Faculty of Education

Professional Experience

Welcome to Professional Experience in the Faculty of Education!

Professional Experience - Early Childhood
Professional Experience - Secon
Professional Experience - Secondary

Professional Experience is an integral part of preparing for a profession in education. It is a core requirement of our teaching degrees, a component that helps link theoretical studies to practice. Professional Experience aims to help prepare students for the multitude of roles in Primary and Secondary schools and Early Childhood environments and provides opportunities to develop professional communication skills and exposure to a variety of educational environments and workplaces to prepare for the profession.


All students who enrol in a Bachelor of Education or a Master of Teaching must undertake Professional Experience. Students undertake professional experience in a variety of educational settings, full-time, for a number of weeks each year. The Bachelor of Education requires a minimum of 80 days for the degree while the Master of Teaching requires a minimum of 60 days.  It is a student's responsibility to ensure they have completed the correct number of days prior to graduation.

Professional Experience Office

University of Tasmania, School of Education, Locked Bag 1307 LAUNCESTON 7250


Sarah Reaburn

Sarah Reaburn

Coordinator, Professional Experience
(General enquiries, CAN notifications, Variation Requests)

Email: Sarah.Reaburn@utas.edu.au
Tel: 03 6324 3154

Ann Brown

Ann Brown

Professional Experience Administrative Assistant
(Enquiries regarding Assessment Reports and Payment Claims)

Email: Ann.Brown@utas.edu.au
Tel: 03 6324 3424

Trudy Griggs

Trudy Griggs

Professional Experience Placement Officer
(Southern Tasmania, NSW, QLD, NT, ACT, WA and SA)

Email: Trudy.Griggs@utas.edu.au
Tel: 03 6324 3280

Susan Lister

Susan Lister

Professional Experience Placement Officer
(North and North West Tasmania, Victoria)

Email: Susan.Lister@utas.edu.au
Tel: 03 6324 3248

Professional Experience

Get the latest information regarding profession experience placements.

The University of Tasmania's (UTAS) Faculty of Education offers the following teaching degrees:

  • Bachelor of Education (a four year undergraduate degree) Early Childhood, Primary and Specialisations.
  • Bachelor of Education (Applied Learning) (a four year undergraduate degree) with a focus on teaching in the Vocational Education and Training sector.
  • Graduate Certificate in Education (Early Childhood) (a two year postgraduate degree) with a focus on teaching children aged from Birth – 8 years.
  • Master of Teaching (a two year graduate entry degree) with specialisations in Primary and Secondary.

The Faculty of Education is the sole provider of tertiary teaching qualifications in Tasmania and graduates are employed in educational or education-related settings throughout Australia and overseas. The Faculty is recognised as a quality provider of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research.

Each of the degree courses incorporates regular compulsory teaching and learning opportunities for preservice and in-service teachers in school settings. Professional Experience placements are sequential learning experiences designed to complement the pedagogical units and specialist studies completed as part of each degree course completed at UTAS. Each Professional Experience is a pre-requisite for the next.

The Professional Experience program in the Faculty of Education at UTAS is founded upon collaborative partnerships with schools and other professional educational settings. Such placements play a pivotal part in teacher preparation with colleague teachers and supervisors having a significant role in sharing professional knowledge and practices with students at different stages of their professional learning journey. Professional Experience placements assist students to develop a broad understanding of teachers' work and to make sense of educational practices. It facilitates a deeper understanding of, and connection between, the theoretical concepts and practical applications in a range of educational settings.

All students must read and agree to the following conditions of placement when applying on the Student Placement Management System (SPMS). Applying for placement on SPMS will be considered an acceptance of these conditions)

  1. Students must adhere to all Professional Experience Guidelines when applying for and undertaking placement, failure to adhere to the guidelines will result in a withdrawal from placement and a fail result, without the possibility of repeating in the same calendar year.
  2. Prior to undertaking placement it is the student's responsibility to ensure they have obtained the relevant working with children documentation required for professional experience.
  3. Students must complete and return the Safe to Practice Declaration each calendar year. If there is any change to the information provided, students must complete a new declaration.
  4. Students are required to be aware of when placements are scheduled and must make the necessary necessary arrangements to ensure they are available to undertake placement during the designated times. Consideration must also be given to the additional out of hours' time required for preparation and planning whilst on placement. Please check the Calendar for placement timing.
  5. The Professional Experience Office will endeavour to place students in a range of educational settings; however, requests for specific educational sites by the student cannot be accommodated.
  6. Students who do not apply for, or decline to accept their allocated Professional Experience placement, without an approved variation form being submitted to the Coordinator, Professional Experience will be awarded an NN result for the placement and will be required to reenrol in the unit the following year.
  7. Students should expect to be allocated to an available placement, this may require travel and all students must be prepared to travel to their allocated placement and prepared for any costs associated with this travel.
  8. Students must give thoughtful consideration to their placement request because once placements have been confirmed with the school they cannot be changed.
  9. Students requesting a rural/remote placement or a placement away from a home-based location will be expected to meet all expenses associated with travel and accommodation. Students undertaking their final placement in Tasmania may be eligible to apply for funding under the Tasmanian Department of Education's Professional Experience in Isolated and Rural Schools (PEIRS) program which may assist in the cost of travel and accommodation. Please contact the Coordinator, Professional Experience for more information about the PEIRS program.
  10. It the responsibility of students who are on Learning Access Plans (LAPS) email their LAP through to the Coordinator, Professional Experience to discuss any accommodations required for their placement.
  11. Under no circumstances are students from any course to approach a school site or individual teacher to secure a placement without permission from the Coordinator, Professional Experience. Failure to adhere to this requirement will render the student ineligible for placement for that calendar year.
  12. The Professional Experience Office will inform students via their UTAS email address when placement information can be viewed on SPMS. The majority of students can expect to be contacted by the Professional Experience Office no later than 1 week prior to the commencement of their placement.
  13. The Professional Experience Office will endeavour to have all students placed for the scheduled placement period. However, on occasion, it may be necessary for placements to be arranged outside of the formally scheduled round for that PE placement. The Professional Experience Office will advise those students should this occur. Note: The Graduate Certificate of Education (Early Childhood) does not have scheduled placement periods.
  14. Students must disclose any conflict of interest when applying for placement – please see the guidelines for the definition of conflict of interest.
  15. Students are able to undertake placements in schools where they volunteer, provided no other conflict of interest exists.
  16. Students must regularly check their UTAS email account for correspondence and should not forward the University email to another personal email account, the University will accept no responsibility for lost emails from forwarding. All University correspondence is done via UTAS email accounts.

