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OSP Occupational Profile

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NOC Code: NOC Code: 4131 Occupation: College and Other Vocational Instructors
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
This unit group includes instructors who teach applied arts, academic, technical and vocational subjects to students at community colleges, CEGEPs, agricultural colleges, technical and vocational institutes, language schools and other college level schools. This unit group also includes trainers who are employed by private training establishments, companies, community agencies and governments to deliver internal training or development courses. College teachers who are heads of departments are included in this group. This unit group includes instructors who teach applied arts, academic, technical and vocational subjects to students at community colleges, CEGEPs, agricultural colleges, technical and vocational institutes, language schools and other college level schools. This unit group also includes trainers who are employed by private training establishments, companies, community agencies and governments to deliver internal training or development courses. College teachers who are heads of departments are included in this group.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4 5
Writing Writing 1 2 3 4
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3 4
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3 4
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3 4
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3 4


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read notes from co-workers, colleagues, students and administrators. For example, read notes from students requesting appointments to discuss course materials, assignments and progress. Read notes from administrators asking for completed attendance records. (1)
  • Read text entries in forms. For example, read students' comments in evaluation forms and reasons for changing and withdrawing from courses in course change forms. Scan other instructors' comments in students' historical record forms. Review employers' comments on students' practicum performances on job placement forms. (2)
  • Read email messages and memos from co-workers and administrators. For example, read co-workers' email messages about dates and times of department meetings and instructional resources and materials. Read administrators' email messages about dates and locations of training sessions and teaching assignments for new courses. Read memos announcing changes in registration procedures, requesting verification of semester timetables and providing directions for administering and returning student surveys. (2)
  • Read policy and procedure manuals. For example, read policy manuals which outline student attendance requirements and examination procedures. (3)
  • Read a variety of newspapers and industry-specific magazines. For example, language and theatre instructors read newspapers and local magazines to locate articles of interest for use in class activities and discussions. Instructors of firefighters read industry-specific magazines such as Fire Engineering and Fire Chief to remain knowledgeable of the technical and leadership requirements in their field. Business and private training instructors read magazines such as Commerce, Communication World and Macleans. (4)
  • Read discussion papers and reports. For example, vocational school instructors may read reports about changes in industry standards and projected changes in workforce numbers and demands. Instructors of railway occupations may read reports about train accident and derailment investigations to identify safety and procedural changes which may affect course curriculum. (4)
  • Read collective agreements, contracts and requests for proposals. For example, department heads may read collective agreements to confirm salary scale ranges and clauses governing the hiring of part-time instructors. Private training and non-tenured instructors may read employment contracts to verify intellectual properties are protected and cancellation and rescheduling clauses are included. They may read requests for proposals to understand the scope of work being contracted. (4)
  • Read textbooks and course curricula. For example, read textbooks and course outlines critically to analyze the suggested learning objectives, to plan assignments and instructional activities, and to identify resource materials. Department heads and senior instructors may evaluate course curriculum to ensure organizational and external standards are met. (5)
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Writing
  • Write reminders, short notes and email messages to co-workers, colleagues and students. For example, write reminders in daybooks about changes to assignment due dates and tasks to be completed. Write notes on students' assignments and examinations to indicate corrections needed. Write notes to administrators on matters such as timetable changes and class sizes. Write email messages to information technology coordinators about use of portable computers. Private training instructors send email messages to inquire about room reservations and furniture set-ups for upcoming training sessions. (1)
  • Write memos to co-workers and students. For example, instructors write memos to inform students of dates and times of upcoming activities such as presentations, field trips and examinations. Department heads write memos for staff on topics such as changes in registration procedures and new requirements for accessing laboratories. (2)
  • Write letters of reference. For example, write reference letters supporting students' applications for practicums and jobs. (3)
  • Write course outlines and lesson plans. For example, write course outlines which include instructors' contact information, course overviews and objectives, required course materials, exercises and assignments, assessment dates and evaluation criteria. Include policies on attendance and late assignments and outline instructional approaches. Write lesson plans and associated instructional materials and assignments. Language instructors may provide explanations and procedures written for students with differing abilities. (3)
  • Write proposals and grant applications. For example, private training instructors may write responses to requests for proposals in which they outline their qualifications, work plans, personnel and procedures for evaluation and report on training content. Instructors may write grant proposals in which they outline research and development objectives, intended audience, research methodology and the manner in which they will present their findings. (4)
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Document Use
  • Locate data in lists, tables and schedules. For example, locate course numbers, credit hours, scheduled class times and locations, test dates, maximum enrolment numbers and instructors' names in the institution's course catalogues and annual calendars. Theatre instructors review lists of upcoming productions in their local communities to better advise students and plan extra-curricular activities. Mathematics instructors refer to lists of calculus derivation formulae to select appropriate functions. (2)
  • Locate data in entry forms. For example, locate times and dates on permission and release forms for tournaments, debates and other institution-sponsored activities. Scan student feedback forms to locate scores on rating scales, responses to questions and written comments. (2)
