Work Placements and OSH for Learners in the Workplace

Approval Date
1 November 2019
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
1 October 2020
Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety
Baldrige Criteria
Customer focus

To ensure that off-site practice, placement, and workplace components are consistent with the requirements of the programme; that all assessments occurring during work placements are fair, consistent, and valid; and that the off-site placement is an effective learning experience.

Learners work in a variety of work environments including off-campus and unfamiliar environments. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and subsequent amendments, both Otago Polytechnic Limited (Ltd) and agencies/employers providing work experience for learners must provide appropriate identification and control of hazards, advice on emergency procedures and supervision of learners.

NOTE: The term “Work Placements” covers, but is not limited to, work experience, work shadowing, clinical placements, fieldwork, and placements, whether paid or unpaid.


Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, and all subsequent amendments

Worksafe NZ Act 2013 and all subsequent amendments

Human Rights Act 1993 and all subsequent amendments

Accident Compensation Act 2001 (ACC) and subsequent amendments

Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 and all subsequent amendments

Vulnerable Children Act 2017 and all subsequent amendments

Vulnerable Children (Requirements for Safety Checks of Children’s Workers) Regulations 2015


1.         Otago Polytechnic Ltd offers work placements in programme delivery wherever possible.

2.         Consultation by the Head of College and/or Programme Head, with the industry/profession workplace about suitability to provide “Work Placement” must take place before off-site practice, placement and workplace components are included in any programme.

3.         Criteria for selecting suitable work placement sites are developed by the College. The suitability of work placement sites is to be assessed against these criteria prior to selection.

4.         Work placement sites and requirements must conform to specific requirements of relevant external bodies and these will be detailed in the School/College documentation where appropriate.

4.1          Where programmes send learners out on placement, or similar, programme documents will also describe how this works and how a learner is supported.

5.         Appropriate agreements, contracts and/or Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) must cover all workplace arrangements. These agreements and contracts must meet Otago Polytechnic Ltd compliance requirements for both academic quality and legality of contract.

5.1          Agreement, contract and MoU templates, and advice, are available from the Otago Polytechnic Ltd Contracts Manager and online through Tūhono.

5.1.1    Contracts should, at a minimum, contain information about:

a.             Expectations of work placement providers.

b.             Expectations of Learners.

c.             Otago Polytechnic Ltd College responsibilities and support for the learner and the workplace.

d.             Health and Safety requirements and expectations.

e.             Delivery and assessment procedures which must comply with academic policies on assessment and moderation.

f.               Assessors for work placement assessments should have appropriate orientation and training provided where necessary.

5.2          Work placements should not commence until all agreements, contracts and/or MoU’s have been signed.

5.3          Signed agreements and contracts will be stored by each College in a shared central file of the programme being delivered.

5.4          Specific learning outcomes to be met by the off-site/workplace experience are to be identified, notified to the learner, and documented as part of the work placement agreement, contract, or MoU.

6.         Where required by work placement providers, learners will undergo safety checking which includes police vetting prior to going on placements.

6.1          Otago Polytechnic Ltd and the work placement provider will ensure learners are provided with relevant information regarding rights and responsibilities, including the need for police vetting where applicable, and Occupational Health and Safety in preparation for work placements.

6.2          Prior to commencing any work placement learners will complete an Otago Polytechnic Ltd Moodle online Health and Safety Induction.

6.3          Once the learner is on site the work placement provider will provide a health and safety induction to their industry and workplace.

7.         All learner work placements will be monitored by Otago Polytechnic Ltd staff within the relevant School/College programme delivery area.

7.1          Learner progress and safety are to be monitored during placement. Lecturers are to have clear arrangements for contact with both learner and work placement provider for the duration of the placement.

7.2          Evaluation of placements is to be undertaken to obtain feedback from learner, placement provider and lecturers.



  • Curriculum Development
  • Assessment and Moderation
  • Academic Integrity