Occupational TherapyWestern Health Sciences

Placement Requirement FAQs

Your choice of career path requires you to meet specific health and safety standards as outlined by Ontario law. The Ontario government and the organizations offering you a practice placement have mandated specific medical and non-medical requirements that must be met by you, before you can begin your practice placement. These measures are there to protect you, your co-workers and those that you will serve in your placement. The School of Occupational Therapy is committed to meeting standards of practice by ensuring that students attain and maintain required certifications and meet recommended immunization standards.

Have questions?

The FAQs below will help with questions you might have throughout the placement requirement process.

If your question is not answered below, please contact: TBA, Fieldwork Assistant - otfieldwork@uwo.ca

What's the rush?

This is a time consuming task.

How does this affect me?

If you don’t complete your requirements, you will not be permitted to begin your placement. If you do not attend your placement (or complete enough hours), you will not progress in the program. Failure to adhere to the requirement deadline will result in a hold on your academic record and an administrative fine.

What are my responsibilities?

You must complete the following:

  • Thoroughly review the Requirement Information document.
  • Plan ahead! Complete all requirements in time for your Student Health Services appointment, and prior to the deadline.
  • Book your appointment well in advance of the deadline.
  • Attend your scheduled appointment with your form fully completed and copies of all documentation. (Note: Student Health Services will not copy your documents).
  • Keep all of your original documents (including a copy of your completed form) in a safe place as your placement site may request to see them.
  • Ensure your requirements are valid throughout the duration of your placement(s).

Do I need to make an appointment with my health care professional?

You need to obtain documentation of all previous vaccinations and bloodwork, so you may need to book an appointment with your health care provider. If you are missing documentation and/or are not sure of your immunity status, Student Health Services can administer vaccinations and order appropriate bloodwork for you. If you need bloodwork completed, you can make an appointment with Student Health Services to receive a requisition form. This should be done in advance of your clearance appointment.

How many health care appointments will I need?

Most students only need one appointment if all immunizations are current. Some students will need multiple appointments to ensure all requirements are completed.

What do I say to my health care professional? What do I bring?

Tell them that you need to ensure you have proof of immunity (proof of vaccinations or bloodwork) to the requirements listed on the Student Checklist (last page of the Pre-Placement Requirement document. You should bring the following to your appointment:

  • Student Checklist
  • Any proof of immunization (yellow card) and/or health unit form(s) that provide a record of your immunization history
  • Past blood lab results if completed by a different health professional
  • Money, if necessary

My health care professional says I don't need something on my checklist?

You must provide proof of immunity to everything listed on your Student Checklist to be eligible for placement. If you need proof of blood lab results, make sure that you obtain a copy of the report.

Can my local health unit draw blook titres?

No. The Health Unit will not draw blood titres. They will, however provide boosters, vaccinations, screenings, and will give you an immunization card that you can take to your health care professional and/or your clearance appointment. You can also have blood titres done (in a separate visit) to the Information Nurse at Student Health Services. There is no charge for this SHS visit.

Who do I submit my pre-placement requirements to?

Students are to bring their original and a copy of all supporting documentation to Student Health Services prior to the deadline. Appointments are booked by phone at 519-661-3030. Student Health Services acts as the School’s agent in clearing students on their School pre-placement requirements. You will only be cleared on what you have completed and must make a follow-up appointment (for an additional fee) to submit any outstanding requirements or documentation.
Your clearance status is maintained in Student Health Service’s database. All information is kept confidential.

When do I need to submit all my pre-placement requirement documents?

The mandatory deadline is September 8. The deadline is not negotiable.
Demand for appointment times is highest the week leading up to a deadline. Students are encouraged to plan ahead and book appointments well in advance in order to make the deadline. Students also need to be flexible with their schedule when booking an appointment.

What if I am out of country or working full-time all summer?

School requirements and submission deadlines are communicated to students 3 - 5 months in advance of the deadline to give students adequate time to prepare and plan ahead. Completion and submission of School requirements is mandatory and the deadline is not negotiable.

The deadline is set to provide the School adequate time to verify and follow-up on students’ clearance status, and complete all other requirements practice sites may have of the School and students.

What if I don't have all the requirements completed by the deadline?

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all requirements are completed and submitted prior to the deadline. Failure to adhere to the requirement deadline will result in a hold on your academic record and an administrative fine.
Students will not be cleared for placement until all requirements are submitted.

Who covers the costs of obtaining my School requirements?

Students are responsible for all costs related to placement. Costs are dependent upon each student’s needs. Doctor’s notes, laboratory blood work reports, x-rays, and immunizations may or may not be free of charge.

How long will it take to gather all my placement information?

It may take several weeks (or months) to obtain all of your requirements. Plan ahead!

Start the criminal record check process well in advance of your clearance appointment. Register for and attend certification courses in advance of your deadline.

Depending on your personal immunization status, it can take weeks or months to determine your level of immunity and complete all vaccination series. If you have proof of immunization or an immunization record (e.g. yellow card), take it with you to your medical appointment. If laboratory reports are required, or if immunizations are not complete, delays may occur.

The Hepatitis B screening can take up to 6 months and I can't receive the full series before the due date?

You can still book and attend your Student Health Services appointment as long as you have started the 3-step immunization series, and have documentation indicating this. You must complete the series and submit your final paperwork to Student Health Services.

How do I complete the criminal screening requirement?

The type of criminal record check documentation required varies depending on your age:

  • Students should obtain a police check with vulnerable sector screening (VSS) through their local police service. Most police services have information on their website re: police check and VSS process. Students may apply to the London Police Service if they can provide proof of a local London address. Otherwise, students will need to go to their home police station.

