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New health and safety guidance for student placements

A new publication providing health and safety guidance for placement officers responsible for students embarking on the wide range of work experience opportunities intrinsic to their degree programmes has been released.  

The UCEA Health and Safety Guidance for the placement of Higher Education students was developed in association with Universities Safety and Health Association (USHA) and Higher Education Occupational Physicians/Practitioners (HEOPS).

Professor Noel Lloyd, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University and Chair of UCEA’s Health and Safety Committee commented:

“Student placements are an essential element to many degree programmes, offering students important and valuable experience of the workplace. This new guidance provides a generic framework for considering and managing health and safety issues relating to placements.  It will assist institutions to arrive at their own individual solutions, which must be geared to local needs. I strongly recommend that this guidance be used by those responsible for managing student placements.”

Alan Cowen, chair of USHA added:

“The revision of the sector guidance reflects an updated approach based upon well understood principles of the assessment of risk and hazards. The new methodology allows for greater flexibility and the simplification of the evaluation and approval of many low risk work placement situations as well as generic assessments. Institutions can further adapt the risk assessment process to incorporate their own risk assessment procedures.

"The new document also updates guidance in relation to the problems associated with more hazardous work placements and overseas situations. USHA will be assisting the sector in developing practical training courses for placement coordinators and practitioners as well as hosting a resource area on its web site in support of the new guidance. The UK HE sector is at the forefront of raising the standards and the duty of care to its students.”


Notes to editors

About UCEA
UCEA represents UK higher education institutions, and provides advice and guidance to them, on employment, reward and human resources practice. We also negotiate with the HE trade unions and other organisations on national pay deals, lobby statutory and other bodies for improved resources within the higher education sector, and offer a programme of training seminars and events to cater to our members’ increasingly diverse needs. The UCEA Health and Safety Committee acts as a forum for the cross-fertilisation of ideas across all the different professional groups which have an interest in the sector’s health and safety management, principles and practices. Employer-led and informed by experience across the sector, the Health and Safety Committee provides advice, guidance and good practice on all matters relating to HE health and safety.

UCEA Health and Safety Guidance for the placement of Higher Education students
The new guidance is available on the UCEA website, go to the Health & Safety link under the Publications tab  

For further media information:
Andy Fryer, UCEA Communications Manager: or Marc Whittaker, UCEA Communications Officer: Telephone: 020 7383 2444

Details on a UCEA/ USHA training programme to assist HEIs in implementing the new guidance locally will be available soon. To register an interest in this training, please contact

Additional guidance on student placements will be made available on the USHA website (