Work experience guidelines

The University recognises its role within the community to provide opportunity for students to participate in work experience as part of their education.  These guidelines and checklist have been developed to ensure that the University meets its requirements in relation to the health and safety of the work experience student and employees. 

Under the Work Health and Safety Act, the University has the same obligations to a work experience student as it does to an employee.  In addition, the University must also ensure that the work experience meets the criteria under the Fair Work Act for a vocational placement. 

The University has stringent behavioural and ethical requirements and expectations of all staff, students and volunteers who work with children, which are set out in the Child Safe Environment Policy and Procedure.  It is the University’s expectation that high school students attending the University for work experience will be treated at all times with respect and that language and behaviour will be age appropriate.

What to Expect

Work experience is managed by the individual education provider as part of a course of study, so requirements in the management and expectations of a placement can vary.  Normally an employer guide is provided to assist employers who participate in work experience placements.

Student Placement Record

The education provider will also provide a detailed Student Placement Record (SPR) that must be completed for work experience students.  The record includes details of the period of the placement, specific hours of work and other information about the placement, the student, host employer, school and parent/care giver.  The student placement record provides important information about the student and the responsibilities of the host employer during the placement.  The obligation is on the education provider to provide this student placement record to the host employer.  If no SPR is provided, please contact the Manager, Risk and Insurance for advice.

Application Process and Checklist


All applications for work experience placements must be submitted in writing to the Head of Work Unit for consideration and approval subject to the following considerations:

  • Suitability of the work unit to provide relevant experience for the student;
  • The capacity of the work unit to provide suitable supervision for the student during the placement;
  • The range of activities the student may undertake;
  • Specific workplace issues and risks, i.e. access to confidential information, access to risk areas such as laboratories, hazardous materials and/or use of specialised equipment;
  • Any decision on activities to be undertaken, must be made in light of any workplace health and safety issues, University obligations in access to, and the management of, confidential information, and the age/experience of the student;
  • It is recommended that where the student has sought work experience in a laboratory or other high risk area, further advice is sought from the Manager, Work Health and Safety as to the suitability of the activities suggested.
  • A Nominated Workplace Supervisor (NWS) is appointed by the HOWU, to manage the placement.

Checklist – please ensure these items are ticked off

Prior to Placement

☐ Request Student Placement Record (SPR) from the student, with the student’s details completed (if not already provided) and copy of current Certificate of Insurance.

☐ Forward the Certificate of Insurance to insurance@scu.edu.au requesting confirmation that the coverage is adequate.  If the coverage is inadequate please work with the   Manager, Insurance and  Risk to resolve. 

Nominated Workplace Supervisor (NSW) must develop a list of activities to be undertaken by the student and record this on the SPR.  The list should be specific and with enough detail to allow the education provider to assess the activity, and include details of supervisory arrangements that will apply, as well as details of any specific requirements for the workplace, such as closed in shoes if working in a laboratory.

☐ Send an email directly to the education provider and student confirming the placement request, and attaching:

  • Student Placement Record, completed by the University with list of activities, supervisory details etc and signed by the HOWU, for signing by the school and return prior to placement

☐ Fully completed and signed SPR and adequate Certificate of Insurance received from the school prior to placement commencing.

☐ File the SPR and Certificate of Insurance for record keeping purposes.

Orientation and Induction

☐ The NWS must ensure all work experience students complete the introductory workplace health and safety induction and a work unit specific induction.  This may be the student’s first experience of a workplace and supervisors should ensure the standard work unit induction is adjusted accordingly.  The induction should include specific instruction in the correct use of any personal protection equipment (PPE) that may be required.

During Placement

☐ The NWS must oversee placement and all activities, or, ensure suitable supervision is provided for all activities. 

☐ The NWS will be responsible for liaison with the education provider.

☐ If during the placement, a risk to the student and/or employees, or other circumstances that are of concern are identified, the placement may be terminated.  If there are issues that arise during the placement, the NWS should discuss the matter with the Head of Work Unit and contact the education provider immediately.

☐ NWS to complete evaluation/report/advice about the placement or student to the education provider as requested.