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Recruiting Ethics for Co-Op Education

McMaster Science Co-op Programs are accredited by the Cooperative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL). We abide by the following recruiting ethics, as provided by CEWIL.

The successful recruitment of cooperative education students depends upon the collective activities of three parties: the interested employer, the co-op student and the associated educational institution. All participants must adhere to Provincial and Federal legislation in their recruitment and employment practices. However, CEWIL supports additional guidelines concerning recruiting ethics that support the development of a mutually beneficial and fair process for all concerned.

Employer Ethics

  • Provide accurate job posting information including salary and location.
  • Provide reasonable notice of candidates to be interviewed and of interview cancellations.
  • Respect an institution’s schedule regarding job postings, interview arrangements, job offers, etc., and heed the cooperative education policies and procedures of an institution.
  • Not discuss job offers or rankings with candidates before, during or following an interview.
  • Not seek a candidate’s assessment of another candidate.
  • Not make multiple job rankings or offers unless prepared to accept multiple candidates.
  • Honour all matches, and not rescind offers of employment.
  • Confirm all job offers in writing.
  • Not translate a co-op assignment into a full-time position, encouraging a student to settle for less education.

Student Ethics

  • Abide by the co-op policies of their institution.
  • Ensure that employers have accurate information regarding their qualifications.
  • Notify the co-op office, well in advance, if interviews must be rescheduled or cancelled.
  • Not discuss or mislead employers about their ranking or job acceptance intentions, and not provide information to employers on other students or employers.
  • Honour their acceptance of employment as a contractual agreement with the employer.

Institution’s Ethics

  • Inform students, employers, and other interested parties of institutional policies and procedures.
  • Provide equal services to all students and employers.
  • Accommodate employers’ reasonable requests for job postings, interview space and presentation facilities.
  • Provide students with accurate information on all recruiting employers.
  • Notify the employer of any hiring limitations prior to them conducting interviews.
  • Notify employers of any students who, after being hired, are not academically eligible to continue in their program.

McMaster Work-Integrated Learning Employer Policies And Agreement


Work-Integrated Learning Employer Guidelines provide guidance on employer ethics and procedures for engaging in a recruiting partnership with McMaster University.

Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) is a model and process of curricular experiential education which formally and intentionally integrates a student’s academic studies within a workplace or practice setting. WIL experiences include an engaged partnership of at least: an academic institution, a host organization and a student. WIL can occur at the course or program level and includes the development of learning outcomes related to employability, personal agency and life-long learning.

Recruiting Ethics For Work-Integrated Learning

McMaster University adheres to the recruiting ethics and guidelines provided by CEWIL for both our accredited and non-accredited work-integrated learning programs.

This includes employer, student, and institutional ethics to support the development of a mutually beneficial and fair process for all concerned.

Please familiarize yourself with CEWIL’s ethics and guidelines.

Download a PDF copy of CEWIL’s ethics and guidelines.

Posting A Job

Before postings become available on the McMaster job board, they are reviewed to make sure they meet our expectations for a work-integrated learning experience.

Eligible Roles And Employers

  1. Employment opportunities advertised on the work-integrated learning job board must meet the minimum requirements for a work-integrated learning work term, including:
    1. All positions must provide the student with valuable and productive work experience.
    2. Students must be paid for all hours worked. Honoraria is not an acceptable form of payment.
    3. Some academic programs may have unique requirements (e.g. minimum number of hours) to obtain credit. Please check with the relevant Faculty office for specific regulations.
  2. At our own discretion, McMaster University may determine which organizations and postings will be approved for participation in the work-integrated learning program.

Posting Requirements

  1. Job Postings should be as descriptive as possible and must include:
    1. Employer name
    2. Job title
    3. Duration
    4. Hours of work (full-time, part-time, etc.)
    5. Detailed and accurate description of job duties and responsibilities
    6. Required qualifications (education, work experience, etc.)
    7. Work address or specify workplace arrangements (remote, field work, etc.)
    8. Application deadline date (If no application deadline is specified, McMaster may determine an appropriate deadline)
    9. Application instructions, if applicable (e.g. required documents, submission process, etc.)

