This fully-funded labour market program could be your next step.

VIU is offering training program that is specifically selected to help unemployed, (Non-EI Eligible), or, Employed, Underemployed; or, Employed, Low Skilled individuals requiring skills-upgrading to gain or improve employment.

Program of Study

Fully-funded seats are available for the Building Service Worker Program (at VIU Nanaimo Campus and at Global Vocational Services Inc., Duncan).

Building Service Worker - Project Based Training

From general custodial services in schools, hospitals, and offices to more specialized work in areas such as hotel housekeeping, the Building Service industry is looking for trained and knowledgeable cleaning personnel. This four-week program will prepare you with the practical skills and technical knowledge for successful employment as a custodial worker.  The primary focus of the program is learning and practicing the specific skills required for building service workers (including WHMIS and OFA). In addition, the program supports student success through the Foundation Skills Training course that will orient participants to the building service industry.  

Program Dates

  • January 30 – February 27, 2018 – Nanaimo Campus
  • February 19 – March 16, 2018 – Duncan

Participation Requirements

You should be in good physical condition; able to work standing for long periods of time; able to lift items weighing up to 20 pounds; and able to read and write in English. A recent criminal record check is recommended for practicum assignment.

Course List

The Building Service Worker Program consists of the following course modules. Upon successful completion, students will be able to demonstrate the skills and knowledge outlined below:

Building Service Worker Level 1

Students learn the objectives and ground rules of cleaning, including: cleaning terminology; working with common cleaning chemicals; proper disinfection and sanitization of surfaces; “green” cleaning; organizing and planning approaches to work; operation of equipment; safe use of equipment and chemicals; trash handling; basic maintenance of equipment and tools; area cleaning techniques; and daily floor maintenance.

Building Service Worker Level 2: Hard Floor Care

Students will learn correct maintenance procedures for a variety of resilient and hard surface flooring, including vinyl, concrete, terrazzo, marble, ceramic, tile, and wood floors. Topics include: cleaning, stripping, etching, sealing, and finishing hard floors; routine day-to-day maintenance and rotational maintenance; restoration, including UHS finishing; types, characteristics and application of sealers and finishes; sanitizing, disinfection and aseptic floor care; and how to use and care for equipment used in hard floor care.

Building Service Worker Level 3: Carpet Care

Students will gain an understanding of commercial carpet cleaning as they learn: carpet cleaning terminology; use of common carpet cleaning chemicals; sanitization of fibers; cleaning theory; use of biological cleaners; mixing and using chemicals safely; organizing the work; and drying techniques. Students will learn and practice cleaning techniques including bonnet/spin/tip, encapsulation, extraction, pre-scrub, and extract and powder cleaning.


WHMIS is a hazard communication system that provides information on the safe use of hazardous materials used in the workplace. Students will learn how to: read and understand product labels; identity WHMIS hazard symbols; understand and use Material Data Safety Sheets; and become familiar with exemptions and restricted applications.

Occupational First Aid Level I

This one-day course covers the essential ABC's - airway, breathing and circulation. Students learn how to deal with obstructed airways, breathing distress, control bleeding, and perform one person CPR.  A three year certificate will be issued upon successful completion.

FoodSafe Level I 

A one-day course required for all food handlers employed in serving the public. Topics include food handling, personal hygiene, receiving and storing food safely, dishwashing methods, and food storage methods. Participants successfully completing receive a certificate, recognized by employers throughout the Province.

BackCare and Ergonomics

Students will learn how to protect and take care of their back; using appropriate and safe lifting methods, aids for heavy lifting, use of back belts, posture, ways of minimizing twisting, bending and lifting and correct use of equipment.   

Essential Skills & Employment Transition Training

Students will gain essential skills for success in employment as they increase their awareness of employer expectations; explore career opportunities in the building service field; and practice their communication and job search skills.

Building Service Worker Practicum

Each student will be assigned an on-site practicum, applying the skills and knowledge learned during the course. An assessment and feedback on the student’s work will provide a basic reference for his/her portfolio and future job search.

Security Guard Enhanced Training - Project Based Training

Security guards work in hospitals, retail stores, shopping malls, offices, licensed establishments and other locations to prevent the loss of property and provide security. In BC, all security guards must be licensed. The Security Guard Enhanced program provides the knowledge and practical skills required for entry into the field, including mandatory training required for provincial licensing under the Security Services Act.

Program Dates:

  • February 28 – March 27, 2018 - Nanaimo


Training Modules:

Essential Skills (3 days)

Students will gain skills for success in employment as they increase their awareness of employer expectations and the essential skills required for security worker personnel.

Respectful Workplace Workshop (1 day)

This workshop is designed to give students important tools to help minimize the number of difficult situations, understand how to manage a situation that is escalating, and deal effectively with hostile and angry people.  The workshop also includes Anti-bullying and harassment training to reflect new legislation (Sections 115, 116 and 117 of the Workers’ Compensation Act)

Basic Security Training and Exam (6 days)

Students learn the objectives and ground rules of security management including professionalism and ethics in the industry; understanding the Security Services Act; legal responsibilities and authority; powers of arrest and the Canadian Criminal Code; documentation and report writing; emergency services and response; and personal safety. Students receive a Certificate of Completion from the Justice Institute of BC.

Professional Witness & Personal Safety Workshop (1 day)

Students learn effective observation skills and how to document events for reporting to officials. Personal safety and coverage procedures are reviewed. Students learn radio usage and communication techniques as they work through a practical scenario.

