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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is a WPSP?

WPSPs Work Placement Service Providers ensure that every HSC VET student has immediate access to relevant work placements for the industry course they are studying. WPSPs liaise between the schools/TAFE colleges and the employers (including government agencies) to coordinate the best possible placements for students. They are located in different geographical areas, and your closest WPSP can be determined by checking the WPSP directory


What about child protection? Does our agency have to screen our staff before hosting an HSC VET student?

Most government agencies will not need to conduct background checks on their staff before hosting students for work placement. However, the expectation is that NSW agencies would not knowingly place a student in close contact with a staff member or other person who is unsuitable to work with children and young people.

If your agency is a child-related employer as defined in the NSW Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998, you are already required to observe mandatory obligations for background checks for paid staff through the relevant approved screening agency.

For more information, please read the relevant sections in the guides provided for host employers. For example, see Section 2 in the NSW Department of Education and Training's An Employer's Guide to Workplace Learning, available on this web site.

See also, the host employer sign-off on the record of the placement. For government school students, this is the Student Placement Record, available from the Workplace Learning Policy 2005 - Implementation Details web page.


Confidentiality

Students are made aware of the importance of confidentiality in the workplace during their preparation for placement. Students sign off on their record of placement that they will respect confidentiality in the workplace.

Agencies can reinforce the importance of confidentiality in their agency's work as part of their induction of the student. If the agency wishes to further emphasise this aspect, there is a sample Confidentiality Agreement provided in A Supervisor's Road Map to Work Placement - see page 31, available on this web site.

Most agencies can avoid confidentiality issues by planning work activities for the student that do not include sensitive areas or information.


Do students undertake preparation for their placement?

Students are required to undertake appropriate preparatory activities before they do their placement. This includes OHS that is relevant to their course as well as other topics that their school or TAFE considers important. Topics would include the student's role and responsibilities during work placement; host employer expectations; appropriate communication in the workplace and dealing with others in a range of workplace situations.

Students undertaking work placement in a government agency will benefit from including the following in the agency's induction:

  • a brief explanation about the role of the agency
  • distinguishing the agency's work from other agencies, and other levels of government
  • a few summary points about what the public sector is and its value to the community
  • while the student is on placement, they are in effect, helping to carry out the work of that agency.