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Placement Policy

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Section 1 - Scope and Principles

(1) Western Sydney University (University) seeks to enhance student learning experiences by enabling students to engage in the culture, expectations and practices of a profession, discipline or organisation.

(2) This policy provides the foundation under which Schools, The College, University Research Institutes and third-party providers operationalise their placement practices.

(3) This policy provides direction for the governance and administration of positive, authentic and effective work-integrated learning experiences for the University's students that benefit all partners and assist students to prepare for future employment opportunities.

(4) This policy should be read and applied in conjunction with the Placement Procedures.

(5) This policy is to be read in conjunction with the University's Curriculum Design and Approvals Policy, and other University policies and procedures including:

  1. Assessment Policy
  2. Conflict of Interest Policy
  3. Curriculum Approval Procedures
  4. Curriculum Publication Procedures
  5. Disability Policy 
  6. Enrolment Policy
  7. Fitness to Practice Policy
  8. Progression Policy
  9. Risk Management Policy
  10. Student Code of Conduct
  11. Student Learning Abroad Policy and Student Learning Abroad Procedures
  12. Student Misconduct Rule
  13. Third Party Provider Policy
  14. Travel Policy
  15. Working with Children (Workers and Students) Policy.

(6) Placements are required as part of a Program of study or subject of a program of study (including an elective subject).

(7) Placements facilitate a student's entry into the workplace, enhance their employability skills, integrate theory within the practice of work through purposeful and authentic curriculum-led activities, and may be required for professional accreditation.

(8) Where programs are delivered to international students, it must be registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and the number of hours is to be included in the CRICOS entry for the program.

(9) This policy takes into account the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 requirements.

(10) This policy does not apply to research candidates where they are not enrolled in a subject where a Placement is a requirement, unless otherwise approved by the Dean, Graduate Studies and Researcher Development.

(11) This policy does not apply to a Placement that is undertaken as part of a micro-credential or alternative credential.

(12) This policy governs all unpaid Placements and where relevant, specific clauses have been identified that will govern the administration of paid Placements.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(13) For the purposes of this policy, definitions that apply can be found in the Policy DDS Glossary, in addition to the following:

  1. Placement means all undergraduate and postgraduate coursework related placements that: include accreditation placement, cadetships, clinical placement, clinical practicum, clinical education, clinical experience, co-curricular work placements, community organisation placements, corporate internship, extra-mural placement, industry placement, internships, intra-mural placement, practical placements, practical work placement, practicum, practicum placement, professional experience placement, professional internship, professional placement, professional work placement, research practicum, service learning, teaching professional practice, voluntary placement (may not be discipline specific), work placement. 
  2. Paid Placement means a placement in respect of which a student receives remuneration other than a stipend, studentship, bursary or other type of allowance.
  3. Placement Organisation means the organisation at which a student's Placement is undertaken, and may include a business, government agency, primary or secondary school, early childhood setting, higher education institution, community organisation, not-for-profit, or volunteer organisation in Australia or overseas or a higher education institution.
  4. Placement Agreement means a written agreement or contract, which is the formal agreement between the University and an external organisation where a student is undertaking a Placement or professional experience.
  5. Program of study means a program or degree or award course offered by the University.
  6. School means a University School or discipline, The College, University Research Institute (Institute) (providing coursework placements) or third-party provider, and not a school in the context of a Placement Organisation.
  7. Special Requirements means the requirements related to enrolment in programs or registration subjects where clinical, practical or work Placements are part of a program or subject structure.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

Risk Management

(14) The University manages risk in relation to Placements and ensures quality in accordance with this policy.

(15) In complying with this policy, University staff will ensure that:

  1. there is appropriate consistency and quality assurance in the management and administration of Placements across the University
  2. Placements achieve their educational outcomes
  3. reasonable steps are taken to ensure that the health, safety and well-being of students are upheld through the activities undertaken during a Placement
  4. reasonably practicable steps are taken to ensure that the University is not rendered liable for any conduct by either a student or Placement supervisor during an external Placement, and
  5. where available, reasonably practicable accommodation is made to meet accessibility and applicable requirements for all students.

