Expectations and responsibilities

Expectations and responsibilities

On this page, you will find information on the University’s expectations of you, as a Placement Provider (the organisation hosting the placement), and what your responsibilities include in relation to our students. Sheffield Hallam is committed to making the process as straightforward for you as possible, so please do familiarise yourself with this page.

Advertising a placement

Find out everything you need to know about advertising a placement, taking on an international student studying with us on a student visa and safeguarding/Disclosure & Barring Service on our dedicated Advertising with us page. The rest of this page is relevant once you have selected a student, or if you want to know more about the commitment. 

Offering a placement and making the offer

Depending on the type of placement offered, how and who makes the offer of a placement to a student is different:

For sandwich placements – once you have selected a student, make the offer to our student directly, through your organisations usual staff on-boarding process. Our students are expected to inform the University’s Work Experience Team once they have accepted a placement, to get their placement approved as part of their course. 

For short placements – students are usually selected for this type of placement by the student’s module team as these are aligned to a taught module. The University’s Work Experience Team facilitate the selection process in collaboration with the module team. Once selected, we ask our students to contact you directly to introduce themselves and to discuss the placement and to get their placement approved as part of their module.

Your input is required as part of the approval process for both types of placement, please see the 'Placement Partnership Model for Approvals' section below for further details. 

After the offer – the Placement Partnership Model for Approvals

All placements at Sheffield Hallam require a common understanding between you as the Placement Provider, the student(s) going on placement, the academic member of staff responsible for supporting the student’s academic and professional development and the University’s Work Experience Team, who oversee the placement approval process. We call this the Placement Partnership Model, and it is essential to ensure the placement is a meaningful learning experience for all parties, including the organisations we work with. 

Our short video covers what this process involves:

Approval for Placements Video

Our student(s) will need to know who will be responsible for their line management during the placement, or alternative contact who can help complete the process. 

This process takes place after a student secures a placement and is quicker if your organisation is registered on Handshake (our Careers platform), but registration is not essential for this process. If you’re interested in registering, find out more about Advertising with us. This process covers the health & safety aspects of the placement too, more details below.

Before & during the placement - Health, Safety & Welfare 

To ensure a safe and positive experience for our students whilst on placement, we wish to confirm that any relevant health or safety risks are properly managed (including any acute risks, such as COVID-19). We therefore ask our students to complete a preparatory online module on the topic of Health & Safety, to supplement any in-house training you offer. 

During the process of getting their placement approved, students are asked to discuss with you, the potential implications in relation to health, safety and welfare and to reflect on the potential risks and provide examples of how they are managed in your workplace. These questions are designed to ensure our students have an adequate understanding of the potential risks and their responsibilities before going on placement with you. During the approval process, you will receive an email asking you to confirm the student’s understanding is correct and you will have the opportunity to add any additional information or correct any discrepancies. 

This process should not replace any requirements on your part to comply with any applicable Health & Safety legislation. We still expect that your organisation has: 

  • A Health & Safety Policy or similar and you have formal workplace health and safety arrangements in place.
  • Risk Assessments which are carried out for all work involving significant risks to health or safety of workers. 
  • Insurance which will cover the student(s) if they have an accident at work or if they injure someone else or their property whilst working for you - for example insurances related to Employer Liability, Public Liability, Professional Indemnity etc.  
  • Suitable health and safety information, including what to do in a fire or emergency (including the provision of a Personal Evacuation and Egress Plan) and how to report accidents or other safety problems. 
  • Adequate supervision in place to ensure our student will be supervised at work and provided with information about safety precautions where necessary. 

We acknowledge that workplace safety laws and requirements outside the UK may be very different, and that insurance cover may not be a legal requirement. Therefore, please interpret the expectations above in the spirit of keeping our students safe and highlight any concerns during the approval process. 

 Before & during the placement – Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

The University expects our students to be treated fairly and not abused, harassed, discriminated against or bullied for any reason, including on the basis of: 

  • Age 
  • Gender reassignment 
  • Being married or in a civil partnership 
  • Being pregnant or on maternity leave 
  • Disability 
  • Race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin 
  • Religion or belief 
  • Sex 
  • Sexual orientation 

If you are a UK based placement provider, you will have a responsibility to our students under the Equality Act 2010 and to make any reasonable adjustments required to support our students. For more information, please visit one of the following sources of information: 

During the approval process, you will be asked to confirm that your organisation shares this expectation and that you have robust policies and procedures to deal with complaints. If you are based in another jurisdiction, the University has a duty under the same legislation to ensure our students are treated fairly and therefore we expect similar standards of all our placement providers. Therefore, please interpret the expectations above in the spirit of ensuring our students are treated fairly and free from bullying, harassment, discrimination or abuse and highlight any concerns during the approval process. 

During the placement – the aims of a placement and Individual Learning Outcomes

The placement aims to facilitate the personal and professional development of the student through work experience at an appropriate level. The success of a placement depends upon a mutually supportive relationship between the student, the placement provider and the University, based on realistic expectations. We therefore expect placements to: 

  • Broaden the student’s knowledge of the world in general 
  • Provide a quality learning experience relating to the nature of work and any special characteristics of an organisation either through direct experience and/or through exchanges of views with colleagues 
  • Gain an insight into their own abilities, attitudes, aptitudes and employment potential 
  • Gain information and guidance to inform future choices
  • Increase self-confidence and maturity with a more professional attitude to work 
  • Gain the necessary skills to contribute more effectively to society and achieve personal fulfilment 

Expectations of students

If you want to know more about our expectations of students, find out more in our Professionalism on placement page. 


If you have any comments, concerns or feedback in relation to our expectations of you as a Placement Provider and your responsibilities, please contact the University’s Work Experience Team who will facilitate a response appropriate to the comment, concern or feedback raised.