Third party provider engagement

There has been sector-wide recognition of the increased need for a streamlined, quality-assured process for engagement with third party providers (TPP) to minimise duplication of effort and maximise outcomes for students.

The Australian Collaborative Education Network (ACEN) has worked in collaboration with The University of Queensland (UQ) to produce best-practice guidance on the development of collaborative relationship with TPPs.

The guide builds on best-practice, including the IEAA Guide to Working with TPPs, provides an introduction to engaging with TPPs, and provides suggested resources that individual universities and stakeholders can adapt to their specific requirements.

This is a living document and we invite feedback about content and applicability. Suggestions for additions and amendments should be sent to

Third party provider document

HERDSA Guide – Work Integrated Learning in the Curriculum

herdsa-guide-cover copyEdited by Sonia Ferns

Work integrated learning (WIL) connects students with industry, business, government and community with the intention of creating authentic learning experiences that strengthen students’ capacity to develop work-ready skills. WIL has emerged as a key strategy for educational institutions in response to changes in tertiary education and the demand for graduates with work related capabilities.

This HERDSA Guide highlights the uniqueness of WIL and the opportunities and challenges it affords. The Guide provides insights into curriculum design, performance-based assessment, academic standards, risk management, institutional leadership, building staff capacity and evaluation strategies for WIL. The Guide offers a range of existing, new and emergent perspectives about WIL in a global context and provides useful information for practitioners and institutional leaders.


Work Integrated Learning: Workload and Recognition Review


By Merrelyn Bates (Griffith University)
12 February 2010

The purpose of this document is to report the findings of a survey directed to WIL staff (both academic and general) across the Griffith University sector. It follows an initial study – Workintegrated Learning: Academic Workload and Recognition – published in 2007 (Bates & The Engaging Students in the Workplace (ESiWP) Working Party, 2007), which had been initiated by Professor John Dewar in his role as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic). The goal of this investigation was to present a scholarly and detailed evidence-based analysis of the WIL workload issues identified by academic and general staff. This paper is not addressing issues of ‘good practice’ but is an analysis of the duties that are associated with WIL courses offered across the University. The final report and its recommendations have been provided to Professor Sue Spence (Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) for her consideration.

Common Best Practice Code for High-Quality Internships

UK-Best-Practice-Code-coverUK Code of Practice

The FWO presentation by Professors Andrew Stewart and Rosemary Owens of Adelaide University referred to a 2011 UK document UK-Best-Practice-Code-for-High-Quality-Internships

This common best practice code has been developed in response to the Final Report of the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions. It describes the core elements required in order to obtain maximum benefit from internships for both interns and employers.

This common best practice code draws on the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) 2009 publication Internships that Work: a Guide for Employers. The Gateways to the Professions Collaborative Forum would like to express its appreciation to the CIPD for the use of this content in the creation of this document. The guide can be viewed at

Fair Work Ombudsman’s Report

‘The nature and prevalence of unpaid work experience, internships and trial periods in Australia. Experience or Exploitation’

ACEN-EorE-report-coverA report commissioned by the Fair Work Ombudsman into the nature, prevalence and regulation of unpaid work experience, internships and trial periods in Australia.

Research completed in January 2013 by Adelaide Law School Professors, Andrew Stewart and Rosemary Owens.

Released February 2013

Key report findings

The report found that a growing number of businesses are using unpaid work schemes as an alternative to hiring paid staff.

The research acknowledges the importance and legitimacy of unpaid work within formal vocational placements. It also found that:

  • employers want clarification about the legitimacy and legality of unpaid work
  • young people and migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to being exploited
  • unpaid work is most common in competitive industries with an oversupply of qualified graduates.

Report recommendations and responses

The report makes 6 recommendations that we will work to implement.

  • Better define unpaid work experience.
  • Expand guidance and education activities.
  • Conduct targeted campaigns in key industries.
  • Instigate legal action before relevant courts where appropriate.
  • Improve liaison with relevant government agencies.
  • Initiate comprehensive engagement with key stakeholders representing employers and employees, with an emphasis on vulnerable workers (young people and migrant workers).

Video of presentation to ACEN

FWO-video-picHere’s the video of the recent presentation by Professors Andrew Stewart and Rosemary Owens of Adelaide University, authors of ‘The nature and prevalence of unpaid work experience, internships and trial periods in Australia: Experience or Exploitation’.

IMPORTANT: Use the download button on the Dropbox site to get the full video.

Professors Stewart and Owens have generously made their slides available to ACEN.

Presentation PDF

FWO infographic issues and responses

FWO-infographic-picThis graphic summarises the issues around unpaid work arrangements in Australia. Produced by the Fair Work Ombudsman, this graphic summarises the issues and recommendations identified in the report ‘Experience or Exploitation?’ around unpaid work arrangements in Australia and outlines the Fair Work Ombudsman’s responses.


UK-Best-Practice-Code-coverUK Code of Practice

The presentation refers to a 2011 UK document ‘Common Best Practice Code for High-Quality Internships’.