Manual of Policies and Procedures

C/4.4 Work integrated learning

Contact Officer

Dean of Studies, Learning and Teaching Unit

Approval Date


Approval Authority

University Academic Board

Date of Next Review


4.4.1 Purpose
4.4.2 Application
4.4.3 Roles and respoonsibilities
4.4.4 Principles
4.4.5 Design of work integrated learning in courses and units
4.4.6 Assessment of work integrated learning
4.4.7 Evaluation of work integrated learning
4.4.8 Managing risks associated with work integrated learning
4.4.9 Definitions
4.4.10 Delegations
Related Documents
Modification History

4.4.1 Purpose

QUT is committed to providing a framework for the delivery of work integrated learning (WIL) as an integral part of QUT's approach to curriculum design across courses and support for QUT’s Real World Learning 2020 Vision as detailed in the Approach to and context of learning and teaching policy (C/1.1).


4.4.2 Application

This policy and work integrated learning (WIL) protocols apply to all staff, students and industry partners.

This policy covers all QUT approved work integrated learning which is a formal and assessed component of a course.

It does not cover work experience that students secure which is outside the curriculum or circumstances where a student’s previous work is recognised as meeting the work integrated learning requirements for a course or unit.


4.4.3 Roles and responsibilities

Effective management of work integrated learning is based on building mutual understanding and collaboration among stakeholders including students, the university and industry. Key to this understanding is the clarification of roles and responsibilities. The following key roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders engaged in work integrated learning should be read in conjunction with the work integrated learning protocol which presents details of all roles involved in the implementation of work integrated learning.


Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Learning and Teaching, and Vice-President (Administration) and Registrar

  • approves work integrated learning (WIL) protocols and guidelines

Executive Deans / Pro Vice-Chancellor (Graduate Research and Development)

  • appropriately resource the management of WIL activities
  • ensure a senior person is designated responsibility for oversight of WIL in the faculty
  • ensure faculty staff involved with WIL activities (e.g. course coordinators, unit coordinators and/or other staff involved in WIL) participate in induction and training programs as required and understand their roles and responsibilities
  • ensure students are aware of their rights and responsibilities
Assistant Deans (Learning and Teaching) / Pro Vice-Chancellor (Graduate Research and Development)
  • sign agreements relating to WIL to be signed by QUT
Divisional and faculty staff with delegated responsibility for leadership and management of WIL units
  • design suitable and appropriate curriculum, assessment and learning experiences for student ability and prior learning
  • monitor and assess student progress, providing appropriate communication and support to students
  • evaluate the quality of WIL experiences, including quality of supervision, and reporting issues and incidents in line with University policy and protocols
  • complete University induction and training programs
Workplace supervisors (including clinical facilitators and preceptors)
  • ensure a safe workplace with provision of adequate induction and training for students
  • provide guidance and mentoring of student activity and learning within the workplace context
  • participate in student assessment supplying feedback on student performance, where required
  • consult with QUT regarding any issues or barriers to the student’s performance
  • ensure awareness of and compliance with all appropriate University and workplace policies and procedures
  • engage professionally with workplace supervisors, workplace contexts, and available learning opportunities
  • seek advice regarding the disclosure of any personal circumstances, disability, injury or health condition which may impact on their safety, the safety of others or the successful completion of the WIL unit
  • attend workplaces as required by guidance from QUT staff and workplace supervisors
  • consult with QUT regarding any issues or barriers to performance during the WIL experience


4.4.4 Principles

Work integrated learning (WIL) is implemented at QUT in accordance with the following principles:

  • all undergraduate degree courses are expected to provide students with the opportunity to undertake WIL
  • postgraduate and higher degree research courses, where relevant to course learning outcomes and cohort needs, should provide students with the opportunity to undertake WIL
  • WIL should build mutually beneficial outcomes for students, the University, industry, professional partners and the community
  • risks associated with WIL must be managed by all stakeholders
  • regular evaluation of WIL informs the quality and benefits of WIL experiences for all stakeholders
  • WIL will be managed in accordance with QUT’s obligations under relevant higher education, health and safety, and anti-discrimination legislation, and QUT policies.


4.4.5 Design of work integrated learning courses and units

Work integrated learning (WIL) experiences may be incorporated throughout courses, with particular emphasis in the latter stages to facilitate students’ transition to professional practice. Purposefully designed WIL curriculum ensures that experiences are developmentally appropriate, enabling students to integrate and evidence their capabilities in real world contexts and where relevant to achieve professional registration or membership.

WIL curriculum design needs to incorporate appropriate activities before, during and after students’ involvement in practice to support students to fully engage in and benefit from their experience. Adopting appropriate flexible, adaptive and inclusive approaches to the design and implementation of WIL will support students’ access and participation.

Preparation activities should clarify expectations about goals, support and responsibilities; prepare students as self-organising, proactive and self-reflecting learners; and ensure students meet mandatory skill, health and safety and other requirements. While students are involved in WIL activities the University maintains ongoing and regular input and contact with students, and oversight and direction of WIL. Providing structured reflective activities before, during and after WIL (including sharing insights with peers), encourages students’ self-reflective capacities and critical perspectives on work and learning.

The protocol and resources to support the embedding of WIL into the curriculum are available in the Digital Workplace (QUT staff access only).


