Policy Redesign Project

All policies and procedures are being reviewed as part of this project. This document is pending review, but remains in effect until the review is carried out.

Administrative Procedures for Student Work-Integrated Learning Placements

Establishment: Academic Senate, 15 September 2010
Last Amended: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), 4 April 2017
Nature of Amendment: Change of working in Sections 4.1 and 4.1.5, removal of  section 4.1.4
Date Last Reviewed: March 2017
Responsible Officer: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students)

1.  Purpose

The purpose of these procedures is to regulate the operation of student placements arranged by the University in Work-Integrated Learning topics. These procedures should be read in conjunction with Courses Policy, Annex B: Framework for Work-Integrated Learning in Undergraduate Courses.


2.  Responsibilities of Schools 

Schools that offer Work-Integrated Learning placement topics have responsibility for negotiating and managing individual placements for students enrolled in those topics, and for ensuring that the provisions for placement will meet relevant educational requirements and will have due regard to students’ health and safety and to the reputation of the University and host organisations. Where a School uses an external agent to assist in negotiating or managing placements, the School must ensure that its contractual arrangements with the agent will provide adequate outcomes for student placements.

2.1  Staffing

Schools must make available appropriate staffing for the management of student placements, and must ensure that staff responsible for coordinating and supervising placements undertake required training.
Schools must notify students on placement and host organisations of the contact details of staff members responsible for coordinating the placements concerned. 

2.2  Conditions to be Provided in Agreements with Host Organisations

Schools must ensure that a written agreement governing the conditions of placement is negotiated with a host organisation or its agent. Conditions of placement must be so designed as to ensure appropriate arrangements for students and the achievement of the desired educational and training outcomes. They must specify any conditions related to fitness for placement required of students, including criminal history checks and health checks, and provisions for withdrawal from placement. The conditions in the agreement must include the following:

  • the nature and purpose of the placement and of the work to be undertaken
  • the conditions of placement, which may include but are not limited to the following: conditions of engagement by the host organisation (such as supervision, hours of duty, dress requirements, remuneration as applicable, and any English language requirements ); any requirements of the School, such as submission of reports on work undertaken; and provisions for fitness for placement (see section 5 below)
  • each party’s obligations regarding occupational health and safety, insurance and indemnity (see section 3 below)
  • as applicable, the nature of supervision by University staff and by staff of the host organisation
  • the University’s responsibilities for the student 
  • the host organisation’s responsibilities for the student
  • the student’s responsibilities during the placement.

2.3  Advice to Students

In addition to information on the requirements of topic completion, schools must provide advice to students undertaking placements on the following:

  • criteria and processes for selecting and allocating students, with reference as appropriate to the following: 
    • conditions of fitness for placement, including criminal history checks and health checks
    • recognition of any relevant prior work experience under the terms of the Credit Transfer Policy
    • allocation into topics with limited availability of places
    • alternative activities where placement is impracticable for any reason
  • any training required of students before the placement
  • conditions of placement or engagement in the workplace
  • student responsibilities in the workplace, including expected standards of behaviour and performance
  • staff responsibilities, including supervision and mentoring where applicable
  • host organisation responsibilities
  • occupational health and safety provisions (see section 3 below)
  • any mandatory reporting requirements that may be applicable (see section 4 below)
  • occupational health and safety provisions (see section 3 below)
  • insurance (see section 3 below)
  • any intellectual property provisions that may be applicable
  • any employment contracts or agreements in relation to the placement, including any provisions for remuneration
  • provisions regarding suspension or withdrawal from placement (see section 6 below)
  • any requirements for students to submit reports on completion of their placements
  • where the placement involves research, the University’s Research-Related Policies and Procedures.

2.4  Support for Students

Schools are responsible for providing adequate support to students in each phase of their placement, including, where relevant, the identification of an academic mentor during the preparatory phase, the opportunity for interactive review in the retrospective phase and the identification and support of any students considered to be significantly at risk of failure in placements. Advice and support to students may be made available on-line.


3.  Student Placement Occupational Health and Safety Guidelines

3.1  Duty of Care

Under OHS legislation, host organisations are responsible for ensuring that their workplace is safe for students on placement.

