Preparing and sourcing your WIL placement

diagram showing key process steps

Pre-placement information about health and safety

The following aspects of health, safety and wellbeing are a reminder of what you should expect to see during your placement:

Know your Placement Supervisor: You should know who your supervisor is during your time at the placement organisation. They will be able to provide you with guidance about what your role is, and what duties you are expected to carry out. They should also be available for you to talk to if you are unsure about any aspects of your placement.

Receive an Induction: You should be given an induction to the placement organisation during your first day. It needs to outline the workplace, introduce you to the people, and where you will be located (your desk). An induction must also cover general safety aspects like emergency procedures, evacuations and first aid arrangements.

Identification of Hazards: If there are any hazards you could potentially encounter during your placement they should be made clear to you, along with any extra training and Protective Personal Equipment you are required to wear. Hazards might be in the materials (e.g. chemicals), equipment, activities or locations you are required to work with them.

What to do if there is an accident or incident: You should contact International SOS in relation to any critical incidents and accidents or where any kind of assistance is required.

Your Safety & Security: Any threats or incidents that affect your wellbeing in relation to bullying, discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault are considered serious and will be managed in accordance with University policy. Contact your Deakin Placement Organiser as soon as possible if you have any concerns at

You have a legal right to a safe and healthy workplace: A Safe and Respectful Workplace

Feeling overwhelmed? If you are feeling overwhelmed (beyond just nerves, which are to be expected) you should speak with someone about your concerns - it could be your Placement Supervisor, your Unit Chair, the WIL team, or Deakin's free student counselling service.

For international placements: Find out more about international SOS You may contact the closest International SOS centre which can be located via the app or website. If you do not have enough credit to make a call, you could call International SOS and request that you get a call back on a preferred number. You will have access to comprehensive medical advice from doctors, nurses, psychologists and counsellors over the phone. International SOS could also help arrange face-to-face consultations if required.

Remember that while you are on your placement you are representing Deakin University and are required to:

  • Conduct yourself professionally in accordance with placement requirements of the University and the host organisation
  • Complete all training requirements (including safety training) required by the host organisation
  • Comply with relevant policies and procedures of the University, including the Student Code of Conduct, and external regulatory requirements (including standards of conduct and visa requirements)

Important insurance information for not-for-credit placements

If you complete an additional not-for-credit placement which does not have a formal assessment component (and therefore does not form part of the Deakin qualification), the Deakin insurance program will not provide any cover.

There is limited cover available for volunteering activities in the Deakin insurance program, e.g. the Personal Accident policy only provides cover for “voluntary work authorised by and under the control of” Deakin.

As a general guideline, if you are doing voluntary work for an external organisation, you will not be covered by the Deakin insurance program.

If you are completing a not-for-credit placement, or doing voluntary work for an external organisation whilst on international travel, you will not be covered by the Deakin insurance program. Some cover will be available if this takes place during the 10 days of private travel, but would be limited to medical only.

If you have any questions regarding insurance, please contact the Insurance Office

preview of online WIL guideDownload the online WIL guide (PDF)

A student's guide for wholly online or a blended onsite/online mode and what you should think about before, during and after your placement/project.

Key steps for all students

Step 1: Identify placement unit

Some courses have a compulsory inbuilt placement unit which you must complete. You may also be able to complete a placement unit as an elective unit in your course.

  • You must have passed Career Tools for Employability (STP010 or STP710) and met all pre-requisite requirements for the relevant unit
  • Placements cannot be observational only
  • The hours and days that you participate in the placement are to be negotiated between you and the organisation
  • All placements must be approved by the Faculty before commencement
  • You can complete a placement with your current employer, but you need to be given something new to do – e.g. new role, and/or be part of a new project, and/or be part of a different team/department, etc.

View placement opportunities by area:

You will need to complete STP010 or STP710 prior to undertaking your placement.

Step 2: Source placement

Try to focus on an area that will target both your skills and interests, and potentially provide employment opportunities at a later stage. Follow the 1, 2, and 3:

1. Identify in which field/industry you would like to undertake your work experience.  Do some research to locate businesses and organisations that cater to your preferences via web, newspapers, Deakin UniHub and canvass your local area.

