Out-of-Town Requirement

UBC is the only occupational therapy program in British Columbia, thereby servicing a provincial mandate. Throughout BC, the University has developed collaborative relationships with numerous agencies for the provision of fieldwork opportunities for students of the program.

In order to continue to maintain our relationships with the agencies throughout the province and continue to develop exceptional occupational therapy graduates from UBC, there is a requirement that each student participate in two (2) placements outside of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. At least one of these 2 placements must be in one of the more remote Health Authorities in the province. This is either Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA), Northern Health (NHA) or Interior Health (IHA). Alternately, a student can choose to apply for a placement outside of the province. The second remote placement must take place in either of the remote health authorities listed above, out of province, or in the Fraser Health Authority (FHA). These requirements can be fulfilled at any point in the program. The rationale behind this model is that the educational program is enriched by requiring experiences in settings that differ both geographically and clinically. The continued variety and availability of placements needs to be maintained by students participating in both in-town and out-of-town placement opportunities.

In summary, to complete the 5 required block placement experiences in the 2 year MOT program, each student must complete one of their placements in Vancouver Coastal; one in their choice of either Northern, Island or Interior Health; and then one in either of Northern, Island, Interior or Fraser Health. Exemptions for attending an out-of-town placement are granted only under certain limited circumstances. The student must submit these reasons in writing and each case is considered individually by the University Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. Students are responsible for all costs associated with the Fieldwork program, including travel, accommodation and living expenses when completing placements outside of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority or an excessive distance from the student’s home address. Exemptions are not granted for financial hardship reasons.

The map below was created by BC Stats as a reference to the geographic division of the health authorities in British Columbia.
BC Health Authorities

  • Fraser Health Authority includes Abbotsford, Agassiz, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Delta, Hope, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, New Westminster, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey, White Rock
  • Interior Health Authority  includes Arrow Lakes, Cariboo-Chilcotin, Cranbrook, Creston, Fernie, Golden, Kamloops, Kelowna, Kootenay Lake, Lillooet, Merritt, Penticton, Summerland, Trail, Vernon
  • Northern Health Authority includes Fort Nelson, Kitimat, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Quesnel, Smithers, Terrace
  • Vancouver Coastal Health Authority includes Bella Coola, Bowen Island, Howe Sound, North Vancouver, Powell River, Richmond, Sechelt, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver, Whistler
  • Vancouver Island Health Authority includes Campbell River, Comox, Courtenay, Gulf Islands (Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Saltspring, and Saturna Islands), Nanaimo, Parksville-Qualicum, Port Alberni, Victoria

For additional information about health authorities and health geographies across British Columbia, refer to the BC Stats website.