Program and course policy guidance materialThis guideline belongs to the Program and course approval processes (PDF 4.3 MB).
1. The minimum WIL requirements to be integrated in coursework programs at AQF level 3 or equivalent and above are explained here.
2. WIL is an umbrella term that describes a range of models and approaches to learning and assessment that integrate discipline theory, knowledge and skills with the practice of work as an integral part of program design.
3. WIL activities at RMIT are aligned to course and program learning outcomes. These WIL activities are assessed, involve authentic engagement with industry and community, are integrated across the whole program and undertaken in a workplace context whether on or off campus or online.
4. Industry engaged WIL activities involve students interacting with organisations (industry, government and community) through discipline relevant projects and work placements. These WIL activities may be face-to-face, online or a blended approach.
5. WIL activities may fall under the following broad categories:
5.1. Placements: Common terminology for WIL placement activities include: practical placement, practicum, cooperative education, clinical placements, fieldwork, and internship. These activities are generally on-site placements in a workplace or community setting, can be onshore, offshore or online and may be paid or not paid. Apprenticeships and traineeships, structured workplace learning and work experience are types of placement but are excluded from the scope of this procedure.
5.2. WIL projects: WIL projects are co-designed with industry and community partners. These industry engaged projects commonly require teams or individual students to undertake a real project that is based on real problems or address needs of industry or community. Industry partners are engaged in the project and provide feedback to students. WIL projects may be paid or unpaid. They may take place on or off campus, offshore or online.
5.3. WIL in simulated workplace environments: WIL activities in simulated workplace environments are sometimes necessary for ethical, safety or professional reasons or when other forms of industry engaged WIL are unavailable. These environments are designed to simulate real workplaces in their function, equipment and mode of operation so that students can experience a variety of scenarios and inter-related activities similar to real work experience in the industry or profession to which the program leads. Partner organisations are involved in the design of the simulated workplace environment and provide feedback to students.
5.3.1. Examples include engineering and chemistry laboratories with real-world equipment, mock hospital wards, radio and TV studios, moot courts and practice firms. WIL in simulated workplace environments may take place on or off campus.
6. Designated WIL courses may offer different types of WIL at different locations, provided that these are equivalent.
7. WIL activities in programs must:
7.1. include student preparation, supervision and monitoring of progress, and reflective practice/debriefing
7.2. involve authentic engagement with partner organisations (including WIL in simulated workplace environments) and include industry feedback
7.3. be assessed in line with the University’s Assessment policy
7.4. comply with relevant government legislation and regulations, University policies, procedures and instructions
7.5. be scaffolded throughout the program so as to enable students to achieve course and program learning outcomes, graduate attributes and vocational education employability skills
7.6. integrate theoretical learning with practical application in professional contexts that engage students in meaningful and consequential learning activities
7.7. where applicable, be aligned to the requirements of professional registration and accrediting bodies
7.8. be negotiated with partner organisations (where relevant) and designed to be accessible, equitable and mutually beneficial for stakeholders
7.9. not unnecessarily create undue hardship for students or partner organisations.
8. Schools shall determine the eligibility requirements or prerequisites for potential and enrolled students undertaking WIL. These requirements may be influenced by professional accreditation requirements.
9. WIL requirements (both academic and non-academic) will be stated in course and program guides.
11. All stakeholders engaged in WIL activities with a partner organisation must sign a WIL agreement.
12. WIL agreements, associated information sheets and schedules are to be managed by the WIL practitioner.
13. Agreements and schedule information between students, RMIT and partner organisations may vary according to higher education or vocational education contexts, specific discipline requirements, location (local, interstate or national regulatory requirements) and whether the WIL activity is paid or not.
14. WIL arrangements must be consistent with the guidance available from Fair Work Australia on work experience and internships. For students on overseas placements, workplace arrangements must be in conformity with local employment and workplace legislation, including safety.
15. In situations where an overarching relationship WIL agreement is in place (between a partner organisation and RMIT), students shall acknowledge or sign a student declaration (deed) that acknowledges their acceptance and understanding of their roles and responsibilities during WIL activities with that partner organisation.
16. Apart from using RMIT’s own WIL agreements, partner organisations may insist that RMIT use the organisation’s agreement. Where this occurs in Australia, any such agreement must first be reviewed by RMIT Legal Services.
17. RMIT staff shall not commit RMIT to any additional legal or other obligations or costs without seeking appropriate legal or commercial advice.
