Insurance and Risk Management -2022

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Academic Field Trip Guidelines

These guidelines are offered to supplement any existing College or Department procedures.  To ensure the safety and well-being of all participants, the following guidelines are recommended.

  1. Create a complete itinerary, identifying such items as educational objectives, assignments, activities, dates, times, locations, transportation, etc.
  2. All field trips should be designated as a mandatory course requirement. Student Travel Accident Insurance (under CSURMA), which can provide medical expense benefits to an injured student, is only in effect if the field trip is a mandatory course requirement.
  3. Consider providing adequate supervision for the number of students.
  4. Consider possible ADA issues and reasonable accommodations including alternate assignments for those students who are unable to participate.
  5. Advise students to bring sufficient personal prescription medications for the trip.
  6. Review environmental conditions such as the weather at the time of the trip, special clothing and equipment, cell phones, first aid supplies, personal protective equipment, such as sunscreen, rain gear, etc.
  7. Review and document any unusual risks or dangers that might be expected on the trip such as anticipated strenuous activities, dangerous animals, poisonous plants, local area crime potential, etc. 
  8. Develop protocols and contacts for emergency situations.
  9. Review control measures, CSUN’s “no drug and alcohol” rules, after-hours activities, and overnight sleeping arrangements at the site.
  10. Provide necessary training if safety equipment will be used.
  11. All field trip participants must complete and submit the Academic Field Trip Waiver of Liability, and if necessary, the Student Authorization to Operate Privately-Owned Vehicle form prior to participation and it should be retained in the academic department office for at least two (2) years.
  12. An Academic Field Trip Participants List of all persons participating in the field trip including emergency contact information must be retained in the academic department office in the event of an accident or emergency and a copy taken along on the trip.

Assure that students understand the transportation arrangements and that all designated vehicle drivers must be authorized by the University to utilize the appropriate form.  These forms are submitted to the Department Chair for approval prior to driving.

Once authorized, staff or faculty driving on a field trip or carrying out any State business must possess

  1. A valid California driver's license
  2. A current Defensive Driver Training certificate
  3. A good driving record (DMV pull notice)
  4. If driving a private vehicle, a completed Authorization to Use Privately Owned Vehicles on State Business form STD 261 is to be submitted.

Please note that personal liability insurance is primary coverage when driving a privately owned vehicle.  No alcoholic beverages or controlled substances shall be transported in a State or private vehicle (on State business) at ANY TIME.  Guests are not allowed on academic field trips.

For further information regarding State or private vehicle use, authorized drivers, and related information, please refer to the Office of Insurance and Risk Management (ORIM) web pages or The CSU website on the “Use of University and Private Vehicles Policy Guidelines”.

Medical Coverage for Accident/Injury

  1. Student Participants:  In the event of an accident injury during a field trip, the student’s personal health care plan provides for primary medical coverage payment. If the student’s health care benefits become exhausted, the CSU Student Travel Accident Insurance helps pay for additional related injury expenses up to the maximum benefit.  Enrolled students without a private health plan may seek basic medical attention from the campus Student Health Center.

Please note that the CSU Student Travel Insurance policy covers accidental injury only.  The policy DOES NOT provide coverage for any illness or disease unless an accident is the direct cause of the illness. All students are encouraged to purchase personal Accident and Health Insurance from the California State University, Student Health Insurance Program (CSUSHI), available online at

  1. Employee Participants:  If you are an employee with California State University, Northridge participating in a field trip (i.e. staff, faculty, a student working on a field trip as a student assistant, college work-study student, or approved student volunteer*, etc.) you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits that may assist to pay for medical expenses related to your injury accident. Contact the Human Resource Representative at California State University, Northridge for further information.
  1. Non-Employee and Non-Student Participants:   The participation of non-employee or non-student individuals on an academic field trip is strongly discouraged because of increased liability.

*Non-academic staff and student volunteers are appointed by the use of the CSUN Volunteer Identification Form (OHRS20-64) that is completed and returned to the Human Resources Department, University Hall, Room 165.

 The Risk Management information and forms in the Risk Management website dealing with Academic Field Trips can be accessed from the following outline:

  1. Forms for Planning the Academic Field Trip:

Academic Field Trip Guidelines (current document)

Academic Field Trip Leader’s Pre and Post Checklist

Academic Field Trip Transportation Checklist

International Academic Field Trip Travel

  1. Required Participant Forms:

Academic Field Trip Waiver (Informed Consent)

Academic Field Trip Participant’s List

  1. Academic Field Trip Transportation Forms:

Academic Field Trip Transportation Checklist

Field Trip Driving Requirements

Student Authorization to Operate Privately Owned Vehicle

Student Air Travel Voluntary Participation Notice

Student Travel Accident Insurance

The following is an abbreviated checklist for Faculty preparing for a University-approved field trip.  It is intended to assure the minimum necessary requirements are addressed.

  1. Initial Steps:
  1. The Day of the Trip:
  • Review Accident Reporting Procedures with the group.
  • Review dangers that may be encountered during the field trip.
  • Assure all documentation is complete.
  1. Documents to Take: