Monday, October 29, 2012


GUIDELINES FOR FIELD ATTACHMENT Approved by Makerere University Senate at its Special Meeting held in July 2006 1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Definition of Field Attachment Field Attachment is a Filed Based Practical Training Experience that prepares trainees for the tasks they are expected to perform on completion of their training. Currently, field attachment in Makerere University is known by several names in different faculties and/or disciplines. The other names for it include: Internship, School Practice, Electives and Community Based Education and Services (COBES), and Industrial Training. During consultations with the various stakeholders, it was noted that the terminology ‘internship’ which had earlier on been adopted might be confusing with respect to the conventionally and internally known post-graduate training in some professions, especially Human Medicine. It was therefore agreed and recommended that for avoidance of this confusion, the term “Field attachment” be adopted for all teaching units to mean any approved field based practical work carried out by staff and student for the purpose of teaching and / or research in places outside the University control but where the University is responsible for the safety of its staff, students and others exposed to their activities. 1.2 Objectives The purpose of field attachments at Makerere University is to produce practically oriented graduates that meet the required job-related competences of their future employers. Additionally, it serves as a linkage between the University and various partners who consume services and / or products of the University. The specific objectives of the field attachment program are as follows: i. To enable students get hands on experience real-life situation they are expected to work in when they graduate; ii. To provide an opportunity for students to apply the principles and techniques theoretically learnt into real-life problem solving situations; iii. To provide an opportunity for students and academic staff to interact with stakeholders and potential employers to appreciate field situations that will also generate information for curricula review and improvement; iv. To develop student understanding of works ethics, employment demands, responsibilities and opportunities; v. To enhance and strengthen linkages between Makerere University and various stakeholders. 1.3 Expected benefits from the Field Attachment Field Attachments will be implemented through partnership between the University and other partners who consume the University products and services. This partnership has three key stakeholders namely: the University Partners, the University and the Students. Commitment to this partnership rests on mutual benefits for all the key partners. The expected benefits of the program for different parties include: 1.3.1 University Partners I. Will get opportunity to be involved in the training and review of programs at Makerere University, II. Will be exposed to a pool of potential employees from which to select. This will ultimately reduce on the costs of induction/orientation of new employees; III. Will get additional resource for effective and efficient service delivery; 1.3.2 Makerere University i. Will get opportunity to appreciate client demands and the quality of graduate required to fulfill these demands; ii. As a result of cooperation the potential for research will be enhanced and developed with various partners; iii. Will get opportunity to access training facilities and resources that are not available at Makerere University. 1.3.3 Students I. Will acquire new knowledge and practical experiences; II. Will improve their confidence in problem solving; III. Opportunity to relate to different categories of people likely to be met in real – life situation; IV. Will gain exposure to the demands and challenges of the work place; V. Will get opportunity to meet and work with potential employers; VI. Will have appreciation of the profession and therefore better work ethics. 1.4 Roles and Responsibilities of the Stakeholders If the Field attachment program is to be implemented effectively and sustainable, the various partners have to commit themselves to specific roles and responsibilities. The following are the roles and responsibilities of each partner: 1.4.1 The University i. Will provide overall institutional management of the program; ii. Shall integrate field attachment into the University curricula and have it reviewed periodically; iii. Will be responsible for the developing of a monitoring and evaluation criteria for Field Attachment Program including code of conduct for the students and staff; iv. Shall initiate partnership with relevant organizations and concretize this partnership with memoranda of understanding; v. Will be responsible for identifying sites that offer valuable learning experiences to the students and staff; vi. Will develop criteria and/or guidelines for selection and training/orientation of the field supervisors; vii. Shall build field attachment expenses in the University fees structure and budget. Efforts should be made to supplement the budget with internally and externally mobilized funds; viii. Shall source for funding from development partners and internally support implementation of the field attachment program; ix. Will create platforms and mechanisms for sharing experience arising out of the field attachment program by the stakeholders. For purposes of implementation, the University will perform its roles and responsibilities through the respective Colleges/Faculties/Schools /Institutes. 1.4.2 University Partners i. Shall participate in the planning, supervision and evaluation of the students on field attachment; ii. Will provide on-site technical and professional guidance to the students on field attachment throughout the field attachment period; iii. Will provide feedback to the University on the experience of the field attachment program; iv. Will commit their organizational facilities and/or resources for effective implementation of the field attachment program; v. Will engage in a mutual learning exercise together with the students and staff of Makerere University; vi. Will provide students on field attachment with a wide range of experiences that go beyond technical skills; vii. Shall give accreditation and credit gains to students on field attachment. 