Clinical placements

In accordance with the University’s Work-Integrated Learning Policy, many health sciences courses offer Work-Integrated Learning placements which provide practical experience for students and must meet relevant educational and health and safety requirements. They must also uphold the reputation of the University and the host organisations.

To make the most of your placement experience, you need to be prepared. It is important that you take responsibility and engage with the processes involved in both preparing for and undertaking your placement.

This page provides a generic snapshot about clinical placement preparation. You will be provided with all details regarding your compliance paperwork requirements for your chosen course in good time to be completed to meet all placement requirements.


Current students

Current students enrolled in placement topics should refer to all placement requirements provided by your course coordinator as these will be specifically tailored for you.

Contact the placement coordinator for your course/discipline for further information.


Future students

There are two main areas of compliance paperwork that are generally required in the School of Health Sciences:

  • Criminal history screening
  • Immunisations

This table is a guide and can be subject to change.

Course / Discipline
Criminal history screening Immunisations
Applied Gerontology Not applicable
Audiology Y Y
Disability & Community Inclusion Y N
Nutrition & Dietetics Y Y
Occupational Therapy Y Y
Optometry Y Y
Palliative Care Not applicable
Physiotherapy Y Y
Public Health Not applicable
Rehabilitation & Aged Care Y Y
Social Health Science Y N
Speech Pathology Y Y


Criminal history screenings

SA Health requires all students undertaking a placement in South Australia to hold current Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) screenings as well as a National Police Certificate (NPC) for placements from 2018.

DCSI Screenings

Current Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) screening checks for:

  • Aged Care sector employment
  • Child-related sector employment
  • Vulnerable person related employment

The School has been advised by DCSI that:

  • Aged Care, Child-related and Vulnerable Person clearances are valid for three years from the date of issue and are 'portable'.
  • DCSI will no longer issue replacements for lost or misplaced certificates within the validity period. Therefore, it is important to keep these in a safe place.

The screening(s) are required to cover the entire placement period.

Costs for obtaining a criminal history record screening are the responsibility of the student.

These clearances are required to be valid for the entire period of your placement, therefore, if they expire before you have finished your placements, you will need to re-apply.

How to apply:

Flinders University has registered with the Screening Unit to use the online system and will initiate your application once you have enrolled. DCSI will send you an email with instructions on how to complete your online application.

If you need to renew your clearances please email the PEP Unit at with your Student ID, First Name, Middle Name(s), Last Name, Email Address and Date of Birth.

More information can be found on the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion website.

If your placement will be outside of South Australia please contact the PEP Unit for information on any additional screenings required.

National Police Certificate (NPC)

As of 2018, SA Health also requires all health care students to have a National Police Certificate (NPC) in addition to their current DCSI clearances.

Flinders University classifies as a volunteer organisation with the South Australian Police and has a Volunteer Organisation Authority Number (VOAN). This allows students who reside in South Australia and going on placements to receive their required National Police Certificate free of charge. To receive your NPC free of charge, please ensure you follow the process below (‘How to apply’).

How to apply (if you reside in South Australia):

1. Complete all applicant details on page 1 and sign the consent on page 2 of the PD267.
Category: Working with Children/Vulnerable Groups
Check Type: VOAN Volunteer (VC)

2. Make copies of your ID documents required to meet the 100 point criteria set out on page 2 of the PD267.

3. Present your completed PD267, ID documents and copies to a SA police station or by a Justice of the Peace. Both the PD267 and ID copies need to be certified.

4. Bring the original authorised PD267 along with the original copies of your certified ID to the front desk of College of Nursing and Health Sciences. The College will complete the volunteer authority details and lodge the application on your behalf.

5. SAPOL will post your National Police Certificate to the address you completed on the form.

For further information, please see the SAPOL VOAN Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions.

If you reside in a different state or territory, you will need to arrange a National Police Certificate through your relevant state or territory police.

International students will be required to bring a criminal history screening from their home country in English or with a certified translation.



For your protection, as well as that of other's whom you come into contact with on your professional experience placements, it is essential that your immunisation history is complete and up-to-date prior to attending your placements.

Students are responsible for reading and understanding the .

Without full immunisation, there would be little or no opportunity to attend placement.

Students undertaking a placement as part of their studies in Nursing, Midwifery or any of the Health Sciences courses are required to complete the .

3A. Immunisation for students completing a placement within South Australia

If you are a student attending a placement within South Australia you are required to have completed the immunisations and have evidence completed by your doctor as set out in the .

The University Health and Counselling Service provides bulk-billed immunisation service (except for Mantoux and TB). You need to make an appointment to access this service. Alternatively you can attend your own medical practitioner. You need to print  and take it with you to your appointment.

Please note: If you choose to visit the University Health and Counselling Service, although the consultation will be bulk-billed either through Medicare or your overseas travel insurance, all vaccinations will incur a cost.

You must also ensure you have the relevant serology to support your Form B. This includes confirmed immunity to Hepatitis B, even if you have undertaken the required vaccinations, and any other serology results that confirm immunity without vaccination.

3B. Immunisation for students completing a placement outside of South Australia

If you are completing a placement outside of South Australia you must comply with the relevant State or Territory and/or venue Immunisation requirements.

You must also be familiar with the School's

3C. Student Health Care Worker Refusal of Recommended Vaccinations or Screening Tests

If you refuse to be screened or vaccinated, or cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, you must complete the Flinders University Student Immunisation Refusal Form, which can be found on page 2 of the . Please be aware that you may be refused a professional experience placement on this basis and it may impact your ability to complete the course.


Other areas of compliance

These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Deed Poll
  • Fitness to Undertake Placement
  • Manual Handling Certificate
  • Hand Hygiene Online Orientation
  • BloodSafe Online module
  • Needlestick Injuries Online Package
  • Pre-Place Online Orientation
  • SA Health Online Orientation
  • Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS) Training

If you are unsure of your relevant pre-placement requirements, please contact the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Your health & welfare

Before placement

If you have an existing illness or disability that could impact your ability to successfully undertake a clinical placement, you must advise your topic coordinator before starting your placement.

More information: Contact a University Disability Advisor to discuss an access plan.

If you do not declare a pre-existing illness or impairment that could either place the public at substantial risk of harm, or impact your ability to complete the requirements of your placement, you will be withdrawn from placement.

More information: Withdrawal of student from placement and Section 143 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (SA) Act 2010.


During or after placement
Clinical placements can be emotionally taxing for students. If you require assistance, Flinders offer an independent counselling service and an on-campus health service .


Work health & safety

You must participate in relevant training before starting a placement, which may include:

  • Specific training provided by your discipline.
  • Basic WHS training provided through the University’s online placement software.

Host organisations are responsible to ensure their workplace is safe for students on placement.

During placements, you must comply with any reasonable safety instructions, rules or procedures of the host organisation (e.g. wearing personal protective equipment).


Induction checklist

The Student Placement WHS Induction Checklist (PDF 107KB) must be completed at the start of each placement by either your placement supervisor, or by another appropriate member of staff.

Keep a copy of the completed checklist, with the original kept by your supervisor.

Injury, accidents or incidents

If you are injured or involved in an incident or accident while on placement you should report the event immediately. You are required to:

  • Immediately report the accident/ incident to the most appropriate person at the venue.
  • Seek appropriate first aid or medical advice if required.
  • Complete the venue's report form with the appropriate staff member.
  • Complete a University accident/incident report via the Flinsafe website. Provide a copy to your course coordinator.
  • You will need to discuss with Student Services about any medical treatment costs not covered by Medicare.