For Students/Trainees

cpo students

Here, you will find information on the placement process and essential information for students and trainees, as well as information for ACT Health staff who are also studying. The term ‘student’ and ‘trainee’ refers to anyone who is undertaking a clinical placement with ACT Health.

Placement Process - for Students

This section is for Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health students only.

Medical Students – please contact ANU Medical School – regarding any placements.

Eligibility for a student clinical placement within ACT Health

ACT Health provides placements for students in accordance with Deeds and Schedules that exist with education providers. Placements are organised between the CPO and the education providers, not with students individually. All placements are subject to availability. Priority is given to students from local education providers and to those who live in the ACT.

Students studying at a local education institution

If you are studying at a local education institution, such as ACU, UC or CIT, the Clinical Placement Office (CPO) will liaise with your education provider and will endeavour to arrange a placement within ACT Health.

Students from an interstate education provider

Before you can be offered a student clinical placement within ACT Health, there must be a current Deed and Schedule in place between your education provider and ACT Health. Please see > Deeds and Schedules

Students from international education providers

ACT Health does not have any existing Deeds and Schedules with international education providers and will offer a clinical placement opportunity to an international student only in very exceptional cases.

How to apply for a student clinical placement

Applications or expressions of interest for placement are to be made through the placement office of your education provider or through your course convener. The CPO does not accept direct approaches from individual students.

The Application Process

1. Planning

You should start planning your student clinical placement with your education provider as soon as possible. Ensure your course convener contacts CPO to express your interest for a placement/s and, if available, CPO will make an offer to your course convener.

2. Completion of Pre- Application Requirements

You will need to provide evidence of a National Police Check, an ACT ‘Working With Vulnerable People’ card and an immunity check to your education provider. For further details, please see Placement Requirements

You will need to be aware of the expiry dates of the National Police Check, ‘Working With Vulnerable People’ check and immunity check and it is your responsibility to ensure that these remain current throughout your period of study.

3. Submission of a request to ACT Health

Your education provider must submit a request for your student clinical placement with ACT Health using the Student Placement Online (SPO) system at least 8 weeks prior to the commencement of placement. The CPO will endeavour to facilitate the placement as requested.

4. Receiving a placement confirmation and SPO account

If the SPO request is approved, the CPO will notify your education provider. The education provider will upload your student details onto the SPO system, creating an individual SPO account for you. You will be notified of this in an automated email which will give you details of how to log in to SPO.

5. Completion of ACT Health Placement Pre-requisites

Once you have received the automated email, you will need to log in to your SPO account and complete the ACT Health Placement pre-requisites. This includes e-learning modules, and an Acknowledgement form.  These need to be completed at least 2 weeks prior to your placement commencement date.

6. Processing your placement

Once the ACT Health Placement pre-requisites have been completed, your placement can go ahead. One week before your placement is due to start, you will need to contact the placement area and obtain a roster. You also need to collect your ACT Health student ID card.

7. Placement cancellation

Clinical placements may be cancelled by either the CPO Manager or the education provider. A valid reason for cancellation will be required.

The CPO conducts weekly audits of all students who are due to attend placements within ACT Health. If, two weeks before your placement, there are outstanding ACT Health Placement Pre-requisites, your placement may be cancelled and your education provider informed.

Once a placement has been cancelled, another SPO request will be required for a future placement.

Students who are ACT Health Staff members

It is not uncommon for ACT Health employees to undertake courses of study and require student clinical placement within ACT Health.  There are clearly differences between the role of an employee and that of a student and this section aims to clarify how to demonstrate that placement pre-requisites have been met and to avoid misunderstandings about the expectations of those undertaking a student clinical placement.

It is not uncommon to hear comments such as “I am a TCH staff member, so don’t need to do what the students do” or “I have already done this elearning on Capabiliti”.

As the role of a student differs from that of an employee, your application for a student placement and the process of ensuring that the placement goes ahead is the same as for other students.

