Volunteer Training

Our volunteer training program will be starting soon!

All are welcome and it’s free!

Following the INFORMATION SESSION, participants are welcome to sign up for Basic Training. At any point during the training, prospective volunteers can choose to discontinue the training. Attending all or a portion of the training does not obligate participants to become a CoSA volunteer.  A certificate will be issued to participants who complete all training sessions.


Orientation to Circles of Support and Accountability

Saturday, April 22, 10am-11am at St. John’s Church OR Monday, April 24, 5:30pm-6:30pm at Massine’s 

(you only have to attend one information session. See below for information on locations)

Facilitated by CoSA-Ottawa Staff

  • The impetus, history and mandate of CoSA
  • Goals and principles
  • Community collaboration
  • Volunteer opportunities, roles and expectations
  • Research demonstrating how and why CoSA works



  1. Fundamentals of Circles of Support and Accountability

Saturday, April 29, 10am-3pm at St. John’s Church

Presenters: CoSA-Ottawa staff

  • The ‘life of a circle’ & circle functioning; volunteer expectations and responsibilities
  • Volunteer code of conduct; confidentiality; group dynamics; boundaries and self-care
  • Tracking and reporting
  • CoSA video

   2. Victims’ Perspective

Monday, May 8, 5:30pm-7:30pm at Massine’s

Presenter: Rick Goodwin, Clinical Director, Men & Healing www.menandhealing.ca

   3. Healthy Sexuality and Sex Offending; Sex Offender Treatment and Programs

Saturday, May 13, 10am-3pm at St. John’s Church

Presenters: Rebekah Ranger, Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, Sexual Behaviours Clinic and Dr. Geris Serran, Psychologist, Correctional Services of Canada

   4. Legal Controls for Sex Offenders

Monday, May 15, 5:30pm-7:30pm at Massine’s

Presenter: Det. Ron McCarthy, Ottawa Police Service (High Risk Offender Unit)

  • Police Controls (810 Orders, Public Notification, Sex Offender Registry)
  • Community Supervision (for those on Long Term Supervision Order)

Following the Basic Training (sessions #1-4), we will conduct our volunteer screening  process including an interview with the coordinator and two Board members, references will be checked and successful applicants will be asked to obtain a Police Check (cost covered by CoSA).  Approved volunteers will then proceed to the final session.

   5. Practical Applications of CoSA (with active and new, approved volunteers)

Monday, May 29, 5:30pm-7:30pm at Massine’s

Facilitated by CoSA-Ottawa Staff

  • Mock Circle meeting role play (with experienced volunteers)
  • The Effects of Institutionalization
  • A core member’s story
  • Discussion and Q&A (common challenges, what works, working intentionally with a core member, etc)


Training locations
Two different locations: Massine’s Independent Grocer (296 Bank St @ Somerset St.), in the Community Meeting Room; and St John’s Church (154 Somerset St, at Elgin) – as indicated