Placement Support Team – Nursing, Midwifery, and Allied Health

Got a question? PLAST have compiled a set of frequently asked placement-related questions across the courses we support. Please consult the questions below as you may find the answers you need. If you still have a question, you can get in touch with us. Our contact details can be found at the bottom of this page. Some topics relate to several courses, and some are course-specific.  

Information on this page:


What do I need to complete before I start my placement?


The set of clearances required will depend on your course. Most students will need the items listed below, but there are some exceptions and some courses with additional requirements. These are advised to students by Registry Services at the start of the course and by other university departments, including PLAST, at intervals through your course.

  • DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service): Information will be sent to you from Admissions regarding DBS Application
  • Health Check: Information will be sent to you from Admissions regarding your Health Check with Spinal Healthcare 
  • Immunisations: Information will be sent to you from SOMA regarding your immunisation timetable
  • Mandatory Training: Organised by the University as part of your Introductory Training - Basic Life Saving/Moving & Handling / BSc Mental Health Nursing will also require Conflict Resolution training
  • Covid Self Risk Assessment
  • Code of Conduct Form
  • Overseas Police Check (international students and those who have lived abroad)
  • Professional bodies form: confirmation if you have signed up to a professional body

(It is unlikely that you will be able to commence placement without all of these clearances being in place)

Can I use a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosure from an employer/another university?

Unless you registered with the DBS update service within 30 days of the DBS certificate being issued, you cannot use a DBS certificate issued from another organization. Contact FirstPoint with any questions about DBS clearances

Email: Tel: 01905 542551

DBS Webpage

I am an Nursing/Midwifery student and I haven’t completed all of the course entry requirements e.g. English and Maths or other Level 3 qualifications.

Students who have not met certain entry requirements by the end of year one cannot normally progress to year two. Please contact Admissions for advice via email or telephone on: or 01905 855111


Placement Allocations

How are placements allocated?

The Placement Support Team works with course teams and placement partners to allocate placements for health courses across two academic schools – the Three Counties School of Nursing and Midwifery, and the School of Allied Health and Community. Placements are always subject to capacity and placement availability from our placement partners. The processes and protocols differ depending on the course. In general, placement allocations take into account:

  • Requirements of the course, e.g., placement completion in required areas
  • Travel time to placement (maximum journey times will depend on the course and proximity of placements to your term time address). 
  • Both personal and public transport availability.
  • Profile of placements undertaken to date - occupational health special adjustments/DDA adjustments
  • Any other course-specific requirements or placement partner initiatives

Personal circumstances such as family commitments/childcare cannot be taken into consideration.

It is very important to update your address / tell us if you are moving or your driver status changes before your next placement so that we can allocate you to an appropriate placement.

How far in advance of the placements will we be notified?

The Placement Support Team aims to give students three weeks’ notice of their placement. This may be subject to change due to external circumstances outside the control of PLAST.

You will receive an email from PLAST to confirm the date nearer the time, and the instructions on how to view your allocations on your POW page. Please ensure that you contact your placement area in advance of starting your placement so that any problems can be sorted before your start date.


Can I request a specific placement?

Due to the complexity of placement planning and the location of available placements, there are limited occasions when some students/apprentices can express an interest for specific placement areas. Please see course-specific information.

BSc Nursing

Students can express an interest for specific placements in year 3, placement 6 when students will have the opportunity to request their final placement in the placement area where they have accepted a job offer as a qualified nurse. Students can also apply for a short elective placement in year 3 placement 5.

Nursing Associates

Nursing Associate students and apprentices cannot request specific placement areas.

Return to Nursing

Students can normally indicate a preference for a type of placement experience, rather than a specific placement area and the team will work with practice colleagues to try and achieve this. Alternatives will be offered where this is not possible.

BSc Midwifery

BSc Midwifery students cannot request specific placements, but students will receive a range of placements throughout the course so that they gain experience in all areas.

Priority for birth placements is given to Year 3 students, followed by Year 2 students and then Year 1 students. Therefore Year 1 students are likely to receive a lower amount of birth placement weeks in their first year, but this will increase throughout their training.

MSc Midwifery

MSc Midwifery students cannot request specific placements. Placements are allocated in accordance with experience to be undertaken via the course requirements.

