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Internships Management Policy

Purpose

Scope

Principles

Policy statements

Policy ownership and support

Definitions

Approval information

PDF version

References


1. Purpose

1.1 The Internships Management Policy (the policy) outlines how internships are managed, supported and approved by UTS.

2. Scope

2.1 This policy applies to:

  • staff, students and affiliates, and
  • course related internships approved by UTS in line with this policy.

2.2 Voluntary work experience, internship-like experiences, other types of work integrated learning (WIL) and details of educational frameworks for internships are out of scope of this policy.

3. Principles

3.1 Internships form part of the UTS model of learning and are an important component of the UTS 2027 strategy.

3.2 Internships help students achieve their graduate attributes and should provide students with an opportunity to gain work experience and develop employability skills. UTS’s objective is for all courses to provide the opportunity for students to engage in internships or internship-like experiences.

3.3 UTS will continue to pursue opportunities to increase the availability of internships for its students and improve staff training, development and support in relation to internship provision and delivery, developing an operating model for the university.

3.4 Internships are a mutual arrangement between UTS, the host organisation and the student in line with relevant legislation and UTS rules, policies and values.

3.5 Internships connect the university learning experience with the culture, practice and expectations of a professional workplace. Faculties should only approve internships that are of a quality and standard needed to provide a relevant and useful experience with a safe environment for the student (refer to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency’s Guidance Note: Work Integrated Learning).

3.6 In line with the Research Policy, internships in or with the tobacco industry are prohibited. Outside that industry, all prospective internship arrangements will be assessed through a due diligence and risk assessment in line with this policy and UTS’s compliance obligations (for example under the Guidelines to Counter Foreign Interference in the Australian University Sector and Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cwlth)).

4. Policy statements

4.1 Internships must be approved and managed by faculties in accordance with this policy.

Internships operating model

4.2 The management of internships must be supported by faculty-level procedures and an operational framework approved by the dean or the faculty board. This should address:

  1. responsible owners and review and improvement processes
  2. expectations for faculties to work towards opportunities for all students to engage in internships
  3. clear administrative processes for staff, students and host organisations (with standardised applications and contracts where possible)
  4. risk management
  5. appropriate support and guidance for students undertaking an internship (pre-placement and during placement)
  6. review and monitoring of host organisations and faculty processes, and
  7. support and resourcing for staff to meet their requirements in relation to internships under the strategy.

4.3 Internships may be sourced by the student (independently), by UTS (from available placements) or sourced directly for the student (refer Internships). Internships are typically drawn from the range of work contexts graduates may be expected to encounter. Further advice and guidance may be sought from UTS CareerHub (UTS login required).

4.4 University-approved internships are usually covered by UTS’s insurance or travel insurance, however, limitations and exclusions may apply. Paid internships are not covered by UTS’s insurance. In some circumstances, students may be required to obtain their own insurance or additional cover. Staff must inform students of any additional insurance requirements before approving internships. Insurance information is available from the:

4.5 Any protections, safeguards and access to insurance cover referred to in this policy and related procedures do not apply to students who choose to source and undertake an internship without formal UTS approval (even though an internship may be required by their course). This must be clearly articulated to students in subject outlines.

4.6 Faculties must provide support for students throughout their internship as appropriate to the discipline, subject and duration of the internship.

Internship approval and agreements

4.7 Internships must be managed by a written agreement between UTS, the host organisation (or an appropriate representative body) and the student (where appropriate). This is normally undertaken in CareerHub.

4.8 Faculties must ensure that all internships are approved in line with this policy and faculty-approved procedures. In addition to the information retained in CareerHub, agreements must also be stored and managed in line with the Records Management Policy. Faculties may also establish a register of approved host organisations (available at Work in host organisations: Host organisation check).

4.9 Approval must be obtained from UTS before the internship begins. Timings and expectations for sourcing internships should be clearly outlined to students to allow sufficient time for these approvals to take place.

