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Regulations On Attendance (lectures, labs, tutorials)

Categories: absence attendance illness time-off Physical Therapy


To describe the policy and procedures on Absenteeism (lectures, labs, tutorials) at the School of Rehabilitation Science. 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 Manual”


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 (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 the School of PT. Acceptable notification includes: e-mail or telephone the general office, e-mail the instructors of the class/classes missed or notify in person if known prior.

      If an illness or compassionate reasons is such that it is likely to cause many absences the student must consult with his/her Faculty Advisor. 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

      Students are expected to notify instructors in advance for any other absences due to significant events other than medical or compassionate reasons. Generally, these should not be more than missing two to three days during the course of the entire program. Students are asked to notify the Director, the faculty advisor, and the instructors involved in the missed courses at the earliest opportunity in such situations.

When instructors observe consistently poor punctuality and lack of attendance that has not been reported or is excessive, they will notify the student of the concern, and refer the concern to the Faculty Advisor. Students are expected to include this performance issue in their self-evaluation of professional behaviors document and indicate how they will be addressing the concern. The Faculty Advisor will discuss with the student and a note regarding the discussion will be placed on the student’s file.

If pattern of absenteeism persists, normally the Faculty Advisor will forward a recommendation to the Academic Affairs committee for consideration of action to be taken

  1. Concerns regarding poor attendance may be addressed in the following way:
    1. Students must self-evaluate professional behaviors 3 times over the course of the program, and reflect on any concerns identified by themselves or other instructors regarding attendance and punctuality. Students must address how they will correct any punctuality or attendance concerns on their self-evaluation form.
    2. Instructors should notify the student and the faculty advisor regarding concerns about absence not reported, consistent problems with punctuality, or absences reported that occur more than 1 – 2 times during the course of a module. A meeting may occur with the Faculty Advisor or Director regarding the concern, if not resolved with the student and instructor interaction.
    3. A record of communications, meetings and any actions will be placed in the student’s file. As absence without reasonable justification demonstrates poor professional conduct, academic references provided by the School will include information regarding recorded incidents. (It should be noted that potential employers often request information specifically on professional behavior.) 
    4. A student may be required to modify his/her program (access to clinical placements, progress throughout program) or withdraw from the program.