Skip To Content
Hospitality & Tourism

Specialist High Skills Major - Hospitality & Tourism 

The Hospitality and Tourism Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) 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.

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, in each of which some expectations must be met through a contextualized learning activity (CLA) for the hospitality and tourism sector. 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 practice sector-specific knowledge and skills.


Note: A compulsory English credit is required in Grade 11 and in Grade 12 for graduation with an OSSD. Schools may determine whether the CLA, required


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 lower cased, 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


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)

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

fishing guide

Food Handler Certification

geographic information system (GIS)

guest services

heritage interpreter

 housekeeping services

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


Experiential Learning & Career Exploration

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


Sector Partnered Contextualized Experience (SPCE)

Innovative, Creativity & Entrepreneurship Training (ICE)
The ICE training in SHSM programs will allow students to understand the world from the perspectives of others, generate new ideas, and give students the confidence to develop strategies to implement and sustain their ideas while considering the impacts and consequences their innovation has on the world around them.


Sector-delivered Contextualized Coding|
(e.g. SHSM-Agriculture:  GPS, GIS, Computer-controlled Devices with Ontario Federation of Agriculture)


Sector-delivered Contextualized Mathematical literacy
(e.g. SHSM-Horticulture and Landscaping: estimating, measuring, and budgeting with Landscape Ontario)


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



Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.