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Fieldwork Placement Process

Overview of Fieldwork Placement Process

  • Student assignment of placements is carried out through a computer-assisted process involving student preferences, program requirements, and previously approved student special consideration requests. Although efforts are made to place students in their preferred practice areas and/or geographical areas, it is not always possible to do this. The Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy reserves the right to place students in specific facilities/areas of therapy in order to meet individual students’ learning needs and provide students with an appropriate balance of fieldwork education experiences. Students must be prepared to attend placement at any fieldwork organization within the University of Toronto catchment area including:

    • Toronto (downtown and all suburbs)

    • Peel Region (Brampton, Mississauga)

    • Durham Region (Ajax, Whitby, Pickering)

    • York Region (Aurora, Central York Region, Maple, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, South West York Region, South East York Region, Stouffville, Thornhill, Vaughan)

  • Students who would like to complete Fieldwork 2, 3, or 4 out of the University of Toronto catchment area must fill in the appropriate forms and submit them to the fieldwork office prior to announced deadlines. See ‘Out-of-Catchment Placements’ for further information.

  • A mandatory student pre-placement meeting is arranged by the University Fieldwork Instructor to discuss course-specific objectives and issues and placement offerings as well as to review general fieldwork policies and procedures.

  • For Fieldwork 2, 3 and 4, students will be asked to complete a web-based survey to communicate their fieldwork preferences to the fieldwork instructors. Any information the students would like to be taken into account (e.g., access to a vehicle, etc.) during placement matching should be included within this survey. Students must complete and submit a Request for Special Consideration Form for any medical information to be considered during placement matching. Please note that for the Introductory Fieldwork Experience no preferences will be submitted.

  • Students who have applied for out-of-catchment placements (national or international) will be instructed regarding submission of preferences and participation in the placement match if their placement has not been finalized (e.g. Placement Agreement signed and permission to proceed given by the Director of Clinical Education or the Fieldwork Course Instructor). If, by four to six weeks prior to the beginning of placement, the out-of-catchment placement has not been finalized, the student will be required to stay in the University of Toronto catchment area and will be matched to an unfilled placement.

  • The matching of student to placement offer is carried out through a computer-assisted process. A match to one of the student’s preferred practice areas or geographic locations is desirable but cannot be guaranteed.

  • After the placement matching process is completed, an email will be sent to each student to indicate the placement to which they have been assigned.

  • No exchange of placements between students is allowed.

  • Once the placement list is finalized, information regarding the student placement assignment will be emailed by the university to the participating facilities. Students will be copied on this email.

  • Students are required to write an “Introductory” letter to the placement facility by the date specified by the University Fieldwork Instructor. For details of suggested content for the letter, please see ‘Pre-placement Communication: Introductory Letters’ within this fieldwork manual.

  • If a placement is cancelled after a student has selected it, the student will be notified by the Fieldwork Office and another placement will be assigned.

Fieldwork Site Contact

Unless communicating with a fieldwork site after being matched to that site, students are prohibited from contacting any Canadian fieldwork sites or clinicians to arrange observation opportunities or to solicit a fieldwork placement. Any such arrangements will not be honoured. The Director of Clinical Education, the Fieldwork Course Instructors, and the Fieldwork Administrative Assistant are responsible for coordinating and liaising with all fieldwork facilities. This rule (that applies to students in all Canadian OT programs) is put in place so that our fieldwork sites are not inundated with individual student requests and applies to any local, provincial, or national fieldwork site. Students are also prohibited from contacting other Canadian university fieldwork coordinators regarding out-of-catchment placements.

Students must be prepared to travel to any fieldwork facility within the Toronto catchment area to attend their placement. The University of Toronto catchment area includes facilities in areas outside of Toronto, such as Brampton, Mississauga, York Region, and Whitby, as outlined in the introduction to the ‘Overview of Fieldwork Placement Process’.

In order to ensure that students receive a variety of placement opportunities and to allow all students to have fair access to all facilities, students will only be allowed to do one placement within the same facility. For the purposes of this policy, organizations that have multiple campuses may be considered separate. This policy does not apply to the Introductory Fieldwork Experience placements. In other words, students are allowed to have a second placement at the same facility where they had their Introductory Fieldwork placement.

Students who wish to have a second placement at a facility outside of the core Toronto area may be able to do so and should consult the Director of Clinical Education or the Fieldwork Course Instructor with such a request.

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