Placement essentials

The information below is relevant to domestic students studying at the Callaghan campus in one of the following degrees:

  • Bachelor of Medical Engineering (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Honours) (Diagnostic Radiography)
  • Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Honours) (Nuclear Medicine)
  • Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Honours) (Radiation Therapy)
  • Bachelor of Nursing
  • Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Pharmacy
  • Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)

If this is not you, please refer back to our placement requirements tool.

Influenza Vaccination (FluVax)

All FHEAM students and staff who visit placement sites during influenza season must be vaccinated with the current southern hemisphere vaccine.

According to NSW Health Policy Influenza Season is defined as running from “1 June to 30 September, inclusive, unless another period is determined by the Chief Health Officer based on seasonal influenza epidemiology or the appearance of a novel influenza strain.”

Annually, students must enter the date of current vaccination in the SONIA placement software. Students and staff who visit placement sites must be able to provide evidence of vaccination upon request.

What is accepted evidence of influenza vaccination?

NSW Health accepts the following evidence for receiving FluVax:

  • Australian Immunisation Register Vaccination Summary;
  • Patient Immunisation Summary/History (must be on doctor’s official letterhead);
  • Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Consent Form signed by HNELDH staff health and well-being nurse;
  • Staff Health Immunisation Summary (NSW Health staff only);
  • Completed and signed Vaccination Record Card for Health Care Workers and Students.
  • Record of evidence of influenza vaccination from a pharmacist, which includes the following:
  1. Full name of person receiving the vaccination
  2. Date of birth
  3. Brand/Batch number of vaccine
  4. How and site administered
  5. Name of Pharmacist administering the vaccine
  6. Provider number
  7. Signature and date vaccination given
  8. Name of the pharmacy and contact details

NSW Health Verification Requirements

You'll need to submit the following NSW Health Verification Requirements before attending your placement:

Please note: Some programs have additional, non-NSW Health requirements such as Working With Children Check (WWCC) or First Aid Certificate. Please DO NOT send any additional documents to NSW Health as part of your verification requirements.

National Criminal Record Check (NCRC)

A National Criminal Record Check (NCRC), also known as a National Police Check/Certificate (NPC), is an Australia-wide check of a person’s criminal records history. NCRC are required as part of the NSW Ministry of Health's duty of care to patients and clients receiving health care in NSW and falls under the NSW Ministry of Health Working with Children Checks and Other Police Checks Policy.

IMPORTANT: the name appearing on your NCRC should match the name on your University of Newcastle student identification card. If they do not match the NCRC will not be accepted by NSW Health. If your name changes during the course of your degree you do not need to obtain a new NCRC if you can provide a Marriage Certificate or Change of Name Certificate.

You must have a valid NCRC for the duration of each placement. Some students may need to renew their NCRCs during the course of their studies. NSW Health Policy indicates that NCRCs submitted from 2019 will be considered to remain valid for 5 years from the date of issue. NCRCs submitted prior to 2019 will remain valid for 3 years from the date of issue. NSW Health will not allow you to start a placement if your NCRC expires during the placement period.

It is recommended that you take your original NCRC to your first day of each placement.

NCRC Requirements

The minimum compliance requirements are:

  • must be from either a Australian State or Territory Police Force (e.g. NSW Police for NSW residents only), Australian Federal Police or an ACIC Accredited Body. You will need to pay for your NCRC and fees may vary between Bodies; AND
  • must state that it is a National or Australia wide check; AND
  • must include your full name and date of birth; AND
  • the name appearing on the NCRC must exactly match your University of Newcastle Student ID Card; AND
  • must be obtained for the purpose student verification (e.g. an NCRC associated with previous employment may not be accepted).

NCRC proccessed for the purpose of Aged Care only will not be accept by NSW Health.

What if I have a criminal record?

This does not mean that you will be automatically excluded from placement. NSW Health will assess the nature of the offences and where it is deemed appropriate a plan will be put in place to ensure your own and patient safety.

Only apply for authority to undertake Clinical Placements if/when specifically directed by NSW Health staff.

