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The Legal Department articles are not intended to serve as legal advice and are offered for educational purposes only. The information provided should not be used as a substitute for independent legal advice and it is not intended to address every situation that could potentially arise. Please be aware that laws, regulations and technical standards change over time. As a result, it is important to verify and update any reference or information that is provided in the article.
This article will review the section of law that requires there to be a written agreement between schools and work settings for the hours of experience gained by trainees outside of their practicum assignments.
by Mary Riemersma, Former Executive Director
Revised by Mike Griffin, Staff Attorney
We are regularly told by trainees, supervisors, educational institutions, and employers that they are unaware of the section of law that requires there to be a written agreement between schools and work settings for the hours of experience gained by trainees outside of their practicum assignments.
The pertinent section of the Business and Professions Code is:
4980.42. (a) Trainees performing services in any work setting specified in subdivision (e) of Section 4980.43 may perform those activities and services as a trainee, provided that the activities and services constitute part of the trainee’s supervised course of study and that the person is designated by the title “trainee.”
Trainees may gain hours of experience outside the required practicum.
Those hours shall be subject to the requirements of subdivision (b) and to the other requirements of this chapter. (b) On and after January 1, 1995, all hours of experience gained as a trainee shall be coordinated between the school and the sitewhere the hours are being accrued. The school shall approve each site and shall have a written agreement with each site that details each party’s responsibilities, including the methods by which supervision shall be provided. The agreement shall provide for regular progress reports and evaluations of the student’s performance at the site. If an applicant has gained hours of experience while enrolled in an institution other than the one that confers the qualifying degree, it shall be the applicant’s responsibility to provide to the board satisfactory evidence that those hours of trainee experience were gained in compliance with this section.
Thus, hours gained by trainees, that our outside of practicum assignments, must be approved by schools where the trainees are enrolled and these schools are to have written agreements for each site where trainees are working. The agreement is to provide regular progress reports and evaluations of the student’s performance at the work sites. Some schools do not permit hours to be gained outside of practicum. Some schools charge a fee to allow for the hours to be gained and to provide the requisite oversight. And, it appears some schools may be oblivious to this requirement. We would encourage schools, supervisors, employers, and trainees to be aware if this important requirement that could affect the hours gained by trainees.
Arguably, if these written agreements do not exist, the BBS could disallow the hours of experience gained by the trainees who are gaining hours of experience outside of their practicum assignments. While the BBS may not always require the submission of these documents, they may decide to regularly request them and can certainly request them if looking into a questionable situation.
Please Note: New requirements are applicable to students who begin graduate study after August 1, 2012, or complete graduate study after December 31, 2018. California Business and Professions Code, Sections 4980.36 and 4080.42.