You’re embarking on an exciting education towards your future profession! Before you can begin your first placement, you must meet specific requirements. As with every career, there comes the need for health and safety for both the professional and the patient. These requirements are set out by Ontario legislation and are requirements of our placement agencies.
If you fail to meet the Clinical Preparedness Permit requirements by the given deadline, you will be excluded from clinical placement. This can jeopardize your academic standing and lead to program withdrawal without refund.
When should I start?
It takes time to gather and complete all of the requirements. You should start the process two to three months prior to the due date (e.g. a Police Vulnerable Sector Check can take up to three months to process and complete).
Important: These requirements are mandatory and not negotiable, and any deficiencies identified must be met prior to beginning placement. All costs, service fees and fines associated with the overall requirements and potentially the program withdrawal are the responsibility of the student.
Health, Wellness and Sciences pre-placement preparation
Programs we’re responsible to obtain and monitor the placement opportunities for:
- Acute Care for Internationally Educated Nurses
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist Assistant
- Personal Support Worker
- Practical Nursing
- Advanced Foot Care
- Advanced Care Paramedic
- Communicative Disorders Assistant
- Primary Care Paramedic
- Pharmacy Technician
- Registered Nurse Critical Care
Georgian collaborates with Synergy Gateway who reviews and provides clearance on all of your mandatory pre-placement requirements. You will be given access to “Verified”- a software platform by Synergy Gateway, via secure username and password that will be emailed to you (check your Georgian email account). You will use “Verified” to book your permit checking appointment, upload your forms and supporting documentation, and check your clinical placement eligibility status. Watch a video to learn more about the Clinical Preparedness Permit and using Verified.
Step 1: Complete your pre-placement requirements
Your Clinical Preparedness Permit is the document to complete. The Clinical Preparedness Permit Information Package provides explanations of each requirement as well as any exceptions to the requirements that are specific to your program.
Step 2: Book an appointment with Synergy Gateway for an online (electronic) student permit checking appointment
They will review and validate all medical and non-medical requirements. Please upload all documentation to your Synergy Gateway profile prior to your permit checking appointment. It is your responsibility to keep this information up-to-date and safe at all times.
Human Services pre-placement preparation
Forms and placement requirements
It’s the student’s responsibility to complete and submit all records and documents as requested by the program area. Documents are required prior to the start of registration to ensure your placement and to allow participation in clinical and field placement facilities. The college assumes no responsibility for these matters and students should be aware that we are unable to refund tuition in the event that access to a placement is denied.
International students are required to have a Co-op Work Permit for all placements prior to starting in clinical and/or field placement facilities.
Please review Academic regulations, section 2.7.
Acute Complex Care for Internationally Educated Nurses
Advanced Care Paramedic
Addictions: Treatment and Prevention
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN)
Child and Youth Care
Communicative Disorders Assistant
Community Justice Service Worker
Dental Assisting/Dental Hygiene
Developmental Services Worker
Early Childhood Education
Massage Therapy (Regular/Fast Track)
Medical Skin Care Therapies
Occupational Therapist Assistant/Physiotherapist Assistant
Personal Support Worker
Practical Nursing, full-time
Practical Nursing, part-time
Protection, Security and Investigation
Clinical Preparedness Permit and information package
Synergy Gateway’s Verified platform for students
Ontario students are eligible for Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) coverage while on unpaid work placements as required by their program of study. The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) also provides Chubb Private Insurance coverage to students should their unpaid placement required by their program of study take place with an employer who is not covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.
Students must immediately report any workplace related injury or disease to their placement agency as well as their Georgian College monitor/placement supervisor.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
COVID-19 and Health, Wellness and Sciences clinical placement
Last updated Jan. 15 at 10 a.m.
At this time, we understand that it may be difficult for you to update the requirements for your Clinical Preparedness Permit due to the impacts of COVID-19 on services in the province. We are continuing to monitor the situation with respect to permits, and will be working closely with our placement partners and other agencies to provide up-to-date information as it becomes available. Thank you for your patience.
Georgian’s Placement Office team will update these FAQs as the situation evolves. If you have a question that is not included below, please email your program coordinator for program specific placement questions or email us at ClinicalPlacementOffice@georgiancollege.ca.
With the second state of emergency declared, are clinical placements still proceeding?
