Outreach Network


     Questions and Answers – Outreach Groups

     1. Are my volunteers covered for liability and injury?

Volunteers assisting with University programs are covered under the University’s general liability insurance. Under the general liability coverage individuals would receive coverage for claims by third parties for property damage, bodily injury and personal injury, unless it is proven that the acts that resulted in the claim were willful or malicious. Reporting of any injuries sustained by a volunteer should be reported to the volunteer’s supervisor and as per University procedures:  Reporting an Injury 

Volunteers using their own vehicle are not covered under the University’s automobile policy. Under current legislation the individual’s personal automobile policy is deemed primary. Personal property of the volunteer is not covered under the University’s property insurance (also applies to staff).

Volunteers should be formally appointed by the supervisor or coordinator of the program. Although a letter or email outlining the roles and responsibilities of the individual can be used, the volunteer waiver provides details to the individual of the coverage provided to them as described above:  Volunteers and Volunteer Form  

2. Am I responsible for the travel and parking of my visitors?

This will depend on the agreement you have made with your visitors. If you have agreed to pay for an individual’s parking, the Parking Services website provides details on how to arrange this:  Guest Parking Payment

Parking for buses should be arranged one week in advance by contacting Parking Services. Parking for buses is available on the west side of the Jubilee Auditorium, but is dependent on whether there are any events scheduled at the Jubilee Auditorium.

3. Do I need a waiver and low long do I need to keep it?

Waivers may be required for your activities, depending on the risk level involved with the activity. Organizers should complete a hazard assessment form to determine this. This includes assessing the risk involved with each of the main activities within the program as to the potential consequences / outcomes of the risk and the probability of the consequences occurring. Activities assessed with a medium to high risk level require completion of waivers. (See Example 1, Example 2, Example 3, the Risk Assessment Form and the Risk Assessment Instructions for more details on completing this risk assessment and examples.)

Waivers can be obtained by contacting the Office of Insurance & Risk Assessment (I&RA) at 780-492-8886. Insurance & Risk Assessment can also assist in completing the hazard assessment form.

The length of time waivers should be kept is dependent on the ages of individuals involved in the activity. Alberta legislation provides that limitation periods are suspended until a minor reaches the age of 18 and then may extend for ten years. Thus, waivers should be kept until the individual reaches the age of 28. For participants over the age of 18, waivers should also be kept for ten years. Note: waivers can be scanned and kept as PDF files. Ensure these files are kept in a secure location and backed up properly. If an incident occurs during an event, keep the hard copy of the waiver separate and forward a copy to I&RA along with any incident report.

Waivers should be signed by the parent /guardian of the individual participating in the activity if the participant is under the age of 18. School boards or agencies should not sign waivers on behalf of the parent/guardian.

Whether a waiver is required or not, it is good practice to inform the school/agency/group leaders of their responsibilities when they are on University property. The senior administrator of the group should acknowledge these responsibilities. An example of a form is located here.

4. What training responsibility do I have for my volunteers?

Under occupational health & safety legislation, individuals performing hands-on activities must know the hazards of the activity they are performing and how the hazards are controlled. Completing the hazard assessment form will assist in identifying any required training. The assessment of whether a volunteer has been provided sufficient training should be made by the individual supervising the volunteer in the performance of the activity.

5. Can a graduate student who has thorough knowledge of hazards lead an activity, even though his/her assistants would be less familiar with the activity (e.g. a chemistry graduate student leads a lab for visiting classes and assisted by an undergraduate chemistry student)? 

As above, if any of these individuals have “hands-on” responsibilities, they need to know what the hazards are and how they are controlled. This can be achieved by having the graduate student review a completed hazard assessment form with the assistant, and the assistant acknowledging they understand the risks by signing the hazard assessment. The graduate student would have to determine if the assistants are competent/trained in the activity. In situations where an undergraduate student has thorough knowledge of the hazards of an activity, they could also be capable of leading the activity by following the above process.

6. Is there any on-line course that volunteers can take for safety training?  

On-line courses are available through the University’s Department of Environmental Health & Safety. http://www.ehs.ualberta.ca/Training.aspx


      7. What are the first aid expectations of our outreach providers? 

We do have a duty of care to our visitors and volunteers. This means you should know how to get help for them, know who is a first aid responder in the location of the activity, and have the ability to deal with small medical emergencies. Note that members of University of Alberta Protective Services are first aid responders as well.

There is legislation on how many first aid responders you need at a worksite, and this number depends on the hazard level of the activity and proximity to medical help. The University’s north campus is classified as a “close work site” as medical aid is within 20 minutes response time.

