We offer the only occupational therapy program in British Columbia. In order to properly serve the province and to offer a broad, realistic range of fieldwork opportunities for students, we have developed collaborative relationships with partners across BC.
Key Fieldwork Information
Once a student is admitted to the program they will need to complete the following fieldwork specific requirements:
- A comprehensive Criminal Records Check
- First Aid & CPR & AED (Level C or higher) *If you have an international version of these certifications please verify their equivalency with one of your country’s accredited health organization.
- Full immunization reviews
- Annual Respiratory Mask Fit Testing (students with facial hair may be asked to shave in advance of this testing).
Note: Where being clean shaven is not possible (e.g for religious or medical reasons), other options may be utilized after discussion.
These are example requirements. Please check with your course for most up-to-date requirements.
How do I complete these requirements?
Students will be required to conduct an independent immunization review by UBC Student Health Services. The following immunizations must be reviewed/updated: Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio, Pertussis, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Chicken Pox, Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis Screening as well as any health authority mandated seasonal vaccinations.
For more information, please contact Student Health Services who will be happy to advise and update you on any immunization requirements.
Students will undertake Annual Respiratory Mask Fit Testing as arranged by the program.
The First Aid & CPR & AED (Level C or higher) certification is valid for 3 years from the date of award.
Link 2 Life
2378 Alberta Street, Vancouver, BC
St John’s Ambulance
Various Locations across the province.
Vancouver First Aid
Vancouver, BC V5N 3Z8
Fieldwork Education Requirements
Students are expected to complete the following requirements as part of their Fieldwork curriculum:
- Five placements in total (placements occur across BC)
- One mental health placement and,
- Either, one inpatient hospital experience (acute, subacute, ICU, rehab etc) OR one long term care experience
Placements occur in any of the BC health authorities and may be in rural or urban locations. Students have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of clinical settings in both public and private sectors, with the chance to participate in innovative projects.
Students can choose to apply for a placement outside of the province (National or International). The continued variety and availability of placements need to be maintained by students participating in both in-town and out-of-town placement opportunities.
Please see your Canvas site for specific fieldwork requirements for your cohort.
BC Health Authorities Map
Exemptions are rarely granted, and only under certain limited circumstances. The student must submit 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. Exemptions are not granted for financial hardship reasons.
Please find below some useful documents to assist you with the fieldwork component of the curriculum:
- Guiding Principals for International Fieldwork
- International Placement Policies (see in particular pages 9-13)
Mistreatment Help: If you feel that you have experienced or witnessed mistreatment or have concerns about your learning environment, we encourage you to report it.
Fieldwork Site Information
Protected: Fieldwork Sites
Enter the password to review the list and find your placement details.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question, please email the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, and we will post the answer below to help others.
All of these topics are covered in the fall term of the OSOT 528 Fieldwork preparation classes and are reviewed in subsequent OSOT 538 and 558 classes.
What are the COVID vaccination requirements for placement?
Please see the PHO for up-to-date details regarding COVID vaccination requirements.
Excerpt below is taken from the HEALTH PROFESSIONALS COVID-19 VACCINATION STATUS INFORMATION – JUNE 10, 2022 order:
“vaccinated” means to have received, at least 7 days previously, all doses of a vaccine or a combination of vaccines, but not including a booster dose.
Do I get a copy of my CRC?
You do not get a copy of your CRC. It is held in your student file ready to be sent out if/when it is required. You will hear back from the office if there are any issues with it – otherwise, you are safe to assume it is done.
How do the fieldwork placements work with class time?
The Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program is divided into six terms over two years (three terms each), with two fieldwork placements in the first year, and three in the second year.
MOT Year 1
- Term 1:
- Aug-Dec (14 weeks) Academic courses
- Jan-Feb (5 weeks) Level 1 fieldwork
- Term 2:
- Feb-April (11 weeks) Academic courses
- May-June (5 weeks) Level 2 fieldwork
- Term 3:
- June-July (5 weeks) Academic courses
MOT Year 2
- Term 4:
- Aug-Oct (8 weeks) Academic courses
- Nov-Dec (7 weeks) Level 2 fieldwork
- Term 5:
- Jan-Feb (6 weeks) Academic courses
- Feb-May (6 & 7 weeks) Level 3 fieldwork
- Term 6:
- May-Aug (6 weeks, 8 weeks) Academic courses / research project
Please review our sample MOT curriculum map for a visual overview.
Can I do more than one mental health (MH) placement?
Yes, as long as the entire cohort has been matched to at least one MH and there are unmatched MH, then you can absolutely bid on additional MH options
Can I get an exemption from the out of town requirement
Exemptions can be granted if there are exceptional circumstances, such as care giving. Please speak to the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator for more information.
Are there placement costs?
Yes, many! Accommodation, sustenance, travel, car insurance (if required), gas etc.
Can I arrange my own placements?
