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Placement Procedures

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) The intent of these procedures is to provide a foundation for the governance, administration, and roles and responsibilities of stakeholders involved in the delivery of Placements.

(2) Compliance with these procedures is mandatory for all University employees, students and contractors, as applicable and within the scope of the Placement Policy

(3) These procedures should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies, procedures, legislation and regulation as identified in the Placement Policy.

(4) These procedures comply with the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 requirements, including:

  1. Placements are delivered through adequate facilities and infrastructure to support the student’s success, including supporting diversity and equity considerations
  2. effective steps have been taken to monitor and support the wellbeing and safety of students engaged in Placements, with clear processes capable of resolving issues students may have with the Placement, as well as managing critical incidents should they eventuate
  3. Placements and Work Integrated Learning experiences are quality assured, including the student experience and external supervision.
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Section 2 - Definitions

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

  1. CRICOS means the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS)
  2. Reasonable Adjustment means modifications made to a workplace environment or working arrangements for a person with a disability to complete a job or work task. They can be administrative, environmental or procedural alterations in the employment or learning situation to remove barriers for people with a disability so that they can perform the inherent requirements of a Placement. An adjustment is defined as ‘reasonable’ if it balances the interests of all parties affected including not causing ‘unjustifiable hardship’ to the educational institution
  3. Third-Party Provider means an organisation who delivers a Program or Subject on behalf of the University
  4. Preferred International Partner Provider (PIPP) means a type of third-party provider that manages and facilitates international Placement and exchange partners
  5. Placement Reasonable Adjustment Plan means a document established with a Disability Advisor outlining the 'reasonable adjustments' that support a student to undertake a Placement experience
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Section 3 - Foundational Placement Procedures

Inherent Requirements, Special Requirements and Reasonable Adjustments

(6) Schools, The College, University Institutes and third-party providers must:

  1. Ensure that students understand and meet the Inherent Requirements that may apply in relation to their program of study or subjects that include a Placement experience throughout their enrolment.
  2. Ensure that students meet and acknowledge any special requirements relevant to enrolment in a program of study or subject, including compliance with any valid mandatory policy or legal requirements including but not limited to:
    1. a national criminal history check or obtaining a clearance or authority document or conditional letter
    2. first aid and CPR certification
    3. allergy and/or anaphylaxis training
    4. a working with children check and/or relevant child protection training
    5. any identified accreditation requirements
    6. English language literacy testing
    7. mandatory student compliance undertakings including immunisation and relevant assessments
    8. training or instructional courses and modules
    9. complete any required documentation and forms within required deadlines
  3. Review any special requirements that are mandated for Placement subjects as part of their curriculum review activities to maintain their currency
  4. Inform Student Services Hub and the Placements Hub with respect to any special requirements they manage that require support.

(7) The University will provide reasonable adjustments for students with a current Placement Reasonable Adjustment Plan.

(8) A student is not obligated to disclose their disability or health condition. However, adjustments cannot be undertaken unless the student has registered with Disability Services and consented to the distribution of a Placement Reasonable Adjustment Plan.

(9) Reasonable adjustments must not fundamentally change the nature of the Inherent Requirements relating to the Program, and Schools, The College, University Institutes and third-party providers must:

  1. liaise with the University's Disability Service in relation to the student's Placement Reasonable Adjustment Plan, or consult with a Disability Advisor should a student’s disability or health condition impact upon their Placement undertaking
  2. liaise with, where required, a placement organisation to implement a student's reasonable adjustments as outlined in their Placement Reasonable Adjustment Plan
  3. ensure any identified reasonable adjustments are in place prior to the student commencing their Placement and are implemented throughout the Placement
  4. ensure any reasonable adjustment does not compromise the experience, does not compromise the academic integrity of the program or subject nor the capacity of the student to demonstrate any relevant external accreditation requirements, and reflects the interests of the student, the University, the placement organisation and other students.

Identification of Placement Partners and Sites

(10) Placement risks should be reviewed in accordance with the University’s Risk Management Policy and associated procedures by Schools, The College, University Institute or third-party providers in order to identify suitable Placement sites for students.

(11) The means by which risk is assessed will be determined at School, The College, Research Institute and third party provider level and the record of the risk assessment outcome should be maintained in the approved Risk Management Information System.

