school_of_education_960x100_pop.jpeg

Professional Experience Placement - Frequently Asked Questions

Before you ask us any questions, please ensure you have checked the School of Education website and your Unit Guide.

top

What must I do/complete before I go on my professional experience placement?

Before you go out on your professional experience placement you must:

  • Complete your placement form (for each unit) - online via Murdoch's Student Placement System (Sonia Online).
  • Complete a Pre-Service Teacher Agreement form (one only) - online via Murdoch's Student Placement System (Sonia Online).
  • Upload current copies of your mandatory checks (Working with Children Check and Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check) - online via Murdoch's Student Placement System (Sonia Online).*
  • Order a name badge, which you are required to wear during your professional experience placement. Please click here to order your name badge.

*NOTE: A signed Working with Children Check (WWCC) application can be collected from the Murdoch School of Education Reception or can be posted to you if you live far from the Murdoch University South Street Campus. If students have applied for, but have not received their WWCC card prior to the commencement of their placement, they should upload a copy of the WWCC receipt (from Australia Post) onto Murdoch's Student Placement System (Sonia Online).

top

What if I am under 18 years of age?

You can apply for both the Working with Children Check (WWCC) and National Police History Check 3 months before you turn 18. If you will not turn 18 before your professional experience placement please advise the Professional Experience Office.

top

What are my mandatory checks?

You must obtain the following checks before you can undertake your professional experience placement:

These forms are not only a requirement of Murdoch University - it is the LAW that you must have a Working with Children Check (WWCC) and National Police History Check, so please ensure you have handed these in prior to being placed on your professional experience. Without them you are unable to attend your professional experience placement.

  • The WWCC application can be found either at the Murdoch School of Education Reception (Building 450, Level 2 of the Education & Humanities Building) or at your local Australia Post Shop. Before lodging this form at Australia Post, you will need to have Part 5, 6 and 7 completed by the Professional Experience Office. Please click here to find out how to complete the application.
  • The Pre-Service Teacher Agreement form is located online on Murdoch's Student Placement System (Sonia Online).
  • The Nationally Coordinated NCCHC form can be found and completed online on the Department of Education website. Please click here to complete the form. NOTE: THE NCCHC IS ONLY AVAILABLE THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, AND IS NOT THE SAME AS A NATIONAL POLICE CERTIFICATE ISSUED BY WA POLICE VIA AUSTRALIA POST.

NOTE: The NCCHC is valid for 5 years unless you have a break of 6 months or more from your studies. If this is the case, you will need to re-apply for a NCCHC.

top

How long does it take to complete these checks?

The Working with Children Check (WWCC) will take approximately 2 to 4 weeks. The National Coordinated Criminal History Check (NCCHC) can take from 2 to 6 weeks, so it is very important that you submit this application as soon as possible. You will not be able to attend your professional experience placement without both the WWCC and NCCHC. It is a good idea to give us a copy of the receipts for your lodgement of the WWCC and NCCHC while you wait for these to arrive.

top

Do I need a name badge and how do I get one? How long does it take?

Yes, name badges are mandatory for students going out on a professional experience placement, as they identify you as being a student of Murdoch University. Please click here to order your Murdoch name badge. You should order your name badge at least 2 weeks before your professional experience placement to ensure you receive it in time. The Murdoch Student Centre will email you when they have received your badge, so that you can collect it, or will post it to you if you paid for postage.

top

What is Sonia?

Sonia is Murdoch's online Student Placement System and will be vital to you as a student in the School of Education. When your professional experience placements for a unit are released, they will be uploaded onto Sonia for you to see. This is also where you will be able to see other details such as the year level and subject you will be teaching, your School Experience Coordinator and Moderator contact details and any other information you need to know. If you are looking for any information on your professional experience placement, please check the Student Placement System (Sonia Online).

top

I haven't heard anything from the Professional Experience Office about my placement

It is likely that all the necessary information relating to your professional experience placement can be found on the Professional Experience Office website or on Murdoch's Student Placement System (Sonia Online).

top

I have uploaded my Working with Children Check, Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check and Pre-Service Agreement form and it still says I have outstanding checks on Sonia

This could be because one or more of these checks has expired. Your Working with Children Check (WWCC) is only valid for 3 years and your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check (NCCHC) is only valid for 5 years (unless you take 6 months or more off from your studies).

top

Do I have to do a First Aid Course before I go on my professional experience placement?

No, you just need to submit the necessary forms and clearances (i.e. Working with Children Check, Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check and Pre-Service Teacher Agreement form).

top

Do I have to do a placement form for every unit I do?