Please see your placement contact if you have any concerns.

What if I am subject to criminal proceedings while enrolled at the University of Newcastle?

If you are subject to criminal proceedings at any time during enrolment at the University of Newcastle your original NCRC is no longer valid. You will need to pay for a new NCRC and submit it to NSW Health. You must also inform your placement contact.

Vaccination Record Card for Health Care Workers and Students

In order to protect yourself and your patients, NSW Health have determined that you need to be immunised against a range of specified diseases.

The NSW Health Occupational Assessment, Screening and Vaccination Against Specified Infectious Diseases policy indicates must be protected from the following diseases

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough) (adult dose of dTpa vaccine)
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Hepatitis B (Hep B)

You may need to provide evidence both of the administration of a vaccine and of a positive response to the vaccine (e.g. serology report). Details can be found on the document Appendix 4 Checklist: Evidence required from Category A Applicants (PDF page 41 - 42).

Evidence of immunisation must be submitted on a Vaccination Record Card for Health Care Workers and Students (Red Card). These are available from your Placement Contact. Red Cards must be completed, signed and stamped by a doctor or authorised nurse immuniser.

What is the Hep B immunisation Schedule?

Adult Hep B  vaccination requires a course of 3 spaced injections. The various Hep B Immunisation Schedules are published in The Australian Immunisation Handbook. The minimum recommended schedule is 0, 1 and 4 months. Between 4-8 weeks after the 3rd dose you need to get a serology test done to show that the vaccine worked.

What if my doctor can’t find evidence that I have received my hepatitis B vaccinations?

Where a record of vaccination is not available and cannot be reasonably obtained, you can complete and submit Appendix 9 Hepatitis B Statutory Declaration (PDF page 49). The statutory declaration should include details on where and when the vaccination course was administered, the vaccination schedule and why a vaccination record cannot be provided. NSW Health staff will determine where this is acceptable evidence.

What if I am not immune?

There a number of scenarios where you may not be immune to the specified diseases, you may:

  • be a vaccine non-responder (you have had the required immunisations but serology indicates you do not have immunity)
  • be unable to receive immunisation (e.g. allergic to a vaccine, pregnant)
  • have immunosuppression

This does not mean that you will be excluded from attending placements.

You need to connect with your placement contact and in conjunction with NSW Health, your situation will be assessed and in most cases a plan will be put in place to facilitate a placement experience which ensures your own and public safety.

What if I have only completed some of my immunisations?

Some students will need to go on placement before they have finished their full Hep B course. Where only partial vaccination has been undertaken for Hep B (you must have had at least the first dose) you may be eligible for Temporary Verification. This means that you should still submit your documents to NSW Health in order to attend placements.

All other specified diseases require full vaccination prior to clinical placement.

Temporary Verification lasts for 6 months and you can only receive it once. This means that you need to make sure that you finish your full course before it expires. NSW Health Policy states that you need to finish the vaccination schedule and submit your evidence within 12 months of starting your degree.

What if I do not have or disagree with immunisation?

Health facilities within Australia have the right to exclude anyone from their premises if they are considered to present a risk to their patients/clients. This includes any persons without proper immunity.

It is important to understand that being awarded a health professional degree is dependent upon satisfactorily completing and passing all academic and clinical components of the program. If you cannot complete the placement component then you cannot graduate from your chosen degree.

If you feel strongly about not undertaking immunisation you should consult with your Program Convenor who can help direct you to another rewarding program that does not include a clinical component.

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct sets standards of ethical and professional conduct in NSW Health. You must read the full Code then print, complete and sign the NSW Health Code of Conduct Agreement for Students.

Tuberculosis (TB) Assessment

You must submit your completed NSW Health Appendix 7: Tuberculosis (TB) Assessment Tool (PDF page 46-47) as part of your initial verification submission to NSW Health. However if your first NSW Health placement is more than 4 months after this submission, NSW Health requires you to submit a new NSW Health Appendix 7: Tuberculosis (TB) Assessment Tool (PDF page 46-47).