All students must ensure that they apply for and receive the required clearance to attend their Professional Experience placement. Failure to do so will mean the student is unable to undertake their Professional Experience placement at the scheduled time.

Students undertaking placement in Tasmania must complete

NOTE: Graduate Certificate of Education (Early Childhood) students must be registered teachers.

Students who undertake Professional Experience outside of Tasmania require the relevant clearance to work with children. It is the student's responsibility to provide a copy of this clearance to the Professional Experience Office prior to commencing placement.

NOTE: Graduate Certificate of Education (Early Childhood) students must be registered teachers.

South Australia
Western Australia
New South Wales
Northern Territory
Australian Capital Territory

Government school forms can be obtained by phoning (02) 62055000.

PE in an ACT Catholic school requires a form through the CEO

Outside Australia

It is the student's responsibility to ensure that they are able to undertake Professional Experience in their country of residence and meet any legislation requirements.

Students must provide evidence to the Professional Experience Office, that they have applied/met the legislation requirements of the relevant Country, in order for placement to be confirmed.

Safe to Practise Policy

UTAS is committed to continuously improving the management and standards of occupational health and safety and in so doing we strive to protect the health and safety of our students and other people in the community with whom students interact as part of their study.

All students undertaking professional experience within the Faculty of Education are required to acknowledge and sign a declaration that they have read the Safe to Practise Policy [PDF 123KB] and disclose their capacity to safely undertake the professional experience placement functional and inherent requirements.

In accordance with the University of Tasmania's Safe to Practise Policy and Work Health and Safety Policy, all students required to undertake placement(s) are to establish and maintain their medical, physical and psychological capacity to practise safely.

Please note – students undertaking Classroom Observation as part of the Unit ESH102 do not need to complete this form – it is only required for students undertaking formal Professional Experience Placements.

Safe to Practise Declaration and Medical Check Form

Please note that you only need to complete the medical check form if you need to make a disclosure.  This form only needs to be completed once per year unless there is any change to the information.

Please note the following:

  • Declaring a medical, physical and/or psychological condition will not automatically exclude you from undertaking a Professional Experience placement.
  • UTAS is committed to anti-discrimination practices and will provide reasonable adjustments to enable students to participate in placements as long as safety requirements are not compromised.
  • Your health information will only be used for the direct purpose for which it is collected. If you do not provide the information requested you may be refused a placement.

This documentation is viewed by the School of Education, Professional Experience Office with two possible outcomes:

1. All students who establish their capacity to practise safely are deemed eligible to fully participate in the relevant course and undertake professional experience placements.

2. The Professional Experience Office reviews the documentation of any student identified as having a medical, physical or psychological impairment to:

  • decide the student's eligibility to undertake placement; and
  • identify possible reasonable adjustments for a student who is able to undertake a supported placement

There are several opportunities available for alternative placements, such as International and Remote Area Placements. For more information please view the information below or contact the Coordinator, Professional Experience.

Students are unable to complete their final placements internationally; final placements must be completed in Australia.

The majority of the professional experience days must be completed in Australia and usually only one placement during the course of your degree may be considered internationally.

International Placement Process:

Email Sarah.Reaburn@utas.edu.au to query if it is possible to undertake placement internationally and gain approval. Upon doing so it is the student's responsibility to source an acceptable international school in which to complete their placement.

International Placements can take up to 8 weeks for approval, so student's must bear this in mind when considering an International Placement.

  • The colleague teacher must be eligible for registration with the Teachers Registration Board of Tasmania (TRB).
  • The colleague teacher must 4 year undergraduate degree which included a practicum placement of at least 80 days in a school environment, or a 3 year undergraduate degree and a 2 year post graduate teaching qualification with a practicum placement of at least 60 days in a school environment.
  • The colleague teacher must demonstrate proficiency in English – An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic assessment with an average band score of 7.5 across all four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading writing - where no score is below 7 in any of the four skill areas and 8 in speaking and listening
  • The class must be teaching a 'normal' school curriculum – not TESOL.
  • The class must be taught in the English language.
  • Colleague Teacher must agree to documentation being sent and evaluated by the TRB
  • Placement should ideally be undertaken in a Group 1 Country: Republic of Ireland, Canada (tertiary studies must have been completed in English), United Kingdom, New Zealand, and United States of America – for a Group 2 Country (all countries other than those in Group 1) please contact Sarah Reaburn for more information.
  • Tasmania

    There are several opportunities in Tasmania for placements in areas which are considered isolated including the West Coast, King Island and Flinders Island. These placements are available to students, although not for the first professional experience placement. All associated costs for isolated placements must be covered by the students.

