Structured workplace learning, work experience and practical placements provide an opportunity for students to get some first hand, on the job experience or training.
It is important to make sure that the correct type of workplace learning arrangement is entered into for each student undertaking a placement with an employer.
There are three kinds of workplace learning arrangements under the
Education and Training Reform Act 2006:
- structured workplace learning
- work experience
- practical placements.
Structured Workplace Learning and Work Experience
Students enrolled with non-school Registered Training Organisations (RTO) and undertaking a senior secondary certificate (Victorian Certificate of Education or Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) can only participate in structured workplace learning or work experience. They cannot undertake practical placements.
Structured workplace learning is undertaken by students aged 15 years and over and provides students with the opportunity to integrate practical on-the-job experience and learnings in industry with nationally recognised VET undertaken as part of either the VCE or the VCAL; VCE Industry and Enterprise; or VCAL units.
Work experience is undertaken by students aged 14 years and over and involves short placements which are part of a student's general secondary education. Students are placed with employers primarily to observe and learn, not to undertake activities which require extensive training or experience. Work experience placements are not a requirement as part of a particular subject or course.
Amendments to Ministerial Orders 723 and 724
Ministerial Orders 723 and 724 will be amended from 1 January 2017. Amended arrangement forms accompany amended Ministerial Orders 723 and 724.
Making arrangements for 2017
The amendments do not apply to any placement occurring between 1 January 2017 - 31 December 2017 if the arrangement was made on or before 31 December 2016. Any arrangement made (meaning all parties have completed and signed the relevant sections of the arrangement form) on or before 31 December 2016 must comply with the current Ministerial Orders and the current arrangement forms must be used.
Current Ministerial Orders and arrangement forms
Structured Workplace Learning
All arrangements made after 1 January 2017 must comply with the amended Ministerial Orders and the accompanying amended arrangement forms must be used.
Non-school providers seeking to arrange placements for students in 2017 before 31 December 2016 may choose to commence using the amended arrangement forms. In these instances, the arrangement must not be fully made (i.e. the CEO must not complete and sign the arrangement form) before 1 January 2017 and the amended Ministerial Orders will apply.
Amended Ministerial Orders and arrangement forms
Structured Workplace Learning
Structured Workplace Learning and Work Experience: Interim Guidelines
Ministerial Orders 723 and 724 replace the Interim Guidelines that were released by the Department in 2012 as a result of amendments to the
Education and Training Reform Act 2006. These Interim Guidelines explained which workplace learning arrangements should be entered into for different students and what documentation was required for each arrangement.
For more information, see:
The Interim Guidelines do not cover students who are undertaking School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs). For information about SBATs, see:
School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships
Practical placements are undertaken by students in post-secondary vocational education and training (VET) courses and are intended to develop job-related skills in the area of the particular post-secondary course. They vary widely in duration and content from course to course, although the minimum requirements are set out in the Practical Placement Guidelines:
These guidelines are to assist Registered Training Organisations (RTO) and employers to meet their obligations with respect to arranging practical placement for students of technical and further education.