Institutions have a responsibility to ensure that students are prepared for their practicums, aware of the responsibilities and expectations of the placements, and prepared to work cooperatively and take instruction from these employers. The students must be fully informed as to the requirements of confidentiality in the work place. The institution must ensure that host employers are aware of the level of instruction a student has received and the nature of the work the student is able to complete. Host employers will then be able to agree that they will require students to perform only tasks that are within the scope of the training and ability of an average student at the same stage of training.
An institution should establish lines of communication between themselves and the practicum host employers. The agreement between them should clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of the institution and the employer and contain appropriate indemnity and insurance clauses. They should each agree to be responsible for third party liability claims arising out of their own negligence, including the negligence of employees, in the case of the host employer, and students, in the case of the institution.
The institution should not assume responsibility for instruction by the employees of the host employer. These employees will be instructing, supervising and directing students during the placement and the institution must avoid indemnifying the host employer for acts or omissions of students that are at the direction of or occasioned by the employees of the host employer.
The institution will need to satisfy themselves that a specific placement meets the necessary standards to qualify as a recognized practicum. (University College and Institute Protection Program, 2009) 
In addition to the safety-related factors outlined in the previous section of this resource book (related to setting up a work experience) specific training related to risk management and on-the-job safety needs to take place. Instruction in safety training and the ability to demonstrate that students have met basic outcomes related to safety training is part of the institution’s obligation to demonstrate due diligence in matters related to student safety. According to WorkSafeBC BC, young and new workers are at the highest risk of being injured on the job, particularly in the early days of their experiences in worksites (Worksafe BC). While site-specific safety orientation and training are necessary for each WEP, students should also demonstrate awareness of basic workplace safety rules and practices prior to beginning a work experience. WorkSafeBC BC basic safety training usually includes information and instruction in the following areas:
- Employer and worker rights and responsibilities
- Common causes of workplace injuries
- Types of hazards (physical, chemical, ergonomic, biological, natural, psychosocial)
- Hazard recognition
- Reporting unsafe working conditions
- Common workplace safety signage/graphics (search for “posters and signs” on the WorkSafeBC website)
- Common warning symbols (flammable, poison, explosive, corrosive)
- Proper lifting techniques.
- Safe use of ladders, step stools
- Personal protective equipment
- Procedures for reporting injuries
- First Aid
- Procedures for medical emergency
- Fire safety measures and fire escape routes.
- Bullying and harassment
WorkSafeBC BC has developed a comprehensive “due diligence” form for employers to monitor their own OH&S practices (this form is included in the appendix). In order to comply with WorkSafeBC regulations and guidelines, there should be evidence of a safety orientation specific to each worksite. University personnel should also ensure that students complete a “safety orientation assignment” prior to beginning each work experience as part of the set-up process, or in the first few days on-site, during their orientation. Program staff should retain proof that the orientation took place (such as a copy of the completed safety orientation assignment). While institutions may have their own version of safety assignments, WorkSafeBC BC recommends the use of their checklist, a sample of which is included on the following pages. This document is also available online in this format and in a customizable version. Links to these documents are included in the appendix. Using the WorkSafeBC BC checklist will ensure coverage of all items an employer is expected to address in training and orientation, as per the Young and New Worker Regulation. According to Robin Schooley, the Industry Specialist in the Young and New Worker Program at WorkSafeBC BC, “the document entitled “Support for Employers: Training and Orientation for Young and New Workers” (link included in appendix) includes the information that employers are required by legislation to cover in an orientation with young and new workers. It also includes a checklist that the worker and supervisor should go through together. This both ensures that the employer is meeting their due diligence and, more importantly, addresses all of the points that the young/new worker should be made aware of before starting a job.”
Other program or course activities undertaken in order to fulfill “work experience” requirements, such as tours to off-campus worksites, may necessitate completion of additional documents to protect the institution from liability, such as a “field trip consent” form (See sample from KPU included in appendix). Also, if pictures or videos of students are being taken, institutions require that a photo consent form be completed by the student (See sample from KPU in appendix). Students under 19 will need to have a parent or guardian sign these forms.
- University College and Institute Protection Program. (2009). Risk 101. University College and Institute Protection Program, 14 (2), 6. ↵