Canada Border Services Specialist

In this course you will learn to understand the structure, goals, responsibilities, and values of the Canada Border Specialist Program. You will also learn about Canada’s immigration systems and its classifications, requirements, and procedures, understand the process of Primary Line Inspection, learn how to conduct research on the different types of legislation, regulations, and policies that govern the power and responsibilities of the Canada Border Specialist Program. You will explore the roles of immigration secondary and inadmissibility criteria and processes, learn how to calculate duty rates, understand the process of importing personal and commercial goods, and much more.

To Be Announced

*In special circumstances, there might be an additional cohort with an earlier start date. Contact us for more details.

What you'll learn

Get familiar with the laws, policies, and regulations that are enforced by the CBSA
Tips and tricks of the trade from our instructors who worked for the CBSA
The everyday job experiences of CBSA officers
How to process people and goods through immigration and customs
The roles and powers of the Enforcement Intelligence Operations Division (EIOD)

Introduction to Global Migration Systems

This module provides an overview of the Canada Border Specialist Program. Learners will acquire knowledge about the Canada Border Specialist Program’s responsibilities, the services it provides Canadians, and the role of Border Services Officers in maintaining the Canada Border Specialist Program’s mandate, mission, and vision.


Intro to Immigration

This module discusses the Canadian immigration system, which has its foundation in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The legislation is applied to both the Canada Border Specialist Program and Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada.


Primary Inspection Lane

This module discusses how persons and goods entering Canada are processed upon arrival. The role of BSOs in facilitating the Primary Inspection Line (PIL) for immigration, customs, food, plants, and animals will be emphasized.


Immigration Secondary

This module will introduce learners to Immigration Secondary. Students will obtain knowledge about the reasoning behind Secondary, the examination procedures, and a BSOs’ duties.


Introduction to Commercial Operations

This module focuses on the legislative requirements enforced by the Canada Border Specialist Program on behalf of various federal government departments and agencies.

Students will explore many of the different requirements and exemptions regarding the importation and exportation of personal and commercial goods that are controlled, regulated, or prohibited by these other government departments.

Students will also gain knowledge of the basic requirements as to the importation and exportation of commercial (business) goods.


Customs Secondary

In this module, students will learn about the processes of customs secondary. This includes mandatory referrals such as claims of commercial products, agricultural goods, or a work permit request. These, as well as searches, are all referrals to secondary.

Students will learn about the intricacies of seizures, detention, arrests, and examining goods in the context of customs secondary. Students will also explore duties and taxes in more depth.

Enforcement Intelligence Operations Division (EIOD)

This module will explore the Enforcement Intelligence Operations Division (EIOD) of the Canada Border Specialist Program in enough detail to understand the “behind the scenes” workings of enforcing, and ensuring the safety and security of Canada and its interests. The EIOD of the Canada Border Specialist Program would be most comparable to an actual policing agency. This plain-clothed division is nationwide and covers primarily immigration (IRPA), customs (CA), criminal (CCC) matters but also all other acts of parliament that the Canada Border Specialist Program enforces.

Debra Heater

Debra Heater is a retired Border Services Officer. Born in Montreal, Quebec, she began her career in Ontario as a bilingual officer. She worked with CBSA for 25 years in various areas, including traveller processing and commercial. She also worked on the FRT (Flexible response team). In this capacity, she chose different projects to work on on a daily basis, which also included JFOs (Joint Forces Operations).

After some time, Debra worked strictly as an Immigration Officer, dealing with work permits, study permits, visitor visas, those seeking asylum in Canada, and inadmissible and fraudulent individuals. On the lighter side, she also processed temporary visitor records for entertainers like 50 Cent, Marilyn Manson, Blake Shelton, and Tommy Lee, to name a few. Debra now works from home as a TEFL teacher, teaching English to foreign nationals who wish to learn English and/or expand their English vocabulary whether for business or social reasons.

Carl Brault

Carl worked for the Canada Border Services Agency for 20 years. In the last 11 years, Carl worked as an Immigration Enforcement Officer in Calgary. He also worked as a Border Services Officer and an Intelligence Analyst with the CBSA.

Carl now runs his own consulting firm which specialized in Immigration issues and French/English interpretation and translation. Carl was born in Montreal and now resides in the Calgary area.

Alan Plaxton

Alan started his career in law enforcement in 1999 as a Correctional Officer in Renous, NB, the maximum-security institution for Atlantic Canada. In 2006, Alan attended POERT for 13 weeks in Rigaud, QC. After initial training, he worked passenger mode at a highway port for a few months before transferring to St. John’s, NL, where he worked airport and marine, in traveller as well as commercial modes, occasionally boarding and searching small sailboats to large oil tankers, as well as aircraft of all sizes. Alan has completed acting assignments as both superintendent and intelligence officer. At different points, he has also been a union rep and a Facilitator for several joint learning programs. Alan left CBSA in 2018 after 12 years of service to move back home to New Brunswick and has worked in transportation since then. He enjoys spending his free time in nature to hike, snowshoe, dirt bike, and kayak.

