Course Title: Provide services on a freelance basis

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2014

Course Code: PERF5075C

Course Title: Provide services on a freelance basis

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5314 - Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing

Course Contact : Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Michelle Deans

Nominal Hours: 30

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

 There are no pre-requistes or co-requisites for this course. 

Course Description

 In this course you develop the skills and knowledge required to operate as a freelance writer and editor. You learn how to plan strategically, to promote yourself and your business, to negotiate terms of employment and to manage the financial and business aspects of freelance work.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUFIND401A Provide services on a freelance basis


1 Promote yourself to potential employers

Performance Criteria:

1.  Establish, follow up and regularly maintain business contacts within industry
2.  Participate in relevant networks to support your freelance activity
3.  Identify and follow appropriate strategies to enhance your professional reputation
4.  Maximise your reputation by circulating current and succinct information about your experience
5.  Join and maintain regular contact with relevant employment networks
6.  Advertise your services in relevant media outlets as required
7.  Produce and distribute promotional material as required


2. Negotiate work arrangements

Performance Criteria:

8.  Establish clear performance outcomes for jobs and agree on fees, schedules and expenses
9.  Ensure that contracts contain payment terms and conditions that provide a viable cash flow
10. Ensure that contracts contain a clear statement of the obligations of all parties and a process for varying terms and conditions
11. Ensure that the terms of contracts match agreements and securely store written copies of final signed contracts for reference during the course of jobs
12. Negotiate variations to contracts as required
13. Seek specialist advice in the development of contracts where appropriate
14. Be willing to adapt to the demands of others, but without compromising your personal work ethic and reputation
15. Be prepared to reject work offers that do not provide sufficient financial remuneration or job satisfaction


3 Manage financial and business aspects of freelance work

Performance Criteria:

16. Seek advice on and determine the most appropriate way of operating as a freelancer
17. Set up and use effective systems for managing budgets, finance and paperwork
18. Establish and maintain effective support services
19. Establish a realistic fee structure that takes into account all factors associated with your freelance activity
20. Plan ahead to organise and maintain a viable work and cash flow
21. Send invoices in line with payment terms and conditions and follow up any non-payment of invoices promptly and in a businesslike manner
22. Keep simple but accurate and up-to-date accounts and records
23. Submit annual tax returns, using the services of an accountant as required
24. Comply with regulatory, taxation and insurance requirements relevant to freelance activities


4. Undertake strategic planning

Performance Criteria:

25. Identify and implement strategies that help identify work opportunities at an early stage
26. Seek constructive feedback from relevant people about your performance and evaluate feedback to identify personal development needs
27. Identify opportunities for ongoing professional development and take appropriate action to ensure that your skills and knowledge keep pace with industry developments
28. Identify and act on opportunities to expand your client base, either alone or in partnership with other freelancers
29. Regularly revisit, review and set realistic objectives
30. Continually monitor and analyse work options against quality of life, and artistic and commercial outcomes
31. Identify risk factors and take action to minimise risk when planning work activities

Learning Outcomes

 On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • market yourself to potential clients
  • negotiate work contracts
  • develop and maintain effective records and financial documentation
  • plan strategically in a way that takes into account the need for adequate cash flow

Details of Learning Activities

 In-class activities may include:

industry speakers
teacher directed activities 
class exercises
class role plays 
Out-of-class activities will include:-

online research 
project work

Teaching Schedule


 Introduction to course
Overview of assessment
Asking the big questions:-
Is freelancing for you? 
What are the advantages/disadvantages of freelancing?
What is your speciality?
Do you have a niche?

Formative assessment - on Blackboard.  Bring completed assessment to Seminar. 1-7


13th September

SEMINAR 9.30-1.30 94-6-24

Writing a solid business plan
Setting financial goals
Developing a SWOT analysis


Formative assessment - identify career objectives (bring to class)

Summative assessment
Hand out business plan

16, 17, 19, 20, 21

 Marketing plan
- audience
- client profile
- networking

Representing yourself
Online bios 

Summative assessment
Homepage assessment available on Blackboard
 5, 16-19

 Financial plans
- quoting for jobs
-  budgeting successfully
- preparing for tax
- producing invoices
- choosing insurance

Work on business plans




 Working independently
- overcoming the challenges
- time management
- work-life balance
- creating networks

Work on website homepage

Draft of Business Plan assessment due




25th October

SEMINAR 9.30-1.30 94-6-24

Making and negotiating contracts
- Role play

Giving and receiving feedback
- Role play

Identifying professional development opportunities

 Draft of Homepage assessment due.

Summative assessment
Teacher assesses student role plays:-
- negotiating contracts 
- giving and receiving feedback

 15 Hand in Business Plan and Homepage assessments 

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

No prescribed texts


Other Resources

Notes and references available on Blackboard.

Overview of Assessment

 Assessment for this course is ongoing. Your knowledge and understanding of course content is assessed through participation in class exercises, oral presentations and through the application of learned skills and insights to writing tasks.

Assessment Tasks


1.     Career objectives - due 13th September



1.     Business Plan - due 31st October
        This assessment involves the development of a personal business plan that identifies the business aims and objectives, finances, long and short-term goals and a SWOT analysis.

2.     Homepage - due 31st October
        This assessment involves the creation of copy for the website homepage for the real or imagined freelance business described in your business plan.

3.     Roleplays -  due 25th October

Grades which apply to courses delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment (not graded).

CA Competency Achieved
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for Assessment


Assessment Matrix


The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available from the course contact person (stated above).

Other Information

The major learning experience involves studio based exercises, demonstration and production. It is strongly advised that students attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

Cover Sheet for Submissions
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.
Feedback - You will receive spoken and written feedback from teachers on your work. Where appropriate, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.
Student feedback at RMIT

Student Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. Student progress policy

Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension. You can apply in writing for up to a week’s extension from your course teacher. If you need a longer extension, you wil need to apply for special consideration.Special consideration, appeals and discipline

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism -
RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity

Work Placement:
It is a requirement of this program that all students participate in authentic work related tasks. These may be either simulated or in a real work environment. On occasion, we are approached by industry and given opportunities for students to apply for short term placements. When these placement opportunities arise, students are required to negotiate the specific details with the relevant program coordinator or teacher. All industry placements require students, RMIT staff and host organisations to sign a written agreement prior to the commencement of the placement.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview