Student placement reference guide for placing coordinators at post-secondary institutions.

A placing coordinator (also known as practice placement coordinators) is an employee at the educational institution who is responsible for coordinating, planning and communicating student placements.

Be familiar with the roles and responsibilities

There are three named roles for facilitating student practice education: placing coordinator (educational institution), receiving coordinator (clinical education coordinator), and destination coordinator (site/location specific designate for a given practice area).

The placing coordinator is responsible to:

  • Ensure an affiliation agreement (and listed program) exists with Fraser Health.
  • Establish and maintains educational institution programs, courses, and data in HSPnet.
  • Submit and monitors student practice education experience via HSPnet including the review of any conditions applied to placement requests occur in a timely manner. Submits one request for each student practice experience.
  • Include required student and instructor information for each request (i.e., start and end date, type of experience [group, non-group, and observation], legal student name, and student educational institution email, faculty name, etc.).  Additional information may also be included such as student resumes, course handouts, field guides, evaluation forms, and so forth.
  • Submit students’ educational institution email addresses to HSPnet at least eight weeks prior to placement start date. This is required to set-up user access to Fraser Health computers.
  • Confirm accepted placements, releases student names, and cancels unused requests on HSPnet a minimum of six weeks prior to start date.
  • Act as the point of contact to communicate with receiving destination/agency.
  • Distribute health authority communication to educational institution stakeholders.
  • Ensure orientation requirements for student and faculty are met.  

Reviewing student placement requests in HSPnet

  • Make sure an affiliation agreement is in place with the school before accepting a request.
  • Review destination profiles for local practice setting descriptions, placement capacity and any specific requirements or orientation (e.g., resume, courses or typing speed requirement) as they may change. Contact the practice area for clarification or additional information if required (direct e-mail addresses provided in HSPnet).
  • Educational institutions are never permitted to enter acceptance of a request on behalf of Fraser Health in HSPnet. Acceptance in HSPnet is logged and provides confirmation that Fraser Health has reviewed the request as entered in HSPnet. This is the legal agreement that goes with the affiliation agreement.
  • Submit student placement requests in HSPnet a minimum of eight weeks prior to the placement start date.  To avoid placement delays ensure the following pertinent details are included:
    • Student’s correct information including their first and last name as well as the education issued email address.
    • Instructor’s first and last name, contact information including their education email address.
    • Type of placement (e.g., preceptorship/fieldwork,  group, observation, split). Split request when the student will spend time in more than one destination.
    • Actual start and end date of placement; include shift schedule and duration of hours.
    • Select site, service, destination and discipline using the HSPnet glossary of terms for accuracy.
    • Include a reasonable reply by date (greater than 2 weeks)
  • Review placement requests regularly for conditions that may be placed on the request.
    • Conditions usually indicate pertinent information is missing or the request does not accurately reflect the placement; these requests are not redirected to our destination coordinators until the condition is met. Note: If the condition is met, you will need to clear the checkbox which will signal our receiving coordinators to review the request again.
  • Enter data and notes into HSPnet as needed.

Preparing students and faculty for the placement

  • Review policies
    • Student Practice Policy
    • Documentation
    • Hand Hygiene
    • Confidentiality and Security of Personal Information
    • Electronic Communications
    • Professional Image
    • Conflict of Interest
    • Respectful Workplace
    • Safe Handling of Patients, Residents, and clients
    • Respiratory Protection
    • Scented products
    • Influenza Policy
    • Research – Intellectual Property
    • Patient and Family Gifts
    • Media Relations
  • Review orientation requirements and arrange for unit/practice setting specific orientation.
  • Review the British Columbia Student Practice Education Guidelines.

Creating a supportive learning environment

It is important to foster a learning environment in which students feel safe, relaxed, and willing to take risks. Here are some ways to create a supportive learning environment for your students:

Building a strong community in the workplace

The practice setting can play an important role in helping students build knowledge, apply skills, develop caring attitudes, be socialized into the profession, and create contacts for future employment. 

