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Faculty of Health

Placements for work integrated learning

Information for work-integrated learning (WIL) and placements.
social work students

The placement Experience - Faculty of Health

Embarking on your health placement journey is an exciting time in your degree. As a student you can experience the discipline you have chosen in real life health care settings. Working alongside registered midwives and nurses, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists and many more you will get hands-on real-world experience. These placements can occur in a vast array of areas across Australia depending on your chosen discipline. Students can have the opportunity to travel into a major city, or the outback in a remote community and anywhere in-between. 

Your placement team is called the Work Integrated Learning Team, and they will organise your placement hours in a setting suitable for your level of learning and to meet the requirements of the unit you have enrolled into. You don’t need to worry about sourcing your own placement, the team will cover this for you. 

What is important for you to start now is your compliance documents. Undertaking this is the very first step towards your life as a health professional in Australia. Compliance is something every health facility takes very seriously and every health professional must complete.

Two biomedical scientists in the lab

Need immediate assistance?

If you are on placement and need immediate assistance, please contact the CDU After-hours Support Line at 1300 933 393.

Information for current students

What is Work Integrated Learning?

Work-integrated Learning (WIL) is a broad term used to define learning experiences that enable students to gain practical skills and knowledge within a purposefully designed curriculum [1].

Terms such as placement, practicum, fieldwork/education are all types of WIL programs. WIL also plays an integral role in developing work readiness skills and enhances a student's employability. 

Faculty of Health (FOH) apply theoretical knowledge, including WIL, to provide a unique and supervised learning experience in a health-related setting. Students may undertake placement units in health or medical research, counselling, service development, education, policy planning, and across different sectors such as non-government/community-based organisations, education, government.

WIL units occur during semester periods, providing the student meets the prerequisite and compliance requirements of the course. Dates of placements will vary between courses, and it is important to plan ahead of time. 

 WIL units provide you with a professional experience in a real-world setting – encompassing both the knowledge and interprofessional skills to ensure you graduate as a competent practitioner, health professional, researcher or scientist in your chosen field. 

There are four broad categories of placement experiences:

  1. Fieldwork / Community / Placement – Run over a specified number of hours based on National Accreditations and Guidelines in health, clinical, government or community settings. Disciplines may include Exercise and Sport Science, Social Work, Clinical Psychology, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy.
  2. Practicum / Practical Blocks – Run over a specified block of weeks or hours with nominated dates for commencement through to completion. Disciplines may include Audiology, Nursing, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Pharmacy and Paramedicine.
  3. Industry Projects / Medical or Health Research Projects – Project-based placements have flexible hours and are based on the level of the project detail. This type of placement focuses on organisational projects, research, data analysis and conducting experiments or interviews. Disciplines may include Occupational Therapy, Dietetics and Social Work.
  4. Simulation Block / Observation – This type of placement typically happens at the beginning of direct-client work. It gives the student a glimpse of the practical training involved and allows for a purely observational learning experience. Disciplines may include Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Dietetics and Nutrition.

[1] Patrick, C. Peach, D. & Pocknee, C. (2009) The WIL (Work-integrated Learning) report: A national scoping study, Australian Teaching and Learning Council

Your role as a student

As a student and a representative of Charles Darwin University, you must adhere to the Charles Darwin University Student Policy and Student Conduct By-laws while enrolled with the University. Including the Charles Darwin University Act, 2003 and all policies and procedures set out by Charles Darwin University. 

In addition, students undertaking a professional placement will be under the direction and supervision of the organisation personnel. You must comply with appropriate directions, by-laws, policies, and manuals of the Organisation and the Fair Work Act 2009 [1].

All students undertaking a placement unit must abide by the Student Placement Agreement (see Learnline Placement Unit for more information) and upload a signed copy on CDU’s student placement management system, InPlace.

You must also submit compliance checks such as National Police Check and Working with Children Check and undertake online preparatory training such as Equal Opportunity Training and COVID-19 Infection Control Training. 

You are responsible for ensuring that your compliance documents are up-to-date and valid throughout your placement. You will need to cover the costs of all compliance checks and be entitled to receive concession costs where possible. 

