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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – support and guidance

QAA publishes guidance for UK higher education providers to help contingency planning for placement provision

Date: May 29 - 2020

Today, in the latest publication in support of the UK higher education sector’s response to COVID-19, QAA is publishing guidance for UK higher education providers to help their contingency planning for placement provision. The guidance has been developed with the support of ASET (The Work Based Learning and Placement Learning Association), with input from QAA member institutions. It builds on QAA’s previously published COVID-19 Thematic Guidance on Work-based Learning with a specific focus on placements that are not regulated by a professional body. It includes:

  • eight contingency planning principles for placement provision 
  • tables and reflective questions which providers are able to use when deciding whether to cancel, replace, defer or resume placements 
  • key themes and discussions regarding contingency planning for forthcoming placements 
  • practical and applied examples from providers.  

The paper looks at health and safety considerations for students on work placements, as well as their wellbeing and mental health. It also considers other key areas such as credit weightings, regulatory requirements, significant volume of working hours, virtual placements, and potential alternative curricula and assessments.

The guidance is accompanied by a set of case studies from a range of higher education providers, as well as a paper relating to placements that take place outside the UK.

These documents can all be found in the work-based learning section of our COVID-19 supporting resources. You can access all of QAA's other pandemic advice and support on our dedicated COVID-19 page.