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 experience in the workplace. You are expected 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.


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.

To ensure that 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, etc.


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, departments must provide the following:

  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 maintain their grades and minimum credits. Students are obligated to disclose their standing or change in standing with respect to academic probation.


The University’s Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) is mandated 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 Human Resources has developed an excellent tool for performance management that can be modified to use with students.


If you become aware of problematic behaviour, it is recommended that you deal with it early. Please consult with your Department Administrator or HR Advisor before taking any corrective action.

Attendance Management

If attendance becomes an issue, we again recommend that you address it early. A good 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 Advisor prior to addressing attendance issue.