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Work Integrated Learning Procedure (HE)

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Section 1 - Purpose / Objectives

(1) This Procedure  establishes a framework for Work Integrated Learning (WIL) activities in higher education courses at Victoria University.

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Section 2 - Scope / Application

(2) This Procedure applies to:

  1. Higher education coursework at all levels, including postgraduate coursework courses
  2. Higher Degrees by Research dissertations or research projects

(3) This Procedure does not apply to:

  1. National Training Package or other externally accredited VET courses
  2. Non-award and preparatory courses
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Section 3 - Definitions

(4) See Work Integrated Learning Policy (HE)

(5) Fitness for placement: students are fit for placement if they can attend placement without endangering themselves or others.

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Section 4 - Policy Statement

(6) See the Work Integrated Learning Policy (HE)

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Section 5 - Procedures

Part A - Roles and Responsibilities

College Work Integrated Learning staff
Select and screen external partners, in consultation with VU International and Learning Innovation and Quality if required.
Collaborate effectively with external supervisors.
Summative assessment of curricula WIL activities.
Provide a signed copy of all WIL agreements to Learning Innovation and Quality, students and partner staff covered by an agreement through lodging in the WILsupport system.
Keep a file copy of all signed WIL agreements.
Develop and include a Learning Plan in all curricular WIL agreements.
Lodge signed fitness for WIL activity forms with Learning Innovation and Quality through lodging in the WIL support system prior to students commencing WIL activities.
Develop College level WIL handbooks that comply with these procedures.
Develop and apply a fitness for placement process.
Develop, apply and communicate processes for monitoring student progress and safety during offsite WIL activities.
Develop, apply and communicate processes ensuring broad student access to and inclusion in WIL activities.
Provide data on type and duration of WIL activities in the Course Approvals and Management system.
Evaluate WIL programs in accordance with the Learning and Teaching Quality and Standards Framework
Learning and Quality Portfolio
Analyse WIL data and stakeholder feedback
Report on that analysis to Colleges to inform strategic and operational planning
Consult on and support innovation and curriculum development in WIL
Conduct a quarterly review of WIL procedures, in consultation with the WIL@VU reference group
Disability Services
Provide advice and assistance in preparing a WIL Access and Support Plan for students with a disability which may impact upon their ability to undertake WIL.

Part B - Overview

(7) WIL enhances graduate employability and student readiness for professional practice.  In addition to all external regulatory requirements, including those of TEQSA and the ESOS code of practice; the requirements of professional accreditation and registration bodies; and relevant legislation, such as the Fair Work Act 2009 and anti-discrimination legislation, Victoria University has the following requirements for WIL.

Part C - Offsite Activities with Substantial Partner Involvement

(8) Offsite supported WIL activities require an agreement or contract, signed by the relevant Course Chair and by a senior staff member of the partner organisation. Further, this requires:

  1. Use of either the standard university agreement A or B; or
  2. An alternative approved by Legal Services; and
  3. Provision of a copy of signed agreements to Learning Innovation and Quality; and
  4. Retention of a file copy by College staff; and
  5. Provision of copies of agreements to any partner or student covered by that agreement.
  6. A clear statement of expectations that all parties abide by National, State and territory, as well as local OHS legislation.
  7. A clear statement of conditions governing copyright for the outcomes of any activities where applicable.
  8. That use of commercial third party providers only occurs if they can satisfy all of the standards partners of the university must meet; offer experience of high quality and value to students, which can not be offered using in-house capacity.

Part D - Learning and Teaching Arrangements

(9)  Conditions of and requirements for student participation in WIL will be clearly stated in online course pages and in College WIL handbooks, including:

  1. The duration and broad type of activity and how it will be adapted for differing cohorts, modes of delivery and locations; and
  2. Any academic and/or non-academic requirements for participation in required activities, such as a grade threshold, pre-requisites, requirements for documentation such as police checks or working with children checks to be obtained by students, required immunization schedules, or need for compliance with specific OHS requirements, such as purchase and wearing of personal protective equipment, and any specific visa requirements.

(10) Prior to curricula WIL activities commencing, students and external supervisors will be provided with a learning plan that sets out:

  1. Information on alignment between WIL activities and unit or course learning outcomes as applicable; and
  2. How specific WIL activities contribute to achievement of course or unit learning goals; and
  3. How the WIL activity will be assessed; and
  4. The expected contribution that a supervisor will make including, but not limited to, contributions to student assessment.

Part E - Access, Inclusion and Fitness for Placement

(11) Victoria University acknowledges that it has a legal obligation to take reasonable and proportion measures to eliminate discrimination and prevent discriminatory practices.

