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Work Integrated Learning Policy

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) This Policy ensures that Work Integrated Learning (WIL) aligns with the University’s values and mission, supports WIL activities and assessments, and complies with the relevant regulatory frameworks.

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Section 2 - HESF/ASQA/ESOS Alignment

(2) HESF Standard 5.4.1 - Delivery with Other Parties: Work-integrated learning, placements, other community-based learning and collaborative research training arrangements are quality assured, including assurance of the quality of supervision of student experiences.

(3) HESF Standard 1.4.2c and d – Learning Outcomes and Assessment: Knowledge and skills required for employment and further study related to the course of study, including those required to be eligible to seek registration to practice where applicable, and skills in independent and critical thinking suitable for life-long learning.

(4) ASQA Standard 1.5 – Industry Relevance: The RTO’s training and assessment practices are relevant to the needs of industry and informed by industry engagement.

(5) ASQA Standard 1.6 – Industry Relevance: The RTO implements a range of strategies for industry engagement and systematically uses the outcome of that industry engagement to ensure the industry relevance of:

  1. its training and assessment strategies, practices and resources; and
  2. the current industry skills of its trainers and assessors.

(6) ESOS Act - National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018: Standard 1.2.2 - Marketing and Information Practices: The registered provider must, in seeking to enter into written agreements with overseas students or intending overseas students, not provide any false or misleading information on any work-based training a student is required to undertake as part of the course.

(7) ESOS Act - National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018: Standard 2.1.2 - Recruitment of an Overseas Student: Prior to accepting an overseas student or intending overseas student for enrolment in a course, the registered provider must make comprehensive, current and plain English information available to the overseas student or intending overseas student on the CRICOS course code, course content, modes of study for the course including compulsory online and/or work-based training, placements, other community-based learning and collaborative research training arrangements, and assessment methods.

(8) ESOS Act - National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018: Standard 3.3.1 - Formalisation of Enrolment and Written Agreements: In addition to all requirements in the ESOS Act, the written agreement must, in plain English, outline the course or courses in which the student is to be enrolled, the expected course start date, the location(s) at which the course will be delivered, the offered modes of study for the course, including compulsory online and/or work-based training, placements, and/or other community-based learning and/or collaborative research training arrangements.

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Section 3 - Scope

(9) This Policy applies to:

  1. Higher education coursework assessment at all AQF levels, including postgraduate coursework courses; and
  2. Higher Degrees by Research; and
  3. National Training Package or other externally accredited VET courses at all levels.

(10) This Policy does not apply to:

  1. Non-award and preparatory courses; or
  2. Non-supported working arrangements outside the curriculum of a course or training package.
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Section 4 - Definitions

(11) Work Integrated Learning (HE)

(12) Practical Placement (VET) 

(13) Onsite WIL: Occurs in a Victoria University setting, such as a university clinic, laboratory, or within the ‘Students as Staff’ program, and may include partner engagement. 

(14) Offsite WIL: Occurs predominantly outside of any Victoria University institutional setting.

(15) Substantial Partner Involvement: 

  1. Offsite student learning that occurs at a host's premises, for one or more standard working days per week, over any period of one week or greater. For HE an external supervisor will be allocated and will contribute to student assessment.  For VE a university appointed, suitably qualified supervisor that meets the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 (Cth) requirements, will be allocated as the assessor.
  2. Onsite activity in which partnered projects or other activities have aims and outcomes wholly or mainly determined or validated by an external partner or industry group in consultation with staff of Victoria University, having conducted a formal joint review of the projects in these respects.

(16) Authenticity: The degree to which WIL activities genuinely reflect current professional practice.

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Section 5 - Policy Statement

(17) WIL enhances graduate employability and student readiness for professional practice as well as providing opportunities for students to be assessed in an authentic workplace environment, as per Training Package or accredited curriculum requirements. In addition to the principles of WIL inherent in relevant regulatory frameworks, Victoria University applies the following key principles to the design, conduct and evaluation of WIL.

Key Principles of Work Integrated Learning

(18) Authentic WIL genuinely reflects current professional practice. This means that supported placements and partnered projects will:

  1. Afford students opportunities for autonomy, as appropriate to current level of achievement or scope of practice.
  2. Allow students to take responsibility for the consequences of acting on that autonomy.
  3. Provide access to activities that have meaningful outcomes for the partner, clients or for others in a practice setting.
  4. Involve students’ in a variety of differing activities, reflective of the full range of practice and the diversity of circumstances for the conduct of these.

(19) WIL for HE is embedded in integrative curriculum and is scaffolded vertically and horizontally. This means that:

  1. The relative contributions of mandatory, preparatory, consolidation, and capstone WIL activities to progress against course and unit learning outcomes, graduate capabilities and professional capabilities are mapped at the course level; and
  2. WIL activities undertaken as part of a unit and any associated assessment are both clearly aligned with the unit learning outcomes; and
  3. A variety of WIL activities are offered across a course that focus on different facets of practice or skills, as appropriate to year level.
  4. WIL activities are referenced in both theory and practice focused units of study within a sequence.

(20) WIL is inclusive and accessible. This means that:

  1. The design and delivery of WIL activities will as far as possible, enable the participation of all students, without breaching the requirements laid out in relevant external regulatory frameworks, or adversely impacting quality.
  2. Reasonable attempts will be made by Unit Convenors/teaching coordinators to accommodate student diversity by negotiating alternative WIL activities, without breaching the requirements laid out in relevant external regulatory frameworks, or adversely impacting quality.
  3. Accessibility Services should be contacted for advice in circumstances where a student’s disability requires a reasonable adjustment(s) to be considered.

(21) WIL partnerships are formed with regard for ability to ensure students' wellbeing, and are ideally both reciprocal and multi-layered. This means that:

  1. Offsite WIL activities are conducted in facilities that are fit for purpose in supporting learning, including provision of adequate external supervision.
  2. Safeguarding of student wellbeing and safety when ‘off site’ is assured.
  3. Staff will build relationships with partners that support multiple points of exchange and reciprocal value creation across teaching, learning and research.
  4. Commercial third-party providers of WIL experiences for HE will only be engaged by Executive Deans when those providers meet the standards laid out for partners in this Policy, and can provide a high-quality experience that the university does not have the in-house capacity to provide via its usual partnership networks.

(22) WIL activities are monitored for quality assurance and enhancement purposes. This means that:

  1. For HE valid data on WIL activity is entered into the Course Approvals and Management System at course and unit level.
  2. Regular gathering of stakeholder feedback from staff, students and partners, as captured in the WIL Support System, or industry engagement processes for VE courses, is fed into iterative course monitoring, review and design; and
  3. Where WIL involves an external partner for HE, then:
    1. Formative assessment involves collaboration between academic staff and external supervisors; and
    2. External supervisors are supported to conduct formative assessment in accordance with Victoria University’s Assessment for Learning Policy; and
    3. Summative assessment is primarily conducted by academic staff, but may be conducted in conjunction with staff of the partner organisations, especially where that is a requirement of a professional association or other accrediting body.
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Section 6 - Procedures

(23) Work Integrated Learning Procedure (HE)

(24) Work Integrated Learning - Practical Placement Procedure (VET)