Faculty of Health and Medicine
According to the Public Health (COVID 19 Vaccination of Health Care Workers) Order 2021, all students attending clinical placements at either a NSW Health venue (public) or private hospital in NSW, will be required to be fully vaccinated (2 vaccinations) against COVID-19.
Evidence of vaccination compliance must be provided via an email to the NSW Heath verification partner relevant to your campus of enrolment or clinical school as per instructions provided below:
- Sign in to myGov to get proof of your vaccination. Link: Sign-in - myGov
- Label the PDF copy of your AIR Certificate and name the file as: "COVID-19 First Name Last Name Student Number" (e.g., COVID-19 John Smith 12345). All digital certificates for COVID-19 vax are on the national Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) available via myGov (for students with Medicare cards and also international students with IHI numbers). Please note that this is the only proof that will be accepted.
- You must send the email from your University of Newcastle student email address.
- The email subject line must say: "COVID-19 Vax First Name Last Name Student Number" (e.g., COVID-19 John Smith 123456)
- Attach a copy of your student ID card
Please send the email to: CCLHD-PlacementEnquiries@health.nsw.gov.au
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:
- Full name of person receiving the vaccination
- Date of birth
- Brand/Batch number of vaccine
- How and site administered
- Name of Pharmacist administering the vaccine
- Provider number
- Signature and date vaccination given
- 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:
- National Criminal Record Check (NCRC)
- International Police Check
- completed Vaccination Record Card for Health Care Workers and Students
- signed NSW Health Code of Conduct Agreement for Students Undertaking Clinical Placements
- completed NSW Health Appendix 6: Undertaking/Declaration Form (PDF page 45)
- completed NSW Health Appendix 7: Tuberculosis (TB) Assessment Tool (PDF page 46 - 47)
- current University of Newcastle Student ID Card
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.
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.
If you are an international student, you will need to obtain BOTH:
- an Australian NCRC (recommended from an ACIC Accredited Body); AND
- National Police Certificate/s from your home country and any country where you have lived for more than 6 months since turning 18 (translated in to English).
- If you are unable to obtain the Police Certificate/s, you will need to complete the Statutory Declaration for Overseas Students. Please note this statutory declaration needs to be completed after arrival in NSW. If there are any problems with the link please copy and paste the following URL into your web browser
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
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 Ourimbah is Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD). Staff from CCLHD will assess your documentation and award your verification.
As a one off measure, due to the COVID-19, CCLHD will conduct the NSW Health Verification virtually, rather than at a face-to-face Bulk Verification Day. Please see this document for instructions.
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.
To renew your NCR, email a high resolution colour image of your new NCRC and current UON Student ID to Julie-Anne.Olaisen@newcastle.edu.au. Please be sure to include your name, student number, university, program, and a contact number in the body of the email.
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