Work Integrated Learning and Fieldwork Policy

Fact box

  • Policy owner: Chair, Learning & Teaching Committee
  • Policy category: Academic: Learning and Teaching
  • Policy status: Approved
  • Approval body: Academic Board
  • Endorsement body: Learning & Teaching Committee
  • Related policies:
  • Last amended: 23rd Nov. 2021
  • Relevant HESF:

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline the Alphacrucis College (AC) principles and guidelines for Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and Fieldwork across the college community. It also includes a description and guidelines for students participating in Professional Experience Placements (PEX) and the Clinical Teaching Model (CTM) program.

Scope

All campuses
All HDR candidates and students
All courses of study

Policy

WIL at AC may be undertaken through various Professional Practice and Professional Experience subjects. WIL subjects seek to create a direct linkage between the learning, skills and values engaged in lectures, and the performance and reflection which occurs when these are applied in real-life settings.

Fieldwork or off campus data collection may be undertaken by Masters or Doctoral students. Fieldwork allows for students to connect and engage directly with industry or community organisations. AC seeks to ensure that the student, supervisors and fieldwork partner (as relevant) are adequately prepared to conduct safe fieldwork with minimal risk.

AC adheres to the following principles:

  • requirements for WIL are outlined in the subject handouts, and as relevant, professional practice handbooks;
  • requirements for fieldwork are outlined in the AC HDR Handbook;
  • students must abide by the AC Code of Conduct at all times while in a WIL placement or fieldwork;
  • a student’s host or fieldwork partner may have additional codes of conduct, policies, guidelines, rules and workplace protocols to which the student will also be subject during the WIL placement or fieldwork;
  • a student in a WIL placement or fieldwork must disclose to their AC Supervisor any potential conflict of interest vis-à-vis a proposed placement or fieldwork;
  • WIL experiences are structured to require the learner to take initiative, make decisions and be accountable for results.  As a condition of such a placement, AC requires mentors to place students in real-world settings, where the work is actually part of the organisation’s action towards its goals;
  • learning outcomes are determined by the specific subject or course of study;
  • AC is entitled to withdraw a student from an WIL placement or fieldwork at any time if, in the opinion of the AC Supervisor that the student has: breached or violated a relevant professional code or occupational safety code; has disrupted the relevant placement program; has brought the College into disrepute; or the student is exposed to danger or other inappropriate situation at the mentor’s workplace or fieldwork partner;
  • in a WIL placement or fieldwork students are not normally provided with salary, wages or similar benefits unless otherwise specified. However, legitimate out-of-pocket expenses incurred may be reimbursed subject to prior approvals;
  • the mentor of a student on WIL placement is not required to employ the student at the conclusion of the placement.

Insurance for WIL Placements and Fieldwork

For particular courses of study undertaken at AC, professional practice or WIL subjects involving external placement are a required component of these courses. This policy specifies the insurance cover available to students during these placements. This insurance cover only applies to WIL placements or Fieldwork approved by AC.

  1. AC holds Public Liability Protection which provides cover for the legal liability to pay damages or compensation in respect of personal injury and/or damage to property occurring during WIL placements or Fieldwork. The student must also provide proof that their WIL placement or Fieldwork organisation has an appropriate level of Public Liability cover.
  2. AC holds Professional Indemnity insurance which provides cover for the civil liability resulting from the conduct of the professional services provided during WIL placements or Fieldwork.  The student must also provide proof that their WIL placement or Fieldwork organisation hosts will have an appropriate level of Professional Indemnity cover.
  3. Students undertaking an approved WIL placement or Fieldwork is covered under AC’s insurance relating to Personal Accidents
  4. When students are undertaking a WIL placement or Fieldwork overseas, they will have to demonstrate to AC that they have an approved travel insurance policy, valid for the duration of their WIL placement or Fieldwork.

Responsible for implementation

Chair, Learning and Teaching Committee

Key stakeholders

Faculty, HDR supervisors and students


Procedures

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and Fieldwork Procedures

Application

To be approved for a WIL placement or fieldwork, students will apply using the documentation provided for their specific subject. Typically, a student should have negotiated with their potential placement organization and mentor or fieldwork partner prior to submitting documentation. The placement or fieldwork will only become formal when the documents have been fulfilled satisfactorily and have been approved by the AC Supervisor responsible.

Procedures to make an insurance claim

To make a claim under AC's Public Liability or Professional Indemnity insurance, the student will contact AC administration (accounts@ac.edu.au) as soon as practicable after the event to which the claim relates.

Clinical Teaching Model (CTM) Participation Procedures

The CTM is an optional program in addition to any PEX component of AC’s courses. The intention of the CTM is to enable embedded assessments and experiential learning towards professional outcomes. 

The CTM is designed to allow a student to complete the majority of the course requirements within the context of a professional community, such as a school, church, counselling practice or business. Selected assessment items are tailored to the specific CTM context, in consultation with the coach. This allows the student to directly apply the knowledge and skills of the course of study, as part of the learning process.

1. Admission. Admission to the CTM program is in addition to the normal admission criteria into an AC  course of study. It is by application only and includes validation by the host to ensure that the students suit the specific needs and requirements.

A CTM Application must be submitted to be assessed by the relevant Program Director (or equivalent). The CTM Application Form includes:

  1. statement of purpose;
  2. letter of support from host (e.g. school principal, church pastor, or business owner), including:
  • nominated coach;
  • expected time allocation;
  • any technical support;
  • nature of any remuneration.
  1. character reference;
  2. Curriculum Vitae demonstrating current engagement with children/youth, if relevant;
  3. signed application form which agrees to contractual obligations and host organisation’s policies and procedures.

The application process will also usually include an interview with the coach. In the case of Teacher Education Students, this will usually include the school principal or delegated representative. Admission into a CTM program is not automatic and will depend on various factors, such as availability, suitability, etc.

2. Monitoring of CTM placement. At the end of each semester, AC will ascertain the suitability and sustainability of the CTM for all stakeholders. Continuation of the student in the CTM will be dependent on recommendation by the coach and Program Director (or delegated representative), as well as satisfactory coursework results. A student in a CTM program who has been classified as ‘at risk’ and is on an Academic Progress Intervention Strategy, may be required to withdraw from the CTM program.

At any point, the student and/or host organisation may choose to conclude the arrangement. This must be done in consultation with the relevant Program Director (or equivalent). Suitable documentation will be required for the student’s record. If this occurs, the student may continue their studies and complete the award through the standard mixed mode delivery.