Managing A Student Worker

Supervising Student Workers

As a supervisor of a student worker, you have an opportunity to mentor and coach an individual who may have limited exposure to the workplace. You are encouraged to provide an orientation, performance expectations, and performance feedback. The supervisor is responsible for managing the student worker including managing any student issues, and contacting the Department Administrator/HR Manager and/or UBC HR if needed.

Note: contact UBC Okanagan HR if you need assistance in managing student performance expectations.


If a student requires an email address, access to a phone, and/or a workstation, contact UBC Information Technology Services, or follow the same departmental processes that you use for staff.

Note: any costs associated with the above will need to be covered by the department or grant/speedchart.

To ensure you know what needs to be done in preparation for a new student appointment, create a new student worker checklist and keep a file for your student workers within the department.  This file should include student appointment forms, orientation checklists, performance feedback/reviews, offer letters, resignation letters, ect.


Students need to receive the usual workplace safety orientation and need to be told applicable department policies. WorkSafeBC requires departments to provide proper direction and instruction to workers, including students, to ensure the safe performance of their duties. Through training and supervision, employees are made aware of hazards and safe work procedures to follow in order to protect themselves.

To meet this requirement, Units must provide:

  1. Worker Job Orientation
  2. On-the-Job Training
  3. Worker Supervision
  4. Orientation and Training Records (to be kept in an employee’s file)

Risk Management Services provides information on the health and safety orientation for new and young workers, including a list of topics that must be included in training/orientation.

A best practice is to give the student a tour of the department/office and point out things such washroom facilities, kitchen facilities, water cooler, photocopier, etc.

Maintaining Studies

Students are expected to keep their grades up and maintain minimum credits. Students need to ensure they are not on academic probation in order to maintain their student appointment.


The University’s Centre for Teaching and Learning is purposed with enhancing the teaching skills and advancing the scholarly practice of all members of the UBC teaching community and supporting technology-enabled learning environments and distance learning opportunities. Teaching Assistants may qualify for some of the workshops held by CTLT.

Departments may choose to fund other professional development opportunities for their student workers.

Performance Reviews and Feedback

Having a student worker in the workplace is an excellent opportunity for you to help students develop their skills in a safe environment.  It is recommended that you meet with students on a periodic basis to provide performance feedback.

UBC’s Human Resources department has developed an excellent tool for performance management that can be modified to use with students.


If you see that there is an issue with a student, it’s recommended that you deal with it early.  If you need assistance, please contact your Department Administrator or HR Manager.

Note: best practice is to speak to the student worker about any performance concerns as they arise, as you would with any staff employee.

Attendance Management

If you see that there is an attendance issue with a student, we recommended that you address it early.  If you need assistance, please contact your Department Administrator or HR Manager.  A best practice is to speak to the student worker about frequent absences as you would with any staff employee.

Note: With any unionized student appointments, you need to consult your HR Okanagan Advisor prior to addressing attendance issue.

Extending Appointments

Students who graduate may continue to work until the end of the semester.  Students who are registered in courses may start working prior to the start of the semester.  For example, if a student graduates in May, the student may continue to work until the end of August.  If a student is registered to start full-time studies in September, they may start working in the summer (for international students, their study permits must be valid during the time duration of their appointment).