1.0 Purpose

This procedure expands on the 10 principles contained in the Student Placement Risk Management Policy. In doing so, it outlines a minimum standard that Schools require to adhere to, without restricting the development of local procedures in line with these principles and best practice solutions.

2.0 Scope

This procedure applies to the placement of students with employers in the UK. It does not apply to placements abroad, but Schools may find the general principles and methods valuable when placing students abroad. Separate procedures will be developed for overseas placement.

“Placement”, for the purposes of this procedure includes both paid and unpaid placements. It only includes placement where the University has arranged, brokered or otherwise facilitated the placement. It does not include placements arranged wholly by the student him/herself, or non-academic-related vacation work where the University has simply allowed its communications to be used by prospective employers.

For the purposes of this procedure “major risks” are those risks inherent in the type of work, nature of the business or working environment that may cause death, serious injury or serious ill-health if improperly controlled.

Reference to “the School” in these procedures relates to the Head of School* as the manager accountable to the University for the health and safety of his/her staff and students. However, it is envisaged that many of the responsibilities will be delegated to Placement Co-ordinators, Placement Tutors and associated administrative support.

3.0 Actions

3.1 General Arrangements

This Procedure describes the minimum components necessary to deliver a local Placement Risk Management System in each School. In order to be effective, the method of providing each component should be identified in each School and responsibility assigned or delegated for each.

Once in place, the effectiveness of the local Placement Risk Management System should be monitored internally and reviewed at least annually by each School. Although placement will be an element of the health and safety audit system, audits should not be relied upon as the sole means of monitoring due to length of the audit cycle.

3.2 Training

All staff involved in the placement of students in locations or with providers likely to involve the control of major risks must receive a level of training appropriate to their involvement and to the nature of those risks.

The training provided will be delivered on campus to a syllabus designed in consultation between the Occupational Health and Safety Office and the Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching.

Refresher Training will be offered at least every 3 years.

3.3 Prior to Placement

All placement providers will be required to complete a Student Placement Provider Questionnaire. The links below will provide a pro-forma for a covering letter and the questionnaire.

The questionnaire will require to be repeated annually or sooner if an earlier expiry date has been indicated and it is necessary to satisfy the School of continuous relevant insurance cover.

Major risks for each placement require to be identified by the School on identification of a placement provider.

On identification of one or more major risks the School must require the placement provider to provide a written method of controlling these risks. The evidential requirement should not be prescriptive, and may take the form of a risk assessment, method statement or any other management or working system the placement provider has already developed.

The School requires to assess the controls submitted by the placement provider:

  • Where the documentation is of apparently sufficient depth of content, and controls appear to be appropriate to control the risk, this should be accepted.
  • Where there are obvious gaps in the documentation provided the School should communicate directly with the placement provider to satisfy itself that the provider will control the major risks.
  • Where the School cannot satisfy itself that the placement provider has adequate systems to control the major risks, the placement must not go ahead and an alternative provider should be sought.

The School should agree responsibilities with the placement provider in writing. As far as possible, this should be done with management at the location where the student will be placed. As a minimum, this should cover the following:

  • Induction training and recording
  • The placement provider’s responsibilities as “employer” for the student’s health and safety
  • Where appropriate, control of the major risks
  • Where appropriate, agreement that the student will carry out a risk assessment on one or more of the major risks.

The student must be given sufficient information, instruction and, where necessary, training to ensure he/she is aware of any risks likely to be encountered during placement, and in particular the controls necessary to control any major risks identified. Training in carrying out a risk assessment, or revalidating the provider’s risk assessment is also required for placements where major risks have been identified.

3.4 During Placement

The student should submit a record of induction training to the School, which should preferably be carried out during the first week of placement and signed by the provider.

The student must be instructed to communicate with his/her Tutor on any concerns over health and safety immediately they arise.

Where major risks have been identified prior to placement, the student should complete a risk assessment on one or more of these major risks as part of his/he course work.

The foregoing paragraph does not apply to short duration (under 3 months) rolling placements. However, where appropriate the student should be trained in the principles of risk assessment prior to first placement, and encouraged to revalidate the provider’s assessment, particularly should concerns arise.

The risk assessment should be submitted to the Tutor as part of the course work. The risk assessment should then be reviewed by the School, and any concerns should be discussed in the first instance between the student and the Tutor.

Genuine concerns surrounding the breakdown of agreed controls for major risks must be taken up with the provider by the School, and the controls reaffirmed or modified and reinstated.

