Professional experience requirements

Being a teacher means there are particular professional requirements that need to be met. Before student teachers can proceed to their placement, the coursework needs to be passed and the legal and ethical requirements for professional experience need to be completed. By reading and engaging with the following information student teachers will understand the procedures that need to be followed.

The pathway to professional experience

There are procedures that need to be followed as part of professional experience. The Professional Experience Handbook provides vital information and should be read by all teacher education students prior to undertaking a professional experience 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.

    1. Students will need to obtain a Working with Children Check (WWCC) (students at all campuses), Blue Card (Northern NSW and all Gold Coast students) or a Working with Children Check for the relevant state or territory (online students).  Blue Card applications should be submitted to the Professional Experience Office located in B3.32D on Gold Coast campus.
    2. Students are required to complete and pass the LANTITE (literacy and numeracy test) prior to enrolling in their first professional experience unit. Please note, this does not apply to students enrolled in the Graduate Diploma in Education (Early Childhood).
    3. Confirm professional experience dates., see the Professional Experience Calendar.
    4. Organise work and family commitments around these professional experience dates.
    5. Read the Professional Experience Requirements.
    6. Enrol in the relevant Professional Experience unit.
    7. Complete the online Anaphylaxis Training and keep a scanned copy of the certificate.
    8. Complete the online Child Protection Awareness Training and keep a scanned copy of the certificate.
    9. Complete the relevant placement forms located on the Professional Experience Student Centre at MySCU and SONIA online.
    10. Upload all of the forms and certificates noted above to SONIA online by the required date.
    11. Successfully complete the theoretical component of the professional experience unit.
    12. Obtain the placement details two weeks prior to commencement.
    13. Study information online about your assigned school or centre.
    14. 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.
    15. 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 educationplacements@scu.edu.au

Sue Hudson

Hi, I'm Sue Hudson and I am the Director of Professional Experience here in the School 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.

Sue Hudson

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 educationplacements@scu.edu.au. Enjoy your professional experience, make the most of every moment and learn as much as you possibly can.