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Professional Experience Guidelines

All students must read and agree to the following conditions of placement when applying for placement. Students identify they have read and agree to these conditions in the Safety in Practice Agreement form.

  • 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.
  • Students must adhere to all Professional Experience Guidelines when applying for and undertaking placement, failure to adhere to the guidelines may result in withdrawal from placement which may result in an unsuccessful completion of the placement for the unit.
  • Prior to the Professional Experience Office arranging a placement, it is a student's responsibility to ensure they have obtained the relevant compliance requirements as listed on their course specific page.
  • Under no circumstances are students from any course to approach a school site or individual teacher to secure a placement. Failure to adhere to this requirement may render the student ineligible for placement for that calendar year.
    • Applied learning students are to refer to course specific information.
    • Interstate students are to refer to interstate specific information.
  • Students must disclose any conflict of interest when applying for placement – please see the Professional Experience Guidelines for more information.
  • Students are required to be aware of when placements are scheduled and must make the 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.
  • 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 AN result for the placement and will be required to re-enrol in the unit the following year.
  • The Professional Experience Office will endeavour to place students in a range of educational settings; however, no guarantees can be provided in relation to requests for specific educational sites by the student.
  • 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. As a guide travel distance/time would not normally exceed 45 minutes/60 km.
  • Students need to give thoughtful consideration to placement preference information, which is provided via InPlace. If a student is unable to proceed with the allocated placement they may be required to withdraw as sourcing an alternative placement cannot be guaranteed.
  • 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 for Education, Children and Young People'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.
  • It the responsibility of students who are on Learning Access Plans (LAP) to disclose this in Section 2 Medical and Functional Declaration of the Safety in Practice Agreement. A Safe to Practice Health Assessment must also be submitted.
  • The Professional Experience Office will inform students via their UTAS email address when placement information can be viewed on InPlace. 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.
  • 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.

All students must ensure that they apply for and receive the required clearance/s to attend their Professional Experience placement. Failure to do so will mean that the Professional Experience Office will not arrange a Professional Experience placement, which may result in a delay to the student's study pathway and graduation timeline. More information related to compliance can be found on the Tasmanian Students or Interstate Students specific pages.

All School of Education Professional Experience Placements are managed in the placement management system: 'InPlace'.

Students are required to indicate their regional preferences for educational sites for their Professional Experience placements via InPlace.

The Professional Experience Office uses this information to match students with available placement settings, which are sourced through an Expression of Interest to education sites.

The Professional Experience Office uses this information to match students with available placements. The allocation process includes, but is not limited to, consideration of:

  • conflict of interest,
  • transport requirements,
  • region preferences,
  • diversity of placement,
  • specialisations (secondary only)
  • placement history
  • and placement availability.

More information regarding the process of completing your InPlace application can be found on your course specific page.

The School of Education recognises that a conflict of interest may arise from a number of situations, including family connections/relationships or paid employment. In order to ensure a quality placement experience and a valid final assessment, students must identify, manage, and where possible, avoid undertaking placement in settings where such "conflict of interest" may arise.

Examples of conflict of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • current or past employment at a site
  • a previous placement site
  • a child attending a site
  • a family member/relative (including partner) working at a site

It is important that all potential conflicts of interest are disclosed to the Professional Experience Office via InPlace. Failure to declare a conflict of interest may result in an automatic withdrawal of the placement and a failure of the unit.

Students in any doubt regarding the suitability of their placements regarding any real or potential conflict of interest are encouraged to seek advice from the Professional Experience Office.