(12) A School, The College, University Institute or third-party provider will ensure appropriate criteria are applied when identifying suitable Placement opportunities for students, including:

  1. the Placement involves skills, knowledge and experience relevant to the student's subject or program of study
  2. the Placement organisation’s agreement should be obtained and recorded in writing demonstrating its agreement to its responsibilities under these procedures
  3. the Placement organisation can adequately accommodate the student for the Placement period
  4. the School has determined the Placement is suitable having regard to:
    1. the objectives and/or Program learning outcomes and the University Graduate Attributes of the relevant program or subject
    2. the ability of the organisation to provide the student with the experience of working in the organisation
    3. the outcomes of a cyclical assessment undertaken in relation to the Placement, where the results inform and improve quality assurance mitigate risk
    4. accessibility for the student undertaking the Placement at the determined workplace, as relevant, which may be assessed by an independent assessor where a Placement Reasonable Adjustment Plan is in place for the student.

(13) Schools may also approve a workplace or organisation as a Placement location which has been approved by a relevant government agency or professional association for the purposes of registration or other accreditation.

(14) Students must be discouraged from contacting onshore Placement brokers directly to organise a Placement, unless otherwise advised by the Office of General Counsel.

(15) Schools, The College, University Institute or third-party providers should confirm they have the resources required to manage Placements.

Paid Placements

(16) Where a student undertakes a paid Placement, Schools, The College, University Institutes and third-party providers will:

  1. Record the Placement in the University's Placement system, noting the student will receive renumeration for work undertaken during the Placement
  2. Address and report any identified non-compliance issues that arise during the Placement to the Office of General Counsel
  3. Where a student receives remuneration for the work they perform, 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

(17) Placement Oorganisations must comply with the Fair Work Act 2009 and other applicable industrial laws and instruments in relation to paid Placements.

(18) Students must understand and be aware of the program requirements that they are required to meet through the undertaking of their Placement, and are not required to purchase additional insurance for a paid Placement.

Placement Administration Responsibilities

(19) The University, through curriculum assessment and design, will ensure Placements are co-created appropriately to reflect curriculum design, workplace, accreditation and industry requirements, and improve future Placements.

(20) The University will maintain adequate insurance for unpaid Placements, including providing the Placement organisation, if requested, with a copy of the University's relevant certificates of currency.

(21) The University must, in all cases, be able to demonstrate that Placements are quality assured, including an assurance of the quality of supervision of student experience, and that these quality assurance mechanisms demonstrate that these Placements meet the relevant standards of the HES framework.

(22) Schools, The College, University Institutes and third-party providers must:

  1. enter into Placement Agreements, utilising the University's current agreement templates in the first instance, with external Placement partners in relation to unpaid Placements that they, or their students arrange, unless otherwise advised by the Office of General Counsel, signed by an authorised delegate prior to the Placement.
  2. forward all Placement Agreements to the Placements Hub in accordance with the Placement Policy and University's Records and Archives Management Policy.
  3. record all Placement organisations and locations within the University's contracted student Placement management system.
  4. record all Placement experiences, unpaid and paid, within the University's current contracted student Placement management system.
  5. ensure all students complete any special requirements identified and by the required timeframe as part of a program or subject.
  6. ensure staff who are coordinating and administering Placement requirements are appropriately trained and are utilising all resources including guides and instructions, and undertaking available training in relation to Placements, to ensure adherence with these procedures and the Placement Policy.

(23) Schools, The College, University Institutes and third-party providers will manage placement risk by:

  1. undertaking risk assessments in relation to the Placement organisations in accordance with the University's Risk Management Policy and procedures set out by the Office of Audit and Risk Assessment
  2. ensuring the quality of the experience and supervision has been addressed in the co-creation of and revision of all subjects, including any impact of co-ownership of subjects between disciplines
  3. have effective management processes in place to ensure that students undertaking Placements have the ability to practice competently and safely, and to ensure public safety is paramount in the design and implementation of these experiences
  4. monitoring the health, safety and wellbeing of students whilst they are on Placement 
  5. ensuring the Placement environment is accessible in accordance with all relevant commonwealth and state-based legislation
  6. stipulating compliance by students with any mandatory policies and procedures and inherent and special requirements
  7. providing appropriate preparatory resources to Placement organisations and to students for undertaking a Placement, with an assurance that students are prepared for their Placement
  8. maintaining a relationship with a Placement organisation, documented through a current and signed Placement Agreement in relation to unpaid Placements they or their students arrange
  9. monitoring Placements and student progress in accordance with University policies and procedures and any other School, The College, University Institute or third-party provider policies and procedures governing Placements.

