Workplace learning: information for RTOs

This page includes information for registered training organisations (RTOs) who provide workplace learning to secondary school students​.


​​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 RTOs and undertaking a senior secondary certificate (Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)) 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.

Ministerial Orders 723 and 724

Ministerial Orders 723 and 724 have been amended and commenced operation on 1 January 2017. Amended arrangement forms accompany amended Ministerial Orders 723 and 724.

All arrangements made after 1 January 2017 must comply with amended Ministerial Orders 723 and 724 and the accompanying amended arrangement forms must be used.

Structured workplace learning

Work experience

Practical placements

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.