SHSM Policy and Implementation Guide – Business
Specialist High Skills Majors

SHSM Policy and Implementation Guide – Business

The SHSM–Business 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 entrepreneurship, finance, accounting, retail, marketing, international business, economics, management and administration, or event planning. This focus is achieved through the selection of the four major credits in the bundle.

TOOLS AND RESOURCES

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

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INSIGHT

The requirements of this SHSM are unique and are geared to the business 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–Business

The SHSM–Business has the following five required components:

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

These credits make up the bundle:

  • four business 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 business 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.)

    For the apprenticeship training, college, and university pathways, the three credits include:

    • one in English;1
    • two in mathematics (one credit must be in Grade 12)

    For the workplace pathway, the three credits include:

    • two in English (one credit must be in Grade 12)1 and
    • one in mathematics
  • 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.



Credits
Apprenticeship Training
Grades 11–12

College
Grades 11–12

University
Grades 11–12

Workplace
Grades 11–12
Major Credits
One credit may be substituted with a cooperative education credit (additional to the 2 required co-op credits)
4
Including at least
one Gr. 11 and
one Gr. 12 credit
4
Including at least
one Gr. 11 and
one Gr. 12 credit
4
Including at least
one Gr. 11 and
one Gr. 12 credit
4
Including at least
one Gr. 11 and
one Gr. 12 credit
English may include a CLA in each credit 1 1 1 2
One credit must be in Gr. 12
Mathematics may include a CLA in each credit 2
One credit must be in Gr. 12
2
One credit must be in Gr. 12
2
One credit must be in Gr. 12
1
Cooperative Education 2 2 2 2
Total number of credits 9 9 9 9

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 technology (309) advanced training in a technique (313) anti-oppression and allyship training
business etiquette cash handling and register training counterfeit detection
effective networking equity and inclusion ergonomics
ethical considerations first aid/CPR/AED awareness fraud prevention
fundraising health and safety – basic infection control
leadership skills negotiation training personality inventory
portfolio development project management public speaking
retail representative sector-specific software 1 specialized business program/competition (e.g., regional or provincial level DECA, Junior Achievement Company Program, Stock Market Competition, Make Your Pitch, Summer Company Program)
successful exhibiting    

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 business sector (an example of job twinning)
  • a day-long observation of a business person (an example of job shadowing)
  • a one- or two-week work experience with a member of a business association or a professional in the sector (an example of work experience)
  • attendance at a retail show (e.g., a home show or craft show), conference, or workshop focusing on the business sector
  • participation in a local, provincial, or national contest or competition with a focus on business (e.g., a business plan competition or stock market competition)
  • working with a mentor within the business community (e.g., to provide assistance in creating a business plan)
  • a tour of the local chamber of commerce
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See Section A1.4 for more on experiential learning and career exploration activities.

POLICY

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–Business

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

TOOLS AND RESOURCES

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:

  • Introduction to Business: This Grade 9 course is recommended for all students following SHSM pathways that have a business focus. The course provides students with opportunities to explore a variety of business topics 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.
  • Information and Communication Technology in Business: This course is recommended for any Grade 10 student who is considering enrolling in an SHSM – Business 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–Business 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.

    Program Pathways: SHSM–Business

    This template shows program requirements for the SHSM–Business 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–Business.

    • Shaded boxes represent required credits in the bundle for the SHSM–Business.
    • (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.
    Apprenticeship Training Pathway
    Specialization
    Grades 11–12
    College Pathway
    Specialization
    Grades 11–12
    University Pathway
    Specialization
    Grades 11–12
    Workplace Pathway
    Specialization
    Grades 11–12
    1 English credit (C)*
    (in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
    1 English credit (C)*
    (in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
    1 English credit (C)*
    (in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
    2 English credits (C)*
    (One must be in Grade 12.)
    2 math credits (C)*
    (One credit must be in Gr. 12.)
    2 math credits (C)*
    (One credit must be in Gr. 12.)
    2 math credits (C)*
    (One credit must be in Gr. 12.)
    1 math credit (C)*
    (in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)
    4 business major credits (including a Gr. 11 and a Gr. 12 credit)
    A cooperative education credit related to the sector may be substituted for one of these four credits.
    4 business major credits (including a Gr. 11 and a Gr. 12 credit)
    A cooperative education credit related to the sector may be substituted for one of these four credits.
    4 business major credits (including a Gr. 11 and a Gr. 12 credit)
    A cooperative education credit related to the sector may be substituted for one of these four credits.
    4 business major credits (including a Gr. 11 and a Gr. 12 credit)
    A cooperative education credit related to the sector may be substituted for one of these four credits.
    2 cooperative education credits related to the sector (in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)**
    May be used as (C) credits
    2 cooperative education credits related to the sector (in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)**
    May be used as (C) credits
    2 cooperative education credits related to the sector (in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)**
    May be used as (C) credits
    2 cooperative education credits related to the sector (in either Gr. 11 or Gr. 12)**
    May be used as (C) credits
    2 optional or compulsory credits (Gr. 11) 2 optional or compulsory credits (Gr. 11) 2 optional or compulsory credits (Gr. 11) 2 optional or compulsory credits (Gr. 11)
    2 optional or compulsory credits (Gr. 12) 2 optional or compulsory credits (Gr. 12) 2 optional or compulsory credits (Gr. 12) 2 optional or compulsory credits (Gr. 12)

