Waivers & Contracts
Liability Waiver Form to include COVID-19 Language
In January 2021, the waiver was updated and distributed to include COVID-19 language. Please note that only minor changes have been made to the waiver, and the updated version is reflected here as of August 2022.
Academic courses that involve off-campus activities as a required or optional part of the class – such as work with community partners, field work, field trips, reporting ventures, or media production – can proceed with those activities within existing public health guidelines, and provided that students complete the waiver. The role of these activities in the course, and whether they are required or optional, should be indicated on the course syllabus; instructors may also want to have alternative plans in case in-person activities are suspended.
The following practices for waiver implementation can enhance risk management efforts for programs/activities taking place during the pandemic:
Waivers ensure participants are aware of any risks associated with the activity.
- When distributing or collecting waivers, inform participants how to mitigate COVID-19 risks associated with the activity. This includes training participants on social distancing, basic hygiene practices and the use of Personal Protective Equipment. We should not assume that participants know how to combine public health risk mitigation with a particular activity, regardless of their experience and expertise.
- Training should include activity modifications (if applicable), establishing a way to report any unsafe situations, and encouraging participants to ask questions.
- Allow the participants sufficient time to understand what they are signing and that they are voluntarily choosing to sign the document. You can do this by holding a meeting to go over the waiver’s contents or giving the participants time to review the waiver and asking questions prior to signing. Please feel free to refer any questions to the Office of General Counsel or Risk Management.
- Save signed documents for three years. It is critical that USF can locate waivers in the case of a legal claim against the university.
- If an accident or incident occurs while the participants are participating in the program/activity, an accident report must be completed with Public Safety, and the waiver should also be saved indefinitely and forwarded to Public Safety and Risk Management.
- If the waiver is signed on behalf of a minor by a parent or guardian, the waiver must be kept until three years after the minor turns 18. It is critical that USF can locate waivers in the case of a legal claim against the university.
Thank you for all that you are doing supporting our students, faculty, staff, visitors and volunteers and wishing you well in the new academic year.
All contracts need to be reviewed by both the Office of General Counsel and Risk Management. Please expect a minimum of a 15 business day turn-around from Risk Management for a review.