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Level UP FAQs - Employers
Level UP FAQs - Employers

Your questions about the Level UP Program

Sarah Blackmore avatar
Written by Sarah Blackmore
Updated over a week ago

Why is Level UP important for students?

Students benefit from paid work-based learning experiences that enhance their skills, help them form employer networks, and gain career clarity.

Many students are (still) not enrolled in programs allowing them to do a traditional work integrated learning (WIL) experience (internship, placement, coop) or a class-based Riipen WIL experience. Students deserve a chance to gain real-world experience!

Many students don't have the time or bandwidth to invest in a long-term WIL (think about the amazing people in Continuing Education!), but most students can definitely fit a 80-hr project in their agenda, especially if they have up to 8 weeks to complete it! And who doesn't want to be paid for the amazing work they produce?

Am I an eligible employer?

Employers must be located in Canada and considered as one of the following:

  • not-for-profit employer;

  • public sector employer (post-secondary institution); or,

  • private sector employer

Employers may not be:

  • a member of the House of Commons or the Senate;

  • part of an organization that engage in partisan political activities; and/or,

  • a federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government; or

  • a publicly funded post secondary institution

What does a Level UP project need to include?

Projects should provide 80 hours of work per student participating. Each project must be completed within 2-8 weeks. Employers are required to provide a minimum of 5 hours of mentorship to each student. Please note that not providing mentorship goes against the three strike system. For more information on how to create and submit a project for Level UP, you can consult this article.

How many projects can I submit and how many students can I take on?

There is a limit of 20 learning experiences that employers can facilitate per calendar year. Each learning experience corresponds to one student working on a single project, involving approximately 80 hours of work. The limit resets in the next calendar year.

With the relaunch of Level UP in September 2023, employers can still do the 20 learning experiences before 2024 even if they had projects earlier in 2023. Employers requiring more learning experiences should complete a request form. The Level UP team will determine whether they qualify for more funded learning experiences. If they are denied new learning experiences, they are welcome to apply again in 3 months. Once approved, they are still not guaranteed learning experiences. These are still subject to availability of funding, matching with students, etc.

What if my project requires more than 80 hours of work?

If this is the case, we suggest taking on more than one student on the same project. For example, if your project requires 160 hours of work, two students would be needed to complete your project. Additionally, you are able to separate one project into two phases. This will allow you to work with the same student on more than one project.

What are the Terms and Conditions for the program and what is the three strike system?

In an effort to create a good Level UP experience for all parties, we have updated our Terms and Conditions. Agreeing to them is a condition of participating in the Level UP, so be sure that you have read them carefully.

We've also created a three strike system. This means that if any Level UP user goes against the Terms and Conditions, they will receive a strike. You will be notified via e-mail when/if you've received a strike. If you receive three strikes, you will be removed from the program and will no longer be able to participate.

How do students get connected to projects?

Students will apply directly to your project, individually or in teams and applications will expire after 30 days. Employers are only to accept the applications of the students you want to work with. We encourage you to do pre-screenings to ensure that the student is a good match for your project. Know that letting an application expire goes against the three strike system referenced above.

Students must start and complete the work through the Riipen platform in order to receive the Level UP stipend. You are welcome to communicate with them outside of the platform as well.

Students will need a dedicated contact to provide mentorship, answer questions and provide access to any resources they need throughout the project. Payment is provided by Riipen through the Level UP program at the conclusion of the project.

You can read further details here.

How does the funding work?

Level UP is different from traditional wage subsidy or grant funding programs that you might be used to. Riipen pays students directly, which means that funding is attached to students, not projects.

When a project is approved for the Level UP program, that simply means that the project becomes available for students to apply to. Stipends are not locked in until a student has applied to and been accepted (we call this being “matched”). Stipends are sent to students as a one-time payment, which means that students only receive payment upon successful completion of projects. Students who do not fully complete the project will not be paid. Students will be permitted to take on up to five projects per calendar year.

What conditions must be met for the student to get paid?

Students are eligible to receive the $1,400 stipend after four important things happen:

  1. Team makes a final submission in Riipen. Each submission must include:

    1. A reflection note on their project work

    2. Project deliverables, or if an NDA was required, the redacted deliverables or a sample of non-confidential work.

    3. 80 hours of work tracked in Riipen’s worklog feature.

  2. The student has submitted their exit survey.

  3. You, as the employer, have provided feedback in the platform.

Once those three steps are completed, the Riipen team takes care of #4. We review these steps to determine whether the student;

  • has completed 80 hours of work

  • that all deliverables are aligned with the project scope;

  • that you, as the employer, are satisfied with the work. We know this from your feedback in the platform and your exit survey.

If these conditions are met, we can process payment.

Are students employees of the organization?

No. Students are neither employees of the organization they do a project for, nor of Riipen (who will pay their stipend). As such, students do not qualify for any benefits and will not obtain any record of employment (ROE) from either organizations.

If I choose to submit my project to other opportunities, will those students receive stipends?

No. While you are welcome to submit your project(s) to other courses and internship programs on Riipen, connections that you make outside of the Level UP portal would not have the stipend attached, even if the students are eligible. Students will only receive a stipend if they have applied and been accepted to your project through the Level UP portal.

Can I invite students I have worked with before to join Level UP?

You are welcome to invite any eligible student to join the Level UP Count Me In list and follow the process to join your project. Inviting a student to join through the Count Me In list does not give them priority to access Level UP. We are dedicated to maintaining fairness and equal opportunities for all students and that means honoring all students on the list when it comes to granting access. Read more on how the Count Me In list works.

What if I require the student to sign an NDA?

You can use the "Agreements" feature in your account's settings to add custom agreements to your project that must be accepted by students. We even have an NDA template for you.

Why do I need to verify my identity?

As part of the funding agreement with the Government of Canada, individuals participating in the Level UP program must meet specific eligibility criteria. As part of upholding our commitment to dispersing stipends that meet eligibility criteria, Students and Employers are required to verify their identity before engaging in projects. Read more about id verification here.

What if I need to change the project end date?

Students set the start and end dates of their projects. Once the project starts, these dates are locked in and cannot be updated by students or employers.

We know that life can throw curveballs. If the end date needs to be changed, the student must contact our Level UP team ( a minimum of five days before the end date. We will do our best to accommodate their request.

Once a project has started, can I swap students?

No. Each student on the team MUST be registered with the project before the start date. We do not allow student swaps once a project has started. If you are having challenges with a student, contact the Level UP team (

Is Level UP available in French?

Yes, Level UP is available in French on the platform. All communications and marketing collateral are also available in French. If you'd like to use the Riipen platform in French, you can navigate to your dashboard, click the drop down arrow in the top right corner and again on "Settings". Under "Accessibility", you will be able to change your language preference to French.

Still have questions? Reach out to us via live-chat in the avocado found in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.

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