If at any time a student is engaged in Limited Authority to Teach or other paid employment at a potential placement setting, after identified InPlace deadlines, they are required to notify the Professional Experience Office

Employment at a placement site

It is not uncommon for students to gain employment at educational sites where they have previously undertaken a placement. However, if a student is currently or has previously been employed at a school, such as in the role of a Teacher Aide or as a Teacher on a Limited Authority to Teach (LAT), we cannot approve arrangements for the student to undertake a placement at that same site. Exceptions to this guideline may apply when:

  1. The student is part of the Department for Education, Children and Young People’s Teacher Internship Placement Program (TIPP), in which combining employment and placement is integral to design of the program, is already approved by the Teachers Registration Board, and in which clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and supports are in place; or
  2. The isolated and remote location of the student limits their opportunities to undertake a placement to where they have been or currently are employed; or
  3. The assessment of the Professional Experience placement is led by staff at the University, such as in the B.Ed Applied Learning and the Grad Cert (ECE) (See below).

Bachelor of Education (Applied Learning) Students

PE is an opportunity for BEd(AL) students to focus intensively on their teaching, integrate theory into practice and experiment with more effective teaching approaches. For those already employed in teaching positions, normal work duties are considered inconsistent with the PE objectives. BEd(AL) students must always undertake PE with their “student hat” on, and as such avoid undertaking PE in situations that could compromise objective assessment of their teaching performance. Examples of this would be where relatives or close friends are colleagues or in management positions, or schools attended by one’s own children. Where a perceived conflict exists, students must inform the PE office who will consult the Program Director on whether that conflict can be managed, or an alternative placement sought. Own school PE placements are limited to 2 throughout the duration of the course and not to be undertaken for the final placement.

Graduate Certificate of Education (Early Childhood) Students

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

  • The student holds teaching registration
  • 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

2023 Semester 2 final placements regarding LATs

As per the information identified in Placement and LATs - 2023 Semester 2 only a student undergoing a final placement will be able to undertake their placement at the school they have a contract (LAT) at for their placement dates, as long as both parties have had their application approved.

School form PDF 136.1 KB to be submitted to by 30 June 2023.

Student form PDF 129.0 KB to be submitted to by 30 June 2023.

All students must be aware of the scheduled Professional Experience dates and be prepared to undertake a placement during the scheduled time. Professional Experience is undertaken on a full-time basis, and the dates of Professional Experience may only be changed in exceptional, unplanned circumstances.

To apply for a date variation, the student must complete a formal Variation Request and provide as much information as possible. Including all relevant supporting documentation (e.g., medical documentation).

Variation requests are considered on a case-by-case basis by the Coordinator, Professional Experience, in accordance with the Professional Experience Guidelines. If the variation request does not clearly fall within the Professional Experience Guidelines, the request will be considered in consultation with the Coordinator, Professional Experience and the Director of Initial Teacher Education,

By way of example, variations may be approved for: illness, accident, holidays booked prior to the Professional Experience Calendar being finalised, unplanned significant event such as bereavement or palliative care for a family member.

Requests for variations based on work commitments, childcare, failure or non-completion of pre- or co-requisite units, being required to repeat the professional experience due to failure or withdrawal, holidays booked after the release of the Professional Experience Calendar will not be considered.

Upon consideration of the variation request and supporting documentation the student will be notified in writing by the Coordinator, Professional Experience as soon as practicable. If the variation is denied, arrangements will need to be made to undertake the placement at the scheduled time or withdraw from the unit and re-enrol when the placement is next offered.

Students may choose to appeal the decision, which needs to be submitted in writing to the PE Office, with additional supporting documentation and information to support the request. The appeal will be considered by the Director, Initial Teacher Education in consultation with the Academic Director, Professional Experience.

For more information regarding the Variation Approval process please email the Professional Experience Office

Students may request to complete their placement overseas, however there are some guidelines that must be followed. For more information, please email the Coordinator, Professional Experience.

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. Final placements must be undertaken within Australia.

International Placement Procedure

Email the Coordinator, Professional Experience to express your interest in undertaking a placement outside Australia and to obtain approval. Once approval is obtained, 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, students must be mindful of this when considering an International Placement and ensure the communication occurs early.

