Before Placement

Here are the key steps to follow before Day One of the Placement:

  1. Arrange timeline of the placement

    Organise a meeting with the student to arrange timeline of the placement which includes but is not limited to the date of commencement, work schedule, work timings, meeting schedule and so on. Important due dates should be taken into consideration.

  2. Discuss details of the project

    This can include:

    • What is the public health issue, need or question that the project will address?
    • How will this public health issue, need or question be addressed? (i.e. project activities to be undertaken)
    • What will the student produce by the end of the placement? (e.g. a project report of 5000 words, or an equivalent product).  Note: The report has two purposes - a useful output of the project for you as a host organisation and the main assessment piece submitted to the University.
  3. Discuss involvement of data collection (if any)

    If the student is required to collect any data from human participants as part of the project, please refer to the information regarding ethical considerations.

  4. Provide workplace expectations

    Discuss whether the student will spend any time away from the primary location, for instance undertaking fieldwork or attending meetings off-site. If so, the University may require the student to complete a risk assessment before beginning.

  5. Discuss legal requirements for placement

    Advise the student about whether they are required to obtain a working with children check or have any specific immunisation requirements for the placement.

  6. Organise building access

    Organise building access as well as any security checks and inform the student of appropriate dress codes (if any).

  7. Workstation and workplace allocation

    Arrange a workstation and allocate a workplace for the student during the placement.

  8. Provide PPU organisation specific documentation

    If your organisation requires the student to sign any of its own documentation, please ensure a copy is provided to the Professional Practice Unit (PPU) coordinator before signing.

Risks, Safety and Ethics

  • Risks and Safety

    Every workplace has risks and reviews these regularly. Risks relevant to the student may be:

    • ergonomic suitability of the workstation;
    • clients who display violent/risky behaviour;
    • secrecy, intellectual property, confidentiality and other obligations students must be aware of and know in order to conduct themselves appropriately (please give the students examples of good practice);
    • responding to critical incidents, bullying, workplace harassment and how to seek guidance and debrief;
    • dealing with conflict or emotionally distressing, disturbing or sensitive information or mental stress or objectionable images/ visual experiences;
    • risks associated with travel, mode of transport, fieldwork and other potentially dangerous situations such as prison visits;
    • risk associated with not feeling culturally safe;
    • the physical and mental environment inclusive of all (from heights to being disability friendly).

    Please ensure you and the student have talked about such risks applicable to your specific organisation and the student understands how to respond to them.

  • Ethics

    Students are usually required to complete some research tasks as part of their placement. Many students handle secondary data. In exceptional circumstances they can be asked to collect data themselves. To ensure you and your student comply with minimum research ethics requirements, the University’s Placement Coordinator must be informed about such a proposal.

    Such research will be carried out in the name and under the guidance of the host organisation and the student will need to comply with the organisation’s own ethics policies. University logos are not to be used in any research documentation.

    If the host organisation doesn’t have an ethics process in place, students should follow the minimum steps outlined in the University’s research ethics form to advise the host organisation supervisor and the University’s Placement Coordinator.

    If the host organisation does have an ethics process, students (and supervisors if necessary) should liaise with the University’s Placement Coordinator about the details of the proposed project so that all parties are informed and minimum expectations are met.

    If the research seeks to engage vulnerable populations or significant cultural groups, students are encouraged to read specifically about researching these groups. The research planning process needs to take into consideration how the person being researched might be impacted.

Important Documents:

Please find the Workplace Supervisor Checklist for 2021 here.

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Need Help?

Sue Durham
Professional Practice Coordinator
e: sue.durham@unimelb.edu.au
Kate Chalmers
Teaching Support
e: kate.chalmers@unimelb.edu.au