Note: additional information may be requested for internal purposes only (e.g. salary ranges)

Third-Party Recruiters

  1. Third-party recruiters must disclose the name of their client.
  2. Client information may be released to students with the approval of the third-party agency.
  3. McMaster University may contact the client to verify the availability of the role.
  4. Third-party recruiters may not be eligible for tax credit documents. Please check with the relevant Faculty office for specific regulations.
  5. Some academic programs at McMaster University do not accept postings from third-party recruiters. Please check with the relevant Faculty office for specific regulations on third-party posting requirements.


  1. McMaster University’s approval for participation in the work-integrated learning program does not represent an endorsement of any employers or job advertisements.

Student Engagement


  1. McMaster requests that employers provide at least 2 weeks’ notice for any planned events.
  2. Unless confirmed in advance, McMaster University cannot guarantee the availability of event space.
  3. In addition to these terms, the Policy on the Use of University Facilities for Non-Academic Purposes applies to all employer events hosted on campus.

McMaster University Work-Integrated Learning Work Term Agreement

McMaster University is committed to facilitating a positive and productive work-integrated learning experience for both the student and employer. This agreement outlines the roles and responsibilities of each party to ensure a clear understanding of expectations.

During A Work-Integrated Learning Work Term, The McMaster Student Will:

  1. Conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner.
  2. Perform the duties described in their employment agreement to the best of their ability.
  3. Adhere to the policies and expectations of their workplace. This may include dress codes, health & safety procedures, and confidentiality agreements.
  4. Contact their work-integrated learning office regarding any employment related problems or concerns that may arise during the work term.
  5. Complete all academic requirements of the work-integrated learning experience, which may include a mid-term site visit, a work term evaluation, etc. Please consult with your academic advisors for clarification regarding academic requirements.
  6. Consult with McMaster prior to any action to terminate employment. Ending a WIL work term without approval may result in removal from the work-integrated learning program.

During A Work-Integrated Learning Work Term, The Employer Will:

  1. Provide the student with an employment agreement that describes the wages, payroll schedule, hours of work, breaks, duties and expectations of the role.
  2. Ensure the student receives adequate on-the-job instruction, supervision, and feedback from a dedicated supervisor to support their learning and development, health and safety training, and personal protective equipment.
  3. Maintain a safe, equitable, ethical, respectful, and supportive working environment and provide the student the opportunity to raise concerns.
  4. Comply with all applicable employment, occupational health & safety, and human rights legislation.
  5. Share student performance feedback with McMaster University, according to Faculty-specific requirements. Feedback may include a mid-term check in, written final evaluation, etc.
  6. Immediately inform McMaster of any workplace accidents or injury to the student.
  7. Inform McMaster University with notice of any intention to terminate the student. Employers are encouraged to contact the appropriate Faculty office with any concerns related to student employment as soon as possible.

During A Work-Integrated Learning Work Term McMaster University Will:

  1. Provide support to both the student and employer to support a positive and rewarding experience for all participants.
  2. Participate in evaluation of the work-integrated learning experience, which may include a mid-term site visit, a work term evaluation, etc.
  3. Investigate and mediate concerns within the scope of this agreement raised by the student or employer.
  4. Terminate the Agreement if any or all parties are not fulfilling their duty and a mutually agreeable solution is not available.
  5. Notify the employer and/or students of any intent to terminate employment.
  6. Reserve the right to terminate this work-integrated learning agreement at any time (e.g. for academic eligibility, safety, etc.).

Failure to meet these expectations may result in a termination of this agreement and/or work-integrated learning credit.

The McMaster University Statement on Building an Inclusive Community with a Shared Purpose strives to embody the values of respect, collaboration, and diversity across all areas of the University’s mission to achieve research, teaching, and service excellence. We recognize our employer and community partners also strive for a diverse and inclusive community. Students may identify as a member of an equitydeserving group(s) (2SLGBTQ+; First Nations, Metis and Inuit people; those living with a disability, illness, mental health or neurodiversity; members belonging to racialized communities – with particular attention to Black/African, Caribbean, and Latin American learners); female-identified students or have other barriers to employment. Our faculties, working alongside the Student Success Centre’s employment diversity services, will assist in guiding your diversity recruitment outreach and related workplace accommodation, equity, and funding conversations. Whenever you are ready, we are here to help connect you with talented students with diverse backgrounds and skills

McMaster WIL Employer Ethics Guidelines