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Specialist High Skills Majors 

SHSM Policy and Implementation Guide – Hospitality and Tourism

The SHSM–Hospitality and Tourism enables students to build a foundation of sector-focused knowledge and skills before graduating and entering apprenticeship training, college, university, or an entry-level position in the workplace. Where local circumstances allow, boards may elect to offer one or more variants of the SHSM in a given sector, each with a particular area of focus. This SHSM may be designed to have a particular focus – for example, on tourism or hospitality. This focus is achieved through the selection of the four major credits in the bundle.


For local labour market opportunities in the sector, see your local SHSM contact at the board office.

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The requirements of this SHSM are unique and are geared to the hospitality and tourism sector. However, the design of all SHSM programs follows a consistent model, described in Section A: Policy.

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Required Components for the SHSM–Hospitality and Tourism

The SHSM–Hospitality and Tourism has the following five required components:

1. A bundle of nine Grade 11 and Grade 12 credits

These credits make up the bundle:

  • four hospitality and tourism major credits that provide sector-specific knowledge and skills. The four courses must include at least one Grade 11 and one Grade 12 credit, and may include one cooperative education credit related to the sector. (This cooperative education credit would be additional to the two that are required in the bundle; see below);
  • three other required credits from the Ontario curriculum. Schools may commit to including a contextualized learning activity (CLA) for the hospitality and tourism sector in each of the three credits. In each credit, some of the course expectations are then met through the CLA. (Schools that do not formally commit to including CLAs are still free to offer them in one or more of the credits.) The three credits include:
    • one in English;1
    • one in mathematics; and
    • one in science or business studies (or a cooperative education credit related to the sector, which would be additional to the two cooperative education credits required in the bundle; see below);
  • two cooperative education credits that provide authentic learning experiences in a workplace setting, enabling students to refine, extend, apply, and practise knowledge and skills outlined in the cooperative education curriculum as well as sector-specific knowledge and skills.

1. Note that a compulsory English credit is required in Grade 11 and in Grade 12 for graduation with an OSSD. Schools may determine whether the CLA, if offered, is completed in the Grade 11 or Grade 12 English course.

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See Section A1.2 for more on SHSM credits and CLAs.

Apprenticeship Training
Grades 11–12

Grades 11–12

Grades 11–12

Grades 11–12
Major Credits
One credit may be substituted with a cooperative education credit (additional to the 2 required co-op credits)
Including at least
one Gr. 11 and
one Gr. 12 credit
Including at least
one Gr. 11 and
one Gr. 12 credit
Including at least
one Gr. 11 and
one Gr. 12 credit
Including at least
one Gr. 11 and
one Gr. 12 credit
English may include a CLA 1 1 1 1
Mathematics may include a CLA 1 1 1 1
Business Studies or Science may include a CLA
May be substituted with 1 cooperative education credit (additional to the 2 required co-op credits)
1 1 1 1
Cooperative Education 2 2 2 2
Total number of credits 9 9 9 9

Note: Multiple credits in the Ontario technological education curriculum allow additional instructional time for the practice and refinement of skills needed to develop student performance to the levels required for certification, entry into apprenticeship programs, or participation in school–work transition programs (see The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 11 and 12: Technological Education, 2009, page 17).

2. Sector-recognized certifications and/or training courses/programs

This SHSM sector requires students to complete a specified number of compulsory and elective sector-recognized certifications and/or training courses/programs, as indicated in the following table. NOTE: Where an item in the table is capitalized, it is the proper name of the specific certification or training course/program that is appropriate for the SHSM. Where an item is lowercased, it is the name of an area, type, or category of training for which specific certifications or training courses/programs should be selected by the school or board. The requirements are summarized in the table below.

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See Section A1.3 for more on SHSM certifications and training.

