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Procedures for Practical Learning Periods

Practical learning is coordinated and managed by the National Placement Specialist based in the Teagasc Curriculum Development & Standards Unit in Kildalton College. This work is supported by PLP Officers and other staff in the colleges and regional units.

Course Induction | Host Farmer PLP Request FormsLearner Learning Request FormsLearner Preparation for PLP | Learner and Host Farmer Induction Meeting

Information on PLP

Learners are provided with information on PLP at various stages during their studies. Information on PLP is made available via:

Course Induction

Learners are briefed on PLP arrangements as part of course induction. Course induction takes place during the first weeks of Teagasc courses. Learners meet  the PLP officer and information on the duration, timing and coordination of PLP is discussed. Learners have an opportunity to raise questions or concerns that may have during PLP briefings.

Host Farmer PLP Request Forms

Registered host farmers are required to complete a Learner Request Form each year. This allows Teagasc to update details of the practical learning period that can be offered by host farmers.

Learner Request Forms and other updates or changes to PLP procedures are communicated to host farmers by e-mail. Host Farmers are required to have a valid email and to inform the National Placement Specialist of changes to e-mail addresses. 

Farmers who do not return a completed a Learner Request Form cannot participate in PLP as a host.

Learner Learning Request Forms

As part of PLP planning, learners complete a PLP request form in October. The form allows the learner to:

  • Record their personal details.
  • Indicate their experience of:
    • Working with livestock.
    • Operating tractors & farm machinery.
  • Suggest their preferred location for PLP.
  • Rank their preferred main enterprise(s) for PLP.
  • Confirm that they will comply with the terms and conditions relating PLP.

Learner Preparation for PLP

To prepare learners for placement, the PLP Officer will work closely with learners and offer relevant advice and guidance. Induction and preparation for the PLP will include the following steps:

  • A PLP briefing during course induction.
  • Information meetings with the PLP Officer to answer questions and outline the management and coordination of PLP.
  • Completion of a Practical Learning Request Form by the learner.
  • Attendance at a PLP induction course prior to the beginning of the PLP where aspects of the PLP process is discussed in detail.
  • Health and safety training with particular emphasis on managing the risks associated with practicing skills training and identifying hazards in the workplace.
  • Information on reporting accidents.
  • Guidance on how to raise issues, problems or concerns while on PLP.
  • Details on how to make a formal complaint during the PLP process.
  • Information on the supervision of PLP by the college.
  • Guidance on completing the practical learning diary and other relevant assignments.
  • Outlining the assessment requirements to successfully pass the PLP module.
  • Information on tax credits and PAYE/PRSI requirements.
  • Support with registering with Revenue Online Services (ROS) if required.
  • Completing a mandatory learner/host farmer induction meeting and agreeing specific terms of the PLP including travel/commuting arrangements, food and accommodation, roles and responsibilities and skills to be experienced/learned. PLP cannot commence without attending the induction meeting
    with the host farmer.

Learner and Host Farmer Induction Meeting

An induction meeting, arranged between the learner and host farmer must take place before the commencement of the PLP.
A PLP Induction Meeting Form must be completed in detail and returned to the PLP Officer before PLP can commence.
This meeting should take place on the host farm and discuss, clarify and agree PLP arrangements including:

  • Daily start and finish times.
  • Payment of expense allowance.
  • Arrangements for food and accommodation.
  • Safety.
  • Insurance and driving licence requirements.
  • Biosecurity.
  • Use of mobile phone policies.
  • Main duties and responsibilities.
  • Skills practice.
  • Working additional hours.
  • Payment for working additional hours.
  • Complaint procedures.
  • Confidentiality and use of social media arr angements.

These topics should be discussed and agreed at the induction meeting prior to the start of the learning period. 

Attendance at induction training is mandatory for all learners prior to commencing PLP. It is Teagasc policy that learners cannot commence PLP until an induction course and a mandatory induction meeting with the host farmer is satisfactorily completed.