Please begin the criminal screening application process well ahead of time as this can be a time-consuming process.

Criminal screening is an annual School requirement, however some of our placement agencies request that students present a police check (VSS) card no older than 1 month, 3 months or 6 months. Unfortunately, the School does not have any control over this request. We will notify you if you are placed with one of these agencies.

The police check (VSS) must be valid throughout the duration of all placements. If your police check (VSS) will expire during a placement, you must renew it prior to the expiry date and submit your new documentation to Student Health Services. There will be a fee for this additional appointment.

How can I obtain the Authorization Letter for the Police Check with VSS?

Most police stations require a VSS Authorization letter from the School, please contact the Fieldwork Assistant for this letter. Determine well ahead of time what your local police service needs to fulfill your VSS application.

Where should I obtain Standard First Aid/CPR-Health Care Provider certification?

First Aid courses and CPR courses are available on campus through the Student Emergency Response Team (SERT) and Campus Recreation. Contact those departments directly to inquire about course availability and fees. You are also welcome to take courses off-campus at a variety of locations (e.g. your local Red Cross or Heart & Stroke Foundation, local post-secondary or municipal recreation department, etc.).
Online CPR courses are not acceptable.

The CPR requirement must be valid throughout the duration of all placements. If your CPR will expire during a placement, you must renew it prior to the expiry date and submit your new documentation to Student Health Services. There will be a fee for this additional appointment.

Where can I have a Mask Fit test done?

Students are welcome to have a Mask Fit test completed at their choice of provider. Student Health Services does offer this service (for a fee) and it can be completed during your appointment (be sure to let them know at the time of booking that you need this test done).

Where can I find a WHMIS test?

Students may access Western’s WHMIS test in OWL as follows:

  1. Login to OWL with your Western UserID.
  2. Click Membership on the left menu bar
  3. Click Joinable Sites at top
  4. Use the search box, top right, to search on WHMIS.
  5. Click Join below the WHMIS Basic.

Why is the influenza (flu) immunization mandatory?

All students must protect themselves and their patients from influenza. Our practice partners also require this immunization and may not allow a student on placement without this vaccination.

Any student not receiving the flu vaccination will be removed from placement in the event of an influenza outbreak. This could affect completion of the placement and progression in the program.

How do I cancel an appointment with Student Health Services?

To cancel an appointment, call Student Health Services at 519-661-3030 (available 24 hours a day). Please ensure you cancel at least 24 hours prior to your appointment. Failure to provide 24-hours’ notice will result in a missed appointment fee.

Who can help to make sure I have everything for my clearance appointment?

When in doubt, you can drop-in (Mon-Fri 11am-4pm) and see a Student Health Services Information Nurse or book an appointment with the School of OT’s Fieldwork Assistant to review your documentation. Be sure to bring all your paperwork with you, including your requirement checklist.

What do I need to bring to Student Health Services?

The original and a copy of:

  • Blood lab reports (as required)
  • Yellow immunization card or other proof of immunization
  • Certification cards/documents (as required)
  • Payment method (cash, debit, MC, Visa).

What happens at an appointment?

A registered nurse will review all of your documents, order bloodwork, advise you to book a follow-up appointment for missing vaccinations, and determine if you can be cleared for placement. The appointment will take up to 15 minutes. Your documents are kept confidential.

I forgot to bring some of my documentation to my appointment. Can I fax/email them?

No. You must meet with a Student Health Services nurse in-person to present you medical and non-medical requirements. You are not permitted to send documents by courier, mail, fax, or email after your appointment. You must book a follow-up appointment (for a fee) to submit any outstanding requirements or documentation.

Exception: Since the influenza vaccine is not available until late fall, Student Health Services will allow students to drop off proof of influenza vaccination at their reception desk. Be sure to identify yourself as a Western OT student so the receptionist knows why you are dropping this off. This documentation is due by November 15.

What are the possible outcomes from my initial clearance appointment?

Cleared: You met all of your requirements.
Not Cleared: A requirement has not been met or supporting documentation has not been received.
Conditional Clearance: You have a legitimate reason for not submitting a requirement. You will be asked to contact the Fieldwork Assistant to determine if you are eligible to participate in your placement.

I've been cleared on all requirements, but one or more will expire before the end of the school year. Is that OK?

No! It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all requirements are valid throughout the duration of all placements. If a requirement will expire during the school year, the student must renew it (before it expires) and submit the updated documentation to Student Health Services. There will be charge for this appointment, so it is advised that students renew everything early and submit it all at their initial appointment.

Note: Students must also be aware of when they had their last tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis vaccination. This vaccination must be completed every 10 years and students must ensure their immunizations are up-to-date.

What if I'm given a status of NOT CLEARED?

You will receive a list of requirements that you still need to complete. Once done, you must book another appointment (for an additional fee) with Student Health Services. You will not be permitted to begin placement until you have been cleared on all requirements. Failure to adhere to the requirement deadline will result in a hold on your academic record and an administrative fine.

What happens once I am cleared?

Your clearance status is updated in the Student Health Services’ database. Note that even if you are cleared on your School pre-placement requirements, you may still need to submit site-specific requirements in advance of your placement. Site-specific requirements are set by our practice partners and are non-negotiable.

I was cleared by Student Health Services on all requirements, but my practice site is requesting some of the same information?

Some of our practice partners have site-specific requirements that they want students to submit directly to them. Most likely, their policies require them to view all required documentation and not rely on a 3rd party clearance. This is accepted practice, and outside the control of the School. This is why students are advised to keep originals of all requirements/documentation.