Work Integrated Learning (WIL) guidance materials

The WIL guidance materials provide advice for managing WIL activities across key areas.

Preparing students and partner organisations for WIL activities

The intent of this section is to ensure students and partner organisations are provided with sufficient and relevant WIL information and are prepared for the WIL activity.

WIL agreement requirements

The intent of this section is to outline the intellectual property arrangements, insurance and WIL agreements that must be used when engaging with partner organisations for WIL, on or off campus or online.

Management of WIL activities

The intent of this section is to outline the actions of WIL practitioners when managing WIL activities, including monitoring and supervising student progress, dealing with complaints, incidents or identified hazards whilst students are undertaking WIL.

Steps and actions

1. Types of WIL and its requirements

Responsibility

  • Program Manager
  • WIL Practitioner

Timeline

  • Before commencement of WIL activity

Schools must ensure that WIL activities within programs:

  • include student preparation, supervision and monitoring of progress and reflective practice/debriefing
  • involve authentic engagement with partner organisations (including WIL in simulated workplace environments) and include industry feedback
  • be assessed in line with the University’s assessment policy
  • comply with relevant government legislation and regulations, university policies, procedures and instructions
  • be scaffolded throughout the program so as to enable students to achieve course and program learning outcomes, Graduate Attributes and vocational education Employability Skills
  • integrate theoretical learning with practical application in professional contexts which engage students in meaningful and consequential learning activities
  • where applicable, be aligned to the requirements of professional registration and accrediting bodies
  • be negotiated with partner organisations (negotiate roles and responsibilities of students where relevant) and designed to be accessible, equitable and mutually beneficial for stakeholders
  • not unnecessarily create undue hardship for students or partner organisations e.g cause unreasonable expense/distance to travel to undertake WIL activity.

1.1.1. Schools shall determine the eligibility requirements or prerequisites for potential and enrolled students undertaking WIL. These requirements may be influenced by professional accreditation requirements.

1.1.2. Details of every WIL activity must be recorded in InPlace by the WIL Practitioner. Details such as partner organisation, supervisor details, dates and duration of placement will be recorded in InPlace.

1.1.3. The WIL Practitioner must record any particular information specific to their discipline and to that particular WIL activity type in InPlace. Different specific details are recorded for different disciplines/WIL activities. For example, working hours may be required to be recorded for nursing students. For discipline specific matters, refer to the relevant College/School’s WIL Champion.

1.1.4. RMIT's standard insurance program is designed to protect the organisation's interests, infrastructure and assets including staff and students. WIL activities must all be accompanied by an executed WIL agreement (see section 4).

2. Introduce students to WIL

Responsibility

  • Program Manager
  • WIL Practitioner

Timeline

  • Before commencement of WIL activity

2.1.1. Students are provided with information about the WIL course/s they will be undertaking throughout their program. Information such as designated WIL courses, types of WIL, prerequisites, intellectual property, insurance document completion (WIL/Relationship Agreements and Schedules), related learning outcomes, minimum hours of WIL required and assessment requirements must be included in program and course guides.

2.1.2. As some WIL activities are planned well in advance, the following must be included in program and course guides for students to consider prior to beginning their WIL:

  • determine who is responsible for sourcing the WIL activity e.g. student or WIL Practitioner
  • obtaining appropriate immunisations, police checks or working with children checks
  • transport and accommodation requirements where WIL involves travel outside of their home city
  • arranging a visa and appropriate insurance for international travel
  • student registration with Global Mobility if WIL activity is overseas.

2.1.3. Students must be informed that they are responsible for all costs associated with the WIL activity including any police check, working with children check, travel costs, immunisation or health requirements.

2.1.4. WIL Practitioner will provide any relevant Occupational Health and Safety advice and emergency procedure information.

3. Agree on Intellectual Property (IP) ownership to ensure the correct WIL Agreement is used

Responsibility

  • WIL Practitioner

Timeline

  • Before commencement of WIL activity

3.1.1. If the student is a paid employee of the partner organisation for the WIL activity, the partner organisation owns any IP created by the student (unless otherwise agreed between partner organisation and student).

3.1.2. If the student is unpaid for the WIL activity, the student owns any IP created (unless otherwise agreed between partner organisation and student).

4. WIL agreements and insurance

Responsibility

  • WIL Practitioner
  • Head of School

Timeline

  • Before commencement of WIL activity

4.1.1. Appropriate WIL agreements and associated schedules must be completed for all WIL activities involving a partner organisation.

