Field Practices

These procedures apply to all field activities.

This includes day excursions, field schools or field work undertaken by faculty, graduate students and undergraduates. It is the responsibility of the trip leader or supervisor to ensure compliance.

 Before leaving for the field the trip leader must complete the following:

  1. Assess the risks associated with the field trip and list the controls that will mitigate these risks. Use the hazard assessment form with guide on last page. Here is a completed example. Do not use the example without making changes that apply to your field trip. Copies of this form must be provided to all participants of the field excursion and a copy must be given to at least 24 hours prior to leaving for the field.
  2. Complete field work activity and communications plan using this template. Be as specific as you can. Provide a copy of this form to all participants and a copy to at least 24 hours prior to leaving for the field.
  3. Faculty members must complete an absence from campus form to give to You must attach the first page of both the hazard assessment and field work activity and communication form to prevent delays in approval and as an assurance that required safety forms have been submitted.   
  4. Provide a description and/or map of where you will be and how you will get to your destination. Include highway and road numbers and exact locations if possible (latitude and longitude, GPS coordinates, etc.) Remember, if we have to locate you, we have to know where you are. Copies of this form must be provided to all participants of the field excursion and a copy must be given to at least 24 hours prior to leaving.
  5. If you deviate from your schedule during field school, you must call or email to note the change.
  6. Detail emergency contacts at your final location and along the route. Giving 911 as an emergency contact is not sufficient. Look up RCMP detachment phone numbers. List the address of the nearest hospital or emergency clinic. List other information such as landowner contacts or provincial/national park authorities if relevant.
  7. Provide the details of a check-in procedure. Provide an emergency contact name and number for each activity staff member. This page of the form is not distributed to students. Guide and instructions for check-in procedure here.
  8. All students, volunteers and emeriti must sign an informed consent form prior to leaving for the field.
  9. All field schools must have a safety briefing before departure. To make arrangements for a safety briefing, contact The informed consent and copies of the hazard assessment and field work activity and communications plan will be distributed to the students at this briefing. Safety briefings must occur at least one day before departure.
  10. If you should need to report an illness, injury or accident in the field, contact security at (403) 220-3555 as soon as possible and fill out an incident report OARS online at Paper copies of the older incident report forms are found in the first aid kits and may give you an idea of the kind of details required. In the event of an incident, the instructor will be required to maintain twice daily verbal contact with the department until the emergency has been deemed rectified.
  11. Register all international trips at It is beneficial for both the traveller (their families) and the university in the event of an emergency.
  12. For driving authorization please follow instructions on this site:

Hazards range from major incidents that impact the travellers including a SARS outbreak, natural disasters, terrorist attacks or military coup, to localized incidents such as personal injury to the traveller or loss of their passport. Situations where travellers may need to be accounted for and/or contacted are numerous, so registration provides another layer of protection for the university and its people. By registering, employees and students can be quickly accounted for, contacted and given assistance where required. Furthermore, insurance policies that cover employees travelling outside the country on university business require registration with risk management. Without this registration, there is a risk that this insurance coverage could be compromised. Registration is required by the university international travel and security policy. Register and see your country risk rating here. Click on international travel, then travel registration and country risk ratings. All individuals travelling to extreme risk countries are required to sign an extreme risk travel waiver. This can be obtained by sending an email to