If at any time during the placement the School is not confident that the provider will control any major risk, the placement should be terminated. Advice should be sought from the Occupational Health and Safety Team prior to taking this action.

3.5 Post Placement

In addition to meetings and regular communication during placement, the student normally meets with his/her Tutor after the placement has ended to discuss all aspects of the placement. 
During this meeting, the student must be given the opportunity to give the School feedback on the health and safety aspects of the of the placement.

Should significant concerns be raised during this feedback session, or at any other time, a judgement will need to be made as to whether or not to continue placing students with the provider.

Any discontinuation of placement with a provider for reasons of health and safety should be notified to the Occupational Health and Safety Team.

4.0 Responsibilities

4.1 Dean of Faculty

Responsible to the Principal for:

  • Ensuring that the principles and actions contained in this Policy and Procedure are understood and promoted in all Schools in the Faculty.

4.2 Head of School*

*(Includes Associate Dean and Associate Head of School in Aberdeen Business School)

Responsible to the Dean of Faculty for:

  • Ensuring that the requirements of this procedure are met as a minimum in the School.
  • Ensuring all actions required under this procedure are delegated or assigned to appropriate staff.
  • Keeping the effectiveness of the School Placement Risk Management System under review.
  • Ensuring all staff delegated or assigned responsibilities under this procedure are released for and attend appropriate training.
  • Ensuring adequate mechanisms exist for communication on risk between the student and the School prior to, during and after placement.

4.3 Placement Co-ordinators & Managers, School Managers & Administrators

  • Requesting and processing pre-placement questionnaires and ensuring the information is refreshed as appropriate.
  • Identifying major risks with the provider, requesting information on their controls, and assessing and agreeing their suitability. (NB elements of this responsibility may be more suited to a member of academic staff. It is incumbent upon the Head of School* to assign or delegate responsibilities in the most appropriate manner – see 3.1 and 4.2 above.)
  • Entering into a placement contract/ written agreement with the provider per 3.3 above. (NB elements of this responsibility may be more suited to a member of academic staff. It is incumbent upon the Head of School* to assign or delegate responsibilities in the most appropriate manner – see 3.1.1 and 4.2 above.)
  • Ensuring the student is given adequate information, instruction and training prior to placement. (NB elements of this responsibility may be more suited to a member of academic staff. It is incumbent upon the Head of School* to assign or delegate responsibilities in the most appropriate manner – see 3.1 and 4.2 above.)
  • Receiving and checking records of induction training.

4.4 Placement/Academic Tutors and Module Co-ordinators

Responsible to the Head of School* for:

  • Identifying major risks with the provider, requesting information on their controls, and assessing and agreeing their suitability. (NB elements of this responsibility may be more suited to a member of administrative staff. It is incumbent upon the Head of School* to assign or delegate responsibilities in the most appropriate manner – see 3.1.1 and 4.2)
  • Entering into a placement contract/ written agreement with the provider. (NB elements of this responsibility may be more suited to a member of administrative staff. It is incumbent upon the Head of School* to assign or delegate responsibilities in the most appropriate manner – see 3.1.1 and 4.2)
  • Ensuring the student is given adequate information, instruction and training prior to placement. (NB elements of this responsibility may be more suited to a member of administrative staff. It is incumbent upon the Head of School* to assign or delegate responsibilities in the most appropriate manner – see 3.1.1 and 4.2)
  • Communicating with the student on all aspects of the placement, including health and safety.
  • Receiving and evaluating risk assessments for major risks as part of the student’s course work.
  • Taking up issues concerning the major risks with the provider.
  • Debriefing the student on all aspects of the placement, including health & safety.
  • Liaising with the Health and Safety Office on concerns surrounding major risks, and in particular where termination of a placement or discontinuing use of a provider is under consideration.

4.5 HR Manager, Occupational Health & Safety

Responsible to the Executive Group, and the designated Health & Safety Director for:

  • Specifying, in conjunction with CELT, the content of suitable and sufficient training for placement staff and Tutors.
  • Supporting placement staff where appropriate, and in particular on breakdown of controls for major risks.
  • Ensuring the School Placement Risk Management System is included in the University’s audit protocols.

4.6 Head of the Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching

Responsible to the Executive Group for:

  • Ensuring delivery of agreed training for placement staff.

5.0 References

Student Placement Covering Letter (DOC 25KB)

Student Placement Provider Questionnaire (DOC 80KB)

Student Placement Induction Checklist (DOC 98KB)