chisholm student Firas

What is practical placement? 

Practical placement is the placement of a Chisholm student with an employer to undertake workplace learning and assessment to meet the requirements of their course. The placement is structured with a written agreement made between the employer (the host), Chisholm and the student. 

Practical placement provides our students with the opportunity to: 

  • gain first-hand training and experience working with an established host organisation 
  • prepare for the workforce and
  • better understand course content in a workplace context by applying theory to practice. 

Many of our courses require students to complete practical placement hours to meet their course requirements and registration/accreditation requirements of industry accreditation bodies. 

Practical placement differs to work experience in that work experience usually involves observation. Practical placement gives our students the opportunity to undertake tasks in an industry setting under the supervision and guidance of a host. 

Become a practical placement host 

Benefits of being a host 

  • Future-proof your business by accessing the next generation of industry talent 
  • Strengthen and raise your business or community profile 
  • Assess potential employees, saving recruitment time and costs and build loyalty 
  • Provide your existing staff with opportunities to develop leadership, mentoring, coaching and delegating skills 

Benefits to students of practical placement 

  • Gain first-hand industry experience 
  • Help students understand course content industry specific training to make a positive transition to secure employment 
  • Learn critical workplace “soft skills” like problem solving, time management, leadership and teamwork 
  • Give students insight into industry career and study pathways opportunities 

Steps to becoming a host 

We work with a range of host organisations including: 

  • Hospitals 
  • Health care centres 
  • Early learning centres 
  • Social enterprises 
  • Local government 
  • Manufacturing organisations 
  • Primary and secondary schools 
  • Aged care and disability services organisations 
  • Health and community service providers. 

We are always looking to expand our host network to provide our students with a diverse range of meaningful workplace learning experiences. While most of our hosts are located in our South-Eastern corridor, we also have hosts in other regions. 

If you are interested in becoming a host, please refer to our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page which explains the requirements for hosting. Once you have understood the requirements, the next steps to becoming a host are: 

  1. Complete and submit the host enquiry form 
  2. A helpful member of our placement team will contact you to discuss how hosting may work for your organisation. They will be your primary point of contact. 
  3. The member of our placement team will send you a host questionnaire for you to complete. This will help our placement team gather information about your organisation/business. 

We will prepare and send you a host agreement to be signed before placements can commence. The agreement will either be a Student Placement Agreement (SPA) or a Placement Letter Agreement (PLA), depending on your industry and scope of placements you will host. 

Chisholm courses with placements 

Mandatory placement is required within some Chisholm courses, and our placement team supports students with finding or assigning a placement.

View our courses with placements.  

Host agreement documents 

allied health tools

As part of the student placement arrangement, all hosts must sign a host agreement with us. The host agreement will either be: 

  • A Student Placement Agreement (SPA), which is for larger hosts operating in the health industry such as Hospitals and other Public Health Service Providers; or 
  • Placement Letter Agreement (PLA) which is for all other hosts. 

Each host agreement requires our students to complete a Student Undertaking Form. This confirms each student has completed all pre-placement checks the host requires and will comply with while on placement. More information on the agreement documents is below. 

Student Placement Agreement (SPA) 

The SPA is modelled on the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS) Student Placement Agreement (SPA) template which was developed in collaboration between government, health service and education provider representatives. The template and its associated documents, the Standardised Student Induction Protocol, represent the best practice framework for the delivery of student placements. (We have tailored the DHHS SPA template to meet specific requirements for our insurance arrangements and placement processes. These changes are minimal.) 

If our SPA is used, a member of our placement team works with the relevant course contact to prepare the SPA and provide it to the host contact person for review and signing. 

Larger hosts may prefer to use their own adapted version of the DHHS SPA template. Where this is the case, we’ll review and negotiate a final agreement using the host’s preferred template - as long as it’s not too different from the DHHS SPA template. 

If amendments are required to our existing SPA, or a bespoke agreement is required for your organisation, it will be referred to our Legal Officer for review. Agreements requiring review by our Legal Officer will take longer to finalise. 

Placement Letter Agreement (PLA) 

The PLA is a standard agreement, designed for placements with organisations outside of health settings. They usually cater for one discipline. The PLA can be used for single placements or for multiple placements over a longer period. 

The PLA has been drafted by our Legal Officer. These agreements take less time to be approved and finalised than the SPA and are normally handled by the teaching Delivery Area or by Chisholm Online’s administration team for Chisholm Online students. 

Student Undertaking Forms 

All students attending placement must complete and sign a Student Undertaking Form and provide a copy to the host prior to commencing placement. 

The Student Undertaking Form confirms to the host that: 

  • the student has completed all pre-placement checks relevant to their placement and
  • the student understands and will meet all their obligations while on placement. 

If your organisation has specific requirements for student induction, conduct or pre- placement checks, these can be included in the Student Undertaking Form. 

Client testimonial

‘Rebecca was a mature, intelligent young woman and we thoroughly enjoyed having her in our organisation on placement. She will make an excellent community worker”
- Ann Burgess, Chief Executive Officer, South East Volunteers