    * A contextualized learning activity (CLA) must be included in the course in schools that have committed to offering CLAs (see Other Required Credits in section A1.2). (Note that students must take Grade 11 and Grade 12 English to graduate with an OSSD, but for the apprenticeship training, college, and university pathways, the CLA may be offered in either grade. Also for those pathways, both math credits must include a CLA. For the workplace pathway, both English credits must include a CLA.)

    ** May be taken the summer before Grade 11

    Note: To guide students and teachers in the development of their SHSM program, schools can access the latest approved SHSM course list for each sector through their SHSM board lead.

    Occupations in the Business Sector

    The following table provides examples of occupations in the business sector, with corresponding National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes, sorted according to the type of postsecondary education or training the occupations would normally require.

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    See Part 2 of the Introduction for more on occupations and NOC codes.

    Apprenticeship Training College
    • Conference and event planners 1226
    • Retail salespersons 6421
    • Storekeepers and partspersons 1522
    • Accounting and related clerks 1431
    • Accounting technicians and bookkeepers 1311
    • Administrative assistants 1241
    • Administrative officers 1221
    • Assessors, valuators, and appraisers 1314
    • Banking, insurance, and other financial clerks 1434
    • Conference and event planners 1226
    • Court officers and justices of the peace 1227
    • Desktop publishing operators and related occupations 1423
    • Human resources and recruitment officers 1223
    • Human resources professionals 1121
    • Insurance adjusters and claims examiners 1312
    • Legal administrative assistants 1242
    • Personnel clerk 1415
    • Professional occupations in business management consulting 1122
    • Purchasing agents and officers 1225
    • Retail and wholesale buyers 6222
    • Social policy researchers, consultants, and program officers 4164
    • Supervisors, finance, and insurance office workers 1212
    • Supervisors, supply chain, tracking, and scheduling co-ordination occupations 1215
    University Workplace
    • Business development officers and marketing researchers and consultants 4163
    • Economists and economic policy researchers and analysts 4162
    • Executive assistants 1222
    • Financial and investment analysts 1112
    • Financial auditors and accountants 1111
    • Human resources professionals 1121
    • Mathematicians, statisticians, and actuaries 2161
    • Professional occupations in business management consulting 1122
    • Securities agents, investment dealers, and brokers 1113
    • Social policy researchers, consultants, and program officers 4164
    • Accounting and related clerks 1431
    • Administrative assistants 1241
    • Banking, insurance, and other financial clerks 1434
    • Customer service representatives – financial services 6551
    • Customs, ship, and other brokers 1315
    • General office support workers 1411
    • Mail, postal, and related workers 1511
    • Other customer and information services representatives 6552
    • Payroll administrators 1432
    • Personnel clerks 1415
    • Purchasing and inventory control workers 1524
    • Real estate agents and salespersons 6232
    • Receptionists 1414
    • Records management technicians 1413
    • Retail and wholesale buyers 6222
    • Retail salespersons 6421
    • Shippers and receivers 1521
    • Storekeepers and partspersons 1522

    Note: This information is based on the 2016 NOC. An update to the NOC in 2016 resulted in changes to the codes and titles for some occupations, and in some cases to the occupations included in the group. For more detail, refer to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) web page, Ontario's Labour Market (https://www.ontario.ca/page/labour-market). (Note also that some of the names of occupations listed here reflect common usage in the sector and may differ slightly from those used in the NOC system.)

    Postsecondary Programs and Training in the Business Sector

    The following are examples of programs and training related to careers in the business sector and the accreditations associated with each.

