Co-op Employer Responsibilties

Employer/Employee Relationship

For a co-op work term to be successful, the supervisor and the student must establish an effective relationship. For the majority of placements, the student becomes an employee of the employing organization and is expected to be treated as any other temporary employee regarding benefits and other employment requirements as defined by the Employment Standards Act or a Collective Agreement. As such, the employer assumes responsibility, as they would for any other employee, for the period of the co-op employment, and students accept the responsibilities of an employee.

In order to increase the student’s productivity and facilitate learning, it is recommended that employers:

  • At the outset, advise the student with regard to all issues of confidentiality in the workplace and ensure that any non-disclosure agreements are signed prior to the commencement of work
  • Prepare the student’s co-workers and other staff for the arrival of the student
  • Provide the student with an orientation to the workplace, including an overview of the organization (e.g., mission statement, products, etc.), physical layout, relevant personnel, safety practices, and the duties or tasks expected during the work term
  • Provide a supervisor for the co-op student who will oversee the student’s work and discuss expectations for the work term with the student and, on a regular basis, give the student feedback on how he/she is doing, including areas of strength and areas which require improvement
Learning Environment
  • Assist students to set realistic learning objectives and provide relevant learning opportunities
  • Acquaint the student with relevant resources and materials
Evaluation of the Learning
  • Participate in the work-site visit or follow-up measures by the institution to assess the student’s progress and performance (Co-op Monitor Call or Site-Visit)
  • Complete a final evaluation of the student’s performance during the work term, which they are encouraged to discuss with the student (Co-op Work Term Evaluation Form)
  • Discuss with the student the topic of the work term report and, if necessary, may be required to evaluate the work term report if considered confidential