Todd Bondy

Todd was a Border Services Officer for almost 22 years and retired from the Canada Border Services Agency with the intention of pursuing a career in the legal services industry. He is a paralegal member of the Law Society of Ontario in good standing.

During his career with the CBSA, working at the busiest land border crossing in Canada, Todd held positions as a legislative Technical Trainer and Mentor, Acting Superintendent, Enforcement Officer, and completed assignments on Hiring Boards and in the Intelligence Division. As a CITES Specialized Officer (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), Todd attended the North American Conference in Wild Bird Trade held in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico as the anglophone representative of the CBSA.

He has designed and taught courses to Border Services Officers, security guards, and college students. Todd is a part-time sessional instructor at St. Clair College, developing and delivering various course materials to adult college students in the Border Services Officer Program and he has also developed and delivered course materials in the Paralegal Program. Prior to retiring from CBSA, Todd was a recipient of the Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal Award from the Governor-General of Canada.

Morgan Pollyck

Morgan has been with the Law Enforcement community for over 20 years. He joined the Canada Border Services Agency in 2008 and has primarily worked in the Calgary area for the last 11 years.

Morgan started as a Border Services Officer in the Calgary airport as a Customs Officer. He was an acting Superintendent in the passenger mode then moved onto the Calgary Enforcement Team as an aircraft examiner. He did a few months in administration working on the development of the new Calgary Airport terminal (CBSA workspace) before progressing on to the Inland Enforcement team with EIOD (Enforcement Intelligence Operations Division).

Who is IGS?

The Institute of Global Specialists (IGS) is a not-for-profit college located in St. John, New Brunswick (CAN). However, IGS students may complete their courses from anywhere in the world, provided they have access to a reliable internet connection.

How are the classes delivered?


Our programs are 100% online and are accessible by all mobile devices. Students will simply need access to a reliable internet connection to access their student account. Study materials are pre-recorded or readings, slides, so you get to schedule your own study time. As long as you are meeting the deadlines for your assignments, quizzes and discussions, you’re good to go. Final course exams are typically scheduled on the last weekend of the course.

Instructors are available via email for additional guidance regarding course materials, and IGS staff will assist with any technical questions. While some courses don’t have live classes, they are designed to accommodate live interactions in the form of virtual office hours, as needed.

When do the IGS programs start?


We have monthly start dates. In special circumstances, there might be an additional cohort with an earlier start date. Contact us for more details!

What are the entrance requirements? How do I apply?


A demonstrated ability in English and prior studies at a post-secondary level or relevant professional experience: submission of a resume. We may request further documentation.


To apply, click here.

  • Select your program of choice
  • Fill out the required information
  • Submit a copy of your resume
  • Pay the $175.00 (plus tax) Application Feenon-refundable


Once you have done this, a member of our admissions team will contact you within 24-48 hours to confirm your application has been received and discuss the next steps.

What is the Cost of the IGS programs? Is financial assistance available?


Each module for every program costs CAD$586+tax where applicable. Students can pay as they go (course-by-course).

A non-refundable CAD$175 (plus tax) application fee is also required.

Financing options for 18, 24 or 30 months are also available. CAD$586+tax initial payment is required before the start of the first module.

How long are the IGS programs?


The IGS programs have 6, 7, 8 or 9 modules; and each module is 4-5 weeks long.


  • Foreign Service and International Development Specialist program (FSIDS): 6 modules (24 weeks)
  • Global Immigration Specialist program (GIS): 6 modules (26 weeks)
  • Global Supply Chain Specialist program (GPS): 7 modules (26 weeks)
  • Canada Border Service Specialist program (CBSS): 7 modules (29 weeks)
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Specialist Program (AIML): 7 modules (28 weeks)
  • Global Education Specialist program (GES): 8 modules (39 weeks)
  • Canadian Immigration Law Specialist program (CIL): 9 modules (42 weeks)

Is career support available?


IGS students can join our free career placement module. This module is designed to support IGS students to transition seamlessly to a job, and understand the numerous pathways to various career opportunities. From writing their resume, cover letters, to tips on how to best navigate the job application process and handling a job interview, students will gain practical skills to help them succeed in their post-program endeavours. The module also focuses on helping IGS students develop engagement strategies, and identify networks and job opportunities with the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Try the first Module for FREE
A demo has been made available to you so that you can get familiar with online learning at IGS.

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