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 2017

Free Admittance (Minimum age 21)

TRAINING LOCATION: Massine’s Independent Grocer (296 Bank St @ Somerset St.), in the Community Meeting Room


INFORMATION SESSION: Orientation to Circles of Support and Accountability

Monday, September 25, 6pm-7pm OR Saturday, September 30, 10am-11am

(attend only ONE Information Session)

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


After attending the one-hour INFORMATION SESSION, participants are welcome 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, October 14, 10am-3pm

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

Monday, October 16, 5:30pm-7:30pm

Presenter: Det. Ron McCarthy and/or Det. Mark Horton, 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. Healthy Sexuality and Sex Offending; Sex Offender Treatment and Programs

Saturday, October 21, 10am-3pm

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


4. Victims’ Perspective

Monday, October 30, 5:30pm-7:30pm

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)

Monday, November 13, 5:30pm-7:30pm

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)