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Work Integrated Learning Procedure (HE)

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Section 1 - Summary

(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 - 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 1.4.2 c 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) ESOS 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.

(5) ESOS 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.

(6) ESOS 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

(7) This Procedure applies to:

  1. Higher education coursework at all levels, including postgraduate coursework courses;
  2. Higher Degrees by Research;
  3. Off-site WIL activities hosted by an external industry organisation;
  4. On-site WIL activities with or without the external industry organisation involvement (including on-site clinics and partnered projects).

(8) 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 4 - Definitions

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

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Section 5 - Policy/Regulation

(10) Work Integrated Learning Policy

Part A - Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

College Work Integrated Learning staff
Select and screen external partners, in consultation with Academic Quality and Standards, VU International and Employability and Success if required.
Collaborate effectively with external supervisors.
Summative assessment of curricula WIL activities.
Keep a file copy of all signed WIL agreements.
College Deans
The responsibilities for WIL in Colleges differ amongst College operating models. For this reason, the College Dean has the overall accountability for ensuring the following responsibilities and quality standards are met by Colleges:
1. Participate in the Design and Development of WIL units and include the development of milestones or a Learning Plan in all curricular WIL agreements. This will align with the approved unit in CAMS.

2. Provide additional information through VU Collaborate as is required for successful participation including (for example Preparation for WIL digital module for OHS awareness, COVID-19 requirements etc.).

3. Develop and apply a Fitness for WIL activity process where applicable, referenced and aligned with appropriate Inherent Requirements for the course. Submit via the Director of Learning and Teaching to the VU WIL System prior to students commencing WIL activities.

4. Develop College level WIL handbooks that comply with these procedures. Ensure assessment of the WIL activities have identified any potential hazards, developed appropriate controls and ensure the controls are implemented. Refer to documents on the WIL intranet and WIL policy/OH&S/Risk management procedure.

5. Ensure that clear and agreed rubrics, agreed standards or externally referenced measures are evidenced for WIL.

6. Ensure all students receive an OHS induction prior to WIL activities and OHS checklist template is completed by the students.

7. The agreements will specify that the provider would require students to complete the OHS induction. If students do not complete OHS or have queries they are directed to contact the Lead Administrator, WIL System, in Employability and Success.

8. Develop, apply and communicate processes for monitoring student progress and safety during offsite WIL activities, (e.g., site visits).

9. For Onsite Clinics and partnered projects, refer to College based guidelines for requirements. There is an expectation that these types of WIL activities are aligned to the Key Principals of WIL as described in the WIL Policy.

10. Develop, apply and communicate processes to ensure all students have access to WIL opportunities.

11. Provide data on type and duration of WIL activities in the Course Approvals and Management system.

12. Evaluate WIL programs in accordance with the Learning and Teaching Quality and Standards Framework including internal college and other relevant stakeholders as required.
Academic Quality and Standards
Monitor and Review WIL through Annual Course Monitoring and Comprehensive Course Review processes.
Accessibility Services
Provide advice and assistance in preparing an Accessibility Action Plan for students with a disability which may impact upon their ability to undertake WIL.
External Organisations
The key responsibilities of host organisations for WIL activities include the following:
1. Orient the student to the workplace by providing an induction process that includes OHS and emergency procedures plus any other relevant workplace policies or procedures.
2. Ensure the tasks undertaken are as closely aligned as possible with your course learning outcomes.
3. Set clear expectations of how the WIL activity will occur and provide the student with a supervisor to be the first point of contact.
4. Provide the student with ongoing feedback, guidance and advice on your workplace performance.
5. Provide feedback and reporting where required to Victoria University in relation to the WIL activity.

Part B - Partnered Offsite Activities

(11) Offsite supported WIL activities require an agreement or contract, signed by the relevant designated figure and by a senior staff member of the partner organisation. Further, this requires: Use of either the standard university agreement A or B; or

  1. An alternative approved by Legal Services; and
  2. Provision of a copy of signed agreements to Employability and Success; and
  3. Retention of a file copy by College staff; and
  4. Provision of copies of agreements to any partner or student covered by that agreement.
  5. A clear statement of expectations that all parties abide by National, State and territory, as well as local OHS legislation.
  6. A clear statement of conditions governing copyright for the outcomes of any activities where applicable.
  7. That use of commercial third party providers only occurs if they can satisfy all of the standards partners of the university must meet and offer experience of high quality and value to students.
  8. A clear expectation that an OH&S induction will be provided to students prior to WIL activities.
  9. Provision of evidence of OH&S management related to WIL activities. Refer to placement host OH&S Checklist.

Part C - Learning and Teaching Arrangements

(12) Conditions of and requirements for student participation in WIL will be clearly stated in online course pages reflecting the approved unit 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 requirements for participation in required activities with approval through Courses Committee in accordance with the regulatory requirements or internal thresholds. These may include the outcomes of prior units and a pass grade threshold over one or more units, pre-requisite units or other specified academic requirements.
  3. Any non/academic requirements for participation 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.

(13) 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.
  5. Assessment tasks associated with WIL.
  6. Assessment rubics associated with the evaluation of student performance in WIL activities.

Part D - Access, Inclusion and Fitness for Placement

(14) 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 and Courses Lifecycle - Inherent Requirements of Study Procedure.
  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 accessibility requirements or 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 standards.
  5. Unit Convenors will seek advice from Course Chairs where accreditation requirements may impact the availability of alternative WIL activities with input from Accessibility Services.
  6. 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.
  7. Advice on meeting on-line standards for the provision of information to students in this instance is provided by Accessibility Services.

(15) Monitoring student progress and safety, and the safety of the public, 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 incidents, injuries, hazards and critical incident management;
  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 (Vic) or equivalent.
  9. A statement of VU Insurance policies related to WIL activities.

(16) 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 an accessibility issue 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 Accessibility Services 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. 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.
    4. The costs and benefits of making the adjustment; and
    5. The effect of the proposed adjustment on staff, other students, external partners and anyone else affected;
    6. The effect of the proposed adjustment on the student, including the student’s ability to participate in the WIL activity;
    7. Information provided by, or on behalf of, the student about their preferred adjustments;
    8. 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;
    9. 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.

(17) Any adjustments which are to be implemented in order to enable the student to participate safely in WIL will be documented in an Accessibility Action Plan.

(18) A signed fitness for placement declaration form, and if applicable a copy of the Accessibility Action Plan, will be lodged with WIL team (Employability and Success) Course Chairs and Unit Convenors. WIL coordinators are responsible for ensuring that this occurs.

(19) Where two or more events of unfitness for practice are recorded, students are advised to contact a Student Advisor to construct a success plan.

Part E - International Students and Offshore WIL Activities

(20) All WIL activities undertaken by on-shore international students will comply with Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (Cth) (or ESOS Act) and visa requirements. Please refer to the Study in Australia website for further information. 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. Clearly documented responsibility between parities for risk assessments of WIL activities, risk management considerations of offshore locations, regular communication and emergency response.
  5. Contractual arrangements with partner institutions and the availability of resources (such as lecturer access to workplaces and community enterprises); and
  6. Recognition of the diversity of learning and assessment approaches already occurring within partner universities.
  7. A statement of expectation of student behaviours outside dedicated learning activities. Refer to the Student Charter Policy for more information.

Part F - Data Collection and Reporting

(21) 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

(22) 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:
    1. Student and partner feedback gathered through the WIL support system’s survey facility; and
    2. Learning Innovation and Quality and Employability and Success 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.