Academic Calendar

Emergency Communications and Response Certificate


Faculty of Health and Community Studies
Department of Public Safety and Justice Studies

In the increasingly complex field of emergency telecommunications, there is a need for personnel who have the ability to assess situations quickly and respond in an appropriate manner. Emergency communicators are the critical link between the public and those who provide police, fire, and emergency medical assistance. As the field evolves, the need for highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals is critical. The field demands professionals who are able to multi-task, use high-tech equipment, think critically and quickly in a stressful setting, and respond to the challenges of the field.

The Emergency Communications and Response program develops the broad knowledge and skills required of call evaluators or dispatchers and the unique knowledge and skills in police, fire, and emergency medical environments. The program is a full-time, eight-month certificate.

The program is offered full-time through an on-campus study option; entry into the program occurs each Fall. In the final month of the program, students participate in a short field placement that exposes them to a communication centre(s).

Career Potential

Challenging and rewarding careers as call evaluators or dispatchers can be found in police, fire, or medical communication centres in provincial, federal, or municipal settings. Many opportunities are also available in specialized public or private communication centres dealing with priority service requests.

Contact Information

T: 780-497-5221


Robbins Health Learning Centre
Room 9-407, 10910 - 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5J 4S2
T: 780-497-4567

Program Requirements

The following program requirements are needed to complete the credential. Refer to the Student Plan as this plan identifies the usual course schedule.

ECRP 131Call Processing/Radio Communications3
ECRP 141Emergency Communications I3
ECRP 151Emergency Communications II3
ECRP 175Field Placement3
ECRP 190Selected Topics in Emergency Communication3
INTD 105Interpersonal Communication3
PSSC 121Law and the Administration of Justice3
PSSC 212Mental Health Foundations in Public Safety3
PSYC 104Introductory Psychology I3
or PSYC 105 Introductory Psychology II
University-level English (includes WRIT 101)3
Total Credits30

The minimum passing grade for a course at MacEwan University is a D unless otherwise noted next to the appropriate course in the program of study.

Course Substitutions

Credit Earned in: May Be Substituted for Credit in Program Course:
PSSC 141 INTD 105

Program Regulations

Academic Residency - Exemption

A student in Emergency Communications and Response must complete at least 30 per cent of courses through MacEwan University. Challenge examinations, transfer credit and other special assessments (for example, prior learning and recognition) are not included in the 30 per cent.

Regulations Governing Field Placement (Work Integrated Learning)

Students must achieve satisfactory performance in all field placement courses in accordance with the course learning outcomes and grading criteria. Field placement hours may include days, evenings and weekends. Students are required to arrange their own transportation for required field placement activities and any costs incurred for meals, travel and accommodation are the student’s responsibility. Students will require daily access to a vehicle for any practice experience not accessible through public transportation. Required field placements will generally be within a 150 kilometer radius of the MacEwan University site.

Students cannot attend field placement agencies as a MacEwan University student except at times and locations authorized by the field placement course instructor for the course in which the student is currently enrolled. Students must comply with the Work Integrated Learning policy regarding field placements. Students must have completed all prerequisite courses as well as all program and agency specific requirements prior to the start of any field placement course. In accordance with the Work Integrated Learning policy, the University reserves the right, at any point during a field placement, to remove a student from the placement for serious performance issues (i.e., engaging in behaviour that places a client and/or others at risk or that is contrary to the professional or safety requirements of the placement). In such cases and in consultation with the Dean, the student will be assigned a grade of F in the course. For further information, refer to the Work Integrated Learning policy. 

In accordance with the Academic Standing policy, the performance of a Student in a clinical, field placement, ensemble setting, or equivalent learning activity may be reviewed at any time. If the student’s performance is inadequate relative to the standards required in the student’s program, the student may be placed on probation or required to withdraw from the program. For further information, refer to the Academic Standing policy. 

Police Information Check

A student must meet the specific Police Information Check (PIC) requirements as set out in the admission criteria for the duration of the program or they may be required to withdraw from the program.

Students whose PIC status changes following program admission must self-report this change in status; this may compromise the student’s ability to complete the program requirements as they may be denied required field placements and, therefore, be unable to meet graduation requirements.

Students are responsible to obtain updated Police Information Checks as required by the field placement agency and for making these available upon request. Any costs incurred are the responsibility of the student.

Student Plan

Students must follow the Student Plan (listed below) to complete this credential in the year(s) indicated by the plan. Students must consult with a program Academic Advisor regarding any deviation from the Student Plan, as this may extend the time it takes to complete the program. The student plan may be subject to change.

Year 1
Term 1CreditsTerm 2Credits
ECRP 1313ECRP 1513
ECRP 1413ECRP 1753
INTD 1053ECRP 1903
PSYC 104 or 1053PSSC 1213
University-level English (includes WRIT 101)3PSSC 2123
 15 15
Total Credits 30

Admission Requirements

Applicants may be admitted to the following:

Regular Admission

To be evaluated through the Office of the University Registrar

Applicants must have an Alberta high school diploma (or equivalent) or GED diploma.

Applicants must have a minimum overall average of 65% with no course grade lower than 50 percent, in the following high school courses:

  1. ELA 30-1 or ELA 30-2
  2. Social Studies 30-1 or 30-2
  3. One subject from Group A, B, C, or D

Applicants with nine or more post-secondary level credits must also present a minimum Admission Grade Point Average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Additional Admission Criteria

All applicants must meet the following:

1. English Language Proficiency

To be evaluated through the Office of the University Registrar

Applicable to All Admission Categories

All applicants must meet an acceptable level of English language proficiency. We will require official documents such as high school or post-secondary transcripts or proof of successful completion of standardized language evaluation. Full details are available in MacEwan University’s academic calendar or online at

2. Other Admission Criteria

To be evaluated through the Program

Applicable to All Admission Categories

Applicants offered admission must present a clear Police Information Check (or equivalent from another policing agency). The Police Information Check must be submitted by the published document deadline and have been issued within three months of the start of the program intake term.

Equity Admission

The Department of Public Safety and Justice Studies at MacEwan University is committed to principles of equity and diversity. The department supports equitable representation of groups underrepresented in public safety and justice professions and has reserved up to 10% of admission spaces in each program as equity admission spaces for applicants who self-identify as Aboriginal. Aboriginal peoples of Canada are defined in the Constitution Act, 1982, Section 35 (2) as including the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.
In order to be considered for admission under the Equity Admission criteria, candidates must still meet the minimum admission criteria for the program option to which they apply.