When you receive the automated email with the link to the Student Placement Online (SPO) system, it is important that you login to SPO and check that you meet the current requirements for students. Depending on your role as an ACT Health staff member, you may indeed have met some of the placement pre-requisites.

Please be mindful of the following 4 requirements.

1. Acknowledgement form

All students who are ACT Health staff must complete a student Acknowledgement form.  Currently the form is valid for one year.

2. E-Learning

SPO and Capabiliti are two different systems. Capabiliti is for staff learning and SPO is for student learning. As both a staff member and a student, you will have an account in each system. Please note that no member of the CPO staff has access to your Capabiliti account.

You need to check the student e-learning requirements on SPO.

If you have completed the same modules on Capabiliti and the training is still valid (currently e-learning is valid for 3 year), you can transfer this to SPO without the need to repeat it.  You need to provide evidence of the completion of the elearning modules by sending a print out of your ‘Individual Training History’ Capabiliti report to the CPO, with the relevant modules highlighted.  Without this, your SPO account cannot be updated and will show as ‘incomplete’, possibly resulting in the cancellation of your placement.

3. Hand Hygiene Certificate

You are required to send the Hand Hygiene certificate to CPO. You will need to complete the Student Health Practitioner Modules from Hand Hygiene Australia by following the instructions on their website as below.

If you already have the certificate, please send it to CPO. Please note that currently the certificate is valid for 3 years.

4. Face to face Manual Handling Training

If your placement requires face to face Manual Handling training, you must provide evidence of attendance at a general training session within the previous 12 months.

As an ACT Health staff member, you may arrange to attend the training provided through the Staff Development Unit (SDU), for example at a Mandatory Update Day, or you may choose to attend the SDU approved training provided by your education provider, recognising that you may incur a charge for this.

Please ensure that you arrange for face to face Manual Handling training in a timely manner once your placement is confirmed, as leaving the organisation of this to the last minute may result in the postponement of your placement.

You will need to send Manual Handling Training attendance record to CPO.

Note: Please be aware that placement pre-requisites may be updated or amended over time and you are advised to log in to SPO and check your status prior to each placement.

Student and Trainee Essentials

There are a number of key pieces of information all students/trainees should be aware of before starting their clinical placement with ACT Health.

It is the students' and trainees' responsibility to know about, understand and comply with relevant policies, procedures and guidelines whilst on placement with ACT Health.

Student, Trainee and Employer Expectations

Students and trainees undertaking a placement with ACT Health are expected to observe the same standard of conduct and behaviour required of ACT Health staff. This information can be found in the ACT Health Code of Conduct.

Successful students need to consider the listed attributes below prior to starting their placement in ACT Health facilities. We are sure that you will be aware of most, if not all of the recommended points from your studies. Please continue to adhere to these attributes when representing ACT Health in your role as a student in our facilities.


Professionalism is conduct that fosters and preserves our reputation as individuals, builds the reputation of ACT Health, and supports our duty of care. Professional and ethical conduct by employees is integral to the organisation.

Professionalism is demonstrated in the student who:

  • Follows the ACT Health Code of Conduct.
  • Clearly wears student identification
  • Introduces himself / herself as a student
  • Seeks permission from the patient / clients or the responsible staff before proceeding with an intervention
  • Maintains confidentiality of information given by or about patients / clients
  • Acknowledges legal responsibilities for child protection, when appropriate (see ACT Health Child Protection Policy)
  • Accepts responsibility for all relevant aspects of patient / client care within the limitations of the student role as determined by the student supervisor
  • Attends relevant department, ward or clinic meetings and contributes effectively when required
  • Behaves in a manner which is not disruptive to patients and staff, on and off duty
  • Behaves in a respectful manner to colleagues, supervisors, patients and their families
  • Acknowledges and responds to constructive criticism
  • Acknowledges and responds to individual needs which respect culture, age, state of health and authority among hospital, health centre or clinic personnel and patients
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the particular facility's approach to patient / client care, and shows willingness to work within this framework
  • Demonstrates an awareness of individual health workers roles and refers to them appropriately
  • Is aware of and maintains appropriate professional boundaries

Professional Appearance
Dress standards whilst on placement should be appropriate to the functions being performed, occupational health and safety, cultural diversity and local community standards. A uniform may or may not be required.