(16) The University must promote the responsibility and accountability of students, staff and Placement organisations to adhere to any mandatory policies and procedures that stipulate compliance to inherent and Special Requirements of University programs of study.

(17) All entities (Schools, The College, University Institutes and third-party providers) of the University are responsible for delivering the Placement Procedures through:

  1. managing unpaid Placement risk
  2. managing Placement requirements and allocations
  3. managing student and Special Requirements for unpaid Placements, excluding NSW Health Compliance requirements
  4. managing additional requirements for international students
  5. managing offshore unpaid Placements with reference to the requirements identified in the Student Learning Abroad Policy.

Placement Practice

(18) Some students may be able to arrange their own Placement in accordance with this policy and in line with their School's requirements, under advice and direction of their School, The College, University Institutes, a Western-preferred/identified third-party provider or other division of the University.

(19) Schools, The College, University Institutes, third-party providers and other divisions of the University will:

  1. foster and maintain good relationships with current and prospective Placement organisations, external to the University
  2. be adequately prepared to meet responsibilities as set out in this policy
  3. ensure students are adequately prepared to undertake Placements
  4. ensure students have the opportunity to debrief about their Placement
  5. manage Placements in accordance with this policy and any procedures or guidelines that reference this document, and in accordance with any external polices and frameworks, external accreditation requirements or regulatory bodies for a particular industry.

Paid and Unpaid Placements

(20) Placements that meet the definition of a vocational placement under the Fair Work Act 2009 (the FW Act) are lawfully unpaid.

(21) Where a student undertakes a paid Placement, the experience may be assessed as credentialled learning against the program or subject being studied and should follow the requirements of the University's Credit for Prior Learning Policy.

(22) A paid Placement is likely to give rise to an employment relationship between a student and a Placement organisation, in which case the Placement organisation will be required to comply with the Act in respect of the paid Placement.

(23) A placement agreement is not required for any paid Placement.

(24) Any Placement (including paid Placements) must be recorded in the University's contracted placement management system.


(25) Schools, The College, University Institutes and third-party providers are required to utilise all resources including but not limited to guides, instructions and online training, in relation to Placements and Work Integrated Learning experiences, to ensure adherence with this policy.

(26) Schools, The College, University Institutes or third-party providers can create their own operational Placement instructions, guidelines, and handbooks that are underpinned by this policy and the related procedures.

Placement Management System and Metrics

(27) All Placements must be recorded within the University's contracted placement management system, regardless of whether any curriculum outcomes or graduate attributes may be recorded in any other system.

(28) Recording Placement activities in this centralized system assists in meeting external and University reporting requirements.

(29) The Placements Hub will record all Placement agreements in the University's contracted placement management system and University record management systems.

(30) All Placement organisations are recorded in the University's placement management system by Schools, The College, University Institutes, third-party providers or the Placements Hub.

Placement Special Requirements

(31) Students attending NSW Health Placements must complete any identified requirements by which eligibility to undertake Placements is determined.  These requirements are to be completed prior to undertaking Placements and in accordance with NSW Health policy, including the undertaking of any predatory modules, all identified vaccinations, police checks, and completion of required health forms.

(32) Students attending health Placements in other states or territories or for private partners  must complete any identified requirements for these other state health services and private Placement partners, prior to the Placement at those agencies.

Placement Agreements

(33) Unpaid Placements require a Placement Agreement in order to proceed unless otherwise advised by the Office of General Counsel.

(34) The University's Placement Agreements must:

  1. be in the best interests of the University and ensure a quality educational experience for our students
  2. comply with all relevant statutes, regulations, policies and procedures
  3. comply with all relevant onshore and offshore laws
  4. be negotiated fairly and transparently
  5. be free from any conflict of interest
  6. be documented using the University's standard templates unless otherwise approved by the Office of General Counsel.

(35) Placement Agreements must be approved by an authorised delegate prior to the commencement of a Placement

(36) The University will not retrospectively enter into a Placement Agreement for a Placement that has already been completed.

(37) The University must not undertake an unpaid Placement obligation or risk involving another party unless a Placement Agreement governing that obligation or risk (which complies with this policy, and other relevant University policies and procedures) has been signed by a University authorised delegate prior to the Placement.