Procedures and Guidelines

Attendance Regulations (lectures, labs, tutorials)

Categories: absence attendance illness time-off Physical Therapy

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To describe the policy and procedures on Absenteeism (lectures, labs, tutorials) at the School of Rehabilitation Science, Master of Physical Therapy Program.  Policy and procedure for attendance at midterm and final examinations are presented in “School of Rehabilitation Science Examination Regulations”. For specific policies and procedures regarding attendance during clinical education courses please refer to “Clinical Education Policies and Procedures”


The School of Rehabilitation Science emphasizes the development of high standards of professional conduct and attitudes, in conjunction with a program of study in basic, applied and clinical sciences, to ensure that graduates are capable of working safely and effectively as physiotherapists.

The school recognizes the importance of good clinical decision-making where health professional students do not put their colleagues at risk of illness due to spread of disease by attending when ill, but do respect the importance of punctuality and attendance. There are several negative impacts on learning associated with absenteeism such as:

  1. It is disruptive to classmates and the instructor to be asked questions in class relating to information that has been covered and understood by everyone else.
  2. Some laboratories are set up for equal numbers to allow students to work in partners. Having to work in threes may reduce the effectiveness of the learning experience.
  3. Missed lectures often result in insufficient preparation for related laboratory sessions and may inhibit your partner’s learning experience as well as your own.
  4. Missed laboratory sessions are difficult to remediate from a book or other student’s notes as they are mostly “hands on”.
  5. It places undue pressure on classmates.
  6. Attendance in courses is used for credentialing purposes.

Policy and Procedure Summary:

  1. Regulations Concerning Attendance and Punctuality
    1. Policy on Attendance and Punctuality - Full and punctual attendance at all lectures, laboratories, seminars and other scheduled components of the academic program is a requirement unless absence or punctuality is unavoidably caused by illness, compassionate reasons or has received prior permission from the Director and/or Chair of Academic Affairs (i.e. attendance at a professional conference, medical appointment or significant event that cannot be altered). It is recognized that a student may be unavoidably delayed on occasion (i.e. once or twice), however arriving late is disruptive and will not be tolerated as a regular occurrence.
    2. Procedure- If ill or due to compassionate reasons, and unable to attend classes, the student is expected to notify by email or telephone the instructors of the class/classes missed OR the School of Rehabilitation Science general office. If an illness or compassionate reasons is such that it is likely to cause more than 1 to 2 days of absence the student must consult with the Director. Absences for other reasons (refer to 1a above) must first be approved by the Director. If a student misses more than 10% of a course or an academic module, he/she may be required to provide written documentation justifying the absence. In the event that the student misses more than 20% of a course or an academic module, he/she may be required to discontinue the program.

When instructors observe consistently poor punctuality and lack of attendance this would be considered unprofessional behaviour and the instructor would initiate a minor report as per the standard operating procedures for concerns with Masters of Physical Therapy Student Professional Behaviour.  

Patterns of unreported absenteeism is considered unprofessional conduct and will be addressed according to our Professional Behaviours and Expectations policy