Your responsibilities, expectations, and ethics

You’re expected to conduct yourself in a professional and ethical manner in all aspects of your participation in the co-op employment process.

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Responsibilities and expectations

Please review the Co-operative Education & Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada) Recruiting Ethics for employers, students, and institutions.

1. Eligibility

Once accepted into the co-op program, you will:

  • Remain as a full-time co-op student in your program throughout your degree requirements to the final academic term
  • Follow the study and work term sequence that corresponds with your program.
  • Maintain acceptable academic standing according to the regulations of your program.
  • Participate in PD 1 or if in Engineering, the Co-op Fundamentals for Engineering course, and complete all assignments related to these courses in order to have a clear understanding of the employment process and to acquire job searching skills.
  • Inform Co-operative Education (CE) of your employment status (e.g., actively seeking employment through CE, returning to previous co-op employer, or other situation) at all times.
  • Ensure that your student record is updated and accurate.
  • Complete all work terms and work reports, according to the requirements of your specific program, before your final academic term (4B).

2. Seeking employment

You will:

3. Job applications

You will:

  • Ensure you have completed a detailed review of the job specifics related to each job you apply to.
  • Apply to jobs that meet the stated requirements and conditions. For example, skills, citizenship, academic status, access to transportation, location, and more.
  • Attend every interview for which you’re selected.
  • Not accept job offers from employers during the interview process.
  • Notify CE, in advance whenever possible, when attendance at a scheduled interview is not possible (e.g., illness or extraordinary circumstance).
  • Notify your CE if you require accommodations for your interview due to of any permanent, temporary or suspected disabilities.

Note: If you require support with determining your necessary accommodations, please contact AccessAbility Services.

4. Ranking offer process

At the end of the interview process period, you will:

  • Receive a list of employers you had interviews with along with their corresponding rankings.
  • Complete your rankings within the specified timeframe.
  • Accept the job which you are matched through the ranking process.

5. Job offers

Because it is important to provide equal access and opportunity to all employers and students, you will:

  • Accept offers that were made only through the Co-operative Education process or if arranged on your own, will accept offers through the awareness of Co-operative Education.
  • Not improperly influence an employer in attempt to affect their decisions regarding offers of employment.
  • Accept or decline offers of employment directly from the employer for the next scheduled work term before the end of your current work term.
  • Honour any commitment for employment (job matches, previously committed offer of employment). Failing to accept an employment match, failing to report to work for an agreed upon employment commitment, etc. will result in disciplinary action.

6. Work terms

As ambassadors of the University of Waterloo and its co-operative education program, you will:

  • Comply with the policies and procedures of Co-operative Education, your employer, and the University.
  • Fulfill the time commitment required for each work term.
  • Attempt to resolve challenges that arise during the work term with the employer.
  • Contact your student advisor before making any decision affecting your employer or employment.
  • Ensure that your employer completes a Student Performance Evaluation Form and submits it before the end of the term, to receive a work term credit.
  • Inform Co-operative Education of your intentions for the next scheduled work term by the end of the first week of lectures when you return to campus.

7. Work reports

Complete and submit work reports according to the requirements of your department or faculty after each work term.

8. Graduation

In order to complete successfully the requirements for graduation with a “Co-operative Education” designation on their degree, students will:

University policy states that work term evaluations must be recorded by Co-operative Education for all work terms that co-op students undertake even though the minimum number of work term credits required for graduation may have already been achieved.

It is imperative that this missing information is received in order to approve your co-op requirements for graduation.

9. Accountability

The University of Waterloo reserves the right to take appropriate action if students don't comply with these policies and responsibilities.

In some cases, this action could include reduced access to WaterlooWorks, a delay in graduation, or withdrawal from the co-op program.

Misuse or alteration of University documents (e.g., unofficial grade report, co-operative education work history, etc.) will be subject to Policy 71: Student Academic Discipline.

Cases of misconduct will be reported to the appropriate Associate Dean from the student’s Faculty.  The result of disciplinary proceedings will be reported to employers that are directly affected.

If your conduct during the employment process or on the work term is improper of the professional and ethical standards expected at the University, you will be required to withdraw from the co-op program.


These ethics are reprinted with permission from Co-operative Education & Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada).

It is your responsibility to:

  • Abide by the co-op policies of your institution
  • Ensure that employers have accurate information regarding your qualifications
  • Notify CE, well in advance, if interviews must be rescheduled or cancelled
  • Not discuss or mislead employers about your ranking or job acceptance intentions, and not provide information to employers on other students or employers
  • Honour your acceptance of employment as a contractual agreement with the employer

In addition, you must…

  • Apply only for the jobs in which you have a genuine interest.
  • Be well prepared for interviews.
  • Honour your employers' relocation policy (if applicable).
  • Respect the policies of employers regarding confidential/proprietary information.
  • Attempt to resolve violations of recruiting ethics at the local level. Where local resolution is not possible, violations should be brought to the attention of the National Board.