Work Integrated Learning

Essential Preparation

Perhaps the most important thing that contributes to a successful learning experience during an internship or work placement is to be well prepared. This essential preparation should include a clear understanding of the following aspects of your internship:

Roles and responsibilities

You should have an appreciation of the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved – especially yourself, the workplace supervisor, and your academic supervisor.

Practical information

Clarify all the important information about practical aspects of your internship. This should include the workplace location, the name and contact details of your workplace supervisor, the agreed or required work days, the number of hours required, and any dress code or uniform requirements.

Workplace expectations

Understand the workplace expectations from your host organisation about professionalism, code of conduct, confidentiality and any agreements that you might be required to sign.

Essential requirements

Depending on the nature of your internship, there may be some essential requirements before you can start. These might include obtaining a Working with Children Check or a Police Clearance. You should also be aware of the university’s insurance cover for you during an internship, and the need to register any travel plans associated with your internship.

Occupational Health & Safety

You should be familiar with the issues surrounding Occupational Health & Safety in the workplace. Your host organisation will also require you to attend an induction, just as they would for a new member of staff.

Learning in the workplace

Ensure you have appropriate expectations about learning in the workplace, taking responsibility for your own learning, asking for and receiving feedback, and being a reflective practitioner. You should also be clear on how your internship will be assessed.

Structured program of work

You need to be clear about the structured program of work you are being asked to complete during your internship. You might be asked to submit an internship work proposal as one of your assessment items.

Sources of support

Be familiar with the different sources of support that are available to you – if you have questions, if you are struggling, or if things are not going as well as you had expected.

There are a number of ways in which your unit co-ordinator might ensure that you are effectively prepared for your internship or work placement:

  • Your School may run their own preparation programs before you undertake a placement
  • Online modules have been developed to prepare you for work placement. These are made available to you through LMS if your unit co-ordinator has requested them for the unit.