Models of Placements Delivery

“Practice education is fundamental to pre-registration learning for many health and social care professions yet finding sufficient opportunities for students is challenging”

(A.Mickel – The Great Practice Placement Shortage 2020)

This quote highlights the necessity to think creatively about the way in which placements  need to be delivered if we are to sustain placement provision and ensure the flow of graduates to support the future workforce.

We know that educators are used to delivering the traditional 1:1 / student: educator model and may be worried about trying something new but we want to reassure you that, as long as students can meet their learning outcomes and continue to meet professional and regulatory body standards, you can offer practice learning models in any way that meet you and your service’s needs. Please do talk to us if you are unsure about whether your idea is viable  but we are open to your creative ideas.

Please take a look at the different pages we have created on the different placement models on this website.

The Sussex AHP Faculty have also created this padlet to collate examples of innovation: please do add your examples to this padlet

We have summarised some alternative placement models here:  alternative placement models and a PowerPoint used to discuss and share with our practice partners here:  Models of placement provision UoB OT

Pope (2023) have published their paper: Models of pre-registration student supervision in allied health: A scoping review download here

The British Journal of Occupational Therapy have published “A mapping review of models of practice education in allied health and social care professions” which gives a systematic review of  practice education models and can be Accessed here.

Health Education England have a useful site for  Placement expansion and innovation | Health Education England (

Clinical placement models for undergraduate health
professions students: A scoping review (2021)  Link here

The video below is of a Health Education England (HEE)  webinar that took place to promote the different types of placement model. Whilst it is useful to watch the whole recording, we have highlighted here the main topics covered and where these can be found within the video:

  • What Makes a high quality learning environment: 4:00 to 5:34
  • 1:1 Traditional Model 5:40 to 6:33
  • 2:1/3:1/Team Model: 7:35 to 9:25
  • Split Placements: 9:30 to 10:12
  • Learning Environments/Collaborative Learning Approach (Clip): 10:13 to 13:33
  • Extended Days: 13:40 to 14:55
  • Technology Enabled Care (Tecs) Placement 15:20 to 16:41
  • Summary: 17:20 to 18:29

Questions And Answers:

  • How do you best match students? 18:30 to 19:43
  • Barriers to overcome additional placement paperwork? 19:43 to 21:13
  • TECS placement barrier: 22:30 to 24:03
  • Overcoming Barriers on Community Visits on placement: 24:50 to 26:10


Here is another useful document with links to webinar of alternative models : Sharing stories about providing student practice-based learning during COVID-19 disruption

The complete recording is available here: here (full length 1 hour 11mins).
• Claire Curtis: Overview of PrBL across Tayside: here
• Kath Sharp: 4:1 PrBL model:  here
• Sean & Kristen (Student presenters): here
• Kelsey Normand: Therapeutic Radiography: here
• Maria Murray: AHP Federation Scotland: here


AHP Leader Rachel Moses has created this webinar with 5 min presentations on different ways that Trusts have responded to Covid placement barriers and placement expansion: placement innovation case examples

There are lots of presentations and include:

2:1 models (1.05)

Research placements (10.58 and 1.00)

Transformation of place based learning (15.15)

Running groups on zoom (25.39)

Remote days, split days (35.44)

8 students rotating in pairs around clinical session, taught sessions and self directed learning (30.39 and 45.55)

Simulated assessment (51.15)

Peer assisted learning (1.07:15)


OT news September 2020

Andrew Mickel: The Great Practice Placement Shortage:
“Before Covid-19, placements were struggling to take on students but now that we are currently experiencing the pandemic many practise placements quickly stopped altogether”.

“We need to find alternative ways to support people who have missed out which means thinking about different models of practise looking other than the traditional one to one approach.”

To overcome this, Mickel suggests:

Taking several students to work in a multi professional group e.g. 2:1 model. This is used particularly well with nurses and peer learning has been proven to improve the placement delivered.
Using digital tools such as WhatsApp and YouTube together during peer learning improves learning and can help students gain critical skills.
Students are involved in virtual assessments. These are skills that occupational therapists are more likely to use in the future and it is important for students to get more experience on how they are being used now.