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Work Integrated Learning Procedures

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Section 1 - Context, Purpose and Scope


(1) These Procedures have been developed in accordance with the University's Work Integrated Learning Framework and Guiding Principles, as determined by Academic Board:

Principle 1: Student Experience - A quality WIL experience should provide students with a scaffolded, connected, safe and supported pedagogical experience.
Principle 2: Curriculum Design - A quality WIL curriculum should contain embedded accessible and transformative learning and assessment within an intended and enacted curriculum.
Principle 3: Institutional Requirements - Quality WIL activity across institutions should be evidenced by the proper management and reporting around WIL experiences supporting continual improvement.
Principle 4: Stakeholder Engagement - Quality WIL experiences are supported by safe engagement, connection and responsiveness to the dynamic expectations of diverse stakeholders (industry, community, government, higher education sector, professional bodies, students).


(2) These Procedures establish how the University:

  1. establishes and monitors its WIL partners;
  2. supports students to have an optimal WIL experience;
  3. manages performance and conduct issues that arise during WIL activities;
  4. monitors and quality assures its WIL activities; and
  5. supports compliance with:
    1. The Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act 2011;
    2. Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 (Standards 5.3.1 Delivery with Other Parties: 2.3 Wellbeing and Safety: 2.4 Student Grievances and Complaints);
    3. Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (Cth); and
    4. National Code of Practice Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018.


(3) These Procedures apply to all WIL activities offered as a component of an Award course.

(4) These Procedures do not apply to:

  1. Doctoral internships - refer to the Doctoral Internship Guidelines;
  2. The design of WIL activities - refer to the Curriculum Policy, and Curriculum Design and Development Procedures;
  3. Student volunteering activities.
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Section 2 -  Definitions

(5) The University has adopted the following definition of Work Integrated Learning (WIL):

An educational approach involving three parties – the student, educational institution, and an external stakeholder – consisting of authentic work-focused experiences as an intentional component of the curriculum. Students learn through active engagement in purposeful work tasks, which enable the integration of theory with meaningful practice that is relevant to the students’ discipline of study and/or professional development (Zegwaard et al., 2023, p. 38).

Types of Work Integrated Learning

(6) Work Integrated Learning encompasses various approaches that integrate academic learning with practical workplace experiences. Common types of WIL offered by Southern Cross University include:

  1. Internships: Structured, supervised work experiences related to a student's field of study.
  2. Practicums or Field Placements: Short-term, supervised work experiences that provide practical exposure to a specific profession or industry.
  3. Clinical Placements: Applied learning experiences in healthcare settings, allowing students to gain hands-on experience in medical, nursing, or allied health fields.
  4. Industry Projects: Collaborative projects with external organisations or businesses, where students work on real-world problems or assignments as part of their coursework.
  5. Service Learning: Integrating community service with academic learning, allowing students to apply their skills and knowledge to address community needs.
  6. Simulations and Case Studies: Virtual or simulated scenarios that replicate real-world work situations, providing a controlled environment for learning and problem-solving.
  7. Work-Based Research: Students engage in research projects or studies within a workplace setting, applying academic research skills to practical situations.
  8. Entrepreneurship Programs: Initiatives that involve students in creating and developing their own business ventures or projects, fostering an entrepreneurial mindset.

(7) WIL Partner - a generic term to mean an external organisation (third party) that has a written agreement with the University to offer WIL experiences for University students. For example, WIL partners may act as a host site for work placements or simulated WIL activities, or they may engage with students on an industry, profession or research-related project.

(8) WIL Coordinator - a generic term to mean a University employee assigned to coordinate student participation, allocation and or placement in WIL activities.  This role may be undertaken by the Course Coordinator, Unit Assessor or a professional staff member with various position titles (for example, Placement Officer, Professional Experience Officer, Professional Experience Coordinator, Industry Placement Officer, or Internship Development Officer).

(9) WIL Officer – University staff member assigned to investigate, manage and determine student conduct issues that arise in the course of WIL activities. 

(10) WIL Partner Supervisor - a generic term to mean the profession-based or industry representative who supervises University students undertaking WIL activities. The title of the position may vary across disciplines and contexts and may include, but is not limited to site educator, clinical facilitator, clinical supervisor, clinical mentor, mentor, teacher, preceptor, industry supervisor, placement/practicum supervisor, project supervisor. 

(11) WIL Student Statement – the document setting out the conditions of the WIL placement activity to be signed by the student prior to placement. 

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Section 3 -  Work Health Safety and WIL Activities

(12) The University has adopted a risk-based approach to its WIL activities. This enables 
the University to focus its resources on managing WIL activities which are likely to incur 
greater risk. The following health and safety factors are considered when determining the 
risk profile for placements:

  1. Work factors
  2. Travel and transportation
  3. Location/region
  4. General/environmental health
  5. Individual student
  6. Insurance limitations.  

(13) The University's Work Health Safety Unit provides support, advice, guidance and training to assist WIL Coordinators and other stakeholders to undertake their duties, obligations and responsibilities outlined in these Procedures.

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Section 4 - WIL Partner Arrangements 

Due Diligence and Risk Assessment

(14) All WIL arrangements with third-party organisations and individuals must be preceded by a due diligence and risk assessment process. In each case the following is required:

  1. Confirmation of the current operation of the prospective partner and their suitability to support student learning and specific learning outcomes for the proposed WIL arrangement;
  2. Confirmation of the suitability of the facilities for the activities and for the number of students using them;
  3. Assurance of currency of business registration and legal trading, where relevant;
  4. Conducting a risk assessment for the placement environment including identifying any specific risk management requirements for each site.  A site visit or further investigation may be required where specific risks have been identified.

(15) The completed risk assessment is reviewed and approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The Faculty/College is responsible for maintaining records of the risk assessment. 

Agreement Development and Approvals for WIL Partners

(16) WIL arrangements are governed by signed agreements between the University and the partner organisation. The type of agreement and the level of authorisation will be determined by the nature of the relationship and whether the arrangement forms part of an ongoing relationship with the University, or whether it is a one-off arrangement.

(17) WIL Partner Agreements are approved in accordance with the University's delegation framework.

(18) The WIL Partner Agreement must be executed by both parties, prior to students commencing WIL activities.

WIL Partner Orientation

(19) The Faculty/College is required to conduct an orientation with WIL Partners before the first intake of students.  The extent and nature of the orientation will vary depending on the type of WIL activity. Orientation should cover the following:

  1. key University contacts;
  2. purpose of the placement;
  3. outline of partner's role;
  4. expected learning outcomes;
  5. assessment arrangements;
  6. details of WorkCover arrangements;
  7. confidentiality of student personal information;
  8. the requirement for the WIL Partner to conduct a student workplace induction which includes:
    1. student duties;
    2. Workplace Health and Safety;
    3. emergency and accident procedures;
    4. general workplace behaviour, rules and norms;
    5. attendance requirements, including starting times and breaks;
    6. introduction to staff and workplace supervisor and supervision arrangements;
    7. support services;
    8. disciplinary processes;
    9. complaints mechanisms;

(20) It is not necessary for Faculty/Colleges to conduct an employment orientation for each subsequent student intake but an annual re-orientation is required.

Faculty/ College Responsibilities 

(21) To support the operation of WIL activities, the Faculty/College is required to:

  1. assign staff with responsibilities for managing WIL;
  2. allocate resources for managing WIL activities;
  3. prepare and manage the WIL Partner Agreement and manage the performance of that Agreement;
  4. provide WIL information to students, prior to their commencement of activities, as set out in clause (22);
  5. manage fitness for study issues in accordance with the Fitness for Study Policy or Higher Degree Research Fitness to Study Policy;
  6. manage student declarations of conflict of interest;
  7. refer students requiring reasonable adjustments to Student Equity and Inclusion;
  8. prepare WIL Student Statements;
  9. allocate or approve student placements.

Information to Students Prior to Commencing WIL

(22) the Faculty/College must provide the following information to students prior to their participation in WIL activities:

  1. The learning outcomes, assessment requirements and credit value of the WIL activity;
  2. Fitness for study and inherent requirements;
  3. Any additional requirements, together with guidance on process and deadlines for submission.  Additional requirements vary, depending on course and circumstances and may include, for example:
    1. vaccinations
    2. criminal history checks
    3. working with children checks
    4. first aid certificates.
  4. Expected behaviour, including any relevant workplace or professional code of ethics. Where appropriate, international students are to be provided with additional information on the cultural norms and standards for a particular Australian workplace environment.  
  5. Requirements relating to confidentiality and privacy; 
  6. Attendance requirements;
  7. Any anticipated fees/costs associated with WIL;
  8. Any equipment, resources or dress requirements;
  9. Advice on how to seek reasonable adjustments to WIL activities;
  10. The expected contact and supervisory arrangement, including emergency contact information;
  11. How to raise issues or concerns, report incidents or hazards and make complaints;
  12. the University's required conditions and permissions for undertaking a WIL placement that is:
    1. paid; or
    2. overseas
  13. conflict of interest provisions;
  14. IP arrangements, where relevant;
  15. Support services available;
  16. Insurance coverage; and
  17. Possible consequences and available remedies if WIL activity is delayed, not completed or the student fails due to poor performance or is found to have engaged in academic or non-academic misconduct.

Methods of communication to students

(23) The information set out in clause (22) is conveyed to students in a structured and timely manner, using a variety of sources, such as:

  1. Course marketing materials, particularly those intended for international students;
  2. Course information must clearly indicate where WIL is a course requirement, with general information provided to students on admission to a course;
  3. Unit outlines;
  4. Faculty/College guides or information sheets with detailed, specific information relating to the WIL activity. This information is normally hosted on Faculty/College WIL webpages.

Student Responsibilities Prior to Commencing WIL

(24) Students should enrol as early as possible into their WIL units following the opening of enrolment. Delaying enrolment may impact WIL arrangements.

(25) Students should undertake their WIL in accordance with their course progressions.

(26) Prior to commencing WIL, students are required to:

  1. sign the WIL Student Statement;
  2. comply with any additional requirements, including any national or state-based regulatory requirements and provide supporting evidence; 
  3. disclose any conflict of interest; and 
  4. advise any health conditions that may impact on their ability to participate in WIL or aggravate a pre-existing condition.

(27) The University may prevent a student from commencing WIL if the conditions set out in clause (26) are incomplete.

Conflicts of interest

(28) Students must declare where they may have a conflict of interest. For example, they intend to undertake WIL at a site:

  1. which is their place of employment;
  2. where they have close relatives attending or employed at the site;
  3. where they are a member, or have a close relative, on the site’s board;
  4. where they are the owner or director of the organisation;
  5. where their close relative is an owner or director of an organisation.

(29)  The Faculty/College will determine how a conflict of interest will be managed and whether the planned placement will proceed.

Reasonable Adjustments

(30) In accordance with the Support for Students with Additional Requirements Procedures, students are responsible for notifying Student Equity and Inclusion that they are seeking reasonable adjustments to participate in learning activities and assessments relating to their WIL activities. Student Equity and Inclusion will consult with the WIL Coordinator and WIL Partner to make arrangements to accommodate reasonable adjustments, where possible.  

Special Consideration

(31) Applications for special consideration for WIL activities will be considered in accordance with Rules Relating to Awards Rule 3 – Coursework Awards – Student Assessment and Examinations, Section 4 – Special Consideration. 

Paid and Unpaid WIL 

(32) WIL activities may be paid or unpaid.  

(33) Where the paid WIL takes place in Australia, it must comply with the requirements of the Fair Work Act (FWA) 2009. If the student undertaking the WIL activity is carrying out work for, and entitled to be paid by, the partner organisation, the student’s remuneration must be at least at the appropriate minimum rate (that is, the minimum wage determined under an applicable award, or under an applicable workplace agreement).

(34) If the student is not entitled to be paid by the WIL Partner for which the student is carrying out work, the WIL arrangement will be permissible under the FWA only if it meets the requirements of a vocational placement under the FWA. These requirements are that the WIL activity is a requirement of a course and that it is approved by the University.

(35) Further information, including detail of the criteria that a WIL activity must meet in order to be a vocational placement under the FWA is available on the Fair Work Ombudsman website, in particular, Student placement and Work experience and internships.

(36) Paid WIL activities may impact on student visa conditions.  International students are responsible for complying with their student visa conditions. Current information regarding international student visa restrictions is available on the Department of Home Affairs website, in particular, Immigration and citizenship.


(37) Where a student is engaged in a University-approved WIL activity, and is not employed by the WIL Partner, the student will be covered by the University’s:

  1. Public liability insurance which provides cover for personal injury, and property damage arising from negligent, acts or omissions during WIL participation.
  2. Personal Accident insurance for injuries that occur when participating in a University-approved WIL activity.

(38) Students engaged in WIL activities overseas may be covered by the University’s Corporate Travel Insurance.  Students should check the insurance cover before departing Australia and arrange their own travel insurance if the University cover does not meet their needs.

(39) Where the student is employed by a WIL Partner, the student should be covered by the organisation’s insurances, including workers compensation provisions.

(40) All insurances are subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions. Information on  University insurance coverage is available on the Insurance webpage.

Travel and International WIL  

(41) Travel to and from a WIL location is at the student's expense, unless otherwise negotiated with a WIL partner. This includes WIL at a metropolitan, regional, interstate or overseas location.

