Off-Campus Activities, Research and Field Trips

Effective:  September 2000
Reviewed:  June 2023
Revised:  June 2023
Signature/Position: Vice-President, Finance and Operations

Applicable Legislation:

Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), R.S.O. 1990.


This policy applies to all University of Guelph employees (faculty, staff), students, volunteers and visitors involved in the organizing and/or participation in off-campus activities and travel related to sanctioned off-campus activities of the University.

Policy Statements

  1. Persons organizing off-campus activities and travel shall document the essential details of the trip and supervisory due diligence measures in place to support the safety of all involved. Documentation shall be retained by the department for three years.
  2. The Department Chair or Administrative Head shall authorize all field trips involving students arranged by personnel within their unit.
  3. All field trips shall have an assigned supervisor or leader who shall be responsible for supervision of student participants and for enforcing safety procedures.
  4. All students participating in travel involving international locations shall register with the University Centre for International Programs, complete required training, and adhere to the Safe International Travel Policy for Students.
  5. Supervisors sponsoring off campus travel shall be responsible for making known to participants, in advance of the travel, information concerning reasonably foreseeable travel risks including occupational, health, environmental, cultural or political risks associated with the destination and documenting the same.
  6. All participants in out of province travel shall maintain proper travel medical insurance for the duration of the trip.
  7. Supervisors organizing travel shall assess the availability and quality of health care at the destination in advance of the date of travel and participants shall be informed accordingly.
  8. The University shall, at its discretion, require consent forms, proof of insurance and other information for off-campus activities to facilitate travel arrangements, communications, contingency/emergency plans and risk mitigation to the extent possible.

A Release and Indemnification form for Field Trips, Excursions should be completed by both the course coordinator(s) organizing the Excursion and participants. The course coordinator(s) must identify on the form and make participants aware of the risks associated with the Excursion. Participants (students, volunteers, etc.) must then complete and sign the form.


Term Definition
Field Trip University-sponsored group travel involving an off-campus activity involving students to nearby or distant destinations for educational or other purposes supportive of the University mandate.  Examples of field trips include but are not limited to travel by varsity athletics teams to competitions, and trips included within academic courses to support experiential learning. 
Off-campus activity Activities and travel by employees, students, visitors and/or volunteers to locations not owned, managed, or controlled by the University for educational, research or other purposes supportive of the University mandate.  For the purposes of this policy off-campus activities do not include activities at locations within the municipality of Guelph or the local municipality of University of Guelph research stations or other campuses.