Fieldwork requirements

Health Sciences courses include fieldwork components, encouraging real-world learning and allowing students to put course theory into practice.

In order to undertake fieldwork, some or all of the following requirements must be considered.

You can find a list of your preferred course’s fieldwork requirements via the school sites, or via the courses website:

School of Medicine

School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine

School of Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Speech Pathology

School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science

School of Psychology

School of Public Health

 

General fieldwork requirements


Communicable diseases

If your studies include clinical practice, it is a condition of enrolment that you are screened for and vaccinated against contracting many infectious conditions, including:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (German Measles)
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox)
  • Diphtheria, Polio, Tetanus and Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
  • Influenza
  • Tuberculosis

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) clearance is also required if you have been a patient, student or have worked in any hospital or residential care facility outside Western Australia in the 12 months before beginning a placement. Exposure to the infection may also occur in other types of facilities such as
schools or child care facilities in other countries.

As well as offering protection to patients and clients, these requirements support our commitment to take all reasonable steps for the protection of students from dangerous communicable diseases during the period of their enrolment at Curtin.

If you are a carrier of a communicable disease such as Hepatitis B or C, HIV or Tuberculosis and your desired course includes clinical placements you are strongly advised to seek advice from the relevant course coordinator before applying for the course.

Conscientious objection

We are required to advise a health facility if you refuse, on the basis of conscientious objection, to be screened and/or vaccinated against the above conditions. If there is a risk that patient safety may be compromised, you may be refused access to the facility, hindering the completion of your course of study. View Curtin’s Conscientious Objection Policy and Procedures.

Criminal record screening and clearance (health)

A range of courses and/or some fieldwork host organisations require students to undertake criminal record screening prior to commencing fieldwork. The type of clearance you require varies between government and non-government fieldwork host organisations. The recency of the clearance will also vary depending on the fieldwork host organisation and you may at times be asked to update your clearance as stipulated by the fieldwork host. During fieldwork you will be required to carry, and produce on request, documented proof of criminal screening.

Processing times of applications can take several months depending on the type of clearance. Please check with the relevant organisation (as below) for current costs. You will be responsible for all costs associated with mandatory screening requirements for fieldwork.

Fieldwork in a setting outside of Western Australia may require additional clearance checks. The onus is on you to obtain this information from your placement provider.

Details and further information on criminal record screening and clearance requirements will be provided by your school prior to commencing fieldwork.

Note: If the criminal screening process identifies that you have a criminal record, it may preclude you from undertaking the essential fieldwork placements required for course completion.

Types of clearances you may require include:

Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check

Department of Health

WA Health requires a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check before attending fieldwork at any of their sites. The Criminal Record Screening (CRS) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document provides further information on applying for and obtaining a WA Health criminal record screening. Curtin has been advised by WA Health that when applying for a Nationally Coordinated Criminal Record Check they will accept a valid National Police Clearance provided it has been issued within the past 12 months.

Department of Education

The Department of Education requires a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check for students undertaking fieldwork in an educational facility in Western Australia. To ensure compliance with the Department’s strict criminal screening criteria, police clearances or criminal record checks obtained through any other agency or organisation will not be accepted by the Department of Education. Curtin has been advised that student applications will be processed at the same cost as volunteer applications.

National Police Certificate

A valid National Police Certificate (NPC) may be required to undertake fieldwork in some fieldwork hosting organisations. If you are not from Western Australia you must apply through your respective state or territory authority.

Note: Some fieldwork host organisations do not accept police checks obtained through Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) accredited bodies using the National Police Checking Service. While you can request a police check from an ACIC accredited organisation, a police-issued NPC (referred to above) is on secure paper and includes eligible spent convictions. You are therefore strongly advised to obtain an NPC from a police agency in the first instance to reduce the cost of potentially having to reapply for a NPC to meet host organisation requirements.

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 (or work where contact with children is likely) for five days or more in a calendar year in Western Australia and the Indian Ocean Territories.

Fieldwork requirements for health sciences courses


Student declaration

As part of the enrolment process for this course, you will be asked to acknowledge on your enrolment form that you have read and understood the student declaration.

You are also required to sign a Confidentiality Declaration at either the commencement of your studies with the Faculty of Health Sciences, or prior to undertaking clinical/fieldwork placements while undertaking this course.

Fieldwork host organisations may also require you to sign confidentiality agreements.

AHPRA registration

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is responsible for the implementation of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS). 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.

Student registration

Under national law, all students enrolled in an approved program of study must be registered as a student with their respective board. You 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.

Note: You do not need to apply for student registration as Curtin is responsible for this process. Curtin will notify you that you have been successfully added to the student register once this has been confirmed by AHPRA. Curtin is also required to notify AHPRA if you withdraw from your program, discontinues or otherwise ceases to be enrolled.

There are no costs associated for student registration.

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.

Criminal record screening and clearance (health)

Many courses and/or some fieldwork host organisations require students to undertake criminal record screening prior to commencing fieldwork. The type of clearance you require varies between government and non-government fieldwork host organisations. The recency of the clearance will also vary depending on the fieldwork host organisation and you may at times be asked to update your clearance as stipulated by the fieldwork host. During fieldwork you will be required to carry, and produce on request, documented proof of criminal screening.

