From 2021, Western will use the definition of work-integrated learning provided in the National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund (NPILF) Guidance Document PDF, 387.32 KB (opens in a new window) (Australian Government, 2021):
Work-integrated learning refers to student experiences of work within curriculum (or as co-curricular), undertaken in partnership, through engagement with authentic and genuine activities with and for industry, business or community partners, and which are credit-bearing and assessed. As noted in the NPILF Guidance Document, eligible WIL experiences for NPILF metrics need to meet three out of four criteria as well as length requirements:
- Integrated theory with the practice of work
- Engagement with industry and community partners (industry is inclusive of business, government and the community sector whereby NGOs and not for profit organisations are suitable for a WIL experience)
- Planned, authentic activities
- Purposeful links to curriculum and specifically designed assessment.
The experience will constitute a minimum of 3-4 weeks duration (or equivalent, depending on the nature of experience) to ensure meaningful engagement with professionals in the workplace and practising application of technical skills (Australian Government, 2021).
Five categories of WIL activities from the Universities Australia report Work-integrated learning in universities (2019) (opens in a new window) are included in the NPILF Guidance Document PDF, 387.32 KB (opens in a new window). These match the categories of work-integrated learning currently included in course and unit proposal forms.
The quality of curriculum co-creation is based on a shared understanding of practices and steps to manage quality and risk.
Managing institutional risk around curriculum and co-delivery through work-integrated learning is a legal responsibility of higher education providers. Universities are required to demonstrate that ‘risks to higher education operations have been identified and material risks are being managed and mitigated effectively’ (Higher Education Standards Framework 6.2.1 (opens in a new window)) . Any work-integrated learning activities must be quality assured, including assurance of the quality of supervision of student experiences (Higher Education Standards Framework 5.4.1 (opens in a new window) ).
Different risks apply to co-design, co-development, co-delivery and co-assessing or co-credentialing activities.
The Placements Hub is available to assist staff in managing specific risks that apply to co-delivery to ensure that co-delivery activities meet TEQSA requirements. For further advice on managing specific risks that apply to co-design, co-development and co-credentialing and co-assessment contact the Placements Hub.