    FOR FINAL PLACEMENTS ONLY there may be some financial assistance with placements in rural and isolated areas within Tasmania with the PIERS scholarship program PEIRS-Program. The PEIRS program encourages pre-service teachers to undertake school experience in participating rural and isolated schools by providing support for accommodation and travel. The intention of the program is to support students who must relocate to undertake their placement. Participating schools manage the costs associated for each eligible pre-service teacher and are reimbursed for these costs at the end of the program. If you are considering a rural or isolated school for your final placement please contact the PE Office before you submit an application.


    Remote placements in WA/NT/QLD are only available to students completing their final placement with approval from the PE office, all associated costs must be met by the student. Students requesting to undertake a placement in a remote location should contact the PE office for more information. Specific requirements for undertaking such a placement are:

    • Students must have a credit average for their academic studies across their years of study
    • Preference will be given to students who have undertaken units in remote and isolated teaching and indigenous studies
    • Students must attain UP (ungraded pass) in all previous professional experience placements
    • Availability of locations is limited and not all students who apply can be guaranteed of a remote placement
    • Students must submit an application via SPMS as well as speaking with the PE office in regards to a request for a remote placement
    • Students must be prepared to meet all costs associated with undertaking their final placement in a remote location

    Please contact the Professional Experience Office for more information on either of these placement opportunities

    The School of Education recognises that a conflict of interest may arise from a number of situations, including family connections/relationships or paid employment, and students must identify and avoid settings where such "conflict of interest" may arise. UTAS Conflict of Interest Policy.

    Some examples of conflict of interest: the student has a family member/relative/friend who works at a site where they may be placed; the student has a family member/relative/friend who attends a site where they may be placed; the student has a working relationship with the site where they may be placed.

    Failure to declare a "conflict of interest" will result in automatic withdrawal and failure of the placement and may be viewed as academic misconduct.

    Students in any doubt regarding the suitability of their placements should seek advice from the Coordinator, Professional Experience.

    Students who are past their first year in their chosen degree and are in a paid teaching position within an educational setting (including a Limited Authority to Teach - LAT) cannot undertake PE in their normal teaching role. This would constitute being paid for completing Professional Experience and is not allowable.

    Graduate Certificate of Education (Early Childhood) Students

    Students may complete placements in their own school/centre under the following conditions:

    • registered teacher.
    • The Centre Director or School Principal at the placement site is not a relative.
    • The student is not being supervised by a family member/relative.
    • The student is not teaching their own children's class/room.

    The Faculty of Education recognises that a conflict of interest may arise from a number of situations, including family connections/relationships therefore students must identify and avoid settings where such "conflict of interest" may arise. Failure to declare a "conflict of interest" will result in automatic withdrawal and failure of the placement and may be viewed as academic misconduct. Students in any doubt regarding the suitability of their placements should seek advice from the Coordinator, Professional Experience.

    The dates of Professional Experience can only be changed in exceptional circumstances (e.g. on medical grounds or significant life events such as bereavement). Exceptional circumstances will need to be substantiated with a range of documentation and consultation processes with the Coordinator, Professional Experience.

    In the first instance the student needs to complete a Variation Request to undertake the placement at an alternative time and return this to the Professional Experience Office as soon as possible or by the close of applications on SPMS.

    Requests will be considered by the Coordinator, Professional Experience. The final decision will rest with the Professional Experience Director who will approve or decline the student's request. All students will attend placement on the dates nominated in the PE Calendar unless a variation form is submitted and approved.

    1. Variations would not normally be approved for: work commitments, childcare requirements, holidays or events which can be planned for such as weddings and celebrations.
    2. Variations would normally be approved for: illness, accident or any unplanned significant event such as bereavement or a palliative care for a family member. These events must be supported by relevant documentation when seeking variation approval.

    A denied variation will mean the student will be required to make arrangements to undertake the placement at the time in the Professional Experience calendar or wait until the associated placement time in the Professional Experience calendar the following year.

    The School of Education strongly encourages all pre-service teachers to maintain regular contact with schools.

    For this reason, volunteering in an educational setting or classroom is highly recommended for all students, regardless of study mode or pattern of attendance. In addition, many units require students to have access to an educational setting, so being involved in an ongoing volunteering arrangement would be highly beneficial.

    We suggest, where possible, that you approach a school or educational setting with which you have already had some contact (e.g., your child attends the school, it is in your local area). Contact the school Principal or other appropriate person and make a convenient time to meet. In the meeting you should use the points below to explain what volunteering involves, and if appropriate, negotiate a regular time commitment.

    The nature of the volunteering experience should be negotiated with the appropriate person at the educational setting, and may involve some of the following:

    • Work in the same classroom/educational setting each week.
    • Work with a teacher who is able to utilise you in a productive way each week.
    • Work with individual children/students, on activities appropriate to the age group and educational setting.
    • Provide assistance for the classroom teacher in preparing learning centres, resources, displays, etc.
    • Observe children/students closely to monitor their learning.
    • Observe classroom interactions closely to better understand the dynamics of the educational setting.
    • Develop positive relationships with children/students, staff and others in the educational community.

