At the direction of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, a range of physical distancing measures have been put in place to prevent or reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) within the community. The following advice is about Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) and work experience in this context.
Continuing SWL and work experience
Students can continue their SWL or work experience placements, if the principal is satisfied that:
Principals should consider the following in deciding whether an SWL or work experience placement for a particular student should proceed in Term 2:
- The extent to which it would be possible and practical for a student to maintain physical distance at the placement in accordance with health advice.
- The level of supervision an employer would reasonably be able to provide the student to ensure safety measures are adhered to.
- The extent to which the placement could be regularly monitored by the school.
- The personal circumstances of the student, including any medical conditions or medical advice about the student’s suitability to undertake the placement.
Where these conditions cannot be met, principals should consider
cancelling or deferring SWL and work experience placements until further notice (refer below).
Updated SWL Guidelines and Work Experience Guidelines
SWL Guidelines for Employers (docx - 62.86kb) and
Work Experience Guidelines for Employers (docx - 62.72kb) have been revised to include advice relating to reducing the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the workplace.
For any continuing SWL or work experience arrangements, it is recommended that schools write to employers to inform them of the revised guidelines and obtain acknowledgement that they have read them. A sample email is provided below:
To: Employer’s email
Cc: School Principal’s email
As you are an employer who is currently hosting, or will soon be hosting, a Work Experience or Structured Workplace Learning student, I am writing to advise you that the Department of Education and Training (DET) Work Experience/Structured Workplace Learning Guidelines for Employers [delete item that is not relevant] have been revised.
These Guidelines have been revised to include advice relating to reducing the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the workplace.
It’s important that you read the revised Guidelines relevant to the arrangement type you have entered into. The revised Guidelines are available on the DET website as follows:
Please respond to me by return email to acknowledge that you have received and read these revised guidelines.
Thank you for your support of workplace learning for our students.
Name of Work Experience/Structured Workplace Learning Coordinator [Delete item that is not relevant]
Name of school
Note: The above process is not required for any
new SWL or work experience arrangements as schools provide copies of the SWL/Work Experience Guidelines to employers before the placements.
Student and Parental Engagement
For existing and new SWL and work experience placements, it is recommended that the student and the parent/guardian (if the student is under 18 years of age) complete the
Additional Structured Workplace Learning Form (COVID-19) (docx - 98.98kb) or the
Additional Work Experience Form (COVID-19) (docx - 99.01kb) [whichever is relevant] as an acknowledgement and agreement that COVID-19 may have changed the proposed work environment. A copy of this form should be attached to the SWL or Work Experience Arrangement Form kept at the school
(for all existing and new arrangements).
Alternate options to the provision of SWL or work experience
Where the decision has been made to defer an SWL (mandatory/non-mandatory) or work experience placement, schools can identify aspects of placements that may be undertaken remotely. For instance, a student could undertake research on industry and investigate jobs that interest them. Schools should work with employers to identify a process to capture and record student learning.
Where a mandatory SWL placement is cancelled, the school can consider substituting an alternative Unit of Competency from the Vocational Education Training (VET) certificate the student is undertaking that does not require a work placement. The TAFE or RTO will be able to provide details of relevant alternative UOCs.
For VCE Industry and Enterprise, you can find advice on alternative options for SWL during units 1, 2 and 3 where the required hours of SWL have not been met for the unit on the
Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) website.
Recognition of credit for partially complete SWL
Where students have commenced their SWL, they may be able to obtain credit through SWL Recognition for reflection on their learnings in the workplace. For more information about this process of recognition contact the VCAA VET Unit at
Process for the cancellation or deferral of SWL or work experience placement
The cancellation or deferral of an SWL or work experience placement takes effect by written notice from a Principal to an employer. A sample notice is provided below:
I am writing to advise you that given the current restrictions relating to COVID-19, SWL and Work Experience placements at (Name of school) will be (cancelled/ deferred) until these restrictions are lifted.
This applies to any placements that are currently in process or any new placements yet to commence. Accordingly, please note that the scheduled SWL or work experience placements of students at your workplace will not go ahead until restrictions are lifted.
I would like to thank you for your support for workplace learning for our students. If you are willing to consider the possibility for placements to be re-scheduled for later in the year, please contact (school SWL/work experience coordinator name & telephone or your local LLEN).
Name of Principal
Name of school.
Additional information is available on
workplace learning for secondary students.
Further resources are also available for:
For further queries about SWL or work experience placements, contact the Department’s Career Education Unit at