It is the student's responsibility to ensure that they are wearing a visible student photo identification badge at all times during their placement.

Ensure you check any additional requirements of your placement's facility on your arrival.

Professional Boundaries
Professional boundaries are important to ensure that the relationship between a patient / client and a health professional is both safe and helpful. While a professional relationship will follow many everyday courtesies and social conventions, it is very different to an ordinary social relationship or friendship. This is due to the imbalance of power present in all professional relationships that may place the patient / client in a position of vulnerability and put them at risk of exploitation and abuse. Crossing of professional boundaries may occur if a health professional is under involved or over involved in a patient / client’s care, and includes extreme violation of a patient / client’s rights such as the pursuit of a sexual or financial relationship.

The ACT Health Code of Conduct governs professional boundaries, as do individual professional codes of ethics or conduct. 

If you need to be absent from your allocated placement due to illness or other commitments, please inform your clinical placement coordinator as soon as possible. Please note if you are absent and do not contact either your supervisor or the  Clinical Placement Office, then  ACT Health will notify  your education institution.  In order to ensure your safety, if your education institution can’t contact you or your next of kin, the police can be informed.

Area Specific Orientation
All students are provided with an orientation to the area they will be working in. The purpose of this introduction is to familiarise students/trainees to the geographical layout of the area, to discuss relevant policies and procedures and to assist with assimilation into the placement area. An Orientation Checklist will be provided to assist you with this and is to be completed and returned to the Clinical Placement Office within two weeks of commencing your placement.

Workplace Health and Safety

ACT Health is committed to minimising risks in the public health care system, through the provision of a safe and secure environment for staff, patients, visitors and contractors and has a range of policies and procedures in place to support this commitment.

At the time of orientation your supervisor will discuss any relevant policies and procedures with you. The following information provides a broad introduction to the areas that are important to Workplace Health and Safety:

Reporting of incidents involving clients, patients and members of the public

During your student placement with ACT Health, if an incident occurs involving clients, patients and/or members of the public, the student should immediately report the incident to their supervisor. Such incidents are officially reported as part of ACT Health’s risk management strategy.

For further information refer to the ACT Health Mandatory Reporting of Significant Incidents Policy  and Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

The student and supervisor should also report the incident to their educational institution/ supervisor or, in the case of Trainees, to the CPO.

Accident, injury or incident to students

Students/trainees on placement within ACT Health should comply with all health and safety instructions, policies, programs and procedures as outlined during their orientation to ACT Health. This includes taking action to avoid, eliminate or minimise hazards.

Any accident, incident or injury to the student during placement with ACT Health should be immediately reported to the student’s supervisor, who will assist the student in completing an ACT Government Accident/Incident Report. This is a requirement under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

For further information refer to the ACT Health Workplace Health and Safety Policy. The student and supervisor should also report the accident/injury/incident to their Educational institution/ supervisor.

Manual handling

ACT Health has a commitment to achieve and maintain the best possible standards of health, safety and welfare for staff and clients and a responsibility to develop and maintain safe work systems that prevent risks from manual handling.

Students/trainees are required to follow safe manual handling work practices, defined in the ACT Health Manual Handling Policy as:

‘The ability to move safely any person or object without risk or hazard to the person lifting or to the person or object being moved. This means taking all measures possible to minimise the risk of injury to staff and clients involved in manual handling.’

ACT Health provides an e-learning Manual Handling package on SPO Capabiliti. Students can access this via the internet at no cost once they are enrolled into an ACT Health placement.