    In addition, please observe the following:

    • Make yourself aware of policies in the educational setting in regard to behaviour, bullying, dress/uniform, computer use, etc.
    • Do not take legal responsibility for teaching the children/students.
    • Do not manage the behaviour of children/students. You can remind children/students of the rules/boundaries and alert the teacher.

    It is an expectation that any student who undertakes an initial teacher education (ITE) degree will have a high standard of personal literacy and numeracy.

    From 1 July 2016 it is the national policy that all initial teacher education students will be expected to sit and meet the benchmark of the national Literacy and Numeracy Test prior to graduation. Further information about the implementation of the national Test is available on the StudentsFirst website.

    In the interim, the Faculty of Education has developed Literacy and Numeracy Competency Tests which you are required to PASS before the end of your first year of study to be eligible to commence Professional Experience 1 (PE1) for Bachelor of Education or Professional Experience 3 (PE3) for Master of Teaching.

    A PASS is a score of 80% or higher. Further information about the Faculty of Education's Literacy and Numeracy Competency Tests is available on our website. The Literacy & Numeracy Competency Tests will be available in MyLO and linked to your Year 1 Literacy and Numeracy units.

    If you have any queries about the Faculty of Education Literacy and Numeracy Competency Tests please email: Education.Landn@utas.edu.au .

    • The Faculty of Education abides by UTAS regulations. All educational organisations have obligations under the UTAS Work Health & Safety (WHS) Policy [PDF 121KB] and UTAS specifies that if an accident or injury occurs to a student whilst on Professional Experience placement, in order to protect all parties involved, they must adhere to the following procedure:
      • The student and School Principal must complete an Accident and Incident Form from that organisation, with a copy being forwarded to the Professional Experience Office within 24 hours of the incident occurring.
      • The Professional Experience Office will then forward a copy of the Accident and Incident Form to the UTAS WHS unit to ensure all parties are informed.
      • Public liability indemnity [PDF 608KB] is provided to students who suffer personal injury or property damage whilst on Professional Experience placements.
      • If medical treatment is required, costs incurred by students, beyond that covered by the Medicare scheme, may be claimed through the UTAS Personal Accident Insurance on 03 6324 3777.
      • This insurance cover is administered by UTAS Student Organisations and all enquiries should be directed to the SA Financial Controller on 03 6324 3777.
      • Students must not claim costs through the educational site's Worker's Compensation Fund.

    Attendance for the total amount of stipulated days for the Professional Experience placement is mandatory, regardless of prior teaching experiences, work and family commitments or unforeseen circumstances. Students are to adhere to work hours, in relation to the arrival and departure times set for staff at that school or other educational setting. Students must be punctual at all times and must not leave the site early or arrive late unless this has been approved by UTAS staff and the school Principal.

    Please note: studying the course part-time still means the student must attend the site for full-days for Professional Experience.

    Please note: Graduate Certificate of Education (Early Childhood) students may complete their placement on a part-time basis being conditional upon the completion of a minimum of 3 consecutive days per week, and that the placement complies with the full quota of placement days. Attendance for the total amount of stipulated days for the Professional Experience placement is mandatory, regardless of prior teaching experiences, work and family commitments or unforeseen circumstances. Students are to adhere to work hours, in relation to the arrival and departure times set for full-time staff at that school or educational setting. Students must be punctual at all times.

    Students must attend for 100% of the allocated days with all days missed owing to public holiday, illness or unforeseen circumstances being required to be made up to complete the attendance requirements of the Professional Experience placement. Professional learning days undertaken by the student at his/her allocated educational site are counted as part of the Professional Experience placement.

    Any absences must be documented on a Leave of Absence / Negotiated Days form [PDF 232KB] form.

    It is a student's responsibility to ensure they have completed the correct number of days prior to graduation.

    If industrial action is being taken by teachers at the educational site then the student still needs to report for duty. The student is advised to seek clarification of the situation at their site. At such times, the student cannot be given sole responsibility for any group of students who attend school during the strike action, but can use this time for planning purposes.

    Students will be granted up to one days leave from their host school for each exam they need to sit at the end of semester.

    Any absence for any reason, including examination, will need to be made up. Students are to negotiate this day/s with the colleague teacher and complete the Leave of Absence / Negotiated Days form [PDF 232KB].

    For ALL absences the student must contact the school/colleague teacher before the teaching day commences, preferably the afternoon before.

    Following any absence from placement a Leave of Absence Form/ Negotiated Days Absence Form must be completed by the student on the first day he/she returns to the school and submitted to the Professional Experience Office along with relevant documentation. It is important to note that the student and colleague teacher should not sign off the final report or enter the number of days completed until the negotiated days are undertaken.

    A medical certificate or other evidence is required for absences longer than one day in duration. In such situations the student is required to provide a medical certificate or other form of evidence for absence to the school on return to the site.

    The student must negotiate with the Colleague Teacher to make up the appropriate number of days missed at a mutually convenient time after the scheduled completion of the round. Students are to complete the Leave of Absence / Negotiated Days form [PDF 232KB].

    Please note: it is not possible to make up missed days when University lectures and tutorials that the student must attend are scheduled.

    Failure to complete the specified days for each placement will result in the student being unable to fulfill registration requirements of a graduate teacher at the completion of the degree course being undertaken.

    At times students can be called upon to complete jury duty at the same time as their Professional Experience placement. Being called for jury duty does not exempt the student from completing the placement. The student will be required to undertake the planned placement at a later date, if unable to be excused from service. In this case a Variation Request must be completed.