(24) Schools, The College, University Institutes and third-party providers will manage Placement requirements and allocations by:

  1. maintaining records of all Placements, including dates, locations, and contact details of placement sites within the University's Placement management system
  2. ensuring the Placement arrangements comply with any relevant professional accreditation, industry or external requirements
  3. ensuring the Placement organisation and the student understand the role of each person, the activities to be undertaken during the Placement, and the duration of the Placement
  4. manage any student at risk of not satisfactorily completing a Placement or who is not fit to practice during a Placement experience, and ensure students are aware of the potential refusal to being offered a Placement where they do not meet requirements identified in these Placement Procedures or the Placement Policy
  5. informing students of all relevant Placement information that will support the preparation for the Placement in addition to meeting program and subject requirements, and ensure students have met all pre-determined Placement requirements, where applicable, before allocation to a Placement including but not limited to:
    1. all applicable preparatory and prerequisite requirements for undertaking the Placement
    2. completion of all applicable training modules
    3. vaccinations, first aid certificate, criminal record checks, working with children check, and other health related checks
    4. any other prescribed legislative or regulated undertakings.
  6. ensuring students are aware of any particular requirements stipulated by the Placement organisation, including but not limited to:
    1. special requirements
    2. Placement education and training modules
    3. required uniform, dress code, or acquiring required equipment
    4. upholding professional behavioural expectations, managing personal hygiene, infection control, relevant medical and physical requirements.
  7. managing the process for allocating students to University-sourced Placements, and the provision of support provided where students may acquire their own Placement
  8. regularly communicating with the student and Placement organisation during the Placement
  9. ensuring all parties are aware of the procedures to follow when a student experiences unlawful or inappropriate behaviour including sexual harassment from an employer, colleague or other person whilst on Placement
  10. taking action to prevent further student Placements at organisations that do not provide a safe and appropriate Placement for students, and communicating such action across the University
  11. evaluating the suitability of Placements for continued future use
  12. ensuring students have opportunities to provide feedback about the Placement to their Placement organisation, and to the University through identified mechanisms, and
  13. ensuring students are informed that when undertaking an extra-curricular or offshore experience prior to gaining approval to align the experience to a particular subject, there is no assurance that retrospective credit will be awarded for the time or activities undertaken.

(25) Schools, The College, University Institutes and third-party providers will manage additional requirements for international students, including:

  1. ensuring Placements for international students comply with Education Services for Overseas Students - Information for Staff and Students (ESOS) National Code (in particular Standards 2 and 3 of the 2018 ESOS National Code) in relation to program and subject design
  2. reviewing their program details registered with CRICOS to ensure the Placement is registered as compulsory and assessable to ensure the hours are not counted as part of the 40 hours work per fortnight limit
  3. prior to admission, provide information to international students about the Australian employment context and relevant workplace legislation if they are to undertake a Placement
  4. ensure students understand that compulsory Placement hours do not count towards the 40 hours per fortnight work limit that applies to student visa holders during study sessions, but that in undertaking work beyond the compulsory Placement timeframes, students must comply with the limitations imposed by their student visa and understand insurance implications.

(26) Schools, The College, University Institutes and third-party providers will manage additional requirements for managing offshore Placements including:

  1. identifying, managing and assessing the risks for an offshore or international Placement, and identifying any other learning abroad requirements relating to offshore Placements including insurance, travel requirements, use of approved templates and other identified process requirements
  2. assisting students as far as practicable with any administrative arrangements required to prepare for Placements offshore, including international special requirements
  3. where possible, Placements with a private Placement partner should be organised through a Preferred International Partner Provider
  4. the vetting of any international agreements for Placements by Western Sydney International
  5. recording the assessable offshore Placement experience within the identified student Placement system 
  6. meeting requirements identified in the Student Learning Abroad Policy and Procedures, any additional insurance requirements and foreign interference requirements.

Student Responsibilties

(27) Students must undertake and complete placements as scheduled, and notify their School, The College, University Institutes and/or third-party providers of any matter that is a serious disruption to their studies.

(28) Students must be aware of and understand all enrolment requirements and placement requirements that may impact their ability to commence a placement including all special requirements and pre-placement preparatory training, modules or instructions.

(29) When enrolling into a placement subject, students must:

  1. understand and meet the inherent and special requirements, to be able to meet the expectations of their placement
  2. become familiar with the competencies required by the particular program relevant to the placement
  3. adhere to student visa requirements as applicable
  4. complete any program requirements or prerequisites
  5. meet any special requirements relevant to their placement including confirmation and completion of all identified special requirements
  6. complete any required documentation within identified deadlines
  7. consider the possible impacts of a disability or health condition that may affect their placement and, if adjustments are required, speak to a Disability Advisor and Academic Program Advisor to develop a Placement Reasonable Adjustment Plan
  8. provide consent, following discussion with relevant placement staff, for the release of any additional information that will assist in their placement allocation
  9. disclose any identified possible or perceived conflict of interest, such as a relative being responsible for supervision, or that the student is in paid employment with the placement organisation, and
  10. communicate with the placement organisation as advised by the placement coordinator.