4.10 If UTS is the host, a suitable arrangement and agreement commensurate with the relevant associated risks for the internship must be made with the relevant UTS faculty, unit, institute or centre.

4.11 For internships organised internally (and located in a UTS faculty, unit, institute or centre) it should be made clear, either as part of the subject approval processes or as a separate agreement:

  1. the nature and purpose of the work to be undertaken
  2. any assessment requirements, where relevant (refer Coursework Assessments Policy)
  3. the relevant health and safety responsibilities, and the management of risk to health and safety, in line with this policy and the Health and Safety Policy
  4. the student’s responsibilities
  5. the relevant supervisory arrangements
  6. requirements for submitting reports on work undertaken, and
  7. that accessibility or other specific student requirements are addressed, where relevant.

4.12 If the host is an external organisation, the written agreement must be made and approved in line with the Delegations. The written agreement must outline:

  1. the nature and purpose of the internship and the work to be undertaken
  2. the nature and expectations of any assessment requirements, where relevant (refer Coursework Assessments Policy)
  3. UTS’s responsibilities to the student
  4. the host organisation’s responsibilities to the student
  5. the student’s responsibilities in relation to the internship
  6. the nature of supervision by UTS and/or host organisation staff (as applicable)
  7. any UTS requirements that include submitting reports on work undertaken
  8. each party’s obligations regarding work health and safety (see Host organisation work health and safety in this policy and the Health and Safety Policy), compliance with legislative requirements, insurance and indemnity (including how issues such as discrimination or harassment are monitored, reported and managed)
  9. the management of risk to health and safety, and
  10. accessibility or other specific student requirements, where relevant.

4.13 Faculties may, under Rule 3.4, Student Rules, assess any student’s readiness, fitness and suitability to begin (or continue) an internship, and defer or reschedule the internship in accordance with Rule 3.4.5.

4.14 UTS may refuse to allow a student to undertake an approved internship, or may recommend the student withdraw from an internship, in accordance with Rule 3.4, Student Rules. As a consequence, the student may be unable to complete the course’s professional experience requirements. UTS will provide guidance and support for the student. This may include finding an alternative arrangement that will meet the requirements of their course or, where appropriate, provide support in transferring to a course without these requirements.

Internship subjects and mandatory internships

4.15 Internship subjects must be developed and approved in accordance with UTS’s course and subject design requirements (refer Subject Descriptions and Subject Outlines Policy).

4.16 Internships that make up part of an internship subject must be:

  1. arranged or sourced in line with faculty requirements and relevant deadlines
  2. signed off through a UTS supported enterprise system (CareerHub or other platform agreed by UTS Careers)
  3. directly linked to the course intended learning outcomes, graduate attributes and/or potential career pathways (and specified as such in the subject description)
  4. reviewed regularly, and
  5. risk-assessed, including assessed to measure work health and safety standards and requirements (refer Health and safety performance reporting (Staff Connect)), which must be captured in UTS’s WHS risk register (staff only).

4.17 Students undertaking internship subjects must be provided pre-placement support and/or readiness training where possible, as determined by faculty resources.

4.18 Where internships are a mandatory component of a course, this must be clearly stated in the student handbook and listed as part of the course’s inherent requirements.

Student responsibilities

4.19 Students may independently source internships, however they must consult a faculty staff member as soon as possible to seek UTS approval for the internship.

4.20 Not all internships sourced by students will be approved by UTS.

4.21 Students may decide to undertake voluntary work experience that has not been approved by UTS. However, students must be aware that they are solely responsible for their activities and interactions with a host organisation, and for obtaining appropriate insurance. Voluntary work experiences will not be counted as a university-approved internship and do not fulfil course requirements for an internship.

4.22 Students seeking approval for an internship overseas must consult with their faculty and seek support from UTS Careers (refer Job opportunities and UTS Student Travel Management Plan on CareerHub). Students and staff must also consult the Student Travel and Expenses Policy to determine whether its provisions apply.

4.23 Students participating in a university-approved internship overseas must refer to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s travel advice as outlined in the Student Travel and Expenses Policy.

