Click an item below to read more detail on essential requirements.
As a student fieldwork provides you with the opportunity to learn through direct experience of your professional role in real workplace settings. Curtin University values your health, safety and wellbeing as you undertake fieldwork placements. It is very important that you access the resources available to support you before, during and after fieldwork.
These resources include:
- Fieldwork Preparation Online – preparatory sessions provided by each course
- Curtin Counselling and Disability services.
The resources (videos) developed to support students’ resilience for fieldwork (available within the Fieldwork Preparation Online blackboard site) are particularly valuable.
Access and participation
Curtin University is committed to providing equitable access for students with disabilities and medical conditions. If you will require a ‘reasonable adjustment’ in a fieldwork activity you are encouraged to disclose any disability, medical or other condition that may affect your ability to successfully carry out fieldwork activities to University Disability Services or the relevant Curtin Unit Coordinator. This disclosure should be made when the fieldwork activity is being planned, or when the fieldwork activity is in progress and you find that your ability is affected. Appropriate supporting documentation will be required.
Disclosing any pre-existing medical or other conditions that may impact on your participation in fieldwork activities is required for insurance coverage purposes. It is important that you review all the essential course requirements before enrolling in order to make realistic course selection to meet the accreditation or registration standards for practice in that discipline.
- Fieldwork Preparation Online – Module 2
- Fieldwork Manual – Section 5 Access and Participation
- Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP)
Curtin requires students to be screened for, and vaccinated against, a number of communicable diseases before going on placement. Further Information is available from the Health Sciences Immunisations and Australian Immunisation Handbook.
As well as offering protection to the community, these requirements support the University’s commitment to take all reasonable steps to protect you from dangerous communicable diseases while you are enrolled as a student at Curtin.
If you are undertaking a placement outside of Western Australia you may need additional immunisations depending on your destination. Students who do not complete these requirements may not be able to commence their placement.
IMPORTANT: The Curtin University Student Screening and Immunisation Form must be used. Refer to your School for information on submitting this form.
- Fieldwork Preparation Online – Module 2
- Fieldwork Manual – 9.1b Pre-Requisites for Entry to Commence and Continue in Curricular Fieldwork
- Health and wellbeing at Curtin
The Conscientious Objection Policy and Procedures outlines the University-wide approach to conscientious objection. This includes the principle that students with a conscientious objection to a particular fieldwork activity be offered a comparable opportunity, where appropriate, if reasonable notice is provided to the Unit Coordinator as per the School’s fieldwork guidelines. Additional information is provided in the Curtin Fieldwork Manual – 4.5 Conscientious Objection and Fieldwork Preparation Online Module 2.
Curtin is required to advise a placement facility if students refuse, on the basis of conscientious objection, to be screened and/or vaccinated against certain communicable diseases. If there is a risk that client, patient or staff safety may be compromised, you may be refused access to the facility and so prejudice successful completion of your course of study and /or professional registration.
First Aid training
Some courses and placement providers require you to be competent at first aid to ensure the safety of you, the clients and patients you work with. If you need first aid certification (as outlined in Essential requirements – by course) refer to your School for suggested first aid training providers and information on the specific first aid requirements before attending a fieldwork placement.
You will be responsible for all costs associated with completing and maintaining first aid currency.
Note: Courses must meet Australian Standards and the Faculty of Health Sciences does not accept first aid certificates obtained through fully online courses.
Manual handling training
Some courses and placement providers require students to be competent in manual handling to ensure your own safety and that of clients and patients. Refer to your School for suggested course providers and information on manual handling requirements before attending a fieldwork placement.
You will be responsible for all costs associated with completing and maintaining manual handling competency.
Note: The Faculty of Health Sciences does not accept certificates obtained through fully online courses for manual handling.
Hand hygiene training
Effective hand hygiene is the most important strategy in preventing infections related to health care (Hand Hygiene Australia). Thus many placement providers require students to have completed (and comply with) hand hygiene training.
Hand Hygiene Australia has a free 15 minute Online Learning Package for all health professionals. You may be required to present your certificate of completion to the supervisor or relevant staff member on commencement of any fieldwork placement. Refer to your School for information on hand hygiene competency before attending a fieldwork placement.
Students may be required to undertake additional requirements prior to fieldwork. This includes, but is not limited to, possessing a drivers’ licence, attaining aquatic proficiency, and/or use of a radiation monitoring device. You will be responsible for all costs associated with any other essential requirement for a course.
Refer to your school for details relating to other essential requirements needed to undertake fieldwork.
Students are required to carry, and produce on request, documented proof of criminal screening during a fieldwork placement. The type of clearance you may require will vary depending on the placement setting. Details about the required criminal screening can be obtained from your School.
Note: Placements in a clinical setting outside of Western Australia may require additional clearance checks. The onus is on you to obtain this information from your placement provider.
You will be responsible for all costs associated with mandatory screening requirements for fieldwork. Please check with the relevant organisation (as below) for the current costs. Note that processing times of applications can vary from between 2-6 weeks.
A criminal record does not necessarily preclude you from participating in fieldwork but must be negotiated with your placement provider. However, convictions leading to a 12 month imprisonment, or more, for the following crimes are likely to lead to a refusal by a provider where placement involves contact with the public. Such crimes include those:
- of a violent or sexual nature
- where the victim was under 18 years of age or elderly
- of dealing or trafficking in drugs, or
- involving fraud.
You can obtain confidential advice about this or any other concerns you may have regarding the record check from the following agencies:
- Head of University Counselling Services at Curtin on +61 8 9266 7850
- Department of Health (WA) on +61 8 9222 4222
- Department of Education and Training (WA) on +61 8 9264 4111.
