Non-traditional student placement ideas

‘I work part time in private practice. Can I create a student placement that also makes good business sense?’

In Question
Tamsin Baird is a CSP professional adviser

Yes. There is no such thing as a traditional placement anymore.

Traditional models did not lend themselves well to private practice, with clinicians often torn between wanting to take students and it making good business sense.           

As we rethink placements, let’s identify the huge, and often hidden, value students can bring to you and your organisation.  

Consider what students could bring to your business:

  • Raise your brand awareness the more people know about you and your clinic, the better this will be for your business. Students may naturally promote your work through word of mouth, social media and other avenues.  
  • Potential employment if a student has a great placement somewhere, they are more likely to want to work there after qualification and you are able to get to know potential future recruits 
  • Create a valuable piece of work students have fantastic transferable skills and great ideas to share with you. They could create resources for your clinic – evidence based exercise or educational videos, audits and leaflets for example.
  • Possible eligibility for placement tariff in England, HEE pay organisations per student per week for providing placements. This is applicable in private practice settings subject to meeting their requirements and is set up via the student’s university. 

Think flexibly

  • There is no ‘one size fits all’ placement structure they should be created to work with you in your setting. If you work part time or evenings or weekends, a placement may be designed around this. This may suit some students. 
  • Involve others consider what learning opportunities there are within your team - could other members, clinical and non-clinical, be involved?
  • Consider virtual working if space is restricted, especially with social distancing guidelines, students could be at home shadowing clinics via a video link, completing virtual consultations or working on projects or reflections under your supervision

Local universities will support you

They have bags of experience in co-creating placements, discussing flexible options and coordinating practice educator training. Get in touch, I’m sure they would be very happy to hear from you. 


Happy to offer you a placement

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