5 things to think about before you start your placement


Your Placement Year guide image

Already secured your placement? Find out what you need to do before you start from our Work Placement Manager, Rebecca.

So you’ve secured a placement – congratulations! Now it’s time to start to prepare for that all important first day. The 5 points that I’m going to cover here may not seem like the most exciting things to think about before you start your placement but you’ll be amazed at the difference understanding these things can make in the first few weeks and months as you settle in. These points are relevant to all placements but if your role involves designing or creating new ideas or products then the ones relating to confidentiality and intellectual property will be even more important.

  • Placement logistics
    • be clear on your finances – how will you manage your finances for the duration of your placement
    • if your placement is overseas be aware on your immigration status and apply for a visa (if needed) well in advance. Also check what inoculations you might need
    • start looking for and confirming your accommodation
    • confirm with your placement provider important details such as your rate of pay, holiday entitlement, how to report sickness or absence

Visit the ‘Planning and Preparing for your Placement’ section of the Your Placement Year guide for lots more practical tips on getting organised including advice from students who have been in your shoes. You can also use the discussion boards  to meet other students who are preparing to go on placement and to seek advice from current placement students.

  • Confidentiality – understand what it is, essentially an agreement between you and your placement provider about what information you can share with others and an awareness of how this can be breached (through blogs, conversations, reports, losing private information etc.). If you are asked to sign a confidentiality agreement ask your placement provider to explain in detail what this means and check that it does not impact on your ability to complete your work placement assessment.
  • Intellectual property – understand what it is, essentially something unique which you create, this can result in patents or copyright. It’s important that you understand who owns anything that is created by you during your placement. If you are asked to sign anything relating to Intellectual Property ask your placement provider to explain this in detail.
  • Health and Safety – ensure you are given a Health and Safety induction and you follow the guidance given. The University of Leeds Tripartite Agreement outlines everyone’s responsibilities but your placement provider should take you through Health and Safety procedures including fire evacuation, injury, near misses as well as role specific areas such as when to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Insurance – if you are on a placement overseas you are automatically covered by the University’s free comprehensive travel insurance policy  as a placement year student. This cover should be all you need; however, the cover is limited (e.g. it does not cover electronic devices) so please check that it meets all your requirements.

If you have any questions about preparing for your placement speak to your Faculty or School placement contact – hopefully you know who this is but if not you can find details here .

Good luck as you prepare of your placement!

No matter what stage you’re at in your placement search – visit the YPY guide and if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to come and see us.

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Filed under Advice, Work Experience

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