Patrolling and Emergency Response (1 day)

Students learn how to conduct a premise patrol; respond to an emergency situation, and practice after-event documentation. Practical scenarios are used to build skills and practice responses to simulated emergencies. Students debrief with actors and evaluators provide feedback.

Emergency and Fire Preparedness (1 day)

Students review steps to take in possible emergencies such as earthquake, fire, or flood; components of an emergency response plan; and how the Security Guard can assist and support emergency personnel and first responders. Includes a review of local emergency contacts. Participants visit a fire station to meet personnel and learn about types of fires and fire extinguishers.

Occupational First Aid Level 1 (1 day)

Course offers the essential ABC’s – airway, breathing and circulation  Students learn how to deal with obstructed airways, breathing distress, control bleeding and perform one person CPR.  A certificate, valid for three years, will be issued upon completion.

WHMIS (.5 day)

WHMIS is a hazard communication system designed to ensure workers using hazardous materials have the necessary information to safety handle, store and dispose of these materials. Students learn the skills necessary to access and apply the information needed to protect their safety and receive a wallet-size, provincially recognized certificate upon completion.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods (.5 day)

This on-line Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) course introduces the TDG Act and regulations and explains the requirements for receiving, handling, transporting and shipping dangerous goods, as well as the appropriate response in emergency situations such as spills or accidents. A three-year TDG certificate is issued upon completion.

Traffic Control and Flag Person Training (2 days)

Traffic Control Persons (TCPs) direct vehicle traffic in construction zones and at events. This course consists of classroom and practical training and is the only program of its kind accepted by WorkSafeBC under Section 18 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation for high-risk traffic control. Upon successful completion, receive a Certificate of completion from the BC Construction Safety Alliance, valid for three years.

Transition to Work Workshop (1.5 days)

Students meet with a Job Coach to explore and plan their next steps following program completion. Workshop helps student incorporate their new certifications gained during the program and develop an action plan for active job searching. Role-playing and practical exercises develop experience in conducting informational interviews and presenting effectively in a job interview. Students are able to book one-on-one sessions to review their resumes.

Worksite Tour (.5 day)

Participants tour a worksite to view security system in place, including guard responsibilities, system alarms, and safety plans in case of emergencies.

Fingerprinting & Licensing (.5 day)

A licensed Security Agency assists students in preparing their applications for Security Guard License. Forms are completed and students are fingerprinted and photographed for electronic submission of applications.

Industry Speaker Panel & Graduation (.5 day)

Guest speakers from the Security Industry present to the class and describe job requirements and opportunities. A question and answer session follows. Grad luncheon is provided. Students are presented with certificates earned during the program. 
Upon successful completion, students receive the following recognized certificates:

  • Basic Security Training Program Certificate (Justice Institute of BC)
  • Occupational First Aid Level 1 (Red Cross), valid for 3 years
  • Workplace and Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods (Transport Canada), valid for 3 years
  • Traffic Control Flag person (BC Safety Alliance), valid for 3 years
  • Security licence for 1 year (renewable by participant for additional years)


Security workers need to have a sense of responsibility, good judgement and be able to follow instructions precisely, work flexible hours, and stay alert. Honesty, integrity, punctuality, an ability to act calmly in an emergency and work well under pressure are traits of a successful security guard.

Participants must:

  1. First meet all eligibility criteria.
  2. Be a minimum of 19 years of age.
  3. Be fluent in the English Language (to converse with the public and write & read reports).
  4. Hold a valid BC Driver’s License.
  5. Have proof of Canadian Citizenship or Residency: Canadian Birth Certificate, Canadian Passport, Permanent Resident Card, Valid Work or Study Permit.
  6. Have Government-issued Photo ID (Driver’s License, BC Identification Card, BC Services Card with photo, Native Status Card with photo, or Passport from another country). Note: ID must be valid/not expired. A Social Insurance Number card is not accepted as ID.
  7. Participants are required to give consent to a criminal record check, a police information check and a correctional service information check. Checks are conducted at time of license application.
  8. If being treated or have ever been treated for a mental health condition, a Mental Health Condition form completed by your doctor will be required at time of license application.



All participants must meet the following basic eligibility criteria:

  • Be a Canadian, a permanent resident or protected person legally entitled to work in Canada.
  • Currently reside in British Columbia.
  • Not a full-time student i.e. not enrolled in high school or taking post-secondary courses at the time of training.
  • At the time of training, not be participating in another provincially or federally funded labour market program.

And belong to one of the following employment categories:

  1. Unemployed (non-EI eligible); or,
  2. Employed, Low-Skilled (such as those who do not have a high school diploma); or,
  3. Employed, Underemployed (such as those who do not have permanent or full-time employment).

Evaluation and Success

Participants will be evaluated on both attendance and completion of practical and written exercises.

  • Participation – students are required to attend and actively participate in all classes and exercises.
  • Completeness – students are to meet assigned deadlines and complete each practical assignment to a satisfactory level.

How to Register

Application Form

Contact Us

VIU Client Coordinator:
Telephone: 250-740-6163 or 250-740-6579 or 250-740-6655

Students will gain an understanding of commercial carpet cleaning as they learn: carpet cleaning terminology; use of common carpet cleaning chemicals; sanitization of fibers; cleaning theory; use of biological cleaners; mixing and using chemicals safely; organizing the work; and drying techniques. Students will learn and practice cleaning techniques including bonnet/spin/tip, encapsulation, extraction, pre-scrub, and extract and powder cleaning.

find us on facebook

Need more information?

Request Information

Want to talk to someone about specific questions?

Contact a Representative

Ready to join us at VIU?

Apply Online