Info for Teaching Assistants

If you are a student or post-doctoral fellow working as a teaching assistant for the first time and you are a member of CUPE 3902 Unit 1, you are eligible to receive 4 hours of paid job training from your hiring department. Typically these hours will be included in your distribution of hours outlined on the Description of Duties and Allocation of Hours (DDAH) form.

For subsequent appointments of 30 hours or more, you may request additional training of up to 4 hours for each appointment.  You must submit additional training requests to your hiring department and it is at the discretion of your hiring department to approve your requests.

As of January 1, 2018, first-contract TAs who are being asked to lead tutorials are required to receive training that focuses on preparation for 1 of 4 kinds of tutorial teaching: discussion-based teaching, skill development, review sessions, and laboratory teaching or teaching in practicals. They are also entitled to training in how to work with a large group of students. For returning TAs, if they have not received training that aligns with one of the 4 tutorial categories as part of their initial TA training, they are entitled to receive up to 4 additional hours of training in the appropriate category, and/or in large class teaching, as needed and as required by the hiring department/unit. Please visit our Tutorial Training Information page for more information.

Our office, the Teaching Assistants’ Training Program (TATP), is often contacted by departments to deliver the 3-hour training for first-time teaching assistants.  If your department does not hire enough new teaching assistants to request a specialized department-specific session, you can, at your department’s approval, attend a 4-hour training session offered by our office. These sessions are offered as part of Job Training Days in the beginning of Fall and Winter semesters on all three campuses.

If for some reason you cannot attend a 4-hour training session designed specifically for first-time teaching assistants, you can attend our pedagogical workshops to get your 4 hours of training.  Our workshops are offered year-round and most workshops are 2 hours long, so you might need to attend 2 workshops to meet the 4-hour training requirement.

If you attend a training session organized by your department, your department will take attendance and will use that as proof of your participation.

If you plan to attend a training session offered by our office to fulfill your mandatory 4-hour training for first-time teaching assistants, you must:

  1. Download the CUPE 3902 UNIT 1 PAID TRAINING REQUEST FORM from your union website at: 
  2. Fill out this form and have it signed by your department BEFORE you attend the session.  In most cases, the course coordinator, teaching assistant coordinator or business officer in your hiring department has the authority to sign this form.
  3. Bring your form with you to the session and ask the presenter to sign it.  The presenter will only sign your form AFTER the session.
  4. Submit the completed form to your department so that your department knows to process your pay for meeting the training requirement.

For a list of upcoming TATP workshops that focus on the 4 tutorial categories, or that focus on large class teaching, please see our Tutorial Training Workshops page.

For a list of upcoming TATP discipline-specific and tutorial-specific 4-hour training sessions, visit our JOB TRAINING DAYS page.

For a list of upcoming TATP pedagogical workshops, visit our ST. GEORGE, UTSC AND UTM workshop webpages.

If you have any questions, you can contact us at or 416-978-2242.