Student Practicum and Placement Insurance

Adequate injury and illness insurance is crucial for UBC students in practicums or placements, whether in British Columbia or outside the province. The student’s program is responsible for ensuring they have the required insurance before the placement/practicum begins.

This page outlines the insurance requirements for participants in placements across Canada, including British Columbia.

Basic health insurance

Basic health insurance is a requirement for all UBC students. Basic health insurance, which covers major costs such as doctor visits and hospital stays, is provided by each province to its residents. In British Columbia it is known as the Medical Services Plan (MSP). MSP coverage can be used by UBC students in any province or territory for the duration of their placement/practicum. 

More about student health insurance. 

Extended health coverage

All UBC students should have extended health coverage, which helps cover a wide range of health-related costs not covered by basic health insurance, including prescription drugs, vision care, and various paramedical expenses. 

UBC students are automatically enrolled in an extended health care plan, unless they choose to opt out because they have coverage with another plan, such as that of a parent. 

More about student extended health coverage.

Catastrophic accident insurance for UBC students

The university provides UBC students with insurance in the event of a catastrophic accident while engaged in university-sanctioned activities. All UBC students are automatically covered by this policy. 

To learn more about catastrophic accident insurance for students, including exclusions, please contact Insurance & Loss Prevention.

Optional student accident insurance

This optional insurance covers injuries sustained while participating in classes, research on campus, and placements/practicums, including direct travel to and from home, classes, research sites and field work sites.

See the Student Accident Insurance Memorandum (PDF) and the Student Accident Insurance Policy (PDF) for more information.

To learn more about optional student accident insurance, including exclusions, please contact Insurance & Loss Prevention.

Workers’ compensation insurance

Except in circumstances where it cannot be obtained, UBC requires all students to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance when participating in clinical placements/practicums anywhere in Canada.

Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of no-fault insurance designed to protect workers, employers and others in the event of an injury or illness sustained at work. Workers’ compensation insurance provides medical and related support to help the injured or ill worker return to work. When appropriate, it also helps compensate for lost wages. As it is a form of no-fault insurance, covered workers do not have recourse to sue their employer over an injury.

Each province and territory in Canada has an organization that administers workers’ compensation insurance, although these organizations go by different names. WorkSafeBC administers the program in British Columbia.  

Workers’ compensation for placements/practicums, by province

Click on the province name(s) below to learn more about workers’ compensation for UBC students.

When UBC students do their placement/practicum within British Columbia, they are automatically covered through WorkSafeBC, if the placement/practicum is:

  • an assigned work experience component of a UBC-sanctioned program
  • a required component of the program which is included in the program description in the institutional calendar, normally as a credit course; and which must be successfully completed by the student as a requirement for program graduation and certification
  • unpaid work activities which are supervised by the employer or a qualified designate, and which occur at the employer’s regular business location

In this instance, students are deemed to be “workers of the crown,” with the BC government deemed as “employer.” 

Note that WorkSafeBC only covers workers/students while they are in British Columbia.

UBC has arrangements with workers’ compensation in Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Alberta, and Ontario to provide coverage to UBC students participating in placements/practicums in those provinces.

The university assumes the role of employer and pays the fees on behalf of students. The office of Insurance & Loss Prevention manages this relationship for the university; they provide the workers’ compensation agency in each province with information about the individuals who will be in their province for their placements/practicums.  

To obtain coverage for any of these five provinces, the student’s department should complete this online form with the information below about each student. I&LP will provide the information to the necessary agency and confirm coverage with you.

  • Name of academic program
  • Legal name of student
  • Start and end dates of placement
  • Total number of days worked
  • Placement institution name and address
  • Department contact and email address
  • Clearance certificate/proof of coverage

Organizations that host students for their placements/practicums usually require some form of proof that students have workers’ compensation coverage. A “clearance certificate,” issued by the insurer, serves this purpose. Once the student has been registered, a certificate can be obtained by requesting one from I&LP by contacting Insurance & Loss Prevention.

Workers’ compensation is not available for students who wish to do their placement/practicum in Saskatchewan, Quebec, New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia or Newfoundland and Labrador. Placement coordinators with students who want to do a placement/practicum in any of these provinces can contact I&LP directly to discuss possible options. Depending on the specific circumstances, it might be possible to make alternate arrangements that are satisfactory to the student, the host organization, and the university. Contact Insurance & Loss Prevention.

Manitoba workers’ compensation is available only if certain conditions can be met. Placement coordinators with students who want to do a placement/practicum in Manitoba can contact I&LP directly to discuss these conditions and possible options. Contact Insurance & Loss Prevention.