Risk Management

Academic Field Trips & On or Off-Campus Activities

CSU Executive Order 1062(opens in new window) establishes minimum standards for a campus field trips and delegates responsibility for implementation to the campus president. The executive order defines a field trip as a university course-related, off-campus activity led by a faculty or staff member and designed to serve educational purposes.

Field trips include:

  • The gathering of data for research (such as at a geological or archaeological site)
  • Museum visits
  • Participation in a conference or competition
  • Visits to an event or place of interest

The duration of a field trip may be a class period or longer, and could extend over multiple days. This definition does not apply to activities or placements in the context of a teacher preparation program, intercollegiate sports, or service-learning placements, all of which are governed under separate policy.

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  • On/Off-Campus Activities Procedures (Local, Out of State, and International)

    Faculty and or staff leading students on a University related field trip or On/Off-Campus activity must complete the following steps:

    • Conduct a pre-trip evaluation. This can be done by conducting a site visit to become familiar with the site and to identify any poor risks. The site visit should be documented and retained by the sponsoring department. A site visit can be bypassed if the faculty member can demonstrate and document sufficient knowledge of the field trip site. This could be accomplished by review online, published materials, or contacting the site to discuss proposed activities and potential hazards.
    • Conduct a pre-departure orientation to provide students with an Instructional Agenda, Health and Safety Information Emergency Procedures and the Student Code of Conduct, prior to the trip.
    • Examples of Health and Safety Information are: Situational awareness, travel in groups, appropriate use of personal protective equipment, appropriate attire including footwear, hydration, use of sunscreen.
    • Components of Emergency Procedures should include: Instructions to contact 911 in all cases of serious injury or illness, identification of nearest medical facilities, notification to the Office of Risk Management and Academic or Administrative Department Head and assigning an alternate trip leader in the event the faculty or current trip leader becomes incapacitated.
    • Complete a Request for Field Trip or On/Off Campus Activity form(opens in new window) (paper form or electronically) and submit to Risk Management at least 10 days prior to trip. 
    • Ensure that all participants have signed the required Waiver of Liability form prior to departure. Copies of signed Waivers, Emergency Contact Information, trip rosters and any instructional agenda must be retained by the department for a period of one year after the conclusion of the semester during which the field trip took place, per EO 1062(opens in new window). There is no need to retain copies of signed waivers or trip rosters when utilizing the electronic waiver program, unless students sign a printed, hard copy.
    • Ensure student emergency contact information is obtained for all field trips. Copies of emergency contact information should be retained by the faculty or staff leading the trip for one year after the trip ends.
    • Include a plan to accommodate students with special needs.
    • Provide training for any equipment that may be used on the activity.
    • Provide for an alternate assignment for students unwilling to accept the risk of participation.
    • Comply with the California State University Use of University and Private Vehicles Policy Guidelines and the California State University student travel policy, where applicable. See Executive Order 1041(opens in new window).

    Students traveling near other California State University campuses should be aware that Executive Order 943 states, "Students eligible for basic services at one CSU campus Student Health Center shall be eligible for basic services provided by other CSU campuses at no additional charge."

  • Request a Field Trip or On/Off Campus Activity Waiver of Liability Form

    Please read the Academic Field Trips & On/Off Campus Activities Section before submitting your request.

    Per requirements set forth in Executive Order 1051, Risk Management is responsible for preparing Waiver of Liability forms for Field Trips and off- campus activities. Most off-campus activities, and some on-campus activities, will require students to sign a Waiver of Liability form. To help Risk Management determine whether a Waiver of Liability form might be appropriate, please:

    1. Complete a Request for Field Trip or On/Off Campus Activity form(opens in new window) and submit it to Risk Management at least five (5) business days prior to the activity.

