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TAFE Practical Placement Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose / Objectives

(1) The purpose of this Procedure and its associated Guidelines is to ensure that Practical Placement complies with:

  1. Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 Standard 5: Each Learner is properly informed and protected;
  2. Victorian Department of Education and Training, VET Funding Contract, Schedule 1, mandates that Practical Placements must be conducted in accordance with the Amended Guidelines for Registered Training Organisations and Employers;
  3. Requirements of professional bodies and industry regulators with regard to accreditation and professional registration; and
  4. Is congruent with all related University policies and procedures.
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Section 2 - Scope / Application

(2) This Procedure applies to Practical Placements undertaken as part of National Training Package qualifications and VET accredited courses, including delivery in Australia and offshore. It outlines the responsibility for and processes involved in, the effective delivery and management of Practical Placements at VU.

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Section 3 - Definitions

(3) Host Employer – organisation / business providing supervised workplace experience for VET students.

(4) National Training Qualifications – training packages are developed by Service Skills Organisations to meet the training needs of industry and specify the skills and knowledge required to perform effectively in the workplace. Each training package is made up of units of competency; qualifications framework and assessment guidelines.

(5) Practical Placement – undertaken by VU’s VET students and intended to develop job-related skills in the area of the particular post-secondary course. They vary widely in duration and content from course to course. May also refer to work placement or field placement, however the regulatory framework for VET students is governed by the Practical Placement requirements determined by the Department of Education and Training. There may be specific licensing or registration requirements, eg Engineering, Electrical, Nursing and Early Childhood Education and Care, that mandate Practical Placements to ensure compulsory demonstration of competency in a work place setting. Regulatory bodies may also nominate minimum hours, specific work environments, etc.

(6) Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) – undertaken by students aged 15 years and over who are enrolled in a VET course with a non-school Registered Training Organisation (RTO), such as VU, and undertaking a senior secondary certificate (VCE or VCAL). SWL is organised and managed by the secondary school for secondary school students, or by VU if the students are undertaking VCE or VCAL at VU. They cannot undertake Practical Placements.

(7) Suitable workplace environments – students should not be placed in a work place setting where they are currently engaged in paid work. Refer to the linked to this Procedure. All Practical Placement settings should be assessed prior to placement to ensure that supervision will be provided and to check the overall workplace health and safety conditions in the workplace.

(8) Unit of competency – means the specification of the standards of performance required in the workplace as defined in a training package.

(9) VET accredited course – means a course accredited by the VET regulator in accordance with the Standards for VET Accredited Courses.

(10) Work Experience – undertaken by secondary school students aged 14 years and over and involves short placements which are part of a student's general secondary education. Students are placed with employers primarily to observe and learn, not to undertake activities which require extensive training or experience. Work experience placements are not a requirement as part of a particular subject or course. VU students do not undertake Work Experience.

(11) Work Integrated Learning (WIL) – undertaken by students in higher education coursework at all levels, postgraduate coursework, higher degrees by research dissertations or research projects.

(12) Workplace Supervisor – suitably qualified worker and/or experienced supervisor nominated by the host employer to provide direct supervision for the student undertaking placement. The designated workplace supervisor must be on site for the full duration of the placement.

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Section 4 - Policy Statement

