Professional experience requirements
As part of your journey towards becoming a teacher, you will need to meet some professional requirements. Once you have passed your coursework and have met the legal and ethical requirements for professional experience you will be able to start your professional experience.
As a condition of any type of professional experience - including placement, volunteering, laboratory work, research, or community-engaged learning - you are required to provide evidence of your compliance and health protection before participating in any of these activities. Note:
- Student compliance is a mandatory, legislative and regulatory requirement;
- To be able to attend placement, you must be compliant; and
- You must meet the requirements of both Southern Cross University and the external organisation. This will ensure the safety of yourself and others
The pathway to professional experience
The first step of your professional experience is to read through the professional experience handbook. It will give you all the information you need to know before starting your placement.
The following pathway to professional experience has been designed to assist students to successfully navigate the process of applying and being ready for a school/centre placement.
Preparing for Professional Experience
Hi, I'm Sue Hudson and I am the Director of Professional Experience here in the Faculty of Education at Southern Cross University. Professional Experience is a really important aspect of your Education Degree, it's where you have the opportunity to take what you have learnt at university and apply it in the real world context of a school or early childhood centre.
As with any profession, there are certain requirements that we need to adhere to. First of all, you need a Working with Children Check for your State or Territory. If you live in Northern NSW or Southeast Queensland you will require a NSW Working with Children Check and a Queensland Blue Card. Before you can undertake any volunteer work or observations or professional experience you must have a Working with Children Check. You will find the application form on this Professional Experience website. It's really a good idea to apply for your Working with Children Check before orientation or during orientation. That way you will be well prepared for any site visits that you will need to undertake.
Another requirement is that you will need to undertake your professional experience as a block. That means that you need to be there all day every day for a number of weeks. Depending on your program you may have to undertake your professional experience for four weeks or even possibly up to nine weeks. It's really important that you check the calendar well before so you know the number of days that you need to undertake as part of your professional experience and the dates for your professional experience.
We release the calendar well before, actually, we do it the year before so that you can plan well in advance. By planning well in advance you can take some time away from your job, or if you have family you can ensure that you have childcare.
The other requirements for Professional Experience will be sent to you via email once you are enrolled in a Professional Experience unit. The Professional Experience placements will be released to you up to two weeks prior before you commence. Once you know your placement you can go on the school or early childhood centre website and investigate everything that you need to know about that placement. You can contact your mentor teacher beforehand and get to know them so that you can ensure you have a successful placement.
Remember, be professional, be organised and be prepared well in advance for your placement.
Mel Reeves - Final year pre-service teacher
Professional Experience will probably be one of the most challenging but one of the most rewarding parts of studying to be a teacher and it definitely pays off... the more effort you put in, the more you get back from it. So I really think that this is one of the big bits of the four years you have and in my interview to become a teacher that was what the whole interview revolved around was my Professional Experience reports and the feedback that I had been given from the schools. So I think this is the time you really need to put 110% in and that's probably what you will get out of it.
If you have any queries or questions about Professional Experience don't hesitate to contact me. My contact details are on the Professional Experience website. Alternately you can contact the Professional Experience Office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy your professional experience, make the most of every moment and learn as much as you possibly can.
- Students are required to have a Working with Children Check (WWCC) or equivalent for the relevant state or territory:
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory
- Students are required to complete and pass the LANTITE (literacy and numeracy test) prior to enrolling in their second professional experience unit. Please note, this does not apply to students enrolled in the Graduate Diploma in Education (Early Childhood).
- Confirm professional experience dates. See the Professional Experience Calendar.
- Organise work and family commitments around these professional experience dates.
- Read the Faculty of Education Professional Experience Requirements.
- Enrol in the relevant Professional Experience unit.
- Complete the online Anaphylaxis Training and keep a scanned copy of the certificate.
- Complete the Child Protection Awareness Training – Induction (CPAT) online and keep a scanned copy of the certificate.
- Complete the Child Protection Training – Update (completely annually) online and keep a scanned copy of the certificate.
- Complete the relevant placement forms located on the Professional Experience Student Centre at MySCU and SONIA online.
- Upload all of the forms and Mandatory Placement Checks to SONIA Online by the required date.
- Successfully complete the theoretical component of the professional experience unit.
- Obtain the placement details two weeks prior to commencement.
- Study information online about your assigned school or centre.
- Commence your professional experience during the required dates, see the Professional Experience Calendar. Engage with the school community and work with your mentor to gain vital teaching experience.
- Successfully complete the professional experience placement, meeting the requirements of the final professional experience report. Copy the final report and upload it to the relevant Blackboard site.
Frequently asked questions
Teacher education students often have questions about professional experience. These Frequently asked questions - professional experience have been designed to help students to make informed decisions about their placements. Further queries can be emailed to email@example.com.