No – this is not allowed and can result in placements getting cancelled. What you can do, is notify one of the FW team members with the site name and a contact person and we can verify if they are already in our database. If not then we contact them to see if they meet the requirements to become a FW site.
Reminder, not all sites offer placements all the time or for each block so most likely the site you bring to us is already in our database.
Are fieldwork placements required to be completed as a volunteer, or can they be paid?
All fieldwork placements are unpaid, there are no exceptions to this rule.
What if I’ve volunteered at a placement site?
As long as you did not volunteer specifically with an OT or within an OT department it usually is not an issue.
What if I’ve got a family member who works at a placement site?
This needs careful consideration and most times the student will not be placed at that site to ensure that there is no perceived or real biases.
Can I go to the same facility more than once?
Can I go out of province?
Out of Province is on hold for 2023. If this changes at any time we will update this area.
Are international placements allowed?
Yes, UBC has an extensive network of Occupational Therapy sites across the world and provides its students with ample opportunity to practice abroad.
Is it possible to do an out of province placement and an international placement? Or can students only choose one or the other?
Answer to both questions: Currently the Canadian placement mobility program is on “hold”, that is no other school is accepting out of province applications from any other school. I anticipate it will stay this way through 2023 and perhaps things will change for 2024. There is a very dedicated and hardworking Canadian group working on this so stay tuned. If the system is up and running in 2024 you could try for an out of province (there is never a guarantee they can secure a placement) and you could also go out of country.
International placements: you are only eligible for one of either Level 3A or 3B. The whole process is explained in May.
What is the fieldwork matching process?
All BC Occupational Therapy placements are managed using HSPnet, the Health Sciences Placement Network.
For the senior level placements (Level 3A & 3B) students are given access to HSPnet and are able to make 8 placement preferences from the placement offers that we have received.
Students provide 4 location preferences for Level 1, 2A and 2B.
The FW team do their best to provide students’ placements that are in keeping with their preferences and also ensure that students are meeting their fieldwork requirements.
Students find out where they are matched 8 weeks before the placement starts.
How much notice before the start of each placement will we get?
We try to give minimum 8 weeks notice before the start of each placement. We are often able to provide even greater notice depending if we have enough offers.
How do I get details about my placement?
You are notified of your placement match via Canvas. Placements are discussed in preparation classes. You can also refer to HSPnet or the internet (health authority website/clinic website) and you can ask your OT questions once they connect with you after you have sent your letter of introduction.
Please note that we often receive limited information about the placement when it is offered. Your preceptor will provide you with more detailed information about the placement.
What are the typical hours of placement?
We base the hours on a 37.5-hour work week, some placements are 4 x 10-hour days (4 on/4 off). Statutory holidays are given to students and do not need to be made up.
How many sick days are allowed on placement?
Over the 29 placement weeks a maximum of 5 sick days are allowed. If you are sick more than 3 consecutive days you need to provide the office with a doctor’s note. If you are isolating due to COVID no note is required. You do not need to make up the missed placement time.
Are we allowed to miss placement time to attend a conference?
If you are presenting at an annual meeting/conference you can miss placement to attend. Usually, 2 days max and you do not need to make up the missed placement time.
Are we expected to “work overtime” on placement (ex. charting after shift)?
There is no expectation for you to work overtime, but perhaps if you arrive late, you will stay a bit later to make up the time. Some students prefer to arrive early and leave a bit later in order to feel prepared and have more quiet time for prep and charting at the end of the day- again- NOT AN EXPECTATION. Hope that helps.
What do I wear on placement? Is there a dress code?
Dress code varies depending on placement site, please use your professional judgment and check in with your OT.
The dress code is covered in more detail in OSOT 528 preparation classes and in the MOT Student Handbook (Page 29).
Do we need to have a car for placement?
You will be aware from the placement offer if a car is required. Do not select placement that lists a car as a requirement if you do not have a car.
What if I experience bullying or mistreatment on placement?
I’ve lost my student name tag – how do I get another one?
You will need to buy a replacement badge via the Program Fees page. You will be notified when the badge has been delivered.
How does someone become an OT Fieldwork Educator?
They must be a qualified OT with full registration with the College of Occupational Therapists of BC. There is no requirement for the OT to have a Master’s degree.
If an OT is interested in becoming an OT Fieldwork Educator they first speak with their supervisor/manager to obtain support for their role as a Fieldwork Educator. The contact person who liaises with the UBC Fieldwork Education team can assist in submitting the placement offer.
If the OT is working for one of the BC health authorities the placement offer is submitted to HSPnet. If the OT is working sole charge or if the facility has not taken a student they can contact the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator.
I am not able to access training on Learning Hub?
You must access Learning Hub training via the relevant health authority profile . For example, if you are trying to access Island Health training, please ensure that your profile is set to Island Health prior to searching for the course. You may need to add the Health Authority to your Learning Hub account.
Not sure how to do this? Please see the Learning Hub support page listed below for details: