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 – Spring 2021


  1. Fundamentals of Circles of Support and Accountability (March 24, 6-8pm)

Presenters: CoSA-Ottawa staff

    • The impetus, history and mandate of CoSA
    • Circle functioning, boundaries, confidentiality and limits to confidentiality
    • Volunteer roles and expectations, reporting requirements, self-care
    • Community collaboration
    • Research demonstrating how and why CoSA works
    • Video on CoSA

2.  Offending Behaviour and Treatment Approach (March 31, 6-8pm)

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

3. Male Sexual Trauma (April 7, 6-8)

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

4. Legal Controls for Sex Offenders (April 14, 6-8pm)

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 parole or probation supervision)

5. Assessment and Treatment at the Royal (April 28, 6-8)

Presenter: Heather Tarnai-Feely, Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre 

Prior to concluding 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.  Approved volunteers will then proceed to the final session.

 6. Practical Applications of CoSA (with active and new, approved volunteers, May 5, 6-8pm)

Facilitated by CoSA-Ottawa Staff

  • Discussion and Q&A with experienced volunteers
  • A core member’s story

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