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Work-Integrated Learning Placement Delivery and Management Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This procedure supports the Course and Subject Policy by setting out the requirements for academic management and delivery of work-integrated learning (WIL) placement in courses and subjects.

(2) This procedure is designed to ensure that WIL placements will:

  1. comply with relevant legislation, including but not limited to the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 (particularly standards 2.1 and 5.4), Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 and the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (particularly standards 2.1 and 3.3)
  2. operate in a culture of academic integrity shared by students, staff and placement providers
  3. be structured, with formal (both academic and workplace) direction, supervision, monitoring and quality assurance
  4. provide enough time, work tasks and exposure to industry practitioners for students to achieve the relevant subject learning outcomes
  5. exhibit the employability elements of the graduate attributes
  6. be developed in collaboration between staff of the University and of the placement provider for mutual benefit, and be approved by relevant course directors
  7. be conducted with reasonable flexibility to accommodate students living with a disability, or who have unexpected adverse circumstances.
  8. be conducted with consideration of special cases (e.g. religious circumstances and caring responsibilities).
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Section 2 - Policy

(3) This procedure supports the Course and Subject Policy.

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Section 3 - Procedure

Part A - Governance and management

Academic governance and management of work-integrated learning placement

(4) Academic Senate oversees the quality assurance of WIL placements in courses offered by the University, and the compliance of WIL placements with the relevant standards and regulatory frameworks.

(5) Academic Senate has authorised responsibilities for WIL placement quality assurance to the following sub-committees, through their terms of reference:

Sub-committee Responsibilities
Academic Quality and Standards Committee (AQSC)
  1. Oversee implementation of policies and procedures relating to WIL placement academic quality
  2. Oversee student complaints in relation to WIL placements
Faculty Boards
  1. Oversee the quality of WIL placements
  2. Ensure compliance with this procedure
  3. Make recommendations on faculty WIL placement practices to the AQSC

WIL placement leadership, management and support

(6) WIL placement leadership includes leading quality assurance of WIL placement and ensuring that WIL practices comply with this procedure.

(7) WIL placement leadership roles include faculty and school academic and professional leadership and management positions.

(8) Collectively these roles make up the leadership and management structure for development, delivery, quality assurance and review of WIL placements.

(9) Titles of administrative and academic roles that support WIL placement delivery and recordkeeping vary between faculties. The term ‘workplace learning administration team’ is used for faculty or school professional staff who support WIL placements.

(10) Office of Global Engagement assists with international work-integrated learning placement delivery.

Staff qualifications

(11) The University requirements in relation to the level of academic qualification required to teach, assess, examine, and/or supervise in courses are provided in detail in the Academic Staff Qualifications and Expectations Procedure.

(12) The above qualification requirements do not apply to a staff member of a placement provider who may supervise a student’s WIL placement for a professionally accredited course and assess their performance on behalf of the University if the placement provider staff member:

  1. holds the level of professional registration to which the course or a related course leads (regardless of the Australian Qualifications Framework level of their professional qualification)
  2. has substantial professional experience.

Part B - WIL placement design

WIL placement design requirements

(13) To meet Commonwealth Government definitions of work-integrated learning and so be eligible for Higher Education Contribution Scheme funding, University WIL placement activities will:

  1. be all or part of a subject with credit points, including planned activities that are authentic work activities and corresponding assessments
  2. take place in collaboration with an industry, government or community partner
  3. have the student's learning and performance either directed or supported by the University.

(14) Faculties have discretion whether to require students to undertake WIL placement in a course. This will depend on:

  1. whether the course or a major or specialisation in the course needs WIL placement to prepare students for a specific career
  2. whether professional accreditation of the course or a major or specialisation in the course requires it to have WIL placement.

(15) Where WIL placements are a course requirement, they will be scaffolded across a course.

(16) Where a course, major or specialisation involves WIL placement, the course design will ensure that the course structure preceding the WIL placement, or the major/specialisation subjects preceding the WIL placement, or the WIL placement subject includes subjects and/or content that:

  1. prepare students to undertake the WIL placement successfully
  2. as far as possible, verify that students have the capabilities to meet the inherent requirements of WIL placements in the industry or profession.

