Covid-19 Student Placements

To all student links, practice educators/supervisors:

Click here for COVID-19 HEE/HPCP Update relating to AHP students updated 14th April 2020

See below for COVID-19 NMC Update in particular relating to nursing students (updated April 14th 2020)

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has developed a set of emergency standards which allows more flexibility to be applied to the delivery of nursing and midwifery programmes at this time. 

The aim is to enable students to make a valuable contribution whilst completing their studies, and to ensure that more junior students are appropriately deployed and adequately supported (RCN, March 2020).

Students opting-in to support services 

At present 3rd year nursing students, who are in the last 6 months of their programme, have advised Universities if (and where) they would like to do extended placements; this information is being passed on to the Trusts. We are currently working on agreeing placement locations with students and our clinical teams and will shortly be able to provide you with more information. The Second year students, and those in the first 6 months of their 3rd year, will be following the same process.


Summary of Emergency Education Standards for students (March 2020)

First year student nurses

  • Clinical placements are paused; students are able to spend 100% in their academic programme. Practice hours will be made up further along the programme.
  • Students may volunteer or undertake paid work in a clinical setting in their spare time whilst they maintain their academic study, but this will not be counted towards the practice hours and experience required to complete their pre-registration course.


Second year & third year (first 6 months) undergraduate / 1st year post grad students

  • Can spend up to 80% of their hours in clinical placements
  • Theoretical learning must be at least 20% of their time
  • Must have protected learning time
  • Education institution will maintain academic and pastoral support
  • Students opt-in to the extended placement arrangement; they will be paid by the Trusts and will not be supernumerary
  • On return to non-emergency standards students will need to ensure there is a balance for academic and practice hour split


Third year (final 6 months)

Potential for COVID-19 temporary register is still under review. Under current proposal supervision would consist of:

  • Working at all times with, but not always directly observed by, a NMC registered nurse, midwife or other registered healthcare professional, who is not on a temporary register.
  • Student must not carry out any activity in which they have not been assessed as competent and appropriately signed off during their training unless supervised by an NMC registered nurse, midwife or other registered healthcare professional who are not on a temporary register (unless a lifesaving intervention is required to avoid sudden and unexpected death).
  • 50/50 academic and practice hours split has been removed. Students may do more than 50% of hours in practice as long as they still meet all of their learning outcomes
  • Students no longer supernumerary but must have protected learning time


Supervising and assessing students under the new Emergency Standards (March 2020)

All students will receive support, supervision and assessments in line with the Standards for Student Supervision and Assessment (SSSA, 2018) i.e no more sign off mentorship (SLAiP 2008). The SSSA standards allow for greater flexibility, by allowing any registered health or social care professional to supervise students.

The same person may fulfil the role of practice supervisor and practice assessor during this emergency period. The assessment is to be conducted by a registered nurse, midwife or nursing associate with suitable equivalent qualifications for the programme the student is undertaking, and who is not on a temporary register.

In line with the new standards NMC are removing the 12 week requirement for students to meet outcomes for a previous part of the course before progressing. This is being removed as under the current emergency circumstances this requirement may unfairly affect some students.

Theoretical instruction can be replaced with distance learning, where appropriate to support student learning, which meets the required theoretical hours and learning outcomes.

University and practice learning partners need to work together to try and match their students' learning needs with workforce requirements, and agree mechanisms to ensure that learning outcomes are met. Appropriate clinical supervision needs to be agreed.

Return to Practice students

We are currently awaiting confirmation from the Universities about this group of students and will update the website shortly.

Useful links for further information:

For individual university guidance please see the links below:

Training for Practice Assessor, Practice Supervisor, Mentor Transition and Annual updates have been suspended until further notice.  The ppt updates will be made available via the student placement intranet page to ensure that students remain supported appropriately.

Please continue to see Trust updates and use the links above for updates regarding universities.

Our contact details are:

023 8047 5835  

We are responsible for ensuring safe, quality learning experiences for students within Southern Health. These pages provide you with useful information to support your role: