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These guidelines apply to all Faculties, Schools, Sections and Units making arrangements for students to attend external organisations for the purpose of course related research, training, visits or work experience placements.


This guidance does not apply to arrangements where the individual will be subject to a contract of employment with the host organisation or for paid work experience. In these cases, the host organisation is responsible for the employment contract, worker control and related insurances, including workers’ compensation.

These guidelines apply to all Faculties, Schools, Sections and Units making arrangements for students and any accompanying staff to attend coursework, training, visits or placements in organisations outside of the University.


To protect as far as possible the health, safety and wellbeing of students carrying out tasks or off-campus activities in the premises of host organisations.

To ensure that host organisations as Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU), recognise and accept shared legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace and systems of work for ‘Workers’ and ‘Other persons’ which may include University students and staff (who may be in attendance to supervise students).

To ensure verification that the host organisation adopts an appropriate and legally compliant system of heath and safety management.

To ensure that host organisations carry adequate public liability insurance.

Also refer to Management of shared PCBU responsibilities

Recommended procedures

Placement Coordinator

Each School/Section/Unit shall formally designate one of more members of staff as Placement Coordinators who are permitted to authorise arrangements for students to attend external organisations for the purpose of course related research, training, visits or work experience placements.

Initial contact with host agencies

When first contacting external organisation concerning possible hosting arrangements, the Placement Coordinator shall advise that The University of Western Australia requires certain information as a prerequisite to authorising proposed arrangements. The potential host organisation must consult and cooperate in providing evidence that it manages health and safety via a safe system of work which is legally compliant. Their procedures and guidance must be able to meet the standards that are achieved by working in accordance with the UWA Safe System of Work.

Provision of compliance to be confirmed in writing

The Placement Coordinator shall prepare a relevant letter specifying the following requirements and retain for future reference all related correspondence.

The required evidence must incorporate the following written assurances:

  • A formal health and safety induction will be provided.
  • Written guidance regarding conduct and health and safety management processes will be made available or, individuals will be subjected to direct and continual supervision.
  • At all times there will be an appropriate Placement Supervisor provided by the host organisation.
  • Evidence that the organisation adopts a risk management approach which is consistent with the nature of tasks and activities.
  • Personal protective equipment will be provided as appropriate for the tasks or activities undertaken.
  • Written evidence that the organisation carries public liability insurance with a sufficient limit to meet potential claims arising from negligence resulting in injury or illness of students or staff from The University of Western Australia (see Insurances below for further information).
  • That the student will not undertake any task or activity prohibited by UWA.

Such evidence may be initially by telephone confirmation but is to be followed up in writing. An Example UWA student placement letter, which may be modified to suit the hosting arrangement, is provided below.

Students undertaking work involving radioactivity

In the case of students undertaking this type of work it is necessary to obtain approval from the UWA Radiation Safety Committee by submitting a radioactive materials protocol form to UWA Safety and Health and receiving an approval number. This form provides the necessary information to ensure that the University is able to meet its obligations. Occasionally a collaborating or host organisation will have its own protocol form or equivalent. In these circumstances the University will accept their form in lieu of the UWA protocol form, provided the details supplied from the collaborating organisation are equivalent to those required by UWA.

Requirements of the visiting student or staff member

The following requirements must be effectively communicated to the student and any accompanying UWA staff members. Compliance is a fundamental requirement of the authorisation issued by the UWA Placement Coordinator:

  • To comply with all health and safety requirements of the host organisation.
  • Take reasonable care of your own health and safety and also that of others.
  • You must report all known or observed incidents, injuries, illness, near misses and hazards to the host organisation and to the UWA Placement Coordinator.
  • Cultural differences must be respected.
  • Respect the right of others to work free from discrimination.
  • You must report any breaches of health and safety legislation, equal opportunity legislation (including sexual harassment, racial vilification) or poor personal security (including whilst on home visits to patients) to the host organisation and to the UWA Placement Coordinator.
  • A breach of the above may result in the placement being suspended and/or may be considered as student misconduct for the purposes of UWA policy.

Students should expect to receive the following information during their health and safety induction to the workplace within the host organisation:

  • Specific hazards in the work area where information is considered necessary on commencement including management of emergency procedures.
  • How to raise a health and safety issue, including how to report an injury/illness.
  • Name of the First Aid Officer and location of the first aid kit.
  • What to do on hearing the building fire alarm.
  • The location of the emergency exits and evacuation assembly area.
  • The location of the duress alarm(s) where applicable.
  • The location of the manual call points (e.g. red break glass alarm).
  • Security arrangements for the building/area of work (e.g. swipe card access).
  • Location of procedures or specific safety information relating to the activities to be undertaken.
  • Location of Material Safety Data Sheets (if applicable).


Any related documentation, provided by the host organisation, which includes references to insurance must be approved by the UWA Insurance Manager before signature by the UWA supervisor or the student. These insurances are provided where attendance at a host organisation is a course requirement or where it is considered to be relevant, of benefit to the course of study and is authorised by a UWA Placement Coordinator. UWA insurance policies cover such placements include personal accident plan, public liability and medical malpractice (if appropriate). If travel interstate or overseas is involved there is also a corporate travel policy to provide assistance. Host organisations may require a letter of cover or a certificate of currency which can be obtained via UWA Risk Management (Insurance).

Public liability and professional indemnity

The University provides public liability and professional indemnity cover for students of the University of Western Australia while on University course required work experience/placement indemnifying the host agency of such work experience for liability arising out of any negligent act, error or omission on the part of the student. However, the indemnity does not extend to any liability, cost or expense arising out of any negligent act or omission of the host agency or any of its employees, contractors, agents or invitees.

Student plan personal accident insurance

All currently enrolled University of Western Australia students are covered by this policy while engaged in campus activities or on UNPAID course required work experience. Student Plan Personal Accident Insurance is a comprehensive Personal Accident Insurance Program that provides currently enrolled UWA students with 24-hour cover, 365 days per year. The policy provides benefits such as: medical expenses (excluding Medicare rebatable items), weekly benefits if wages are lost as a result of temporary disablement and death cover. Claim forms may be obtained from the UWA Insurance Manager on (+61 8) 6488 3214.

Cover for students undertaking PAID work experience

Any injuries received while undertaking paid work experience are covered by the workers’ compensation policy of the host organisation.

Example UWA student placement letter

Example UWA student placement letter [83 KB DOC]

Example UWA student placement letter [173 KB RTF]

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