    A student that is pregnant while on placement will need to get a medical practitioner to sign off on the Safe-To-Practise form stating the expected date of delivery of the baby and giving clearance for the student to undertake the Professional Experience placement.

    In general, schools adhere to government policies which will not permit the student to undertake a placement six weeks prior to, or six weeks after, the birth of the child.

    Students must not be in possession of, nor consume, alcohol or illegal substances on educational properties. Such acts will result in immediate termination of the placement with the student being requested to show why his/her candidature in the degree should continue. Smoking is prohibited on all school properties.

    Students must be aware that the Code of Conduct applies to their own behaviour towards others, including students, Colleague Teachers, parents, students, and members of the school community. Further, students are advised that if they experience any of these behaviours themselves, they need to approach the individual(s) involved and tell them that their actions or words have been offensive. Generally when people are made aware of the situation they will correct the behaviour if given the opportunity to do so.

    Students have an obligation, under UTAS Ordinance 9, Student Discipline [PDF 78KB], to meet behavioural requirements, including during Professional Experience placements.

    When undertaking a placement students are expected to develop behaviour practices in accordance with the educational organisation at which they are placed. The University deems certain behaviour to be inappropriate. These behaviours are those that demonstrate disrespect for others or a lack of professionalism in interpersonal conduct. Certain actions are not tolerated by the University and these include, but are not limited to:

    • physical contact (e.g. hitting, slapping, kicking, or pushing) with others, or the threat of such behaviours;
    • the use of inappropriate language;
    • sexual harassment or harassment based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, natural origin, religion, disability or sexual orientation;
    • loss of personal civility including shouting, public or private humiliation, and displays of temper;
    • discrimination of any form including teaching and assessment based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability or sexual orientation.

    Students may elect to speak to their Professional Experience Mentor (see Roles and Responsibilities section at the end of this document) for informal advice or counsel about these issues. Subsequently, the Professional Experience Mentor may decide to speak to the school principal about the issue. If no satisfactory solution is reached after these discussions then the matter can be brought to the formal attention of the Director of Professional Experience in writing (by letter or email specifying the allegations). Procedures related to Grievance Procedures can be found in the final section of this document.

    Students are not permitted to make statements to the media regarding Professional Experience matters. All students are expected to demonstrate a professional approach to teaching and to the associated roles in educational settings. They are required to function in a responsible manner in the day to day operation of the school and its community. As students progress through their course they are expected to demonstrate increased competence and professional growth, both in their academic studies and in their in-school placements.

    As students progress through their in-school placements during their degree course they are expected to engage in the wider life of the school or educational community. These responsibilities include observing and gradually undertaking a range of activities undertaken by practising teachers within their local community.

    University staff supports students during their Professional Experience placements. During a placement the student may communicate personally or via phone or email with University staff responsible for mentoring them or with an appropriate Professional Experience Leader. It is advisable to seek assistance before any problem escalates.

    Whilst on Professional Experience placements, students can be exposed to school-students' personal records and undertake discussions relating to the education and well-being of school-students. This information must not be divulged or discussed in any manner outside of the school context in which it occurred. Students must respect confidentiality. It is absolutely imperative that students DO NOT use social websites to discuss matters pertaining to schools, teachers etc., or have students as 'friends' on their Facebook site.

    During lecture or tutorial sessions in which discussions or debriefing relating to Professional Experience occurs, students are reminded that their comments should not identify specific individuals or organisations. In addition, any comments relating to specific individuals or organisations are not to be repeated outside of the discussion or debriefing sessions. For more information please see the UTAS Privacy Policy [PDF 138KB].

    Photographs and student work samples cannot be taken, copied or retained without parental/student permission. If requiring such samples, please discuss the school's protocols with the colleague teacher and/or Principal. This includes the reproduction of photographs on social network sites.

    In cases where a student needs to discuss further any issues raised in a session that relate to specific individuals or organisations, they should do so with a member of academic staff. Breaches of confidentiality can be subject to legal action. Criticism of educational personnel in a defamatory way, especially if such criticism becomes public knowledge, could result in civil court action being taken against the student by the person who believes he/she has been defamed.

    Students need to be aware that corporal punishment is banned in all school settings.

    On occasions during the course and on Professional Experience placements, students can experience a range of personal problems, including depression or anxiety, adjustment problems or loss and grief. The counselling services at UTAS offer comprehensive professional, confidential and free counselling services to students that can assist in supporting them in such situations.

    Students must meet the requirements of their school site for the duration of their placement. These may relate to such things as visible tattoos, body piercings, wearing of jeans, mini-skirts, low cut pants or t-shirts, certain types of footwear and hair styling or colouring. Students are advised to lean towards conservatism in their dressing and personal presentation.

    School Principals and staff are responsible for the duty of care of all students who undertake Professional Experience placements in the school. Likewise, students have a duty of care to all school-students who are in the class/classes taught. Accidents to school students which occur during activities being taken by a student are the responsibility of the Colleague Teacher supervising the lesson.

    All accidents incurred by school-students must be reported to the Colleague Teacher in the first instance. Students have a responsibility to ensure they are familiar with all safety procedures (e.g. fire evacuation), and the location of safety equipment (e.g. first aid kits and fire extinguishers) at their educational site, as early as possible in their placement. Students need to know where their Colleague Teacher is at all times and should be able to summon him/her immediately at all times. The Colleague Teacher retains legal responsibility for the class at all times. Legally, students cannot to be left in charge of any class of students, in any location, at any time during any Professional Experience placement.

