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 – Fall 2019

Free Admittance (Minimum age 21)

Dates for the Fall 2019 training listed below are subject to change.

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

TRAINING LOCATION: Bronson Centre (211 Bronson Avenue)

INFORMATION SESSION: Orientation to Circles of Support and Accountability

Tuesday, October 29, 6pm-7pm (RM 103)

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, November 2, 10am-3pm (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. Legal Controls for Sex Offenders

Tuesday, November 5, 6pm-8pm (RM 103)

 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)

3. Introduction to Sexual Offending

Saturday, November 9, 10am-3pm (RM 110)

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

4. Victim’s Perspective – CANCELLED

Tuesday, November 12, 6pm-8pm (RM 103)

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

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)

Tuesday, December 3, 6pm-8pm 

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