  • Locate data on product and document labels. For example, instructors scan envelope labels on student survey packages to ensure the accuracy of data such as academic divisions, departments, programs and dates. Instructors of firefighters scan Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System labels on fire extinguishers to identify chemical contents, inspection dates and precautionary measures. (2)
  • Record data in forms. For example, complete requisition forms for textbooks and photocopying by specifying quantities required, dates needed and special instructions for printing and binding. Complete timesheet by indicating the number of regular and overtime hours for each pay period. Instructors supervising practicum students complete vehicle logs indicating dates, locations and numbers of kilometres travelled. Trainers in private industry complete summary forms which indicate session dates, locations, clients' names, course numbers and numbers of participants. (3)
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Computer Use
  • Use Internet browsers to locate learning resources and to order instructional materials. Browse the institution's website to learn of new programs and initiatives. (2)
  • Use computer and software applications. For example, instructors may use software such as Blackboard and Web CT to post lecture notes, assignments and supplementary information for students. They may use software such as Banner to record student grades and programs such as LXR-Test to develop banks of questions for use in generating examinations. (2)
  • Exchange email messages with students, co-workers and colleagues. Private training instructors exchange email messages with clients about courses they are designing. They use program features such as distribution lists and out-of-office replies. Instructors enter appointments, assignment due dates and tasks to be completed in their on-line calendars. (2)
  • Use word processing. For example, instructors write letters to their supervisors and reference letters for students. They create examination, rating and evaluation forms. They create course outlines and prepare assignments and handouts. (2)
  • Use databases to access students' records in institutional databases to locate data such as home addresses and to enter grades and comments. Access institutional, public and national library databases to locate journal articles and instructional resource materials. (2)
  • Use spreadsheet programs to create tables in which to record student marks, calculate statistics and display features such as distributions of marks. Private training instructors may create spreadsheets to display course and program activities and financial transactions. (3)
  • Use graphics software to create and display slide shows using presentation software such as PowerPoint. Create multi-media presentations using text, graphics, audio and video. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Discuss prices, products and delivery times with suppliers. For example, instructors verify the availability and costs of textbooks with bookstore staff and publishers. Vocational school instructors order items such as tools, high visibility vests and flares from suppliers. Instructors of firefighters order exams from the National Fire Protection Association. (1)
  • Discuss ongoing work with co-workers and supervisors. For example, discuss class schedules with other instructors. Meet supervisors and administrators to clarify expectations on task assignments and new policies such as program management. (2)
  • Mentor, coach and counsel students. For example, speak to students about absenteeism, seek information about students' academic backgrounds and experiences and counsel students on their progress. Vocational and technical instructors coach and supervise practicum students working in industry settings. (3)
  • Facilitate and chair meetings and make presentations. For example, heads of departments plan and lead staff and departmental meetings. They promote professional development opportunities, review requirements for course outlines and suggest procedures for helping students who are experiencing difficulties. They facilitate discussions on course content and assessment criteria. Vocational and technical institution department heads may chair industry advisory committees to establish and ensure compliance with industry standards. Instructors may make presentations to a variety of professional, public and industry-specific audiences. Instructors in private industry and government may facilitate strategic planning sessions. (3)
  • Discuss instructional approaches and strategies with co-workers, colleagues and supervisors. For example, discuss ways to make courses both engaging and interactive and discuss insights, experiences and instructional approaches with co-workers and colleagues. Vocational instructors discuss students' experience with work placements with students and business partners. Instructors may discuss the effects of shortened deadlines on application acceptances and the increasing use of on-line courses with their supervisors and generate recommendations to address common concerns. They also discuss the merits of their programs, student satisfaction levels, requirements for additional resources and class schedules. (3)
  • Instruct students in their areas of expertise. They explain course objectives, assignments and participation expectations. They present theory, ask questions of students and engage them in discussions and activities. They challenge students' viewpoints and concepts to further their understanding of course content. They modify their content delivery as appropriate to ensure they engage all students. (4)
  • Instruct students in your areas of expertise. Explain course objectives, assignments and participation expectations. Present theory, ask questions of students and engage them in discussions and activities. Challenge students' viewpoints and concepts to further their understanding of course content. Modify content delivery as appropriate to ensure they engage all students. (4)
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Money Math
  • Calculate expense claim amounts for travel and course supplies. Calculate reimbursements for travel using per kilometre rates and add amounts for accommodation, meals and classroom resources purchased. (2)
  • Calculate invoice amounts. For example, instructors confirm prices for resource materials and calculate discounts, applicable taxes and totals. Private training instructors may calculate invoice amounts for professional service using hourly and per diem rates. They add amounts for related expenses and calculate applicable taxes. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Prepare course, facility and program schedules. For example, department heads prepare instructional timetables for their programs. They work with variables such as numbers of students enrolled in each course and availabilities of instructors at particular times and dates. They make adjustments in response to increases and decreases in student enrolments. (3)
  • Monitor and adjust course, program and department budgets. For example, instructors manage small budgets for supplies and consumables and for facilities they operate. Department heads verify costs allocated to their budgets. They may create and adjust annual operating budgets for their departments as a result of increased student enrolments. (3)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Calculate quantities and types of learning materials required for projected student enrolments. (1)
