1. Overview

The College carries out extensive planning and preparation to agree your placement allocation according to capacity, suitability, and professional body requirements.  This policy relates to requests to change your specific placement allocation.


  1. Request to change placement

Changes to placement areas after allocation can only be made in exceptional circumstances. Placement change may not always be possible due to constraints with availability and placement capacity.

Exceptional circumstances are life circumstances that are impacting on your performance in assessment, including attendance on placement, in a way you could not reasonably have anticipated at the beginning of an academic year because:

  1. Something has occurred, or been diagnosed, suddenly and unexpectedly during the academic year, or
  2. Pre-existing difficult and complex life circumstances have intensified during the academic year.

Each request for placement change will be considered on an individual basis. Here is some guidance on what will and will not be considered as exceptional circumstances.

  1. Examples of Exceptional Circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • A commute of more than 2 hours each way (measured from your home address if you live within South Yorkshire or Collegiate Crescent Campus of Sheffield Hallam University if you live outside) and having a valid reason why staying in accommodation is not possible
  • Having a relative in the clinical area (as a patient or staff member) which presents a conflict of interest or where the placement is associated with a bereavement or traumatic event or incident
  • A recently identified disability where reasonable adjustment is required – with evidence from Disability Services/Occupational Health specialist
  • A significant, unexpected change to personal circumstances
  • When pregnancy related placement changes are required

4.      Examples of situations that are not Exceptional Circumstances:

  • Routine childcare concerns
  • Previous experience with the client group
  • Personal preferences
  • Particular interest (or not) in a specific client group
  • Concerns over travel, including public transport or disruptions to shared travel arrangements
  • Concerns over shift time (students are expected to experience 24/7 care as part of their programme)
  • Moving house
  • Holidays
  • Paid work commitments or constraints arising from paid employment
  • Pressure of academic work (unless this contributes to ill-health)
  • Minor illnesses/conditions (for example hayfever) or planned health appointments
  • Disabilities for which reasonable adjustments have been made or where you have experience or time to manage the situation
  • Risk of adverse weather conditions
  • Poor time management


  1. How to request a change of placement

Once a student has received their placement allocation, it is recommended that due time is taken to review and research the setting, including any arrangement required (such as travel). Placement change requests can only be made in exceptional circumstances as outlined above. To request a placement change, you should:

  1. Complete the placement request form within 5 days of your placement allocation release, providing as much detail and evidence as possible of how you meet the exceptional circumstances outlined above. Late requests will not be considered.
  2. The request form will be considered by the Panel comprising of academic and professional services staff.
  3. A final decision will be communicated to you via your student university email from the Professional Placements Team. We aim to do this at least 4 weeks prior to placement beginning. However, if your placement allocation is delayed due to clearance issues or placement capacity there will be a delay in processing your request.
  4. If your request is granted, the Professional Placements team will try to provide you with an alternative placement but please note this request may not be possible due to the finite capacity within the placement circuit. This may result in non-completion of required placement hours and impact on your progression.
  5. If your request is declined, you will be expected to attend your allocated placement as planned. This decision is final, and failure to attend placement, without a valid reason, will result in failure of your placement. Failure in placement will impact on your ability to progress in your studies.