Safety and Accessibility

The following information will support you in ensuring that you complete any required actions for your experiential learning activityIf you have questions, contact our office so that we can connect you with the appropriate resources on campus.

Managing Risk in Experiential Learning

Consult the Experiential Learning Risk Management Checklists below to identify the required steps to reduce risk and ensure student safety. 

Supporting Students in Off-Campus Experiences

Off-campus experiences may require specific actions by students, staff, and faculty prior to the start date. Please consult the Experiential Learning Risk Management Checklists to confirm which of the following are required.

Criminal Record Check

Many community partners require that students obtain a criminal record check. This can be completed through London Police Services or through the student’s home town, provided that the student has remained an official resident of that municipality. For more information and to access the London Police Services police record check application. See Police Solutions for more information.

Field Trip Waiver

Faculty and staff coordinating field experiences are responsible for ensuring that all students complete and submit the Student Events/Field Trips Acknowledgement and Assumption of Risk form prior to the field experience. The faculty or staff member should maintain copies of the signed forms. For more information, contact Tammy Johnston, Health and Safety, Western University, at 

Note: if the student's time at the off-campus site will extend beyond a single day, or if student supervision during the off-campus activity will be the responsibility of the site, a Placement Agreement may be required. 

Contact Meredith Rady, Associate University Legal Counsel at to confirm.

Placement Agreements for Unpaid Student Placements

A written Placement Agreement between the off-campus facility and the University must be in place before an unpaid student placement can begin. The Placement Agreement outlines the responsibilities of each party with regard to resources, supervision, and insurance coverage. To confirm whether there is an existing agreement with an off-campus facility, or to create an agreement with an off-campus facility, contact the Associate University Legal Counsel as early as possible.

Contact: Ben Leschied, Associate University Legal Counsel, | 519-661-2111 x.83120

Insurance for Unpaid Student Placements

Review the document below to confirm the type of insurance coverage that applies to the Unpaid Work Placement and the required steps before the placement start date.

MCU Insurance Coverage

WSIB coverage through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) will be in effect if a post-secondary student completes an Unpaid Work Placement as part of their publicly supported post-secondary education program and the Placement Employer is an Ontario employer subject to the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA). The Ministry coverage is in effect from the start date of the work placement to its end date. Coverage is only available with respect to an accident during the work placement.

It is the responsibility of the faculty or staff member coordinating the placement to ensure that the student and employer declaration forms below are signed prior to the placement start date. Copies of the forms should be maintained by the faculty or staff member for the duration of the placement.

The following safety checklists are designed to be used prior to the unpaid placement and during the student’s orientation to the placement site. Copies of the forms should be maintained by the faculty or staff member.

In the event of an accident during the work placement, the student and Placement Employer must complete and submit the following forms to the Placement Coordinator.  The Placement Coordinator should then contact Tammy Johnston, Health and Safety, Western University, at as soon as possible.

Private Accident Insurance Coverage

The Ministry (MCU) also pays for the costs of limited private insurance coverage through Chubb Insurance Company of Canada for post-secondary students whose Unpaid Work Placements are arranged or authorized by their post-secondary institution with employers that are not required to have compulsory coverage under the WSIA. This could include employers outside of Ontario and international.

Western also has private insurance coverage through CURIE for students who are completing their work placements with Ontario employers which are not required to have compulsory coverage under the WSIA.  Faculty and staff coordinating work placements not covered by WSIB or WSIA must contact Tammy Johnston, Health and Safety, Western University at to confirm eligibility for private insurance coverage and to ensure that coverage is in place prior to the placement start date.

Safety Abroad

When experiential learning involves international travel, there are additional steps that must be followed to ensure student safety. It is important to start early and to work closely with Western International. 

Contact: Western International: travelregistry@uwo.ca519-661-2111 x.89309

Supporting International Students

International students who are registered at Western may require a co-op work permit to participate in experiential learning.

Accessibility in Experiential Learning

Consideration for the accessibility needs of students with disabilities should be made during the development and implementation of experiential learning opportunities. Additionally, it is important for faculty, students, and external partners to be aware that accommodation is available and information about who to contact for assistance is easily available.

Planning: This resource, discussing considerations of student accessibility when teaching outside the classroom, from Ontario’s Universities Accessible Campuses may be helpful in the planning process.  

Accommodation: Students should be referred to the appropriate campus resource (departmental coordinator, faculty member, etc.) to inquire about accommodations if needed, or the student can be referred directly to Students Accessibility Services who will work collaboratively with the student and the campus resource to put accommodations in place.