Work-Based Learning Procedures (effective from 2 March 2020)


All University staff members and students engaged in work-based learning (WBL).


To outline procedures to protect students engaged in WBL and to clarify the responsibilities of the parties involved.


The University is committed to ensuring that students are supported to gain the significant benefits of Work-Based Learning (WBL)and are healthy, safe and well while engaged in paid and/or unpaid WBL.

To support this, it is important that both staff members and students understand the procedures to be undertaken and the support that is available when students encounter unacceptable risks including bullying, harassment or other unhealthy or unsafe behaviours, and unsafe physical environments.


1. Students who initiate their own WBL will be provided the opportunity to engage with University-provided advice sessions and resources to prepare them for a successful WBL experience.

2. All students engaged in WBL will have access to named primary contacts in the University.

3. University-initiated WBL arrangements will, wherever possible, include a requirement for the host organisation to provide a named primary contact.

4. Students engaged in WBL are to be encouraged to report instances of unethical, unsafe or inappropriate behavior. The process for reporting such behavior will differ depending on whether the student is placed pursuant to a University-initiated WBL Agreement or a student-initiated arrangement and the specific terms of the relevant agreement.

5. The University will not disadvantage students who raise concerns and complaints while engaged in WBL.

6. Deans and directors must follow Strategic Response Team (SRT) protocols and inform the Vice-Chancellor (SRT Leader) of any WBL practice incidents that may be at Level 2 or 3 on the published University Incident Levels.

Roles and responsibilities

University of Auckland responsibilities

7. For University-initiated WBL, University staff members with responsibilities for coordinating WBL are to:

  • provide the student with WBL Guidelines and other relevant information specific to the Host Organisation WBL Agreement or other formal arrangement.
  • ensure that there is a named primary contact within the University and endeavour to have each Host Organisation name a primary contact to support the student while engaged in WBL.
  • support the agreed standard feedback procedure for the Host Organisation if they have a complaint or problem concerning the conduct of the student.
  • ensure any Host Organisation WBL Agreements (or other formal arrangements) are either documented using an appropriate University template agreement or approved by the University’s General Counsel or delegate
  • respond empathetically and in a timely manner to students’ WBL concerns, escalate appropriately and report back to students on progress of any complaint in accordance with the provisions of the WBL Agreement
  • escalate to the dean or director issues of concern regarding students engaged in WBL.

Host organisation responsibilities

8. Host Organisation responsibilities for students engaged in WBL under a University-initiated WBL arrangement will be documented in the WBL Agreement (or other formal arrangements).

9. The University will endeavor to have the following matters covered in each Agreement:

  • a commitment to modelling appropriate and ethical behaviours in all Host interactions with students, both face-to-face and digital, and in professional and social settings.
  • an arrangement to appropriately supervise and support students engaged in WBL.
  • an assurance that students engaged in WBL will receive an induction on the organisation’s health, safety and wellbeing policies and procedures and any equity policies and procedures.
  • the provision, wherever possible, of a named primary contact for students within the host organisation and information on how to raise concerns should they arise.
  • a process for notifying the University if there are any concerns with the student engaged in WBL.

Student responsibilities

10. Students on University-initiated WBL placements are to:

  • act in accordance with the University’s values, statutes, policies and procedures.
    adhere to the professional guidelines and codes of conduct appropriate to their discipline or profession.
  • adhere to policies and regulations of the host organisation, including occupational health, safety, wellbeing, and equity.
  • maintain regular communication with all parties involved in the management of their WBL.
  • undertake all pre-WBL training and advice sessions provided by the University of Auckland and the host organisation deemed necessary to enable students to operate safely and professionally while engaged in WBL.

11. Students on student-initiated WBL placements are encouraged to;

a. register with the University any WBL arrangements that they have independently organized.

b. ensure they understand any Employment or other agreement they have entered into with the Host organisation and the process to be followed in the event they encounter any problems during their WBL or have any concerns

c. attend a University-provided advice session on WBL and health, safety and wellbeing matters in the work-place.


The following definitions apply to this document:

Host organisation refers to the external organisation that hosts the student who is undertaking WBL.

Staff members refers to individuals employed by the University on a full or part-time basis.

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

Work-based learning (WBL) refers to learning arising from activity within a host organisation that includes:

(i) formal curricula requirements and/or

(ii) opportunities for students to learn through exploring work challenges including undertaking assigned tasks, participating in teams and engaging in projects.

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Owner: Pro Vice-Chancellor Education
Content manager: Office of the Vice-Chancellor
Approved by: Vice-Chancellor
Date approved: September 2019
Date of implementation: 2 March 2020
Review date: 2 March 2025