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Student Placement procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure was approved by Academic Board on 31 May 2016.

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

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Section 2 - PURPOSE

(3) 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

(4) This Procedure applies to all placements undertaken by students of the University in Australia as a compulsory or elective part of their course. Placements undertaken overseas will adhere to the Student International Programs and Placement Procedure.

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Section 4 - POLICY

(5) Refer to the Higher Education Courses policy.

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Section 5 - PROCEDURE

Placement arrangements

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

(7) Where a formal agreement is not required by the University Solicitor's Office's, 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.

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

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Section 6 - Roles and responsibilities

(9) The Head of School or nominated Course Director or Unit Chair 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 10) in carrying out their responsibilities, to assist the achievement of the learning objectives of placements to a satisfactory standard
  5. managing relationships with host organisations.
In this Procedure, the responsibilities assigned to the University will be carried out by relevant staff as nominated under this clause.

(10) 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.

(11) 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.

(12) 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.

Information for students

(13) 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 11
    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 12
    6. the name, contact details and qualifications/expertise of the host placement supervisor/s
    7. required communication with placement supervisors as agreed by the University and the host organisation
    8. privacy and confidentiality obligations
    9. details of the ownership and/or rights to use intellectual property produced by the host organisation or the student on placement, as required
    10. processes for dealing with absences, conflict, misconduct, appeals, grievances or other difficulties
    11. any costs for students associated with the placement
    12. the duration and, where relevant, the location of the placement and whether it is paid or unpaid
    13. 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).

Feedback to students

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

Limitations on access to placements

(15) 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.

(16) The Head of School or nominated Course Director or Unit Chair may refuse a placement that is not suitable, or would be a danger to the student, employees or clients of the host organisation.

(17) Students are required to disclose any disability or health condition that will prevent them from meeting the requirements specified for the placement (see clause 13) 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 to disclose a disability or health condition.

Student obligations relating to placements

(18) Students will comply with the placement requirements of the host organisation and the University, relevant policies and procedures, and external regulatory requirements (including standards of conduct and visa requirements).

(19) Students must satisfactorily complete all training requirements of the host organisation, including any safety training or instruction before or during the placement.

(20) The University will ensure that students satisfactorily meet requirements of the host organisation, including any safety training or instruction.

Conduct and performance during placement

(21) The University will provide the host organisation with contact details for a Deakin representative responsible for handling concerns in relation to the student's behaviour, work ethic or performance, and request that these concerns be communicated directly and promptly.

(22) Host placement supervisors are expected to contact the relevant Deakin representative directly and promptly if they have any concerns or issues, including any in relation to the student's behaviour, work ethic, safety or performance, or substantial changes in risk, as reflected in any placement agreement.

(23) Students may be subject to disciplinary action by the University if they fail to meet the University's requirements in relation to student conduct while on placement. Misconduct identified during a placement will be managed under the Student Academic Integrity procedure or the Student General Misconduct procedure.

(24) Where a host placement supervisor or a Chair of the Faculty Committee, or nominee, identifies that a student is at risk of unsatisfactory performance, the University will notify the student in writing (except where the student's performance causes a risk to their or someone else's health or safety). The notification will include a description of the issues, strategies to support the student to succeed and the consequences of not succeeding.

(25) If requirements or level of performance are still not met to the specified standard, the Chair of the Faculty Committee, or nominee, may:

  1. terminate the placement and/or
  2. approve an alternative placement for the student and/or
  3. recommend a Fail grade for the placement or unit.
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(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, 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.