FAQs for Faculty and Staff

Use of Supporting Evidence for Exceptions to Academic Regulations/Missed Term Work/Examinations

Update: documentation to support absences

Instructors cannot currently ask students for documentation to support absences in academic courses. The regulation allowing this documentation to be requested has been suspended through to the end of the summer 2023 term. The university’s program for providing statutory declarations has also been suspended through to the end of the summer 2023 term.

You can ask students for some documentation to verify their medical situation or illness, but you cannot require a medical note. 

Yes, a student is able to choose the form of evidence that verifies their illness/absence. Some students will already have this information, so it saves the extra step of obtaining a statutory declaration.

The student should first download the statutory declaration form and then complete either by typing or printing off and writing in pen. They then would meet with a Commissioner for Oaths for signing. They must bring their UCID with them for identification. Several registered Commissioners for Oaths are available to students on campus at no charge. They can meet with a Commissioner for Oaths by visiting Enrolment Services during regular business hours. Students attending a scheduled appointment (to address other matters) with the Student Success Centre, Student Wellness Services, or the Student Ombuds Office may also access a Commissioner for Oaths during their appointment.

Some faculties also have Commissioners for Oaths within their student advising offices. Students can also access a Commissioner for Oaths, as well as other legal services, on campus for free (for undergraduate students) through Student Legal Assistance or off campus for a fee.

Instructors have the discretion to accept or reject the reason presented. For example, if a student presents a medical note that indicates they suffered from an upset stomach ten days prior, then it may not be relevant to an assignment due the next day. Likewise, if the student presents a statutory declaration indicating they were away from university for a family reunion, the reason may not be valid. In both cases, the situations may be accurate and the evidence valid, but not acceptable to you as a valid reason for exception to regulations. The University of Calgary has made it clear through our Campus Mental Health strategy that we need to support and value all members of our community and thus would normally expect instructors to support requests from students who are reporting current physical or mental illnesses.

If you suspect a statutory declaration is fraudulent, please contact the Commissioner for Oaths who signed the document to verify. Should you find the declaration has been forged, please file a complaint with the student conduct office who will advise on the next steps.

or other documents after a student submits them? 

These documents should be kept in the student’s department or faculty file and are subject to the university’s records retention rule 99.0006 Student Academic Files – Undergraduate (asc.ucalgary.ca/marrs/undergraduate) and 98.0018 Student Academic Files – Graduate (asc.ucalgary.ca/marrs/graduate).

The course outline can be used for instructors to highlight expectations of engagement in a course. See https://taylorinstitute.ucalgary.ca/resources/course-outlines for advice on course outlines.

No, unless you are also a student of the University of Calgary. The training and certification of our staff as Commissioners of Oaths has been completed using university funds as a support service to University of Calgary students.