    All students need to be fully aware of the mandatory reporting requirements of known or suspected child abuse. If a student undertaking a professional experience knows, or suspects that a student is being abused or neglected, they must notify the Child Protection Advice and Referral Service (CPAARS) on 1300 737 639. Discussion with the school or college Principal about this notification is extremely important for the ongoing effective communication and provision of support for the student and the student's family; however it is not mandatory to do so under the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act, 1997.

    Students need to ensure they adhere to Copyright Laws when undertaking photocopying at their placement school and be informed about the procedures for photocopy use in that school. These procedures must be strictly adhered to at all times during the Professional Experience placement.

    Colleague teachers will request an overview of planning for each week the student is undertaking placement. The colleague teacher and the student will negotiate the timeframe that lesson plans will be submitted, in writing, in advance of a session being taught. This will allow for meaningful discussion, reflection and also adaptation of planning as the student develops. The colleague teacher will expect the student to plan at an appropriate level and be responsible for submitting planning at the negotiated time.

    If a student withdraws themselves from a Professional Experience placement once the placement has been confirmed, either prior to commencing or during the placement an NN (fail) grade will be awarded. If sufficient documentation is provided and approval is provided, prior to the student withdrawing, and approval is given by the Coordinator, Professional Experience the student may be awarded an AO (assessment ongoing) and given the opportunity to complete the placement later in the year.   If the student withdraws without approval of the professional experience office an NN (fail) grade will be awarded.

    Failure to complete the correct withdrawal or deferment requirements may put future placements, and therefore progression through the degree, in jeopardy.

    Prior to enrolling in the unit for a second attempt at the professional experience placement – the student must meet with a PE leader and complete an IPP as per the process stated in What happens if I am not successful in a professional experience placement.

    Students can, in certain circumstances, be withdrawn from the professional experience placement by the Director of Professional Experience, Professional Experience Leader, or designated representative University staff member. They may be withdrawn from a placement where:

    • They have demonstrated behaviour which is affecting the care and safety of self or others.
    • They fail to demonstrate the level of competence and knowledge required to complete the placement they are undertaking.
    • They fail to abide by the professional conduct required by the educational site at which they are placed.

    On each of these occasions the student will receive a fail (NN) award for that placement. Where there are concerns about the student's performance, the Cautionary Advice Notice procedures need to be followed. If the student is withdrawn due to any of the above circumstances, they will receive a Fail (NN) award for that Professional Experience placement.

    Prior to enrolling in the unit for a second attempt at the professional experience placement – the student must meet with a PE leader and complete an IPP as per the process stated in What happens if I am not successful in a professional experience placement.

    Students can also be withdrawn when their personal health and well-being is seen to be compromised. In such cases the student will receive an 'Assessment Ongoing' (AO) award for that placement and allowed the opportunity to complete placement at a later date. Approval for this must be granted by the Professional Experience Office.

    A Cautionary Advice Notice indicates to all parties that there are concerns with the pre-service teacher's performance against one or more of the standards in the assessment report.

    Receiving a CAN does not constitute probable failure but serves as an indication that some aspect(s) of performance are not meeting the designated expectations. The form should be completed in collaboration with the above parties, and returned to the  Coordinator, Professional Experience immediately. Doing so will ensure that appropriate support is provided by Faculty of Education staff for both the pre-service teacher and Colleague Teacher. Please note unless there is malfeasance, a failure award cannot be ratified unless a CAN form is completed and is forwarded to the Coordinator, Professional Experience during the professional experience placement.

    CAN Process

    The Colleague Teacher should first discuss (with written documentation) any concerns with the pre-service teacher, the nature of the issue(s). The pre-service teacher should be given time (3 days) to allay concerns. If this is not completed or if there is a repetition of the concern(s) we strongly recommend the immediate use of the "CAN" form.

    • The CAN process is normally put in place midway through the placement, although earlier and later notifications would also be in order if the pre-service teacher's performance warrants this action to be taken. The procedure may be initiated by either the Colleague Teacher or the University Mentor.
    • The Colleague Teacher provides the pre-service teacher with the completed copy of the CAN form..
    • The Colleague Teacher immediately emails this completed CAN form to the Coordinator, Professional Experience.
    • The pre-service teacher's CAN status will be recorded on an CAN register which is maintained by the Coordinator, Professional Experience.
    • A meeting will then be held between the pre-service teacher, the University Mentor and the Colleague Teacher to plan to support the student in the area/s in which he/she needs to demonstrate improved performance. An action plan will be completed and signed by all parties involved.
    • Close contact will be maintained between University staff, school personnel and the pre-service teacher in order to monitor progress. A follow up meeting between all parties should be arranged if deemed necessary.
    • Subsequently, if the pre-service teacher shows satisfactory improvement in the identified areas he/she would be expected to pass the placement.
    • If the pre-service teacher fails to make satisfactory progress to allow him/her to achieve a successful outcome for the placement a fail grade will be awarded.

    Students who fail the same unit twice may be excluded from the course for a period of 12 months

    The University has a variety of counselling and career support services available which may assist the student at this time.

    If a student is not successful in completing a professional experience placement an NN (fail) grade will be awarded. The student must complete an Individual Preparation Plan with their PE Leader, and be successfully signed off on all requirements with the approval of their PE Leader, prior to being eligible to enrol in the next available offering of the professional experience unit. The student will be required to undertake the placement again in full, with no credit given to an incomplete or unsuccessful placement.

