Communication and Helping Skills

As a first responder, you’re regularly called upon to assist those impacted by a critical event, including members of the public, as well as colleagues. This course breaks down the basic concepts and skills involved in communication and helping others. You will learn interpersonal communication principles and methods including skills such as empathy, clarifying, summarizing and paraphrasing. This course will also introduce the helping process, and the principles of helping (self-determination, equal relationships, dignity and respect) as well as the differences between counselling and helping skills.


Location: Online
Format: Self-paced within deadlines set by instructor
5 weeks
Tuition: $350
Can be applied to:
First Responders Trauma Prevention and Recovery Certificate

Upcoming Offerings

Register for a course at any time, with the option to apply to a program later.

Start Date
Seats Available
Start DateTue, Oct 29, 2024
  • Tue, Oct 29 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Nov 5 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Nov 12 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Nov 19 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Nov 26 (self-paced all week)
Seats Available28
Start DateTue, Feb 4, 2025
  • Tue, Feb 4 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Feb 11 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Feb 18 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Feb 25 (self-paced all week)
  • Tue, Mar 4 (self-paced all week)
Seats Available30

What you will learn

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Define and identify elements and functions of interpersonal communication
  • Identify listening styles, perceptions and related barriers to active listening
  • Explain the role of verbal and nonverbal expression in interpersonal communication
  • Demonstrate sensitivity techniques to assist in communication with diverse cultures
  • Summarize the importance of good communications skills during a crisis
  • Demonstrate the skills necessary to effectively de-escalate a person in crisis

How you will learn and be evaluated

  • Prepare to spend 6–8 hours per week on coursework
  • Expect reading and other assignments on a weekly basis
  • Plan to access the course at least once every few days to keep up with your work and group assignments

You will be evaluated on:

  • Assignments
  • Quizzes
  • Participation in online discussions

To apply this course towards the program certificate, you must achieve a minimum grade of C.

Learning Materials

No textbook is required. We will provide all course materials online.

Technical Requirements

For online courses, you will need a computer with audio and microphone that is connected to the internet. Canvas is the online system that will be used for the course. For more information and online support, visit Online Learning.