Four (4) compulsory
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Level C – includes automated external defibrillation (AED) customer service Standard First Aid Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) – generic (i.e., not site-specific) instruction
Two (2) electives from the list below
advanced training in a technique (e.g., paddling) advanced training in a technology (309) anti-oppression and allyship training cash handling and register training
compass/map/global positioning system (GPS) cook/line cook dietary considerations event coordination
fire safety and fire extinguisher use first aid/CPR/AED awareness fishing guide Food Handler Certification
geographic information system (GIS) guest services heritage interpreter housekeeping services
infection control introduction to hospitality management leadership skills life-saving (Bronze Cross or higher)
portfolio development project management safe food handling – basic Smart Serve
spa etiquette spa service ticket agent tour guide
tourism – basic wilderness first aid wilderness survival  

3. Experiential learning and career exploration activities

Experiential learning and career exploration opportunities relevant to the sector might include the following:

  • one-on-one observation of a cooperative education student at a placement in the hospitality and tourism sector (an example of job twinning)
  • a day-long observation of a chef (an example of job shadowing)
  • a one- or two-week placement at a local tourist attraction (an example of work experience)
  • participation in a local, provincial, or national Skills Canada competition
  • attendance at a hospitality sector trade show, conference, or job fair
  • a tour of a tourism or hospitality business
  • assisting at a community competition or event
  • participation in a wilderness survival camp
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See Section A1.4 for more on experiential learning and career exploration activities.


Note that volunteer activities in an SHSM cannot be counted towards the hours of community involvement required to earn the OSSD.

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4. Reach ahead experiences

Students are provided one or more reach ahead experiences – opportunities to take the next steps along their chosen pathway – as shown in the following examples:

  • Apprenticeship: visiting an approved apprenticeship delivery agent in the sector
  • College: interviewing a college student enrolled in a sector-specific program
  • University: observing a university class in a sector-related program
  • Workplace: interviewing an employee in the sector
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See Section A1.5 for more on reach ahead experiences.

5. Sector-partnered experiences (SPEs)

Students engage with a sector partner and apply skills to gain insight into the relationship between this sector and ICE (innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship), coding, and/or mathematical literacy.

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See Section A1.6 for more on sector-partnered experiences (SPEs).

Pathways for the SHSM–Hospitality and Tourism

See the table illustrating the four pathways and required credits leading to completion of this SHSM.


Visit the ministry's SHSM website for related resources.

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Awareness building (Grades 7 and 8)

See Section B3.4 for information on building awareness of SHSM programs among students in Grades 7 and 8.

Exploration (Grades 9 and 10)

See Section B3.4 for information on providing Grade 9 and 10 students with opportunities for exploration of SHSM programs. In addition, students considering this SHSM can be encouraged to enrol in the following courses to become better informed about careers and postsecondary options in the sector:

  • Exploring Technologies: This Grade 9 course is recommended for all students following SHSM pathways that have a technological education focus. The course provides students with opportunities to explore a variety of technologies, including hospitality and tourism technology, by engaging in activities related to them.
  • Career Studies (compulsory) and Discovering the Workplace: Some of the expectations in these Grade 10 courses provide opportunities for students to explore occupations and other postsecondary options in the sector and to participate in experiential learning activities.
  • Hospitality and Tourism (TFJ2O): This course is recommended for any Grade 10 student who is considering enrolling in an SHSM–Hospitality and Tourism program.

Specialization (Grades 11 and 12)

Students acquire the sector-specific knowledge and technical skills required to earn their Ontario Secondary Diploma (OSSD) with an SHSM–Hospitality and Tourism by completing its five required components. Students and their parents/guardians are encouraged to consult with guidance counsellors and teachers to select the courses that will enable students to pursue their goals.

Students pursuing an apprenticeship pathway should consider the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), which enables them to start an apprenticeship while earning their OSSD.

Students pursuing a university pathway are advised to complete their required cooperative education credits in Grade 11, in order to allow room in their timetables in Grade 12 for credits needed to meet university entrance requirements.

When helping students plan their SHSMs, particularly with respect to the selection of courses to fulfil the requirement for credits in the major, teachers should bear in mind that technological education courses can be offered as single-credit or multiple-credit courses.

Program Pathways: SHSM–Hospitality and Tourism

This template shows program requirements for the SHSM–Hospitality and Tourism in Grades 11 and 12, along with some of the additional credits needed for an OSSD. It is provided to help guide students in choosing the credits they need to meet the SHSM requirements in the pathway of their choice. Students should always review their pathways plan with their parents/guardians and their teachers to ensure that they have all the credits they need to graduate with an SHSM–Hospitality and Tourism.

  • Shaded boxes represent required credits in the bundle for the SHSM–Hospitality and Tourism.
  • (C) represents a compulsory credit for the OSSD.
  • The SHSM bundle of credits must include two cooperative education credits, but may include a maximum of four. The possible options are noted below, and explained fully in Section A1.2 of this guide.

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