Once you have a school in mind, and have obtained a tentative approval from the school that they can accommodate you, the details should be emailed through to the Professional Experience Office, including the dates of placement (a variation of the scheduled dates may be necessary to align with school terms), and the contact details of the school’s professional experience coordinator and supervising teacher.

Ideally, placement should 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 Group 2 Country (any country not appearing on the above list) the TRB will require more information in order to assess the suitability of the placement.

In order to be eligible to supervise your placement the supervising teacher must:

  • must be eligible for registration with the Teachers Registration Board of Tasmania (TRB)
  • must hold a 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
  • 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
  • must agree to documentation being sent and evaluated by the TRB (this includes their C.V and transcripts)
  • must be teaching a 'normal' school curriculum – not TESOL
  • must teach the class in the English language

Placements will not be confirmed until all conditions and requirements can be met and the Coordinator, Professional Experience has received approval from the TRB that the placement is suitable. Once all requirements have been approved you will be notified via email to confirm the arrangements.

Students must attend placements on a full-time basis for the total number of days of each placement, regardless of prior experience, work and family commitments or unforeseen circumstances. Students must adhere to work hours in relation to the arrival and departure times set for full time staff at the placement site. Students must be punctual at all times and must not leave the site early or arrive late. It is expected that students attend staff meetings and other professional learning as required by the placement site.

  • Participation in activities that require attendance beyond the usual times of the school day, such as for camps, is to be viewed as a regular school day. This cannot be broken down to cover make-up days.
  • Full time attendance (5 days per week) on placement is mandatory, students who are studying the course on a part-time basis are still required to attend placement full time.
  • BEd(AL) and Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Education may undertake a part-time placement as per the course specific guidelines.

Please note: Graduate Certificate of Education (Early Childhood) candidates may submit a request to the Professional Experience Office to complete their placement on a part-time basis, at a minimum 3 consecutive days per week. The full number of placement days must be completed.

Students must attend for 100% of the required days over the course of their degree, with all missed days due to public holiday, illness or unforeseen circumstances required to be made up immediately prior to or after the placement block. Professional Learning (PL) days undertaken by the student at the placement site may be counted towards the professional experience placement if the site is willing to agree to this.

For ALL absences the student must contact the school/supervising teacher before the teaching day commences, preferably the afternoon before (where possible).

Any absences must be documented on a Leave of Absence / Negotiated Days form. Any absences of more than two days must be accompanied by a medical certificate. If absence from placement is 2 weeks or longer, or resulted from a medical condition/injury, the student may be required to provide additional documentation prior to the placement being approved to recommence.  The student may require additional days for re-introduction to the site to be added to the number of placement days. This is assessed on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please contact the Professional Experience Office.

It is a student's responsibility to ensure they have completed the correct number of days prior to graduation. Failure to complete the minimum number of days required will render a student ineligible to graduate or to register as a teacher.

If industrial action is being taken by teachers at the educational site, the student should seek clarification of the situation at their placement site. At such times, the student cannot be given sole responsibility for any group of students who attend school during the strike action, but may use this time for planning purposes. If the student is not able to attend the placement site during the industrial action, the days will need to be made up, or if it is a significant absence, the placement may need to be renegotiated with the Professional Experience Office.

If an examination is scheduled during a Professional Experience Placement, students may take one or two day’s leave from their placement site for each exam they need to sit at the end of semester, which will need to be made up as per above. Alternatively, students may choose to defer the examination till after the placement has finished. Please contact the Professional Experience Office if you wish to defer an exam because of a clash with a placement so that we can liaise with the Examinations Office and support you through this process. The application form to apply for deferral of an examination.

At times, students may be called upon to complete jury duty at the same time as their Professional Experience placement. The student can request a letter from the Professional Experience Office to support a request to delay Jury Duty for after the placement period, or if this is not possible, the student may request for the placement to be completed at a later date, if unable to be excused from service. Please contact the Professional Experience Office for more information.