4.1.2. Dependent upon the IP ownership, the appropriate Agreement must be used. There are six types of agreements (three distinct types, with or without IP):

  • relationship agreement (one with IP, one without) between RMIT and a partner organisation, where a number of RMIT students attend that organisation (irrespective of discipline).This type of WIL Agreement should be sought in the first instance so that it can be used for future WIL activities with the same organisation.
  • 3-way agreement (one with IP, one without IP) between RMIT, a partner organisation and a student (only to be used if partner organisation refuses to sign relationship agreement).
  • 2-way agreement (one with IP, one without IP) between RMIT and a student when RMIT is the partner organisation for the WIL placement/project activity.

4.1.3. RMIT WIL/Relationship template agreements, schedules and information sheets must be accessed from the Legal Services Group webpage to ensure the latest version is used.

4.1.4. If a relationship agreement is to be used, a search should be made in the university records management systems to identify and use an existing one with the partner organisation concerned. If one does not already exist, a new one should be downloaded from the Legal Services Group webpage, completed and stored in the university records management systems. The WIL Practitioner will report the existence of a new relationship agreement to all other WIL Practitioners for their potential future usage.

4.1.5. The WIL agreement schedule must be completed to include the WIL activity details including duration, payment terms, details of tasks/duties to be performed, monitoring and supervision (mode and frequency of contact between WIL Practitioner and student and partner organisation).

4.1.6. Signatures from required parties will need to be obtained. There may be several parties required to sign the WIL agreements including:

  • an RMIT delegate
  • partner organisation executor/representative
  • the student. (If the student is under 18 years legal documents must be signed by their parent or guardian).

4.1.7. All relevant insurance documentation (Certificate of Currency) relating to a WIL activity must be provided when requested.

4.1.8. Heads of Schools will sign the WIL agreement on behalf of RMIT. Check the Financial and Legal Delegations Schedule for a list of appropriate RMIT agreement signatories.

4.1.9. All WIL agreements must be managed and stored securely in the university records management systems. Copies should be given to the partner organisation and can also be given to the student.

4.1.10. Partner organisations may request amendments to the RMIT WIL template agreement. Any requested amendments must be provided to RMIT Legal Services Group for review and further amendments made. The amended RMIT WIL agreement must be agreed to by RMIT and the partner organisation.

4.1.11. Partner organisations may insist that RMIT use the partner organisation’s agreement. Any such agreement must be first reviewed. The partner organisation’s legal agreement must be provided to RMIT Legal Services Group for review and any amendments. Any amendments must be agreed to by RMIT and the partner organisation.

5. International WIL

Responsibility

  • WIL Practitioner
  • Global Mobility

Timeline

  • Before commencement of WIL activity

5.1.1. The WIL Practitioner will ensure the correct WIL Agreement is completed for any overseas WIL activity, the same as any onshore WIL activity.

5.1.2. The WIL Practitioner must inform students undertaking WIL overseas to register with RMIT Global Mobility in advance of undertaking the activity.

6. WIL in practice

Responsibility

  • WIL Practitioner
  • Head of School
  • Disability Liaison Unit (DLU)

Timeline

  • Before and during WIL activity

6.1. Monitoring

6.1.1. All students undertaking a WIL activity must have their progress monitored by the WIL Practitioner. As stated on the Schedule, the WIL Practitioner and student will adhere to the monitoring method/s (such as face-to-face meeting, Skype or Google Hangout) and duration of contact (e.g. ‘student will attend fortnightly Google Hangout sessions’).

6.1.2. The WIL Practitioner will have contact with all students’ partner organisations whilst students are undertaking WIL activities. For efficiency (unless there is a reason to conduct an on-site/in-person visit), contact can be made using technologies such as: email, phone, Skype and other electronic communication means.

6.2. Disability

6.2.1. If a student informs the WIL Practitioner that they have a disability, long-term illness or mental health condition which may impact their WIL Placement, the WIL Practitioner should encourage the student to contact the Disability Liaison Unit (DLU) to determine reasonable adjustments for WIL. To comply with legislation, RMIT must make reasonable adjustments for students registered with the DLU in both academic and WIL activities.

6.2.2. In order to establish reasonable adjustments , the student must disclose their condition to the DLU. However, the student is under no obligation to disclose information about their condition to the WIL Practitioner or partner organisation. Disclosure is an individual choice and students should not be compelled to disclose. The DLU can provide the student with information about the advantages and disadvantages of disclosure during the DLU assessment.

6.2.3. Should the WIL Practitioner have concerns or questions about the implementation of the DLU Plan in the WIL context, they should contact the DLU to discuss these concerns. In some cases, the student’s disability status (but not the details of the student’s condition) will need to be disclosed to the placement provider in order to facilitate reasonable adjustments. This should only be undertaken with the written permission of the student.

