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Supporting the Development of Placements for Allied Health Professional Students in Public Health Settings


The aim of this toolkit is to help support the development of placements (or practice-based learning opportunities) within the public health arena for Allied Health Professional (AHP) students. The toolkit is intended for use by organisations that operate within the public health arena, AHP students, and education institutions that provide education and training for AHP students.

The toolkit is split into three sections which can be seen in the contents page above. You can skip to the section that is relevant to you or browse all elements of the document if this would be useful for developing your understanding. You can navigate to the relevant sections using the hyperlinks on the contents page or below.

Section 1: Background

The background section provides information on the development of this toolkit, the definition of a public health placement, the expectations and benefits of a public health placement, a glossary of terms, and a list of references.

Section 2: Toolkits

The toolkits provide a mixture of information and practical tools that might help with the following areas: when considering finding or offering a placement to an AHP student; things to consider when setting up a placement opportunity; information about what students might do whilst on placement; information on supporting students; and information about assessing students whilst on placement. Education institutions may have their own documents and guidance which should be used when setting up and delivering a placement opportunity and these tools may be used as guidance. The final part of the toolkits contains a “top tips” section based on our interviews undertaken for the case studies.

  • Toolkit 1: Toolkit for organisations in the public health arena.
  • Toolkit 2: Toolkit for student Allied Health Professions
  • Toolkit 3: Toolkit for education institutions

Section 3: Case studies

This section provides a selection of case studies from people who have been involved in public health placements. These case studies help to illustrate how the placements have been organised and activities completed by the students as part of these placements, alongside the benefits for those involved. There are case studies from organisations who have provided placements with a focus on public health, an NHS organisation, AHP students, and education institutions. There are also case studies from a consultant who is considering offering a placement opportunity and an osteopath who has worked on various public health focused initiatives with graduate students who discusses engaging with partners.

*please note - in these three toolkits and supporting content ‘placement’ refers to all practice-based learning opportunities. Practice-based learning: Practice-based learning takes place during placements which involve a range of learning opportunities for student development. Students apply and consolidate their learning, bringing together academic theory, workplace practice to develop skills and competencies needed to register. Practice-based learning is supervised and structured to enable progress towards learning outcomes and usually involves the assessment of the learner.


Section 1

Section 2 - Toolkits

Section 3 - case studies