Some host organisations may have additional compliance requirements specific to their industry (for example, NDIS Worker Screening Check). For more information on the type of clearances required for your placement, please see Section 2 of this document. 

Students are NOT required to approach organisations and arrange their placement unless advised by CDU staff. In particular circumstances, a student may initiate a placement and provide the information to the placement team. You must consult your Course Coordinator for more information.

[1] Stewart, A. & Owens, R. (2013) The Nature, Prevalence and Regulation of Unpaid Work Experience, Internships and Trial Periods in Australia Experience or Exploitation? Report for the Fair Work Ombudsman, Adelaide Law School.

Role and Responsibility of the university

As the Education provider, the University is responsible for ensuring the WIL program meets the accreditation and quality assurance under the Higher Education Standards Framework 2015 in developing and managing the WIL courses and program requirements. 

The University will negotiate the details of the placements on behalf of students and coordinate the placement dates, practical and learning programs and other related matters with the Host Organisation. 

The University will comply with all applicable laws, all applicable Australian standards and tertiary education industry standards, guidelines and CDU policies, standards or guidelines advised by CDU.

The University will provide insurance protection for all eligible students on approved placement. 

To be protected under CDU’s personal accident and, professional and public liability policies, the student will need to meet the minimum requirements of:

  • be enrolled in the appropriate course or degree at CDU;
  • be enrolled in the appropriate placement unit CDU;
  • complete and receive a passing grade for the appropriate pre-requisite units;
  • maintain up-to-date compliance records as prescribed by the University;
  • and receive an official email confirmation from the College Placement Team.
Essential requirements for placements

Work-integrated learning and placement units are essential requirements of many Faculty of Health courses. 

Travel may be required to fulfil the practical components of the course. Placements are offered based on availabilities with organisations and refusal to accept an offer may jeopardise and delay the completion of your course. You will also be required to submit pre placement documentation including proof of vaccinations and security checks.

Faculty wide pre-placement compliance requirements: 

ItemWhat to doCost (AUD)RenewalSubmit
CDU Student Placement AgreementDownload the form from Learnline, read, understand, and agree by signing the documentNILAt start of your course or degreeUpload signed document to InPlace
CDU Student ID CardApply online via or request on campus at Student CentralNILRenew annuallyMust be worn at all times during placement
Working with Children Check 

Apply to receive your working with children check, in your state or territory where you will be undertaking your placement. 

Please note, you will be eligible to receive the concession cost. Please submit the form to the placement team so it can be validated.

$7.00 - $20.00 depending on which State or Territory you live

Check with your State or Territory guidelines

Please note some students have reported up to 6 months to receive their card, so please apply early.

Upload card to InPlace
National Police CheckApply online to receive your national police check within your state.$20.00Valid for up to one (1) year from the date of issueUpload certificate to InPlace
Equal Opportunity Online TrainingComplete the online training for module 1 start of your course or degree Upload certificate to InPlace
COVID-19 VaccineProvide proof of evidence for 3 x doses of vaccine for COVID-19 or if exempt, provide proof of exemption from medical doctor. Serology report is not accepted.Check with your local medical provider or visit for more information.Vaccine is subject to current state and territory guidelinesUpload evidence to InPlace

Hepatitis A

For students undertaking placements in NT & WA only

Two doses of Hep A vaccine (6 months apart), OR

Documented history of Hep A infection, OR

Serology report with positive IgG antibodies for Hep A

Check with your local medical provider or visit for more information.Evidence valid for ten (10) yearsUpload evidence to InPlace
Hepatitis B

Three doses (age-appropriate) of HBV vaccine (0 / 1 / 6 months interval), OR

Two doses of Hep B vaccine (if given between age 11-15 years), OR

Check with your local medical provider or visit for more information.Boosters are recommended every five (5) years, depending on antibody levels. An accelerated schedule is not acceptedUpload evidence to InPlace
Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

Born prior to 1966, OR

Positive IgG for measles, mumps and rubella, OR

Check with your local medical provider or visit for more information.MMR vaccines are protection for life. Evidence of immunity from serology may be requiredUpload evidence to InPlace
Varicella (Chickenpox)

