Supervisor’s Handbook

Cooperative Education Supervisor’s Manual

On behalf of the Ottawa Carleton District School Board, we thank you for your contribution toward the education and career preparation of our students. Your expertise, enthusiasm and commitment to mentoring our students is highly valued.

This brief manual is designed to assist supervisors in carrying out their responsibilities, and contains advice and suggestions which should make the tasks more manageable.

Highlights of the program:

  • The student begins placement and attends placement according to an agreed upon schedule.
  • The teacher visits regularly to monitor, to discuss the student’s progress with supervisor and the student.   
  • Supervisor informs the teacher immediately if there is a serious complaint about the students conduct or attendance.    
  • School credits are granted upon successful completion of classroom and placement components by the student.

The Role of the Co-op Supervisor:

As a Co-op Supervisor you should be prepared to . . .

  • Meet with the teacher to discuss program aims and responsibilities of participants.
  • Conduct a realistic interview as for a paid position:
  • Ensure student has Health and Safety training, as required by all employees, at the beginning of placement

You can ease the student’s transition into your organization when you:

  • Introduce the student to co-workers   
  • Outline safety procedures (see Health and Safety)   
  • Remind the student to ask questions about following proper procedures

Developing and maintaining the CELP

All co-op students will develop a Learning Plan in collaboration with the Co-op teacher and the placement supervisor. In developing their learning plan, students create and reflect on their learning goals and plan how they will achieve these goals. The development of the learning plan helps students determine the types of learning opportunities (i.e., tasks, activities) in which they will participate, where those opportunities will occur, the timelines within which the experience will take place, the resources that will be required, and the nature and extent of support and feedback the students will need. The Learning Plan is a working document, and because of this, it can change over time so that it reflects the growing understanding of their placement and the tasks and skills required.

You can enhance student learning in your workplace if you:

  • Plan with the student appropriate activities and ensure that tasks are clearly defined   
  • Allow the student to observe tasks before being expected to perform them, explain what you are doing and why   
  • Show the student how to safely operate any equipment to be used and demand safe work habits   
  • Give the student opportunities to show initiative by gradually reducing degree of close supervision


Insurance coverage

The Work Education Agreement Form must be signed by all parties before the student begins work. The Ottawa Carleton District School Board maintains liability insurance coverage for Co-op students participating in programs authorized by the school board. Students are covered for third party bodily injury and property damage arising from the students negligence; the student is protected for damage caused accidentally to the property of the placement while such property is in her/his care, custody or control. The employer assumes responsibility for Workplace Safety & Insurance Board coverage, when the student works beyond the hours outlined on the Work Education form or when the student is paid.


The Ottawa Carleton District School Board does not expect that students be paid for assigned Co-op placement time, but it is not prohibited nor is a nominal honorarium toward additional work related expenses like transportation, lunch, uniforms or equipment.

Other Useful Information

  • Students will return to the classroom periodically throughout the semester   
  • Co-op students follow the school calendar, meaning that they will not be at placement if the school is closed, or during PA days    
  • Teachers are required to monitor/visit students throughout their time at placement. Please discuss with the Co-op teacher the best way to allow this to happen
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