Education - Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Education - Supervised Professional Experience (SPE)

Professional Learning at USC is an integral component of the Education Discipline. It provides Pre-Service Teachers enrolled in Primary, Secondary and Early Childhood Programs with genuine opportunities to establish strong links between the knowledge attained in their coursework and the practical experiences provided through Supervised Professional Experience (SPE).

SPE provides opportunities for Pre-Service Teachers to undertake a range of duties in a workplace setting at schools and sites and an opportunity to develop new skills as they put the theories learned in their university studies into practice.

SPE essentials

Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) is an integral component of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Programs at USC. SPE provides Primary, Secondary and Early Childhood pre-service teachers (PSTs) with genuine opportunities to establish strong links between the knowledge attained in their coursework and the practical components of being an educator.

Throughout your ITE program, you will undertake several courses that include an embedded SPE placement. The SPE will provide you with opportunity to link theory with practice. SPE is an assessable component of SPE placement courses. To prepare for SPE, you should familiarise yourself with both the program specific Inherent Academic Requirements and the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. SPE courses are graded as Pass Ungraded (PU) or Fail (UF) as they are limited grade courses. To pass the placement assessment preservice teachers must:

  • Meet the Australian Professional Standards criteria found in the SPE Final Report
  • Adhere to the USC School of Education Code of Conduct

The University has established arrangements with professional learning sites (ie Schools and early childhood centres and settings) to provide SPE placements for preservice teachers to develop the skills required to practice as a graduate teacher.

When undertaking SPE placements you may be required to travel. The University will endeavour to place you in a Queensland professional learning site within a 50km radius of your Student Central registered street address, however this cannot be guaranteed and can be dependent upon the distance of your home street address and your selected USC campus study site. In such cases, your SPE professional learning site may be located within a 50km radius from the campus where you are studying. The 50Km radius is not applied when you choose to undertake an SPE in a rural or remote area within Queensland.

Preservice teachers are responsible for all travel and accommodation expenses incurred whilst undertaking SPE placements. If you have elected to undertake a rural and remote placement, you may be eligible for various SPE scholarships (refer to SPE Placement Options and Opportunities).

SPE placements will only be offered to preservice teachers who meet the mandatory requirements of the University (refer to Mandatory Requirements for SPE)

Issues arising during SPE placements are dealt with in a timely manner, and in accordance with the University’s Workplace and Industry Placement - Procedures.

Sonia Online

Your Sonia Online account contains information relating to SPE; including placement Handbooks and example copies of forms for each SPE course, the Education Professional Learning calendar that includes scheduled dates for SPE, details of bursaries and grants, professional development and SPE-related events, mandatory requirements for SPE, and other useful information. The Sonia Online homepage also contains a library of placement-related Fact Sheets and Placement Forms for you to access.

Current enrolled preservice teachers can access specific SPE information through the University’s Sonia Online database, and login to Sonia.

Mandatory requirements for SPE

To be eligible to commence a SPE placement, preservice teachers must complete the following Mandatory Requirements as per the USC Workplace and Industry Placement – Procedures.

You can view the status of your mandatory checks in Sonia Online. Sonia Online contains all your placement information eg dates, forms, allocated sites etc.




Blue Card


When:  Once enrolled

Cost:  Nil

Time:  Approx. 8-10 weeks *

Comments:  If you already have a valid Blue Card, this card MUST be linked to USC.


USC Student Placement Agreement Form

(Placement Disclosure Statement)


When:  Once enrolled you will be emailed this form to complete

Cost: Nil

Time: The form takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete and is due 1 week after it has been emailed to you.


USC Student Placement Agreement Form

(Placement Details Statement)


When:  Once a placement site has been allocated to you, you will be emailed this form to complete

Cost: Nil

Time: The form takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete and is due ASAP and at least 5 days prior to your SPE commencing.


USC PrePlace


When: Once enrolled

Cost: Nil

Time:  Approx. 60-90 minutes

Comments:  PrePlace only needs to be completed once during your program. PrePlace will be made available to you via Blackboard.

* NOTE: some of the mandatory requirements can take quite some time to organise. Students are advised to commence working on obtaining their specific mandatories as soon as they have accepted their offer.

Duration of SPE and scheduled dates

SPE can vary in duration from 5-30 days and it is offered in blocks (Monday-Friday) during University semester.

SPE dates are non-negotiable as per USC Assessment Policy and students should understand that any personal arrangements (including holidays, weddings, work commitments or other optional personal events) which may occur during the published placement dates will not be considered grounds to apply for an extension or review of the Assessment item (ie; SPE dates).

Download the current Education Professional Learning calendar for placement dates). (If you are unable to download or access the Calendar PDF please contact

* For PDF documents you must have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded from the Adobe Download page

SPE placement options and opportunities

USC Education students are placed with Supervising Teachers in state, independent, private, alternative and Catholic schools and early childhood sites. All Supervising Teachers are required to be registered with the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT).

Eligible students can request a Rural and Remote placement (200km from USC campus) within Queensland schools and sites. These students may be eligible to apply for a bursary through the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation or the Beyond the Range Department of Education grant.

USC also works with the Department of Education, Kelvin Grove Teacher Education Centre of Excellence (TECE) for rural and remote school placement options.

Interstate and international Supervised Professional Experiences are not offered.

Remuneration and insurance

No remuneration or payment is made by the placement organisation to the students or to the University for hosting the student. Students undertaking an approved work place learning course are covered by the University’s insurance policies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I source my own placement?

Students are not able to source their own placement sites for SPE. The only exception is for the EDU409 Early Childhood Internship. For all other SPE, the placement office sources all places.

Can I choose which site I’d prefer to go to for placement?

You will be placed as per Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) requirements for your Education Program and the University will endeavour to place you in a Queensland learning site within a 50km radius from your Student Central registered address (see Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) Essentials). You will not be placed at sites where you have conflicts of interest, and are required to declare these conflicts of interest in Sonia Online.

Secondary students: You should be aware that because of your major/minor teaching area considerations, placement is quite complex and as a result there are generally limited available options within your required region with your required teaching areas. Meeting the QCT requirements of the Secondary program and locating a suitable Queensland learning site as outlined in the SPE Essentials are the two priority criteria.

Can I do placement at a site where I’ve already built relationships?

Students are not able to do placement at a site where there is a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest is defined as a site where;

  • Close family members / friends are employed
  • Your children / siblings attend
  • You are employed in a casual, part-time, full-time, or after school care capacity
  • You have attended the SPE site as a student in the last 5 years​

Contact Us

Education Placement Office
School of Education

Campus specific contacts
USC Caboolture (All Programs): +61 7 5430 2950
USC Fraser Coast (All Programs): +61 7 5456 5622
USC Gympie (All Programs): +61 7 5456 5622
USC Moreton (All Programs): +61 7 5430 2950
USC Sunshine Coast (Secondary): +61 7 5456 5017
USC Sunshine Coast (Early Childhood/Primary): +61 7 5459 4734

Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) Education Programs: