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Work Exposure

Steps To A Successful Work Placement

Many programs at College of the North Atlantic require students to complete an unpaid work exposure placement in order to obtain a program certificate or diploma. The purpose of the work placement is to provide a unique learning experience in a real workplace setting.

Students are expected to learn, develop and demonstrate the high standards of behaviour and performance normally expected in the work environment. During the work placement, students develop their employability and technical skills further enhancing their personal growth. It is an opportunity to learn from a new network of contacts and widen perceptions of life and career choices.

A work placement for a certificate program is two weeks and for diploma program is six weeks. Students will maintain the work schedule required by the employer with a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 40 hours per week.

The work placement typically takes place during Intersession pending the availability of a suitable employer. For students completing their program out of normal sequence, the work placement will take place in the semester immediately following the last semester of studies.

Only students graduating with a certificate will complete the two-week work placement. If you are in your first year and plan to complete a two-year diploma program, you will complete your work placement at the end of your second year.

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Students must complete the work exposure requirement in order to fulfill the program requirements for Office Administration/Executive Office Management and Business Administration/Management.

Office Administration Medical students must have their First Aid/CPR course completed prior to starting their work placement.

Students who wish to obtain a placement with a health authority will be required to adhere to additional regulations such as a health check, certificate of conduct, etc. Other employers have their own regulations and may require additional documentation such as a certificate of conduct. The work placement instructor for your program will provide additional information if this is applicable to your placement.

Tuition / Registration

Students are required to register for the Work Placement course via Self-Service during the registration period. Registration is required to ensure you are covered by the College while on your placement. You will be required to pay a tuition fee of $59 per week. You may pay your fees at your nearest campus or mail your payment to Distributed Learning Serivce, College of the North Atlantic, 69 Pleasant Street, Clarenville, NL A5A 1V9. To arrange payment by credit card please use Self Service . Fees are due by the Semester Fee Deadline Date.

Arranging a Work Placement

If you are enrolled in the last semester of courses towards the completion of a program through DL (Office or Business Programs):

  • Complete and submit a Work Placement Request form by the deadline required. If you already have a work placement secured, please include the employer information on the work placement request form. If you do not have a placement secured, you will be required to provide contact information for two employers within your preferred geographic region.

  • Submit an updated resume for submission to potential placement sites for review and selection.

The Admissions office will audit your file to ensure you have completed all program courses and have obtained a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.0. If deemed eligible, a College representative will contact you to begin the process of finding a suitable work placement.

Students who do not complete their diploma program in the prescribed time frame from first registration, may complete the program by following the regulations in effect at the time of first registration provided the program is completed in not more than three years beyond the regular date of completion. A student who does not complete a program within these prescribed time limits may be required to complete additional courses or to repeat certain courses before being deemed eligible to complete a work placement and receive the diploma.

Exemption/Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)

If you are currently working in your area of study, you may qualify for prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) for the work placement requirement. Application for PLAR will only be accepted in the last semester of your program.

To submit your application for prior learning assessment and recognition consideration, students must: submit the following via email to dlservice@cna.nl.ca or fax to 709-466-4640.

Application packages received with missing documentation will not be processed until all required materials are submitted. Additional employment related information may be requested.

Frequently Asked Questions

For Distributed Learning program students only. Students registered at a different campus should check with the instructor responsible for work placements in their program.

To submit your application for work placement exemption consideration, students must:

  • be in last semester of studies and on track to graduate
  • have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.0
  • have current and relevant work experience

1. Whom do I contact to determine if I have all my courses up to date?

If you have questions regarding any outstanding courses, or to confirm that you have completed all the required courses, please email learn@cna.nl.ca with PROGRAM CHECKLIST REQUEST in the subject line and your updated Program Checklist will be emailed to you.

2. How do I calculate my Grade Point Average (GPA) to determine if I meet the minimum 2.0 GPA requirement?

Visit https://www.cna.nl.ca/MyCna/Academic-Support/Examinations.aspx for instructions on how to calculate your GPA. If you require assistance, contact the DL Guidance Counsellor by email suzanne.keeping@cna.nl.ca with GPA INQUIRY in the subject line.

3. I have been working in my field for several years, am I eligible?

If you are currently working in your field with relevant experience, you may be eligible for an prior learning assessment & recognition. Each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

4. Will my previous work experience qualify me for a work placement exemption/prior learning assessment (PLAR)?

Your work experience must be relevant to your program. To learn more about eligibility, email dlservice@cna.nl.ca

5. When can I apply for an exemption/prior learning assessment?

You can apply for prior learning assessment & recognition when you are registered in your last semester of your studies.

6. What documents do I need to submit?

All documents can be found on the Distributed Learning Service website at https://dls.cna.nl.ca/current/work_exposure.shtml, click on the “+ Exemption/Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)" section. All documentation should be submitted to dlservice@cna.nl.ca with “Exemption Application – Your Name/Student ID” in the subject line. Students registered at a different campus should check with the instructor responsible for work placements in their program

7. The Prior Learning application is asking for a course number for my work placement, where do I find this information?

This information can be found on your program checklist.

Business Administration Certificate


Business Administration Accounting


Business Administration General


Business Administration Human Resource Management


Business Administration Marketing


Executive Office Management


Office Administration Certificate


Executive Office Management / Office Administration Executive


Medical Office Management / Office Administration Medical


Records & Information Management / Office Administration Records & Information Management


8. When will I be notified of the results of my prior learning application?

Applications submitted in your last semester of studies will be reviewed by the School of Business & Information Technology when a final audit on your student record has been conducted by the Admissions Office (may take up to 2-3 weeks after the semester ends depending on submission date/peak periods). You will receive an email notification from DL Service with the results of the application review.

9. What are my next steps if my exemption is approved?

When your application has been processed, you will be emailed with the results and subsequent instructions.

10. If my exemption is denied, do I have to wait until next year to complete my work placement?

No, an instructor will work with you to identify a suitable placement at a mutually convenient time.

11. When will I receive my certificate/diploma?

Certificates/diplomas are mailed during the summer months depending upon your end date. If you require your transcript/diploma to confirm your credentials for employment, please let us know. Check your student self-service account to ensure the address we have on file is your current mailing address. If not, please update. We cannot release your certificate/diploma if you have outstanding fees. Please email learn@cna.nl.ca with ACCOUNT INQUIRY in the subject line regarding any account balance questions.

12. The semester is finished and I haven’t heard anything, what should I do?

Please email dlservice@cna.nl.ca to inquire about the status of your application.

13. What number can I call if I have questions?

Toll Free 1-877-465-2250, option 1

Certificate & Diplomas

Certificates and diplomas will be issued upon completion of the work placement and receipt of the work placement evaluation report from the employer. Please allow 5-6 weeks for processing and ensure the address we have on file is your current mailing address. To submit a change of address, update using your Student Services account or complete and submit a Change of Personal Information form . Transcripts, certificates or diplomas will not be issued if there are outstanding fees on your account.

If you have questions regarding your work placement or require assistance, please email dlsworkterm@cna.nl.ca.

  • Rehabilitation Assistant (OTA and PTA) students should refer to Program Information under the Rehabilitation Assistant (OTA and PTA) website for further information on clinical placement requirements.

  • Early Childhood Education students should refer to the Program Information under the Early Childhood Education website for information on fieldwork placements.