BSc/MSc Occupational Therapy and BSc/MSc Physiotherapy.

Final year students will have an opportunity to request placement preferences. The Therapy Placement Team will communicate the process required to do this before students begin their final year.

BSc Paramedic Science

Student paramedics are not generally able to request placements. Email or your course team if you have any concerns about your placement allocation.

BA/MA Social Work

Students can identify their broad areas of interest and will normally have an informal discussion with proposed placement areas. All students must undertake at least one placement in the statutory social work sector.

Prescribing Programmes

Students will normally source their own placement.

FdSc Health and Social Care/FdSc Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Students will normally source their own placement, and the Work Based Learning Team: will also be available for support with identifying a placement area.


Placement Allocations: Nursing

Where do I find the placement exchange form? How do I complete it?

Students on the BSc Nursing programme are able to request a placement exchange with another student from the same cohort. Complete the form and send it to your Personal Academic Tutor. Deadline dates are provided in placement release emails from PLAST. We cannot accept any exchange requests after the deadline date. Link to exchange form

What is an elective placement and where can I go/for how long?

Student nurses and midwives can apply for a placement elsewhere in the UK in their fifth semester, with a few options also possible overseas. Elective options are normally discussed with students at the end of their second year, and information can also be found on Blackboard.

Elective placements are normally around 4 weeks in duration, and except for the University’s study trip to Pravara in India, most count towards overall practice hours.


Placement Allocations: Midwifery

What are Complimentary weeks? (only applicable to Midwifery students)

Student midwives participate in up to three different Complimentary weeks over their training to complement their midwifery practice by gaining insight into alternative and nursing-based practice areas. All weeks are subject to placement availability and may take place in a different NHS Trust to your usual placements.

  • Complimentary week 1 is a mandatory placement for one week in a medical/surgical nursing placement setting. This will take place between semesters 2 -6 and is organised by PLAST.
  • Complimentary week 2 is a one-week alternative midwifery experience and is arranged by the students themselves. The course team can advise suitable alternative experiences, e.g. breast feeding advisors, teenage antenatal classes, etc. This week will also take place in semesters 2 – 6.
  • Complimentary week 3 is a one-week nursing placement in a mental health/public health setting, and is organised by PLAST, again taking place during semesters 2 – 6.


Placement Allocations: Paramedic Science

When will I know my West Midlands Ambulance Hub allocation?

Paramedic Science students are allocated their West Midlands Ambulance Hub in year 1 and this normally remains their Hub throughout course. The Placement Support Team will usually notify students about their Hub allocation at the end of Semester 1.

Please visit the Paramedic Course Blackboard page to view the Course Handbook for further information and more details about the WMAS Hubs.

When will I know about my alternative placement allocations?

Paramedic Science students are allocated a variety of non-ambulance placements throughout the course. During this time, students will not be given WMAS ambulance shifts. The Placement Support Team aims to notify students about their allocated hospital or community placement weeks at least 3 weeks in advance, subject to placement area confirmation.

How do I find out about my West Midlands Ambulance Shifts?

Your West Midlands Ambulance shifts are planned by your WMAS Hub. Hubs usually liaise with students directly regarding shifts for placement blocks.

How do I find out my shifts for my alternative placement week?

To find out your shifts for your alternative placement week, please log into ARC POW. To access your individual placement allocations, go to the PLACEMENT EXPERIENCE tab and then click on the BINOCULAR icon. The contact information for hospital wards and units can then be found by clicking on the CONTACTS tab. It is important to scroll down the contacts page until you find the contact name of the person who has “paramedic contact” as part of their job title.

Where allocations permit, please contact the hospital wards or community team at least 2 weeks prior to your allocated placement week. This will give the placement time to reply to any shift requests if they cannot do so immediately due to workload, annual leave, absence, etc.

I have been allocated WMAS shifts and Alternative Placement Shifts on the same day.

Students must attend the alternative placement days. Please email the Placement Support Team as soon as possible at if you have also been allocated WMAS shifts which clash with your alternative placement days.


Placement hours

How do I record my placement hours?

This will depend on your course of study.

Student Nurses, Return to Nursing students, and student/apprentice Nursing Associates must use the electronic timesheets on POW. Further TMS instructions are available here.