(17) To meet University requirements, all of the following must be performed by the University or by a person(s) engaged by the University or the placement provider:

  1. Definition and management of:
    1. the implementation of educational content and objectives of the unit
    2. the standard of learning and performance to be achieved by the student during the placement
    3. assessment of students’ learning and performance during the placement.
  2. Organisation and/or approval of student placements.
  3. Ongoing and regular input and contact with students.
  4. Oversight and direction of a student’s work during a placement.
  5. Ongoing monitoring of students’ work and progress.

(18) The University WIL placement coordinator will interact with students while they are on placement. This interaction may include site visits and/or telephone, online or email contact to ensure that satisfactory performance and students’ wellbeing are maintained.

(19) WIL placements will:

  1. be developed in collaboration between the staff of the University and the placement provider to link academic theory and work practice and satisfy relevant accreditation body requirements
  2. be structured, with formal (both academic and workplace) direction, supervision and monitoring
  3. link critical reflection of course content and practice, and integration of professional values and ethics
  4. provide the student with enough work tasks and exposure to industry/professional practitioners for the student to achieve the relevant subject learning outcomes.

Subject design requirements

(20) The Course and Subject design (Coursework) Procedure sets out time requirements for students’ engagement in learning and assessment activities for subjects. These requirements for WIL placement subjects may vary as professional accreditation and/or external registration bodies may require large numbers of WIL placement hours.

(21) WIL placement activities embedded in subjects will be structured learning activities that enable students to:

  1. undertake workplace tasks that enable them to integrate academic theory into authentic discipline practice
  2. develop professional and employability skills and knowledge related to the industry or profession
  3. apply theoretical knowledge and creative problem-solving to workplace-related issues/needs
  4. participate productively and meaningfully in the workplace
  5. develop the ability to reflect on work experience and self-assess work capabilities
  6. demonstrate achievement of professional standards (where relevant)
  7. demonstrate behaviour consistent with professional values (where relevant), social justice and cultural sensitivity
  8. demonstrate teamwork and proficient communication in a professional setting
  9. debrief and reflect critically on their placement experience
  10. meet relevant subject learning outcomes.

Subject outline requirements for subjects with WIL placements

(22) The Course and Subject Information Procedure sets out the requirements for subject outlines where the subject includes a WIL placement. These include:

  1. the duration of placement(s) and when these will occur
  2. the process for students to be allocated a placement
  3. pre-placement requirements that students must meet to be permitted to go on placement
  4. that students must cover the costs of attending their placement including, where relevant, travel to the placement site, accommodation while there, food and living expenses
  5. that where a student will experience hardship in covering the costs of a placement, they can apply for financial support from the University
  6. that where a student will be prevented from attending a placement because of unavoidable carer responsibilities or unexpected, unavoidable employment commitments, they can apply for special consideration to request a different location or timing of the placement.

Part C - Delivery and conduct of WIL placement

Preparation for WIL placement

(23)  WIL placement coordinators will ensure that students are prepared before going on WIL placement and that they are informed of:

  1. how to meet expectations of professional performance and behaviour at the level appropriate to their study and assessment tasks as appropriate
  2. the subject learning outcomes they are expected to complete in relation to the placement
  3. how to meet the standards expected by the placement provider and, where relevant, professional standards
  4. the scope of practice expected by their discipline
  5. the need to contact Charles Sturt Global (Office of Global Engagement) once provisional approval for an international WIL placement has been provided by the WIL Placement Coordinator.