As you’ve likely heard by now, the Ontario government has declared that Ontario is in a second state of emergency and new measures have been introduced to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Ministry of Colleges and Universities will be following up with regulations in the coming days, however, it’s our understanding that current practices at Georgian won’t be changing, including all plans to proceed with scheduled clinical placements.
While the college awaits more clarification from our ministry, we’ll continue to follow the existing regulations and guidelines. In the case of clinical placements they are usually offered at the discretion of the placement agency. If there is any change to your placement you will receive information through the same channels as you would for any change – e.g. Clinical Placement Staff (CPS), Program Coordinator, Praxis Monitor or Placement Officer.
Are clinical placements happening during the pandemic?
The Placement Office is working on securing clinical placements for students. If/when placements are confirmed, students will need to sign a waiver prior to commencing. The student waiver ensures that you have had a chance to discuss the risks that could be associated with attending an offsite placement during a pandemic and provides record (for yourself and for the college) that you have chosen to proceed to placement.
For more information about waivers, please contact your program co-ordinator. Once a placement has been confirmed, students will be required to complete all specific requirements the placement agency has in place prior to starting clinical (eg. negative COVID-19 test).
Can I receive a COVID-19 vaccine through Georgian if I’m scheduled to go on a clinical placement?
The provincial government is responsible for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine and determining eligibility of individuals based on priority groups and geographical locations. While we recognize some students may wish to receive this vaccine, Georgian cannot dictate the provincial government’s vaccine roll-out plan. Each clinical placement location will advise whether or not you’re eligible to receive the vaccination along with its staff members.
Decisions regarding whether or not to be immunized against the virus that causes COVID-19 are up to individuals at this time as there is currently no regulation or policy that mandates this particular immunization for students or health-care workers.
I have clinical permit items expiring or not complete. I am not able to renew/complete due to closures. What can I do?
We understand that it may be difficult for students to update the requirements for the Clinical Preparedness Permit due to the impacts of COVID-19 on services in the province. Students must continue to upload any required documents that they are able to obtain to Synergy Gateway to keep their permit as up to date as possible.
- Some police detachments continue to have extended wait times that are inconsistent across the province with respect to the wait times for Police Criminal Record Checks (PCRC)/Police Vulnerable Sector Checks (PVSC). If you have applied for, but not yet received your PCRC/PVSC and need to complete your permit checking appointment, please contact your program coordinator for next steps.
- First Aid and CPR certification classes are considered an “essential service” by the Province of Ontario. As such, classes are still offered even when regions of the province are in pandemic related restrictions. Agency partners (e.g. Long Term Care homes, hospitals, etc.) continue to require this training before students may attend a clinical placement.
- Immunizations – If you are unable to complete required immunizations (e.g. as a result of pandemic related service disruption) you have the option of signing the waiver on the bottom of page 3 of the Clinical Preparedness Permit, “Student to read and sign if unable to meet the Immunization Requirements” and submitting this to Synergy. Individuals who elect to sign this waiver need to carefully consider the risks outlined in the waiver before proceeding. Students are encouraged to still proceed with immunizations when they are able and to update their information with Synergy.
- TB Skin Tests – If you are unable to complete your TB Skin Test requirements you will receive a “Fail” on your permit. You may request an accommodation through your Program Coordinator which will then be escalated to the Placement Office (PO). The PO will contact your host agency to determine whether they are willing to accept you for placement without a valid TB Skin Test. If they will not accept you for placement you will need to meet with your Program Coordinator to discuss options for program progression.
If your permit items are not complete, you will not receive a pass from Synergy (except for the instance outlined above). When your clinical placement commences, you will need to disclose which items you were unable to complete and be prepared to show all completed documentation in place of a passed permit to your host agency (off-campus clinical) for review. Please ensure you are keeping the original documents for yourself so that they are readily accessible (e.g. printed package).
I’m not able to complete the mask fit testing part of my permit. What should I do?
The issue is that hospitals use 3M masks. The United States government has restricted the distribution of these to areas outside of the U.S. and the limited supply that is available is largely going to front line healthcare (e.g. hospitals and long terms care). This means that the mask fit testing companies can’t get a good supply to be able to conduct mask fit testing on the large scales they once did. The hospitals are aware of this and we are looking at some solutions with them. Please scroll down to the Mask Fit Testing FAQ for more information.
Permits will still show as “Failed” but at the college we can run a report that shows why the permit failed. We will then know if it was only the mask fit missing and, as above, are working with agencies on how to move forward.