(42) Students are responsible for acquiring the appropriate visa in good time and being aware that an overseas WIL engagement may impact upon scholarship arrangements.  

(43) Where the WIL activity is to be completed overseas, students must comply with the University's Travel Policy and Travel Procedures, regardless of the funding source of the travel.

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Section 5 -  WIL Delivery

Supervising and Monitoring Student Progress

(44) Faculties/Colleges must have documented processes and staff assigned with clearly defined responsibilities for supervising students and monitoring academic progress during their participation in WIL activities.

(45) The degree of supervision required for a student undertaking a WIL activity will vary according to the nature of the discipline's requirements and the type of WIL activity. Supervision must be appropriate to the student's level of training, education and experience.

(46) The nature of supervision and responsibilities of assigned WIL supervisors must be specified in advance of the WIL activity and documented in the WIL agreement, to ensure all parties clearly understand supervision expectations.

(47) Students must be provided specific guidance before their WIL activity on the nature of supervision to be provided, and the scope of any approved activities expected or permitted. This information, including any changes during the WIL activity, must be shared with relevant teaching staff and onsite WIL supervisors.

(48) While undertaking the WIL activity, students should be accepted as an integral team member, permitted to participate in team activities, where applicable, and expected to demonstrate a level of competency appropriate for their educational level.

Managing Unsatisfactory Student Progress

(49) WIL Coordinators and WIL Partner Supervisors are responsible for monitoring student progress.

(50) Students may be identified at risk of failing to maintain satisfactory progress if the student fails any of the following:

  1. Completion at a satisfactory standard in academic or professional components specified for the WIL activity;
  2. Meeting the terms of the WIL Student Statement;
  3. Appropriate standard of conduct while participating in WIL.

(51) Where the University becomes aware that a student is at risk of failing to maintain satisfactory performance, as set out in (50 b and c), the WIL Coordinator must conduct an initial assessment. The reported issue should be evaluated against the definition of Non-Academic Misconduct set out in the Student Academic and Non-Academic Misconduct Rules.  Where in doubt, the WIL Coordinator should seek advice from the Coordinator, Academic Governance and Student Misconduct in making this evaluation.

(52) Where the reported issue is conduct that meets the threshold of Non-Academic Misconduct, the matter should be referred to the Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Quality) for investigation and determination with the Academic and Non-Academic  Misconduct Rules. 

(53) Where the reported issue does not meet the threshold of Non-Academic Misconduct (for example, persistent failure to comply with dress standards set out in the WIL Student Statement), these Procedures are to be applied.

Investigation Process

(54) Following the assessment to manage a report of concerning issues under these Procedures, the WIL Coordinator will refer the matter to the WIL Officer who is required to:

  1. notify the student, using the Notification Template, that a report concerning them has been received;
  2. invite the student to provide their version of events either verbally or in writing;
  3. examine relevant documentation;
  4. interview relevant parties where necessary; and
  5. seek clarification on information supplied from the relevant parties where required.

(55) Both the report maker and the student are entitled to invite a support person to attend any meetings conducted during the investigation process. The support person’s role is to support the student and not advocate on the student’s behalf. 


(56) When the WIL Officer is satisfied that all parties have been given sufficient opportunity to present their perspectives, the WIL Officer may elect to:

  1. dismiss the report of concerning conduct (no further action required);
  2. prevent the student from beginning the WIL activity;
  3. allow the student to continue the WIL activity on the basis that the student:
    1. is placed on a development support plan; and/or
    2. is relocated to a different setting to complete the WIL
  4. terminate the WIL without providing the student with an option of a development support plan
  5. terminate the WIL during or at the end of the specified review period determined in a developmental support plan
  6. permit a student to complete the WIL coursework even though they are unfit to undertake the practical component of the WIL, allowing the student to be awarded an Incomplete grade in the WIL unit until such times as they are fit to undertake the WIL.

(57) The WIL Officer will notify their determination to:

  1. the student, using the Determination Notice, which includes the rationale for the determination and the student’s right of appeal;
  2. the report maker;
  3. relevant third parties where required by law, regulation, code or an accreditation authority. Advise must be sought from SCU Legal Office prior to notifying third parties; and 
  4. The Office of the Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Quality). 

(58) Termination of a WIL as per clause (56d and 56e) will result in a recommendation to the Associate Dean (Education) of a Fail grade. 

Development Support Plan

(59) In the event a student is placed on a development support plan the WIL Officer must:

  1. notify the student in writing that they are 'at risk' of failing the WIL and outline the factors that led to this decision, the Notification Template must be used;
  2. provide a developmental support plan to the student with clear expectations on what standards are required from the student.