    Apprenticeship Training
    Construction Materials Retailer Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification
    Hardware, Lumber, and Building Materials
    Retailer
    Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification
    Special Events Coordinator Certificate of apprenticeship/certificate of qualification

     

    College
    Accounting and Finance Diploma/advanced diploma/bachelor's degree
    Accounting Business Systems Diploma
    Administrative Assistant Diploma
    Advertising – Integrated Marketing
    Communications, Media Sales,
    Media Marketing and Sales,
    Creative Media, Graphic Design
    Diploma
    Advertising and Graphic Design Diploma
    Applied Business Bachelor's degree
    Business–Insurance, Accounting, Marketing, Information Systems, Logistics Diploma
    Business Administration Diploma/advanced diploma/bachelor's degree
    Business Computer Systems Diploma
    Business Operations Diploma
    Business Skills and Marketing Diploma
    Community Economic and Social Development Administration Diploma
    Corporate Communications/Public Relations Advanced diploma/bachelor's degree
    E-Business Administration Diploma
    E-Business Supply Chain Management Bachelor's degree
    E-Commerce Management Diploma
    Economics Bachelor's degree
    Event Management Diploma
    Fashion Business Diploma
    Financial Planning, Financial Services Diploma/bachelor's degree
    General Business Diploma/advanced diploma
    Human Relations Management Diploma
    Human Resources Management Advanced Diploma
    International Accounting and Finance Bachelor's degree
    International Business Diploma/bachelor's degree
    Marketing Administration Diploma/advanced diploma/graduate certificate
    Materials and Operations Management Advanced diploma
    Professional Accounting Diploma
    Professional Financial Service, Medical Intensive Diploma
    Public Institution Management and Administration Diploma
    Public Relations Diploma
    Small Business and Entrepreneurship Diploma
    Small Business Management Diploma
    Sports Business Management Diploma

     

    University
    Accounting Bachelor's degree
    Accounting and Financial Management Bachelor's degree
    Administrative Studies/Commercial Studies Bachelor's degree
    Advertising Design Bachelor's degree
    Business Administration Bachelor's degree
    Business and Computer Science Bachelor's degree
    Business and Mathematics Bachelor's degree
    Business Communications Bachelor's degree
    Commerce Bachelor's degree
    Commerce and Computer Science Bachelor's degree
    Commerce and Finance Bachelor's degree
    E-Business Bachelor's degree
    E-Commerce Bachelor's degree
    Economics Bachelor's degree
    Economics and Business Bachelor's degree
    Economics and Finance Bachelor's degree
    Entrepreneurial Management Bachelor's degree
    Entrepreneurship Bachelor's degree
    Environment and Business Bachelor's degree
    Finance Bachelor's degree
    Financial Mathematics Bachelor's degree
    Housing and Real Estate Management Bachelor's degree
    Human Resources Management/Industrial Relations Bachelor's degree
    International Business/International Economics Bachelor's degree
    International Investment Finance and Banking Bachelor's degree
    International Management Bachelor's degree
    International Trade Bachelor's degree
    Management Economics/Industry and Finance Bachelor's degree
    Marketing Bachelor's degree
    Mathematics and Business Administration Bachelor's degree
    Mathematics for Commerce Bachelor's degree
    Operational Research/Operations Management Bachelor's degree
    Organizational Studies/Leadership Bachelor's degree
    Retail Management Bachelor's degree
    Sports Administration/Sports Management Bachelor's degree
    Strategic Management in International Human Resources Bachelor's degree
    Sustainable Local Economic Development Bachelor's degree

     

    Training for the Workplace
    Accounting and Information Technology Certificate
    Advanced Web Development for E-Business Certificate
    Advertising Design Certificate
    Business Foundations Certificate
    Business Management Certificate
    Business Office Skills Certificate
    Communications Excellence Certificate
    Customer Service Fundamentals – Insurance Certificate
    Customer Service Leadership Certificate
    Desktop Publishing Certificate
    E-Commerce Certificate
    Finance and Insurance Clerk Certificate
    Human Resources Associate Certificate
    Human Resources Management Certificate
    Management Certificate
    Office Administration – Executive, General, Legal, Medical Certificate
    Office Administration – General Certificate
    Retail Sales Associate Certificate
    Retail Sales Excellence Certificate
    Small Business – Office Automation Certificate
    Web-Design Development and Maintenance Certificate
    Workplace Leadership Certificate