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Time Management Policies

Schedule Modifications

Modifications may be made to the practicum schedule under the following circumstances:

  • changes are mutually agreeable to student and instructor,
  • there is no conflict with classes,
  • hours outside of the standard schedule are supervised, and
  • the Faculty-Field Liaison (FFL) is notified.

Minor modifications to the schedule can be mutually agreed upon by the student and Field Instructor.

Students who require significant modifications must obtain written approval from their Field Instructor and the Assistant Dean, Field Education.

Personal Days and Holidays

Students are allowed a maximum of two personal days for the entire Practicum 1, and three personal days for Practicum 2.

The intent is that these personal days be used for religious observation, unforeseen illness, or bereavement. Students must inform their Field Instructor and FFL as early as possible to mitigate impact on the organization. Absences from the practicum exceeding these maximums must be rescheduled.

Students are exempt from the practicum during the University’s reading week in February (which includes Family Day) and any statutory holidays that fall during practicum time. Practicum 2 students cannot attend practicum during the holiday break in December/January, while the University is officially closed.

Flexible Hours and Overtime

Some practicums require flexible hours, including evening or weekend attendance. In these cases, the Field Instructor and student should arrange time in lieu, within a reasonable timeframe.

Overtime in the practicum should be avoided. In addition, “overtime” cannot be accrued and used to end the practicum before the scheduled end date. A Field Instructor or practicum setting cannot require a student to be in practicum for more than 21 hours (28 hours when Year 1 classes end) per week.

Refer to the Student Safety section of the Manual for the protocol regarding closures due to inclement weather. Students must expect inclement weather and ensure missed hours are made up.

Workshops and Interviews

FIFSW hosts professional development workshops for students which may occur during practicum time.

In May and June, students in Practicum 1 will be interviewing for Practicum 2. Students may request permission to attend the interview. Excusing students from practicum for these activities is at the Field Instructor’s discretion.

Labour Disruption Policy

FIFSW recognizes that for students in practicum in a unionized environment, a labour disruption during practicum is a possibility. Students who are applying for a practicum in a unionized environment are encouraged to speak to the agency about the potential for a labour disruption and the agency’s policy around students in practicum during a labour disruption.

Students who are in a practicum site where the Field Instructor or other professionals engaging in social work practice are on strike are not expected to cross the picket line in order to perform duties associated with their practicum.

Options available for consideration include:

  • delaying the practicum if completion is possible by the end of the session;
  • undertaking alternate learning opportunities – the student must obtain approval from their FFL for alternate supervised practicum opportunities, document changes in the learning contract, and submit the revised learning contract to their FFL;
  • postponing / withdrawing from the practicum until the following session; or
  • changing to a new practicum.

Please note that every case is unique and may delay the graduation date.