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 have an obligation (under UTAS Ordinance 9, Student Discipline (PDF 152.4 KB), to meet behavioural requirements, including during Professional Experience placements. Students must also be aware that the Teacher Registration Board (Tasmania) Code of Professional Ethics (or interstate equivalent) applies to their own behaviour towards students, supervising teachers, parents, other members of the school community, and University staff.

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, these include but are not limited to:

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

Students may elect to speak to their Professional Experience Mentor (see Roles and Responsibilities section at the end of this document) for advice or counsel. Subsequently, the Professional Experience Mentor may decide to speak to the school principal about any issues that arise in the context of a placement. If no satisfactory solution is reached after these discussions, then the matter can be brought to the formal attention of the Academic 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.

University staff support students during their Professional Experience placements. During a placement the student may communicate personally or via phone or email with their University appointed Professional Experience Mentor or representative of the Professional Experience Team.  It is advisable to seek assistance before any problem escalates.

Students should exercise extreme caution in relation to contact with the media regarding Professional Experience of education-related matters, unless they are specifically invited by the School of Education to do so.

Under no circumstances should students share photographs or identifiable information about schools or students on personal social network sites.

Whilst on Professional Experience placements, students can be exposed to children's/students' personal records and undertake discussions relating to the education and well-being of children/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 that would identify schools, teachers, students, or other individuals associated with a placement or to have students as 'friends' on their Facebook (or other social media) accounts.

During lecture or tutorial sessions in which discussions or debriefing relating to Professional Experience occurs, and in any assignments, 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

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 supervising teacher and/or Principal. The School of Education can provide schools with information about the way we manage data and maintain confidentiality on request. Students can also access templates for requesting permission to use school data on students and are encouraged to discuss protocols specific to their placement site with their supervising teacher(s).

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 (and any student of the University of Tasmania) 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 and professionalism 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 responsibility to maintain and promote the safety and wellbeing of children/young people who are in the class/classes taught. Accidents to children/young people enrolled at the placement site which occur during activities being taken by a University of Tasmania student are the responsibility of the Supervising Teacher overseeing the lesson.

All accidents incurred by school-students must be reported to the Supervising 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 Supervising Teacher is at all times and should be able to summon him/her immediately at all times. The Supervising Teacher retains legal responsibility for the class at all times. Legally, students cannot be left alone with or 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. See Tasmania's Department of Health and Human Services' information about mandatory reporting and child safety notification, or the relevant interstate equivalent.  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.  Further information regarding this act is available here 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.

Students are required to ensure that any school property in their possession is accounted for and returned at the end of the placement. Examples of school property including text books, resources, lesson plans, sets of keys or any other items that are entrusted to them whilst on placement. If loss or damage occurs to the property, it will be the student’s responsibility to replace the items, if requested.

The assessment documentation for the student is completed by the Supervising Teacher and/or the school principal, or their representative, on the final day of the placement. At the completion of a Professional Experience the Supervising Teacher should finalise the assessment report and email to the student and keep a copy for the school files. The student is to submit the assessment report via their online learning platform as soon as they receive it.

If a student wishes to withdraw from a Professional Experience placement after enrolment and prior to confirmation of their placement, they must contact the Professional Experience Office to inform of their decision. In the majority of cases the student will then be able to self-withdraw via eStudent. If for some reason the student is not able to self-withdraw the student needs to discuss this with the Professional Experience Office. In these cases, a WN will be awarded.

If a student wishes to withdraw from their placement once the placement has been confirmed, either prior to commencing or during the placement, they must contact their Professional Experience Mentor (if known) and the Professional Experience Office via email to discuss and then confirm the withdrawal. This should be done as soon as possible so that all relevant stakeholders (including host school/site staff) can be informed. If a student decides to withdraw after a CAN or within 5 days of the placement concluding, an application is to be made to the Academic Director, Professional Experience.