Occupational Therapy/Physiotherapy students use Pebblepad to record placement hours.

Midwifery student: currently use timesheets within the portfolio/MS Word timesheets. During the 2023/24 academic year student midwives will move across to the electronic timesheets on POW. Further details will be provided.

Students on other courses will have some form of portfolio timesheets on which to record placement hours. Please consult your student handbook/placement module guide.

How many placement hours have I completed and how many do I need to achieve?

The number of placement hours required to pass the placement year or module depends on the course. Please consult your course handbook.  

Students/apprentices record their hours on different platforms or documents, depending on the course.

BSc Nursing students will receive an update on total placement hours from PLAST at the start of each new academic year. Hours cannot be calculated mid-year or mid-placement due to the  electronic timesheet submission and approval process, and waiting for Skills and EPLD attendance registers.

Occupational Therapy/Physiotherapy students will need to look on Pebblepad and keep their timesheets up to date. Midwifery students will need to consult their portfolio/OAR information and keep their timesheets up to date.

I have submitted my POW timesheets, but they have not been approved yet.

POW timesheet approvers have a full month to approve or reject the timesheet before the link expires. Students can then resubmit the timesheet to the same person or speak with the placement area to identify a different approver and resubmit the timesheets again.

Please contact if you are continuing to have difficulties with this.

How many hours do I need to pass placement/what can I carry over/what do I need to pass?

Information about the placement requirements for your specific course, including the number of weeks/hours to be completed, can be found in the course documentation/handbook provided by the teaching team.

My hours on POW are incorrect

Students can amend individual timesheets on POW until the timesheet status says APPROVED. After that point, any changes need to be made via PLAST. Please email Please also refer to the FAQ on your POW timesheet.

OT/PT students will need to contact PLAST direct if they think their hours are incorrect.

Why haven’t some hours been credited to me?

Nursing/Return to Nursing/Nurse Associates

There can be several reasons why placement hours are not showing on your POW. It may be due to unsigned shifts, study days, missing timesheets etc. EPLD (Enhanced Practice Learning Days) are recorded separately under the ‘Sessions’ tab on POW.

BSc/MSc Occupational Therapy; BSc/MSc Physiotherapy

Occupational Therapy/Physiotherapy students who have attended additional hours will need to add a ‘Y’ in the made-up hour's column on the timesheet for these hours to be uploaded onto ARC by PLAST. Without this being documented hours will not be identified as made-up hours and will not be documented.

Can I count my placement hours when I attend an alternative placement?

Yes. Record these on your timesheet and get them approved/signed off and they will be included in your overall placement hours.

What is the maximum number of hours I can attend placement?

The maximum number of hours will depend upon your placement planner, and whether the placement area agrees to your attending additional hours. Please also refer to the government Working Time Directive in this link.

International students attending university on an overseas visa should consult their course team or International Office contacts, as there are more stringent visa regulations.

My Practice Assessor/Educator is off sick, who can sign off my hours? I no longer have a PA, what do I do?

Speak with your placement area to identify an alternative signatory/approver/PA, and/or speak with the practice facilitator.

Occupational Therapy/Physiotherapy should contact the Therapy placement team –

I joined the course in year two and was awarded Recognition of Prior Learning placement hours. I can’t see them on my POW screen.

Placement hours awarded in recognition of prior learning do not show at all on POW. Students are told by the Admissions Team how many hours they are given, up to a maximum of 675 hours.



Placement Results

I have failed placement. What happens now?

A Practice Panel will meet to discuss any issues relating to the completion of placements and to decide on the required actions for a student to successfully resolve any shortfall. The panel also considers mitigating circumstances claims for placements.

Most students/apprentices who have failed a placement will need to undertake additional placement reassessment weeks. This will be confirmed following the Practice Panel. 

Please contact your Personal Academic Tutor / Academic Assessor / module lead if you need further advice.

I do not understand about progression at the end of the year.

Students cannot progress to the next academic level/year until they have completed all elements of the current level/year. Any questions or concerns about progression should be discussed with your PAT or Student Records ( 

Please contact your Personal Academic Tutor / module lead if you need further advice.  Student nurses can also contact the Progression Lead for their year.


Absence from placement

I’m absent from placement. Who do I need to tell?

