Off venue activity (OffVenueActivity)

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Off venue activity
Short Name
This entity records details of a student's placement activity or time spent abroad.
Uniquely Identified By
Applicable To
England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

All StudentCourseSessions where applicable


The OffVenueActivity entity is required under the following circumstances:

  • The student is undertaking a placement in the UK, unless they are at:
    • Providers in England: on a clinical placement or work-based placement as part of an apprenticeship course.
    • Providers in Northern Ireland: on a teacher training placement or clinical placement
    • Providers in Scotland: on a teacher training placement, clinical placement, or apprenticeship course. Study placements (primarily research trips and field trips) may be returned on an optional basis
    • Providers in Wales: on a clinical placement
  • The student is outside the UK, unless they are writing up or will spend the majority of their engagement outside the UK.
  • The activity is 20 days or longer in duration (including where multiple off venue activities between 5 and 20 days’ duration have a combined duration of at least 20 days).

Off venue activities need to be submitted throughout the StudentCourseSession, not just the reference period they occurred in. For example, if the activity occurs at the beginning of the StudentCourseSession, it must continue to be returned in every reference period the StudentCourseSession spans.

In addition to the country-specific exceptions above, the OffVenueActivity entity is not required for distance learning (as this is recorded in the StudyLocation entity).

Clinical Placements

Statutory clinical placements should not be returned in this entity. This refers to any clinical placement which is a compulsory element of the student’s course. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Social care
  • Midwifery
  • Healthcare
  • Veterinary

The below definition has been provided by Health Education England for the placements that they will monitor separately:

'Any suitable supervised clinical, practical or other learning experience in a workplace environment provided, conducted or arranged by the placement provider for Learners; usually but not limited to an NHS trust, Foundation trust, GP surgery, dental practice and other organisations that form part of the National Health Service or who deliver placement learning funded by the NHS which for the purposes of this Agreement includes the private and voluntary sectors.'

 OffVenueActivity duration

Teacher training placements in England must be returned irrespective of duration. All other off venue activities that contain at least 20 days duration of activity are mandatory to return.

All other off venue activities that are between 5 and 20 days duration but, when combined with other off venue activities taking place over the StudentCourseSession, sum to a total length of 20 days or more, must also be returned. For providers in Northern Ireland and Wales, all activity should be first reported in the reference period where the 20 day duration has been achieved. For providers in Scotland, when it is intended that this threshold will be passed within a StudentCourseSession, the activity must be returned in the first reference period within that StudentCourseSession. 

Although optional, providers should be encouraged to return off venue activites that are less than 20 days in length.

If the placement spans more than one StudentCourseSession, the provider should split the activity between sessions, but only if the split activity puts at least 20 days in each StudentCourseSession: if splitting the activity would result in less than 20 days being reported for one of the sessions, then it should not be split. In these cases, the extra days should be returned in the session with the majority of the duration. If an activity spans StudentCourseSessions (with at least 20 days in each) the activity should be split between the StudentCourseSessions with the duration and dates reflecting the period attached to the current StudentCourseSession only.

Actual and planned dates


In this example, the full OffVenueActivity is contained within one StudentCourseSession.

The student starts their placement part way through reference period one. At the point of returning reference period one data to HESA, the student is still on their placement and has completed more than 20 days. The student finishes their placement in reference period two.

In reference period one, return the placement activity start date and provide an estimate for the end date with the estimated duration calculated based on difference between the two, excluding expected days not worked, weekends, holidays etc. In reference period two you would then return the placement with the same start date and use the correct end date and duration.

Quality Rules
Quality rules to follow
Reason Required
To enable analysis of the delivery of placements or activity abroad; to enable analysis of student mobility and placements; to monitor how this activity impacts on student attainment and graduate outcomes; to monitor the characteristics of students undertaking this activity.
Minimum Occurrences0
Maximum Occurrences
Child Fields
Revision History
Coding Manual VersionElement VersionNotes of coverage statement to be consistent with other coverage statements. update to guidance notes to clarify the different requirements for different countries for this entity.