If a student cannot proceed with or complete a confirmed placement, as per the scheduled dates due to extenuating circumstances such as bereavement or medical condition, and sufficient documentation is provided by the student, approval may be given by the Coordinator, Professional Experience for the student to complete the placement at an alternate date within the calendar year, at the same site. If this is not able to be organised a withdrawal will be required, and the student may submit a variation request. If a student chooses to withdraw when their personal health and well-being is seen to be compromised, they may apply for remission in order to remove penalties otherwise associated with withdrawing after census date.

In order to ensure progression through the Professional Experience components of an Initial Teacher Education degree, correct withdrawal or deferment processes must be strictly adhered to.

Prior to enrolling in the unit for a second attempt at the professional experience placement – the student must successfully undertake an Individual Preparation Plan (IPP) before a subsequent placement is arranged, as per the process stated in What happens if I am not successful in a professional experience placement.

Students can, in certain exceptional and rare circumstances, be withdrawn from the Professional Experience placement by the Academic Director, Professional Experience.  A student may be withdrawn from a placement where the school/site is no longer able or willing to host the placement, but where there is no evidence that the school's/site's position is a result of inappropriate behaviour or lack of competence on the part of the student. In such cases, the Academic Director, Professional Experience will:

  • Contact the student as soon as possible (within 24 hours) from receiving this advice from the school/site,
  • Explain the reasons for the withdrawal and provide information about appropriate future interactions with the students and staff on site,
  • Liaise with the Professional Experience Office and the student to arrange another suitable host school/site as soon as is practicable.

In such cases, the student's grade for the placement would be Assessment Ongoing (AO) until another placement opportunity has been undertaken within the same calendar year.

A student may also be withdrawn immediately from a placement by University staff where continuing with the placement and following the Cautionary Advice Notice (CAN) procedure would result in unnecessary hardship for the host school/site or pose an unjustifiable risk to the well-being or safety of the student and/or those at the placement site. This can occur when there is evidence that the student has:

  1. Demonstrated behaviour which is affecting the care and safety of self or others;
  2. Failed to demonstrate the level of competence and knowledge required to complete the placement they are undertaking; and/or
  3. Failed to abide by the professional conduct required by the educational site at which they are placed.

If it is necessary for the student to be withdrawn by University Staff on this basis (i.e. a, b and/or c above), the Academic Director, Professional Experience will:

  1. Document the decision and the reasons for this decision in the Withdrawal from Placement by University Staff form (PDF 38.3 KB);
  2. contact the student as soon as possible (within 24 hours) to inform them of this decision and explain the reasons;
  3. discussion options for support, future attempts at placement, and the opportunities available to the student to appeal the result.

If the student is withdrawn by University Staff on this basis (i.e. a, b and/or c above), they:

  • will receive a absent deemed fail (AN) award for that Professional Experience placement; and
  • must successfully undertake an Individual Preparation Plan (IPP) before a subsequent placement is arranged, as per the process stated in What happens if I am not successful in a professional experience placement.

In contrast, where there are concerns about the student's performance in relation to the expectations of the placement, but where it is appropriate and safe for the student to continue with the placement with feedback and support, the Cautionary Advice Notice procedures should be followed (see information below regarding the Cautionary Advice Notice).

Cautionary Advice Notice (PDF 1023.8 KB) indicates to all parties that there is a need for improvement of the student's performance against one or more of the standards in the assessment report.

Receiving a CAN does not constitute a failure but serves as an indication that some aspect(s) of performance are not meeting the designated expectations and, if not addressed, could result in failure of the placement. The form should be completed by the Supervising Teacher, in dialogue with the Professional Experience Mentor and the student wherever possible. A copy of the CAN is to be provided to the Professional Experience Mentor and the Professional Experience Office.

Completing a CAN will ensure that appropriate support is provided for both the student and Supervising Teacher. The student should be given reasonable notification about concerns in relation to their performance and opportunity to address the concerns. A CAN form and a documented Action Plan is required to confirm a failed placement.