The University requires that all designated first aid responders have completed a standard first aid course, which includes CPR, from an approved training agency. Information can be found at:
First Aid and CPR

All incidents should be reported to the Department of Environmental Health & Safety at the U of A:  Report an Incident or Injury

       8. Who do I contact at the University in the event of a medical incident or injury? Are there  different processes depending on whether the injured person is staff, volunteer or visitor? 

As noted above, all incidents should be reported to the University’s Environmental Health & Safety Department:  Personal Injury

In the case of staff and volunteers, a WCB report may be required, depending on the extent of the injury.

For all emergency situations (Fire, Police, Ambulance) 911 should be called first. U of A Protective Services will be informed of the call and will assist in guiding the emergency vehicles to the proper location.

     9. Do I need to have a police/security check for my staff/volunteers?

Some external organizations may require these checks as part of their guidelines/processes.


10. What do I need to prepare for the school when we do a school visit?

As with on-campus activities a hazard assessment should be completed for the activities in order for the activity leader to be familiar with any of the risks and how they can be mitigated. It would also be advisable to ensure that the school is aware of its responsibilities during the activity. A form similar to the above noted in bullet #3 can be sent to the school


11. What are my responsibilities regarding supervision?

We are responsible for ensuring that those leading the activities are properly supervised. This would be dependent on their level of competency in the activity as discussed above. The level of supervision is dependent on the structure of the activity and what has been agreed to between you and the group. If there is an expectation that teachers/leaders will be responsible for the general supervision of the participants, it is advisable to inform them via the form noted in bullet #3 above and have them acknowledge this by signing and returning the form.


12. What do I need to do regarding the offering of food?

If your activity involves providing a food concession to the general public, a permit must be applied for through Alberta Health Services. The following website provides information:  Fact Sheets: Temporary Food Concessions.

If the event is not open to the public (i.e. a closed group event) you are not required to notify Alberta Health Services.

In all cases proper storage and handling of food as recommended by Alberta Health Services should be followed. The following website provides useful information on a number of topics: http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/4656.asp

13. What if property is damaged during my event?

If property is damaged it should be reported as per the requirements of the Loss Reporting Procedure on UAPPOL:  Loss Reporting Procedure

An internal deductible may apply to a loss for a faculty, department or ancillary unit regardless of the amount of the claim.

School groups are covered for injury and damages by their own general liability insurance.


14. What should we do in the case of a visiting community group participating in University events not through a school sanctioned activity?

Inquire whether the group has liability insurance and, if yes, request a certificate of insurance. Insurance & Risk Assessment can assist with the review of the certificates. Most formalized groups will have some level of insurance. In the case where the group does not carry insurance, waivers must be used if the hazard assessment indicates any activities have a medium to high rating.


     15. What issues do I need to consider for the protection of the private information of individuals?    How does this impact the requirement for photo consent forms and should I have these?

The University of Alberta Information and Privacy Office can assist University staff in assessing any requirements under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection (FOIPP) Act:  FOIPP Act .


In general, the Act controls the manner in which the University may collect personal information from individuals, controls the use that the University may make of that information and controls the disclosure by the University of that information. The definition of personal information includes pictures, voice recordings and video tapes, and consent must be obtained by the University in order to use these records. The above website provides more details on the Act’s requirements, examples of forms, and general requirements.


16. Who are the key individuals at the University that I would need to contact at some point and what area are they responsible for?


Key contacts include:

Office of Insurance & Risk Assessment http://www.ira.ualberta.ca/en.aspx - assistance in all    insurance related matters (except WCB), completion of Hazard Assessment forms, and other risk related matters

Manager, Insurance & Risk Assessment


Department of Environmental Health & Safety http://www.ehs.ualberta.ca/ – provides assistance in training, advice on all aspects of environmental health & safety,  consulting services on best practices and information on all University health, safety & environmental requirements.

Rob Munro, Director

Dan Dragon, Biosafety Officer

Ryan White, General Safety Officer

Michelle Rooker, eLearning Coordinator

University of Alberta Protective Services http://www.protectiveservices.ualberta.ca/ 

University of Alberta Parking Services  http://www.uofaweb.ualberta.ca/parking/
(780) 492-PARK (7275)

University of Alberta Facilities and Operations (Outdoor Site Bookings)
Outdoor Event Site Bookings

Wayne McCutcheon , Manager, Landscape Maintenance & Construction -  Grounds
(780) 492-4045


Karen Wilson, Administrative Assistant
(780) 492-2301