Student placement is unpaid ‘work experience’. This is your opportunity to put the theory you are learning in class to practice within a supervised workplace. All placements have strict requirements which must be met to successfully complete the placement. Your school Student Placement Adviser will be able to provide you with these requirements.
Courses which have a compulsory student placement component are:
- Diploma of Youth Work
- Diploma of Community Services (Case Management)
- Bachelor of Counselling
- Bachelor of Counselling (Coaching)
- Bachelor of Applied Social Science
- Graduate Diploma of Counselling
- Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy
- Master of Psychology (Clinical)
- Bachelor of Social Work
- Master of Social Work (Qualifying)
No other ACAP courses currently have student placements as part of the curriculum. We strongly recommend that students enrolled in other courses and wanting a career in human services or a related area start to volunteer while studying. Choose an agency that you would ideally like to work in when qualified and begin volunteering there. This puts you in the best possible position when jobs become available in that agency as they already know you. This is how a large number of ACAP students secure their placement and their first paid position in the industry.
ACAP has an excellent reputation in the industry for our students being 'work ready' when they graduate. Placement gives you the opportunity to put theory into practice in a supervised workplace and develop your skills.
Many ACAP Courses are accredited by the Professional Associations for each discipline. The accreditation requirements for the above courses include completing unpaid student placements. Each course has specific requirements and details are provided when it's time to prepare for placement. Most placements are one day per week for at least 6 months (Social Work is significantly longer) so prospective students need to plan for this. It is possible to use your workplace for your placement if it meets the requirements and you can undertake suitable placement activities at work at least 7 hours per week.
This depends on your course and your discipline.
ACAP students come from many different backgrounds, experience and interests. Students are seeking a career that inspires them. Placement is an excellent opportunity to investigate the career path you wish to follow.
Diploma of Youth Work students may find placement in areas of community service that assist disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.
Diploma of Community Service (Case Management) students could apply for placement with a range of community services working in areas such as refugee settlement, disabilities, child safety, mental health and wellness.
Counselling students may be interested in working in the area of domestic violence, substance abuse, family therapy, correctional work such as re-offending prevention programs, body image and self esteem, poverty and homelessness, relationships, working with women, working with men, LGBTIQ issues or many other areas where counsellors can make a significant difference.
Coaching students do not do a specific coaching placement, but are encouraged to volunteer in a coaching organisation from year one to gain skills and develop a network.
Applied Social Science students have a wide range of options. Many undertake placement in an agency committed to community development or a government agency. Read the document What kind of jobs can I get with a Bachelor of Applied Social Science for ideas about the kind of organisation where you could do your placement.
Within the Criminal and Justice disciplines students have completed work placement in organisations such as Victoria Police, Department of Justice, as well as various courts, law firms, prisons and many more organisations.
Master of Psychology (Clinical) undertake 3 external placements in a variety of agencies or health facilities.
Social Work students undertake 2 placements and these can be in a wide variety of organisations from human services through to corporate.
Undertaking your placement in an agency that offers services in an area of interest to you is the best possible way to get started on your career path. You will build a professional network of contacts in that area who will become your referees and also refer you to jobs they hear of. Many ACAP students are employed by their placement agencies.
The best way is to begin volunteering in the agency or organisation where you want to do your placement - and hopefully gain employment when you qualify. An organisation is far more likely to say yes to your request to do your placement there if they already know you. Choose an organisation where you would ideally like to work in the future and volunteer there - a few hours a week is enough, though some may require more.
ACAP has many placement partners who offer placement opportunities to our students. We will provide you with a range of resources to support you in your own search. You will be assigned to a Student Placement Adviser who will support you through the process. Some placements are assigned, but many students prefer to find their own placement organisation to ensure they gain experience that matches their needs and interests.
We highly recommend you begin networking, exploring and volunteering as soon as possible to give you the best chance of securing a great placement when the time comes. It can take up to 6 months to secure a placement if you have not done some groundwork previously.
Each discipline will contact students at the most appropriate time to provide all the information you need to get ready for placement.
Should you require further information before that time, or if you have any questions about placement, please contact your respective Discipline.