Public Safety Fundamentals

Fanshawe's Public Safety Fundamentals is a one-year Ontario College Certificate program that builds strong skills in communication, human behaviour, law and ethics, physical fitness and sensitivity training.


With so many diverse possibilities available, it can be a challenge to choose which area of public safety is right for you. Fanshawe's Public Safety Fundamentals is a one-year Ontario College Certificate program designed to get you started on your academic journey. In order to assist in the identification of a particular field of Public Safety, this program offers a common first semester where you will explore the variety of opportunities in the field of safety and identify which specific area you wish to pursue. In the second semester you enter into one of three streams so you can focus your studies on the area of public safety you are interested in:

  • Justice, Protection and Policing
  • Legal
  • Fire

What you learn in our public safety program

You will build strong skills in communication, human behaviour, law and ethics, physical fitness, and sensitivity training. You will develop knowledge in specific public safety disciplines, such as justice, protection, policing, law, fire inspection and fire safety education, to help prepare you for entry-level employment in public safety-related fields or for future studies in public safety career programs. The program also offers excellent preparation for diploma programs in the School of Public Safety:

  • Police Foundations
  • Law Clerk
  • 911 Public Safety Communications
  • Fire Inspection and Fire Safety Education


Career Information

The Public Safety Fundamentals (PSF) program is designed to provide opportunities for students to experience post-secondary public safety studies in a supportive environment. The intent of the program is to facilitate internal pathways between the PSF program and career programs within the School of Public Safety. Graduates can proceed to programs in the School of Public Safety as their next step towards employment, including:

  • Police Foundations
  • Fire Inspection and Fire Safety Education
  • Law Clerk
  • 911 and Public Safety Communications
  • Court Support Services.

If you are looking for a solid first step in exploring your future School of Public Safety career program, and establishing a strong foundation year of academic studies, this program is for you!



Photo of Quintin Matthews

"The Public Safety Fundamentals program is an excellent way to enter post-secondary education. The program gave me the necessary science and math skills to excel in the Fire Inspection and Fire Safety Education program. The faculty are also extremely supportive and will help you make an informed decision on your next step of furthering your education at Fanshawe."

Quintin Matthews
Public Safety Fundamentals graduate
Learning Outcomes
  1. Develop an education and career plan within the range of field of public safety professions, including the preparation of resumé and cover letter;
  2. Identify major theoretical models associated with the study of human behaviour to explain their potential impact on public safety;
  3. Evaluate various aspects of the changing society and the impact of these changes on personal and social responsibility for citizens and public safety workers;
  4. Select and use relevant and appropriate terminology when communicating with other public safety providers;
  5. Apply concepts from one of the following areas of scientific study in order to demonstrate relevance to a field of public safety: chemistry, anatomy, biology, ecology, climatology, computer science;
  6. Identify current policies, procedures and legislation in Canada's legal system as pertains to the field of Canadian Public Safety;
  7. Compare and contrast the professional roles of a specific public safety stream.


Program Availability

Canadian Students

Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2022 September

International Students

Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2022 September

Program Details

Program Code

Program Coordinator:

Shannon Yates, BA, MA

Day Time
Preparatory Program
Ontario College Certificate
30 weeks

Admission Requirements

OSSD with courses from the College (C), University (U),
University/College (M), or Open (O) stream
Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE) 
Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate (GED)
Mature Applicant with appropriate preparation
English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

  • A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 79 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years. SDS Program Requirements. 
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with an overall score of 60 with no score less than 50 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 53, with test results within the last two years
  • A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 169 with no language skill less than 162, with test results within the last two years
  • An English Language Evaluation (ELE) at Fanshawe College with a minimum score of 70% in all sections of the test, with test results within the last two years
  • Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 80% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 8, 75% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 9, or 70% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10
Recommended Academic Preparation

Recommended Academic Preparation

  •  Any Grade 11 or Grade 12 Health and Physical Education Course (C) or (O)
  •  Any Grade 10, Grade 11 or Grade 12 Computer course(s) (O) or (C)
Recommended Personal Preparation

Recommended Personal Preparation

  • Students should develop personal responsibility and leadership traits by participating in school and social organizations in positions such as cadets, prefect or student government

  • Ability to communicate and work in groups

  • Students should develop effective writing and speaking skills

  • A knowledge of and interest in the field of Public Safety

Applicant Selection Criteria

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements

Tuition Summary


Canadian Costs
Total Cost of Program
International Costs
Total Cost of Program

*Total program costs are approximate, subject to change and do not include the health and dental plan fee, bus pass fee or program general expenses.



Level 1
Take all Level 1 - Mandatory Courses.
Take 1 Level 2 Subrequirement (Justice or Fire)
PSYC-1106Human Behaviour for Public Sfty Services3
Human behaviour and its understanding play a vital role in dealing with the public and in providing safety services effectively. This course offers students insight into a variety of human behaviours and related situations namely; peoples response to crisis, triage, stress in an emergency situation, fight or flight response, pain deflection and shock, and self-awareness of one's own behaviour as a public safety provider.
COMP-1496Computer Fundamentals3
To be effective in both college courses and employment, computer and software application skills are essential. Introductory computer concepts included in this course include: file management, internet searches and sites, Microsoft Suite: (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), email use, editing of work, and typing skill test (wpm).
COMM-1122Document Use in Public Safety3
The focus of this course is on documents used in Public Safety. Document use requires the user to find and use the information that they need and to then construct information presentation as required namely: graphs, maps, images, schedules, schematics, labels, lists forms and tables. Specific skills required in effective information presentation include: correct grammar, spelling, sentence structure and punctuation. The student will be required to complete public safety documents, use critical analysis and understanding of what goes where, present the information as required and appreciate the legal aspect of PS documents. Opportunity to write the WRIT test upon completion of this course will be available.
SOCI-1076Ethics & Social Responsibility3
This course addresses the ethical implications of working in the field of public safety and social responsibility of such employment. Ethical decision-making models and principles will be discussed so as to offer support to students in identifying and responding to ethical issues in their personal and professional lives. The public service culture, ethical fundamentals, social responsibilities and effects of volunteerism will be explored through student participation in volunteering.
LAWS-1072Canadian Legal System3
This course will provide an overview of the Canadian legal system with focus on Public Safety. Legislation and its application to public safety will be explored through presentation of how laws are created, federal and provincial legislation, criminal versus civil legislation, the Public Safety Act and the legal systems that are in place to protect the safety of members of the public. Specific public safety field legislations will be addressed.
MATH-1194Practical Career Math3
Building a sound foundation in math is important for both college and career success. This course includes basic arithmetic operations, fundamental operations and equations, basic arithmetic skills, problem solving, fractions, decimals, and exponents with focus on career specific applications related to the field of public safety. To this end, the final 2 modules of the course will include for the student progressing into Level 2 Fire Stream: basic trigonometry and geometry and for the student progressing into Level 2 Police, 911 & Public Safety Communications or Legal Streams: both applications of ratios and percent, and basic statistics and probability.
DEVL-1044Student Success Strategies2
College readiness and career fundamental skills and strategies are the focus of this course. Students will develop their research skills in order to identify and select the stream of public safety they will pursue in Level 2 of this program. They will also be exposed to self-assessments of aptitudes, emotional self-awareness and social-skills, goal setting, time management, note-taking, test preparation strategies and managing college life.
View all courses