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Health Care Professionals Placement Policy Overview

Policy Overview

As part of its Health Professional programmes all students are required to spend time on placement in health care or other settings. The remainder of this policy uses “health care setting(s)” as a generic term to cover any type of placement setting. The phrase “The University” refers to the University of Cumbria. The phrase “Student(s)” refers to students registered with the University of Cumbria and studying towards one of its courses leading to a healthcare professional qualification. The term “Placement” refers to assessed, observation, elective, experiential, enrichment and saturation.

The University’s health care settings are spread across a wide geographical area mainly in the North West of England with the majority of placements being allocated in Cumbria and Lancashire.

Students are required to make their attendance on placement their first priority. Personal circumstances and commitments outside University must be managed by students in a way that does not affect their ability to attend and complete their placement. Students are training to enter a profession and are treated as such. The University will allocate students with placements in order to meet the requirements of their course. The University reserves the right to place students in any of its health care settings.

Students who withdraw themselves from a placement without obtaining permission will be deemed as having failed to meet the requirements of the placement. This will require the student to re-coup the placement within the parameters of the programme validation.

With the exception of the Elective Placements, Students are not able to arrange or source their own assessed or observation placement and must attend the placement provided by the University. Students who arrange or source their own assessed or observation placement will be deemed as having failed the requirements of the placement. Students are required to arrange their own elective/enrichment placements.

In order to provide an impartial environment for students to be assessed students are unable to attend a placement where;

  • The student or a close family member has accessed a service provided by the placement setting.
  • The student or a close family member or relative has worked/works (paid or voluntary) at a placement setting.
  • The student has a close relationship with a member of staff in the placement setting.

Students are required to make journeys of up to 90 minutes duration to reach a placement. This time limit is based on a one-way journey from the campus where a student is based, their home address or term time address whichever is nearest to the placement. Students may choose to relocate during their placement or travel from any of their registered addresses. Students must ensure that they do not put themselves at risk by undertaking travel outside the 90 minutes’ time limit.

The travelling time will be determined by the use of an appropriate internet route planner as specified by the University, this currently is Google Maps. In some instances, it is not possible for the University to provide a specific placement for a student in order to meet the requirements of their course within the 90 minutes’ time limit. The following courses require students to attend a placement at a specific location;

BSc and MSc Physiotherapy students: Barrow-in-Furness and Blackpool

Midwifery: Barrow-in-Furness and Whitehaven

All Nursing courses: Likely placement locations by campus (this is an indication only and not an exhaustive list)

  • Barrow campus: likely placement locations include; Furness peninsula, Millom, South Lakes, Kendal, Lancaster.
  • Lancaster campus: likely placement locations include; Lancaster, Morecambe, Preston, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre, Kendal, South Lakes, Barrow, East Lancs.
  • Carlisle campus: likely placement locations include; North Cumbria, West coast of Cumbria as far as Millom, Penrith, Shap, Central Lakes including Keswick, Allerdale.

Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses Arrangements

As part of the Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses arrangements (see, students may be able to claim the cost of taking temporary accommodation near to their practice placement site if it is not possible or practical for them to travel there from their normal term time address on a daily basis.


Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

All students must have completed a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prior to starting their placement. In addition, all students must be cleared by the University Occupational Health (OH) Service as being fit to practice. Students must also have completed their core skills training. In the event that students are not DBS, OH cleared and have not completed their core skills training they will not be able to start their placement.

Evaluation of Placement

It is a requirement that all students complete an evaluation of their placement in order to inform best practice and comply with professional body requirements to ensure that placement areas are fit for purpose. The evaluation can take the form of the completion of the on-line PARE process or other system designated by the University.

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