Please contact your placement as soon as you know you are unable to attend placement. Ideally please try and contact your practice assessor/educator/supervisor. International nursing students should also inform

Depending on your course, you may also wish to inform your academic assessor or personal academic tutor.

Students on Nursing, Nursing Associate, and Return to Nursing programmes must also log their absence on their POW timesheets.  From September 2023, POW timesheets will also be required from September Midwifery intake students, and will be required for February/March intake students from February/March 2024.  

Students on Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy programmes must also email their absence to

Students on the BSc Paramedic Science course must notify their placement area – whether this is for a West Midlands Ambulance Hub shift, or for an alternative placement. Notify the placement about each shift absence/absence day. Please also notify Laura Blackman from the Paramedic Course Team at and the Placement Support Team (PLAST) at

For further information about absence reporting please visit the Course Team’s Blackboard page.

I am unwell, how often do I need to tell the placement area I am poorly?

Please notify the placement every day. Students can self-certify for up to 7 consecutive days, but from day 8 onwards students will need to obtain a sick note from their GP and email a copy of this to

Is it possible to make up lost hours on placement following a period of absence?

Depending on the hours available at the placement, discuss with your placement area about attending extra shifts. If this is not possible, or if you cannot build up enough hours by the end of the placement, you may be able to make up hours at the next placement and/or be given additional placement weeks later in the year.

Why is my absence on POW when I have made up the hours already?

Making up the hours does not mean the absence record is removed from POW. All absence records are retained as part of your training record, but your overall hours will be amended if you have completed additional placement hours.

I need to take compassionate leave, what should I do?

Discuss with your placement area and contact your personal academic tutor (PAT), and email

I did a previous course at the university, do my previous absences show?


I did a previous course at the university, do those hours count?

This will depend on the course you attended and your Worcester University course. Some courses will give you recognition of prior learning (RPL) and this will have been confirmed to you by the Admissions Department.


Problems on Placement

I am having issues with my placement setting, what do I do?

This will depend on your course, and further details can be found in your course handbook.

There are many options for you to raise your concerns. In the first instance it is always best to speak with the placement area. You can also contact your Academic Assessor (nursing and midwifery), your Personal Academic Tutor, the practice facilitators, and PLAST. Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy students can contact the Therapy Placement Team and their Personal Academic Tutor.

Depending on your course, you may also have a flowchart to help you identify the steps to follow.

I can’t get to placement on time, what do I do?

Contact your placement area in the first instance. You can also contact the relevant teams at the university or, if you are a nursing/midwifery/nursing associate student, you can contact the practice facilitators.

Email if the concerns persist.

Who is my practice assessor/educator?

The placement area will advise you.

Occupational Therapy/Physiotherapy: this should show on your POW CONTACTS page. Contact if you are not sure.

I have mitigating circumstances, what do I do and what help can I get?

Submit a claim via SOLE/MyDay or contact

I can’t achieve all my competencies/proficiencies on this placement. What should I do?

This will depend on your course. Discuss with your practice assessor, practice educator and your academic assessor, or a member of the course team.

Nursing/Midwifery Students: I’ve observed poor practice on placement, who do I tell?

Please consult your Speaking Up Raising Concerns in Practice flowchart, on your Blackboard page.


Professional Body Registration

I am a student nurse/midwife/nursing associate. When can I register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council?

You will be able to register with the NMC once you have completed all course and NMC requirements and completed and returned your finalist forms.

PLAST will check that students have completed NMC requirements, e.g. the appropriate number of practice hours for their course after the end of the final placement AND check completion of other NMC requirements such as night duties or birth numbers as relevant to their training.

The University’s Student Records team in Registry will send PLAST a copy of the ‘Pass’ list of students who have completed all academic course requirements, i.e., completed their degree studies. Once PLAST has the ‘Pass’ list and confirmation that the student has completed the relevant NMC requirements, they will email the student with Finalist documentation to complete which will include your NMC PIN number.

Further information about this process will be available at your cohorts Finalist event.

What do I have to do to register with the NMC?

Students complete the required finalist forms sent by PLAST, and upload these to SOLE, following instructions in the email sent by PLAST.

PLAST will check students’ uploaded forms and produce a data report to upload to the NMC portal, which will contain the students’ details and course completion information. PLAST usually uploads information reports to the NMC in batches, with batch upload dates to be set and displayed on Black Board.

