At the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), we are continually working to protect the health of Canadians. To support this effort, we are always seeking people with the key interests and qualifications required for the wide range of job types and opportunities.
Types of careers
- Opportunities on the front line
- Opportunities behind the lines
Whether performing analyses in the laboratory or meeting with producers and growers in the field, Agricultural Officers must ensure that regulatory standards are adhered to. Their job duties include conducting investigations, providing expert advice, meeting with industry officials, and interpreting regulations and program guidelines. Some key activities include:
- negotiation and consultation with private sector
- negotiations with Canadian and foreign governments and international standard-setting bodies
- development, maintenance and evaluation of national projects specific to Canada's agricultural resource base.
The minimum educational requirement for this position is graduation with a degree from a recognized university with an acceptable specialization in agriculture or in a related science normally accepted for membership in a recognized society of agrologists.
Whether conducting tests and performing research in a laboratory environment or working to affect legislative and regulatory standards, biologists at the CFIA directly affect the food safety of Canadians. Some key activities include:
- establishing legislative and regulatory standards and assessing industry compliance
- negotiations with Canadian and foreign governments and international standard-setting bodies
- analysing requirements for and recommending food emergency recalls
- meeting with producers and growers
- providing advice on scientific issues
The minimum educational requirement for this position is graduation with a degree from a recognized university with specialization in a biological science. Multi-disciplinary positions require graduation with a degree from a recognized university in a natural, physical, or applied science with specialization in a field relevant to the duties of the position.
Whether performing analyses in the laboratory or sharing their expertise with colleagues and others, Chemists provide key services within the agency. Some key activities include:
- performing chemical analyses and scientific assessments for diagnostic and testing purposes
- training technicians, chemists and students in the theoretical and practical aspects of laboratory techniques and procedures
- advising other agency laboratories, Operations and Program Branches, private laboratories, provincial and federal laboratories and industry representatives on scientific methodologies and equipment
- providing expert testimony in court proceedings
The minimum educational requirement for this position is graduation with a degree from a recognized university with a specialization in chemistry; or for multi-disciplinary positions, graduation with a degree from a recognized university in a natural, physical or applied science with specialization in a field relevant to the duties of the position.
Inspectors at the CFIA work at federally and provincially registered slaughterhouses, plants, or inspection laboratories. They inspect and certify products, focusing on key areas of specialization including fresh fruit and vegetable, dairy, grain, meat, plant protection, and fish. Some key activities include:
- inspecting slaughterhouses
- analysing samples in a laboratory
- capturing live animals in the field to test for diseases
- inspecting ships' holds for residue cargo or insects
- examining farmers' crops
- accrediting nurseries and greenhouses for export of plant products
- assessing quality assurance and quality management programs
The minimum educational requirement for CFIA inspectors is a post-secondary diploma with specialization in the technical sciences. In some circumstances, the agency will give preference to applicants with a university degree.
Inspection Managers manage the delivery of 1 or more inspection programs to enforce regulations on food safety, animal health, plant protection or consumer protection. Some key activities include:
- directing activities associated with various Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) based programs
- mediating and negotiating the resolution of inspection or certification issues with regulated parties
- managing inquiries into consumer and trade complaints and regulatory infractions
- directing the surveillance and inspection of imported fish, food, plant, dairy, feed, animal products and by-products into the province or country, including the cost recovery of these activities
CFIA Laboratory Technicians work in laboratories across the country, providing expertise and skills in chemistry, microbiology, toxicology, virology, genetics, and a wide variety of state-of-the-art testing technologies in other biological sciences. This laboratory work is a key component of all agency programs, and helps to ensure that Canadian foods, plants, and animals are safe. Some key activities include:
- testing foods and animal feed for environmental contaminants
- testing blood serum samples collected from animals
- solving food safety problems, treating animal and plant diseases, improving testing processes, and identifying ways to prevent the occurrence of food, plant, and animal crises
The minimum educational requirement is a secondary school diploma or approved alternative.
CFIA Veterinarians play a key role in Canadian food safety, forming the first line of defence against the spread of many diseases among animals, and between animals and humans. They help to maintain healthy practices in the food and livestock industries, including sound meat hygiene and animal health, and within research and diagnostic laboratories. Their work includes educating the public and industry officials about the potential hazards of importing products of animal origin, and inspecting and certifying animals and meat products for domestic and international markets. CFIA Veterinarians work in a broad range of environments, performing a wide variety of critical tasks. Some key activities include:
- animal disease control and surveillance
- international standard-setting for animal health
- veterinary biologics and biotechnology
- import and export of animals and animal products
- meat hygiene
- food recall and emergency response
The minimum educational requirement for CFIA Veterinarians is graduation from a school of Veterinary Medicine recognized by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) or graduation from another veterinary school and a Certificate of Qualifications granted by the National Examining Board of the CVMA.
Occupational Certification requirement: Eligibility for membership in a Canadian Veterinary Association. Defined as current members of a Canadian Veterinary Association with a license recognized by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and non-members of Canadian Veterinary Associations holding a Certificate of Qualification granted by the National Examining Board (NEB) of the CVMA.
