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Eligibility & Preparation

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

Compliance tasks

In order to work as a social worker, you may need to meet regulatory and legislative guidelines set up by relevant national, state and territorial organisations. This is also a required first step towards confirming your field education placement. Meeting these requirements are known as ‘compliance tasks’, and students apply for relevant checks early in Semester 1.

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

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

We ask students to complete various checks that ensure they are ready to undertake field placement, and students are made aware of these early in Semester 1. A National Police check, Working with Vulnerable People check and any required vaccinations are at the students own expense.

Students may be required to complete placements in areas of Tasmania outside of their home region. Travel and accommodation costs are at the students own expense.

For any immediate questions about compliance, please contact our Professional Experience Team  on socialwork.fieldeducation@utas.edu.au.

Students need to start applying for the various checks at the start of Semester 1 to ensure adequate time to receive and upload to InPlace.  We let students know of due dates soon after Orientation each year, and hold several preparation sessions to help prepare ahead for placement.

Other things students may need to consider:

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 2020, in particular Appendix 3 Field Education Standards:10-12; AASW Practice Standards for Social Workers 2013 (PDF 505KB); the AASW Code of Ethics 2020 (PDF257KB); 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 will need to contact the Field Education Officer in their region at the beginning of Semester 1.  This appointment will ensure students are fully informed of the guidelines and requirements for RPL, and give students an opportunity to ask questions and clarify if they meet the requirements.

If a student is not successful in their RPL application, a placement will be arranged.

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) 2020, Appendix 3 Field Education Standards:9 Work Based Field Education placements.

‘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’ .

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 and should ensure their workplace supervisor/team leader/manager is willing to support the proposal.

If a student is currently volunteering with an 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.

In order to ensure students have a diverse variety of experiences, and to minimise potential conflicts where pre existing relationships are in place, we would not usually place students where they have family members working at the agency; where they or their family members may have been a client previously; or where a personal relationship exists with the potential field educator that would be supervising the student.  Students are encouraged to talk through any potential conflicts of interests with us early in Semester 1.

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 talk through their individual situation and potentially complete a Learning Assistance Plans (LAP).

Support requirements can then be identified, explored and taken into account when placements are allocated.