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Digital industry placements - On placement



This section of the toolkit can support your discussions with employers when preparing for the industry placement, and planning placement midpoint reviews.

Use these resources to:

  • review induction and progress reviews used in placements
  • make sure T Level students receive a comprehensive introduction to their placement
  • make sure T Level students know how much progress they are making towards their learning objectives.

How to use these resources

Select the relevant resources for your needs:

  1. Planning induction
  2. Monitoring progress

Use the templates, checklists and examples to plan induction and monitor progress.

Decide whether the templates can be used as they are, or should be altered to suit your organisation.

Who are they for?

Share the templates, checklists and examples with staff who are involved in planning students’ induction to the workplace and monitoring / reviewing their progress during the placement:

  • staff in employer engagement
  • T Level course leaders and tutors.

Planning induction

The placement planning checklist and template can be included during induction and as a guide for employers planning induction. It can be used to:

  1. guide provider discussions with employers
  2. identify the people involved and the resources needed, such as policies and the student handbook
  3. help students feel settled from the start of their placement.

Checklist: planning inductions


Key questions


What is the purpose of induction?

  • To set the scene for students
  • To help them navigate the rules and expectations of the workplace, the different relationships, protocols, values, and priorities
  • To mirror the employer’s usual induction process as far as possible

When will it take place?

  • An induction should take place prior to the student starting their placement. This must be at the latest as soon as the placement starts, day 1 or week 1

Who plans it?

  • Employers, for example, the placement supervisor
  • Providers can help to make sure that a student’s relative inexperience and potential vulnerability is considered

What is in it?

See template

What does it cover and how?

  • A team meeting, tour of the department, job shadowing to enable the student to meet the team
  • The employer’s policies for mobile phone use, dress code, sickness procedures, wellbeing support and how to respond to bullying or inappropriate behaviour. This could come in the form of a new employee handbook
  • Health and safety, including working at heights or in confined spaces, working onsite and in difficult weather conditions. This could be delivered through online training or handbook
  • Security including access to premises, security procedures, threat management (password sharing, confidentiality, and privacy), delivered through online training or handbook
  • Sensitive or confidential information, for example through written commitments
  • Email addresses, IT systems, software packages, through a briefing with an IT administrator for example
  • Branding, values, and significant client relationships, through discussion with a member of the sales and marketing team

What role does the supervisor play?

  • Leads the student on their learning journey
  • Explains the core business, the role of digital services within the organisation and the hardware and software used
  • Explains email etiquette, how to approach colleagues and customers and when to take a break
  • Helps the student to develop their skills and confidence
  • Monitors the student’s performance
  • Supports the student’s wellbeing
  • Reports any safeguarding issues, following the procedure set by the provider

What is the role of the mentor?

  • Helps the student to navigate new experiences and emotions and cope with the workplace environment
  • Shares first-hand knowledge and experience
  • Supports learning
  • See guide to mentoring

Template: Planning placement inductions with the employer

Monitoring progress

A checklist of how to prepare for and conduct an industry placement midpoint review, with relevant examples. It contains a template for a review in digital business services and a student and employer feedback form. It can be used to:

  1. prepare for midpoint review
  2. make sure the review covers all relevant aspects of the student’s experience on the industry placement
  3. show how employers can contribute.

Checklist: Preparing for midpoint review

 Midpoint review

Key questions


Who designs the review process?

  • T Level course leader and/or tutors
  • Specialist work placement assessment team
  • The employer

What is its main purpose?

  • To consider what the employer is providing and how the student is responding
  • To assess whether the expectations identified in the industry placement agreement are being met.

What should it cover?

  • The student’s performance and behaviour against learning goals
  • Activities undertaken by the student, including projects they have been involved in, ideas they have contributed, and their portfolio of work (Example 1)
  • Whether the employer’s expectations are being met
  • Any concerns over absence or other issues
  • Whether the role is providing experiences that develop skills and matches the occupational specialisms for the appropriate pathway
  • Welfare and safeguarding
  • Whether the student is being sufficiently stretched by the work they are doing on the placement
  • Whether the student is having a positive experience (Example 2)

Who is involved?

  • Course leaders and/or tutors with the expertise to ensure that technical knowledge and requirements for the relevant digital pathway are understood and accurately recorded
  • Placement supervisor and mentors
  • Staff involved in providing pastoral care
  • Students

How is it carried out?

  • Face-to-face, virtually or by telephone. It is good practice to carry out at least two of the reviews face-to-face.

What should the student know?

  • When and where the assessment takes place
  • Who is involved
  • What the process is
  • What they need to bring with them, for example, evidence of learning and self-reflection
  • How outcomes of the assessment are recorded
  • Who the information is shared with

How is progress tracked?

  • Providers often use a standardised process to track student’s progress while they are on placement
  • Software packages may be used, for example, Grofar, MAPS, Collsys
  • Employers can track and monitor progress themselves

How do employers give feedback?

  • Employers need to know what they are reporting on before the placement starts
  • Providers may supply templates to make sure employers provide the relevant information, incorporating progress indicators
  • Templates should include ‘free-form’ sections for employers to write their feedback, as well as limited choice questions

What are the outcomes?

  • Assurance that students are enjoying and benefiting from the placement and that employers are happy with the way it is going
  • Any adjustments that may have to be made, such as moving students to alternative roles, departments, or even new placements (Example 3)

Example 1

Students at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College created a new website for a local football team, this involved meeting weekly with the Chairs and incorporating local community engagement.

Students at Fareham College on a placement a Hampshire Constabulary created apps for booking rooms and room spaces and enabling frontline staff to order uniforms.

Example 2

One student on a placement with the British Computing Society was thriving and the placement was providing a good match to his career plans in software development. The other was doing less well, and it was agreed to change the role to one in graphic design which would give a broader range of experience.

Example 3

Weston College developed its own software to track industry placements. Students use it to complete logbooks and reflective commentary from the start to the end of the placement. Using the software, students can reflect on their learning and how it affects their views on their studies and career progression. The college can also track progress from an employer's point of view. Employers can give a rating on how the student is performing in the placement and highlight any areas of concern. The software links to other college systems to help the efficiency of data input. 

Downloadable Resources

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