  • Measure students' abilities and knowledge using tests, rating scales and other instruments. Develop mathematical methods to quantify learning. (3)
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Data Analysis
  • Collect and analyze enrolment and course completion data. For example, department heads compare numbers of students completing each class. They examine gender distributions, ages and ethnicities of students. They also compare completion rates for each instructor. (3)
  • Compile data and analyze assessment and test results. For example, instructors compile data on numbers of correct and incorrect responses to each examination question to determine reliability and validity of questions. They calculate means and standard deviations for sets of marks. They calculate students' average marks across a number of assessments such as assignments, presentations and tests. They compare individual results to class averages. (4)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate time required to complete learning activities within each lesson plan. (1)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • College and other vocational instructors plan and organize each day within the framework of established class schedules. They plan and sequence instructions to meet learning objectives specified in course outlines and adjust their instruction in response to students' abilities and needs. Department heads may need to reorganize their job tasks to accommodate students' requests, respond to instructors' needs and provide reports, projections and updates to college administrators. Department heads plan and schedule the work of instructional staff. Instructors may participate in strategic planning initiatives. (3)
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Decision Making
  • Determine teaching assignments for instructors. For example, department heads review factors such as instructors' abilities, backgrounds and interests when assigning courses. (2)
  • Determine course content, sequence of learning activities and teaching methods. Review curriculum guidelines, student feedback from previous courses and resource materials available. Use personal experience and professional knowledge to make decisions about the content and flow of courses and programs. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Experience equipment malfunctions. For example, when equipment such as photocopiers and overhead projectors are not working, inform departmental secretaries of the equipment malfunctions and adjust the learning plans. When experiencing computer malfunctions, attempt to assess the cause of the difficulty, call the institution's help lines for assistance and ask for assistance from information technology technicians. (1)
  • Find that classrooms, labs and shop spaces are unsuitable for planned instructional activities. Instructors rearrange classroom furniture, lab equipment and work areas in shops. When a room is not dark enough to view videos and PowerPoint presentations, modify teaching plans and draw on background knowledge and experience to deliver the presentation in an alternate format. When equipment such as overhead projectors are not available, instructors may attempt to rent equipment from suppliers and borrow units from nearby schools. (2)
  • An instructor has incorrectly estimated times for instructional activities. When there are too many planned activities, instructors adjust their lesson plans and make accommodations to ensure that key learning objectives are covered. When they have exhausted all planned activities midway through their classes, they introduce other activities and discussions that will engage the students for the remaining class time. (3)
  • Find that students are unable to grasp content, are performing inconsistently and are not engaged in learning activities. Talk with the students individually to determine probable causes. Work with career counsellors to reassess students' academic abilities and find appropriate support and training for them. When performance is inconsistent, instructors review students' tests and marks to determine patterns. Discuss these inconsistencies with students. When students appear disinterested in course content and activities, instructors review their current lesson plans and make adjustments to their instructional strategies. (4)
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Finding Information
  • Find information on industry trends and changes in the field by reading trade magazines, searching the Internet, speaking with colleagues and by listening to industry experts and job placement hosts. (2)
  • Find information about students by interviewing them, reviewing education and training records and consulting other instructors. (2)
  • Gather data on curricula by soliciting student comments, conversing with colleagues, reviewing course materials and outlines and convening industry advisory committee meetings. (3)
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Critical Thinking
  • Assess appropriateness and effectiveness of instructional resources and learning materials. Review course outlines and learning objectives and consider availability, format and costs of resources. Consider levels of class participation associated with each instructional activity and associated time requirements. Think about students' learning styles and interests and reflect on your own subject matter expertise and experiences with various materials. (3)
  • Assess candidates' appropriateness for vacant instructional positions. For example, department heads review candidates' academic qualifications, background and experience. They consider candidates' levels of practical knowledge and familiarity and experience in using various technologies. They conduct interviews to identify thinking and communication skills and attitudes and conduct reference checks to verify previous work experiences and confirm their impressions of candidates' abilities. (3)
  • Evaluate students' knowledge and skills at various points in the instructional cycle. Review learners' intake assessments, interim progress reports and course completion results. Consider classroom attendance and participation, presentations, practical demonstrations and performance using content-specific criteria and assessment rubrics. Theatre production instructors consider atmospheres students create through their stage designs, use of materials, lighting, costumes and accessories. Instructors of firefighters consider performance criteria for each task, the use and placement of equipment and interactions with other firefighters. They may consult other instructors to gather additional insights and observations. (3)
  • Assess fairness, validity and reliability of examinations. Ensure examination questions truly reflect course content and objectives. Review the wording of examination questions to prevent misinterpretation. Analyze statistics such as numbers of students correctly completing each assessment item and review distribution of difficulty levels of questions. (3)
  • Conduct formal evaluations of instructional programs and individual courses. For example, department heads solicit feedback from students and instructors on course contents and materials. They hold meetings with industry association advisory committees and discussions with practicing professionals in their fields. They review courses' contents and compare them to similar courses in other institutions. They review industry magazines to ensure they are current with new techniques and technologies. (4)
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