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Health and Safety Guidance for Student Placements

 The University encourages a risk based approach to student placements, in line with the standards issued by the Universities and College Employers Association (UCEA). Faculties and departments responsible for facilitating student placements are advised to consult the Student Placement Health and Safety Code of Practice. for detailed guidance.

The information below serves as an overview of the basic requirements that staff should be satisfied are in place when arranging and preparing students to embark on placement activities. 

For clarity, a placement is defined as a period of paid or unpaid work or academic experience where; 

a) the placement is undertaken as an integral part of the student's course; 

b) the student is enrolled at the University during this period; 

c) there is transfer of direct supervision of the student to a third party.

 The guidance relating to student placements, as set out in the accompanying Code of Practice, sets out reasonably practicable actions to; 

  1. Ensure the University fulfils its statutory and common law duties of care towards its students undertaking placements and; 
  2. Assist in making students sufficiently informed to enable them to question their placement providers in respect of health and safety and to be a component part of the health and safety monitoring process. 

Overseas Placements

Arrangements for UK based and overseas placements are broadly similar however there are different versions of the documentation to be used in each case (shown below). When arranging overseas placements there may be queries raised about the equivalent standards of risk assessment documentation and insurance cover. It is advised that staff implement the below process as soon as practically possibly once placement providers have been confirmed, to identify any potential issues that may require further specialist advice and to ensure the placement can be completed with minimal risk. 


Step by Step Risk Managment Process for Student Placements

The following process sets out the expected health and safety management arrangements for student placements, each department should ensure this is embedded within their current working procedures. 

  1. Identification of the placement provider and 'in principle' approval by the relevant department.
  2. An introductory letter explaining the placement providers obligations with regards to Health and Safety is sent to the placement provider along with a Health and Safety Checklist. 
  3. Upon return of the completed Health and Safety Checklist, the placement organiser completes the Placement Risk Management Action plan. Detail about how to complete this document is located in the accompanying Code of Practice.
  4. Specific placement information may need to be sought from the Placement Provider, depending on any high or medium risks identified at stage 3. 
  5. The Placement Organiser needs to decide if a visit to the Placement Provider is required, in line with the risks previously identified. Other factors to take into account are listed in Part One of the Code of Practice document. 
  6. Complete a student briefing. It is a requirement that each student that is going on a placement is suitably briefed before they commence their placement. Use the Student Briefing guide to help with this process. 
  7. If the Placement Organiser is satisfied with the responses from the completed Health and Safety Checklist, the risk profiling and any further identified actions from this have been completed, then, and only then can the student be issued with documented formal approval of the Placement Provider.
  8. There should be an ongoing process in place to allow students on placement to raise any concerns that may arise during the placement period.
  9. At the end of the placement period there should be formal opportunity for the student to provide feedback on the Placement Provider, this should be fed back into the above process where applicable. 


Overseas and UK Placement Documentation 

This documentation is designed to assist with the above risk management process, please use and adapt these templates as required. 

Placement Provider Letter Template

Placement Provider Health and Safety Checklist (UK based placements)

Placement Provider Letter and Health and Safety Checklist (Overseas Placements)

Placement Provider Letter template and Health and Safety Checklist (SPANISH)

Placement Provider Letter template and Health and Safety Checklist (GERMAN)

Placement Provider Letter template and Health and Safety Checklist (FRENCH)

Student Placement Risk Management Action Plan form

Student Placement Risk Profile Guide

Student Briefing Guide for UK, EU and International Placements

Confirmation of Student Briefing template


For all health and safety queries relating to student placements, the Legal Services and Health and Safety Assistant should be contacted: 

T: 0151 291 3835.


For any insurance related queries relating to student placements, the Procurement Manager (via should be contacted in the first instance. 

T: 0151 291 3157 / 0151 291 3203