(13) Nil

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Section 5 - Procedures

Part A - Roles and Responsibilities

Current regulatory bodies’ – eg ASQA, Dept of Education and Training guidelines, ANMAC – directions and guidelines accessed and adhered to for:
Practical Placement for VET students;
Structured Workplace Learning for VCE / VCAL students
Legal Services
Provide advice and guidance to Victoria University Polytechnic in relation to:
Interstate and international placements;
Practical Placement Agreements;
Requirements of regulatory bodies.
Evidence supporting the structure and duration of Practical Placements collated and documented via:
TAFE Industry Engagement Procedure;
Regulatory / professional body requirements, eg ANMAC;
Student and employer feedback.
Course Training and Assessment Strategies developed for learner cohorts clearly articulating:
Hours allocated to Practical Placement aligned to units of competency;
Scheduling of Practical Placements to accommodate prerequisite skills requirements, ie underpinning skills and knowledge;
Host employers / range of work environments, if applicable, eg acute care,  aged care, customer service, etc;
Alternative assessment strategies if non mandatory placements—students not able to complete placement due to illness, etc.
Practical Placement requirements are communicated to prospective students prior to enrolment:
Description of placement requirements, eg duration, settings;
Requirements for Police and/or Working with Children Checks;
Physical capacity, etc physical demands inherent in the emergency ambulance service;
Details of uniforms, safety gear, etc, listed.
Learning and Assessment Plans (teacher plans) developed:
Prerequisite skills and knowledge for placement;
Units of competency – whole or part – to be assessed as part of placement.
Unit / Cluster Guides (student guides) developed:
Scheduling and duration of placements;
Prerequisite skills and knowledge required prior to placement, eg WHS;
Identify what will be assessed in the workplace;
Uniform, safety gear or other dress requirements;
Training Plans clearly identify units of competency assessed in the workplace and hours of workplace delivery by unit
Practical Placement Guides developed for:
Workplace supervisors;
Assessing teachers.
Source and assess suitable workplace environments, including WHS checks. Where the placement involves students under 18 years of age ensure that the requirements under the Safety and Welfare of Children and Young People Policy and Safety and Welfare of Children and Young People Procedure are followed. 
VU Legal Services consulted prior to entering into interstate or international placements.
Interstate and international placements approvals and compliance issues addressed and approved by regulatory bodies, eg ANMAC, VU and/or Department of Education and Training insurers.
Students matched to workplaces based on prerequisite skills and knowledge, physical preparedness (eg paramedics), etc.
Practical Placements Agreements contain at a minimum:
The rights, obligations and duties of the Host Employer, VU and the student;
Name/s of students undertaking placement;
Course of study and skills to be developed, reinforced and/or assessed during the placement;
Location and address of placement;
Start / finish times and dates, with the total length of the placement expressed as hours and the maximum per week;
Signatures of the Host Employer, VU designated staff member and student (and parent/guardian if under 18 years).
Copies of the agreement provided to the Host Employer, student and original retained by VU.
Pre-placement preparation conducted for students, eg workshops, one-to-one support, outline of rights and responsibilities, name of VU contact person, reporting absences, etc.
Education Managers
Assign appropriately qualified teachers to scheduled Practical Placements to undertake workplace assessments, as contact point, etc.
Manager – Nursing and Paramedics
Field Placements reported to ANMAC twice yearly.
Conduct, action and report Practical Placement evaluations.
Practical Placement records forwarded to Student Records at course completion, to be retained for seven years after completion of placement.
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Section 6 - Procedures

(14) Victoria University Polytechnic Directors to liaise with Legal Services in relation to changes to regulatory requirements for Practical Placements, and interstate and international placements, when required.

(15) Training and Assessment Strategies developed identifying Practical Placement aligned to unit/s of competency and allocation of hours.

(16) Practical Placement requirements are communicated to prospective students via VU’s website and other associated course marketing material.

(17) Learning and Assessment Plans and Unit / Cluster Guides are developed to include details of units of competencies assessed in the workplace along with the hours allocated to placement.

(18) Training Plans are developed to articulate unit/s delivered and assessed in the workplace along with allocated hours per unit.

(19) Practical Placement Guides and Assessment Tools / Checklists developed for host employers, students and assessing teachers.

(20) Source and assess suitable workplace environments, including WHS checks, and ensure potential Host Employers have an overall understanding of their rights and responsibilities for VET students undertaking Practical Placement.

(21) Students to be deemed fit for placement based on prerequisite skills and knowledge, as well as other relevant factors such as physical preparedness, by teachers.

(22) Practical Placement Agreements established and signed by all parties, copies retained by Host Employer and students, original retained by VU.

(23) Teachers conduct pre-placement workshops for students.

(24) Teachers assigned for Practical Placement contact and assessment.

(25) Nursing Field Placements (Practical Placements) reported to ANMAC twice yearly.

(26) Conduct post Practical Placement evaluation via feedback from Host Employers, students and assessing teachers.

(27) Identify actions from post Practical Placement evaluation for Continuous Improvement Plan.

(28) Practical Placement records forwarded to Student Records at course completion, to be retained for seven years after completion of placement.

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Section 7 - Guidelines

(29) See VET Practical Placement Guidelines.