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Attendance on Fieldwork

Fieldwork hours are calculated based on a 37.5 hour work week (e.g. 8:30 to 4:30 p.m.). Students are expected to attend all fieldwork practice hours in the program. CAOT Standards for OT Education state that in order to graduate from an accredited program in Occupational Therapy, each student must successfully complete a minimum of 1000 hours of fieldwork practice. Students will not ask for shortened work days to accommodate personal needs unless they have official accommodations communicated to the fieldwork instructor from the University of Toronto Accessibility Services. All non-emergency doctor/dentist appointments, job commitments, or personal travel plans should be arranged to avoid conflicting with fieldwork placements.


  • During any one placement; any student who is absent for more than 20% of placement days will normally be expected to repeat the entire placement.

  • A student who is absent for up to three days during a placement period may not be required to make up the day(s) depending on the number of absences from prior placements. A total of three missed fieldwork days (e.g., due to illness or religious holidays) are allowed upon completion of the program. It is up to each student to keep a record of fieldwork days missed and to contact the University Fieldwork Instructor to clarify ability to successfully complete the minimum standard.

  • Students requesting time away from placement beyond the 3 allotted sick / personal days, must complete the Request for Special Consideration Form (see Appendix H) and submit it to the University Fieldwork Instructor for approval prior to their absence.

  • Absences should be recorded by the preceptor on the first page of the CBFE-OT in the allotted space. Preceptors should also make note of any additional time that the student spent on placement to make up for absences. A record of all absences is also maintained in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Office.

Additional Hours

  • A student who completes additional hours to the standard 37.5 hours per week while on placement should also keep a record of them on the submitted CBFE or in an attached document.

Student Attendance at Scientific Conferences: Department of OS&OT Policy


The department’s mission is to:

‘Create knowledge of occupation and its enablement, and prepare leaders in practice, research and scholarship to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities, locally and globally.’
Student research presentation at scientific conferences supports this mission as it is a method of knowledge translation and assists in preparing students as leaders in the profession. In addition, research and its dissemination at conferences develops student competencies in the role of scholarly practitioner.


Year 2 students are encouraged to submit abstracts/paper of their OCT1220Y research project work for poster and podium presentations to relevant conferences. The department may support student presentation at scientific conferences in various ways such as travel awards and bursaries. To be eligible for departmental support of scientific conference attendance, students must follow the procedures below before submitting an abstract or paper.


  1. At the beginning of the course, OCT1220Y course instructors are responsible for informing students and research supervisors of this policy. This policy should be posted on the OCT1220Y Quercus site and the course outline should make reference to it and where it can be found.

  2. Students must discuss conference abstract/paper submission with their research supervisor(s) prior to submission if they wish to be eligible for departmental support. It is the research supervisor’s responsibility to advise the students on appropriate abstract/paper submission. The supervisor(s) must also review the abstract/paper and provide advice to the students as required. Where the supervisor is actively involved in the development of the content of the poster or podium presentation, authorship should be established between student and supervision prior to submission of the abstract. Research supervisors may provide additional funding for student conference attendance but are not required to do so. If the conference takes place during academic course work or during fieldwork time, the student must complete a Special Considerations form and attach proof of presentation at the conference. The student must submit these documents to the appropriate course instructor(s) at least six weeks prior to the conference start date. It is the course instructor’s responsibility to review student Special Considerations forms regarding conference attendance and provide a response in a timely fashion. Consideration of approval for conference attendance should include a review of actual amount of time missed from the course, academic standing in the course to date, and upcoming tests, assignments, and exams. The Fieldwork Instructor will consider counting conference days as fieldwork days. Students who have had performance issues on previous fieldwork placements may be advised to make up any missed fieldwork time to optimize opportunity for success on placement.After approval has been granted by research supervisor, academic course instructors (as required), and fieldwork instructors (as required), students will be considered for funding in support of conference attendance.

  3. After written response and sign-off by the course instructor, the Special Considerations form will be sent to the Student Liaison officer and then reviewed and signed by the Graduate Student Coordinator. As the Special Considerations Forms are submitted, the Student Liaison Officer will track student conference attendance on a spreadsheet. The Graduate Coordinator will have final sign-off on the Special Considerations Form. The Graduate Coordinator and Student Liaison Officer will inform students of available travel funds and bursaries and will oversee the administrative process for selection and administration of these funds. The Student Liaison Officer will keep a record of students attending conferences that have received approval and support from the department.

  4. After approval by the university fieldwork department, the student must inform his/her preceptor regarding missing fieldwork days to attend the conference. It is expected that students will be professional and respectful when discussing this time away from placement and suggest ways to ensure that their learning and performance will not be adversely affected by their absence. If the student chooses to miss placement for a conference, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that this absence does not interfere with meeting fieldwork course requirements.

  5. It is the students’ responsibility to cover all upfront costs related to the conference (e.g. conference registration, travel, accommodations, meals), or to make other arrangements, such as receiving funding from their supervisors or through a travel award/grant.

Student Conference Attendance Without Presentation

If students wish to attend a conference, workshop, or course during fieldwork and are not giving a presentation, they must complete a Request for Special Considerations form (Appendix H) and on that form, describe the conference/course and include the number of fieldwork days that would be missed. Each request will be reviewed by the Fieldwork Course Instructor and will be approved on a case by case basis for the course’s ability to enhance clinical skills, the period of time missed (maximum 3 days), and student’s anticipated performance on placement. If attendance at the course/workshop is approved, a maximum of ½ of missed time will be considered as an education day which does not require to be made up, and the remaining time will be considered to be fieldwork absence(s). If the preceptor for that placement has concerns about the student’s performance and/or attendance at the course/conference/workshop, they may override the approval to attend.

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