WIL placement compliance and quality assurance 

(24) WIL placement managers and WIL academic leadership staff will collaborate to put measures in place to prepare and monitor placements so that:

  1. students, staff and placement providers meet legal and ethical responsibilities
  2. where an external placement site will host several students or a series of placements, its facilities are fit for their educational purpose and will accommodate the numbers of students and staff who use them
  3. due diligence is paid to students, staff, clients and the workplace environment
  4. there are arrangements to support and maintain contact with students
  5. a WIL placement academic staff member or the WIL placement coordinator contacts each student regarding well-being as they undertake the placement
  6. students receive educational and other support as needed
  7. students have sufficient access to the University's learning management system and other online learning resources and services without unexpected costs while away at WIL placement
  8. any critical incidents are managed promptly as per the University's Critical Incident Management Guidelines and Student Critical Incident Plan.
  9. records of the placement are managed, archived securely and disposed of, as required by the University's record management policies.

All WIL placement agreements with placement providers

(25) There will be a WIL student placement agreement (SPA) for the placement signed on behalf of the University and the placement provider, and where appropriate the student, prior to commencement of placement.

(26) The development of a University template SPA is the responsibility of relevant faculty staff utilising the services of the University's Legal Services. Where a placement provider SPA is used, the relevant faculty staff must ensure the agreement is provided to Legal Services in the first instance for review, advice and/or negotiation pursuant to the Legal Policy.

(27) The appropriate person to sign any student placement agreement on behalf of the University will be determined by reference to the Delegations and Authorisations Policy and the University Partnerships Policy. An appropriate officer with the required delegated authority must sign on behalf of the placement provider.

(28) The workplace learning team will upload the signed SPA to the University's contract register in the records management system.

Scheduling WIL placements

(29) WIL placements may be scheduled at any time throughout the calendar year for reasons of access to workplaces and optimisation of student learning experiences. Therefore, the University, overall, needs to provide relevant services to support staff, students and external providers throughout the year.

(30) In WIL placement subjects where the faculty or school arranges students’ placement, WIL placement staff will:

  1. in the subject outline and in other places including appropriate websites, provide an indicative calendar of likely placement dates
  2. give students reasonable notice of their placement location so they can book accommodation and travel if needed.

WIL placement assessment

(31) Where WIL placements are assessed based on student performance while on placement, that assessment should be conducted either:

  1. by the WIL placement coordinator or a suitably qualified academic, where possible incorporating feedback from the placement provider staff member(s) who supervise(s) the student during their WIL placement
  2. by a staff member of the placement provider who supervises the student
  3. where required by a professional accreditation body and embedded in subject requirements, by a staff member of the placement provider who is registered as a professional in the relevant profession, at the level of registration to which the course leads and has substantial professional experience.

(32) Guidance for WIL placement supervisors is structured to facilitate delivery of accurate, constructive and timely feedback to both the student and the University.

Reasonable adjustments to accommodate student needs

(33) The University may support a student to have reasonable adjustments for their WIL placement requirements, to accommodate disability or long-term physical or mental health conditions, or carer responsibilities for an immediate family member who has disability or long-term physical or mental health conditions, or other special cases (e.g. religious circumstances and caring responsibilities).

(34) Where WIL placements are an integral part of the course, the needs of students with disability should be considered during enrolment, course planning and placement allocation.

(35) To be considered for reasonable adjustments while on WIL placement, the student must have:

  1. registered with Accessibility and Inclusion Support, been provided the documents required for an assessment, been assessed by Accessibility and Inclusion Support and been issued with a study access plan that includes the relevant adjustments
  2. informed relevant Subject Coordinators and/or relevant WIL academic and professional staff of their study access plan early enough that there is reasonable time for the Subject Coordinator to provide any adjustments that are needed
  3. consented in writing to the sharing of the study access plan with the relevant placement provider staff, and/or
  4. in the absence of a study access plan, submitted a request for special consideration, which will be considered on a case by case basis.

(36) The University will work with placement providers to provide reasonable adjustments, to ensure students with a study access plan or approved special consideration can participate in WIL placements.

(37) The Workplace Learning for Students with Disability Guidelines sets out recommended processes and support for staff assisting students with disability to undertake WIL placements that meet inherent requirements and provide the student with reasonable adjustment for disability.

Special consideration for WIL placements

(38) The Assessment Policy states the purposes of special consideration and the circumstances for which it may be available. As well as being available for short-term illness or injury, unexpected carer responsibilities or unexpected, unavoidable employment commitments, special consideration may be available where students have other unexpected commitments or adverse circumstances outside their control.

