Volunteer Training

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

Volunteer Training – Spring 2018

Free Admittance (Minimum age 21)

TRAINING LOCATION: Bronson Centre and Massine’s Independent Grocer)

INFORMATION SESSION: Orientation to Circles of Support and Accountability

Thursday, April 26, 6:30-7:30pm (Bronson Centre Rm 110)

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

Following the INFORMATION SESSION, participants will be invited 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.


  1. Fundamentals of Circles of Support and Accountability

Saturday, April 28, 10am-3pm (Bronson Centre Rm 110)

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. Introduction to Sexual Offending

Saturday, May 5, 10am-3pm (Bronson Centre Rm 110)

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

3. Victim’s Perspective

Tuesday, May 15, 6pm-8pm (Bronson Centre Rm 222)

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

4. Legal Controls for Sex Offenders

Tuesday, May 22, 6pm-8pm (Bronson Centre Rm 222)

 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 waived to CoSA volunteers).  Approved volunteers will then proceed to the final session.

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

Monday, June 18, 6pm-8pm (Massine’s Independent Grocer – Cooking Class Room)

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.)