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Could you be eligible to get a work placement when you study with Open Colleges?

by Yvette Maurice

When you do a practical course with Open Colleges, you may be given the opportunity to do a work placement with one of our official partners. Now we have partnered with one of Australia’s leaders in health!

Healthscope is one of Australia’s biggest private healthcare services providers. It operates private hospitals, Australian pathology and medical centres, and international pathology and is now a proud partner of Open Colleges.

“Heathscope is an organisation that represents hospitals throughout Australia,” explains Cheree Quon, one of Open Colleges’ work placement support officers. “Under this new Healthscope agreement our students will now have access to 42 hospitals nationwide to do their work placements.”

Work placements benefit Open Colleges’ students by giving them real work skills

It’s a collaborative partnership that will benefit Open Colleges’ students directly. “This is a great opportunity for our students to be able to go in and to complete their work placement,” says Cheree. “It’s across the whole Allied Health course area.” Healthscope is based in Melbourne, Australia, and has operations in all Australian states and territories as well as internationally, in New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. Healthscope employs over 19,500 people.

Lots of our online courses include a work placement!

As Open Colleges courses are all online, for some courses, there is a compulsory work placement component. This is where Open Colleges students find a suitable host organisation in which to practise their skills. This might be a beauty salon for a nail technology student, a childcare facility for a children’s services student or a hospital or clinic for an allied health student.

Open Colleges has existing partnerships in place with some host organisations across the country. This means that Open Colleges students have access to these organisations for their work placement, always arranged in collaboration with their trainer or course coordinator.

Open Colleges has dedicated work placement arrangements with the following partners:

  • Anytime Fitness
  • Healthscope

Open Colleges students in Allied Health

Allied Health is a popular course area at Open Colleges. It offers students several areas of specialisation, or the option to study as an allied health assistant in the generalist stream. Specialisations include physiotherapy, nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy, podiatry and speech pathology.


“In any area of allied health assistance,” explains Cheree, “students are going to be assisting a professional in that chosen field.” A healthcare professional, for example a physiotherapist, might require an assistant to help them with the day-to-day care of patients and to give clients more valuable face-to-face time and contact.

“All students are issued with a WAG – the work placement assessment guide,” says Cheree. “This document describes in detail all the activities they will be undertaking as part of their work placement.”

How do I apply for a work placement?

“The process of applying is quite involved.” For example, Open Colleges has a duty of care when sending students into a workplace, including special regulations and protections for students going into a hospital setting.

“Students have to make sure they have their immunisation requirements completed – that’s a test that can take up to three months – so before they go into any health area across Australia, they need to have immunisations done. They also need to ensure they have a valid police check and in some cases, a working with children check and manual handling certificate,” explains Cheree.

This ensures our students are safe, prepared and job-ready. Open Colleges also has insurance in place for students that do work placements. The process may be an involved one, but all work done at the work placement counts as credit towards the student’s course. In some cases, work placements can even lead to paid work.

Sometimes work placements lead to real jobs

“We have had one student at a hospital in Newcastle, NSW,” says Cheree, “who went in as a physiotherapy assistant and was offered work once she completed her work placement.”

Even if a student doesn’t gain a paid position, valuable contacts can be made that can help them down the line. “It’s a great initiative and I would definitely encourage students to do some networking on their work placement.”

Cheree is very passionate about why a student might want to study an allied health course. “Any area in health is a great area to get involved with!” she says.

Cheree and the Open Colleges team puts considerable effort into ensuring that partnerships with host organisations are positive for all parties involved.

“When they agree to come on board, that’s wonderful,” says Cheree, “as it means that we can regulate the work placement and we can ensure our students are going into a host organisation that we’ve already established a relationship with.”

“They can ideally offer the student a fantastic experience.”

About our health courses.

Open Colleges has dozens of great courses in health – search them here. For information on Open Colleges’ Work Placement Support Procedure, go to the Key Student Information section under the About US tab on the Open Colleges homepage.

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