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Although Canada and its provinces have no standard licensing or certification requirements for process servers, there are certain skills and experience that companies and municipalities look for when hiring process servers. Like the United States, Canada places a premium on law enforcement experience when considering potential process servers. At a minimum, knowledge of the law, particularly in regard to serving process, is essential. While on-the-job training is provided at most companies, a solid foundation in the law is recommended. There also are online training courses and tutorials available.
Become familiar with any provincial requirements for process servers. Just as state laws and requirements differ within the United States, qualification standards vary among Canadian provinces. For example, federal Canadian law requires process servers to be a minimum age of 18, but some provinces set the minimum age at 21. All provinces adhere to a national standard of “competency.” In Ontario, for example, rules of civil procedure do not expressly state who is competent to serve process but deal only with the manner in which the process will be served on individuals, municipalities, corporations and other entities.
Research the job duties and requirements of process servers. While there may be slight differences between provinces, states and countries, the basic function of process servers is the same – to give notice of a legal proceeding to allow a person time to respond to the court, administrative body or tribunal. Notice usually is provided by personally delivering court documents to the person to be served, although mail delivery or notice to family members or co-workers is allowed in some cases.
Educate yourself in the law and law enforcement. Take classes in criminal justice, law enforcement and related subjects. Pay particular attention to the laws of your province. You can take courses at local community colleges, universities or online.
Familiarize yourself with international or cross-border process serving laws. Canada and the United States, for example, are signatories to the 1965 Hague Service Convention and recognize certain laws and conventions when serving process in each other’s countries. Serving process across borders is a common occurrence and knowing these laws will make you a more attractive candidate for process server jobs.
Acquire some practical experience. Apply for a job with a process serving company, investigative firm, or a municipality or court. Tell them that you’re hoping to become a process server and that you’re training and studying toward that goal. You may not be directly involved in process serving, but you can learn a lot about the process, the work environment and the skills needed to succeed.
Apply for process server positions once you’ve acquired the requisite skills and education.
Purchase process server software to learn about the ins and outs of the business. You can learn about terminology, serving procedures, tracking methods and the history of process serving.
If you’re a former law enforcement officer or have judicial or law experience, you’re a prime candidate for a process server position without the need for any further education.
- NPSA: How Do I Become A Process Server?
- Federation of Law Societies of Canada: Rules of Civil Procedure
- Ontario Process Services: Ontario Process Services - What Are They?
- A-1 Legal Service & Training, Ltd.: Process Server Training (Certificate)
- American Bar Association: General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division