Matching Students to Providers
In most cases, students are expected to find their own provider to work with for WBL. However, students have the following sources of information to help them:
- WBL handbook that has been shared during the briefing session. This should include clarity around the expectations for the provider too
- Changemaker Hub, who can provide advice and guidance on how to approach organisations, write introduction letters, CVs, prepare for interview etc
- course team, who may have provider contacts already that can be shared
- Unitemps for paid work that could be suitable for WBL
- Office of Placements and Work-based Learning
Once a provider is found, it is the subject team’s responsibility to ensure the WBL is suitable.
As a minimum, a risk assessment needs to be completed for each provider to deem suitability, ensuring that students gain the learning and experience required to meet the assessment learning outcomes, and that the environment is safe. Here are some example risk assessments. The provider must also have a named contact who the student and University works through.
For many programmes, especially those with PSRB regulations, additional requirements and stipulations will apply. Typically, these will require the University to identify providers and match students and undertake more stringent audit and risk checks to determine suitability and support.
For the optional placement year, the provider must pay the minimum wage (or if overseas, whatever is within that country’s employment legislation) and provide an employment contract to the student.
It is an academic decision to confirm suitability of the organisation and appropriate records do need to be kept. However, the Office of Placements and Work-based Learning can support academic teams with this to reduce workload.
The typical process that we support would take place before the WBL:
- Students express interest in WBL, if applicable (Expression of interest example document)
- Students arrange their placement and complete provider details (Risk assessment, can be submitted to Office of Placements for checking, recording and sharing with academic teams)
- Academic team confirm suitability (Office of Placements can confirm to student and contact provider with handbook etc)
- Issue of learning contract/VLE (Learning Contract, Office of Placements can issue and chase receipts etc)
- Provide and administer the attendance management guidance to students (run sessions using MyProgress web to record attendance)
- Contact International office/Student finance and update student records with student’s placement details (Office of Placements and WBL do this)