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 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 (May 5th, 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.  Victim’s Perspective (May 7th, 2020)

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

3. Offending Behaviour and Treatment Approach (May 14th, 2020)

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

4. Assessments and Treatment at the Royal (May 21st, 2020)

Presenter: Natasha Knack, Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre

4. Legal Controls for Sex Offenders (May 28th, 2020)

 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, Date TBD)

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