Psychology

Psychology placements

Attending a workplace experience or clinical placement is an exciting part of your program. These health-related placements let you experience what it's like to work as a professional in real-life workplace settings and are an integral part of your learning

Before being able to start placement, there are a number of ‘checks’ that need to be performed to ensure safe service delivery. To achieve this, all MCP and MPP students go through the NSW Health Student Compliance Verification process. The verification process is lengthy and important for all students to commence this process as soon as you’re accepted into the program. It also needs to be completed before students can commence their initial on-campus placement at Northfields Clinic.

Below outlines the NSW Health Student Compliance Verification process. Students must also read and comply with the Additional Required Checks for Psychology Placements below.

Please expand and review all the Preparing for placement tabs for specific and detailed information about your health-related placement. Further Additional information is included below.

Key Information

All students completing health-related programs* must meet the mandatory NSW Health Student Compliance requirements for:

  • Immunisations and vaccinations - to minimise the risk of transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases,
  • Code of conduct, and
  • Police check.

You will only be able to attend a placement within a NSW Health Facility after you have met these requirements and NSW Health have verified your evidence.

It is your responsibility to meet these requirements and to maintain your compliance throughout your course. If you do not meet or maintain these requirements, you may be prevented from attending a future placement.

Collating evidence can take some time; for some students it may take several months to complete the requirements, it is important that you start now.

NSW Health recognise the time it can take and allow a “temporary compliance” period of six months for any student that meets the “minimum requirements”. If you fall into the “temporary compliant” category you will be able to attend a placement whilst you finalise meeting all the requirements (e.g., complete your Hepatitis B vaccination regimen).

The following steps outline how you can meet the mandatory NSW Health Student Compliance requirements. Whilst it is recommended that you start collating your evidence 2-3 months before commencing, you can only finalise collating your evidence after you have enrolled as your UOW student ID card is a required component.

Immunisation and vaccination details

1. Download the NSW Governments Vaccination Record Card for Health Care Workers and Students (PDF) (please ensure you use the current version from this link as older versions will not be accepted). This card details the vaccinations that are required. Take this card to your GP to complete, ensuring they sign and practice stamp all entries made.

2. Collate evidence of your vaccinations. The best evidence is a copy of your Immunisation History Statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

If your full immunisation history is not available on your immunisation history statement, review the detail on the Student Compliance Web page, in particular “What evidence do I need?” and “What constitutes evidence?”

Full COVID-19 vaccination evidence is mandatory. Acceptable evidence is either a copy of your immunisation history statement OR a copy of your COVID-19 digital certificate OR an approved NSW Health medical contraindication form. Any vaccination evidence must detail dates of all doses received and the name of vaccine received (e.g., Pfizer). International students should follow the Services Australia guidelines to obtain appropriate evidence.

If you have not received all your required vaccinations, discuss the options of receiving these ASAP with your GP.

3. Collate evidence of your immunity status. Some vaccinations require a blood test and serology report to confirm your immunity (e.g., Hepatitis B). If your GP documents serology results on your Vaccination Record Card for any vaccination (i.e., Hepatitis B, MMR, Varicella or TB), you must also provide a copy of the serology report/s as evidence. Some serology (e.g., Hepatitis B) can only be provided if it was taken at least 28 days after your last age-appropriate dose of the vaccine.

Minimum Requirements: If you have evidence of at least one (1) dose of Hepatitis B vaccine (but not all) and meet ALL other requirements, you meet the minimum requirements and will be verified as Temporary Compliant.

Temporary compliance allows you to attend a health-related placement whilst you finalise the Hepatitis B regimen. Temporary compliance expires after 6 months.

NSW Health documentation 

4. Download each of the following NSW Health forms and answer ALL questions. Personally sign each document as electronic signatures will not be accepted:

  • Student Undertaking / Declaration (Appendix 6) – 4 questions that require 1 answer each.
  • Tuberculosis (TB) Assessment Tool (Attachment 7) – note the specific requirements if additional testing is required.
  • Blood Borne Virus (BBV) declaration – Medical students only*
  • Code of Conduct Agreement.

Links to all of these documents are included on the Student Compliance Web page.

Police Check documentation

5. All students (both local and international) must provide a valid Australian National Police Certificate (NPC). A valid NPC is one that is:

If you are planning to do a health placement within the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), it is recommended that you obtain your NPC through either NSW Police or the Australian Federal Police (and not a listed ACIC accredited body). ACT Health have slightly different requirements.