    A meeting will be conducted to outline the details of the IPP and what is required in order to successfully complete the IPP including any goals or actions. Support will be offered to the student by the n PE Leader during the IPP process. IPP form must be signed by the student and a PE leader, and submitted to the Professional Experience Office.

    Once the PE Leader has advised the PE Office that the IPP has been completed satisfactorily, the student is able to enrol in the next available offering of the Professional Experience Unit and apply for their placement.

    Completion of an IPP does not guarantee successful completion of the placement – the intention is to provide the student with appropriate support and guidance prior to re-attempting placement.

    The assessment documentation for the student is completed by the Colleague Teacher and/or the school Principal, or his/her representative, on the final day of the placement. At the completion of a Professional Experience the Colleague Teacher should email the completed report to The Professional Experience Office, keeping a copy for the school and emailing a copy to the student.

    The report must be submitted by the school rather than given to the student to hand to the university.

    A number of situations arise during Professional Experience placements that can give rise to grievances. The Faculty of Education deems that Professional Experience for students should have a set of standards that are common across all experiences offered. The student must display developmental professional progress across all placements.

    If a 'fail' award is received the student needs to meet with the Academic Director of Professional Experience to discuss issues arising and to consider future pathways. Further, it is the right of the student to appeal his/her award. Appeals must be undertaken through the normal appeal processes within the University and Faculty of Education

    All efforts will be made to maintain confidentiality within the resolution process and to the execution of a prompt and fair investigation and/or resolution of any complaint.

    The Faculty of Education will not tolerate any form of retaliatory behaviour (including comments made on social media), by any person towards any parties, who undertake grievances in good faith.

    All records of communications, as well as written reports, will be kept in the Faculty of Education's files.

    The Professional Experience process is a collaborative one, with many parties involved in the process. All need to work cooperatively to ensure each Professional Experience program reaches its goals. The roles and responsibilities of each are outlined below.

    The Academic Director, Professional Experience holds an academic position and is responsible for leading and coordinating the Faculty's Professional Experience program across all courses.

    • Work with internal and external stakeholders in establishing a collaborative and coherent model for Professional Experience within all the Faculty's courses.
    • Develops effective working partnerships with educational communities to ensure that students receive quality placement experiences.
    • Undertake the effective dissemination of policies and guidelines with attention being focussed on quality practices and outcomes in all aspects of Professional Experience.
    • Provide advice to the Dean's Leadership Group to assist in the management process and structure for Professional Experience, Faculty–wide.
    • Provide liaison between, and amongst, Faculty colleagues working in all areas of Professional Experience.
    • Ensure the supervision of students in schools and other educational settings is undertaken effectively.
    • Determine final decisions in matters related to Professional Experience.

    The Professional Experience Coordinator is responsible for overseeing placements for all students across all courses.

    • The Coordinator, Professional Experience provides administrative leadership within the Faculty for the Professional Experience component of all Education courses, in collaboration with the Academic Director, Professional Experience.
    • Coordinates the successful placement of students for the professional experience component of their courses as well as the development and implementation of the Professional Experience Guidelines.
    • Provides the first point of contact regarding Professional Experience queries for students, faculty staff, both academic and administrative, and school personnel.
    • Ensures the timely circulation of Professional Experience placement request information to students.
    • Ensures the student has the necessary pre-requisites before placement is confirmed.
    • Works collaboratively with the Professional Experience Office staff in fulfilling the administrative demands of Professional Experience.
    • Maintain appropriate records (e.g. 'Cautionary Advice Notice' register).

    The Professional Experience Officers work closely with the Coordinator, Professional Experience to ensure the efficient and effective implementation of the School of Education's Professional Experience program for students.

    • Initiate contact with schools and other educational sites regarding the placement of students.
    • Match student requests for placements with availability of educational sites.
    • Provide educational sites with the relevant information for that Professional Experience placement.
    • Communicate effectively with all parties involved in the placement process, including School Coordinators, students and UTAS academic staff

    The Professional Experience Administrative Assistant assists with administrative tasks within the Professional Experience Office.

    • Process assessment reports for students
    • Maintain professional experience files
    • Process colleague teacher payments
    • Provide administrative support to the Professional Experience Office.

    A member of the Faculty of Education teaching staff that is responsible for overseeing PE placements in their relevant area, and provides support for pre-service and colleague teachers as required.

    • Be available to discuss aspects of a student's Professional Experience placement with others.
    • Liaise with the Professional Experience Office regarding difficulties and concerns students may have with their placements.
    • Support Colleague Teachers in the supervision of the student as required, by cooperatively attending to any problems which arise during the Professional Experience placement.
    • Respond to concerns regarding a student's performance and inform the Professional Experience office.
    • Document and maintain any written records associated with students placed on 'Cautionary Advice Notice' status.
    • Prepare Individual Preparation Plans for students who have failed a Professional Experience placement, monitor progress and recommend readiness to undertake Professional Experience to the Professional Experience Office.
    • Assist with the supervision of University Professional Experience Mentors as required.

    The Professional Experience Mentor at UTAS is the representative liaising between the University, the Education Setting and student.