Mask Fit Testing has been removed from student fees as of fall 2020.
Can I get an extension on my permit requirements if I can’t meet requirements due to closures?
The permit requirements are set to what the agencies (hospitals, long term care, etc.) require of students before they go to clinical. It is set as a “permit” (as at all other schools) to help the agencies so they don’t have to check so many documents. Mostly, it is set this way so that students don’t get ready for placement and then arrive only to find out they aren’t allowed to participate. It’s like needing to have a criminal record check for most jobs. This means that we can’t issue extensions.
Feedback from students has been that First Aid and CPR classes are now widely available in most regions, most doctors are doing immunizations and TB skin tests, and police are processing criminal record and vulnerable sector checks. This has been the case since at least mid-July.
Will I be charged extra permit checking fees by Synergy if I don't have all of my requirements?
Most services for clinical permit requirements resumed in July. Standard permit checking fees and follow-up appointment fees will apply for these requirements.
Delays have been reported for processing times of Police Vulnerable Sector Checks (PVSC). Synergy has waived the fee for updating the PVSC document for the fall 2020 and winter 2021 semesters. If you are missing your PVSC, proceed with your permit checking appointment to ensure all other documents have been verified. You will then upload the PVSC once it has been received and submit a help desk ticket to request it be reviewed.
Will I be required to quit my job in order to complete a clinical placement?
Students attending clinical placements are considered guests at their clinical host sites and, as such, they must abide by all policies and requirements the host location has in place for students. Some of our partner locations have implemented restrictions that prevent both staff and students from working in multiple locations – the clinical site being considered a “work” location. While these restrictions would generally be seen in long term care homes, they could be implemented at any health care facility.
Students are advised to consider not accepting employment when they’re going to be attending clinical placement. The pandemic has created an environment in which health care policies can and do rapidly change in order to respond to the evolution of the pandemic, and accepting employment in other settings will place students at higher risk for not being able to complete clinical program requirements.
We realize this recommendation may cause financial pressure students hadn’t anticipated. If your placement isn’t until after Oct. 16, and you need to discuss financial aid options, please email Financial Aid.
I had hoped to complete my clinical placement in an international or inter-provincial setting as is generally supported by my program. Will this be approved at this time?
At this time, the Government of Canada is advising against all non-essential travel. We will update this response as the situation evolves.
Mental health and well-being: Considerations and supports for Health, Wellness and Sciences placement/co-op students
Georgian cares about your mental health and well-being. During the unprecedented and stressful COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential that you feel prepared before returning to frontline health care clinical placement settings. Your clinical placement is an exciting component of your program and we are here to help you navigate this experience successfully.
Practising self-care and asking for help is often challenging for health care workers, given that people in these roles may prioritize the needs of others over their own. Please remember that it is essential for you to take care of your mental health and well-being, especially during COVID-19.
Georgian is here to help you:
- create a self-care plan and build awareness of your personal well-being
- recognize your own personal symptoms that might suggest your mental health needs some attention
- continually monitor and assess your mental health and well-being
- plan to access resources and supports as part of your regular self-care routine
Create a self-care plan
We encourage you to create a self-care plan prior to starting your placement and to maintain and adjust it as needed in order to support positive mental health.
Some common health symptoms related to COVID-19 include:
- fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
- anger, irritability, sadness
- difficulty sleeping, sleeping too much
- changes in appetite or eating patterns
- difficulty concentrating
- increased use of substances
Monitor and assess
- Your student insurance plan includes My Wellness and access to FeelingBetterNow which allows you to assess your current mental health in five to 10 minutes. Immediately access tools for stress reduction and for managing your symptoms.
- How well are you coping with the stress in your life? The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has several validated tools available for you to use to self-monitor your stress level, including Perceived Stress Scale, GAD-7 and Stress Can Drag You Down. Explore CAMH mental health resources during COVID-19.
Access resources and supports
- Georgian’s counselling team is available to support you! Make a telephone appointment with a counsellor between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. by calling 705.722.1523
- Review mental health and well-being resources in the student portal
- Big White Wall: Online mental health and well-being services offers self-help programs, creative outlets and a community that cares
- Bounce Back: If you’re experiencing low mood, depression and anxiety, BounceBack can help. Learn skills to help you manage worry and anxiety, combat unhelpful thinking, and become more active and assertive
- Flourishing Friday: Holistic well-being
Clinical preparedness permit
I am a new student. How do I find out if I need to complete the Clinical Preparedness Permit?