Accordingly -

  1. All WIL activities at Victoria University must accord with all relevant Anti-Discrimination Legislation and the Victoria University Student Equity and Social Inclusion Policy.
  2. Partnerships will be sought that maximise the range of WIL opportunities available to students.
  3. Where completion of WIL activities are a requirement for course completion, or are a key component of a program, the potential needs of students with a disability will be considered in program design.
  4. Unit Convenors will seek to accommodate student diversity by offering alternative WIL activities, where this will not adversely impact accreditation requirements or academic quality standard.
  5. Clear eligibility criteria for participation in WIL that is not open to all students will be stated in College WIL hand books in a format that meets accessibility standards.  If advice is required on meeting these standards disability services can provide it.

(12) Determinations as to whether a student meets the fitness for placement requirements will be made at the College level. The processes for making this assessment will be set out in each College in WIL handbooks. The following requirements apply to these handbooks:

  1. Students will be initially asked to self-identify as either fit or not fit for participation in WIL, for example, able to provide evidence of effective immunisations where required to do so.
  2. If a student identifies as not being fit for placement ,or if there are concerns that a student’s fitness for placement is potentially affected by a disability, consideration must be given to any accommodations or adjustments which could be put into place in order to facilitate the student’s safe participation in WIL.  This process may be carried out with advice and assistance from the Disability Services Unit and must include documented consideration of the following –
    1. the nature of the student’s disability;
    2. the information provided by, or on behalf of, the student about how the disability affects the student’s ability to participate in WIL;
    3. any medical or expert advice and/or recommendations in relation to the student’s disability and the nature of the adjustments which are appropriate for the student.
    4. the views of the student, or an associate of the student, about whether a proposed adjustment is reasonable and will enable the student to access and participate in WIL;
    5. information provided by, or on behalf of, the student about his or her preferred adjustments;
    6. the effect of the proposed adjustment on the student, including the student’s ability to participate in the WIL activity;
    7. the effect of the proposed adjustment on staff, other students, external partners and anyone else affected;
    8. the costs and benefits of making the adjustment; and
    9. whether the adjustment will affect the academic integrity and/or assessment or accreditation requirements of the course or unit of study in which the student is enrolled.
  3. Any adjustments which are to be implemented in order to enable the student to participate safely in WIL will be documented in a “WIL Access and Support Plan”.
  4. A signed fitness for placement declaration form, and if applicable a copy of the WIL Access and Support Plan, will be lodged with Learning Innovation and Quality and a copy kept in Colleges. Unit Convenors or WIL coordinators are responsible for ensuring that this occurs.

(13) Monitoring student progress and safety during offsite activities will be assured through provision of a College level WIL Handbook to students and partners that includes:

  1. a learning plan, specifying how activities undertaken by students during WIL relate to course or unit learning outcomes and assessments;
  2. processes for managing student WIL progress against learning goals during off site activities, that address issues of unsatisfactory progress, placement break down, or early termination;
  3. a clear statement of responsibilities for reporting and actions to address student absences, conflict, underperformance or inappropriate behaviour;
  4. a clear statement that unacceptable absences, unsafe, unprofessional or unethical practice may occasion the early termination of a placement, by either academic staff or a partner;
  5. details of university level processes for reporting critical incidents and hazards;
  6. a clear statement of student responsibilities whilst offsite, such as professional behaviour, adherence to all university policies and to the student code of conduct;
  7. a clear statement of partners’ responsibilities, including provision of an OHS-compliant student induction and a safe workplace; and
  8. a statement that where students who are undertaking work integrated learning activities are under 18 years of age, the College has ensured that the work integrated learning partner has appropriate policies and procedures relating to child safety and protection from abuse and harm that meet the Victorian Child Safe Standards or equivalent.

Part F - International Students and Offshore WIL Activities

(14) All WIL activities undertaken by on-shore international students will comply with ESOS legislation and visa requirements.   All offshore WIL activity for international or domestic students will evidence:

  1. appropriate customisation of WIL activities for offshore locations;
  2. parity with local placements where a unit is also offered offshore;
  3. implications for offshore partners and communities and for VU  staff implementing WIL in overseas jurisdictions, such as legal and OHS issues;
  4. contractual arrangements with partner institutions and the availability of resources (such as lecturer access to workplaces and community enterprises); and
  5. recognition of the diversity of learning and assessment approaches already occurring within partner universities.

Part G - Data Collection and Reporting

(15) The WIL  activity undertaken by students will be reported by Unit Convenors or other staff responsible for placement administration, including:

  1. Entry of the duration and type of WIL activity into the Course Approvals and Management System; and
  2. Analysis of that data will be considered as part of Annual Course Monitoring and Comprehensive Course Review processes; in conjunction with
  3. Student and partner feedback gathered through the WIL support system’s survey facility; and
  4. Learning Innovation and Quality will be responsible for analysing WIL data gathered in the Course Approvals and management System and any current and future Victoria University surveys that are related to WIL and will report the results of any such analysis to College Directors of Learning and Teaching.