Skip to content

Practice support

Achieving Hours in Practice

Last updated: 15 December 2022

Placement Hours & retrieval Process

Hours During Placement

Course placement requirements are carefully mapped and calculated to ensure that the hours required to register with the relevant professional statutory regulatory body (NMC/HCPC/SW England); are completed within the approved programme planner.   

Each course will have clear direction as to the hours required within each placement block and students will work the required hours in practice following the available shift / hours patterns that the allocated service operates.  Students should attend all allocated hours during the placement and report sickness absence as per absence reporting guidance to the placement area and the university – attendance and absence should be entered onto the electronic timesheet system.  Only hours attended in clinical practice will count, you cannot claim hours for anything else; including self-study / interview days. 

There may be occasions, due to illness or personal circumstances, where a student has not completed the number of practice hours planned within a placement block or across a programme.  Students can make up hours missed during a placement block providing the placement area agrees to accommodate this.  Additional hours can be accomplished by; extending 8 hour shifts to long shifts (if available in the practice area) or by working extra days on your days off (not during allocated theory / study days). For some practice areas, such as placements that span the working week – 09:00-17:00, it may not be possible to make up hours within that placement block and the outstanding hours will carry forward.  

Any time that can be made up within a placement block needs to be negotiated with the placement provider in advance, to ensure they can support this, which may be dependent on the number of learners in that practice area at the time.  Other priorities for example, assessments or part-time work, and the student’s well-being should be considered to ensure the extra shifts are reasonable and manageable and if required this should also be discussed with the academic assessor.   

Students making up hours within placement must consider their professional responsibility regarding service user safety and personal wellbeing.  The current Government guidance for employees states you must not exceed the maximum weekly working hours and must not work above 48 hours per week. This guidance may influence local policy and placement area decisions in regard to making up additional time. 

All hours worked, including time made up must be recorded on your electronic timesheet, breaks are not included.  It is not acceptable to ‘bank’ extra hours worked to shorten the length of the placement or the programme.  

Skills Weeks (Nursing Specific)

Skills weeks are planned as 24 hours simulated practice learning hours and 16 hours theory; so, it is not possible to work additional placement hours during these weeks. 

Meeting Hours Requirements

All students will be supported to achieve the required hours for their course.  Multiple outstanding missed placement hours may result in an extension to the program length and on occasion may result in a delay to registration, in order to meet the hours required by professional statutory regulatory bodies. 

The Retrieval Process

If a student fails their placement, this result is taken to the next Academic Board. The Academic Board makes the decision as to whether retrieval of practice is granted. If a retrieval of practice is granted, a placement is arranged and time frame with resubmission requirements are agreed and shared.  

 A retrieval of practice is a repeat of the previous placement, with a clear action plan, and with support of the practice educators/supervisors/assessors and link tutors/coach in practice, to address the learning outcomes that have not yet been achieved.  This may or may not be in the same placement area with the same supervisory arrangements.  

Nursing Specific – the length and location of the retrieval placement is based on the following guidance:   

All retrievals are subject to academic board agreement that a further opportunity is permitted; where a student has been referred in more than one placement, or where there may be other factors to consider, the retrieval period(s), if granted by the academic board, will be agreed on an individual basis.  

The ability to continue into the next year with outstanding modules falls into the academic regulations as outlined and if more than one fail is outstanding this may result in a requirement to discuss interruption or withdraw from studies or to repeat the year with a cohort below.  

Was this article helpful?