Frequently Asked Questions
Work Integrated Learning (WIL)
Need help with your placement? Contact us via the Work Based Learning (WBL) Placements Enquiry form.
FAQs in this section are relevant for students undertaking a Work Integrated Learning placement in a non-clinical environment .
What is Work Integrated Learning (WIL)?
Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is a program where you will gain recognised course-discipline or skill-relevant experience with an organisation. WIL is:
- Educational: The work provides a basis for academic theory and/or vital skills to be applied for a practical purpose.
- Intentional and organised: The University and the host agree on the nature of the work to be undertaken. Increasingly, students are involved in sourcing their own internship with a host and the University approves the suitability of the project / position.
- University recognised: Students receive academic credit. University staff members coordinate the program and lecturers supervise the academic and assessment components of the subject.
- Meaningful and Practical: Hosts provide a project, tasks and responsibilities that are professionally suitable to the ability expected of you at your course stage and is useful to the operation of their organisation. Hosts also provide supervision of the activities occurring in the workplace.
How do I enrol in a WIL subject?
The application process for each subject may differ, therefore it is best to check the individual subject details for specific instructions.
- Check your course Handbook to see which placement subjects are available to you.
- Check the placements website for discipline-specific placement subjects, or find out more about elective placement subjects
Most WIL based subjects require you to source a placement yourself however, some will have limited La Trobe-sourced placements to apply for.
Who organises my WIL placement?
This depends on the course you are enrolled in. The University will source placements for some subjects, while others will require you to source your own placement.
Important: participation in most placement subjects is by Subject Coordinator approval. This means that, once you have identified a suitable opportunity, you will also need to apply to the Subject Coordinator for approval to enrol in the subject. This helps the University to ensure that your placement meets the subject requirements and will be a meaningful learning experience for you. Application instructions are specific to the placement subject that you select.
Can I do my placement overseas?
Will I get paid for my placement?
Great question! Unfortunately, the answer to this question is often no. Work placements tend to be unpaid as students are considered to benefit by gaining knowledge and experience by earning credit towards your degree.
If you enter into an employment relationship with an organisation and undertake work as an employee, you should expect to be paid for your work. Internships and work placements are different because you are undertaking work in a learning context and as such you are not considered to have entered into an employment relationship with the organisation. It is for this reason that students generally do not undertake work that is required for the daily running of the company, but rather, students tend to work on projects which assist and support the work being undertaken by employees.
If you have any concerns about the nature of the work that you are undertaking as part of your placement, please speak with your Subject Coordinator as soon as possible so that we can provide you with support. The Fair Work Ombudsman website also contains some helpful information.
Is there any financial support available?
A range of financial support is available to La Trobe University students. The Health, Wellbeing and Inclusion team have put together some resources to help you while you're at uni.
You may also be eligible for a grant to assist you financially. There are two which are particularly suitable for students undertaking placement:
|Find out more|
Can I use my paid employment for placement?
If you do a special project or undertake work outside of your usual tasks, you may undertake placement in the same organisation as where you already work. This is subject to approval by your Subject Coordinator.
You should not be undertaking an unpaid placement with your current employer while undertaking your regular duties. If you are undertaking your regular duties and using this towards the hours required for placement, you should be getting paid as an employee as per usual practice.
Are there any special requirements that I need to be aware of?
This will depend on where you are doing your work placement, so you will need to check this with your employer prior to commencing your placement. Some organisations require you to undergo a Working with Children Check, Police Check or other security clearance, before undertaking a work placement. Requirements are often specific to certain disciplines or hosts, this will be discussed as part of your preparation and may include personal information, compliance documents or intellectual property.
Speak to your potential host about any specific requirements or contact the Industry Partnerships Team who can advised of specific requirements which may be part of your placement application process. Make sure you allow sufficient time prior to commencing placement to meet any special requirements as you will be unable to commence placement without them.
What kind of support can I expect to receive during my internship/work placement?
You will be supported throughout your placement by your Subject Coordinator, and your placement officer. Prior to applying for a placement subject, you are encouraged to develop a suitable CV and cover letter and practice your interview skills. Career Ready OnLine can offer support and has a range of resources available to set you up for success for a placement.
During your placement, the Subject Coordinator will contact your host organisation to check in, and make sure that everything is going as planned. If you have any concerns at any stage before, during, or after your placement, please make sure that you check in with your Subject Coordinator. They will be able to provide you with advice and support.
What if I have a Learning Access Plan (LAP)?