      OR
    2. Submit a Request for Field Trip On/Off Campus Activity form electronically(opens in new window) (for course related field trips only). *Note: If the trip requiring approval is within 10 days of Request submission, we recommend using the paper Request instead of the electronic version.*

      The faculty member listed as the instructor of record for the course, or the assigned designee, will need their portal credentials to sign into the program. Faculty can assign a designee by signing into the program, selecting the designee link, and entering the designee's portal ID/user name ( i.e. MSmith). The designee will then have the same access as the assigning Faculty. After signing in, please follow the process outlines below to request your waiver.
      1. Select the appropriate term from the drop down menu.
      2. Select the appropriate class from the drop down menu.
      3. Name the trip.
      4. Select whether the trip is being funded via Chico State Enterprises (formerly Research Foundation).
      5. Select the appropriate transportation type (hold control and click enter to select more than one type).
      6. Provide a brief trip description.
      7. Provide trip location and dates (if only a one day trip only enter start date) *Please note that students will not be able to access the program to approve the waiver after the “trip start date” arrives. Please allow students sufficient time before the trip starts to access the program and approve the trip waiver.
      8. Submit for approval.

      Once the request has been submitted, it will be forwarded to your department head for approval. Once approved by the department head, the request will be forwarded to Risk Management for approval. Once Risk Management has approved the trip, you will receive an email notifying you that your trip has been approved. In addition to the email you receive, each student enrolled in your course will also receive an email prompting them to approve the trip. They will approve the trip by signing into the program and electronically agreeing to the terms of the waiver created for the trip. You can log into your account at any time to review the status of the student's responses. You can also print a field trip roster and a hard copy of the waiver for students who are unable to complete the electronic process to sign. As there is no signature line on the printed copy, have the student sign in your presence near the bottom of the page. Signed paper waiver documents should be retained for one year (after the end of the current academic year), in the department office.

      If you have any questions or problems with this program, please contact Risk Management at extension 6588.

      Students can sign in and review any Waiver of Liability Forms(opens in new window) pending their approval.

      Students will need their portal credentials to sign into the program.

      Department Heads can use their portal credentials to sign into the program to review and approve field trip requests(opens in new window).

  • Student Drivers

    Students driving to and from a University related event (i.e. field trips, seminars...) do not need to be made a volunteer employee, take Defensive Driver Training (DDT), or complete a Travel Request form unless:

    • The student has been designated by faculty or staff to drive their personally owned vehicle on behalf of the University.

    OR

    • The student will drive a University owned or leased vehicle (includes rental vehicles).

    While students are always welcome to take DDT, they are not required to unless the above conditions apply.

    When discussing field trips or off campus events with students, faculty/staff should play no role in arranging student transportation unless the University will provide transportation (i.e. University bus, chartered bus, rented vehicles, faculty/staff driving their personally owned vehicle and taking students).

    Please note that reimbursement of travel expenses alone does not constitute a need to make the student a volunteer employee. 

    If a student employee is asked to drive for a specific trip or event that does not fall within the course and scope of their job (student employment) they will need to be made a volunteer employee, take Defensive Drivers Training and complete a Travel Request form.

    Please note that employees (including student appointed as volunteers) must be 21 years of age or older to drive a vehicle that is rented under the State or Research Foundation contracts with Enterprise/National.

    Please contact the Office of Risk Management at ext. 6588 if you have any questions regarding student travel.

  • Advise Students Risk

    Discuss with your students the nature of the activities during the field trip, include any inherent hazards, strenuous activity, or unusual activity that might take place. Invite students to apprise you in advance of any special accommodations or medical conditions that may need to be addressed to help ensure a successful trip for them. Contact the Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959 for assistance.

  • Authorized Participants

    Allow only CSU, Chico faculty, staff, volunteer employees, and students to participate in your field trip. The minimal protection that accrues to each of these participants is not afforded to family members or students from other institutions.

  • Travel Documentation

    Contact Accounts Payable to complete the necessary steps required for your travel.

  • Foreign Travel

    All international travel involving students must be submitted to the Study Abroad Committee for review. Please visit the Study Abroad website for more information.

    Review country specific information at the US Department of State International Travel's website(opens in new window). Executive Order 998 states that international programs must not operate in countries where there is a U.S. Department of State travel advisory level of a 3 or 4 without the approval of the Chancellor.

    Please review EO 998(opens in new window) which states all CSU Study Abroad Programs must consider the health, safety, and security of students, staff and faculty as a central feature of planning and operation and must require students to carry medical insurance that will be valid in the host country(ies). Foreign Travel Insurance can be secured through Risk Management. For details, visit CSU, Chico Insurance.(opens in new window)

    All employees traveling internationally on University business are required to secure their foreign travel insurance through California State University Risk Management Authority (CSURMA). Please contact Risk Management for any questions and to secure foreign travel insurance.