3.2  University Responsibilities

The School must ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that host organisations provide adequately for OHS so that students are not placed in situations of potential harm.

  • Schools must ensure that students are given an appropriate general OHS preparation before placement, which makes students aware of:
  • their role, responsibilities and rights in relation to health and safety in the workplace; 
  • insurance arrangements and implications;
  • the procedure to be followed if they are concerned about any health and safety issues at their placement;
  • any specific requirements of the host organisation e.g. specific safety issues or student responsibilities; and 
  • procedures for reporting any incidents or accidents to the University’s OHS Unit.

3.3  Student responsibilities

Before starting their placements, students must participate in appropriate general OHS training/program, organised through the relevant School.
During placements, students must comply with any reasonable safety instructions, rules or procedures of the host organisation (e.g. wearing of personal protective equipment).
In the event of an accident, injury or safety incident whilst on placement, students must notify their University placement supervisor/coordinator as soon as practicable.

3.4  Host Organisation Responsibilities

Host organisations are responsible for:

  • ensuring students are provided with a safe workplace;
  • ensuring students are informed of relevant occupational health and safety requirements and procedures (e.g. induction);
  • contacting the nominated University staff member (e.g. placement coordinator) in the event of a student having an accident, sustaining an injury or being involved in a safety incident whilst on placement; and
  • having adequate public liability insurance cover in relation to loss, damage or injury suffered by students and/or University staff as a result of acts or omissions by the host organisation, its employees and third parties.

Students must not be placed with any host organisation which does not provide adequately for OHS or public liability insurance.

3.5  University Insurance

Except where they are in paid employment, students undertaking placements are covered by the University’s insurance policy as follows:

  • Professional indemnity – for a breach of professional duty and/or the execution of professional activities by reason of act, error or omission.
  • Public liability – for negligence by the student resulting in injury and/or property damage. 
  • Personal accident – for students who have an accident while on placement, which prevents them from earning their usual form of income. Limited hospital and medical expenses and permanent disablement and accidental death benefits also apply. 
  • Medical malpractice where applicable.

Where the placement involves paid employment, students are covered by the employee insurance applicable in the workplace concerned. 


4.  Mandatory Reporting Requirements

Under various State and Commonwealth legislation the University or an enrolled student may be obliged to lodge a report to a relevant registration body in accordance with mandatory reporting requirements.

4.1  AHPRA health-related notification

Under the requirements of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law , the University is obliged to notify the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) if it reasonably believes that a student has an impairment that, in the course of the student undertaking clinical training as part of the program of study, may place the public at substantial risk of harm. Where a health-related notification is received by AHPRA, the student concerned may be subject to a health assessment by the relevant National Board to ensure appropriate action is taken, if required, to protect the public.

4.1.1  Mandatory notification requirements under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law apply to students enrolled in courses leading to professional registration in the following professions:

  • Medicine
  • Midwifery
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychology

4.1.2  ‘Impairment’ for the purpose of notifying AHPRA is defined as a physical or mental impairment, disability, condition or disorder (including substance abuse or dependence) that detrimentally affects or is likely to detrimentally affect a student's capacity to undertake clinical training.

4.1.3  Procedures

(a)  Where a student is aware that they have an impairment of the kind defined in clause 4.1.2 they must report this to the relevant Course Coordinator.

(b)  Where a Course Coordinator is concerned that a student may have an impairment that may place the public at substantial risk of harm, s/he will seek advice from the University’s Disability Advisor and discuss the concern with the Dean of School (or nominee) and the student. In exercising this responsibility, the Course Coordinator will ensure the student is treated equitably and with sensitivity and in accordance with the requirements of the Policy on Students with Disabilities.

(c)  If, after these discussions, the Course Coordinator and the Dean of School (or nominee) are in agreement that a report should be made to AHPRA, the Course Coordinator will prepare a report through the relevant Executive Dean in accordance with procedures approved by the Faculty. This report must be in accordance with Guidelines for mandatory notifications issued from time to time by the relevant National Board and on the approved AHPRA form for notification.  A copy of the report must be lodged with the Director, Student Administration and Systems to be retained on a confidential file in the University’s electronic records management system. 

