The Royal Alberta College

Student Absence Declaration

Information for students

The Student Declaration of Absence Form was introduced in select courses to replace sick notes for absences of three days or fewer that result in missed or late academic requirements.

The Student Declaration of Absence Form functions the same as a sick note. 

Your instructor makes the decision on whether they will arrange alternate coursework, tests, etc.

You must check with your instructor(s) or refer to your instructor-specific, or course-specific syllabi and guidelines, and work-integrated learning handbook policies (if applicable) to see if the self-declaration of absence option is available to you.

The submission of the form does not provide an automatic exemption from any academic requirements that were missed or late during an absence. Any alternate coursework arrangements for missed or late academic requirements are at the discretion of individual course instructor(s).

Using the form

If you experience a short-term absence that is no longer than three consecutive days, you must:

When the form doesn’t apply

  • Each instructor can elect to use this form so you must check if your instructor hasn’t authorized it for use in their course.
  • Students with pre-existing accessibility plans that already allow for coursework deferrals or deadline extensions,
  • If your absence hasn’t caused a missed or late academic requirement.
  • If you are absent for four consecutive days or more. Instead, you should contact your instructor and refer to the long-term absence section of the academic regulation for Missed or Late Academic Requirements Due to Student Absence.
  • If your absence means you are missing a final exam or major assignment. In these, circumstances it is the sole discretion of your instructor to approve alternatives.
  • If you are missing final coursework, fieldwork, co-op work terms and internships, and skill labs.
  • If this is the third time your absence is causing you to miss an academic requirement. You can submit a maximum of two separate Student Declaration of Absence forms per course during a term.
  • If you have recurring short-term or long-term absences, you are strongly encouraged to meet your Program Coordinator.

Long-term Absence

For long-term absences greater than three (3) consecutive days, students should contact their course instructor(s) or the instructor’s designate within five (5) calendar days following the last day of absence. 

The Student Declaration of Absence form will not be accepted for long-term absences. Where long-term absences are due to major or chronic physical or mental health conditions, documentation must be provided by primary care health professionals.

Documentation should indicate the dates and duration of the condition (confidential health information of the exact condition is not required) when possible should describe its impact on the student’s ability to fulfill academic requirements, and include any other information a primary care health professional considers relevant and appropriate. 

For extenuating circumstances resulting in long-term student absences, instructors may request appropriate documentation depending on the situation. 

Students experiencing recurring long-term absences are strongly encouraged to meet with a Program Coordinator.  In such a case, instructors may request documentation to demonstrate a student has met with an Advisor or Coordinator and arrived at a course of action to manage the recurring absences before considering alternate academic requirement arrangements.

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