The University of Newcastle, Australia

Placement requirements

Students must ensure they adhere to the University of NewcastlStudent Professional Experience Policy and Code of Conduct.

In order to attend a placement in a NSW Department of Education facility or other NSW School or Service, all students must complete the placement criteria steps below and record your completion of the steps on the SONIA placement system. Refer to the Education Placement Requirements instruction sheet for step by step instructions.

Any student who does not meet ALL criteria will not be allocated a placement. If you are unable to complete your placement you will not have met the requirements to graduate from your chosen degree.

IN ADDITION to steps 1 -4 below, students are required to complete and lodge SECTOR based Mandatory Compliance as follows:

Students must complete and lodge the above form with the NSW Department of Education Probity Unit (refer Factsheet link below) prior to their first professional experience placement. You will need to lodge this form ONCE. NOTE: if you update your NSW Working with Children Check from Volunteer to Paid Employment, then you would need lodge an updated Declaration form with Department.

Visit the NSW Department of Education teach.NSW website and download the Declaration for Child-Related Work - Tertiary Practicum Student Factsheet for a step-by-step guide to this new NSW Department of Education requirement.

Please note that the above Sector based mandatory compliance requirement is managed by NSW Department of Education, Probity Unit. If you have any questions, please contact the Probity Unit directly on 02 78143825 or email wwcc@det.nsw.au.

Placement criteria

ALL Education students must hold a current NSW Working with Children Check (WWCC) clearance number prior to undertaking any professional experience placement or observation placement.  A current NSW WWCC is required to comply with the following:

  • NSW Government Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012; and
  • Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013; and
  • Child Protection (Working with Children) Amendment (Statutory Review) Act 2018

Education students undertaking most professional experience placements are classified as Volunteers for the purpose of the check.  NOTE: Final year Education Students MUST hold a current PAID employee NSW WWCC prior to undertaking their final professional experience placement. 

The NSW WWCC is free for Volunteers. The Paid Employee check costs approximately $80.00. Both the Volunteer and Paid Employee checks remain valid for five years.

Please follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Apply for a NSW Working with Children Check

    Education students who hold a current NSW Working with Children Check clearance (Paid Employee or Volunteer) do not need to apply for the check again. Please go to step two.

    Students who do not hold a current NSW Working with Children check (volunteer or employment) clearance should:

    1. Complete the online NSW Working with Children Check – Individual application available from the NSW Government, Office of the Children's Guardian web site and receive a NSW WWCC Application number.
    2. Go to any Service NSW Centre with your NSW WWCC email receipt and provide the necessary Proof of Identity documentation to finalise your application. Applications are usually completed within days but can take up to 28 working days to complete.
  2. Record your NSW Working with Children Check clearance number and expiry date on the SONIA placement system.
    • Log onto the SONIA placement system using your university issued username and password.
      Go to the SONIA Checks page, locate the NSW Working with Children Check and record your NSW Working with Children Check clearance number and issue date.

    Please note: Each time you renew or update your NSW WWCC number you MUST ensure you record your updated NSW WWCC clearance number together with the new issue date on the SONIA placement, as per Step 2 above.

Please note that the Professional Experience Unit will check with the NSW Government, Office of the Children's Guardian to confirm the validity of the NSW Working with Children Check information provided.

Students will be required to provide their NSW Working with Children Check clearance information to the placement site supervisor at least one week prior to commencing any professional experience activity. The placement site may confirm the validity of the check via the NSW Government, Office of the Children's Guardian website.

All Teacher Education Students must successfully complete NSW Department of Education Child Protection Training prior to attending any school/service professional experience placement, school visit, observation or Teach Outreach volunteer activity.

Teacher Education Students should complete the Child Protection Awareness Training (CPAT) induction in the first year of their program.

Teacher Education Students should complete the Mandatory Child Protection Training to renew their Child Protection Training in subsequent years.

  1. Child Protection Awareness Training (CPAT external). This is an Induction module and should only be completed once. On successful completion of the training you will be issued with an automated Child Protection Awareness Training - Certificate of Completion. This Certificate has 2 year currency. To access this training:
    • Go to Child Protection Awareness Training Course (CPAT external) and create a new account. Follow the instructions provided and complete the training.
    • Log onto your SONIA online account and follow the steps listed on your SONIA online checks page to upload your Child Protection Awareness Training Certificate to SONIA.
  2. Mandatory Child Protection Training - This module is to be completed to renew your Child Protection training. You must have already completed the CPAT induction training above. On successful completion of the training you will be issued with an automated Mandatory Child Protection Training - Certificate of Completion. This Certificate has 1 year currency. To access this training:
    • Go to Mandatory Child Protection Training and create a NSW Department of Education, MyPL Community Member account. Once created, you will have access to your MyPL Community Member account for 1 year. You will need to ensure you renew your Child Protection Training prior to the Certificate expiry date.
    • Log onto your SONIA online account and follow the steps listed on the SONIA checks page to upload your Mandatory Child Protection Training Certificate to SONIA.

Refer to the Education Placement Requirements instruction sheet for step by step instructions.

Teacher Education Students must take their Child Protection Awareness Training Certificate and/or Mandatory Child Protection Training Certificate with them to any professional experience placement, school visit, observation or Teach Outreach volunteer activity.

The NSW Department of Education requires all students successfully complete the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy ASCIA Anaphylaxis: Australasian Schools e-training and obtain the automated completion Certificate prior to attending any school/centre professional experience placement, school visit, observation or Teach Outreach volunteer activity.

The Anaphylaxis e-training - Certification of Completion has a currency of 2 years.

Students should refer to the Education Placement Requirements instruction sheet for step by step instructions on how to:

  • Access and complete the online ASCIA Anaphylaxis Australasian Schools e-training module to obtain the automated Certificate. NOTE: The Certificate does not need to be signed and students do not need any practical training yet.
  • Record the Anaphylaxis e-training - Certificate of Completion issue date and upload the Certificate as a PDF to their SONIA placement system Checks page.

Students must take their Anaphylaxis e-training - Certificate of Completion with them to any professional experience placement, school visit, observation or Teach Outreach volunteer activity.

The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) requires all Teacher Education Students enrolled in Initial Teacher Education programs throughout Australia to pass the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students prior to graduating.

In addition, the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) requires all Teacher Education Students enrolled in Initial Teacher Education programs in New South Wales to pass the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students prior to undertaking their FINAL placement.

The Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students is administered by the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER). ACER offer four Literacy and Numeracy test windows each year for Teacher Education Students to select and register.  Test results are usually released to Teacher Education Students four to six weeks following the advertised test window closing date. For more Information, visit the ACER website.

IMPORTANT: Teacher Education Students intending to undertake their FINAL Internship placement should ensure that they have passed both the Literacy and Numeracy tests prior to enrolling in their final placement course.

It is highly recommended that Initial Teacher Education Students ensure that they pass both the Literacy and Numeracy tests well before enrolling in their final placement course. This will allow additional time to register and resit the test or tests, if required.