You need to source your own placements. The faculty does not search for WIL placements for students. A limited number of WIL placements are offered directly to the faculty each trimester and are advertised to the relevant cohorts. WIL placement opportunities that are suitable for your course may be emailed to you via your Deakin email, posted on the course hubs or advertised on Deakin UniHub:

You need to have a professional resume and cover letter. We recommend that you view useful information and resources on the DeakinTALENT website.

You must practice your interview skills. You can attend interview skills workshops and speak to a career coach. Please refer to the following web links:

If you are unsure of your career ambitions, please feel free to discuss potential directions with your course adviser or refer to information on the DeakinTALENT website.

Useful for both domestic and international students, take a look through 2 ACEN modules:

2. Compile a list of organisations as you may not be lucky enough to succeed with your first choice. Do some more research into each organisation, i.e. research other areas within the organisation that you might like to work in.

3. Establish an approximate timetable/schedule of your availability, taking into account trimester breaks and  your studies.  If an organisation is prepared to accept you, you need to be flexible and be able to accommodate their needs.

Contacting organisations

Once you have a list of organisations, research the organisation and specific departments to locate the correct contact person.

When liaising with organisations please remember to be polite and courteous at all times, even if it is not reciprocated. This displays your maturity and professionalism. You are representing not only yourself and Deakin University, but other Deakin students, current and future. If you are rude, they may choose not only to not accept you, but potentially other Deakin students in the future.

These organisations are contacted repeatedly by many other students, universities, TAFE colleges and high schools for similar work experience positions. Conducting yourself in a polite and professional manner and acting patiently will display why they should give you a chance. When contacting an organisation by phone, prepare your spiel, for example:

"Hi, my name is ________, I’m a 3rd year student studying at Deakin University and I would like to speak to somebody regarding the possibility of undertaking voluntary work placement/internship as part of my course requirements."

If you are going to contact the organisation by email, make sure to indicate in your email:

  • who you are
  • your reason for contacting them
  • your year of study and subjects
  • why you would like to do your work placement with them (do some research about them first)

Remember, the response from the organisation can go three ways: yes, no or maybe.

No, sorry we are not interested - If this is the response you get, please thank whoever you are liaising with for their time.  Then continue on with your list.

Maybe/I am unsure/I will get back to you. - This may be a good response as it is not a flat out refusal. Ensure you leave your details and confirm their details so you can follow up with them if they do not get back to you. You may be asked to provide further information, including letter, resume and academic transcript, for them to consider your request.

Regarding re-contacting an organisation, leave a one to two week gap, or look for another way to contact them i.e. if you left a voice message, follow up with an email (if you have access to email addresses, even the general enquiry one will suffice).

If you did contact a person directly and have not heard back, call reception or their general enquiries line to confirm you are waiting on the correct person.  You may be waiting to hear back from the wrong person and not know.  People will not always return your call if the message does not apply to them.

Yes - If this is the response you get, great!  Confirm what you are to do next.  You may have to follow 
up with another phone call or email, and/or provide further information, including letter, resume and 
academic transcript.

Important information for placements

If a placement is paid, you must refer to the Centrelink website for further information regarding Centrelink payments. Alternatively, you can contact Student Central

All students undertaking work placements are covered by Deakin’s Personal Accident Insurance, for injuries that you may receive, and Public Liability and Professional Indemnity, for damage/injuries that you may cause. For more information, visit Student Placement Insurance (requires you to log in with your Deakin username and password).

Before placements can commence, you must enrol in a placement unit. You can either self-enrol or if needed enrolment will be completed by the Faculty WIL team after a placement has been approved.

You will need to enrol into the online 0 credit point unit STP010 or STP710 Career Tools for Employability via StudentConnect.

The WIL team will enrol you into the Ready: WIL Placement Unit Induction (if applicable).

Sick Leave
There is no formal sick leave allowance. If you take any time off during the placement due to illness you must:

  1. Make up the time at the end of the placement
  2. Let the industry supervisor and the WIL team know as soon as possible and record it in your logbook, and
  3. Provide a medical certificate to the industry supervisor if you have taken more than three days off.

NB: when you do a placement with your current employer, you adhere to your employers’ agreements/arrangements, but still need to inform the WIL team.

Work Hours
You are required to conform to the normal work hours observed by the organisation and are not eligible for overtime. You are not permitted to make special arrangements for your work hours

Organisations are required to assign an industry supervisor to you for the duration of the placement. Organisations are also required to provide feedback on the your performance during placement which will contribute to the your final mark. Deakin will assign an academic supervisor to you.

