OIA publishes a casework note and case summaries of complaints relating to placements

We have today published a casework note and some case summaries of complaints relating to placements.

Casework note Case summaries
Image of two students working on a placement

In the casework note we draw out some good practice learning points informed by the issues we see around placements and the case summaries illustrate some of these.

Issues arise in many different placement contexts, but we tend to see more complaints from students undertaking placements as a compulsory requirement of a course leading to a professional qualification, for example teaching or nursing.

Placements have much in common with other forms of working in partnership and many of the principles set out in the Delivering learning opportunities with others section of the Good Practice Framework are relevant to placements.

It’s important that providers put in place clear, agreed arrangements in advance with the placement organisation. This needs to include processes for responding if things go wrong for a student.

Placements can be a significant part of a student’s studies. Both potential applicants and students need clear and accurate information. Students need to know what the placement involves and what’s expected of them.

Supporting students effectively on placement is important. It’s helpful to give students clear information about how and where to access support. For disabled students, reasonable adjustments need to be considered in the placement context and put in place promptly.

Some of the complaints we see about placements are complex and multi-faceted, sometimes involving concerns about the student’s behaviour or fitness to practise alongside the student’s own concerns about their experiences on the placement. It’s important that issues are investigated fairly, working with the placement organisation, and that processes are proportionate, fair and clearly explained to all involved.

We hope the casework note and the case summaries will be helpful to providers, student representative bodies and students.


Notes to Editors

For further information please contact Jenn Runde, Communications Officer, mediarelations@oiahe.org.uk, 0118 959 9813.

  1. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) is the independent student complaints ombuds service for higher education in England and Wales. It is the designated operator of the student complaints’ scheme under the Higher Education Act 2004.
  2. Our Scheme is free to students and has been designed to be accessible to all students, without the need for legal representation.
  3. We have a wide remit to review student complaints about higher education providers in England and Wales, as set out in our Scheme Rules.
  4. We publish casework notes and case summaries as part of our wider work to share learning from complaints and provide good practice guidance, including our Good Practice Framework.
  5. You can find further information about the Scheme and our work at https://www.oiahe.org.uk/.