(d)  Where it is necessary for a School to take action to protect the public, including the modification of a student’s placement or withdrawing the student from the placement, the processes as set out in clause 5.3 or section 6 below must be followed.

4.1.4  Student reporting obligations

Under the requirements of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, a student enrolled in a course leading to professional registration in one of the professions listed in clause 4.1.1 is obliged to notify the relevant national board in writing within 7 days of the following events:

  • being charged with an offence punishable by 12 months imprisonment or more; or
  • being convicted of or the subject of a finding of guilt for an offence punishable by imprisonment; or
  • their student registration under the law of another country that provides for the registration of students being suspended or cancelled.

5.  Student Fitness for Placement 

5.1  Schools may establish, in consultation with host organisations, requirements for students to demonstrate fitness to undertake placements. These requirements may include health or other checks or a self declaration as to their fitness to undertake the placement. Any such checks or declarations must be:

  • applicable to all students involved in such placements; and
  • related to the requirements of the duties or functions to be carried out in the placement; and
  • consistent with University policy and Commonwealth and State Government legislation relating to equal opportunity and discrimination.

5.2  A student who cannot demonstrate fitness to undertake the placement or who refuses to undertake a required check or make a self declaration may be refused placement. 

5.3  Where there is a pre-existing medical or other condition such that the ability to practice may be impaired, the student will discuss the issues with the topic coordinator so that where possible reasonable accommodations, an access plan or a modified placement that will meet the learning outcomes of the topic can be arranged, within the terms of the Policy on Students with Disabilities. The student may wish to discuss the issues with a University Disability Advisor in the first instance.

5.4  Schools must establish procedures that should be followed in the case of a student who is refused placement, and that must address the following: 

  1. identification of the appropriate authority to determine that the student should be refused placement; 
  2. provisions for advising the student on the consequences for course completion and on any remedial action that can be taken by the student;
  3. provisions for the student to seek a review of the decision to refuse placement, which address the issues of student representation, and the student's and the faculty's rights and responsibilities; and
  4. the possibility of an alternative placement.


6.  Withdrawal of Students from Placement 

6.1  A School may withdraw a student from a placement, either for a specific period of time and subject to specific conditions or for the remainder of the duration of the placement, where:

1.  the student is unable after due instruction and guidance, to perform satisfactorily without an inappropriate or an unattainable degree of supervision from supervisory personnel with respect to:

1.1 skills involving a client's comfort or safety within a host organisation;

1.2 the performance of technical procedures already taught, demonstrated and practised in a prior clinical or practical situation; 

2.  the student performs in a manner detrimental to the professional experience of other students;

3.  the student breaches the legal, ethical or professional codes of the organisation providing the placement or of the industry concerned;

4.  the student demonstrates negligence in the performance of an assigned duty; 

5.  the host organisation is unable or unwilling to maintain an appropriate placement experience for the student.

6.  required by a registration body in accordance with State or Commonwealth legislation.

6.2  Where a School withdraws a student for the remainder of the placement for reasons listed in 6.1.1 to 6.1.4 above, a fail result normally will be recorded in the topic. Where a student's placement is terminated for reasons of lack of appropriate support by the host organisation, no Fail will be recorded and the student will be assisted to find an alternative placement to enable them to complete the placement topic. Where a student is withdrawn from a placement due to a direction or order of a registration body for reasons other than those relating to professional conduct or performance the final grade for the topic will normally result in a Withdraw, Not Fail (WN) grade.

6.3  The School must establish procedures that should be followed in the case of such withdrawal, and that must address the following:

  • identification of the authority to determine that the student should be withdrawn from the placement;
  • provisions for advising the student, which must include written advice on the nature of the problem with the student's placement, on the consequences for course completion of unsuccessful completion of the placement, and on any remedial action that can be taken by the student;
  • provisions for students to seek a review of the decision to withdraw them, which address the issues of student representation, and the student's, the host organisation's and the faculty's rights and responsibilities;
  • the possibility of relocation to an alternative placement, and associated procedures.