Work Placement: Points to Consider for Study Programmes
Vision on Work Placement and Work Placement Supervision
It is recommended for programmes organizing a work placement to develop a clear vision of work placement. This vision can include the following:
- the place of the work placement in the programme,
- the intended final competencies,
- the structure of the work placements over the various years with increasing complexity, whether or not students pitch their own work placements, etc.
- the vision on the supervision of work placements
- the way in which the study programme provides feedback during and/or after the work placement. Important aspects here are the way in which the feedback process takes place and the way in which this is communicated to students and work placement supervisors. Study programmes can, for example, use feedback forms. It is recommended to update these forms periodically. It is important to provide processes to guarantee the quality of the feedback during and/or after the work placement (e.g. questioning, focus discussion etc.) and to include the intended working method in the vision.
- the vision on the assessment of work placements. The assessment can take place, for example, via a work placement report and/or concrete cases and/or a work placement presentation. Study programmes can use rubrics. It is good to indicate how the assessment of work placements is communicated to work placement supervisors/mentors.
View all information about designing work placements here (the administrative part, guiding and evaluating the work placement, involving the professional field, etc.)
Practical organization of the work placement
It is recommended to map out the practical side of the work placement process. The following aspects can be addressed:
- What about the work placement process? Which flowchart needs to be followed? It is always a good idea to write out this flowchart (script/manual/handbook for students/mentors, information sessions, mentor days, etc.). You can indicate when an update of these supporting documents is planned.
- How does the communication process go to students, to the work placement positions, to work placement supervisors?
- Is/are the course sheet(s) of the work placement(s) checked and updated regularly? What procedure does the programme provide for this?
Quality assurance of the work placements deserves attention as well. It is necessary to clearly define and describe how work placements are selected and how the study programme ensures the quality of the work placement places.
In addition, it is a must to periodically question the work placement places about the quality of the work placement and the competencies of the trainee. Some course units add some questions to the survey of work placement positions/supervisors that allow to collect feedback that goes beyond the work placement process. These questions then relate, for example, to the final level of students, professional competencies and employability. Questioning work placements/supervisors is therefore an action that can be carried out in function of the ‘external view’.