Ministry of Advanced Education
May 31, 2013
There are specific situations when students attending specified education programs at eligible post-secondary institutions will be deemed to be “workers of the Crown” under the Workers Compensation Act. The Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology (the Ministry) has developed and distributed policies and procedures (last revised October 2012) to support the implementation of this legislation. The following details are intended to provide additional information on the Ministry’s WorkSafeBC (WSBC) policy.
If unsure of coverage, institutions should contact the Ministry prior to entering into practicum or placement agreements with employers to ensure WSBC coverage will be extended to the students of those programs.
1. Apprenticeship students
Apprenticeship is a form of post-secondary education that combines paid, work-based training, with technical training in a classroom or shop setting. Successful completion of both components, along with examinations, is required to earn a Certificate of Qualification, and be recognized as a certified tradesperson. Apprentices are registered with the Industry Training Authority (ITA) and are sponsored by an employer. They are generally laid off to attend the technical training (post-secondary) portion of their apprenticeship.
Apprentices in ITA-approved apprenticeship technical training are provided WSBC coverage through the Ministry while in the classroom, shop or lab at an ITA-designated public or private post-secondary institution.
2. Foundation Program students
Foundation programs are pre-apprenticeship programs that are typically conducted in a classroom or shop on site at the institution. These students do not require an employer/sponsor to participate.
Foundation students are provided WSBC coverage through the Ministry only while on an off-site work experience that is a required component of their program (i.e., included in the program description of the institution’s course calendar and must be completed as a requirement for program graduation/certification).
Foundation students are not provided WSBC coverage while attending the post-secondary classroom, shop or lab components of their program.
3. ACE-IT Students
ACE-IT students are provided WSBC coverage through the Ministry while attending an eligible post-secondary institution and only while on an off-site work experience that is a required component of their program (i.e., included in the program description of the institution’s course calendar and must be completed as a requirement for program graduation/ certification).
ACE-IT students are not provided WSBC coverage while attending the post-secondary classroom, shop or lab components of their program.
The Ministry of Education provides WSBC coverage for students while on an off-site work experience /practicum during the secondary school component of their program.
4. Practicum/Work Experience Students
Effective January 1, 1994, WSBC coverage was extended to all students participating in the practicum or work experience component of a program offered by an eligible institution, regardless of the source of funding for the program.
Further clarification of this coverage was provided on March 29, 1994:
To be designated as a practicum for the purpose of obtaining provincial WSBC coverage for students, the practical, on-the-job training must meet the conditions/provisos of the definition as stated and expanded below.
A practicum/work experience is defined as:
- An assigned work experience component of a program which is sanctioned by the institution;
- 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 employer or a qualified designate, and which occur at the employer’s regular business location.
The practicum may occur either:
- “Off-site” at the host employer’s regular place of business; or
- “On-site”at the training institution’s premises,
but only in a work place that is part of the institution’s regular business activities, such as an office administration practicum in the administration department of an institution.
Practical work experience which occurs at work places that have been established by the institution for the purpose of simulated work training for a given program does not meet the conditions of a practicum for the purposes of provincial WSBC coverage for students.
5. 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 WSBC coverage through that employer. The Ministry is not the employer in these cases and therefore cannot provide WSBC coverage.
6. Out-of-Province Practicum
WorkSafeBC coverage does not extend to out-of-province practicums. Students with practicum placements outside of BC should confirm similar WorkSafe coverage with the province or country in which they will be working and are also advised to obtain their own medical insurance.
Practicums within British Columbia that require some out-of-province work may be covered.
Last Revised: May 31, 2013
Document provided by:
Senior Policy Analyst
Ministry of Advanced Education
Post-Secondary Finance Branch