Assessment of students

The assessment of students during practice placements is a process that is vitally important to their development throughout the course.

Our assessment system is based on the Knowledge & Skills Framework which should be familiar to most clinicians. The information provided below will help guide you step by step through the process.

For further guidance regarding the placement specific learning outcomes please consult the relevant practice placement handbook (there are electronic copies located on the website).

Please note: you should aim to sit down with your student to complete a learning contract during the first week of placement. Whilst this is not formally assessed, it forms an important part of the placement experience and is highly valued by students as an aid to their development. You may download any of the three different versions of the learning contract below. The choice is a matter of personal preference and only one version need be completed: 

Learning Contract Version 1

Learning Contract Version 2

Learning Contract Version 3

If you have any further assessment questions please feel free to e-mail your Clinical Tutor

Important Notice: From July 2011 we updated our assessment documentation to include an additional area of assessment based around 'professionalism'. Please ensure you have downloaded the current marking guide.


Students are presented with their final assessment at the end of the placement. They receive a final overall grade and percentage mark. They also receive marks and grades for each of the individual assessment sections. Instructions for carrying out the student assessment process is provided below.

We advise that the students should also be provided with formal feedback at the 1/2 way point during the placement. The students tell us that the 1/2 way assessment is often the most important form of feedback they receive during their clinical experience. It helps them determine the level they are working at, and gives them clear objectives to take forward into the second half of the practice placement.

Most educators will partially fill in a marking guide (in pencil) to help deliver formal 1/2 way feedback. Normal practice is to give grades in some/all areas to aid the students development (but NOT percentage marks) at this stage.

Completing the Practice Placement Assessment Form...

The PPAF – assessment paper form is now being updated to an E-PPAF – electronic assessment form. Please follow the electronic submission flow chart. If your IT system is down or you do not have access to a computer then please revert to the paper version.

E-PPAF Submission Flow chart

Year 1 BSc Students

Sample Practice Placement Assessment Form - Year 1

PPAF Marking Guide - Year 1

Year 2/3 BSc Students

Sample Practice Placement Assessment Form - Year 2/3

PPAF Marking Guide - Year 2

PPAF Marking Guide - Year 3 

MSc (pre-reg) Students

Sample Practice Placement Assessment Form - MSc pre-reg 

PPAF Marking Guide - CE 1 & 2 

PPAF Marking Guide - CE 3-6 


Yr 2 & 3 BSc & MSc E-PPAF - May 2015

Improvement Notices...

We have recently introduced Improvement Notices into the assessment of Professionalism, Health and Safety and Equality and Diversity. Marking ‘Needs Attention’ with a tick in one or more of these areas will flag-up to the clinical team that aspects of Professionalism, Health and Safety and/or Equality and Diversity will need to be addressed prior to future practice placements.

For example, a student may be acting un-professionally in one or more of the areas listed on the PPAF marking guide but does not constitute an outright ‘Fail’. You may feel the student has started to address some concerns but there is still room for improvement in a subsequent placement. ‘Needs Attention’ allows the student to ‘Pass’ the placement but with an action plan. 

The student will meet with their clinical visitor at the University to formulate an improvement plan which will be followed up to ensure the adjustments have been made. The students will be encouraged to notify their subsequent Practice Placement Educator of any Improvement Notice to allow the Practice Placement Educators to support them throughout the process.

NB: If an Improvement Notice has been served under the Health and Safety domain, the Clinical Tutor will notify Practice Placement Educator of the next placement if for any reason the student does not disclose this within the first few days of placement due to the potential Health and Safety risk to patients and/orstaff.

Failed placements...

Failed placements must be retaken. Where a student has failed a placement they will normally be allowed one resit in another setting.

Resit placements are usually undertaken during the summer vacation and are normally of four weeks duration. Where the student is successful in resitting a Practice Placement Module, the minimum pass mark of 40% will contribute to the final mark.

Only one resit of a practice placement module is normally allowed in any one year of study. Failure in a second practice placement module within an academic year will normally result in the student being required to repeat the year. A student who fails a repeated module will normally be required to withdraw from the programme.

NB: If the student has submitted, and had accepted, mitigations for failure of a Practice Placement Module, the repeat placement will become a 'sit'. This will normally be six weeks in duration and the mark achieved for this repeat will be recorded (i.e. be taken as a first attempt mark, not ‘capped’ at 40% as for resits).

Safety Fails...

We get many questions regarding the issue of safety. These mainly centre around the question of what actually constitutes a 'safety fail'?

We have therefore provided some guidance for you as educators should you witness your student displaying unsafe practice: 

Safety Fails - Unsafe Practice Procedure (PDF 617Kb)