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Eligibility & Preparation

To be eligible to commence placement, you are required to:

Compliance tasks

In order to work in the field, you need to meet regulatory and legislative guidelines set up by relevant national, state and territorial organisations. This is a required first step towards confirming your field education placement. (All social workers in the field must meet these). Meeting these requirements are known as ‘compliance tasks’.

These are set up to protect the people you provide support to, work alongside and to protect yourself.  If you do not meet these compliance criteria, you will not be able to undertake a field education placement.

The Field Experience Team are available to support you through the Compliance tasks and can be contacted at socialwork.fieldeducation@utas.edu.au.

The following items must be completed before you can be allocated a field education placement:

  1. Safety in Practice Guidelines (PDF 271KB) | Safety in Practice Agreement Form (PDF 322KB)
    (+ Health Assessment Form (PDF185KB) via InPlace, if required)
  2. How to obtain Working with Vulnerable People Registration (PDF 259KB)
  3. How to obtain a Schedule 1 National Police Certificate (PDF 225KB)
  4. International students are required to:
    1. Provide an equivalent National Police Check for their country of origin or the country they have resided in the last 12 months and produce an original copy of their National Police Certificate, or equivalent that has been translated into English; and
    2. Obtain a Schedule 1 National Police Check from the Tasmanian State Police and produce an original copy of their National Police Certificate (as per procedure above).
    3. Applicants from overseas can complete the online Application for Registration to Work with Vulnerable People (Children) before coming to Australia and post or email their ID, Photo and payment to the department of Justice (Within 20 days of completing the form or it will expire). See the interstate and overseas applicants checklist (PDF 443KB).
    4. If International students have any questions around the above, please contact the Field Education Officer (FEO) for your region.
    5. Due dates: Final year students to upload to InPlace no later than 29th March 2019 and entry level students by 17th May 2019; or you may be unable to go on placement.

The Field Experience Team are available to support you through the Compliance tasks and can be contacted at socialwork.fieldeducation@utas.edu.au.

The Field Education Officer in your region will be available to assist you with any ongoing concerns you have around complying.

You will need to start applying for the various checks at the start of Semester 1 to ensure adequate time to receive and upload to InPlace.

Note all these compliance documents will need to be processed through ‘InPlace’

We cannot confirm a field education placement until full compliance is met as recorded in InPlace.

Due dates: Final year students to upload to InPlace no later than 29th March 2019 and entry level students by 17th May 2019; or you may be unable to go on placement.

Preparation for placement

As well as these ‘compliance tasks’ there are also guidelines to follow before you are ready to commence your placement.

In full, to successfully complete preparation for placements in semester 1 you will need to:

  • Complete Compliance tasks above.
  • Participate in all 3 pre-placement seminars in Semester 1.
  • Explore potential for RPL credit.
  • Explore if a placement within your existing place of employment (strict conditions apply).
  • Students should discuss with the regional Field Education Officer (FEO) if they will need to be considered for a part time (3 or 4 days per week ) placement.
  • Advise of any potential conflicts of interests, including volunteering role whilst completing Compliance tasks on InPlace.
  • Confirm that you meet the Functional Requirements for Social Work (PDF 170KB) needed to go on placement.
  • Attend group interview with regional Field Education Officer (FEO).
  • Prepare CV and draft covering letter and upload to MyLO.
  • In order to provide adequate support and manage any potential physical risks, students that are pregnant should discuss this with their FEO.
  • Once placement allocation received, send an introductory email to your Primary Field Educator, seeking to make a suitable time for pre-placement interview. Attach CV and covering letter to email;
  • Prepare for placement interview by researching the agency you are going to and developing questions for the interview; and
  • Attend interview at the placement agency.

As well as meeting the above requirements, other considerations include:

The Social Work Program has elected to offer students with substantial work experience in the human services, the opportunity to make an application for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for the first field education placement. RPL applies only to students enrolled in units HGW303 Social Work Practicum 1 and HGW513 Social Work Practicum 1.

The RPL guidelines have been developed in accordance with the AASW Education and Accreditation Standards 2012, in particular Guidance 1.3: guidance on RPL, Articulation and Credit Transfer 2012 (PDF 164KB); the AASW Practice Standards for Social Workers 2013 (PDF 505KB); the AASW Code of Ethics 2010 (PDF510KB); and the Social Work Program learning objectives for HGW303/HGW513 Social Work Practicum 1. The RPL policy is available for enrolled students on MyLO.

Students who are considering making an application for RPL are required to seek an appointment with their Field Education Officer at the beginning of Semester 1, at which time procedures for applying for RPL will be provided and discussed. This appointment is critical to ensuring that students are fully informed of the guidelines and requirements for RPL, and for giving students an opportunity to discuss with their Field Education Officer their capacity to meet the requirements and specified timeframes. Applications cannot be accepted from students who fail to attend an appointment.

If the student is not successful with their RPL application a placement will need to be secured. Therefore, students making an application for RPL are still required to complete the preparation tasks and attend pre-placement seminars in Semester 1.

Requirements for placements in the student’s place of employment (or work-based placements) are detailed in the AASW Australian Social Work Education and Accreditation Standards (ASWEAS) 2012, Guideline 1.2: Guidance on field education programs.

‘In order to provide a breadth of experience and to prevent conflicts of interest between employment and education roles, field education placements will be undertaken in a different context, organisation and field of practice to the student’s place of employment’ [AASW, ASWEAS, 2012, Guideline 1.2 (3.1) p.8].

The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) sets other minimum standards for field placements, including that ‘students must undertake field placements in at least two different fields of practice and organisations, with different clients groups, using different methods of social work practice and with a different field educator for each placement’ [AASW, ASWEAS Guideline 1.2 (3) p.8].

Students who would like to explore the option to undertake one of their placements in their place of employment must discuss this option with their regional Field Education Officer (FEO) early in Semester 1. Students will be able to discuss their proposal with a view to assessing the efficacy of their application. Students should ensure that their workplace supervisor/team leader/manager is appraised and willing to support the proposal.

If a student is currently volunteering within the agency, the placement experience would need to be in a different context to the volunteering role, in order to minimise conflicts of interest and blurring of roles. Students should discuss this option with their regional Field Education Officer early in Semester 1.

Students will not usually be allocated to placements in agencies where:

  • Students have a previous personal relationship with the field educator
  • A students  partner or other family members work at the agency
  • A student (or their family member) has been a client of the agency
  • A student is currently employed or regularly volunteering

Exceptions to this policy may be considered by Field Education Officers, where exceptional circumstances apply. The Field Education Officer and Statewide Coordinator must be satisfied that conflict of interest is unlikely to arise  and that the placement will provide an appropriate learning environment for the student.

The social work program is committed to a goal of equal opportunity in education. Students with a disability or health condition that may impact on their placement are strongly advised to record this information on their Social Work Safety in Practice Agreement and complete a Health Assessment Form. They are also advised to meet with disability staff in UTAS Disability Services to assess possible implications of their condition for placements and complete a Learning Assistance Plans (LAP).

Support requirements can then be identified, documented and taken into account when placements are allocated. With student consent, relevant information will be discussed with prospective field educators as an aid to identifying and achieving optimal learning opportunities. Students can also assist this process through willingness to discuss their learning needs with their field educators, preferably at the pre-placement interview.

Students with a LAP from UTAS Disability Services are required to meet with the Field Education Officer in their region to discuss their learning needs and develop a clear plan of support early in Semester 1.