(39) For allocated WIL placements, students must apply for special consideration using the online special consideration request form if they are seeking to reschedule or arrange an alternative practical learning activity or WIL placement.

(40) The supporting documents required to support special consideration requests are outlined in the Assessment Flexibility Procedure.

(41) The location or timing of a WIL placement may be changed as a result of a successful special consideration application. Accommodation of a successful special consideration application to change location or timing of a WIL placement may impact student course progression.

Refusal of permission to undertake WIL placement

(42) As stated in the Assessment Policy, the Executive Dean (or nominee) may refuse a student permission to undertake a WIL placement for any of the following reasons:

Reason Criteria
The student has not attained an acceptable standard in meeting pre-placement requirements.
The student either:
  1. has failed pre-requisite WIL placement
  2. may not have maintained currency of clinical/professional practice skills and knowledge
  3. has failed to engage with relevant subject material or complete pre-placement preparation successfully such as immunisations, police checks or first aid training, working with children check or have not provided evidence that they have done this.
The inherent requirements of the placement and/or the student’s fitness to study are such that undertaking the placement would pose a risk to themselves and/or others. The student does not meet the requirements for successfully completing WIL placement as set out in the relevant course information and/or subject outline and any inherent requirements specified for the placement and/or course, or the student has been identified as posing a risk to people in the WIL placement setting because of the nature of the student’s physical or mental health condition.
The student’s performance in a previous attempt at a WIL placement is such that the decision-maker is satisfied that the student will not be able to achieve the standard of professional practice needed to undertake another WIL placement successfully. The student has failed a previous attempt at a WIL placement and has either not engaged with or responded to remediation activities designed to enable them to achieve the standard of professional practice needed to undertake another WIL placement successfully.
The Executive Dean (or nominee) is otherwise satisfied that the student will not be able to achieve the standard of professional practice required to undertake the WIL placement successfully.
Such a decision will be based on a written report and recommendation from the Associate Dean (Partnerships and Workplace Learning) or Deputy Dean of the faculty.
The decision maker will provide the report to the student and offer them the opportunity to respond and a reasonable timeframe in which to respond before making the decision.
The proposed work-integrated learning site has not passed due diligence scrutiny. Due diligence scrutiny of a proposed work-integrated learning site reveals either that the site is unsafe or is unable to meet the student’s educational requirements.

(43) If the WIL placement is a core component of the course, the decision-maker will consult with the relevant Course Director to ensure the student receives academic counselling to help them consider their further study options.

(44) When considering if a student is granted approval to undertake a WIL placement due consideration should be given to a student’s fitness for study plan if relevant as per the Fitness For Study Procedure.

(45) Approval may be granted for a student to undertake a WIL placement once there are no longer any of the above impediments to undertaking that placement.

(46) A student who has been refused permission to undertake WIL placement may appeal the decision, see the University Student Appeals Policy and University Student Appeals Procedure.

Temporary restriction of a student from a WIL placement

(47) A staff member able to apply a temporary restriction order may apply that order to a student where the circumstances warrant urgent action, and that the student’s conduct is unreasonably antisocial, disruptive or a threat to others or to the academic business activities or systems, buildings or property of the University or of a placement provider.

(48) Staff who are able to apply a temporary restriction order to a student are listed in the Student Misconduct Rule.

(49) A temporary restriction order:

  1. may be given verbally or in writing, however, all verbal temporary restriction orders must also be given in writing
  2. takes effect immediately when it is given
  3. may be applied for a length of time of up to 10 business days from the day it is given.

Suspension of a student from a WIL placement

(50) The Student Misconduct Rule authorises certain officers of the University to issue an order to suspend a student from an activity where there would be a risk of harm to themselves and other persons or the University's reputation if the student continued in the activity. A suspension order can be issued suspending a student from WIL placement. Such a suspension may impact on a student’s academic progress.

