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Student Placement procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure is effective from 4 December 2018.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Procedure sets out the procedures to be followed by University staff, students and hosts when facilitating and managing student placements.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Procedure applies to all placements undertaken by students of the University as a compulsory or elective part of their course. Additional requirements for placements undertaken overseas are included in the Student International Programs and Placements procedure.

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Section 4 - Policy

(4) This Procedure is pursuant to the Higher Education Courses policy.

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Section 5 - Procedure

Placement arrangements

(5) Unless otherwise agreed by the University Solicitor's Office, all placements will be administered under an agreement that has been approved and signed in accordance with the provisions of the Contracts policy .

(6) Where a formal agreement is not required by the University Solicitor's Office, arrangements for placements will be clearly documented and agreed to by the host organisation to ensure the quality of student experiences and appropriate management of hazards and risks. This includes School of Education Professional Experience Placements in accordance with the Partnership policy.

(7) Placements will be reviewed periodically as part of the Major Course Review process.

Roles and responsibilities

(8) The Head of School/Department or nominee is responsible for overseeing placements and will assign to appropriate University staff responsibilities for their management and delivery, including:

  1. allocating placements
  2. providing academic oversight
  3. preparing, supporting, mentoring, directing training, teaching or assessing students
  4. supporting host placement supervisors (appointed under clause 9) in carrying out their responsibilities, to assist students to achieve the learning objectives of placements to a satisfactory standard
  5. managing relationships with host organisations
  6. managing critical incidents pursuant to the Critical Incident Management policy.
In this Procedure, the responsibilities assigned to the University will be carried out by relevant staff as nominated under this clause.

(9) The host organisation will appoint host placement supervisors to support, mentor, direct, train, teach or assess students during their placements in accordance with agreed arrangements, under the guidance and academic oversight of appropriate University staff.

(10) The University shares the management of risk with the host organisation. The University will request that the host organisation, or relevant agency or body, notify them of any risks that may impact on the health and wellbeing of a student and follow up with host organisations where required.

(11) The University and host organisation share responsibility for ensuring the safety and security of the placement environment. Any threats or incidents that affect a student’s wellbeing including in relation to bullying, discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault, will be managed in accordance with the relevant University policy.

(12) The University will ensure that the student is appropriately inducted into the host organisation, including relevant occupational health and safety requirements and procedures.  The induction will be conducted by either the host organisation or the University. Where the induction is conducted by the host organisation, the host organisation will provide the University with an outline of the induction program.

(13) Before the start of a placement, the University will ensure that the host organisation, the host placement supervisor/s and the student are provided with all relevant information regarding their roles and responsibilities before, during and after the placement. This will include information relating to responsibilities for providing a safe and secure placement environment.

Information for students

(14) Before a student undertakes a placement, in addition to providing normal course and unit documentation, the University will inform the student of:

  1. any preparatory and prerequisite requirements for undertaking the placement, including: completion of courses or programs, vaccinations, first aid certificate, criminal record check, working with children check and/or health checks. The University may refuse to offer a placement to a student who does not meet the requirements
  2. process for allocating students to University-sourced placements
  3. information about the placement, including:
    1. requirements for the placement and the tasks that must be successfully undertaken including the requirement for the student to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and for the health and safety of others while on their placement
    2. any major risks associated with the placement, including risks identified under clause 10
    3. how the placement relates to objectives of the course and relevant professional accreditation requirements, as applicable
    4. learning goals and performance expectations and standards, including assessment tasks, attendance, code of conduct, and any other specifications required for the placement
    5. the roles and responsibilities in accordance with clause 13
    6. the name, title, and contact details of the host placement supervisor/s
    7. who to contact if they feel unsafe during the placement or if they have a complaint
    8. required communication with placement supervisors as agreed by the University and the host organisation
    9. privacy and confidentiality obligations
    10. details of the ownership and/or rights to use intellectual property produced by the host organisation or the student on placement, as required
    11. processes for dealing with absences, conflict, misconduct, appeals, grievances or other difficulties
    12. any costs for students associated with the placement
    13. the duration and, where relevant, the location of the placement and whether it is paid or unpaid
    14. the date when students may withdraw from the placement without academic or other penalty, if relevant. This may be different from the associated unit census date (for coursework students)
    15. for placements undertaken overseas, additional information as required by the Student International Programs and Placements procedure.

Feedback to students

(15) The host supervisors will provide timely and helpful formative feedback to students; and students should seek timely feedback from host supervisors on their progress that assists with successful completion of their placement.

Limitations on access to placements

(16) Where the host organisation considers that a placement may pose a hazard or risk to the student, fellow workers or clients of the host organisation, it may refuse the placement in a timely manner. This entitlement will be specified in the documented arrangements for the placement.

(17) The Head of School/Department or nominee may refuse a placement that is not suitable, or would be a danger to the student, employees or clients of the host organisation.

(18) Students are required to disclose any disability or health condition that will prevent them from meeting the requirements specified for the placement (see clause 14) including conditions that would affect occupational health and safety. Where a disability or health condition does not preclude participation in a specific placement, but may affect a student's ability to succeed, the student is strongly encouraged to disclose any needs before the placement commences to the University so that their needs can be discussed and reasonable adjustments, if possible, can be made (see Making Reasonable Adjustments for a Member of the University with a Disability or Health Condition procedure). Students may seek assistance from the Disability Resource Centre or University supervisors in deciding whether they are required to disclose a disability or health condition.

Student conduct and performance

(19) Students are expected to:

  1. conduct themselves professionally in accordance with placement requirements of the University and the host organisation
  2. complete all training requirements (including safety training) required by the host organisation
  3. comply with relevant policies and procedures of the University, including the Student Code of Conduct, and external regulatory requirements (including standards of conduct and visa requirements).

(20) Host placement supervisors are expected to contact a nominated Deakin representative directly and promptly if they have any concerns or issues relating to:

  1. a student’s conduct or performance before or during a placement, or
  2. failure of a student to meet any placement requirements, including training.

(21) Where the host placement supervisor or the University identifies during the placement that the student has not met placement requirements or is at risk of unsatisfactory academic performance, the University will notify the student in writing to explain the issues, support strategies (where relevant) and any consequences.

(22) If after the student has been notified in writing, the placement requirements or the expected standard of performance are still not met, the Chair of the Academic Progress Committee or nominee may terminate the placement and:

  1. recommend Fail grade for the placement or unit, or
  2. approve an alternative placement in consultation with the Associate Dean Teaching and Learning or nominee.

(23) The student will be notified in writing of the termination and the reasons for the decision, and will be provided with advice on the process to be followed, including whether the student is required to meet with the relevant Academic Progress Committee.

(24) In exceptional situations where a student’s conduct or performance causes a risk to their or someone else’s health or safety, the Head of School/Department or host organisation may terminate the placement immediately and refer the matter to the Chair of the Academic Progress Committee or nominee for consideration.

(25) Termination of a placement resulting from student conduct or performance may result in the exclusion of the student from a unit, course or the University in accordance with the Academic Progress procedure, Student Academic Integrity procedure or Student General Misconduct procedure as applicable.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(26) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. host organisation: a professional, industry, government or community partner that provides student placement opportunities for students of the University at the host organisation's premises or in work-related activities offsite.
  2. placement: a learning or assessment activity in a professional or business workplace or community setting or creative practice which may be paid or not-paid, in Australia or overseas, on-site or online and includes Deakin Interns, as well as higher degree by research placements. Common terminology for student placements include: work-integrated learning, internships, industry based learning, clinical practice, teaching practicums, field education, professional experience, work experience and practical training.