Page two of the Clinical Preparedness Permit Information Package outlines the programs whose students must complete the requirements. Watch a video to learn more about the Clinical Preparedness Permit.
When is my Clinical Preparedness Permit due?
The due date to have all requirements complete and verified by Synergy Gateway differs for each program. Please refer to page two of the information package or contact your program coordinator for a more specific date. Watch a video to learn more about the Clinical Preparedness Permit.
The Clinical Preparedness Permit says I require Hepatitis B immunizations and serology (blood work). This can take up to six months to complete. What if I can't receive the full vaccination series before the due date?
As long as you have provided serology/blood work, started the three-step immunization series and have completed the second dose, you will be cleared to attend placement. It is the responsibility of the student to then follow up in completing the series, as medically directed.
How long will it take me to gather all my pre-placement requirements?
It can take up to three months to obtain all of your requirements. Depending on your personal immunization status, it can take weeks to determine your level of immunity. Depending on your personal immunization status, it can take weeks to determine your level of immunity. Also, depending on the wait times, it can take more than 12 weeks to receive your Police Vulnerable Sector Check (PVSC).
Please note: The RCMP’s PVSC mandates that if your date of birth and gender matches an individual in the Sex Offender Databases, your fingerprints will be required to complete the PVSC. This situation can take several weeks to resolve.
I am a returning student. Where do I find my Clinical Preparedness Permit?
The form will be posted on the college website. Watch a video to learn more about the Clinical Preparedness Permit.
Who pays for the costs associated with the requirements of the Clinical Preparedness Permit?
All costs, service fees and fines associated with the overall requirements are the responsibility of the student. Costs are dependent upon each student’s needs. The college does not have control over these costs. Synergy Gateway’s fees are posted on their website.
What if I already have one or more of the non-medical requirements but they have expired or will soon?
You will need to renew or re-certify your requirements to ensure that they are current for the academic year and that they will not expire during your placement.
Where do I go to register for Standard First Aid and CPR Level "C" and "HCP/BLS" training?
Action First Aid Training runs sessions most days of the week, including weekends, at their training centre in the south end of Barrie at 92 Commerce Park Drive #5, Barrie. Georgian College students receive 10% off services when using the promo code GEORGIAN.
These courses are also available through the Canadian Red Cross, St. John Ambulance, Heart and Stroke Foundation or the local YMCA Centre. If you take a CPR course through another provider, please ensure that you register for the appropriate course level and that the program follows the Canadian Heart and Stroke guidelines.
Please note: Blended (online & in-person) CPR and SFA courses are acceptable, but completely online courses are not. CPR must be re-certified annually.
Health care professionals
How many health care professional appointments will I need?
A minimum of two appointments will be needed if all of your immunizations are current. However, depending on your personal situation, additional appointments may be required.
What do I say to my health care professional and what do I need to bring?
Explain that you need a fully completed health form (Clinical Preparedness Permit) and all of the shaded areas need to be signed and stamped by your health care professional. Instructions are provided in the information package.
You should bring the following to your appointment:
- clinical/field pre-placement health form
- health card or health insurance card
- any proof of immunization (yellow card) and/or municipal/regional health unit form(s) that outline record of your immunization history
- money, if necessary (costs do vary)
What if I don't have a health care professional (Physician or Nurse Practitioner)?
The Walk-In Clinic at 125 Bell Farm Road in Barrie has special TB and immunization clinics for Georgian’s Health, Wellness and Sciences students throughout the semester (fall, winter and summer). The Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic at the Barrie Campus will also host TB clinics (fall and winter). Your program coordinator will post the dates for these clinics on Blackboard. Another option in Barrie is the Huronia Urgent Care Clinic.
Police Vulnerable Sector Check (PVSC)
How can I obtain a Police Vulnerable Sector Check (PVSC) application form?
You should contact your local police service by telephone or visit their website to find out their application process. Some police agencies offer an online application process. Please contact your local police service for more information.
Please note: Not all police departments and/or Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) service offices follow the same guidelines and costs do vary. Please see the police vulnerable sector check helpful hints document for more information.
How can I obtain a letter in support of my Police Vulnerable Sector Check application?
Please determine ahead of time what your local police service needs from you in order to process your PVSC application. Instructions on obtaining a letter for your application can be found on the police vulnerable sector check helpful hints document.
Mask fit testing
Where would I obtain mask fit testing?