6.2.4. If a student has not disclosed a disability, long term illness or mental health condition to RMIT, but the WIL Practitioner or partner organisation suspects a health condition may be impacting the student, the WIL Practitioner or partner organisation cannot legally impute a disability. In this situation, the WIL Practitioner should make the student aware of the support services available at RMIT and encourage the student to access these. If however, the student does not do so, the student should be permitted to commence/continue WIL unless it is determined that there is a risk to the student or community in which case RMIT has a duty of care to both student and placement provider, and the placement should be ceased.

6.2.5. Some WIL activities in certain disciplines require all students to be registered with an external registration body so that they can undertake their WIL activity and practice within the scope of their registration e.g. medical radiation students must be registered by RMIT with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). This enables National Boards to act on student impairment matters or when there is a conviction of a serious nature that may impact on public safety. Contact your School WIL Champion for information regarding registration bodies.

6.2.6. Contact the DLU for further information.

6.3. Working with Children (WWC) checks

6.3.1. Students must pass a WWC Check if the WIL activity requires one and record of it must be stored in the confidential section of the student file.

6.3.2. If a student does not obtain a WWC Check for the WIL activity which is part of a core course required to complete the program, the WIL Practitioner must refer the case to the Academic Progress Team in relevant School/College. The WIL Practitioner will refer student to School/College Academic Advisor to investigate alternative programs.

6.4. Police checks

6.4.1. For students undertaking WIL activities which require a Police Check, the student must provide the WIL Practitioner with a valid Police Check report. If there is no disclosable outcome, the WIL Practitioner will record in Inplace that the satisfactory police check has been cited.

6.4.2. If there is a disclosable outcome of a lesser offence (lesser offence which would not suggest that the student is a likely risk to the public/partner organisation), the WIL Practitioner will ask for written permission from the student to disclose the details of the offence to the partner organisation so that the partner organisation can make the decision of whether they wish to undertake the WIL activity with the student or not.

6.4.3. If there is a disclosable outcome but the partner organisation agrees to work with the student regardless, the WIL Practitioner will record in Inplace that the satisfactory police check has been cited.

6.4.4. If there is a significant disclosable outcome (offence which would indicate that the student may be a risk to the public/partner organisation), the WIL Practitioner will consult with the Program Manager will provide written reasons to the student why that cannot undertake the activity due to the nature of the disclosable outcome on their police check. The WIL Practitioner will refer the student to the Academic Progress Team in the relevant School/College and for careers counselling in such a case.

7. Early termination

Responsibility

  • WIL Practitioner
  • Program Manager
  • Head of School
  • Appropriate School/College Academic Services

Timeline

  • During WIL activity

7.1.1. Early termination may occur when a partner organisation and/or WIL Practitioner and/or student decide to end the WIL activity prior to the official end date.

7.1.2. The WIL Practitioner organises a meeting within 15 days of the termination decision date between the student, Program Manager and WIL Practitioner (a student support and chair person may also be present) to discuss events leading to termination.

7.1.3. The WIL Practitioner will advise the student in writing within 15 days of termination decision date about counselling and other University services available.

7.1.4. The WIL Practitioner will request a report from the partner organisation within 15 days of the termination decision date. The report must contain details of events and reasons leading to the termination of the WIL activity. If a verbal report is supplied by partner organisation, the WIL Practitioner must produce a memo to document the details and stored in the confidential section of the student file.

7.1.5. The student has five days to confirm their attendance at the meeting and whether a support person will be present. If the student does not respond within 5 days of invitation to the meeting, the WIL Practitioner must refer case to Academic Progress.

7.1.6. The WIL Practitioner organises a second meeting between WIL Practitioner, Program Manager and Head of School. During the meeting, the WIL Practitioner creates memo of conversation and stores in the confidential section of the student file.

7.1.7. The Head of School makes the final decision whether a placement with another partner organisation can be sought for the student, and what reasons for the early termination of the placements can be documented and stored on the student file. The WIL Practitioner must inform the student and other relevant staff in writing of the outcome within 10 days of the second meeting.

7.1.8. If the student is permitted to repeat the WIL activity (e.g. may receive a fail but allowed to repeat in the following semester or may be permitted to undertake a WIL activity during the same semester) and enrolment is affected, the WIL Practitioner advises the student to seek enrolment advice from the Academic Progress Team in the relevant School/College.

7.1.9. If a student is not permitted to repeat the WIL activity which is part of a core course required to complete the program, the WIL Practitioner must refer the case to the Academic Progress Team in relevant School/College. The WIL Practitioner will refer the student to RMIT Careers and Employability to investigate alternative programs.

7.1.10. In a situation where a student has been prohibited from undertaking the WIL activity again, the WIL Practitioner will check the student’s enrolment (on the final day to add classes) to ensure the student has not enrolled in the corresponding course.

Operational responsibility

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

Related policy/procedure