(51) A suspension order forbids a student from attending or participating in an activity or attending classes in a subject or course without cancelling their enrolment in the subject or course. The Student Misconduct Rule states in detail the scope and effect of suspension orders and the processes in relation to them.

(52) Where a staff member believes that a student has committed misconduct when participating in WIL placement, they should report the misconduct to an appointed officer as outlined in the Student Misconduct Rule.

(53) The penalties for student misconduct are outlined in detail in the Student Misconduct Rule.

Exclusion of a student from the course

(54) As stated in the Assessment Policy, the Executive Dean of the teaching faculty, or their nominee to make such decisions, may decide to exclude the student from their course where:

  1. the student is unable to remove the impediment (explained in clause 42) to going on WIL placement, and
  2. the WIL placement is a core requirement to complete the course.

Work-integrated learning placement risk management

(55)  The University manages risk in relation to WIL placements in accordance with its Risk Management Policy. The following specific requirements for managing risk apply to such placements:

  1. WIL placement coordinators will inform and prepare students, workplaces and WIL placement staff to respond to critical incidents in accordance with the Critical Incident Management Guidelines.
  2. WIL placement coordinators will ensure that facilities, where external places are undertaken, are fit for their educational purposes and accommodate the numbers and activities of the students who use them by completing the appropriate checks/forms.
  3. Students and staff will follow health and safety procedures as required by WIL placement providers.
  4. WIL placement coordinators will collaborate with students and placement provider staff to identify and address risks to students on placement and staff who support them.
  5. The teaching school will advise the workplace of a serious and imminent threat to any person’s health or safety, even if this involves sharing personal information as needed to give the advice, in accordance with the Privacy Management Plan.

Interstate and international WIL placements

(56) The University supports students to undertake WIL placements interstate or overseas. In relation to such placements WIL placement coordinators will make arrangements to:

  1. ensure parity of learning outcomes with local placements, as appropriate
  2. adhere to the requirements of interstate and other countries’ legislative requirements relevant to WIL  placement
  3. obtain copies of the hosts' insurance documentation to complement University insurance as part of their placement approval, due diligence process.

(57) Where a WIL placement subject is a compulsory subject in an Australian Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) registered course, estimated costings must be listed:

  1. on CRICOS (see the Course and Subject Life Cycle Procedure)
  2. in the student's written agreement (see the Admissions Policy and Admissions Procedure)
  3. online course brochure (OCB) and on relevant course webpages (see the Communications and Marketing Procedure

(58) This includes if the course must be taken off-campus which means the student will incur accommodation and travel costs.

WIL placement insurance

(59) The University’s general insurance of students covers students who undertake approved WIL placement, whether with an external organisation or on campus. Insurance coverage starts when the WIL placement has been approved.

(60) In some cases, a student may undertake WIL placement for a subject after the end of the relevant session, when the student has begun a period of leave of absence. For the University's insurance to cover the student in such a case:

  1. the leave of absence itself must have been approved in writing (for example, in an email)
  2. the WIL placement must have been approved in writing as meeting specific WIL placement requirements of a specific subject, by the Course Director, Associate Head of School or Head of School
  3. both written approvals must be retained in the relevant student recordkeeping system.

(61) The following coverage will apply for students on WIL placement in Australia and while travelling directly to/from the workplace:

  1. general and products liability insurance
  2. professional indemnity insurance
  3. medical/veterinary malpractice insurance
  4. personal accident insurance (this last provides generic safety net cover only).

(62) Students are not covered by worker’s compensation insurance unless they are also employees of the University. They must ensure they have access to Medicare and/or private health insurance to cover medical and hospital expenses. They should also seek professional advice on whether they need additional insurance (taking their personal circumstances into account), such as private health insurance and/or personal accident, trauma and/or income protection insurance.

(63) Students who undertake WIL placements outside Australia will be covered only by the University's general and products liability, professional indemnity and medical/veterinary malpractice insurances, provided that:

  1. the Office of Global Engagement has negotiated and approved the location of the WIL placement, and
  2. the student has registered their overseas placement program with Charles Sturt Global.

(64) The University’s student personal accident insurance covers students only in Australia, so students going overseas must ensure they have adequate insurance cover, including travel and medical insurance. It is essential that students seek professional advice on this. The University Travel and Expense can help with travel insurance for travel that is arranged by or through them.

WIL placement records

(65) WIL placement teams will ensure that placement records are managed, archived and disposed of in accordance with the Records Management Policy and relevant retention schedules and accreditation body requirements.

(66) WIL placement records include:

  1. records of student pre-placement compliance checks
  2. signed student placement agreements (SPA)
  3. WIL placement supervisor reports
  4. placement hours/days/weeks for course accreditation and professional registration requirements.

(67) Relevant data should be recorded in InPlace (the University's WIL placement management system), from which data is uploaded to the University's records management system in accordance with the Records Management Policy.

Staff accessibility and communications with students

(68) Where a student contacts a WIL placement staff member for information, advice and/or support the staff member should respond to the request within three working days, or:

  1. where an answer takes longer to obtain than three working days, students should be informed of steps being taken to respond to their enquiry
  2. if it is not possible to respond within three working days, students should be informed of alternative arrangements for obtaining advice during such periods.

Staff accessibility and communications with WIL placement partners

(69) Where a WIL placement partner contacts a WIL placement staff member for information, advice and/or support the staff member should respond to the request as soon as practicable and within three working days, or:

  1. where an answer takes longer to obtain than three working days, WIL placement partners should be informed of steps being taken to respond to their enquiry
  2. if it is not possible to respond within three working days, WIL placement partners should be informed of alternate arrangements for obtaining advice during such periods.

Appeals and complaints

(70) See the University Student Appeals Policy and University Student Appeals Procedure for information about how to appeal decisions made under this procedure. 

(71) See the Complaints Management Policy and Complaints Management Procedure for information about how to submit a complaint to the University.

(72) Complaints that are substantiated about a workplace should be considered when assessing the ongoing suitability of that workplace for student placements.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(73) The following guidelines support this procedure:

  1. Workplace Learning for Students with Disability Guidelines
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Section 5 - Glossary

(74) For the purposes of this procedure the following terms have the definitions stated:

  1. Graduate attributes – means the outcomes the University seeks from its graduates.
  2. Inherent requirements – mean the academic and other requirements of a course that all students must meet to achieve the course learning outcomes and the knowledge, abilities, skills and qualities students will need to have in order to achieve them.
  3. Placement provider – means the entity with which a student is placed to complete a WIL placement. Placement providers could be external or internal to the University.
  4. Professional accreditation – means the process undertaken by a professional body to accredit a relevant course.
  5. Professional WIL placement roles – mean the Faculty Workplace Learning Managers, Senior Workplace Learning Officers,Workplace Learning Officers and Administrative Assistants.
  6. Student placement agreement (SPA) – means the formal agreement between either, the University and the placement provider or between the University, placement provider and student, or any other type of agreement which facilitates a placement, which may either be a University template or a placement provider template.
  7. WIL placement coordinator – means a University academic staff member responsible for the management of WIL placement.
  8. WIL placement supervisor – means a staff member of the University or designated placement organisation personnel responsible for facilitating student learning and in some cases conducting assessments of students engaged in a specific placement.
  9. Work-integrated learning (WIL) – is an umbrella term incorporating experiences that fall within the accredited curriculum and which provide authentic, real-world experiences intentionally designed to allow students to develop relevant skills and knowledge aligned to their chosen area of study.
  10. Work-integrated learning (WIL) placement – means any arrangement where students undertake learning in a work context as part of their course requirements (coursework or research training). These may include:
    1. professional workplace placements (also known as internships, clinical placements, fieldwork, practicums) whether local, interstate or international
    2. online or virtual work-integrated learning (e.g. telehealth) with real clients or industry input
    3. activities in other contexts involving industry or community partners.
  11. Work-integrated learning roles – mean the relevant academic, professional, faculty and school roles.
  12. Workplace learning administration team – means the team of faculty or school professional staff who support WIL placements.