40 Hours Community Involvement

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Education (EDU) temporarily waived some policy restrictions, so that students had more flexibility in how they could complete community involvement hours required to graduate. These temporary measures expired at the end of the 2022-23 school year on August 31, 2023.

Community Involvement Graduation Requirement

The Ontario Ministry of Education is working to motivate service, active citizenship, and volunteering in our local communities. Students attending a secondary school in Ontario must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement activities as part of the requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). 

The purpose of the community involvement requirement is to encourage students to develop awareness and understanding of civic responsibility and of the role they can play and the contributions they can make in supporting and strengthening their communities. By being involved in their communities and serving others, students can develop transferable skills and explore different sectors and potential career opportunities as well as deepening their understanding of their role in society.

Community involvement activities help to prepare students for work and civic life in a globalized, digital age. Community involvement is an important educational opportunity that allows students to develop skills and experiences gained to become successful and contributing members of society now and in the future.

Community involvement activities are part of the school's program and may take place in a variety of settings, including businesses, healthcare institutions including hospitals and long-term care facilities, not-for-profit organizations, public sector institutions including the offices of local, provincial or federal representatives, First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities or organizations, and informal settings, such as religious, cultural events and community activities. (from PPM 124)

In addition, school boards continue to be permitted to develop their own processes for collecting, recording and validating community involvement hours.

Students, families and community organizations can contact their GECDSB secondary school’s Guidance department for more information on community involvement opportunities. Below is a community involvement form that can be downloaded and used to record completed hours.

Community Involvement Form

Ineligible Activities:

The ministry has developed a list of activities that may not be chosen as community involvement activities. These are referred to as ineligible activities.

An ineligible activity is an activity that:

  • is a requirement of a class, course, or program in which the student is enrolled (e.g., cooperative education course, experiential learning activities)
  • takes place during the time allotted for the instructional program on a school day. However, an activity that takes place during the student's lunch breaks or “spare” periods is permissible
  • contravenes the minimum age requirements to work in or visit a workplace stated in regulations made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • contravenes any other applicable legislation, regulation or policy
  • contravenes the policies and procedures of the organization that is supervising the student’s community involvement activities
  • would normally be performed for wages by a person in the workplace
  • involves the operation of a vehicle, power tools, or scaffolding
  • involves the administration of any type or form of medication or medical procedure to other persons
  • involves handling of substances classed as “designated substances” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • requires the knowledge of a tradesperson whose trade is regulated by the provincial government
  • involves banking, the handling of securities, or the handling of valuable items such as jewellery, works of art, or antiques
  • consists of duties normally performed in the home (i.e., daily chores) or personal recreational activities
  • involves activities for a court-ordered program (e.g., community-service program for young offenders, probationary program)
  • involves activities that promote discrimination, harassment, or puts the safety of the student or others at risk.

For more information, please refer to the Policy/Program Memorandum 124.