Department of Education
A National Police History Check (NPHC) is required by the Department of Education for students undertaking a placement in public schools. The NPHC is in two parts and both documents must be completed to fulfil application requirements.
National Criminal History Record Check (NCHRC)
The Department of Health requires a National Criminal History Record Check (NCHRC) before attending a placement at any of their sites. A certified copy of a valid National Police Certificate (if issued within the past 12 months) can be attached to your application for a NCHRC which will reduce the cost of applying for a NCHRC (the NPC part of the check will not need to be repeated).
National Police Certificate
A valid National Police Certificate (NPC) may be required to undertake fieldwork in some sites. If you are not from Western Australia you must apply through your respective State or Territory Authority.
Working with Children Check
The Working with Children Check (WWC Check) is a national criminal record check that is compulsory for people who carry out child related work for five days or more in a calendar year in Western Australia and the Indian Ocean Territories. To apply for the WWC Check you need to obtain the details of your placement setting.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is responsible for the implementation of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS). The aims of NRAS include:
- protecting the public by ensuring that only suitably trained and qualified practitioners are registered
- facilitating workforce mobility across Australia, and
- enabling the continuous development of a flexible, responsive and sustainable Australian health workforce.
Professions currently regulated under the NRAS are:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practice
- chinese medicine
- dental practice*
- medical radiation practice*
- nursing and midwifery*
- occupational therapy*
* denotes professions for which courses of study are offered at Curtin
Each profession has a National Board which regulates the profession, registers practitioners and develops standards, codes and guidelines for the profession. The primary role of the National Boards is to protect the public and set standards and policies that all registered health practitioners must meet. AHPRA administers NRAS and provides administrative support to the National Boards.
Under the National Law, all students enrolled in an approved program of study must be registered as a student with their respective Board. Students must be registered in the interests of protecting the public’s safety in much the same way that health practitioners must be registered. This enables Boards to act on student impairment matters or when there is a conviction of a serious nature that may impact on public safety. For the purposes of student registration, an approved program of study refers to those programs that have been approved by the Board and lead to general registration with AHPRA. A list of approved programs of study can be found on each Boards’ website.
You must be registered prior to the commencement of your approved program of study or fieldwork/clinical training and will remain registered for the duration of study. You do not need to apply for registration, Curtin is responsible for this process. Curtin is also required to notify AHPRA if a student withdraws from the program, discontinues or otherwise ceases to be enrolled.
Curtin University will notify you that you have been successfully added to the Student Register once this has been confirmed by AHPRA. If you receive notification that your registration has been refused, modified to include restrictions, or removed, you should immediately contact your Course Coordinator. Note: The legislation also allows for an appeal process should registration be refused or removed.
There are no fees for student registration.
Health professionals (which includes University staff who are health professionals) and Curtin University are legally required to notify AHPRA if they consider a student to have an impairment that may put the public at substantial risk of harm.
Impairment ‘means the person has a physical or mental impairment, disability, condition or disorder (including substance abuse or dependence), that detrimentally affects or is likely to detrimentally affect the student’s capacity to undertake clinical training as part of the approved programme of study in which the student has enrolled: or arranged by an education provider’ (Section 5 Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (WA) Act 2010).
The final decision about the ‘fitness to practice’ of a student is taken by the Registration Board, not the University. One of the options the Registration Boards have under the legislation is to provide student registration with specific limitations. Where such decisions have resulted in the refusal of student registration by the Board, the University will discuss the available options with the student.
As a student you are legally required to notify your Board if you:
- have been charged with an offence, or convicted or have been found guilty of an offence punishable by 12 months imprisonment or more
- had your registration suspended or cancelled under the law of another country that provides for the registration of students.
You must also keep the University informed of any change in relation to your registration status. This includes refusal of initial registration, removal of registration or imposition of limitations on registration. Notification of any of these events should be made to the relevant Course Coordinator.
AHPRA – Professional registration on graduation
Curtin University provides AHPRA with a report of all students that have met the requirements of an approved program of study. AHPRA then considers if all requirements for professional registration are met. Curtin plays no role in this decision-making process.
Note: The English language requirements for registration in the profession on completion of a program may differ from that of the enrolment requirements for the relevant Curtin program.
Students and staff have a responsibility to work safely in the field, taking reasonable care and practical steps to protect their own health and safety and that of any other participants, staff, clients/patients, visitors and volunteers at the fieldwork location. As a Health Science student you may be required to complete documentation designed to assess and mitigate any risk in carrying out fieldwork activities. You will be guided through this process by Unit Coordinators or other qualified staff to ensure any risk is minimised.
Students and staff must report any incident or hazard that arises during a fieldwork activity as soon as possible, to both the Fieldwork Partner and Curtin University.
- Fieldwork Preparation Online – Module 3
- Fieldwork Manual – Section 3 Risk Identification and Management
- Curtin Risk Management Website
As part of fieldwork, you may be required to undertake activities that involve travel. There are various Travel Procedures, Resources and Insurance Policies available that are relevant to fieldwork and must be completed for both domestic and international travel.
Curtin staff and students are covered by the University’s insurance policies for approved fieldwork activities. The University will ensure that a Legal Agreement between the Fieldwork Partner and Curtin is arranged prior to you or a staff member commencing fieldwork to ensure that all responsibilities in relation to insurance are finalised prior to the commencement of fieldwork. Certificates of currency cover staff and students undertaking approved fieldwork activities for personal accident, public liability and professional indemnity.
If you are a student involved in course-related fieldwork activities you should also refer to the Student Personal Accident Information Sheet for further information.
Student exclusion from fieldwork
You may be excluded from fieldwork at the discretion of Curtin University. Failure to successfully complete a required fieldwork activity may jeopardise successful completion of your course. Please refer to Fieldwork Manual (10.2a) for accepted reasons for exclusion.