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

If you are completing a health-related program, you must meet mandatory NSW Health Student Compliance requirements for:

  • Immunisations and vaccinations,
  • Code of Conduct, and
  • Police check.

These requirements must be met with suitable evidence. NSW Health must also verify your evidence before you can attend a placement within a NSW Health Facility.

It is your responsibility to comply with these requirements and to maintain your compliance throughout your course. If you do not, you may be prevented from attending placements.

This web page provides a summary of the NSW Health compliance requirements. Full detail of the requirements can be found on the NSW Health student compliance page of the Health Education and Training website (HETI). In addition to the following summary, students should review the HETI website to acquaint themselves with the detail within the NSW Health Policy Occupational Assessment, Screening and Vaccination Against Specified Infectious Diseases.

It may take you some time to find and collate your evidence, we recommend you start now. You may also establish that you have not received the required vaccinations. If so, arrange to have these administered ASAP by a GP (or equivalent) as some can take several months to complete (e.g., a full course of Hepatitis B can take 5 months).

Temporary compliance may be granted to you by NSW Health if you have not yet completed the vaccine requirements upon commencement of your course, particularly Hepatitis B. To be eligible for temporary compliance you must have received at least your first dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine PLUS you must have met ALL OTHER vaccination requirements as stipulated in the policy AND completed ALL declaration forms and Police Check processes as specified. Further details on the “minimum vaccination requirements” is set out below.

Whilst we recommend you start collating your evidence before commencing at UOW, you can only finalise collating your evidence after you have enrolled, as your UOW student ID card is a required component.

1. Immunisation and vaccination details

You must provide evidence of all vaccinations as stipulated in the NSW Health Policy. This includes:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough) - dTpa
  • COVID-19 (full vaccination including booster dose/s is mandatory)
  • Hepatitis B (including evidence of immunity via serology (blood test))
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR); either 2 vaccine doses OR evidence of immunity via serology OR birth date before 1966
  • Varicella; either age-appropriate dose/s OR evidence of immunity via serology

NOTE: If you have not received all your required vaccinations, discuss options of receiving these ASAP with your GP / health care provider.

Evidence of immunisation / vaccination

The best form of evidence of your immunisation and vaccination status is a copy of your Immunisation history statement from Medicare Australia (for COVID-19, a copy of your COVID-19 Digital Certificate will meet requirements).

Important privacy note: If you are using your immunisation history statement OR providing a COVID digital certificate as part of your evidence, both include an Individual Health Identifier (IHI). As this number is a personal identifier, you must remove (redact or black out) this number before providing it to UOW or NSW Health. To remove your IHI either print your document to PDF & use the ‘Redacting’ tool in ADOBE or follow the instructions on the video from the HETI Website student compliance page.

If your immunisation history statement does not capture your full immunisation / vaccination history, you will need to provide additional evidence. Download a copy of the NSW Governments Vaccination Record Card for Health Care Workers and Students and have your GP or health care provider complete it (use the current version from this link as older versions will not be accepted). Ensure your GP/health care provider sign, date, and use a practice stamp for all entries made on the form.

Other acceptable forms of evidence could be a childhood immunisation record (e.g., Baby Blue Book (or similar)); a school vaccination card; or other vaccination records.

Acceptable COVID-19 vaccination evidence is either a copy of your immunisation history statement OR a COVID-19 digital certificate. Your evidence must detail dates of all doses received and the name of vaccine received (e.g., Pfizer).

If you have a medical contraindication to any COVID vaccine, you will need to provide specific evidence of your circumstances to NSW Health. Full details of the requirements are listed under the COVID-19 vaccination heading on the HETI website student compliance page.

If you have recently been infected with COVID-19, this may delay you receiving a COVID-19 booster vaccination. NSW Health will grant temporary compliance status for up to four months if you provide evidence in the form of a positive PCR test or registration of a positive rapid antigen test (RAT).

International students should follow the Services Australia guidelines to obtain appropriate evidence of your COVID-19 vaccination. International COVID-19 vaccine certificates will not be accepted by NSW Health.  

Minimum Vaccination Requirements for Temporary Compliance

If you have recently commenced your Hepatitis B vaccine regimen OR are part way through, you meet the minimum vaccination requirement for Hepatitis B compliance. The full requirements for Hepatitis B can take five (5) months (see the table below detailing the acceptable Adult Hepatitis B regimen).

If you meet the minimum requirement, you will likely be granted Temporary Compliant status and will be able to attend a health-related placement. To be given this status you must also have met ALL OTHER vaccination requirements as stipulated on the NSW Governments Vaccination Record Card for Health Care Workers and Students and have completed ALL declaration forms and Police Check processes as specified.

Temporary compliance will have an expiry date. It is important to note that this will be 6 months after your initial assessment date by NSW Health and not necessarily 6 months after you were deemed temporary compliant. Irrespective, within this period, you must complete your Hepatitis B vaccine regimen to gain full compliance.

Hepatitis B vaccine regimen

To meet the full Hepatitis B requirements, you must include evidence of (at least) age-appropriate Hepatitis B vaccine doses (i.e., infant 4 x doses [3 x infant doses may also be accepted]; adolescent (11-15yrs) 2 x doses; adults (16+yrs) 3 x doses) PLUS serology (a blood test) proving immunity.

