Student Practice

This page is for local, provincial and national public and private educational institutions, as well as other agencies that are interested in placing students in an Island Health facility relevant to a student’s field of practice or study.

Island Health recognizes the importance of students and continuous learning. Our goal is to provide a broad scope of learning opportunities, in collaboration with our academic partners, for students and practitioners from all health-care disciplines.

Practice Education Networks

Island Health uses a Practice Education Network (PEN) to advance student practice initiatives across the island.

PEN provides a forum for partnering agencies to collaborate, coordinate and advise on practice education activities and initiatives.

Observational / Job Shadow Experiences

Island Health has necessary processes established for observational or job shadow experiences at Island Health facilities. At this time, we are only considering requests for job shadow or observational experiences for Grade 9 students participating in Take Our Kids to Work Job Shadowing program.

International Student Requests

Island Health is not able to accommodate requests for student placements from internationally based schools.

Medical Student Requests

All medical students placements must go through the University of B.C. Faculty of Medicine MD Undergraduate-  Prospective Students process.

Co-op Student Requests

Please visit our Co-op Students web page for information about our co-op placements. 


BC Student Practice Education

This site has been created to provide a one-stop resource for information related to student placements in healthcare in BC and acts as a repository for information, resources and materials to support the post-secondary institutions (PSIs), healthcare organizations (HCOs) and BC government ministries (Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training) that collaboratively and collectively support health student placements in BC. 

All Other Requests

Please refer to the following section on "Student Placement Requests".

Student Placement Requests

The educational institute, agency or other must make student placement requests:

  • at least three months before the requested placement date
  • to Island Health's Professional Practice department

Students and faculty are requested to not contact units or staff members directly about placement opportunities.


Before requesting a student placement, an Educational Affiliation Agreement (EAA) must be made between the educational institution and Island Health and signed by both parties.

The EAA defines the roles and responsibilities of the health authority and the educational institution in providing practice education, and addresses the risks in the relationship for both organizations, their employees, patients, faculty and students.

Island Health uses the standard provincial Educational Institutional Affiliation Agreement Template.

For more information, read the Affiliation Agreements in British Columbia (BC): Frequently Asked Questions.

Placement Request Process

  1. Island Health Contract Management emails the EAA template to the education institution to determine the appropriateness of the placement request, asking for:
    • program overview information, course expectations and program contacts
    • placement type, dates and number of hours
    • roles and responsibilities of faculty, students and Island Health
    • resource materials that need to be provided to Island Health
  2. The educational institute completes and signs the EAA and returns it to Island Health. Once Island Health signs the form, a copy is sent to the educational institute. Contract Management also keeps a copy.
  3. Professional Practice determines the capacity of the clinical area for a student placement, and may suggest an alternate area if the practicum or clinical setting requested does not have capacity.

Review Requests from a Placing Agency for New Programs/Schools in Island Health to learn more about the process for Student Practice Education.

To set up an EAA, email Island Health’s Professional Practice Student Practice coordinator:

Coordinating and Managing Placement Requests

Island Health uses the Health Science Placement Network (HSPnet) to coordinate and manage requests for placements.

Educational institutes in B.C. can find detailed information about Island Health’s pre-placement process and updates by logging into HSPnet - Click Content Services > Guidelines > View: Guidelines > Agency: Island Health > Subtopic and select:

  • 0.0 Practice Education Guidelines Introductory
  • 1.1 Placement Process(es)

If you are not using HSPnet please contact

If your program is outside of B.C. and you meet all of the requirements above, we will arrange guest access to HSPnet for you.

Once a placement is confirmed, additional pre-placement requirements must be met.