Work Integrated Learning - Academic Policy | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Work Integrated Learning - Academic Policy

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Approval authority
Academic Board
Responsible Executive member
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Designated officer
General Manager, Academic Support Unit
First approved
26 June 2009
Last amended
27 April 2021
Review date
27 April 2026
Related documents
Linked documents
Related legislation / standards
  • Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld)
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)
  • Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 (Cth)
  • Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Act 2011 (Cth)
  • Australian Qualifications Framework
  • Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
  • Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 (Cth)
  • National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018
  • Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Cth)
  • Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld)
  • DFAT – Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment

1. Purpose of policy

1.1 The purpose of this policy is to recognise work integrated learning (WIL) as a purposeful, organised, supervised and assessed educational activity required for the completion of a program/course that integrates theoretical learning with its applications in the workplace.

2. Policy scope and application

2.1 This policy covers all WIL activities in University courses including internships, clinical placements, professional experience undertaken in Education and Engineering programs, placements, community and industry projects, professional mentoring, simulations, virtual work experiences and Wider Field Experience.

2.2 The policy applies to WIL activities undertaken with the approval of the University on or off campus and to all students and staff associated with such activities.

2.3 Activities undertaken by students that are not part of academic requirements for a program or course fall outside the scope of this document, including the Voluntary Work Experience Scheme. Work experience is considered an extracurricular opportunity that a student may choose to undertake independently of their study, whether or not it relates to their area of study.

3. Definitions

Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures.

4. Policy statement

4.1 This policy sets out University principles and provides the framework to support and embed WIL into the curriculum at the University.

4.2 WIL is provided by the University consistent with requirements and guidelines contained within relevant legislation and standards including:

(a) Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (Cth);

(b) Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Act 2011 (Cth);

(c) Australian Qualifications Framework;

(d) Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth);

(e) Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015;

(f) National Code of Practice Providers of Education and training to Overseas Students;

(g) DFAT – Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment;

(h) Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth);

(i) Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld); and

(j) Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld).

5. Principles

5.1 WIL activities will be designed to integrate work-related practice with teaching and learning, and must provide for the monitoring, supervision and performance assessment of students, and to enable students to reflect on their practice.

5.2 The University will maximise opportunities for students to develop knowledge, skills and personal values through simulated workplace experiences and professional experiences.

5.3 Every program shall include WIL activities, to help ensure the professional relevance of University degrees and professional preparation of University students.

5.4 The University will make reasonable adjustments to assist students to have equitable access to WIL, in accordance with the Equity and Diversity - Governing Policy and relevant Anti-Discrimination legislation.

5.5 The University is committed to providing equitable access to WIL activities across all campuses.

5.6 Where WIL is an inherent academic or professional accreditation requirement, the needs of students who may require reasonable adjustments will be considered as part of the program’s curriculum design and accreditation.

5.7 The University encourages interdisciplinary engagement to enhance WIL practices and to realise improved quality WIL opportunities for students.

5.8 Effective relationships with the University’s stakeholders are critical to the success of WIL activities. The University actively promotes and facilitates engagement with stakeholders to establish and maintain mutually beneficial professional relationships.

5.9 The University values community engagement through WIL based partnerships with industry, professional and community organisations.

5.10 WIL activities are designed to provide benefits to all stakeholders including students, the broader community, the placement provider and the University.

5.11 WIL activities involving a placement provider shall only occur when a Student Placement Agreement is in place between the University and a student, and when a Placement Partner Agreement is in place between the University and the placement provider (i.e. industry partners, professional and community organisations, third party providers or partner institutions).

5.12 WIL agreements (Student Placement Agreements and Placement Partner Agreements) must be underpinned by a due diligence assessment to ensure that the University meets its obligations to its students and complies with all relevant legislative requirements. WIL agreements must also comply with advice from the University’s legal office.

5.13 All records must be captured in an approved records management system, in accordance with the University’s Information Management Framework – Governing Policy. The Sonia system is the approved records management system for work integrated learning placement records.

5.14 Placements which involve an international travel component must comply with the short-term mobility activity requirements in the Work Integrated Learning (Placement) Procedure, Annexure A.

5.15 The University will monitor WIL activities and the outcomes for students’ including transferable skills and work-readiness as an element of the WIL quality review program. The findings will be used to inform changes to academic processes relating to WIL activities.

5.16 Approval of specific WIL activities should be commensurate with the current and documented University risk appetite.

5.17 All staff must reduce risks associated with WIL activities through actions consistent with the University’s risk management framework including:

(a) utilising the University’s risk assessment forms;

(b) establishing agreements with students and placement providers;

(c) student orientation to the placement activity;

(d) accurate record keeping; and

(e) regular supervision.