Career-Life Connections and WorkSafeBC Coverage

Date came into force or revised

June 2019 (TBD)



Policy Statement

Career-Life Connections is a required course of the 2018 Graduation Program and specifies that students are to “engage in, reflect on, and evaluate career-life exploration.” Career-life exploration refers to substantive experiential learning (30 hours or more) that is intended to expose students to career-life possibilities. Based on student needs and interests, the career-life exploration component of CLC can encompass service learning, volunteerism, employment, fieldwork projects, entrepreneurship, and passion projects.

For students who choose school-authorized paid or unpaid work, volunteering, and/or community service placements as their career-life exploration, boards of education must follow procedures to ensure students are covered by WorkSafeBC during their placement.

For more information on school-authorized paid or unpaid work, volunteering, or community service placements, please refer to the Career Education 10-12 Guide (PDF).

Rationale or purpose of policy

This policy explains the importance of career-life exploration and clarifies the obligation of boards of education to ensure WorkSafeBC coverage for students participating in school-authorized paid or unpaid placements as their career-life exploration component for CLC. 


See Ministerial Order m237/11, the Work Experience Order (PDF)

Policy in full

As a graduation requirement, Career-Life Connections recognizes the importance of experiential learning and the importance of extending education beyond the classroom into the community. Career-life exploration supports students in both their career-life development and their human and social development as part of post-graduation planning. 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 broader community. 

WorkSafeBC coverage

Students who are 14 years of age or older and are on the B.C. Graduation Program, Adult Graduation Program, and School Completion (“Evergreen”) Certificate Program are all entitled to WorkSafeBC coverage for unpaid work experience, volunteering, and/or community service, provided the placements are school-authorized and part of a work-study program. School-authorized placements must be in accordance with the Workers’ Compensation Coverage Order (PDF).

Procedures related to policy

For all school-authorized placements, boards of education must establish guidelines respecting the conduct, supervision, evaluation, and participation of students in career-life exploration placements.

For students participating in school-authorized placements, WorkSafeBC coverage is limited to those organizations that are subject to the Workers’ Compensation Act. School districts must ensure the placement sponsor is subject to the Workers’ Compensation Act or document that other insurance coverage is arranged.

For all school-authorized career-life exploration placements, pre-placement training must be provided and a Career-Life Exploration Component Program Agreement Form must be signed, dated, and include all the information stipulated in the Work Experience Order (PDF). A sample Career-Life Exploration Component Program Agreement Form is included in the Career Education 10-12 Guide (PDF).

Employment, Volunteer, or Community Service Placements

Paid Employment

In some cases, as determined by the student’s post-secondary career-life planning and the mentor’s feedback, paid employment can be used to satisfy the required career-life exploration component of CLC. In these cases, districts must document that students are, were, or will be working at a site where WorkSafeBC coverage is, was, or will be provided.

Unpaid Work, Volunteer or Community Service Placements

WorkSafeBC coverage is provided by the provincial government only to students who are 14 years of age or older and are on an unpaid placement arranged by the school district in accordance with the Workers’ Compensation Coverage Order (PDF). Boards of education define the term ‘community’ and determine appropriate volunteer and community placements, and must ensure that sponsor organizations are subject to the Workers’ Compensation Act. For school-authorized unpaid placements, additional information is available in the Career Education 10-12 Guide (PDF).