Expectations and responsibilities

By implementing Provincial and Federal legislation, in addition to Co-operative Education & Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada) guidelines, we make sure that you, and our co-op students, are protected. 

This page outlines the roles and responsibilities put in place for the University of Waterloo, Waterloo co-op employers and students in relation to the University’s co-operative education program.

This information was last updated in July 2019.


Roles and responsibilities: Employers

Employers must be informed and comply with the following policies and procedures of Co-operative Education and the University of Waterloo.


  • Hire students for positions approved as creditable co-op jobs.

  • Hire students as either an employee or engage as an independent contractor 

  • Provide appropriate compensation, working conditions, supervision, training and evaluation.
  • Comply with applicable government statutes and legislation.
  • Respect the University of Waterloo’s co-op process regarding job postings, interview arrangements, job offers, etc. 

Job descriptions

  • Provide accurate description of job duties, qualifications and skill level of the job advertised. 
  • Indicate whether you will hire a student as an employee or engage as an independent contractor

Interview process

  • Provide notice of interview times and cancellations to the department of Co-operative Education in a timely fashion.
  • Conduct interviews in the academic term preceding the work term whenever possible.
  • Interview, whenever possible, at the University of Waterloo or electronically (e.g., via phone or webcam).
  • Follow the interview schedule as created and administered by Co-operative Education.
  • Do not discuss job offers or rankings with students before, during or after interviews.
  • Do not ask a student to accept a job offer ahead of the match, or about their ranking strategy ahead of the match. If a student asks you to make them a direct offer, or indicates that other companies are doing this, please connect with your Account Manager.
  • Submit offers and rankings during the designated ranking period.
  • Do not provide candidates with information on other students or companies.
  • Do not seek a candidate's assessment of another candidate.

Offer process (ranking)

  • Offer employment only through Co-operative Education’s employment process (i.e., do not make offers during or immediately following an interview).
  • Rank students according to preference for the advertised position.
  • Submit rankings via WaterlooWorks within the specified timeframe.
  • Commit to hiring any student matched through the ranking process (i.e., honour all employment matches).
  • Do not submit multiple job offers unless there are positions for multiple candidates.

Work term

  • Accommodate a work consultation by the appropriate co-op advisor during a student's work term.
  • Comply with all Provincial and Federal Freedom of Information, Human Rights and Employment legislation.
  • Complete a Student Performance Evaluation Form before the end of the student's work term and save/submit it to Co-operative Education via WaterlooWorks.
  • Contact the appropriate co-op advisor before taking disciplinary action or considering the dismissal of a co-op student.
  • If you wish to rehire a student for an upcoming work term, extend an offer of employment to the student for their next scheduled work term prior to the end of their current work term and inform Co-operative Education of their plans.
  • Provide enhanced work for their student when the employer chooses to rehire for another work term.
  • Do not transfer a co-op position into full-time employment for a student who has yet to complete the academic terms required for their degree.

Exiting a work term

Before leaving the work term, employers are encouraged to have their student(s):

  • Revise the job description accordingly.
  • Write/update a handbook or advice manual for incoming students.
  • Consider and implement as possible, feedback about improving the workplace and position for future students.
  • Clarify whether or not the student will return for the next scheduled work term.


  • The University of Waterloo reserves the right to take the appropriate course of action when an employer does not comply with these policies and responsibilities.
  • In some cases, this action could include being prevented from hiring co-op students from the University of Waterloo (for co-op credit).

Roles and responsibilities: University of Waterloo

Co-op accreditation

What Co-operative Education will do


Feasibility studies

University closures

Roles and responsibilities: Co-op students 


General roles and responsibilities

Graduate co-op students

Co-op eligibility

Co-op designation requirements

Accepting the WaterlooWorks terms and conditions

Study and work term sequencing

Inter-faculty transfer of credits

Work term requirements

Unpaid or underpaid co-op work terms

Co-op Research Certificate

Academic integrity on your study and work terms

Falsification of documents and credentials

Grievances and petitions

OSAP and co-op

Student statuses in WaterlooWorks

On a recruiting term

Submitting your job search intentions on WaterlooWorks

Checking your information on WaterlooWorks

Applying for jobs on WaterlooWorks

Conducting a combined search

Work term length: four vs. eight months

Citizenship requirements for Government of Canada jobs

Interviewing for jobs on WaterlooWorks

Request for interview relief

Request to withdraw applications (RWA)

Ranking jobs in WaterlooWorks

Job offers and matches via WaterlooWorks

Cancelled job in WaterlooWorks

Arranging your own job outside of WaterlooWorks

Work terms abroad (USA and international)

On a work term

Work term employment agreements

Leaving a work term early

Payment, vacation days and overtime

Income tax

Non-compete agreements

Intellectual property

Legal action against employer

Work term requirements to earn a co-op designation:

  • WatPD
  • Student performance evaluations
  • Work term reports
  • Academic courses on a work term

Workplace safety

Workplace insurance

Medical insurance

Record of employment

Harassment and discrimination