Volunteer Training

Our volunteer training program is conducted twice annually – in the fall and the spring. For more information, visit the Training page.

To respect physical distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have adapted our training program to facilitated online sessions using Zoom (at no cost to participants).  Please contact admin@cosa-ottawa.ca if you are interested in registering for the volunteer training program.

Volunteer Training – Fall 2020

Free Admittance (Minimum age 21)

Please email admin@cosa-ottawa.ca for more information or to register

TRAINING LOCATION: Virtually over Zoom


  1. Fundamentals of Circles of Support and Accountability (September 15th, 2020)

Presenters: CoSA-Ottawa staff

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

2.  Offending Behaviour and Treatment Approach (September 22nd, 2020)

Presenter: Dr. Geris Serran, Psychologist, Correctional Service of Canada 

3. Assessment and Treatment at the Royal (September 29th, 2020)

Presenter: Natasha Knack, Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre 

4. Legal Controls for Sex Offenders (October 6th, 2020 – To Be Confirmed)

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)

5. Male Sexual Trauma (October 20th, 2020)

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

Following the Basic Training (sessions #1-5), we will conduct our volunteer screening  process including an interview with the staff and a Board member, references will be checked and successful applicants will be asked to obtain a Police Check (cost waived to CoSA volunteers).  Approved volunteers will then proceed to the final session.

 6. Practical Applications of CoSA (with active and new, approved volunteers, November 17th, 2020)

Facilitated by CoSA-Ottawa Staff

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


 To register for the training email us at admin@cosa-ottawa.ca