The following table defines the acceptable minimum timeframes between adult Hepatitis B doses (as extrapolated from the Australian Immunisation Handbook).

 Options

Day Zero / Month 0

Day 28 /
Month 1

Day 56 / Month 2

Day 84 / Month 3

Day 112 / Month 4

Day 140 / Month 5

Option 1

Dose 1

Dose 2

 

 

Dose 3

Serology

Option 2

Dose 1

 

Dose 2

 

Dose 3

Serology

NB: Accelerated Hepatitis B dosage regimes that are shorter than the above timeframes will not be accepted by NSW Health.

A Hepatitis B Vaccination Declaration form is available if you do not have evidence of your vaccinations. Section A of the Hepatitis B Vaccination Declaration form should be completed and signed. NSW Health staff will complete Section B (there is no need to have an independent assessor complete section B).

2. Evidence of immunity

Some vaccinations require a serology report (blood test) to confirm your immunity (e.g., for Hepatitis B, a serology must be provided). A serology report will only be accepted if the serology test was performed at least 28 days after your last age-appropriate dose of a vaccine.

For other vaccinations (e.g., MMR, Varicella), if you have proof of the required doses, a serology report is not required. However, if your GP documents any serology results on your Vaccination Record Card as proof of immunity / vaccination (i.e., Hepatitis B, MMR, Varicella or TB), you must also provide a copy of these serology report/s as evidence, irrespective of the number of vaccine doses you have recorded and received. If in doubt, if you have a serology report, include it with your evidence.

3. NSW Health documentation

Download each of the following NSW Health forms from the HETI Website and answer ALL questions. You must personally sign each document as a “typed” electronic signature will not be accepted by NSW Health. NB: The Blood Borne Virus (BBV) form is only for Medical students:

  • Code of Conduct Agreement for Students – NB: You should read & familiarise yourself with the policy document listed on this form
  • Student Undertaking / Declaration – NB: Whilst this form has 5 questions, only questions 1 to 4 apply to students. Students are classified as Category A workers by NSW Health. Each of the 4 questions requires 1 answer each.
  • Tuberculosis (TB) Assessment Tool – NB: In additional to your personal details, this form has 3 sections. Please complete ALL questions in each section. If you have ever had a positive TB skin test (TST) or a blood test (IGRA or QuantiFERON TB Gold, please provide a copy of these reports with your form). After review, NSW Health will advise if additional screening is required.
  • Blood Borne Virus Declaration – NB: This form is Medical Students only. Medical Students must sign this form as part of their evidence. Serology reports are not required.

4. Police Check documentation

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

NSW Police or other state based police service check OR the Australian Federal Police check is preferred as these are automatically valid for five (5) years. If you are planning to do a health placement within the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), it is recommended that you specifically obtain your NPC through either the NSW Police or the Australian Federal Police (and not a listed ACIC accredited body) as ACT Health have slightly different requirements.

NOTE: Once verified by NSW Health, all NPC’s are valid for five (5) years from their purchase/assessment 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 etc.), you must independently apply for a Risk Assessment. The application process is detailed on the HETI Website and you will need the assistance of your placement coordinator. You can contact your placement coordinator.

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 HETI Website. 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.

NOTE: Providing suitable police check documentation can be complex. To assist, HETI have provided some frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) on their website.

5. Proof of student identity

A copy of your UOW student ID card must also be provided as part of your documentation (UOW ID Cards are only available after you have enrolled at UOW).

6. 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).

  • Evidence of your vaccinations (e.g., Immunisation History Statement or a completed Vaccination Record Card for Health Care Workers and Students or other evidence.
  • Evidence of your immunity status (i.e., copies of all relevant serology reports)
  • Signed copies of the required NSW Health Documentation
    1. Code of Conduct Agreement
    2. Student Undertaking / Declaration
    3. Tuberculosis (TB) Assessment Tool
    4. Blood Borne Virus (BBV) declaration – Medical students only
  • Police Check documentation – Your Australian National Police Certificate, and for International students, an Overseas Police Check OR a signed Statutory Declaration form.
  • UOW student ID card

7. Upload your evidence to SONIA

SONIA is the UOW Student Placement System. SONIA is an online portal for all things related to placements, it is also where you must upload your evidence.

After enrolling at UOW you will be provided with an email address and login specific to UOW. You will also be granted access to SONIA. Detailed instruction on how to upload your evidence can be found in the How to upload “check” evidence and how to navigate the Check Tab within SONIA guide (PDF). The process is very easy, simply:

  1. Login to SONIA
  2. Navigate to the Checks tab
  3. Upload your evidence to the appropriate check, ensuring your evidence is a PDF file no greater in size than 5 MB (NB: JPEG, PNG, DOCX and HEIC files can NOT BE ACCEPTED)

After you have uploaded your evidence, it will be checked for completeness by the UOW Verification Team. If additional evidence OR corrections are required, you will be notified of the same via both an email to your UOW email address and via the information link on the SONIA Checks tab. It is important that you follow up on these requests as soon as possible so that your evidence can be sent as a package to NSW Health for verification.

NOTE: Your documentation package can only be sent to NSW Health for verification once we have received at least the minimum vaccination requirements and ALL required Health documentation, including police check information.

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.