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Defence Work
Experience Program

Frequently Asked Questions?


For Students

What is a Work Experience Placement Agreement?

The Work Experience Placement Agreement is the agreement between Defence, your School/Educational Institution, your parent/guardian (if you are under 18 years) and you.

The Work Experience Placement Agreement:

  • outlines the details of the work experience placement;
  • ensures that all those involved have approved and signed for your participation in the placement;
  • collects key information about you; and
  • identifies the conditions of participation associated with your placement. eg ability to participate in PT.

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What will I bring with me?

Information including details of what to bring to your work experience placement will be provided to you with your signed Work Experience Placement Agreement which includes Joining Instructions.

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What about lunch?

You should bring your own lunch and refreshments as Defence sites are often some distance from a shop. In certain cases, you may be able to eat at a Defence Mess, however you can only do so if this is included in your work experience placement agreement.

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What can I wear?

Students are advised to wear practical comfortable clothing, with closed in footwear. Where it is required, Defence will provide protective clothing to students, excluding footwear. Students are not to wear clothing that resembles an Australian Defence Force uniform while taking part in a work experience placement. Any additional clothing requirements will be detailed in the information provided with your agreement.

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What do I do on the first day?

You will be provided with information on what time to meet and where to go on the first day either in your Work Experience Placement Agreement or Joining Instruction.

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How do I get there?

You will need to organise and meet any costs associated with your travel to and from the location of the work experience placement. These arrangements also apply to out of area participants.

Schools and other education institutions may choose to provide transport for you. You should ask your Work Experience Coordinator/Careers Advisor about travel arrangements.

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Will I stay overnight during the placement?

Work experience students are not usually permitted to remain on a Defence site overnight. However, some placements do offer overnight supervised accommodation as part of the placement.

Students participating in an interstate placement that does not involve an overnight component must organise and meets costs for accommodation. If you are under 18 years of age, you must have supervised accommodation and be be accompanied by a resposible adult outside of the work experience program.

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Do I get to pick what I do?

You can apply to participate in any of the work experience placement options available on the Defence Work Experience website under 'Placement' in the menu to the left. You may apply for more than one placement.

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For Parents

Will my child be covered by Insurance?

All schools and other educational institutions are required to have:

  1. insurance cover for work experience students against injury whilst on work experience;
  2. indemnity for Defence in the event of a claim against Defence resulting from an injury or death of a student or from damage to property or injury or death of members of the public caused by a work experience student; and
  3. compensation for damage to property (Defence and third party) caused by a work experience student.

Defence will not accept the placement if your child's school, or other educational institution, does not provide evidence of adequate insurance coverage for their students undertaking work experience.

Note: Details of coverage should be outlined in the Memorandum of Insurance, (also know as the Certificate of Currency) which your Educational Institution retains. Insurance may vary according to the insurer and State or Territory legislation. It is important to investigate insurance coverage if the student will be travelling interstate for a placement as independent insurance may need to be arranged. Contact your local School or Educational Institution for advice.

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What happens if my child is injured when on work experience?

Defence conforms to State and Territory based legislation relating to Work Health and Safety in relation to work experience when designing work placement activities. A safety risk assessment is undertaken for all work experience placements.

In the event that a student is injured or becomes ill during a work experience placement, Defence will arrange immediate medical attention and the student's nominated emergency contact will be notified. In the case of minors, the student's school or other educational institution will also be advised.

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What responsibilities do I have as a parent?

As a parent of a student undertaking work experience with Defence you are:

  • to provide written advice of any ongoing medical condition (such as asthma, allergies, etc) which requires a treatment or action place if your child is under 18 years of age
  • to provide agreement for your child's personal information to be used to obtain a security clearance should it be required
  • if under the age of 18, ensure the student has appropriate supervision by a responsible adult if they coming from outside the local area to particpate in the Work Experience Program
  • arrange and meet costs for any transport and accommodation associated with attending the placement
  • to acknowledge that, where your child is under 18 years of age, you will be informed of any issue relating to security, health and safety, unacceptable behaviour or complaints, that arises in the workplace.

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What other costs are involved?

Other than travel and accommodation costs (where applicable), the student must provide their own lunch and refreshments (e.g. drinks and snacks) or money to buy lunch if this facility is available. On ocassions lunch will be provided. Details of these arrangements will be outlined in the Joining Instructions sent to the student.

Defence will provide disposable, or on loan, protective clothing if they are required for the work experience activity, excluding safety boots.

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For Educational Institutions

How do I organise a Work Experience Placement for our students?

Contact points for organising a Work Experience Placement will be included in the information provided on the Defence Work Experience Program website. Simply look up the individual placement details to locate a point of contact.

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Are there a minimum number of students required for a placement?

The number of students involved in any placement will vary between placements and depend on the type of placement that is being offered. Information about the type of placements, any special conditions and the placement limits are detailed on the Defence Work Experience Website under ' Placement' from the menu to left.

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Are the Work Experience Placement's dates flexible?

Defence considers the operational requirements of the Defence unit when making placements available. Some placements will have flexible dates, however most will not.

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Is there any pre-requisite training required by the student?

Defence does not require any pre-requisite training other than that required by State or Territory Guidelines/Policy. You should check with the relevant education department in your state for any specific requirements.

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Do the individual State Legislative requirements apply?

Yes, Defence will comply with all State or Territory legislative requirements when designing and offering work experience placements.

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Can students with special needs undertake work experience placements with Defence?

Wherever possible Defence will make appropriate and reasonable adjustments to accommodate students with special needs. This arrangement also applies for students from culturally-diverse backgrounds.

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Is the work experience program subject to written agreement?

Work Experience Placements are subject to a written agreement between Defence, Students, Parents, Schools and other Educational Institutions once the student is accepted into a placement. A Work Experience Placement Agreement must be completed and signed by all parties and submitted to your Work Experience Liasion Officer.

You should check with the relevant education department in your State or Territory whether any additional documents are required.

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Is there a deadline for submitting work experience program documents?

Unless specified otherwise, the signed Defence Work Experience Agreement should be received four weeks prior to the commencement of the Work Experience Placement.

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Are the students covered by Insurance while on a placement?

Is there a Student Waiting List?

The Work Experience Liaison Officer may establish a waiting list if the number of student applications exceed placement numbers. Completed paperwork is still required from these students to ensure that they are eligible to participate in a placement should an enrolled student withdraw or cancel at the last minute.

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Do students need to be fit and healthy to participate in the program?

Students are encouraged to apply for a Work Experience Placement at the Australian Defence Force regardless of their health and fitness. However, the Educational Institution must notify Defence (via the Agreement) of any students who have medical or other conditions that may affect their ability to participate in all or part of the Work Experience Placements and/or have special needs. Some placements will require the applicant to complete a Health and Fitness questionnaire in relation to physical activities.

The point of contact for the advertised placement or the Work Experience Liaison Officer within your region will be able to provide you with guidance.

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