4.4.6 Assessment of work integrated learning

Assessment of work integrated learning (WIL) units should be consistent with the University’s assessment policy (C/5.1) and also take into account the unique context and situations that students face in terms of their WIL experiences. Assessment will therefore draw on a diverse range of strategies that assess students’ engagement with authentic learning activities and the outputs and/or outcomes of this engagement. This assessment may also need to take account of requirements for professional registration or membership or compliance with other agreements.

The assessment design may also involve:

  • outcomes and assessment based on collaboration amongst industry or community partners, students and QUT academics
  • the industry partner formatively and/or summatively assessing student work.

Assessment design should incorporate feedback from relevant stakeholders and provide opportunities for students to reflect on and respond to feedback in ways that inform future practice.


4.4.7 Evaluation of work integrated learning

Regular evaluation of work integrated learning (WIL) activities through collaboration between stakeholders should be undertaken, consistent with university policies on the evaluation of courses, units, teaching and student experience (C/4.7) and course quality assurance (C/4.6). Such evaluation should include the quality of workplace supervision of student experiences. Outcomes from evaluations should be used to inform continuous improvement of courses, units and WIL activities.


4.4.8 Managing risks associated with work integrated learning

Managing risk associated with work integrated learning (WIL) is a shared responsibility of all stakeholders including staff, students and industry partners. A key area of risk in WIL activities relates to compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld). Other risk factors such as suitability of WIL, intellectual property, confidentiality and conflicts of interest must be managed in accordance with the appropriate QUT policy or WIL protocol.

A student undertaking a QUT approved WIL activity as defined by this policy is covered by QUT's insurance policy. Details of insurance coverage are available on the HiQ website (QUT staff and student access only).

Risks related to WIL should be managed according to guidance provided in the WIL protocol.


4.4.9 Definitions

Work integrated learning (WIL) is a learning approach that enables students to learn through engagement with industry and community partners in authentic activities that are planned for and assessed as part of their course.

Units and learning activities are designated work integrated learning if they demonstrate all the following key characteristics:

  • students engage with an industry and/or community partner
  • students undertake authentic activities for industry or community
  • students are assessed in relation to these authentic activities.

Work integrated learning (WIL) may occur on-campus or through virtual environments where students work individually and/or in disciplinary or interdisciplinary teams with industry and community partners.

Types of WIL include:

  • placements (e.g. practicums, co-operative education, clinical placements or internships). Through placements, students undertake work activities with industry or community partners as a part of their course of study.  Students learn on-the-job and are supported to integrate this learning through partnerships between the workplace supervisors and the University.
  • WIL projects (e.g. industry or community projects, work-based projects, research projects in workplace or community settings). WIL projects involve students addressing real problems and needs for industry and community partners.
  • service learning (also referred to community engaged learning and community based learning). In service learning, students explore learning outcomes through community-based activities with the intent that the activity benefits both the learner and the community.
  • other activities designed to engage students in research and inquiry for industry and community partners (e.g. market research to contribute to industry or community initiatives) and entrepreneurial/ intrapreneurial WIL.

Industry and community is used as a term to describe the many partners that work alongside the University and students in delivering WIL.  WIL can engage with a variety of industry partners, including community groups, government, not-for-profit enterprises, corporations, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and the University in its capacity as a business.


4.4.10 Delegations

Refer to Appendix 3 Schedule of Authorities and Delegations (C158).


Related Documents

MOPP A/8.6 Disability

MOPP A/9.6 Communicable / infectious diseases

MOPP C/3.1 Courses and awards

MOPP C/4.3 Graduate and professional education

MOPP C/4.5 Units

MOPP C/4.7 Evaluation of courses, units, teaching and student experience

MOPP C/5.1 Assessment and feedback

MOPP D/3.1 Intellectual property

MOPP E/2.1 QUT Student Code of Conduct

MOPP E/3.2 Fitness to study

MOPP G/6.1 Policy on management of contracts and MOUs

MOPP G/8.4 Student user charging policy

Assessment Protocols (QUT staff access only)

WIL Protocol - Supporting and managing work integrated learning protocols (QUT staff access only)

Guidance Note: WIL, Version 1.2, Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Authority.

Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth)

Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)


Modification History





23.03.18 All University Academic Board Revised and simplified policy
21.12.16 C/4.4.5 and C/4.4.9 Chair, University Academic Board Revised policy to to add Assistant Dean (Learning and Teaching) role to sign Work Integrated Learning (WIL) related agreements



University Academic Board

Revised policy



University Academic Board

Revised policy




Policy revised to include approved name change for Office of Teaching Quality to Learning and Teaching Unit



University Academic Board

Revised policy



University Academic Board

Policy renumbered to C/4.4 (formerly C/6.1)



Chair, University Academic Board

New policy (endorsed by University Academic Board 18.08.06 and Teaching and Learning Committee 01.08.06); re-named to " Work-integrated learning " - formerly " Workplace learning "; deleted former policy C/6.2 Cooperative education programs - now included in policy C/6.1 as " optional work-integrated learning programs "



University Academic Board

Approved definition of workplace learning, pending development of new workplace learning policy (endorsed by Teaching and Learning Committee 01.03.05)