July 1, 2004
Work experience, which can also include volunteer or community service, is a component of Graduation Transitions and is a graduation requirement. Boards of education must follow procedures to ensure students who participate in work experience are covered by WorkSafeBC.
This policy explains the importance of work experience, including volunteer or community service. This graduation requirement recognizes the importance of experiential learning and the importance of extending education beyond the classroom into the community. The policy clarifies the obligation of schools and boards of education to ensure that students who participate in work experience are covered by the WorkSafeBC.
See Ministerial Order m237/11, the Work Experience Order (PDF)
Work experience, including volunteer or community service, supports students in both their career development and their human and social development. This type of experiential learning increases the relevance of school by helping students connect what they learn in the classroom with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to be successful in both the workplace and larger community.
All students must complete the requirements for Graduation Transitions to graduate. To fulfill the community connections component of Graduation Transitions, all students must provide evidence that they have completed any of the following:
• a Ministry-authorized work experience course
• a school-arranged 30 hour work placement
• 30 hours of volunteer or community service
• 30 hours of paid student employment.
As part of their Graduation Transitions evidence, students create a report that documents their work experience or volunteer or community service, and identifies the employability skills used or developed.
For school-arranged unpaid work placements and volunteer or community service arranged by the school, a Work Experience Agreement form must be signed. This form must include all information stipulated in the Work Experience Order. A sample Work Experience Agreement Form is included in the appendices of the Program Guide for Ministry-Authorized Work Experience Courses.
For school-arranged work placements, boards of education must establish guidelines respecting the conduct, supervision, evaluation, and participation of students in work experience placements.
WorkSafeBC coverage is provided by the provincial government only to students who are 14 years of age or older and on a school-arranged and unpaid work placement, as described in the Workers’ Compensation Coverage Order (PDF). Students who apply to use paid employment to satisfy the work experience or community service requirement must show that they are, or were, working at a site where WorkSafeBC coverage is, or was, provided.
To meet the minimum requirement for the work experience or volunteer or community service for Graduation Transitions, students must provide evidence. The evidence must include an evaluation report, or signed form from an employer or community agency or organization. The evidence must describe the nature of the work or service performed, and list the dates and hours worked. Students must also report on tasks and duties performed and identify the employability skills used.
For school-arranged unpaid work placements or volunteer or community service outside the school, Work Experience Agreement forms must be completed and signed before the work activity begins. Each form must set out the terms of the work experience placement consistent with the board/authority guidelines, and must also include: Name of employer, location of the work site, and the period (by date and time) during which the student will be participating in the work placement.
For school-arranged unpaid work placements or school-arranged volunteer service, all accidents must be reported as soon as possible. A WorkSafeBC injury report (Form 7) must be completed by the school district or independent school/authority/board and submitted within three days to WorkSafeBC. A copy of this report and the Work Experience Agreement form must also be sent to the Ministry of Education.