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Placement Supporting Documents

Health and Safety Guidance for the Placement of Higher Education Students:
This updated guide aims to provide Higher Education institutions with advice on actions necessary to manage risks effectively, arising from student placements.
This guide replaces the 1997 UCEA / CVCP document 'Health and Safety Guidance for the Placement of HE Students' by removing the onerous system of checking the providers' arrangements via a checklist, and replacing by a process based upon acknowledgement of the institution's expectations supported by effective briefing of the student and monitoring. Another amendment is the removal of the duty to conduct periodic visits purely for health and safety purposes. It is recognised that visits may still occur for academic purposes and the guidance refers to these as a feedback opportunity in the health and safety monitoring of the placement.
This guidance sets out reasonably practicable actions which if adhered to will ensure that the institution not only fulfils its duty of care to the student but also ensures the student is sufficiently informed, enabling them to question the placement provider in respect of health and safety provision in the provider's premises and also be a component part of the health and safety monitoring process. For the full document Health and Safety Guidance (.doc, 95Kb).

Health and Safety Issues - Notes:
When the practices of UK universities were reviewed in 2005, all institutions who made their health and safety documentation available online, used slightly modified (if any), notes and forms based on the Health and Safety Guidance for the Placement of Higher Education Students (1997), drafted by the Universities Safety and Health Association (USHA) and produced and distributed by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA).

Besides this documentation being an extensive guidance for students and placement providers, it also included the 'Placement Health and Safety Checklist', in which all placement providers are required to satisfactorily complete and return before any placement can commence, and an 'Authority to Start Placement' document, both constituting a very proactive approach to Health and Safety, by requiring placement providers to demonstrate that they comply with the law. This guidance was clearly drafted with extensive industrial placements in mind.

More recently, Universities Safety and Health Association (USHA), has produced a new draft of this guidance, to make the system less onerous. These guidelines no longer require placement providers to complete a checklist, but instead require the placement tutor to inform the placement provider of their legal responsibility (a draft letter is included). Given that placements in the areas of Politics and International Relations are by nature low risk, at least compared with industrial placements, and given that an MP’s office, for example, will usually contain less than five staff and therefore be exempt from certain health and safety requirements, the Safety officer for Coventry University, William Leslie, recommended the use of the new draft documents for our project, informing us that the general acceptance of which has been delayed only by a difference of opinion regarding NHS placements. For the full document please see Notes for Health and Safety Guidance (.doc, 32Kb).