4.24 Students are encouraged to disclose to their faculty (and/or university placement supervisor as appropriate) any matter that may affect their ability to undertake their internship as soon as it becomes known. Students are responsible for disclosing any known risks to their safety or the safety of others.

4.25 Students must comply and act in accordance with:

  1. the Student Rules, the Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy and the Equity, Inclusion and Respect Policy while undertaking a university-approved internship
  2. the rules and procedures of the host organisation, and
  3. any reasonable safety instructions and requirements of the host organisation.

Support for students

4.26 Students undertaking internships are encouraged to discuss any reasonable adjustments1 required with the UTS Accessibility Service, and/or their faculty, and/or the host organisation. This includes the need for assistive technology or workplace adjustments to reduce the impact any health condition or disability may have on their ability to fulfil the internship’s requirements, duties or functions.

4.27 Staff responsible for approving health and allied health internships should be provided with training and/or information in relation to Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) requirements (refer Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) Reporting Procedures).

4.28 Where a reasonable adjustment is unavailable, or does not enable a student to meet the requirements, duties or functions of the internship, faculties must:

  1. determine whether an alternative host organisation is available and suitable
  2. advise the student where no alternative host organisation is available of any consequences for course completion
  3. discuss any potential support or alternative arrangements that may be available, and
  4. advise the student on any available appeals processes, further rights and the responsibilities of the faculty.

1. In determining reasonable adjustments, the Disability Standards for Education 2005 (issued under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cwlth)) must be followed.

Host organisation work health and safety

4.29 Host organisations must declare in the written agreement that they will provide students with a safe workplace in line with relevant legislative requirements and UTS’s risk management principles and processes (refer Risk Management Policy).

4.30 Faculties must ensure that the host organisation completes the Host Organisation Health and Safety Checklist (available at Work in Host Organisations) before the start of the internship, and that the requirements of this policy are reflected in the written agreements. Where possible, faculties may conduct a site visit to address work health and safety concerns. Refer Work in Host Organisations for further guidance.

4.31 Host organisations must have (as reflected in the written agreement):

  1. adequate public liability insurance cover to cover loss, damage or injury suffered by students and/or UTS staff as a result of acts or omissions by the host organisation
  2. adequate personal accident insurance, and
  3. adequate workers’ compensation insurance, where applicable.

4.32 Faculties must provide students with general work health and safety information before they start their internship. Students must be made aware of:

  1. their role, responsibilities and rights in relation to health and safety in the workplace
  2. procedures to follow where there are concerns regarding health and safety
  3. procedures for reporting any incidents to UTS
  4. procedures for responding to particular types of incidents, and
  5. any insurance arrangements and implications.

4.33 Faculties, placement supervisors and host organisations must promptly and clearly communicate to each other any change in circumstance that may impact a student’s ability to safely undertake the internship.

4.34 Where host organisations cannot meet the health and safety requirements outlined in this policy, the faculty should assist the student in making alternative arrangements. The faculty should also make an assessment as to whether the host organisation should remain on the faculty’s register of approved host organisations (refer Work in Host Organisations).

4.35 Students must immediately notify their university placement supervisor and the host organisation of any accident, injury or safety incident while on their internship. All incidents must be reported via HIRO.

4.36 Faculties and/or students should maintain an awareness of host organisation values, practices and general suitability. Any concerns should be raised immediately with the relevant dean or director in line with the Risk Management Policy.

Review and monitoring

4.37 Faculties should obtain student feedback at the end of the internship to ensure placement outcomes are being met. This can be done via the student feedback survey (refer Feedback Survey Policy) and/or the CareerHub survey process.

4.38 For the purposes of continuous improvement, feedback should be formally documented and reported to the faculty board (or relevant subcommittee) for information, and to observe patterns and ensure recurring issues are addressed.

4.39 Faculties should have mechanisms in place to ensure that internships are only undertaken with suitable host organisations.

Breaches

4.40 Staff responsible for the administration and management of this policy must comply with its provisions to mitigate risk to UTS, the student and the host organisation.

