Frequently asked questions

Once you have completed your application on the student placement management system - InPlace it is processed by the Professional Experience Office, and an available education setting will be allocated to you. Once confirmed, you will receive an email advising you to log into SPMS and view the details of your placement.

No. Once a PE placement has been made you are obliged to take up the placement. Forfeiting the placement will result in the PE being delayed until the next scheduled PE period. This will extend your course completion date.

In the School of Education the Professional Experience Officers make approximately 2000 placements for Pre-service Teachers throughout the year. To secure this number of Professional Experience placements, in excess of 3000 approaches are made to schools annually; some schools decline to take pre-service teachers. To ensure equity and to meet the needs of all pre-service teachers a centralised process for Professional Experience placements has been established. You need to be aware that every year it becomes increasingly difficult to place students in the locations requested.

Tasmanian schools cannot accept requests from individuals and CANNOT approve Professional Experience placements. More details about this can be found in the Procedural Guidelines under Requesting a Professional Experience Placement.

You cannot be placed in a school where there may be a conflict of interest. More details regarding this can be found in the Procedural Guidelines under Requesting a Professional Experience Placement.

No. Professional Experience will be undertaken at strictly scheduled times during the year. The Professional Experience calendar is published at the start of each year. You must arrange to be available for the entire period of your Professional Experience placement. Those with exceptional circumstances may request a variation by contacting the Coordinator, Professional Experience.

You can complete your placement in another State or Territory, please speak to the Coordinator, Professional Experience in regards to this request. For overseas placement please download the International Placement Procedure [PDF 216KB].

No. Pre-service teachers cannot be given legal responsibility for a class, you are not a registered teacher.

No. Under the agreement between the education sectors a pre-service teacher is NOT to be paid during a Professional Experience placement.

No. Professional Experience placements must be undertaken on a full-time basis. You must attend the school for full number of days/weeks as set out in the Procedural Guidelines.

No. Students seeking credit for prior learning or work experience for Professional Experience must note that due to course accreditation and UTAS policy, no Advanced Standing or Partial Credit is offered based on previous work experience. Only professional experience placements undertaken at university levels equivalent to that of the current unit of study may support Advanced Standing.

A school is entitled to expect the same level of commitment from a pre-service teacher as is required of permanent teaching staff. Your Professional Experience will be continuous and full-time. You must arrive and depart from the school as if you are a full-time teacher and endeavour to participate fully in school activities (with staff and students).

Punctuality and preparation are the keys to a successful Professional Experience. Utmost in your mind must be the safety of the students and yourself. Please read more in the Procedural Guidelines.

The colleague teacher remains responsible for the management of their classroom programs and for ensuring that the work undertaken by the pre-service teacher during the Professional Experience is integrated into the total curriculum planning for each class. The colleague teacher remains responsible for the overall supervision of the class and the pre-service teacher.

As a pre-service teacher you will NOT be given legal responsibility for the class during any Professional Experience placements.

Pre-service teachers must plan ahead in terms of:

  • taking leave from employment;
  • the additional financial costs of being on placement;
  • arranging transport to the practicum placement site, since it is not possible to guarantee placements will be available in the exact location requested;

On your first visit to your school look at the standard of dress of your teacher colleagues and ask your colleague teacher about the dress code of the school. You must present yourself as a member of the profession. Specific details about this can be found in the Procedural Guidelines.

Dignity, respect, integrity, empathy and justice are part of the code of conduct you will sign onto as a registered teacher and as a pre-service teacher you will be expected to adhere to these principles and to be treated by your teacher colleagues as a professional. Remember the little things: pay your tea money, park your car in the designated area, adhere to the laws regarding smoking, say thank you to your colleague teacher. The code of conduct is referenced in the Procedural Guidelines.

Your first responsibility is to make contact with the school BEFORE the school day begins (or the night before if possible). Remember a classroom of children may be counting on you. On the first day you return to the school site you must complete a Leave of Absence Form [PDF 177KB]. The form must then be emailed to the Professional Experience Office.

The school is advised to keep the original copy of the Leave of Absence Form for the purpose of recording the accurate number of days completed by you during the placement.

Please refer to the Professional Experience Procedural Guidelines.

Yes you do. ALL days must be made up to allow you to meet Teacher Registration requirements when you complete your degree. You need to negotiate with your Colleague Teacher a mutually agreeable schedule to allow all missed days to be made up.

You cannot make up missed days when University lectures and tutorials are scheduled. You need to fill in the Leave of Absence [PDF 177KB] form and ask your colleague teacher to sign it. After completion the form must be emailed to the Professional Experience Office and be received prior to you commencing the negotiated days.

Schools and their grounds are smoke-free zones, thus no smoking is permitted on the school site during your Professional Experience placement.

You need to advise your colleague teacher and school principal of the accident and fill in an Accident and Incident Form available at the school. This document will then be sent to the Professional Experience Office. Costs incurred, beyond those covered by Medicare, can be claimed through UTAS Personal Accident Insurance. Please speak to the Coordinator, Professional Experience for assistance.

If you have not commenced your Professional Experience placement, you need to contact Coordinator, Professional Experience immediately to discuss options.

If you are currently undertaking your placement, please contact your mentor as first point of call, or the Coordinator Professional Experience. .

Confidential counselling services are available at the University to assist you through this time if you so desire. For more information see the Student Counselling webpage.

This means that there are concerns about you being able to complete your Professional Experience successfully. You will be advised in writing of the reasons why you have received a Cautionary Advice Notice. Your university mentor will be notified of your position by your colleague teacher and you can expect a meeting to be held with you, university and school personnel to plan how you can be supported at that time.

Subsequent satisfactory improvement in the highlighted areas of weakness could result in you passing the Professional Experience placement.

Unfortunately some pre-service teachers do not achieve a satisfactory rating on every Professional Experience. If you are not successful on a Professional Experience placement the university mentor your colleague teacher, and your school principal will meet to discuss the details of your Professional Experience.

You will need to repeat the Professional Experience in the next scheduled period at a different location in a similar school. An individual preparation for placement plan needs to be completed before another Professional Experience placement can be undertaken. Contact the relevant Professional Experience Leader for more details. UTAS policy is that two (2) failed Professional Experiences in one year will result in termination of your degree.

It is quite possible that you will not form a lasting friendship with every colleague teacher on every Professional Experience placement. Your quest is for a professionally rewarding experience that will allow you to grow developmentally as a pre-service teacher. If you feel you are not being treated fairly or in line with the Teachers Registration Board Code of Conduct contact your university mentor for advice.

Our best advice is if you need assistance ask for help. Even if you approach the wrong university person he/she will direct you to the responsible person to assist with your concerns.

Remember it is best to deal with problems when they arise. Issues are much easier to handle when they first come up and this can save much anxiety and stress for you, and indeed all, involved.

If your question is not answered in the sections above, have you read the Procedural Guidelines?