Course Title: Provide services on a freelance basis

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

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:

- lectures
- 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 and planning your approach:
- Is freelancing for you? 
- What are the advantages/disadvantages of freelancing?
- What is your speciality? Your strengths and weakness?
- Do you have a niche? What are the opportunities and threats?

Assessment 1: Freelance Business Plan - Assessment brief handed out

Assessment 2: Online bio
Assessment brief handed out


Online Skills Focus 1: Setting goals

Developing a realistic and achievable business plan, including:
- Setting a vision and short term goals
- Developing a client profile
- Networking
- Representing yourself (developing an online bio)



Online Skills Focus 2: Marketing yourself

Developing a Marketing Plan including:
- Identifying target audience
- Developing a client profile
- Networking
- Representing yourself (developing an online bio)

Submit DRAFT Assessment 1 Business plan for review by 11 May 2015

Assessment 3 Negotiate, quote and invoice
Available on Blackboard

Online Skills Focus 3: Working as a Freelancer

Financial and compliance skills including:
- Working independently
- Budgeting successfully
- Quoting for jobs
- Negotiating and drawing up agreements
- Invoicing

Submit Assessment 2 Online bio by 22 May 2015



30 May 2015 9.30am to 13.30 pm, 94.4.17

Panel discussion:
- Dealing with the challenges of freelancing
- Organisation and compliance, including tax and insurance
- identifying professional development opportunities.

Role play
- Estimating and quoting
- Making and negotiating contracts
- Giving and receiving feedback

Teacher assesses student role plays in class

Submit FINAL Assessment 1 Business plan by 30 May 2015


Finalise Assessment 3

Submit Assessment 3 Quote, agreement and invoice by 5 June 2015

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

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete the following assessment to a satisfactory standard (refer to MyRMIT for assessment criteria). You will receive feedback on all assessment and once you have demonstrated competency, you will receive a grade for Assessment Task 1 and 2 (refer to My RMIT for grading rubric).

1.     Business Plan - due 30 May (Draft due for review on 11 May)
        You develop a personal business plan that identifies the business aims and objectives, finances, long and short-term goals and a SWOT analysis. This assessment is graded.

2.     Online bio - due 22 May
        You create copy for the website or other relevant online site for the real or imagined freelance business described in your business plan. This assessment is graded.

3.     Quote and negotiate, draft a contract and issue an invoice - due 5 June
        You engage in a simulation, which involves you role playing (in class and via email with your partner) to develop a quote, notes for a draft agreement and a professionally formatted invoice. 

Graded assessment in this course uses the following grades:

CHD Competent with High Distinction
CDI Competent with Distinction
CC Competent with Credit
CAG Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for Assessment

Criteria for the graded assessments can be found on the course Blackboard site.

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

Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

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. Non-attendance may seriously jeopardise the chances of success in a course. Clearly, non-attendance at an assessment will result in failure of that assessment. Where visa conditions apply, attendance is compulsory.

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.

Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning (web link)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process through which people can gain entry to, or credit in, recognised courses based on competencies gained. The competencies may have been gained through experience in the workplace, in voluntary work, in social or domestic activities or through informal or formal training or other life experiences. Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) applies if a student has previously successfully completed the requirements of a unit of competency or module and is now required to be reassessed to ensure that the competency has been maintained.

Assessment and Feedback (web link)

You will receive verbal feedback during scheduled class times, 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 Progress (web link)

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

Special consideration for Late Submission (web link)

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.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism (web link)

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


Course Overview: Access Course Overview