1.4.3 Roles and Responsibilities of Students i. Shall take field attachment as part and parcel of their training at Makerere University and have positive attitude towards learning by practice; ii. Shall respect all field supervisors and any other persons they interact with throughout their field attachment period regardless of their background training and social differentiation; iii. Should work willingly wherever they are posted/attached; iv. Should develop the day-to-day work plans with their field supervisors; v. Should spend the field attachment funds in accordance with the budget line terms. To reaffirm this, the student on the field attachment will be required to sign a commitment form before receiving the internship funds; vi. Must adhere to the field attachment code of conduct and code of conduct of the host organization; vii. Will provide reports and other forms of feedback to the University and host partners, which may include but not limited to: Self – evaluation, program evaluation, supervisors’ evaluation and site evaluation. 2.0 Organization of the Field Attachment Field Attachment shall be organized through six steps namely: 1. Program Management; 2. Budgeting; 3. Pre-placement; 4. Placement 5. Supervision 6. Evaluation 2.1 Program Management 2.1.1 Senate Sub-Committee In order to make field attachment a University rather than a teaching unit affair, Senate Sub-Committee should be established at management level with the following terms of reference: 1. To co-ordinate and harmonize the field attachment activities in all units; 2. To review supervision, assessment and final evaluation of the field attachment programs in different teaching units periodically. 2.1.2 Faculty Committees on Field Attachment At unit level, there will be a Faculty/School/Institute Field Attachment Committee chaired by the Dean. It will comprise of the following: 1. Dean 2. Heads of Departments 3. Field attachment Co-coordinators, 4. One representative of the Local Governments recommended by the Uganda Local Authorities Association (ULAA) or any other body responsible for coordinating Local Governments; 5. One representative of the private sector; 6. One representative of the Line Ministry, and one representative of any other key stakeholder as each faculty deems necessary. The terms of reference of the unit level committee shall include: i. To carry out budgeting for Field Attachment; ii. To assist the University funding sources; iii. To review placement and supervision procedures; iv. To handle assessment and final evaluation of field attachment; v. To mainstream Field Attachment in the academic programs. 2.1.3 Budget The sponsors and the University should consider field attachment program as a priority academic activity. The following are recommendations on sustainability measures: 1. Uganda Government should show commitment by giving the necessary financial support to field attachment; 2. The University should cost Field Attachment program and the fees passed over to the benefactors of the students. The tuition fees whether Government or privately sponsored should have the field attachment component. 3. Teaching units should form partnership with the districts and private sector and negotiate how best the partners can support the field attachment program. The teaching units should endeavour to source for additional resources from development partners to support the field attachment program. 4. In addition to supporting the field attachment programs directly, Government and development partners should support participating institutions to offer field attachment to students. 5. On-site supervisors should be recognized and motivated through appropriate means such as payment of honorarium and/or a letter of recognition. 6. Each unit will have an annual field attachment budget with the following line items: i. Students’ maintenance ii. Student’s material and equipment iii. Planning and preparation for students’ placement and supervision: a. Meetings b. Transport c. Subsistence d. Communication e. Stationery f. Academic supervision g. Facilitation for on-site supervision h. Coordination expenses. 2.1.4 Pre-placement This activity consists of three tasks namely; visits to field attachment areas and joint planning, briefing students and re-orienting the academic staff. 2.1.5 Visits to Field attachment sites and Joint Planning with the Partners The purpose of the visits is to identify partners/sites and negotiate relationships, roles and responsibilities. The visits should be followed by prior exchange communication with the partners to confirm appointment. Academic staff together with the partners should identify suitable sites for students’ attachment. Criteria for site selection should be as follows: a. Availability of suitable field supervisor(s) b. Availability of supportive facilities to the learning of the student(s). c. Availability of on-going activities to provide learning experiences to the student(s). d. Gender needs e. Health and safety of the site. Joint planning should include drawing an action plan for implementation of the program; agree on the evaluation criteria of the students on the field attachment and modalities for supervision. It also involves training of the supervisors in specific requirements for supervision and evaluation of the students on field attachment. This activity should be carried out during the break between semester I and II. 2.1.6 Briefing of the Students Before the placement, students should be briefed a week before they do the end of Semester II examination, so that they can appreciate field attachment as an integral part of their training programs. In such briefing, the following areas shall be addressed: 1. The purpose of the field attachment program 2. Basic requirements in terms of equipment and materials 3. Code of conduct expected of the students during the field attachments. 4. Roles of the various supervisors (academic and field supervisors). 5. Grading/Evaluation of the field attachment program. 6. Various channels of communication for students on field attachments for example where and how to report when they have problems. 7. The final field attachment report format. 8. When and how to hand over materials/equipment lent to them (by the host organization) during field attachment. 9. Health and safety issues. 2.1.7 Re-orientation of the academic staff Since all the academic staff will participate in supervision of the students on field attachment, they should all be involved in the planning and organization of the exercise. They should be well re-oriented on the following: i. The purpose of the field attachment program ii. What the task involves iii. Development and review of the monitoring and evaluation /assessment criteria. This activity should be carried out before the visits to the internship sites. This is because some of the staff will be involved in the pre-placement preparations. 2.2 Placement 2.2.1 Duration and timing The year of study that students will go for field attachment depends on the design of the academic program. Cognizant of the cost of the field attachment program, it is however preferable those students have field attachment at least twice but not more than thrice during their timing at the University. This is considered to be the adequate period for student to have a first experience, conceptualize those experiences in their training and try out what they have learnt in another way (in the second field attachment) It is recommended that all other teaching units conduct their field attachment at the end of the second semester and each period of the field attachment should last at least eight weeks per year. 2.2.2 Posting The processing of posting students on field attachment will include: 1. Identifying suitable candidates for each site. 2. Preparing letters of Introduction and other necessary documents for example guidelines for field attachment report writing, student’s evaluation forms, log books and journals. 3. Payment of students’ field attachment logistical and financial support, which should be harmonized with the time of posting. The payment of student allowances should be done not more than one week before their date of reporting for the field attachment. 2.2.3 Students’ Records Student on field attachment will be required to keep notebook (or log book) where they will enter their daily records of the activities they are engaged in as well as new knowledge and innovations learnt. The on-site supervisor shall assess the daily records in the log book. In addition, the interns’ log books shall be assessed and signed by the academic supervisors each time they visit the student(s) in the field. At the end of the field attachment period, the student shall produce a report of their field attachment experiences based on guidelines. AllUniversity policies apply throughout the duration of the field work. It is the Field work Supervisor’s responsibility to ensure that people involved in the field work are aware of all relevant policies. The University shall develop suitable penalties for students who do not comply with the guidelines. 2.3 Supervision i. There will be two distinct levels of supervision; site level day – to – day supervision by the field supervisor and the academic supervision from the University. ii. Each site/student will be visited at least three times by the academic supervisors, each visit lasting 2 – 3 days or more like in the case of Faculty of Education. iii. During the visit, the academic supervisor will interact with the student on the field attachment, field supervisor/other relevant officials and also visit the attachment sites to acquaint himself/herself with the activities of the student. 2.4 Requirements for on-site and academic supervisors The on-site and academic supervisors need to meet the following requirements: 2.4.1 On-site Supervisors On – site supervisors will: i. Be persons with relevant practical experience. ii. Show willingness to have regular contact with the student on field attachment. iii. Have reasonable ethical and professional conduct. iv. Be willing to engage in a learning experience with the student on field attachment. 2.4.2 Academic supervisors i. Supervision will be done by qualified academic staff, that is Assistant lecturer and above. ii. Schedules of the academic supervisors’ reports will be communicated to the partners or field supervisors in advance. iii. The supervision reports will be written on the spot and copies given to the student and the field attachment coordinator. iv. The University shall develop penalties for academic supervisors whose performance in the field will be found to be wanting or in breach of professional conduct. 2.5 Evaluation i. Given the duration and intensity of the field attachment program and the rigor of assessment (by field supervisor, academic supervisor, field attachment report), the internship should carry an overall weighting of 5.0 credit units. ii. The field attachment, being part and parcel of the academic program, must be assessed, graded and the grades should contribute towards the award of a candidate. iii. The field attachment grades should appear on the student transcript as an independent course. 2.5.1 Students’ Assessment Marks for the field attachment performance will be distributed between assessment by the on-site supervisor, academic supervisor and field attachment report. In view of the purpose of the field attachment program as providing practical orientation, the assessment by the on-site- supervisor, who is best placed to monitor and assess the student daily performance, should be given prominence in proportion distribution. The marks for field attachments be distributed as follows: i. Assessment by on-site field supervisor based on agreed criteria will carry not more than 40%. ii. Perceived benefits/value to all parties. iii. Organization and coordination. iv. Supervision. v. Sustainability. 2.5.2 Overall Evaluation For continued partnership, academic supervisors should evaluate the field attachment program annually based on: i. Perceived benefits/value to all parties. ii. Organization and coordination. iii. Supervision. iv. Sustainability. 3.0 Conclusion The importance of field attachment in the University training cannot be disputed. All parties, that is, the University partners and the teaching units in the University do recognize and appreciate its value. For effective implementation of field attachment under these guidelines the Senate decided as follows: 1. All teaching units should as a matter of urgency review and mainstream field attachment in their curricula. 2. The semesterisation of academic programs needs to be reviewed to provide for appropriate timing of the field attachment. 3. Field attachment should be provided for in the University annual budgets and sourcing of funding for field attachment is a primary role of the University. 4. Partnership with the collaborating organization needs should be negotiated, formalized and strengthened for sustainability of the field attachment program. 5. The field attachment guidelines should be organic and dynamic to suit the ever –changing environment. Therefore these guidelines need to be reviewed after one year of implementation.

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