4.41 Breaches of this policy:

5. Policy ownership and support

5.1 Policy owners: The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) is responsible for policy enforcement and compliance, ensuring that its principles and statements are observed. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) is also responsible for the approval of any associated university-level procedures.

The Provost and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) are jointly responsible for UTS’s internships operating model, including the application of key performance indicators and technology to support management, and the roll out of the UTS model of learning.

5.2 Policy contacts: Deans, associate deans (teaching and learning), responsible academic officers and the Director, Student Services are the primary points of contact for advice on implementing this policy at a faculty or divisional level and for developing and approving related local-level procedures as part of the operating model.

5.3 Others:

The Manager, Careers Service is centrally responsible for providing systems (CareerHub) advice on internships at UTS including:

  1. documenting the end-to-end CareerHub internship process
  2. ensuring that clear work health and safety rules and responsibilities are assigned at each step, and
  3. ensuring that all responsible parties involved in the process are provided with the relevant information and training.

Faculties are responsible for operationalising this policy and the required operational framework to meet the individual learning strategies and workplace experience requirements of their discipline and subject areas. Support for implementing internships is available from UTS Internships and Careers support for my subject (Staff Connect).

UTS International is responsible for coordinating advice for international students.

The Financial Services Unit is responsible for advice on insurance.

6. Definitions

The following definitions are in addition to the definitions outlined in the Intellectual Property Policy and Schedule 1, Student Rules.

Host organisation means the entity providing a university-approved internship to a UTS student. This may be an external organisation or company, or a UTS faculty, unit, centre or institute.

Inherent requirements are defined in the Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

Internship2 is defined in Schedule 1, Student Rules. This policy covers course-related internships. Internships may be:

  • mandatory course requirements and for credit
  • mandatory course requirements and not for credit
  • optional and for credit
  • optional and not for credit (not course-related).

Internship-like experience is defined in Schedule 1, Student Rules.

Internship subject means a subject that includes an internship or placement.

Placement supervisor or university placement supervisor means a supervisor who is responsible for supervising an individual student’s work while undertaking an internship. Placement supervisors are external to UTS (in an external host-organisation). University placement supervisors are internal to UTS (if the host organisation is a faculty, unit, centre or institute).

University-approved or university-approval means internships that have been approved by a UTS faculty (or equivalent) in writing in order to ensure legal, insurance and educational requirements are met.

Voluntary work experience means any internship that is not approved in line with this policy, whether or not it is related to the student’s course and whether or not a student has an internship requirement as part of their course.

Written agreement means the agreement between the faculty and the external host organisation, and, where appropriate, the student. These agreements should, at a minimum, clearly outline the requirements provided in this policy (see statement 4.12) and identify the relevant delegate responsible for final approval of the agreement on behalf of the university.

2. Internships and voluntary work experience are the primary categories of work integrated learning as defined by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (refer Guidance Note: Work Integrated Learning).

Approval information

Procedures contact Deans, Manager, Careers Service and Director, Student Services Unit
Approval authority Academic Board
Review date 2022
File number UR21/968
Superseded documents Course Related Work Experience Vice-Chancellor’s Directive (UR12/876)

Version history

Version Approved by Approval date Effective date Sections modified
1.0 Academic Board 28/07/2021 13/09/2021 New policy.

PDF version

Internships Management Policy (PDF 220KB)

References

Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) Reporting Procedures

Coursework Assessments Policy and Procedures

Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cwlth)

Disability Standards for Education 2005

Equity, Inclusion and Respect Policy

Feedback Survey Policy

Records Management Policy

Student placements: Host Organisation Health and Safety Checklist

Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy

Student Rules: Rule 3.4, section 16, Schedule 1

Student Travel and Expenses Policy and Procedures

Subject Descriptions and Subject Outlines Policy

UTS CareerHub

UTS Delegations

UTS Internships

UTS Manifesto for Internships (PDF)

Work in Host Organisations (information and checklists)