From the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education:


"Co-operative Education Program" means a program which alternates periods of academic study with periods of work experience in appropriate fields of business, industry, government, social services and the professions in accordance with the following criteria:


  1. each work situation is developed and/or approved by the co-operative educational institution as a suitable learning situation;
  2. the co-operative student is engaged in productive work rather than merely observing;
  3. the co-operative student receives remuneration for the work performed;
  4. the co-operative student's progress on the job is monitored by the co-operative educational institution;
  5. the co-operative student's performance on the job is supervised and evaluated by the student's co-operative employer;
  6. the time spent in periods of work experience must be at least thirty per cent of the time spent in academic study


The British Columbia Accountability Council for Co-operative Education has also developed a comparative matrix of work-integrated education and learning.