Engineering Placement Toolkit

PURPOSE OF THE TOOLKIT

The ‘Engineering Placement Toolkit’ is designed to support higher education institutions and employers to enhance the experience and the value of students’ placements.

Aligned with the “Your Placement Journey” toolkit, designed for students, this toolkit aims to support the placement experience in three key stages: before, during and after placement.

before_tkduring_tkafter_tk

Before placement


 

What can you expect from your students at this stage?

Universities

  • Ensure Health and Safety procedures in the placement
  • Give effective support in identifying placement possibilities, combining students and employers’ expectations.
  • Help students in writing up CV’s and cover letters
  • Prepare students for interviews (e.g. mock interviews)
  • Assign an academic supervisor to support and visit the student during their placement, and act as key contact link with the company
  • Ensure Health and Safety

Employers

  • Set clear guidelines and criteria for selecting a student – knowledge and skills
  • Assign a placement supervisor to support and guide the student during their placement, and act as a key contact link with the university.
  • Plan and deliver an Induction programme/pre-placement, so that student feels like part of the team. Suggested issues to address:
    • Health and Safety
    • Professional skills and conduct (dress code, culture of the company)
    • Management expectations
    • Visits to different departments of the company, so the student appreciates quickly how it all fits together

Joint actions

  • Organise a joint meeting to agree milestones and methods of supervision and assessment. The combined assessment criteria could be organised according to the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). The UK-SPEC “sets out the competence and commitment required for registration as an Engineering Technician (EngTech), Incorporated Engineer (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng). It also includes examples of activities that demonstrate the required competence and commitment”
    • Suggestion: consider using mycareerpath – an online professional development system, designed by the Engineering Council and adopted by many professional engineering institutions for use by their members. The system is aligned with the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC) for EngTech, IEng, and CEng. The system is also aligned with other titles such as CPhys, CEnv, and CSci, to provide one platform to suit all. Progress can be measured and tracked against the competence statements for the chosen registration category.
  • Organise a joint meeting with the student, agree overall objectives and set expectations
  • Sign an agreement between the student, university and employer. The suggested topics below could be considered, if applicable:
    • Project title
    • Working hours (flexible or non flexible work arrangements)
    • Salary
    • Holiday entitlement
    • Expected dresscode
    • Student’s roles and responsibilities
    • University’s roles and responsibilities – academic supervisor
    • Employer’s roles and responsibilities – placement supervisor
    • Schedule for academic visits and other meetings
    • Assessment criteria
    • Activities and resources are covered by university’s fees

During placement


What can you expect from your students at this stage?

Universities

Academic supervisor

  • Ensure ongoing support and visits to the student at the placement site
  • Be available to meet face-to-face, by email or phone, accordint to the pre-placement agreement
  • Monitor student progress and attainment of learning outcomes. This is particularly relevant if the placement is credited by the university.

University facilities

  • Provide pastoral care for students
  • Consider implementing a peer mentor scheme, as appropriate

Employers

Placement supervisor

  • Try to give your student a set of activities that are valuable to the company, fit with the curriculum and are related with the degree
  • Ensure that your student is given the opportunity to present their work to a small audience from various areas of the business
  • Allow the student to explore different areas of the company and engage with different projects
  • Identify learning and training opportunities that are available in the company and encourage students to participate
  • Treat the student as regular staff, in the context of the placement experience

Joint actions

  • Provide regular and constructive feedback
  • Monitor student progress and attainment of learning outcomes
  • Provide time for reflection, regular and constructive feedback. Give suggestions on how to make further improvements
  • Set clear milestones and reviewing points with both the student, their academic supervisor and their placement supervisor

After placement


What can you expect from your students at this stage?

Universities

Careers Service

  • Support students in writing up CV’s based on their recently acquired experience, knowledge and skills
  • Collect case studies and disseminate best practices

University Departments

  • Keep in contact with employers
    • Invite key links to become part of the Advisory Board

Employers

  • Write an exit reference at the end of the placement
  • Consider continuing engagement with the university:
    • offering placements for next years
    • becoming part of the Advisory Board
    • contributing to curriculum design
    • support employers in implemeting future placements

Joint actions

  • Get feedback from the student at the end of the placement
  • Provide a final assessment record
  • Identify benefits and costs