(60) The student's ability to satisfy the requirements set out in the development support plan will be reviewed by the WIL Officer during and at the expiry of the specified review period.

(61) Where it is deemed that the student is continuing to fail meet the requirements set out in development support plan, the WIL Officer, in consultation with other relevant staff, may elect to terminate the WIL prior to expiry of the plan.  If the WIL is terminated, the WIL Officer must inform the student in writing, using the appropriate template. 

Assessment on Completion of Development Support Plan

(62) Where the student is given the opportunity to complete the WIL activity, the WIL Officer, in consultation with other relevant staff, will determine at the conclusion of the WIL whether the student has satisfied the requirements for passing the WIL and may decide to:

  1. require the student to undertake additional remedial work including, if warranted, a repeat WIL; or
  2. advise the student that a Pass grade for the unit will be recommended to the Associate Dean (Education); or
  3. advise the student that a Fail grade for the unit will be recommended to the Associate Dean (Education).

Appeal: Student Prevented from Commencing WIL

(63) A student may appeal against a determination made under (56)b on the grounds that the determination was unreasonable or inappropriate. 

(64) A request stating the reasons why the determination is unreasonable or inappropriate must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean (Education) within five working days of the determination made under clause (56)b.

(65) The Associate Dean (Education) will review the evidence presented and may make any additional enquiries as reasonably necessary in the circumstances.

(66) When satisfied they have considered the relevant evidence, the Associate Dean (Education) will determine whether the student may or may not commence the WIL.

Appeal: Termination of WIL

(67) A decision to terminate a student's participation in WIL will result in a Fail grade for that unit.

(68) The WIL Coordinator will advise the student of their right to appeal the Fail Grade resulting from a WIL Termination to the Academic Board Appeals Committee. Appeals will be managed in accordance with Rule 3 - Coursework Awards – Student Assessment and Examinations, Section 16 - Appeal against a Final Grade, except that:

  1. the student may lodge the appeal prior to the scheduled grade publication date; and 
  2. the grounds for lodging an appeal are restricted to the following:
    1. Evidence that the determination was unreasonable in the circumstances; and/or
    2. Evidence of a lack of procedural fairness.

Appeals and Maintenance of Enrolment

(69) The University will maintain a student's enrolment while an appeal is ongoing and immediately implement any decision or corrective or preventative actions identified as part of the appeals process

Re-enrolment, Course Progression and Exclusion

(70) Where a student is prevented from beginning WIL, or where an Incomplete grade is recorded under clause (56)f, the student may apply to the Associate Dean (Education) for permission to participate in subsequent WIL units on the basis that the relevant circumstances have changed and the determination should no longer apply.

(71) The student must provide evidence in support of their application.

(72) The decision to admit the student to subsequent WIL units will be at the discretion of the Associate Dean (Education).

(73) A student who receives a Fail grade for a WIL unit for a second time or fails two different WIL units, may be excluded from the University, in accordance with Rule 2 - Coursework Awards - General Provisions, Section 10 Exclusion. 

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Section 6 - Quality Assurance of WIL Activities

(74) The University is committed to quality assurance of its WIL and actively seeks feedback from stakeholders, including staff, students and partners to continually improve the WIL experience.

(75) WIL activities are reviewed as part of annual course reviews and regular unit evaluations. Key area of focus for evaluating the quality of WIL may include:

  1. WIL design;
  2. WIL preparation of students and ongoing communication;
  3. Teaching practice;
  4. Student learning and conduct;
  5. Supervision, assessment, and grading practices;
  6. WIL coordination and decision-making;
  7. WIL agreement terms and conditions;
  8. WIL partner employees, resources, facilities and practices; and
  9. Engagement with WIL Partners.
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Section 7 - Reporting Requirements and Record Keeping

Reporting Requirements

(76) Faculty/Colleges will provide qualitative and quantitative data on WIL in their reports to Faculty Board as part of their unit evaluations. 

(77) The Graduate School will provide qualitative and quantitative data on WIL activities to the Higher Degrees Research Committee.

(78) The Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Quality) will annually report to University Council on incidents of misconduct related to WIL activities.

Records Management 

(79) WIL information is held in accordance with the University's Records Management Policy and Records Management Procedures. This includes retaining these records in a recognised University recordkeeping information system.

(80) Accurate records on student engagement with WIL Partner organisations, including student locations, should also be kept to facilitate internal and external reporting. This is especially important for international WIL and management of global incidents.