Synergy Gateway has partnered with Advance Healthcare, one of a few companies in Canada now authorized to import 3M masks from the US for fit testing, even though they are not a front line health-care setting. Mask fit testing will occur on campus. Students will receive information via their program co-ordinator. Mask fit testing is done by appointment only, students may book online and will pay at the time of booking. Below are some alternate service providers:
Please note: Georgian College does not make representations or warranties concerning N95 mask fit testing. It is your responsibility to research whether the product and service of the N95 mask fit testing service meets the requirements as evaluated by Synergy Gateway, the Clinical Preparedness Permit and information package in order to continue with placements. In addition, at this time, front line health-care settings (e.g. hospitals, long term care homes etc.) will only accept mask fit testing for the 3M brand. Dental students require a specific brand of mask for our clinics. Please check with your program co-ordinator to ensure you select the correct brand.
Is there a fee for mask fit testing?
The fee for mask fit testing has been removed from student tuition fees as of fall 2020. Students will be responsible for the cost associated with their mask fit testing.
What do I need to upload to Synergy Gateway?
- Clinical Preparedness Permit
- Any additional proof of immunization
- Blood lab report results
- Certificates and/or proof of completion of all your non-medical requirements (i.e. PVSC, SFA, CPR)
Watch a video to learn more about using Synergy Gateway’s Verified platform.
What is the cost for the permit checking appointment with Synergy Gateway?
As of Sept. 1, 2019, the cost for the permit checking appointment is $50.48. Included in this cost is the review of your documents and counselling on the clinical permit requirements. Please ensure that you have the stamp and signature of your healthcare professional where required on the clinical permit.
Can I email information to Synergy Gateway?
No. In order to keep your documents and information confidential you must upload it to Synergy Gateway’s secure software platform “Verified”. Watch a video to learn more about using Synergy Gateway’s Verified platform.
Where do I submit all my requirements once gathered?
You will upload all of your documents, cards and certificates to your profile in Verified by Synergy Gateway. You will then book an electronic student permit checking appointment for your requirements to be reviewed. Watch a video to learn more about using Synergy Gateway’s Verified platform.
How do I access my profile on "Verified" by Synergy Gateway?
You will be given access to “Verified”- a software platform by Synergy Gateway, via secure username and password that will be emailed to you (check your school email account). Watch a video to learn more about using Synergy Gateway’s Verified platform.
Tip: Check your junk or spam folder, as these emails are system generated and often end up there.
What if I have a problem logging onto "Verified" by Synergy Gateway?
Electronic Student Permit Checking Appointment
What happens at the Electronic Student Permit Checking (ESPC) appointment?
The ESPC is a virtual/online appointment, you will not attend in person. Synergy Gateway will review all of your documents and determine if you can be cleared for placement. You will receive the status of your ESPC by email within 2 business days.
Note: To avoid additional fees-do NOT book a permit checking appointment with Synergy Gateway until all medical and non-medical requirements are completed. Please ensure that you have the stamp and signature of your healthcare professional where required on the clinical permit.
What are the possible outcomes of my permit checking appointment?
You will receive the status of your permit checking appointment by email. Here are the possible outcomes:
- Pass- you met all of the clinical preparedness permit requirements. You are clear to attend placement.
- Pending- documentation needs to be resubmitted (e.g. you did not write your name and student number on all pages, the seal on your police check is not visible, etc.).
- Fail- you are missing one or more of the requirements
Please note: If you receive a result of pending or fail, please read and follow the instructions in the email from Synergy Gateway. If the result is a fail-you will need to book a follow-up appointment to have the missing items reviewed.
When should I book my electronic student permit checking appointments?
- When all of the requirements on the checklist are completed.
- Before your due date. If you leave it to last minute, you could put yourself at risk at not being cleared on time.
Please note: Plan to book your ESPC appointment a month or so before the due date to allow time to complete any requirements that you may have inadvertently missed.
How do I book, reschedule or cancel an electronic student permit checking appointment?
How-to videos are available in the Verified platform under the Help Desk/Videos tab. Watch a video to learn more about using Synergy Gateway’s Verified platform.
What happens once I am cleared for placement?
Once you are cleared for placement, your stamp document is available to download and print from your profile in Synergy Gateway. This will be proof to your clinical instructor or program coordinator that you have been cleared for placement.
Field Placement Office
Human Services and Community Safety
825 Memorial Avenue
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.