Practicum/Clinical Placement Student Safety

Practicum/ clinical placement students are those who, as part of their education, are required to practice their skills in a formal and required manner, as part of their educational experience. These students, when performing their practicum/clinical placement work in British Columbia are considered workers of the crown (the Ministry of Advanced Education) and are extended Workers’ Compensation Coverage.

Students working in other jurisdictions may have the opportunity to purchase Workers’ Compensation insurance or health insurance, however this needs to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.


In BC, WorkSafeBC coverage is available for Practicum or Clinical Placement Students – are there any exceptions?

The Ministry of Advanced Education (not UBC), determines which practicum students are eligible for workers’ compensation.

Students completing the practicum portion of their studies are eligible for workers’ compensation if they experience work-related illness or injury while doing their practicum, provided their practicum is defined as:

  • An assigned work experience component of a UBC-sanctioned program;
  • A required component of the program which is included in the program description in the institutional calendar, normally as a credit course; and which must be successfully completed by the student as a requirement for program graduation and certification; and
  • Unpaid work activities, which are supervised by the host employer or a qualified designate, and which occur at the host employer’s regular business location.

The practicum/clinical placement may occur either:

  • Off-site at the host employer’s regular place of business; or
  • On-site on UBC premises, but only in a work place that is part of UBC’s regular business activities, such as an office administration practicum in the administration department.

Not sure if your practicum/clinical placement is covered by WorkSafeBC? See the Insurance Programs – Student Insurance for Practicum / Clinical Placements website for more information.

In BC, what types of work does NOT qualify for WorkSafeBC coverage?

Simulated Work Experience:

  • WorkSafeBC coverage does not extend to work places created specifically for the purposes of experiential training/simulated work experience while attending a program established by UBC.

Paid Work Experience:

  • A student who is paid by an employer while on a work experience or practicum component of their post-secondary education will be provided WorkSafeBC coverage through that employer.

Out-of-Province Practicums:

  • Students working outside of BC should confirm coverage with the province or country in which they will be on practicum. Arrangements for optional Workers Compensation insurance are only in place for Alberta, Northwest Territories/Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, and the Yukon. For more information and the procedure to apply for coverage, see Insurance Programs – Student Insurance for Practicum / Clinical Placements. It is recommended that students obtain their own medical insurance for out-of-country placements.


What should a Practicum or Clinical Placement Student expect from the workplace as it relates to safety?

Health and Safety requirements differ in each jurisdiction and each employer will address safety of practicum

Affiliation Agreements

It is recommended that programs that send students into practicum / clinical placements develop affiliation agreements that articulate responsibilities as it relates to safety orientation, training and supervision at the workplace.

Training Requirements

It is recommended that programs that send students into practicum / clinical placements require their students to complete an orientation form to ensure that they are getting a basic introduction to safety information at their work placement site. Although these can take a variety of forms and may differ depending upon the nature of the work, at minimum they should include:

  • Name and Contact Information of Supervisor(s)
  • How to report unsafe conditions and/or incidents
  • Location and means of summoning of first aid
  • Emergency procedures
  • Instruction and demonstration of work tasks
  • Employer’s health and safety program

Other considerations, if applicable, include Working Alone, Violence in the Workplace, use of Personal Protective Equipment, WHMIS related information and OHS committee information.

The following are templates for Self-Directed Student Safety Orientations that can be altered and used as necessary to ensure that students have the basic understanding of safety rules and protocols at their work location.


How should Practicum or Clinical Placement Students report Incidents?

Any event involving injury to a person or damage to property, or with the potential to do so, must be reported through UBC Central Accident Incident Reporting System (CAIRS) within 24 hours of occurrence.

Where the incident results in medical care (beyond first aid) or time loss (beyond the date of injury), the student should initiate their claim with WorkSafeBC (1.888.967.5377) and an incident investigation must be performed by the supervisor and entered into the CAIRS system (full investigation within 30 days of occurrence). Investigations are not intended to place blame, but rather to prevent reoccurrence.

Postgraduate students continue to have access to all of the resources available to all students as outlined at (insert link to parent page).

Each program that sends students into practicum / clinical placements should clearly inform the students what level of supervision and support they will be receiving from UBC while on their placement. Students should also be provided with the name and contact information of a UBC contact with whom they can be in contact with if they experience concerns during their practicum / clinical placement for which they need additional support in resolving.