Work Experience or Community Service Requirement for Graduation
Date came into force or revised
July 1, 2004
Graduation Transitions (PDF) is a required component of the 2004 Graduation Program, and requires students to complete at least 30 hours of work experience and/or community service. Boards of Education and Independent School Authorities must follow procedures to ensure students who participate in work experience and/or school-arranged community service are covered by WorkSafeBC.
Rationale or purpose of policy
This policy explains the importance of work experience or volunteer/community service and clarifies the obligation of schools, Boards of Education, and Independent School Authorities to ensure that WorkSafeBC coverage is in place for students participating in work experience or school-arranged volunteer/community service.
See Ministerial Order m237/11, the Work Experience Order (PDF)
Policy in full
As a graduation requirement, Graduation Transitions (PDF) recognizes the importance of experiential learning and the importance of extending education beyond the classroom into the community. Work experience and volunteer/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.
To complete the requirements for 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 (PDF) evidence, students create a report that documents their work experience or their volunteer/community service, and identifies the employability skills used or developed.
All categories of students (2004 Graduation Program, Adult Graduation Program, and School Completion Certificate Program) are entitled to provincial WorkSafeBC coverage in both worksite placements and volunteer/community service. Students who apply to use paid employment to satisfy the work experience or volunteer/community service requirement must show that they are, or were, working at a site where WorkSafeBC coverage is, or was, provided.
WorkSafeBC coverage is provided by the provincial government only to students who are 14 years of age or older and are on an unpaid work placement arranged by the school district or Independent School Authority, as described in the Workers’ Compensation Coverage Order (PDF) and the Independent School Workers’ Compensation Order (PDF) respectively.
For school-arranged unpaid work placements, a Work Experience Agreement Form must be signed and pre-work site training must be provided. This form must include all information stipulated in the Work Experience Order (PDF). A sample Work Experience Agreement Form is included in the appendices of the Program Guide for Ministry-Authorized Work Experience Courses (PDF).
For all school-arranged work placements, Boards of Education and Independent School Authorities must establish guidelines respecting the conduct, supervision, evaluation, and participation of students in work experience placements.
For school-arranged work placements, boards of education must establish guidelines respecting the conduct, supervision, evaluation, and participation of students in work experience placements.
Volunteer or Community Service
WorkSafeBC coverage is provided by the provincial government only to students who are 14 years of age or older and are on an unpaid volunteer/community service placement arranged by the school district or Independent School Authority, as described in the Workers’ Compensation Coverage Order (PDF) and the Independent School Workers’ Compensation Order (PDF) respectively.
For school-arranged volunteer/community service, a Work Experience Agreement Form must be signed and pre-placement training must be provided. The Work Experience Agreement Form must include all information stipulated in the Work Experience Order (PDF).
The Program Guide for Graduation Transitions (PDF) states that Boards of Education and Independent School Authorities define the term ‘community’ and determine appropriate volunteer/community placements. Volunteer/community service can only be used to meet the requirements of Graduation Transitions; community service cannot be used to fulfill requirements for Ministry-Authorized Work Experience.
For volunteer/community service placements, provincial WorkSafeBC coverage is limited to those organizations that are subject to the Workers’ Compensation Act (“the Act”). Schools, Boards of Education, and Independent School Authorities should ensure the volunteer organization is subject to the Act.
Procedures related to policy
To meet the minimum requirement for the work experience or volunteer/community service for Graduation Transitions, students must provide evidence. The evidence must include an evaluation report, or a signed form from an employer or community agency or organization. The evidence must describe the nature of the work or service performed, and must 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/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 or volunteer/community service 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) (PDF) 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.