CAN Process

  • The Supervising Teacher should first discuss any concerns with the student through written constructive feedback. This feedback should clearly outline the nature of the concern in relation to the Professional Experience Expectations and the final report. The student should be given opportunity to address concerns. If the student is unable to implement the feedback to successfully amend the concerns raised, then it is required that a CAN be completed by the Supervising Teacher. It is essential the CAN form is completed at the earliest point within the placement in consultation with the Professional Experience Mentor.
  • The CAN process can be actioned at any time during the placement. The procedure may be initiated by either the Supervising Teacher or the Professional Experience Mentor. A CAN process must be actioned with adequate time for the student to have opportunity to address items on the Action Plan.
  • The Supervising Teacher provides the student with the completed copy of the CAN form.
  • The Supervising Teacher immediately emails this completed CAN form to the Professional Experience Mentor and the Professional Experience Office so that relevant support and advice can be provided by the University.
  • A meeting will then be held between the student, the Professional Experience Mentor and the Supervising Teacher to create an Action Plan to support the student in the area/s in which they need to demonstrate improved performance. An Action plan will be completed and signed by all parties involved.
  • Ongoing monitoring and support is provided by the Professional Experience Mentor and the Supervising Teacher.
  • If the student is able to demonstrate competency of the actions outlined and agreed to in the Action Plan and meet the Professional Experience Expectations as outlined, the student would be expected to pass the placement.
  • If the student is unable to successfully demonstrate competency against the requirements of the final report, a fail grade (NN) will be awarded.

If a student is not successful in completing a Professional Experience placement a fail grade (NN) will be awarded. The student must complete an Individual Preparation Plan (IPP), with a Professional Experience Advisor, and be successfully signed off on all requirements 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.

An IPP meeting will be conducted to identify the previously encountered barriers to success as identified from the placement documentation. Support will be offered to the student by the Professional Experience Advisor during the IPP process. The completed IPP form must be signed by the student and a Professional Experience Advisor, and submitted to the Professional Experience Office.

Once the Professional Experience Advisor has notified the PE Office that the IPP has been successfully completed, the student is able to enrol in the next available offering of the Professional Experience Unit.

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

The Professional Experience placements are governed by the academic progress review process outlined in the Student Participation and Attainment Ordinance. As such, if a student fails a Professional Experience placement twice, they may be excluded from their course.

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

Further, it is the right of the student to appeal their award or to raise concerns about the placement. Appeals must be undertaken through the normal appeal processes within the University and School of Education.

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

There is incident, accident and injury procedures and student insurance information available at UTAS Work Health and Safety Student Information.

Accidents or injuries on Professional Experience placements

  • Educational sites have obligations to students under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012. Students undertaking professional experience should act in accordance with the individual site's workplace policy and procedure in the event of an accident or injury occurring.
  • Students who experience an injury where treatment is required from a medical practitioner, must ensure that costs are met via payment by Medicare Card. Workers Compensation does not apply to students undertaking Professional Experience.
  • In the event that a student experiences an accident or injury while on professional experience, the student must follow the incident/injury reporting procedures within the particular workplace and ensure the incident/injury has been reported as soon as practicable to the Coordinator, Professional Experience. The student must also complete a University of Tasmania Online Incident Notification. If you have any questions, please email

Personal Accident Insurance

  • The University of Tasmania's insurance program provides cover for students whilst undertaking unpaid Work Integrated Learning placements (including professional experience) approved by the University.
    Note: Workers Compensation does not apply to students undertaking professional experience.
  • The Insurance program includes coverage of non-Medicare expenses but does not cover any out-of-pocket costs from the Medicare refund/gap payment.

Claims Process

  • The Tasmanian University Student Association (TUSA) manage the claim process for the student personal accident insurance policy and the state-wide contact person is the TUSA Northern Services Manager, Caleb Dunn, who can be contacted on 03 6324 5305 or submit a request via the TUSA Contact page.

