Robert Gordon University develops people who are “ready for life”, in part by placing and in part by facilitating and providing opportunities for most students to learn, in a working environment.

It is incumbent upon the University to ensure that such work placements provide a high quality and valuable learning experience for each student. However, it is of vital importance that students are not thereby exposed to high or poorly controlled risks to their health and safety by virtue of their placement. Risk management is therefore viewed as an integral part of the academic quality assurance system and cannot be considered in isolation. This policy and procedure deals with the integration of risk management into the wider management of student placements.

In developing Student Placement Risk Management Procedures The Robert Gordon University will have regard to the following principles:

  1. Health and safety is an integral part of all employment, including student placement. Placement is an opportunity to engage students in health and safety, thereby enhancing both the learning process and preparedness for employment.
  2. Provided certain key measures are taken by the placement provider to satisfy RGU of their capability and intent. The placement should be considered safe unless other information or incidents suggest the contrary.
  3. The responsibility to manage health and safety risks lies with the employer or placement provider. The role of the University is to verify the adequacy of the provider’s controls.
  4. Effort and resource will be targeted at the major risks and controls identified for each placement, not at general health and safety management.
  5. The major risks and controls are linked to the course subjects, and their control provides a common purpose amongst the School, the student and the placement provider. The identification of these major risks and verification of the provider’s controls will be done, so far as possible, prior to taking up the placement.
  6. Methods of identifying major risks and verifying controls will be developed and owned locally to suit each course or School.
  7. Methods of monitoring each placement required to be thorough enough to capture each of the major risks and controls without being overly intrusive for the provider.
  8. All staff involved in identifying major risks, evaluating controls, verifying their effectiveness, or monitoring other aspects of health and safety during placements must be aware of the risks to which the students may be exposed. Appropriate training will be provided and must be attended.
  9. Where a requirement of this policy or associated procedures assigns responsibilities to individuals for identification, verification, monitoring, assessing or requires other such subjective judgement, RGU will indemnify all those acting in good faith on its behalf.
  10. Intervention by RGU during a placement on the grounds of poor health and safety should be exceptional. This will normally only be considered in the case of failures of agreed controls for the major risks.