(30) Before undertaking and during a placement experience, students must:

  1. be enrolled in the relevant placement subject, and complete any special requirements, program requirements or prerequisites
  2. adhere to all requirements of the Student Code of Conduct
  3. be aware of and complete any particular requirements stipulated by the placement organisation, including but not limited to:
    1. meeting all special requirements
    2. placement education and training modules
    3. wearing a required uniform, dress code, or acquiring required equipment
    4. upholding professional behavioural expectations, managing personal hygiene, infection control, relevant medical and physical requirements
    5. carry their University identification at all times
  4. undertake their experience in a manner that is safe, actively participate in any health and safety training, orientation, induction and follow instructions required by the placement organisation
  5. take due care with the placement organisation's equipment and other property
  6. adherence to relevant legislated and industry identified work health and safety requirements and obligations including policies, legislation, regulations, rules or procedures 
  7. notify the placement coordinator and the placement organisation immediately of any hazards, incidents, injuries, near miss or illness that occurs whilst on placement
  8. communicate any concerns about the placement environment to their Placement Coordinator
  9. be present at the agreed site during agreed working hours and participate fully in the assigned tasks and activities and any required training
  10. advise the Placement Coordinator of any requests the placement organisation makes of the student to undertake work that is beyond the agreed tasks and activities
  11. make contact, as required, with their Placement Coordinator, to report on progress of the placement and on any matters that might affect their concerns, or ability, or fitness to undertake or continue to undertake the placement or any task or activity
  12. inform both the Placement Coordinator and the placement organisation of any absences from the placement as soon as possible as per identified University procedures
  13. consult with their placement coordinator in a timely manner if they are withdrawing from a placement
  14. meet any expenses associated with the placement the University prescribes (excluding insurance costs or costs of implementing reasonable adjustments), such as those related to accommodation and travel, specific requirements of the placement organisation including attire, and any levies imposed by the University relating to attendance or non-attendance at the placement.

Placement Organisation Responsibilities

(31) Placement organisations must enter into a Student Placement Agreement using the University placement agreement template where possible for all unpaid placement experiences.

(32) Placement organisations are responsible for, but are not limited to:

  1. having appropriate public liability insurance in place, where applicable
  2. providing students with appropriate orientation, induction and training in the organisation’s policies, procedures and rules, including safe work practices
  3. providing a safe and healthy work environment for students, in accordance with relevant legislation and regulations, and ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and well-being of students so that they are not put at risk during the placement
  4. where required, providing suitably trained supervisiors to monitor and assess a student’s performance and be a contact point about any circumstances which may affect the student successfully completing the placement, unless otherwise arranged with the School
  5. implementing agreed reasonable adjustments in consultation with Schools, University Institutes and third-party providers and the student prior to placement, based on a student's Placement Reasonable Adjustment Plan, where applicable
  6. ensuring a clear communication system back to the School, University Institute or third-party provider is in place to deal with students' issues or queries, and keeping accurate records of all such dealings
  7. ensuring they understand the relevant assessment requirements of a placement including the work to be undertaken during the placement including its duration and any processes to manage a student at risk of not satisfactorily completing a placement
  8. ensuring a student has the opportunity to provide feedback about the placement to their placement coordinator or nominated staff member.

Placement Outcome Assessment

(33) Assessment of students undertaking placements must be designed to assess the learning outcomes from the placement, in accordance with the Assessment Policy.

(34) Assessment of a placement should include, where practicable, input from a person at the placement organisation who was responsible for supervising the student.

Unsatisfactory Performance and Placement Breakdown

(35) Schools, The College, University Institutes and third-party providers must manage unsatisfactory performance by a student at a placement and manage where a student has not met standards for placement assessment, in accordance with the relevant University policies.

(36) The terms and conditions of the signed Student Placement Agreement will come into effect where:

  1. there is a breakdown of a placement due to the student's performance, unforeseen circumstances or other similar factors affecting the student
  2. a student has withdrawn from a placement for a specified period and subject to specific conditions, or for the remainder of the placement period
  3. there is a breakdown of a placement due to unlawful or inappropriate behaviour of a person(s) at the placement organisation, other than the student, or arising from other circumstances at the organisation.

(37) If dispute resolution is required, this will be undertaken as per the terms and conditions of the signed Student Placement Agreement.

Placement Barriers and Encumberances

(38) A School, The College, University Institutes or third-party provider may apply a placement-related barrier on a student based on provisions of the Student Misconduct Rule, Fitness to Practice Policy or based on a student not meeting identified placement requirements.