After this upload, the NMC will contact the course leaders to ask for their confirmation of the students’ good character.

Registration packs will then be sent to the student by the NMC, enabling students to complete their NMC registration and pay for their membership.

Further information about this process will be available at your cohort’s Finalist event.



Can I claim for placement travel expenses?

Placement travel expenses for the majority of health-related courses are paid from the NHS Learning Support Fund Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses fund (TDAE). There are strict eligibility criteria information can be found on our webpage.

You must be a student on one of the following courses.

  • BSc Nursing
  • BSc / MSc Midwifery
  • BSc / MSc Occupational Therapy
  • BSc / MSc Physiotherapy
  • BSc Paramedic Science
  • BSc Diagnostic Radiography

International students cannot claim for the TDAE. Social Work students may receive an additional payment towards travel claims, via Student Finance England.

Where do I find the TDAE travel claims form?

.Access your Learning Support Fund online account and download the most recent TDAE form from there. Drivers will also need to complete the Student Driver Declaration Form at the start of each academic year.

What evidence do I need to add to my form?

Car parking tickets/permit Bus/train tickets

Has my form been processed?

Please check on your LSF account online. PLAST receives a high volume of claim forms and, depending on when your form is submitted, it can take some weeks to be checked and sent to the LSF.


How long does it take to be paid?

Forms received by PLAST on or before the last day of the month will be processed that month and forwarded to NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) for payment. PLAST aim to process claims within 2 weeks of the monthly deadline date before sending them to NHSBSA. NHSBSA aims to process forms within 20 days of receipt.

What type of car insurance do I need?

You must check with your insurers that your insurance covers you for commuting to placements. It is your responsibility to make sure you have adequate insurance.

Students driving ‘community’ mileage (driving to meetings/service users' homes during the day) must also take out business mileage insurance.

Can I book accommodation/a hire car?

You may be able to claim the cost of taking temporary accommodation near your practice placement site if it is not possible or practical for you to travel there from your normal term time address daily. Students must contact the Placement Support Team (PLAST) BEFORE their placement starts to discuss eligibility for alternative accommodation and authorization to submit a claim.

Car hire can only be claimed if this is the most practical way of completing your placement. Any car hire claims must be authorized by PLAST before claiming, with evidence that car hire is the cheapest way of travelling to placement.

What is the driver declaration form and where do I find it?

At the start of the course and each academic year, students driving to placement must complete and submit a Student Driver Indemnity Form to PLAST. On receipt of your Driver Declaration Form the University will note any endorsements/penalty points accrued.

Am I allowed to travel with my supervisor/practice assessor/educator?

Yes – if they are happy for you to do so.

Am I allowed to take a patient in my own car?


I am not eligible for TDAE, what should I do as my travel is expensive?

Contact Money Advice via FirstPoint or re available funding e.g., the hardship fund.

If you are not eligible to claim travel expenses but will be using your car to travel to placement, you must still submit the Driver Declaration Form and ensure you have appropriate car insurance.


Miscellaneous FAQs

I cannot share my PebblePad, what do I do?

For general advice and support regarding PebblePad, please contact

I am temporarily withdrawing, what do I do?

Complete the withdrawal process on SOLE.

Discuss with course team implications of temporarily withdrawing, and what you will need to complete/re-start when you return.

I am returning from temporary withdrawal, what do I do?

Contact Student Records about re-registering.

Contact the course team about return date and what modules/placements you need to do when.

You must complete a Returning to Practice DBS/Health Declaration Form which the Placement Support Team will send to you.

I have a placement-related question that hasn’t been answered on this page, what should I do?




Useful Contacts

Admissions Team C deals with the University of Worcester Health Courses 
Spinal Healthcare 01905 422808
DDC (for DBS Applications) 0116 260 3055 / 0845 644 3298

FirstPoint (FirstPoint provides student support at the University which includes help completing DBS applications / Health Clearance applications, etc.)

 FirstPoint Webpages 01905 542551
The Placement Support Team
Electronic timesheet queries
Therapy Placements Team (for physiotherapy/occupational therapy courses)

International nursing student advisors
Can’t find an answer to your placement question?  Contact