Customs Border Services

The Customs Border Services program will prepare you for a career on the front line of global trade and law enforcement.


Winter 2017
Program Status: Accepting Applications
Program Code: CBS
Location: Peterborough
Coordinator: Jesse Pudwell Email
Credential: Ontario College Diploma
Start Dates: January 09, 2017
Tuition and Ancillary Fees (Domestic): $2,272.82 per semester*
Tuition and Ancillary Fees (International): $7,479.85 per semester*
* Tuition and fees subject to change.
Fall 2017
Program Status: Accepting Applications
Program Code: CBS
Location: Peterborough
Coordinator: Jesse Pudwell Email
Credential: Ontario College Diploma
Start Dates: September 05, 2017
Tuition and Ancillary Fees (Domestic): $2,442.32 per semester*
Tuition and Ancillary Fees (International): $7,589.35 per semester*
* Tuition and fees subject to change.

Program Highlights

New technologies and responsibilities are at the forefront of current customs and border services activities and procedures. The scope of border operations continues to expand as our economy becomes increasingly tied to the global marketplace. As cross border trade exceeds well over one billion dollars a day, our "smart border" needs to efficiently manage the flow of legitimate trade and travellers as we move toward an environment in which the exchange and use of electronic data between countries, and within Canada, becomes a permanent reality. The result is the continued growth of challenging new career opportunities in both the public and private sectors.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) uses its front line law enforcement employees, Border Services Officers (BSOs), to fulfill its roles and responsibilities. The BSOs are trained to function as both a Customs and an Immigration official, depending upon the needs of the port of entry where they are employed. As Canada’s first line of defence, they are also trained and equipped to protect themselves and to ensure our overall safety and well-being.

The Customs Border Services program provides experiential, hands-on learning with real life enforcement tools such as a baggage x-ray machine, travellers’ baggage and a practice automobile, to help prepare you for common enforcement-related activities in the field with the CBSA. This training is also beneficial  for the non-enforcement jobs found in the brokerage, consulting, transportation and private (import/export) industries. Throughout this program you will:

  • Learn the role and legislative jurisdiction of Customs, Immigration and Canadian Food Inspection (Border Services), including enforcement techniques and procedures.
  • Review Customs legislation, procedures and documentation, and Immigration legislation
  • Gain an appreciation for global diversity through additional study of the legislation and regulations relating to other government departments.
  • Develop the computer, communications, dispute resolution and critical thinking skills that today's employers are demanding both in the private and public sectors of Border Services in Canada.

At the conclusion of your regular courses and curriculum within the program, you will participate in a mandatory field placement (co-op) in a private industry/business, customs brokerage or public agency to gain valuable work experience that often results in an offer of employment if you meet their standards.

University Grad?

Are you a university graduate? You may be eligible for direct entry into second semester of this program and graduate in as little as 13 months. Contact the program co-ordinator for more information.

Why Choose Fleming

Fleming College's Customs program has the most customs-specific curriculum offered in Canada. Our graduates are known for their in-depth knowledge of customs laws and regulations, enforcement, and interviewing techniques. They have been trained in the latest technologies, enforcement strategies and industry techniques that have made the administration of Customs in Canada a model for many emerging nations. With four semesters of training, Fleming's Customs Border Services program is thorough. You'll benefit from the program's comprehensive  approach to your education, from our faculty expertise and  from our strong partnerships with placement agencies. Businesses report that students from the Fleming College program are better prepared than those from shorter or similar programs elsewhere.

Common First Semester

Justice diploma program students within the School of Justice and Business studies take the same courses for their first semester after choosing and being accepted into one of our programs. This common focus exposes you to a variety of career options and other programs, while you acquire a base of knowledge and fundamental skills. It also enables you to change direction if you find another program or career area is more appealing. You can enter that program in semester two, provided that you have achieved academic success in first semester, and subject to enrolment capacity.

Work Experience

The Customs Border Services program’s field placement is five consecutive weeks in length; enough time to really get into the work you'll experience in your career. Set at the end of your program, this is a wonderful opportunity to put all of your hard work and studies to use and it’s a great time to make contacts for future employment.

NOTE: Your field placement will extend beyond the traditional 15-week semester. You must successfully complete all courses before you can go out on placement. Field Placement may also be dependent upon a security clearance. Therefore, having a criminal record may prevent you from finishing your entire diploma.

Is this You?

There are a few traits and skills that will help you succeed in this program, and in your eventual career in customs:

  • excellent oral and written communication skills
  • ability to work independently, self-disciplined
  • sensitivity to different cultures, lifestyles
  • empathy and tact
  • problem-solving ability
  • excellent judgement
  • experience working with the public is an asset.

Career Opportunities

High graduate employment rates in this program mean your chances of finding a job to fit your lifestyle and career goals are excellent.  While many think of a customs career as working in enforcement with the federal government, there are also many other federal government employment opportunities and numerous satisfying opportunities exist within private companies/industries and even within organizations such as customs brokerage firms. Your job titles could include:

  • Border Services Officer
  • Policy Officer (Junior and Senior)
  • Trade Compliance Specialist
  • Import Analyst
  • Release Classification Analyst
  • Customs Co-ordinator/Specialist
  • Customs Research Analyst

Fleming College's graduate statistics salaries range from $30,000 - $35,000 for customs brokers, with a range of  $30,000 - $40,000 for those working within private companies. Border Services Officer can currently make a salary in the $51,000 - $68,000 range. Most of these jobs are found in or near city centres such as Toronto, Ottawa, Niagara, London and Windsor.

Minimum Admission Requirements

OSSD with the majority of credits at the College (C) and Open (O) level, including:

  • 2 College (C) English courses (Grade 11 or Grade 12)

When (C) is the minimum course level for admission, (U) or (U/C) courses are also accepted.

Health and Non Academic Requirements

  • Non Academic Requirements: Your program has mandatory requirements which may include a criminal reference check, first aid, CPR-C, etc. For more information, please see the Non Academic Requirements page

Mature Students

If you are 19 years of age or older before classes start, and you do not possess an OSSD, you can write the Canadian Adult Achievement Test to assess your eligibility for admission.

*Students starting in January are required to attend classes over the summer semester.

Related Programs

If you haven't yet decided what kind of law enforcement or justice career you'd like to pursue, check out the Protection, Security and Investigation,  Law Clerk, or Police Foundations programs.

Additional Costs

Plan on $800 per year for books and supplies.


Transfer Agreements

Every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on our website and in our publications. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, fee, timetable, or campus location at any time.

Copyright © 2016 Sir Sandford Fleming College. All Rights Reserved.

Fleming College
599 Brealey Drive K9J 7B1 Peterborough, Ontario,
(705) 749-5530