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ERT training is continuous, and is very demanding in terms of the time and effort a member must dedicate to it in order to remain proficient in the many skills required. Full-time ERTs are always training when they are not on operations, and part-time ERTs are required to train together a minimum of 2 days a month. In the case of the part-time ERT member this is over and above performing his or her regular policing duties (general duties, traffic, drug section, etc.).

Before an ERT member is deemed to be operational, he / she must successfully complete the five-week ERT course, held once or twice annually in Ottawa. The course provides the ERT candidate with the necessary theoretical and practical firearms and tactical training, and is extremely taxing both physically and mentally. A high level of fitness and stamina is a must, as is the ability to work both individually and as part of a team. All aspects of the candidate’s performance are constantly being assessed, and not everyone successfully completes the training. The course is broken into “blocks” to enable members to become proficient on a wide range of weapons and sophisticated tactical equipment.

Block 1 - Firearms / rappelling
Block 2 - Rural patrol tactics
Block 3 - Interior combat / CQB

Upon successful completion of the course, ERT members can subsequently take additional training courses including the Sniper /Observer course, the Aircraft assault course and the basic and advanced Marine Operations courses. Each of these courses builds on the knowledge gained on the ERT course and qualifies the member to assume additional operation profiles within the program, and they are all delivered by the National Tactical Training Section (NTTS).

Additionally, there are frequent training scenarios conducted each year, involving one or more teams at a time, with the aim of ensuring that the highly perishable tactical skills are continually practised and refined.