Student attendance requirements and absence reporting
Practice Placement Hours and Record of Hours
Students are expected to work the same week as a full time occupational therapist in the setting. The practice placement hours are marked on the student’s hours form in the students self assessment form. Please ensure that the half-day per week personal study time has been included in the total placement hours. University-based taught days during practice placement are not included in placement hours.
Practice Placement Study Time
Students are provided with one half day per week study time in order to consolidate practice learning and prepare for academic assignments (where appropriate); while on full time practice placement, this is counted as part of the practice placement hours. This should be taken at a time most convenient for the service in which students are practising.
Absence from Practice Placement
Students should inform their practice educator, the university practice placement facilitator and their personal tutor at the earliest opportunity if, for any reason, they are not able to report for work whilst on placement. In addition in-service students must also inform their work place manager. Any extended period of absence should also be reported to both as soon as possible. Evidence of the reasons for the absence is required and will be needed for presentation to the University Exam Board should a student be seeking consideration of extenuating circumstances. In the event of sickness, students should also follow the procedure outlined below.
In the event of sickness, students are required to notify their practice educators within thirty minutes of their expected start time for the placement. Students must notify their practice educator every day of their absence from placement (unless they have given prior notification of absence). If unable to speak with their educator, students should leave a message and contact the placement later in the day to confirm the message has been received. It is the educator’s responsibility to inform the student if the departmental policy differs from the above.
The university practice placement facilitator and the member of the OT team designated to visit (if appropriate) should also be notified. Once again, in-service students must also inform their work place manager. Medical certificates should be made available to the university practice placement facilitator.
If either the student or the practice educator has any concerns about the student’s health or fitness to practice, the practice placement facilitator should be contacted as soon as possible for guidance.
Where a student is absent for up to 5 days throughout the placement, the students progression should be discussed with the placement facilitators at LSBU prior to completing the final assessment for the placement. Failure to meet the required level of attendance means that it is questionable whether a fair and accurate assessment of the student’s ability can be made. The student may be asked to withdraw from that placement and retake the placement at a later date.
Annual Leave/Changes to Working Hours
Students cannot take annual leave while engaged on practice placement. In exceptional circumstances, official prior-negotiated permission may be applied for and any change to the published dates/working times is then reflected in the contractual letter of agreement between the university and the practice placement provider. This letter is sent prior to the placement commencing and is copied to all relevant parties.
Where students need to take time off during the placement for religious festivals they should advise the practice educator well in advance so that the programme can be arranged to accommodate the time out. Time taken out for this purpose will not count as ‘supervised hours’ for the professional qualification.