. The CFIA will periodically assess the applications received and contact applicants selected for further assessment.

Q4. Do I have to be bilingual to apply?

No. Some positions require you to be bilingual, but others do not.

According to the Treasury Board Secretariat, approximately 40 percent of positions in the Public Service of Canada require some level of bilingualism. The number of bilingual jobs also varies across the country.

For bilingual positions, the level of language proficiency required is listed on the job poster. In such cases, applicants will do a Second Language Evaluation (SLE) to determine if they meet the required level.

Q5. Do I have to be a Canadian citizen to apply?

No. The CFIA does not require Canadian citizenship for employees.

However, you must be lawfully able to work in Canada and have a Canadian social insurance number. This means that you must be:

  • a Canadian citizen; or
  • a permanent resident; or
  • a foreign national with an open work permit or an employer-specific work permit that identifies the CFIA as the employer.

Also, you will not be considered for a position if the duration of the position will be greater than the length of time you are legally entitled to work in Canada. For example, if you have a work permit for 3 months, you will not be considered for a temporary position with a 6 month duration.

Q6. How do I know if I am still being considered for a job to which I've applied?

If you have submitted a job application online, you can log into your account and view the status of your application. Visit jobs.gc.ca for more information.

In general, you will be contacted if any action is required on your part.

Q7. How long will the process take?

This varies widely depending on the position, the number of applications received, and the methods of assessment that are being used.

It is not possible to give a timeline that will be accurate for all postings to which you may apply.

Q8. How is my starting salary decided?

Your salary will be determined based on the classification of your position (for example, PE-01, BI-04) and the CFIA's Rates of Pay. The classification will normally be stated in the advertisement or job poster.

If you are new to the public service, then your starting salary will be stated in your letter of offer, and will be based on the rate of pay which applies to your position in conjunction with your position. The rate of pay is normally the minimum of the applicable pay scale.

If you are already working in the public service, your rate of pay will be calculated in accordance with the same promotion, demotion or transfer rules followed elsewhere in the public service.

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