    • Establish and maintain regular contact (via phone or email) with allocated students while on their respective Professional Experience placements.
    • Complete visits to observe the student undertaking teaching when required by circumstances or by students' particular course requirements.
    • If educational site visits are required, spend time talking with the colleague teachers and students and senior staff members as required, taking note of the guidelines for school visits as administered by the Academic Director, Professional Experience.
    • On such visits discuss the student's progress and grading with the colleague teacher prior to the completion of the final report being completed by the colleague teacher.
    • Seek the support of the relevant Professional Experience Leader/Academic Director, Professional Experience for advice, especially where the student is potentially at risk of failure.
    • Complete the necessary documentation associated with the visit, including the Communication Form and if necessary, the 'Cautionary Advice Notice' form.

    The responsibilities in Professional Experience are sometimes shared between one or more members of senior staff at the school, usually the Principal, Assistant Principal or AST.

    • Encourage teachers who display high level teaching abilities to undertake the supervision of students.
    • Organise appropriate supervision for the student who has been accepted for teaching placement at the school or other educational setting.
    • Undertake administrative responsibilities for the student whilst on the educational site.
    • Ensure that for legal reasons the student is not left in sole charge of a class at any point in time during the Professional Experience placement, as legal responsibility for the class always remains with the Colleague Teacher.
    • Liaise with the Professional Experience Office concerning any issues that may arise whilst students are on placement.
    • Orient students to school policies and procedures.
    • Alert the Professional Experience Office regarding student absences or misconduct.
    • Oversee the return of assessment reports and payment documentation to the Professional Experience Office at the completion of the placement.

    The colleague teacher is a qualified, registered teacher with a degree or equivalent in education. The colleague teacher is a critical member of the supervision team and thus the quality of the supervision and support provided is significant in the professional growth of the student.

    • Model best practice in planning, teaching and assessment.
    • Act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights and privileges of the student with special reference to excellence in performance and freedom of expression.
    • Maintain a professional learning relationship with students.
    • Become familiar with the expectations for students on Professional Experience as set out in the relevant Professional Experience documents.
    • Introduce the student to all teaching and support staff.
    • Provide advice and leadership regarding school procedures and protocols (including areas such as dress protocols; behaviour support procedures; responsibilities related to the overall operation of the school).
    • Supervise all of the student's lessons.
    • Expect to see and review written lesson plans daily.
    • Expect students to write and discuss constructive self-evaluations concerning their professional learning and development.
    • Provide constructive oral and written feedback regularly to students on their teaching performance with specific guidelines for improvement.
    • Provide constructive and collegial support to students.
    • Retain legal responsibility for the class at all times when a student is in attendance.
    • Consult with the student's Professional Experience Leader and /or Professional Experience Mentor as required.
    • Ensure the Pre Service Teacher completes the correct number of days for the placement.
    • Grade/evaluate the student on factors related to performance, effort, and level of achievement.
    • Respond promptly to emerging problems with a student's teaching performance.
    • Be familiar with the 'Cautionary Advice Notice' procedure.
    • Provide a written interim and/or a final report for the student against the Professional Experience Assessment criteria, as required by the applicable Professional Experience guidelines.
    • In conjunction with the School Principal, exercise the right to terminate a placement if it is judged to be damaging to the welfare of pupils or the school.

    Graduate Certificate in Education

    Early Childhood

    Masters of Teaching

    Primary & Secondary

    If you are correctly enrolled and have read through the guidelines, then you will need to commence applications for your Working With Children Clearances/Safe to practice documentation. Please see below the required documentation.

    Safety in Practice Declaration

    You must complete a Safe to Practice Declaration. This form must be completed annually, i.e. each year you are going on placement, and updated if there is any change to the information you have provided.

    Please note – students undertaking Classroom Observation as part of the Unit ESH102 do not need to complete this form – it is only required for students undertaking formal Professional Experience Placements.

    Students undertaking the Graduate Certificate of Education should refer to the Graduate Certificate Clearances page.

    Working with Children Clearance


    Each student must ensure they have the relevant check that is required for their placement. These clearances can take up to six weeks for approval please be aware of this and apply for your clearances as early as possible once you have enrolled in a placement unit as without the correct clearances in place you will be unable to attend professional experience placement. 

    Tasmanian TRB clearances are sent direct to our office from the TRB. All other clearances must be scanned and emailed to the Professional Experience Office as well as produced upon request to the educational site where you are completing your placement.


    For the most up to date information please visit the relevant state department of education web site.

    State State Details

    Australian Capital Territory

    Working With Vulnerable People

    New South Wales

    Working with Children Check

    Child Protection and Awareness online Training

    Also required: Anaphylaxis Training

    Northern Territory

    Ochre Card


    Blue Card

    South Australia

    Criminal History Screening
    Criminal History Screening - How to Apply

    Also required: Responding to Abuse & Neglect - Education and Care (RAN-EC)


    Working with Children Check

    National Police Certificate (The Professional Experience Office do not require you to get a National Police Check  to go on placement. However, some childcare centres require students to have a current Police Check so you will need to check with your centre as soon as you receive your placement details if you are studying Early Childhood.)

    Western Australia

    Working with Children Check

    DOE National Police Check

    Outside Australia

    It is the student's responsibility to ensure that they are able to undertake Professional Experience in their country of residence and meet any legislation requirements. 

    Students must provide evidence to the Professional Experience Office, that they have applied/met the legislation requirements of the relevant Country, in order for placement to be confirmed.

    If you:

    • are correctly enrolled,
    • have read through the Procedural Guidelines
    • and have commenced application for all relevant clearance documents
    You are now ready to head to the Student Placement Management System to apply:


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