Pre-placement compliance requirements

The first step in starting your health placement is the pre-placement compliance process. The paperwork and requirements for verification can be a lengthy process so it’s in your best interest and your responsibility to allow sufficient time before placement begins. 

See the placement hours and types of professional experience you will complete during your undergraduate degree.

We encourage students to familiarise themselves with the following information and checklist.

Remember, you must be compliant to attend placement.

SONIA Online logo

SONIA is the professional placement database for students. This is where you will upload your compliance documents. It’s also where you can view your placement allocations.

Learn more about SONIA |  Log-in to SONIA

Happy student outside the Health Sciences Building, Coffs Harbour


SONIA is the University's placement and compliance database. Your SONIA account will be activated once you’re offered a place in a course.

What is SONIA used for?

  • Compliance requirements need to be uploaded to SONIA
  • Important vaccination and compliance requirement documentation is available from SONIA
  • Vaccination and compliance requirement status can be checked in SONIA via the CHECKS tab
  • Placement allocation and facility information is available in SONIA
  • Placement assessment documentation is available from SONIA.

How to access SONIA?

Instructions to upload documents to SONIA 

  1. Log into SONIA and click on the CHECKS tab
  2. Add/upload each document to the corresponding check in SONIA by selecting Browse
  3. Please make sure you SAVE.

Travel, costs and financial support

Students are responsible for any accommodation and travel costs associated with placement experience activities. Here are some useful links and information.

  • Placement activities within a student’s local area may not be available and extended travel to/from a student’s area may be required
  • Students are responsible for any accommodation and travel costs associated with placement activities
  • Some compliance requirements may incur a fee, e.g. National Police Certificate (NPC)
  • UniStays - Southern Cross University's off-campus accommodation
  • Scholarships and grants
  • Student loans

  Pre-placement compliance checklist

Start Immediately: 

Requirement Valid Cost Time required Submission
Vaccinations Specific to each vaccination Yes 4+ months Scan and upload to SONIA
Professional Experience Obligations & Disclosure Consent (PEODC) eform For the duration of your degree No 1 hour Electronically via SONIA

QLD Blue Card

3 years No 8+ weeks Apply online
First Aid Course, including CPR

3 years First Aid

1 year CPR

Depends on the course availability.

Note: Only the official certificate/card of completion is accepted as evidence.

Scan and upload certificates to SONIA

National Police Certificate**

(Submit National Police Certificate and NSW Health Code of Conduct together.)
5 years Yes 30 days Scan and upload to SONIA

NSW Health Code of Conduct

(Submit National Police Certificate and NSW Health Code of Conduct together.)
No expiry No 1 hour Scan and upload to SONIA

**International students may have additional requirements and will need to submit both an International Police Certificate and National Police Certificate.


Valid: Specific to each vaccination
Submission to PEU: Upload vaccination documentation to SONIA (‘Checks’ tab)
Important: Also upload NSW Health Appendix 6 and 7 to SONIA

Southern Cross University students are required to be vaccinated^ prior to participating in activities which may expose them to becoming infected with or transmitting infectious diseases.

Activities that are high-risk include, but are not limited to:

  • Any type of Professional Experience learning including placement, volunteering, or community engaged learning
  • Laboratory work that involves handling non-cadaveric human tissue or waste, or other human specimens
  • Participation in a project, research or other work that requires the student to attend a health facility, clinic, school or service.

It is mandatory to complete the required vaccinations in your first year of study as per state policy, ensuring you have immunity against specified infectious diseases:

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Whooping Cough).
  • Hepatitis B
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella
  • Varicella (Chickenpox).

How to obtain vaccination records?

Students must download the Vaccination Requirements - Evidence Checklist. This document outlines the vaccination requirements in further detail and outlines the appropriate evidence/documentation required.

There are a number of ways students can obtain vaccination records which include:

Flu Vaccination

The following students attending placements within NSW Health facilities will need to provide evidence of annual flu vaccine prior to placement:

The Northern NSW Local Health District Vaccination Assessor has informed the University that all students assessed and verified for placements with NSW Health should obtain the Influenza Vaccination yearly in April. Please be aware that, if you are unable to produce evidence of flu vaccination, you may be asked to leave placement until the documentation is presented. This may impact on the placement hours for your course.

How to submit vaccination documentation?

  1. Obtain vaccination records per the process outlined above - How to obtain vaccination records? 
  2. Submit the Professional Experience Obligations and Disclosure Consent (PEODC) eform via SONIA forms tab.
  3. Students must upload their vaccination evidence to SONIA (instructions below)
  1. Scan your vaccination evidence as separate documents for each vaccination check and save separate documents as PDF files to your device
  2. Log into SONIA
  3. Select ‘Checks’ tab
  4. Scroll down to relevant check.
  5. Select Browse icon to find vaccination evidence document from your device.
  6. Select icon.
  7. Repeat process for each vaccination check. Multiple files can be uploaded to an individual check if required.

