Internship agreements: what you need to know

Posted in: Work Experience

We're hearing from lots of students who have secured an internship or work experience over the summer. However, some of the paperwork and agreements employers can require as part of these can be complicated. Lets give you the low down on what employers might ask for.

Internship agreements/convention de stage

A convention de stage/acuerdo de practicas/convenio de colaboracion is a type of contract between an employer, a student and a university. They are required in France, Spain and Belgium, and are common practice in some other European countries for many types of temporary vocational work experience. These documents must be signed by all three parties and are a formal contractual agreement, stating the responsibilities of each party. They are therefore more than just proof of student status. Companies need this so that they can legally pay the student below the minimum wage and aren’t liable for healthcare costs and social security.

The employer should let you know if this is something they are going to require. Some employers might be asking for this kind of agreement but might not call it by these names. So it is important to clarify exactly what they need.

How to get an internship agreement

For all current students wanting to do a placement, either as part of their degree or during their summer holidays, the University will happily provide a convention de stage when it is needed, even if the placement is not counted towards their degree. You just need to be registered as a student when you are doing the placement.

We have a University-wide amended convention de stage and the University prefers to use this in all cases. All you need to do is contact the Faculty/School Placements Team, or a Director of Studies if you are a postgraduate student. Should your potential employer insist upon using their own template, this will need to be checked by our legal team, potentially leading to delays.

Companies will regularly try and recruit graduates and request a convention de stage. Sometimes loopholes at European Universities make this possible. If you are a graduate, you are not entitled to a convention de stage as your formal relationship with the University of Bath has ended. We have had instances of graduates getting as far as being accepted for a job before discovering that a convention de stage was required and then having to withdraw because one cannot be supplied. Clarify whether this will be required before you apply for anything described as an internship or stage.

Proof of student status and transcripts

All employers operate slightly differently. Some employers might want proof that you are a student or might want transcripts of your results so far.

How to get proof of student status

You can generate a student status certificate through SAMIS or request a certified document if required. Any third party, like your employer can email Academic Registry after receiving these to confirm their authenticity.  Academic Registry have more information on their website.

How to get academic transcripts

You can also generate transcripts in SAMIS. However do bear in mind that at certain times of year (e.g. examination periods) you will be unable to access the self-service transcript facility or view your results. The dates when this will become available again are listed on the SAMIS home page prior to logging in. You can also request a transcript to be sent to a third party if your employer requires these. More information is available from Academic Registry.

When in doubt - ask!

If you’re unsure about any aspect of what an employer is asking you to provide, don’t hesitate to go back for clarification. It is much better to fully understand what the employer needs than spending ages collecting documents and agreements only to discover they aren't what they need. Remember, it’s also important to fully understand your rights and responsibilities before signing any contract. In Careers we can't give legal advice on contracts or contact employers for you. However, if you want any help with writing an email to an employer or want to talk through your questions, we are happy to help. Find out more about how to get help from Careers.

Posted in: Work Experience


  • (we won't publish this)

Write a response