The University strongly encourages you to disclose any disability, mental health issue or ongoing medical condition that might impact your ability to undertake your placement or Work Integrated Learning (WIL) experience. Notifying us in a timely manner allows us to consider a reasonable adjustment to allow you to participate on an equitable basis on your placement. It is important to make sure that any considerations for placement or WIL are clearly included in your LAP. Once a LAP has been provided to us or your Subject/Year Coordinator, we will work to ensure any reasonable adjustments are made to support you through your placement and help to set you up for success.
It is important that you understand that any reasonable adjustments must still be in line with the inherent requirements of your course and/or assessment and must meet the logistical and operational requirements of the facility that you are undertaking placement in – for this reason we are unable to guarantee that all requested consideration can be met by all placement providers.
The University respects your privacy (see our privacy statement) so you can feel confident in our assistance. You can seek advice on Disability Support Services, register online, make a face to face or phone appointment and find contacts on your campus by visiting the AccessAbility Hub.
Teacher Education: Professional Experience Placements
FAQs in this section are relevant for students who are undertaking compulsory placements as part of an Initial Teacher Education course. Students must complete a set number of hours at placement in order to be eligible for Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) registration.
What is a professional experience placement?
A professional experience placement is a requirement of all Initial Teacher Education Programs.
During a professional experience placement, Pre-Service Teachers practice teaching in a classroom environment or educational setting under the direct supervision and guidance of a qualified educator.
Who organises my professional experience placement?
All professional experience placements are organised by the Placement Operations team, on your behalf. Please do not organise your own placement or contact a school directly.
How and when do I find out about my professional experience placement?
You will find out about your professional experience placement by receiving an email from the Placement Operations team via a system called InPlace. Please ensure that you are regularly checking your student email account.
The majority of placement allocations will be released two weeks prior to your Placement commencing.
How far will I have to travel for my professional experience placement?
You may be expected to travel up to 75 minutes each way to your professional experience placement location.
The Placement Operations team do their best to place students close to home but due to the competitive nature of the sector and the teaching methods that students undertake, this is not always possible.
Can I decline an allocated professional experience placement?
Students are not able to decline a professional experience placement unless there are exceptional circumstances such as a conflict of interest.
Please note that travel time that is shorter than 75 minutes each way and work commitments are not acceptable reasons to decline a placement.
Do I need a working with children check and how do I apply?
All students who undertake a professional experience placement in Education must have a working with children check.
The application is free for student teachers who are volunteers, provided they are not employed in a school at the time of the application.
Please apply for your working with children check as soon as possible as applications can take 8 weeks or more to process. You can find more information by visiting workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au
Student FAQs for COVID-19
FAQs in this section are relevant for students undertaking a Work Integrated Learning placement in a non-clinical environment
How do I provide my vaccination information to the University?
I am not intending to get vaccinated against COVID-19. What do I do?
As a student, under the University’s Health and Safety Procedure - COVID-19 Vaccination and Other Measures, if you choose not to be vaccinated (without a valid medical exemption), you are not permitted to enter any La Trobe campus or attend any on-site learning activity.
It is important that you do not enrol in any subject that requires you to come to campus to participate in learning activities. The University will unenroll you from subjects prior to census if you have not uploaded a valid vaccination certificate or exemption to ensure you are not charged for subjects you cannot attend. This may impact your progression.
Graduate researchers should inform their supervisor and students undertaking placement should inform the placements team.
All staff, students, honorary appointees, contractors, tenants, volunteers, and visitors attending our campuses are required to be fully vaccinated (limited exemptions apply). See: Health and Safety Procedure - COVID-19 Vaccination and Other Measures for further details.
How do I stay safe on my placement?
The health, safety, and wellbeing of our students, including those completing approved course-related placements, is our highest priority. To stay safe on your placement, you must follow the protocols put in place by your placement organisation, which should be in line with the government’s COVID-19 WorkSafe advice as explained here. You should maintain a safe social distance (1.5 metres), sanitise your hands regularly, wear face mask as required, clean your work surfaces, and monitor yourself for any symptoms. Do not attend placement if unwell. The University will assist you to replan a placement if it cannot be completed.
Do I need to provide my COVID-19 vaccine certificate for a non-clinical placement?
Students will be contacted directly with advice. Commencement and continuation of placement will depend on the circumstances of the placement and placement provider.
Students are encouraged to monitor the government website to keep up to date with the vaccination requirements and deadlines.