What if I have lived in a country with a high incidence of TB?

Countries considered to have a high incidence of TB can be found here:

If you have lived in one or more of these countries, this does not mean that you will be excluded from placement, however additional testing may be required.

You need to submit the NSW Health Appendix 7: Tuberculosis (TB) Assessment Tool (PDF page 46-47) to NSW Health and wait for their response. If it is determined that you require further screening, you will be contacted by NSW Health with instructions. Please don't book a screening yourself as you may not require it.

What if I travel to a country with a high incidence of TB?

Countries considered to have a high incidence of TB can be found here:

If you have traveled or resided in any of the above countries for a total of 3 months or longer since you were initially verified, then you need to submit a new NSW Health Appendix 7: Tuberculosis (TB) Assessment Tool (PDF page 46-47). This 3 months can be spent on a single trip or be the total time spent in multiple countries or across multiple trips.

This does not mean that you will be excluded from placement, however additional testing may be required.

You need to submit the new NSW Health Appendix 7: Tuberculosis (TB) Assessment Tool (PDF page 46-47) to NSW Health and wait for their response. If it is determined that you require further screening, you will be contacted by NSW Health with instructions. Please don't book a screening yourself as you may not require it.

Submitting Your Documents

Your NSW Health Verification documentation is submitted to a specific NSW Health Local Health District (LHD). The University of Newcastle has three partner LHDs and which one you submit your documents to depends on which campus you attend.

Our partner LHD for Callaghan is Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD). Staff from HNELHD will assess your documentation and award your verification. HNELHD have provided a Clinical Placement Compliance Checklist 2020, to assist you with meeting all of the requirements.

All documentation for assessment is to be submitted for processing no later than one month (4 weeks) prior to the commencement of your clinical placement.

IMPORTANT: To provide all students with equity in processing, the documents of individual students are viewed and assessed in order of receipt only. A placement that is in jeopardy of commencement does not constitute a processing priority. It is your responsibility to make sure you adhere to the time frames.

Email All Documents

You must submit all of your documentation via email attachment. HNELHD will not accept documents sent via an external site (OneDrive, Drop Box etc.), as screen shots, or as images embedded in an email.

You need to:

  1. Scan all of your documents into a single colour file (PDF preferred), this includes:
    1. current University of Newcastle student ID card
    2. signed Code of Conduct agreement
    3. fully complete Red Card
    4. Attachment 6 Undertaking/Declaration Form
    5. Attachment 7 Tuberculosis (TB) Assessment Tool
    6. NCRC
    7. Attachment 1 Blood Born Virus Student Declaration Form (if applicable)
  2. Name the file as: "First Name Last Name Student Number" (e.g. John Smith 12345)
  3. Email the file from your University of Newcastle student email address
  4. The email subject line needs to be your: "First Name Last Name Student Number" (e.g. John Smith 123456)
  5. Send the email to:

IMPORTANT: Ensure all documents are legible, scanned in full and good quality. If documents are incomplete it will have an impact on the time taken to verify you, which may affect your ability to commence placement.

You will receive a reply email confirming that you have full verification or temporary verification or where appropriate, that additional information or action is required to receive any verification. If you are given temporary verification it is important to undertake the remaining components of verification as soon as possible to ensure that you don't miss out on placement!

What Happens Then?

If your application was not successful you will receive an email from the LHD indicating required amendments (e.g. insufficient immunisations, Mantoux/Tuberculin Skin Test (TB) testing required). You must complete these as soon as possible and submit any additional documentation required.

IMPORTANT: You should keep all of your original documents (including serology reports) and certificates in a safe place. You should take them with you on your first day of each placement as the facility has the right to request to see them.

Need to renew your NCRC?

NCRCs are valid for a maximum of five years after their date of issue. If your NCRC expires, your verification status will change to unverified and you will no longer be able to attend placement. It is important to renew your NCRC leaving enough time for it to be processed by NSW Health to ensure your continued verification.

Email your new NCRC and current University of Newcastle student ID to from your University of Newcastle email address.

Additional information