Once verified by NSW Health, all NPCs are valid for five (5) years from their purchase date.  NPC’s must remain valid for the duration of your program.

Disclosable Outcomes: If your NPC contains any disclosable outcomes (i.e. a charge or conviction), you must also independently apply for a Clinical Placement Clearance; the application process is detailed on the Student Compliance Web page. Please contact your placement coordinator for assistance.

International Students: If you are an international student, you must also provide either:

  • An Overseas Police Check (OPC) from your home country (and/or any country you have resided in since turning 18 years of age)
    OR
  • A signed and witnessed Overseas Student Statutory Declaration form as found on the Student Compliance Web page. NB: this Statutory Declaration can only be completed after arriving in NSW as it must be witnessed by an authorised person as detailed on the form.

Proof of student identity

6. A photocopy / PDF copy of your UOW student ID card must be provided (this is only available after you have commenced at UOW)

Check that you have everything

Use this quick checklist to self-assess your readiness for NSW Health to verify you as being compliant (or temporary compliant).

  • A completed Vaccination Record Card for Health Care Workers and Students
  • Evidence of your vaccinations (e.g., a copy of your Immunisation History Statement or other evidence)
  • Evidence of your immunity status (i.e., copies of all relevant serology reports)
  • Signed copies of the required NSW Health Documentation

a. Student Undertaking / Declaration (Appendix 6)
b. Tuberculosis (TB) Assessment Tool (Attachment 7)
c. Blood Borne Virus (BBV) declaration – Medical students only*
d. Code of Conduct Agreement

  • Police Check documentation – Your Australian National Police Certificate. NB: International students must also provide an Overseas Police Check OR sign a Statutory Declaration form.
  • UOW student ID card

Upload your evidence to SONIA

SONIA is the UOW Student Placement System; an online portal for all things related to placements. Once you have commenced at UOW you will be granted access to SONIA. Instruction on how to upload your evidence can be found in the Uploading evidence to SONIA guide (PDF).

  • Login to SONIA and navigate to the Checks Screen
  • Upload your evidence to the appropriate fields (PDF documents only with individual file size limited to 1MB)

Your evidence will be checked by the UOW Verification Team before it is sent to NSW Health to be verified.

NB: If there is a need for you to re-upload and / or correct some evidence, you will be sent an email to your UOW mail address requesting the same. It is important that you follow up on these requests as soon as possible.

Further information can be found from the FAQ’s - NSW Health Student Compliance and verification (PDF) or from the UOW Verification Team uow-verification@uow.edu.au

In addition to the NSW Health Student Compliance checks, MCP and MPP students also need to upload the following documentation to Sonia before they are able to begin placements:

  • Working with Children Check
  • Professional Registration

Working With Children Check

A Working With Children Check (WWCC) is a requirement for people who work or volunteer in child-related work. The WWCC involves a national criminal history check and a review of findings of workplace misconduct. The check is free for students over 18 on a professional placement.

To apply click on the link below, then take your application receipt and proof of identity documents to a Service NSW Centre for processing. You will receive your WWCC number via email (if you supplied an email address) or by post (if you don't have an email address). 

Once you receive your WWCC number, upload this into SONIA, under the Checks Screen.

Working with Children Check - NSW Office of the Children's Guardian

Provisional Registration

Before being able to start placement, students are required to be provisionally registered with the AHPRA Psychology Board of Australia. Follow the instruction on the AHPRA website in the link below. This process can be lengthy and should be started as soon as possible (you can apply once you have enrolled in the MCP or MPP course).

Once you receive your provisional registration, upload this into SONIA, under the Checks Screen.

Psychology Board of Australia - Provisional registration

Students will be required to dress according to the dress code at the agency they are placed. Students will have a pre-placement interview with the agency and will determine this at that time.

The University will attempt to secure placement opportunities in various locations predominately throughout the Illawarra/Shoalhaven as well as Sydney region. However, some placements may be located outside of this area and may result in students having to travel to places that are relatively distant from campus and their residences in order to benefit from a range of placement experiences. The student’s learning needs and placement experience will take priority over the distance of the placement. The student is responsible for all costs associated with undertaking a field placement.

Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) offer regular Rural and Remote Scholarships.

Other opportunities may also be available via the Australian Psychological Society.

There may be opportunities to undertake a remote or overseas field placement in the final year of study. In these instances, the student must bear the travel, insurance, accommodation and all other costs involved. In order to undertake an overseas placement, the student will have to meet additional guidelines set by the university and Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC). The Placement Coordinator can provide further information about the particular criteria for remote and overseas field placements as required.