Elective Placements

The final to complete the contemporary or elective placement they need to firstly consider employability and the range of skills and experiences gained throughout previous placement experiences. The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) requires that graduates have a range of practice experience with a range of people of all ages and the Occupational Therapy Placement Lead for the course will need to assure themselves that the practice placement students propose meets their needs within this profile. Having this opportunity allows students some choice and opportunity to explore a specific occupational therapy specialism.

Students should map out their experiences to date and identify which area of practice they would like to experience and consider if you will allow them to meet the RCOT requirements. Students are not permitted to complete elective placements in the same placement area they have previously worked within. Note –placements can be completed on the same site but not the same placement.

As this is a negotiated placement experience students should initially discuss their intention with their academic advisor or occupational therapy placement lead to check how the experience will meet learning and development needs. Students will be advised about when to do this and the time-frame for arranging this placement experience by the course team. If a placement is arranged which does not map adequately with previous experiences students will not be allowed to complete the placement in this area as this may affect a students ability to meet the programme learning outcomes & therefore the minimum HCPC and RCOT standards.


Arranging placements

Students will need to work with the occupational therapy placement lead in order to arrange the placement and must keep them up to date with the arrangements that are made. It is a student’s responsibility to organise the placement and this will involve making contact with the sites they are interested in taking up a placement with. This provides an excellent opportunity for students to network and build up confidence in approaching potential employers. Please do take heed of this in any communications, you are representing both the University and yourselves. First impressions count!

When does the placement run?

This practice placement will be taken within practice placement block 4 – you can find out the placement dates from the course handbook. You will need to discuss and travelling requirements that might require additional time with the OT placement lead prior to agreeing any such arrangements.

Where can I complete the placement?

This practice placement is subject to the same rules as all other placements to ensure quality of the placement experience for you and to ensure we fulfil HCPC/RCOT requirements for placements. Your practice educator should have completed a practice educator course (this does not have to be with UCLan) will have to meet UCLan’s guidelines. The placement will have to have in place processes with regard to ensuring a supportive learning environment and having high standards of health and safety.

You may choose to complete your placement abroad or outside of the NorthWest region where we normally take students. If this is the case, you must speak with occupational therapy placement Lead when arranging your placement as contracts may need to be established with the host organisation.
Once you have confirmed your placement with OT placement lead you will be advised to send the documents in appendix one of this guide to your practice educator/on-site supervisor for completion and return them as soon as possible. These forms are crucial in ensuring we maintain a clear audit trail with regard to the suitability of placements.

If this form is NOT completed you will not be allowed to go on your elective placement.

My placement is not in this region, will the educators be familiar with the assessment document?

To ensure parity of assessment across all negotiated placement sites, practice educators from outside of the North West region will be asked to complete a short update on our assessment processes. This will be in the form of an online lecture. Once the placement information has been received from you, we will email your practice educator with a link to the presentation so that they can watch this prior to you starting your placement.

Will I receive visiting tutor support for the placement?

As with all placement we will allocate a ‘visiting tutor’ for your placement. Depending on the location of your placement rather than making appointments to come and see you in practice, support will be given by email, phone, skype or chat room. It is your responsibility to negotiate which method will be most appropriate with your practice educator before commencing the placement and agreed by the occupational therapy practice lead. You should make contact with your visiting tutor during the first week of your placement using the form in Appendix Two. It is your responsibility to facilitate any ‘visiting’ required as these may not be provided as standard timed visits as on previous placements.

Once placements have been confirmed, please direct educators to Occupational Therapy Negotiated Placements Educator Information below to complete the placement documentation. These forms are crucial in ensuring a clear audit trail with regard to the suitability of placements and to ensure University insurances are activated for your placement experience.

If this form is NOT completed you will not be allowed to go on your elective placement.

Occupational Therapy Negotiated Placements Educator Information

Thank you for agreeing to support a UCLan Occupational Therapy student on practice placement.
Students all have Public Liability insurance in place as part of University policies. This applies only where students have adequate supervision in place from a relevant professional. Therefore it is important that students are not asked to complete any tasks outside of the supervisor’s scope of practice. You are advised to inform your insurance company that you are providing placements to students. We have never received report of this incurring a cost.

In order to ensure we maintain accurate records of all placements, please could you complete the following information on the online form to allow us to keep accurate record of placement experiences and ensure placements are compliant with Quality Assurance requirements.

Occupational Therapy Elective Placement Form