Yes, you do. We must receive a placement form otherwise you will not be placed.

top

I have already uploaded my clearances; do I have to submit a copy for every professional experience placement?

No, you do not. Please check Murdoch's Student Placement System (Sonia Online) and see if we have copies of your valid checks. If there is a copy on Sonia, you do not need to submit another copy. The only form we need for every professional experience placement is your placement form.

top

I can't see my unit on Sonia

This may sound silly, but please ensure you are enrolled in your unit! Also ensure that you have submitted your placement form. Usually this will be the case if we have not received a placement form from you. If you have already handed in a placement form we may have simply not entered this into the Student Placement System (Sonia Online) yet so please be patient.

top

I can see my professional experience placement on Sonia, but I do not know any details (such as year, subject etc.)

It is likely that the reason you do not know these details is because we do not know them either. We rely on the schools to give us this information and sometimes, for one reason or another, they are unable to tell us straight away. In this case it is best to be patient.

top

My address/contact details have changed, how do I let the Professional Experience Office know?

It is your responsibility to change your details on MyInfo, which will automatically update Murdoch's Student Placement System (Sonia Online). You are also placed by what information is entered on your placement form.

top

I can see what school I have been placed at in Sonia, but there is no moderator listed

Our first priority is to place you, so it is likely that information on the school will be available before your moderator contact details. Our advice is to please be patient.

top

Is it ok to contact my moderator?

Absolutely, but please only contact your moderator by email and please wait until after the placement meeting. After this we absolutely recommend touching base with your moderator before your professional experience placement to introduce yourself.

top

Can I request a school/request a change in the school I am placed at?

One of the most common problems we encounter after placing students is that they do not have their own mode of transportation and cannot get to their school. Please remember that we are not mind readers and if you do not inform us that you do not have transportation, we are not going to know! Please write any relevant information (i.e. mode of transportation, the location of your child's childcare centre or any other factors that may affect you getting to your school) on the placement form so that we are aware and can try to assist you. We strive to place every student at a school as close to their home address as we can, but sometimes this isn’t possible.

We also cannot emphasise enough that, by enrolling in your unit, you accept responsibility for being available in the timeframe of your professional experience placement, and that factors such as lack of transportation or childcare will not qualify you for a variation, nor a change of school.

While we understand the added difficulty these factors cause, you have enrolled and thus have agreed that you will be available for your professional experience placement.

For some professional experience placements you will be able to request a school, however please understand that this does not mean you will be guaranteed a place there. Some schools have an agreement with other universities, which means we are unable to place students there (please see the Professional Experience Office website for a list of partnership schools).

top

I have been placed too far away from my residential address

Whenever possible we will place you as close as we can to where you live, but unfortunately this cannot always be done. It is deemed acceptable to travel up to one hour to get to your school. Please keep in mind that when you are qualified you are likely to be offered a teaching position far away from where you live.

top

What schools will I be ineligible for?

Any school where you have a personal or professional relationship with a staff member. It is also not appropriate to go to the school your children attend. Some schools are inapproachable for us as they have agreements with other universities, which means we are unable to place students there. Our partnership schools can be found on the Professional Experience Office website.

top

Am I able to organise my own professional experience placement with a school?

Please DO NOT 'cold call' schools to see if they will take you. As a student you will be placed by Professional Experience Office and it is not appropriate for you to contact schools.

top

What do I do if I'm sick on my professional experience placement?

You will need to provide a medical certificate to both the school and the Professional Experience Office. The relevant school contacts (mentor teacher, school coordinator and moderator) should also be contacted and advised. You will likely need to catch up on these missed days at a later date. You will also need to complete a Notice of Absence form and upload this to Murdoch's Student Placement System (Sonia Online) under the Documents tab.

top

When will my unit results be available?

Results are usually available at the end of each semester, after the Board of Examiner's meeting. This can also depend on the Unit Coordinator.

top

I didn't get a copy of my Final Evaluation Report, can you send it to me?

Please always keep a copy of your Final Evaluation Report for your own record. It is your responsibility to keep a copy of all your final reports.

top

Where do I send my school experience reports?

The vast majority of Final Evaluation Reports are now electronic.


The Student Self-Assessment Reports should be uploaded to Murdoch's Student Placement System (Sonia Online) under the Documents tab. Schools can post, fax or email their reports to the Professional Experience Office as listed below:

Professional Experience Office
School of Education
Murdoch University
90 South Street
Murdoch 6150
Fax: 9360 7545
Email: ProfessionalExperience@murdoch.edu.au

top

Please note that we only deal with School of Education professional experience placements here. Please don’t ask us about things that do not relate to your professional experience placement or about non-School of Education matters as we won’t be able to answer! Thank you!