DO NOT take photos of your documents as these files tend to be too large for one email and we may be unable to forward your documentation to the NSW Health vaccination assessor on your behalf.

Documents must be correctly orientated and legible.

^subject to health or religious exemptions 

  Professional Experience Obligations & Disclosure Consent eform (PEODC)

Valid: for duration of degree

Submission to PEU: electronic form completed and submitted within SONIA

  • The Professional Experience Obligations & Disclosure Consent agreement describes your responsibilities and obligations to the University and its agencies during the placements, as well as other important information about the professional
  • Please note that it is your responsibility to notify the PEU immediately if you become aware of anything that might adversely affect your professional experience obligations or your fitness to practice
  • Complete the Professional Experience Obligations & Disclosure Consent (PEODC) eform in the Forms tab in SONIA
  • Instructions can be found on SONIA
  • By signing this agreement, you agree to comply with the terms of submitting required documentation in accordance with due dates.

  Qld Blue Card

Valid: 3 years
Submission to PEU: Apply online and upload your ‘account number’ to SONIA (‘Checks’ tab) OR if you have an existing valid Blue Card upload a scanned copy to SONIA (‘Checks’ tab).

  • There is no fee for a student Blue Card.
  • If you have a valid Blue Card, you don’t need to apply again.
  • A current unrestricted AHPRA registration in the same discipline that you are studying makes you exempt from applying for a student Blue Card in that discipline. Upload evidence of this registration in place of any Blue Card details.

Step 1: Obtain a QLD Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) customer reference number (CRN)

  • You need a CRN and current photo from TMR before you apply for your Blue Card.
  • If you do not have a CRN, or if your photo was taken more than 6 years and 9 months ago, you will need to visit a TMR service centre in QLD.
  • If you cannot get to a TMR service centre, contact Blue Card Services on 1800 113 611 or (07) 32116999 or, to request a remote pack.

Step 2: Complete the online Blue Card application and submit.

  • If successful, you will be provided with an account number.
  • Upload the account number to the SONIA Checks tab so that the SCU Professional Experience Unit can create a link with Blue Card Services. Please note: you will not be able to complete your application without this link being made.
  • You will be notified via SMS or email of the successful link with the SCU Professional Experience Unit.
  • Once the link is confirmed you can complete the remainder of the online application and submit

  First aid course including CPR

Valid: 3 years (First Aid), 1 year (CPR)
Submission to PEU: upload to SONIA Checks tab

Certification is only accepted from selected professional bodies or Nationally Recognised Training organisations with the following course registration codes (accredited online courses accepted):

  • HLTAID009 – CPR Only (old Code HLTAID001)
  • HLTAID010  - Provide basic emergency life support (First Aid and CPR, old code HLTAID002)
  • HLTAID011 - First aid and CPR (old code HLTAID003)

Accepted professional certificates:

  • Paramedic Certificate
  • Certificate to Practice (ambulance)
  • NSW Health first aid/CPR qualification
  • QLD Health first aid/CPR qualification
  • Aged Care Facility first aid/CPR qualification.

Only the official Certificate/Card of Completion is accepted as evidence.

If you reside overseas, you will not be able to complete this course until you arrive in Australia.

Links to some accredited first aid and CPR courses for each campus can be found here:

National Police Certificate (NPC) and International Police Certificate

Valid: 5 years NPC only
Submission to PEU: upload to SONIA Checks tab

Students are required to obtain a National Police Certificate (NPC) at their own expense prior to commencing placement, which must be maintained for the duration of enrolment. Students may need to provide additional NPCs throughout the course of their study depending on the requirements of specific placement sites.

International students must also obtain a police certificate from any country they have resided in (as a permanent resident or citizen) since turning 16 years of age. The police certificate must be translated into English.      

Applying for a National Police Certificate

  • Students may apply online through an accredited organisation. 
  • A list of accredited providers is available on the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) website. 
  • The NPC must:
    • State that it is a National or Australian-wide check
    • Include the student’s full name and date of birth
    • Contain the same name as on the student’s ID card
    • At the date of placement, some placement sites require the NPC not to be older than six months from the date of issue and state that you are ‘working with vulnerable groups’
  • All National Police Certificates with a charge or listed conviction presented to the PEU compliance team will be forwarded for an Internal Risk Assessment.
  • Students in this position will need to submit a written response outlined in the SCU Negative NPC Information Sheet and submit to
  • The original email/certificate must be retained by the student for verification by placement sites if required.

  NSW Health Code of Conduct Agreement

  • Download, print, read and sign (typed signatures are not accepted) the NSW Health Code of Conduct form
  • Upload the signed NSW Code of Conduct form to SONIA
  • The original signed document must be retained for verification by NSW Health.

Contact the Professional Experience Unit (PEU)

We are here to help you in preparation for and during your placement.

Email the Professional Experience Unit or call +61 7 5589 3439.


Contact the Faculty of Health

Executive Assistant to the Executive Dean

T: +61 7 5589 3224


Associate Dean Education

T: +61 7 5589 3470


Associate Dean Research

T: +61 427 633 708