Policies, procedures and guidelines

Policy Statement/Guidance on Student Supernumerary Status for Health and Social Care Programmes

Health and Social Care students are supernumerary throughout their course. This means that the experience that they gain during practice placements should be determined by their educational needs (placement should not utilise students for service needs such as “filling gaps”). However, it does not mean that students are purely observers or can take study time from placement without negotiation. In order to ensure quality learning to increase their scope as they progress through their academic and clinical learning to develop a high standard of clinical competency and proficiency to underpin their future registrant practice in delivering effective holistic care, students are required to experience the 7 days a week, 24 hours a day nature of the service. Therefore, they will be expected to work a range of shift patterns, including some weekend and night duty at the discretion of the mentor/assessor who will ensure adequate opportunities for effective learning and supervision.

To maximise learning in order to develop the required skills and achieve the identified learning outcomes, students: 

• have the right to experience quality effective learning opportunities in placement and to have their status as students respected 

• will be integrated as part of the clinical team, participate in clinical activities appropriate to their level of knowledge and practical experience

• work directly or indirectly under the supervision and direction of a designated Mentor/Practice Placement Educator or registered Health Care Professional. 

NB *The NMC requires that whilst giving direct care in the practice setting, at least 40% of a student’s time must be spent being supervised (directly or indirectly) by a mentor/practice educator. Students should discuss with their mentor/assessor the best ways of achieving their learning outcomes and set robust plans for achievement. Students should contact their Personal Tutor or Placement Link for advice if they have concerns relating to their supernumerary status