History of varicella (chickenpox) infection, OR

Documented shingles, OR

Positive IgG for varicella, OR

Check with your local medical provider or visit for more information.Up to 20 years of vaccine protectionUpload evidence to InPlace
Diphtheria, Tetanus and PertussisOne adult dose of dTPA or DPT vaccine within the last ten yearsCheck with your local medical provider or visit for more information.Evidence of vaccine valid for ten yearsUpload evidence to InPlace
Tuberculosis (TB) ScreeningDocumented evidence of testing tuberculosis (TB) Screening (Mantoux; QuantiFERON; IGRA)Check with your local medical provider or visit for more information.Evidence of testing valid for two yearsUpload evidence to InPlace
Influenza (flu) vaccine Documented dose of current annual/seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine.Check with your local medical provider or visit for more information.Renew annuallyUpload evidence to InPlace

MRSA Screening 

For students undertaking placements in WA only

Documented evidence of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) testing. Serology report is NOT acceptedCheck with your local medical provider.Evidence of testing valid for one yearUpload evidence to InPlace

The Faculty of Health uses placement management system called InPlace. This software application will allow you to track and manage your own placement information and maintain up-to-date compliance (pre-placement) documents. The app is accessible on your web browser, mobile or tablet via your CDU Student Portal. Currently this software is only available for higher education students. Access for CDU TAFE students is not currently available.

Go to InPlace

Inherent requirements for your course

Inherent requirements are the abilities, knowledge, and standards of conduct and performance that are essential for a student to achieve the learning outcomes of a course or unit. These may include compulsory standards set by professional registration, or accreditation bodies.

Inherent requirements are specific to a particular course but are not course entry requirements. To enable informed decision making about courses of study, prospective and current students should reflect carefully on the course inherent requirements. These should also be considered when undertaking your placements.

Learn more

Attendance, Illness and Sick Days

Attending Placement

It is expected that you attend 100% of your placement hours at the times and hours allocated by the placement provider. If you do not comply with the roster and guidelines set for you, you will be asked to leave your placement allocation and will receive a Fail (F) grade.

Your professional experience placement takes priority over other work commitments.

Some disciplines may involve shift work and you will be required to undertake morning, afternoon and night shifts. This includes shift work on weekends and some public holidays.

All aspects apart from the organisation of placement venue is your responsibility and may include:
  • Arranging childcare
  • Arranging transport to and from the placement venue
  • Arranging full uniform and ID/placement badge
  • Paying for any costs associated with parking, travel and accommodation
  • Rearranging private work commitments
  • Bringing the required documents to placement and being aware of the expectations/scope of practice and assessment requirements for placement.

Any absence needs to be covered with medical certification or supporting documentation. If absence of greater than two days is recorded a Special Consideration application will need to be completed for consideration of make-up hours. Absence from allocated rostered shifts, without this documentation will result in a Fail grade (F) being awarded.

Illness and Sick Days

If you cannot attend due to illness, you must contact your CDU unit coordinator and Host Placement Supervisor immediately. You will be required to submit a medical certificate for your day/s off. You must submit the certificate to your CDU unit coordinator and Host Placement Supervisor.

If your illness can impact your ability to complete some or all of your placement requirements, you must speak with your supervisor and unit coordinator. 

100% attendance at placement is compulsory, and any time missed must be made up

Reporting concerns or complaints

Reporting grievances or concerns

If you are having difficulty in your placement with serious matters, you should contact your unit coordinator as soon as possible. These matters should be addressed verbally, either via phone or a meeting and then in writing. If your unit coordinator is away, please contact the CHHS Placements Team at or 08 8946 7528 for guidance and ongoing support.


If you are experiencing difficulties and need to speak to a CDU counsellor on 08 8946 6288 or for out-of-hours telephone crisis support, please call 1300 933 393

Reporting complaints

The team at the Complaints Management Unit (CMU) will listen to your concern or complaint. CMU will explain your options for resolving the matter under the relevant University procedures.

If you have a grievance or are concerned with the way someone has behaved, you are encouraged to contact the Complaints Management Unit for guidance.

T: 08 8946 7738 | E: |

Speak with a placements team member

For enquiries about your placement, please contact the Faculty of Health WIL & Placements Team at Monday to Friday 9.00 am - 3.00 pm.

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