Administration / Clerical
Administration and clerical professionals at the agency play an important role in supporting key agency activities.
Types of administrative services positions may include:
- Administrative Assistant
- Planning Officer
- Compensation Advisor
- Security Officer
- Executive Services Administrative Officer
- Executive Correspondence - Writer/Editor
- Information Services Project Officer
- Executive Assistant
The minimum educational requirement for administrative staff at the CFIA is a secondary school diploma or approved alternative.
Types of clerical positions may include:
- Human Resources Administrative Support/Assistant
- Financial Administrative Assistant
- Information Holdings Support/Assistant
- Office Services Coordinator and Secretary
- Executive Secretary
The minimum educational requirement for clerical staff at the CFIA is successful completion of 2 years of secondary school or approved alternatives.
CFIA communications professionals may work as Communications Advisors or Specialists, or Publications/Internet Advisors. These individuals provide important guidance, research, management, and support in the areas of corporate communications, public relations, and government relations. Some key activities include:
- providing advice on communications issues, trends, and strategic directions
- developing strategic, business, and operational plans and business cases
- consulting with clients to develop and recommend communications strategies and courses of action
- helping clients resolve communications issues and develop, implement, and manage strategies
The minimum educational requirement for communications personnel is graduation with a degree from a recognized university.
Computer Systems / Information Technology
CFIA CS/IT professionals plan, deliver, and maintain the information technology infrastructure services that underpin the agency's ability to function. Some key activities include:
- providing technical assistance, services, training, and advice to internal clients
- providing client support services such as help desk and computer installation at the desktop
- designing, developing, integrating, documenting, installing, testing and maintaining systems and applications for databases, networks, software and hardware across multiple platforms
- assessing client requirements, analysing data and technical documentation, and proposing and implementing solutions
- writing programs, and producing documentation on application systems, functions, or interfaces to facilitate systems development and implementation activities
The minimum educational requirement is a secondary school diploma or approved alternatives.
CFIA Financial Analysts and Financial Services Officers work with financial planning, strategy, analysis, forecasting and reporting, financial management, and management control systems. They may also be involved in business modelling and integrated business processes, corporate data structures, and information systems. Some key activities include:
- providing guidance and advice on financial policies, issues, best practices, and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
- conducting analytical reviews and studies using financial and non-financial sources and developing pricing and revenue-generating strategies
- developing expenditure and revenue forecasts and recommending appropriate courses of action for major initiatives
- organizing and delivering financial activities, such as accounting, operations, and control, for assigned clients
Finance personnel at the agency fall within the Financial Management Group (FI), which has 4 levels:
The minimum educational requirement for employees at this level is successful completion of 2 years of a recognized post-secondary program with an acceptable specialization in accounting, finance, business administration, commerce or economics; or possession of a Government of Canada Financial Management Certificate.
FI-02 to FI-04
The minimum educational requirement for all levels higher than FI-01 is graduation with a degree from a recognized university with a specialization in accounting, finance, business administration, commerce or economics and experience related to positions in the Financial Administration (FI) Group; or eligibility for a recognized professional accounting designation (CPA, CA, CMA, CGA).
CFIA Human Resources (HR) professionals may work in staffing, classification, compensation, staff and labour relations, learning and development, policy, systems or human resources strategies, planning or programs (for example Employment Equity, Official Languages, Rewards and Recognition). Some key activities include:
- planning and delivering human resources services
- providing advice, support, and assistance to clients
- providing client training and designing training materials
- analysing requirements and developing strategies and options to meet clients' objectives
- preparing comprehensive analyses, briefings, and reports
- researching best practices, analyzing and developing recommendations for application in the agency
The minimum educational requirement for CFIA HR professionals is graduation with a degree from a recognized university with acceptable specialization in human resources management, labour or industrial relations, psychology, public or business administration, organizational development, education sciences, social sciences, sociology, or in any other field relevant to the work to be performed.
CFIA Policy Officers support the work of the agency by playing an important role in policy studies and projects, analyzing issues, monitoring trends, and much more. Some key activities include:
- contributing to major projects
- conducting unique cross-sector economic, socio-economic, and policy studies
- analyzing issues and monitoring trends and developments
- providing specialist policy expertise to agency and interdepartmental committees, task forces, and working groups
- conducting projects on food safety, animal health, and plant protection issues
The minimum educational requirement for CFIA Policy Officers is graduation with a degree from a recognized university with acceptable specialization in economics, sociology, or statistics.
As a science-based organisation, the CFIA must be able to support its decisions with sound statistical data. Some key activities include:
- conducting statistical data analyses
- producing in-depth statistical analyses of large multidimensional data sets
- developing statistically valid sampling plans for the inspection, monitoring, auditing, regulatory, and risk assessment functions of the agency
- advising and consulting with data users, processors, and evaluators
- reviewing and appraising the adequacy and validity of applied probability models, sampling and laboratory protocols, claim submissions, etc.
The minimum educational requirement for CFIA Statisticians is graduation with a degree from a recognized university with acceptable specialization in economics, sociology, or statistics.
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