  • Start out by working together to provide care and orient the student to the practice setting.
  • Make them feel welcomed and a part of the team. Help students get acquainted with all members of the health care team.
  • Provide students with opportunities to share about their backgrounds and cultures.
  • Seek to connect students with a variety of learning opportunities to foster their preparation to move from the student to professional role. Provide a range of experiences provided, relevant to the students skills and level of learning.

Build self-esteem and self-efficacy

Students’ determination and belief that they can achieve their goals are important factors in their persistence in ongoing learning and transition to the professional role. 

  • Ensure that students experience success on their first day of the practicum so the first experience is a positive one. Ensure the students are respected and feel they are valued and part of the team.
  • Be patient. Patience is an extremely important characteristic for any preceptor/mentor. Individuals can often take a longer time in the learning process because of various learning styles, but this does not mean they aren’t motivated to learn.
  • Accept your student as he/she is and respect his/her values even if they differ from yours.
  • Believe in your student and he/she will begin to believe in him/herself.
  • Know your student's name and use it frequently. Introduce them to patients and members of the health care team.
  • Provide ongoing feedback to identify strengths as well as areas for improvement or shortcomings.
  • Support students to identify their learning needs and experiences that are appropriate to their level of learning.
  • To meet defined learning needs, use a range of learning experiences, involving patients, clients, health care providers and members of the inter-professional team,.
  • Identify aspects of the learning environment which could be enhanced, negotiating with others to make appropriate changes.
  • Act as a resource to facilitate the personal and professional development of others. 

Use positive non-verbal communication

Non-verbal messages are an essential component of communication in the learning process. It is not only what you say to your student that is important but also how you say it. An awareness of non-verbal behaviour will allow you to become a better receiver of students’ messages and a better sender of signals that reinforce learning. 

Some areas of non-verbal behaviours to explore include:

  • Eye contact: Those who make eye contact open the flow of communication and convey interest, concern, warmth and credibility.
  • Facial expressions: Smiling is a great way to communicate friendliness and warmth to students.
  • Gestures: A lively and animated teaching style captures students’ attention, makes the material more interesting, and facilitates learning. Head nods also communicate positive reinforcement to students and indicate that you are listening.
  • Posture and body orientation: Standing erect, but not rigid, and leaning slightly forward communicates to students that you are approachable, receptive and friendly. Speaking with your back turned or looking at the floor or ceiling should be avoided, as it communicates disinterest.
  • Proximity: Cultural norms dictate a comfortable distance for interaction with students. Look for signals of discomfort caused by invading students’ space, which include rocking, leg swinging, crossed arms, tapping and gaze aversion.
  • Paralinguistics: Tone, pitch, rhythm, timbre, loudness and inflection in the way you speak should be varied for maximum effectiveness. Students report that they learn less and lose interest more quickly when listening to teachers who have not learned to modulate their voices.
  • Humour: Develop the ability to laugh at yourself and encourage students to do the same. Humour is often overlooked as a teaching tool.  It can release stress and tension for both health care provider and student and foster a friendly classroom environment that facilitates learning.

Motivate students

Motivation is a key factor in student success.

  • Involve students as active participants in learning. Students learn by doing, making, planning, creating and solving. Pose questions. Don’t tell students something when you can ask them.
  • Be enthusiastic about what you are teaching. An individual’s enthusiasm is a crucial factor in student motivation. If you become bored or apathetic, students will too.
  • Work from students’ strengths and interests.
  • When possible, let students have some say in choosing component of their assignment during the placement.
  • Vary your teaching methods (e.g., debates, brainstorming, discussion, demonstrations, case studies, online courses). Variety reawakens students’ involvement and motivation.
  • Relate new tasks to those students already know.

Questions or concerns?

Contact the student practice team at

For assistance with HSPnet and troubleshooting, contact HSPnet Support directly at

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