The School of Education strongly encourages all preservice 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 is considered 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.

The Professional Experience process is a collaborative one, with many stakeholders involved in the process. All stakeholders 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 of Professional Experience holds an academic position and is responsible for leading and coordinating the School of Education’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 School'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, School–wide.
  • Provide liaison between, and amongst, School 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 School 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, School 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. Health Assessments).

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.
  • Maintain professional experience files and records
  • Process supervising teacher payments
  • Provide administrative support to the Professional Experience Office.

A member of the School of Education academic staff who provides support for preservice teachers as required. Three specific roles are conducted by Professional Experience Leaders.

General responsibilities

  • Advise the Academic Director, Professional Experience in relation to course specific requirements.
  • Engage with and contribute to the Professional Experience Task Group (PETG) meetings and deliberations.
  • Prepare Individual Preparation Plans (IPP) for students who have withdrawn from or failed a Professional Experience placement, monitor progress and recommend readiness to undertake Professional Experience to the Professional Experience Office.

Breakdown of the three specific roles conducted by Professional Experience Leaders

Responsibilities: Placement Support
  • Monitor and Engage with the Professional Experience MyLO page.
  • Advise the Academic Director of preservice teacher concerns, provide feedback regarding the unit content and student engagement.
Responsibilities: Preparation Advisor
  • Develop and deliver Individual Preparation Plans (IPP) to nominated preservice teachers
  • Prepare and submit all IPP related documentation to the Professional Experience Office and advise of IPP outcomes.
  • Advise the Academic Director of preservice teacher concerns, provide feedback and recommendations regarding the IPP process and procedure.
Responsibilities: Reporting and Assessment
  • Monitor and assess Professional Experience Reports.
  • Communicate with preservice teachers in relation to completion and accuracy of reporting.
  • Advise the Academic Director of preservice teacher concerns, provide feedback regarding the reporting and assessment process.

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


  • Establish and maintain contact (generally via email) with allocated students and Supervising Teachers during the placement period
  • Complete site visits when required by circumstances or by students’ course requirements. See Mentor Visits (PDF 287.4 KB) for more information
  • 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.
  • Work with student and relevant staff to complete the necessary documentation associated with progress of the placement, such as 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 placement site, for example in a school setting it is usually the  Principal, Assistant Principal or advanced Skills Teacher (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 Supervising Teacher.
  • Liaise with the Professional Experience Office concerning any issues that may arise whilst students are on placement.
  • Induct students with regard to school policies and procedures.
  • Alert the Professional Experience Mentor 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 Supervising Teacher is a qualified, registered teacher with a degree or equivalent in education. The supervising 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- prior to the delivery as negotiated with the student.
  • 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 Mentor as required.
  • Ensure the student completes the correct number of days for the placement.
  • Respond promptly to emerging problems with a student's teaching performance.
  • Be familiar with the 'Cautionary Advice Notice' procedure. Document all performance concerns and raise with the Professional Experience Mentor immediately.
  • Complete the 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 placement site coordinator (e.g. in a school setting the principal), exercise the right to terminate a placement if it is judged to be damaging to the welfare of the children or young people enrolled at that site, the school or the health and safety of the student.
Responsibilities: preparation advisor
  • Develop and deliver Individual Preparation Plans (IPP) to nominated preservice teachers
  • Prepare and submit all IPP related documentation to the Professional Experience Office and advise of IPP outcomes.
  • Advise the Academic Director of preservice teacher concerns, provide feedback and recommendations regarding the IPP process and procedure.
Responsibilities: reporting and assessment
  • Monitor and assess Professional Experience Reports.
  • Communicate with preservice teachers in relation to completion and accuracy of reporting.
  • Advise the Academic Director of preservice teacher concerns, provide feedback regarding the reporting and assessment process.