Work Experience Placements for School Students

Version Number


Implementation Date



All schools


This procedure outlines the necessary requirements and processes when students from state and non-state schools participate in work experience as part of their education. It does not address vocational placements​.

The procedure does not cover work experience that is part of a vocational placement through a Vocational Education and Training (VET) course/qualification provided through a non school Registered Training Organisation (RTO) (For example; requirements to complete vocational placement/work experience for a VET course/qualification where the RTO is an external provider to the school and has a fee for service arrangement).​ ​


​Work experience assists students in their transition from school to work. It provides a formal arrangement whereby students, while enrolled at a school approved by the Minister for Education, participate in activities at a place of paid or voluntary work. For the purpose of this Procedure, student means an individual who is at least 14 years old, and is enrolled in an educational establishment. Work experience must be unpaid.

The decision to implement a work experience program rests with the school principal, in consultation with students, parents and work experience providers. Students may undertake different types of work experience, including work sampling, work shadowing, research work experience and structured work placement. At all times, the educational value of the program for any student should be the prime consideration.

A work experience provider may be a person, a company, a business, an association, a local authority or any other body able, in the opinion of the principal, to provide work experience. Blue Cards are not required for work experience providers. Students may be placed for selected days or half days, over a specified period of time, or each day of the week for a specified period. Students can be placed on work experience up to a maximum of 30 days in a year.

For students who live in state border areas near New South Wales or the Northern Territory, work experience may occur across these borders if all suitable opportunities in Queensland have been considered.

The insurance cover for work experience students (state and non-state) has certain restrictions and activities precluded from cover, and these activities may not be undertaken during work experience.



  • May delegate responsibilities relating to work experience to a nominated officer, employee or contractor engaged by the educational establishment.
  • approve work experience arrangements, ensuring that:
    • work experience is completed in the same calendar year it commenced
    • work experience is no longer than 30 days in a year, except in the case of a student with a disability
    • written consent to the arrangement is obtained from the student's parents
    • only activities covered by the insurance policy are undertaken by students
    • reasonable provision is made for a teacher or other nominated person to visit students on work experience at least once during placement.
  • ensure work experience arrangements are consistent with policies on equity and social justice
  • sign a Work Experience Agreement with each work experience provider
  • ensure that students’ preparation for work experience includes an understanding and awareness concerning workplace discrimination and harassment
  • provide relevant information on liability insurance and workers compensation to work experience providers , students and parents (state and non-state)
  • consider alternative means of communication for students, parents or work experience providers from a non-English speaking background or with low literacy skills
  • approve arrangement of some other form of contact with students on work experience placement in another state or territory (New South Wales and Northern Territory only), or where distance or exceptional circumstances precludes teacher visits
  • inform work experience providers of their responsibilities should an accident occur to a student on placement
  • monitor the health and safety performance of the work experience provider during work experience placements
  • ensure, as far as practicable, that the:
    • workplace into which a student is to be placed is without risk to the health and safety of students
    • work experience provider understands his/her obligation of care responsibilities
    • students receive adequate information, training and supervision from the work experience provider, in relation to work being carried out in the particular workplace.
  • ensure students are not being required to undertake work that is a risk to their health and safety
  • Undertake a risk assessment of the work experience placement prior to signing the Work Experience Agreement. This may take the form of:
    • a phone call or discussion with the work experience provider clarifying they have workplace health and safety practices in place and the nature of the tasks being performed by the student; or
    • a visit to the workplace to ensure workplace health and safety procedures are obviously being followed; or
    • if, in the opinion of the work experience coordinator or school staff member, further assessment is required, completing the Curriculum Risk Assessment Activity template  or referring to the Curriculum Activity Risk Management Guidelines
  • exercise a duty of care and withdraw students from placements when justified
  • postpone or withdraw placement in the event of industrial dispute or stand down at work experience provider until dispute is resolved
  • report complaints involving sexual abuse or assault to Child Safety Services, or to Queensland Police Service
  • ensure all accidents and incidents occurring on work experience placement are recorded, reported and investigated and copies of relevant documentation kept
  • provide information to Department of Education and Training (DET) officer on all work experience placements in the form specified in the Schedule of Collections (DET employees only).

Principals, in the case of Interstate and/or Territory Placements for Queensland Students:

  • Approve negotiation of placement of student with intended work experience provider in New South Wales or Northern Territory only when:
    • suitable placements are not available in local area
    • provision can be made for at least one supervisory visit by a person nominated by principal.
  • forward Work Experience Agreement form and Interstate/Territory Work Experience Approval form to intended host interstate school at least three weeks prior to expected placement
  • ensure approval by host school is granted before placement commences.

Teachers/work experience coordinators:

  • initially explore availability of placements within their own district
  • ensure that a work experience provider does not provide work experience to more than a number of students equal to the total number of persons in full-time employment, unless special circumstances exist and approval of Director-General of Education is obtained to vary that number
  • visit students on work experience at least once during placement
  • visit venue and make arrangements for student/s to contact an appropriate staff member from school in case of need when a work experience placement is arranged to take place during vacation periods


  • sight all forms about work experience placements and understand rights and responsibilities about workplace health and safety, and harassment and discrimination in the workplace
  • comply with all reasonable directions given by the work experience provider
  • maintain a record of tasks demonstrated on the job
  • respond to any instance of harassment or unlawful discrimination by:
    • advising the offending person immediately that they do not want them to behave in that way
    • informing their work supervisor and parent, guardian or caregiver; and/or
    • contacting the school principal or work experience coordinator.
  • report any injuries sustained from accidents and incidents occurring on work experience to a work supervisor and school principal or work experience coordinator.


Principals (in relation to insurance claims):

  • manage processing of any claim against liability insurance policy arising from participation in work experience by:
    • advising all parties that any admission of liability could prejudice the opportunity for indemnity under the policy
    • completing a Work Experience Insurance Claim Form
    • returning the completed form and a copy of the relevant Work Experience Agreement form to the DET contact officer (where it will be recorded and then sent to the insurance company)
    • directing any summons, writ or legal demand received at the school to the insurance company through the DET contact officer
    • keeping records of all claims made at the school.
  • manage the processing of any claim against workers’ compensation insurance policy arising from participation in work experience by:
    • assisting student with the completion and lodgement of the Workcover Application for Compensation form, with their attached medical certificate, to WorkCover Queensland.  A copy of both is retained by the school.
    • sending a copy of the completed WorkCover Application for Compensation form and the student’s Work Experience Agreement to State Schools Division (email: in DET Central Office for tracking of claims.
  • maintain a register of details of each student participating in work experience, including student’s full name, date of birth, address, and telephone contact details (maintenance of all signed school work experience forms will fulfil this requirement)

Students (in relation to insurance claims):

  • Take action to apply for any workers’ compensation claim, if required, by:
    • visiting doctor and obtaining medical certificate
    • completing the Workcover Application for Compensation form 
    • forwarding Application for Compensation form to WorkCover and a copy to school principal or work experience coordinator.

Online Resources

Review Date

Attribution CC BY
Work sampling provides students with the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge, skills and attitudes required in a workplace.

Work shadowing provides students with the opportunity to learn actively about people at work and examine the work roles they perform.

Research work experience requires a student or group of students to assume the role of researchers in a workplace investigating a topic of enquiry decided upon by the teacher, student and work experience provider.

Structured work placement provides learning opportunities that are part of a Vocational Education and Training qualification program provided by the school as a Registered Training Organisation and takes place in a workplace or simulated workplace and is structured, monitored, regulated and assessed.