Organisations are required to sign a legal agreement. If you are self-sourcing a placement please check with the WIL team to see if there is already an existing agreement in place. If there is an agreement already in place you will be covered and will not need to get a signature on a new one. The agreement will include a position description and an application form. There are no ongoing commitments or obligations beyond the placement for organisations.

Intellectual Property
Intellectual Property (IP) is the application of the mind to develop something new or original. IP can exist in various forms; a new invention, brand, design or artistic creation. More information about understanding intellectual property

Intellectual property resulting from placements remains with the host organisation. You may also be asked to sign confidentiality agreements by the placement organisations.

The WIL Student Support Scheme can help you by easing financial stress and allowing you to have hands-on, relevant work experience locally or overseas.

This initiative aims to widen participation in WIL placements of eligible domestic undergraduate students who are experiencing financial hardship. For information on how to apply including application dates, please refer to WIL Financial Support Scheme

Police and Working with Children Check
Some organisations require a Police Check and/or Working with Children Check to be completed before you commence a WIL placement with them. If you are required to complete a Police or Working with Children Check:

  • You must organise your own check and pay the associated costs;
  • You should take your check’s receipt with you on your first day of placement in case you are required to present it prior to commencing with the organisation.

Placements Overseas
WIL placements can be undertaken overseas under certain circumstances but most overseas placements are not currently possible due to Covid19. The administrative and placement approval processes are the same as the placement was to be undertaken in Australia.

All student placements undertaken outside of Australia must adhere to the Student International Programs and Placement Procedure.

If you undertake a placement overseas, you must register with Deakin International Global Student Mobility Office - Deakin Abroad once the placement is approved by the faculty. This office provides support to students interested in overseas mobility activities including WIL abroad. They also provide a range of services for students including travel insurance and financial support.

Social Media
Your placement may involve the use of social media of/for the organisation. You should avoid using your personal social media accounts (such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) during work hours. You must not comment on your WIL experience on your personal accounts under any circumstances.

·Health, safety and wellbeing - including information about safety inductions

·Student Code of Conduct - expectations and responsibility

Step 3: Apply

Please visit the relevant placement information page for further information on how to apply. All applications will be reviewed and approved by the Faculty WIL Team.

View placement information by discipline:

You will need to complete STP010 or STP710 prior to undertaking your placement.


Can I get recognition for prior learning (RPL) for a WIL unit? No. RPL is strictly not available for WIL units. You must apply and have your placement approved prior to commencing. Previous work experience cannot be recognised towards a WIL placement.

Is there an examination for the unit? No. The WIL units do not have an examination.

When are the assessment items due? Assessment item due dates depend on the placement unit you are undertaking. For many units these dates depend on the start and end date of the placement.

Can I undertake a placement if I am not enrolled in a placement unit? No. You must be enrolled in a placement unit to be eligible to undertake a placement.

Placements cannot commence until approval has been granted by the WIL Team. Placements cannot be approved retrospectively.

Can I undertake a placement if I intermit or discontinue my course? No. You must be an enrolled student of the University.  If you intermit or discontinue your course, you are not an enrolled student of the University.

Are there any specific requirements or objectives I must complete whilst on placement? Yes. The objectives of the placements are to obtain experience of what it would be like to work in a particular organisation (within reason and conforming to legal and safety obligations) and for the organisation to ensure students are supervised.

The placement must not be observational only.

Do I have to pass the unit STP010/STP710 Career Tools for Employability before I commence my placement? Yes. You must pass STP010 (undergraduate students) or STP710 (postgraduate students) before your placement can be approved and before you can commence a placement.

Can days be counted retrospectively? No. Days cannot be counted retrospectively. Previous work experience cannot be counted.

Can I undertake the placement part time or does it have to be completed full time? You may be able to negotiate with your supervisor at the organisation and discuss how you wish to complete the hours/days required for the placement.

What is considered a suitable workplace?

  • Course related role/project
  • To be completed in a professional environment
  • The organisation should have a minimum of 5 full-time employees and have the capacity to provide suitable supervision
  • For more details please refer to the Placement Agreement

Can I complete my placement at my current workplace? Yes, however you will need to do something different. Current jobs will not be turned into placements. The application process is the same and requires approval.

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