Professionalism on placement

Professionalism on placement

As a student of Sheffield Hallam University, you should demonstrate professional conduct whilst you are on your placement, and remember you are still representing the University so must continue to abide by the student code of conduct.


On placement, you will usually be working for a Placement Provider, which means you will need to act professionally as a representative of their organisation too. If you’re working for yourself with help from the Enterprise team, it’s your own professional image at stake too.


Top tips for professional practice

  1. Appropriate attire - follow your Placement Provider’s dress code, e.g. uniform or business/casual attire. This is especially important if you’re interacting with clients and customers.  
  2. Attendance and punctuality - follow your Placement Provider’s, and keep a log of your placement hours. If you are ill, be sure to give as early notice of absence as possible and follow your Placement Provider’s sickness absence procedure. 
  3. Respectful demeanour and interactions - treating staff/clients/peers with respect at all times.
  4. Professional language - demonstrate professional oral and written (including electronic) communication skills, using discretion and appropriate professional language in addressing staff/clients/peers.
  5. Appropriate effort and initiative - be sure to show initiative by speaking with your supervisor and finding tasks to complete so you can create a plan of action to make the most of your time on placement.

Bullying, harassment, discrimination and abuse

As a student on placement, you have access to the confidential report + support service if you experience any kind of inappropriate behaviour. You can report any concerns anonymously, or with full details.

The University takes reports extremely seriously, even if they’re about our students and concerns are reported to us from other Sheffield Hallam students, or your Placement Provider. Find out more about the University’s Rules & regulations.

As an employee of your Placement Provider, your Placement Provider is expected to deal with any complaints in the first instance, using their own policies and procedures, even if the reported concern is about you – this should be covered within their Discipline and grievance procedure, as they have a legal duty to support you and their other employees. In the UK, this is within the Equality Act 2010.

Don’t wait to get support if you need it. Find out more about support on placement.

Your Placement Provider’s terms of employment

You should ensure that you understand your Placement Provider’s terms of employment, including: 

  1. Contract of employment 
  2. Staff handbooks 
  3. Code of conduct 
  4. Disciplinary, grievance and absence procedures 
  5. Health and safety policy and procedures 

Your Placement Provider will ordinarily provide training for this during your induction or in your employment pack along with a copy of your contract of employment, or tell you where to look to find out more information. If you’re not sure about anything, ask your line manager.


If you need any support regarding your contract and terms, please visit the Need help with your contract page.