Processing times of applications can take several months depending on the type of clearance. Please check with the relevant organisation (as below) for current costs. You will be responsible for all costs associated with mandatory screening requirements for fieldwork.

Fieldwork in a setting outside of Western Australia may require additional clearance checks. The onus is on you to obtain this information from your placement provider.

Details and further information on criminal record screening and clearance requirements will be provided by your school prior to commencing fieldwork.

Note: If the criminal screening process identifies that you have a criminal record, it may preclude you from undertaking the essential fieldwork placements required for course completion.

Types of clearances you may require include:

Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check

Department of Health

WA Health requires a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check before attending fieldwork at any of their sites. The Criminal Record Screening (CRS) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document provides further information on applying for and obtaining a WA Health criminal record screening. Curtin has been advised by WA Health that when applying for a Nationally Coordinated Criminal Record Check they will accept a valid National Police Clearance provided it has been issued within the past 12 months.

Department of Education

The Department of Education requires a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check for students undertaking fieldwork in an educational facility in Western Australia. To ensure compliance with the Department’s strict criminal screening criteria, police clearances or criminal record checks obtained through any other agency or organisation will not be accepted by the Department of Education. Curtin has been advised that student applications will be processed at the same cost as volunteer applications.

National Police Certificate

A valid National Police Certificate (NPC) may be required to undertake fieldwork in some fieldwork hosting organisations. If you are not from Western Australia you must apply through your respective state or territory authority.

Note: Some fieldwork host organisations do not accept police checks obtained through Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) accredited bodies using the National Police Checking Service. While you can request a police check from an ACIC accredited organisation, a police-issued NPC (referred to above) is on secure paper and includes eligible spent convictions. You are therefore strongly advised to obtain an NPC from a police agency in the first instance to reduce the cost of potentially having to reapply for a NPC to meet host organisation requirements.

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 (or work where contact with children is likely) for five days or more in a calendar year in Western Australia and the Indian Ocean Territories.

Immunisation

Certain courses and/ or some fieldwork host organisations require students to be screened for and vaccinated against Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPDs) before commencing fieldwork. This includes but is not limited to:

Additional screening may also be required for:

  • Tuberculosis
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis C
  • MRSA – for any student who has been a patient in a hospital or worked in a clinical setting (including hospitals or residential care facilities) outside of WA in the 12 months prior to commencing fieldwork.

As well as offering protection to the community, these requirements support the University’s commitment to take all reasonable steps to protect you from vaccine preventable diseases while you are enrolled as a student at Curtin.

You will be responsible for all costs associated with screening and vaccination requirements. If you do not complete these requirements you may not be able to commence fieldwork.

Note: Students undertaking fieldwork outside of Western Australia and overseas may need additional immunisations and screening depending on the destination.

Further information is available from the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

Screening/ vaccination schedule

Your School will provide you with course specific information about screening/vaccination requirements and schedules. Some vaccinations need multiple inoculations over a period of time before immunity is achieved, so screening and vaccinations should be planned early as this can take up to several months. TB screening should be completed before you receive vaccines for other conditions because of possible interactive effects. You will be responsible for ensuring that your vaccinations are kept up to date.

Records

You are strongly advised to keep a copy of your screening/vaccination history and records in a safe place as you will need to provide original records (including childhood records) as evidence of your compliance.

IMPORTANT: The Curtin University Student Serology and Immunisation Form must be used. Refer to your School for information on submitting this form.

Conscientious objection

Curtin has to advise a health facility if you refuse, on the basis of conscientious objection, to be screened and/ or vaccinated against the above conditions. If there is a risk that patient safety may be compromised, you may be refused access to the facility and so prejudice successfully completing your course of study.

Further information is available from Curtin’s Conscientious Objection Policy and Procedures

 

First aid

Some courses or some fieldwork host organisations require you to be competent in first aid to ensure your safety, and that of the clients or patients you work with. Information on the specific first aid requirements and suggested first aid training providers will be provided by your school before commencing fieldwork.

You will be responsible for all costs associated with completing and maintaining first aid currency.

Note: First aid courses must meet Australian standards and the Faculty of Health Sciences does not accept first aid certificates obtained through fully online courses.

Hand hygiene

According to Hand Hygiene Australia, effective hand hygiene is the most important strategy in preventing infections related to health care. As such, this course and many fieldwork host organisations require you to have completed (and comply with) hand hygiene training. Information on hand hygiene requirements will be provided by your school before commencing fieldwork.

You may be required to present your certificate of completion to the supervisor or relevant staff member on commencement of any fieldwork.

There are no costs associated with the completion of the Hand Hygiene Australia online learning package.

Manual handling

Certain courses or some fieldwork host organisations require you to be competent in manual handling. Information on manual handling requirements and suggested course providers will be provided by your school before commencing fieldwork.

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 for manual handling obtained through online courses.

 

 

Other requirements

You may be required to undertake additional requirements prior to participating in fieldwork. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • possessing a driver’s licence
  • attaining aquatic proficiency
  • use of a radiation monitoring device
  • use of protective clothing and footwear.

You will be responsible for all costs associated with any other essential requirements for a course.

Details on the other essential requirements will be provided by your school before commencing fieldwork.