Professional Staff Observership FAQ

Are Professional Staff Observerships limited to students enrolled in academic institutions or are they open to anyone?

Technically, anyone can apply to be a Professional Staff Observer. We want to ensure that International Medical Graduates, who have completed their education, are eligible to apply. However, Professional Staff Observerships are designed to provide learning experiences for medical learners and are not designed for vendors or other external third parties wishing to gain access to RVH. Observers must obtain approval from a Supervisor, the Department Chief, the Program Director and the Vice President, Academic and Medical Affairs, all of who have the discretion to not approve the request if the learner is not appropriate.

What is the difference between an elective student and an external observer?

Elective Student Rotations are coordinated through the Rural Ontario Medical Program (ROMP) and Observerships are coordinated through RVH. For Professional Staff Observerships, RVH does not provide any support to Observers in coordinating accommodations or Visa requirements and will not provide preceptor payments to Supervisors.

Why are you asking for an offence declaration form rather than requiring a vulnerable sector screen (vss) obtained through the police?

We are trying to limit the amount of time and paperwork that is required for an Observer to complete an application, given that most of the Observerships are for only for 1-2 days. A VSS can take two to four weeks to obtain from a Police Station. Given that Observers should never be unaccompanied, the potential risk of any the Observer behaving outside of the Guidelines is limited.

Are RVH and the observer insured?

Yes. Observers receiving training from RVH are covered by our General Liability Insurance, but only for liability arising from acts performed under the instruction, supervision, or direction by RVH. Should the Observer act outside the parameters defined in the Professional Staff Observership Guidelines and the Professional Staff Observership Application, there would be no coverage and any court awards would be the responsibility of the Observer.

Will observers receive a letter of recommendation or have an evaluation upon completion of the observership?

No. Professional Staff Observerships are not formal education experiences with established learning objectives and do not warrant an evaluation. The Supervisor has no obligation to provide a letter of recommendation or reference for the Observer.