Field Trip Planning & Compliance Procedure

I. Summary

Field trip planning involves more factors than the simple logistics of where, when, who, and how long.  This procedure ensures that some of the less obvious essentials are not neglected as you prepare for your field trip.  It specifically addresses the needs to

  • Manage risk,  
  • Consider supplemental accident insurance for participants,
  • Collect emergency contact information,
  • Obtain release and behavioral agreement, and
  • Secure any authorizations that might be needed from post-secondary education regulators in the jurisdictions through which trip participants may pass.

II. Definition

Field Trip:  A "field trip" is a University-sponsored course-related, off-campus activity led by a faculty member and designed to serve educational purposes. A field trip may include course-related travel by a faculty member and one or more students to a site to gather data for research, a museum visit, participation in a conference or competition, or a visit to an event or place of interest. The duration of a field trip may be a class period or longer, and might extend over multiple days. A field trip may occur at any off-campus location in the United States.  

This definition does not apply to student off-campus activities involving education abroad; Venture programs; field placements in the context of a teacher preparation program; clinical placements (nursing, social work, counseling, etc.); field work or service learning placements; intercollegiate sports; independent study; internships; student organization travel; or extracurricular assignments for students to visit specified sites where a student acts independently of a group excursion.

III. Procedure

All University personnel planning to lead or sponsor a domestic field trip must do the following:

  1. As early in the planning process as possible, complete the Field Trip Planning Form.  It should take 15 minutes or less to complete.  The form collects the minimum information needed for the University to administratively support the field trip, provides information and forms planners will need, identifies potential regulatory issues that must be addressed, and notifies offices across campus so that they can provide support for insurance, risk management, and compliance purposes.
  2. Distribute the Field Trip Acknowledgement of Risk, Release, and Behavioral Agreement to all field trip participants.
  3. Collect a signed copy of the Field Trip Acknowledgement of Risk, Release, and Behavioral Agreement from each field trip participant. Acceptable electronic signatures: 
    1. DocuSign, or 
    2. marks, initials, or checkboxes provided through an online form that is accessible only after inputting one’s NinerNet credentials and is tied to that individual’s NinerNet account).

Note that the Agreement  must be signed voluntarily. If a participant is unwilling to sign the agreement, they cannot participate. If the field trip is for credit or is a required element of the course, offer alternative projects or activities to those students who are unable to participate in the field trip because they (or the parents/guardians of minor students) choose not to sign the Field Trip Acknowledgement of Risk, Release, and Behavioral Agreement.

  1. Maintain a roster of all field trip participants.
  2. Receive confirmation that all required regulatory authorizations have been obtained, if applicable.  This confirmation will either be issued after the Field Trip Planning Form is completed or sent by a member of the Out-of-State Academic Activity Coordinating Council (OoSAACC) (see University Policy 210, Out-of-State Academic Activity) once the authorizations have been obtained.
  3. Have a great trip!

Remember that all University personnel planning to lead or sponsor a field trip with an international component should contact the Office of Education Abroad.

IV. Contacts

V. Related Policies, Resources, and Forms