18. Consistent with the RMIT Intellectual Property Policy, WIL agreement templates provide that if a student creates new intellectual property while on their WIL activity, the partner organisation will own the rights. The student is granted certain rights to use the WIL intellectual property as set out in the WIL agreement. If intellectual property ownership is agreed to differently from what is set out in the WIL agreement template, an amended WIL agreement will need to be created by RMIT Legal Services.
19. WIL agreements, schedules, insurance and other relevant documentation such as roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders are to be completed before commencement of a WIL activity.
20. The original signed WIL agreement shall be retained on the student’s academic student file or the enterprise system for management of WIL, and a copy shall be provided to the student and the partner organisation.
21. All parties must be adequately prepared and informed of their duties, roles and responsibilities for participating in WIL activities in a timely manner.
22. The WIL practitioner ensures that:
22.1. students are informed of their responsibilities throughout the WIL activity, of required safety policies and procedures both on campus and at partner organisation workplaces, and of how they will be supported by the WIL practitioner and school if they encounter harassment or workplace bullying during the activity
22.2. partner organisations are informed of their responsibilities and obligations to supervise and monitor student progress and to induct students to required safety policies and procedures in their workplaces.
22.3. potential risk management issues such as hazards are identified before commencement of the WIL activity and risk mitigations are put in place.
23. Where applicable, WIL practitioners will assign students to, and approve them for, appropriate WIL activities, making reasonable adjustments to WIL activities for students living with a disability, long-term illness or a mental health condition.
24. Where a partner organisation or professional body requires students to submit a satisfactory police check and/or working with children check before commencing the WIL activity, and the student does not do this by the timeline specified by the WIL practitioner, the student will not be approved to commence the WIL activity.
25. Where WIL activities are to be completed overseas, students must be registered and processed through the appropriate organisational department (Education Abroad in Australia).
26. Processes for monitoring and supervising student progress throughout the WIL activity are determined before commencement of the activity and documented in the schedule. The schedule must make clear to the student how supervision of their progress will contribute to assessment and what will occur if their progress is deemed to be unsatisfactory during the activity.
27. Monitoring and supervising student learning and progress is the responsibility of both the University and the partner organisation.
28. In line with RMIT Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) processes, WIL practitioners will report WIL emergencies, incidents or identified hazards to the partner organisation supervisor, RMIT OHS and the program manager.
29. In situations where WIL activities must be changed or cancelled, alternative WIL activities need to be organised. This may occur when the partner organisation has to alter their involvement.
30. A student's conduct and/or performance during a placement may lead to the partner organisation or the school deciding that the placement will end early.
30.1. Possible reasons for such decisions may include, but are not limited to, the student’s failure to follow processes required for safety, breach of client or patient confidentiality, failure to comply with the instructions of supervisors, or other unprofessional behaviour.
30.2. If the partner organisation decides to end a placement early, the school will endeavour to provide procedural fairness for the student by asking the partner organisation to explain the reasons for the decision and provide an opportunity for the student to respond.
31. Where it is decided that a placement will end early, a meeting will be held within 20 working days of the decision between the WIL practitioner, program manager and student to discuss the sequence of events and explain to the student the reasons given by the partner organisation and/or the school for the early termination.
31.1. The student must receive five working days’ notice of the meeting and is entitled to bring a support person.
31.2. The meeting provides an opportunity for the student to give their side of the events.
31.3. Following the meeting, the WIL practitioner, program manager and head of school will decide whether a placement with another partner organisation can be sought for the student, and what reasons for the early termination of the placement will be documented and stored in the student’s file.
31.4. The outcome of this decision and the reasons to be recorded will be provided to the student in writing within 10 working days of the meeting.
32. Where it is decided that the school will approach other partner organisations to host the student, this may be conditional on the student consenting to the school informing those organisations of the circumstances of the early termination of the student’s previous placement.
32.1. Such consent must be given by the student in writing.
32.2. It may be necessary for the student to undertake the placement in a subsequent semester.
32.3. If no other potential partner organisation is willing to host the student, or the school decides not to seek another placement for the student, it may not be possible for the student to complete the course or, where the course is a compulsory requirement of the program, to complete the program.
32.4. If the placement is a requirement for professional registration, it may not be possible for the student to obtain this.
Status & details
Custodian: Academic Registrar
Operational responsibility: Program and Course Administration, ARG
Effective from: 23 April 2018
Last updated: 23 April 2018