Evidence of attendance at a face to face manual Handling training session prior to commencement of their placement is a requirement for most students. This may be delivered by the Education Provider or ACT Health. Please contact your education provider’s placement coordinator for more information.

Infection Prevention and Control

The aim of infection prevention and control is to minimise the infection risks associated with the provision of healthcare. Students/trainees on placement with ACT Health should be familiar with the requirement for Standard and Additional precautions in the relevant areas.

For further information refer to the ACT Health Infection Prevention and Control Policy.

Emergency and security

Each ACT Health site has Emergency and Security Procedures in place to minimise risk to staff, visitors, patients, and also to ACT Health property and equipment. These will be discussed with the student on commencement of the placement to ensure the student is familiar with the procedures appropriate to the area, including the Off Campus Visiting policy and Use of Official Cars policy for students/trainees who may take part in community visits.

ACT Health provides an e-learning package on SPO Capabiliti. Students and trainees, once enrolled into an ACT Health placement, can access this via the internet at no cost. For more information please contact


ACT Health is committed to providing healthy and safe workplaces for both employees and members of the public, and to protect the health of both patients and workers. All areas of ACT Health buildings and grounds are designated smoke free. For further information, please refer to the Smoke Free Environment policy.

Confidentiality, privacy and related matters

Student obligations related to confidentiality and privacy are included in the Deed of Agreement for Clinical Placement and Student Placement Acknowledgement form.

During your placement with ACT Health you have a responsibility to respect confidentiality and abide by all the laws governing the use of information. These include:
The Public Sector Management Act 1994 (ACT) that states that disclosure or misuse of confidential information held in official records is illegal

The Health Records (Privacy and Access Act) 1997 regulates the privacy and integrity of, and access to, personal health information of consumers of health services. Penalties are imposed (both financial and imprisonment) for offences under this legislation

The Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth) sets down detailed information about the Privacy Principles that regulate the handling of personal information by ACT Government Agencies.


Consent is a significant aspect of consumer/patient rights and responsibilities and risk management. ACT Health seeks to ensure that consumers/patients have an absolute understanding of the risks and benefits and alternate options with respect to the healthcare they receive. Client consent must be obtained by the student’s supervisor before the student performs any clinical procedure on the client.

Conflict of interest

A conflict of interest can exist where the student is placed in a position in which their private interests can improperly influence the performance of their duties and responsibilities. In any circumstances where the student feels they may have a conflict of interest they should disclose this to their supervisor immediately. The Supervisor will ensure that appropriate arrangements are made which will safeguard the interests of everyone involved.

For further information refer to ACT Health Code of Conduct

Documentation and health record

Students and trainees must not access patient records or write in them without their ACT Health supervisor's consent.

Students and trainees cannot disclose any ACT Health information obtained during the placement without prior written consent through ACT Health CPO.

Students and trainees must take all reasonable measures to ensure that any ACT Health information accessed or held by the student or trainee is protected against loss or unauthorised access, use, modification, disclosure or other misuse.

Acknowledgement Form

After reading the relevant information, students/trainees are requested to sign the ACT Health Student Acknowledgement Form. By signing this document, you are demonstrating that you have read and understood this information. This is an important step in your orientation to ACT Health. A student who does not comply with these obligations may have his/her placement with ACT Health delayed or terminated.

At the start of your placement, students/trainees are to present the signed copy of the Student Acknowledgement form to the Clinical Placement Office and to participate in the work area orientation.

Additional Information for specific disciplines

Nursing and Midwifery Students

Nursing and Midwifery students are expected to abide by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s Codes of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses and Midwives.

Nursing and Midwifery Standards

The NMBA National Competency Standards for the Registered Nurse, Enrolled Nurse and Midwife are competency standards which when used to support work practices will allow nurses or midwives to provide the expected core standards of care to patients / clients who require a provision of service by ACT Health staff. All ACT Health student nurses or midwives are expected to be cognisant of and utilise these standards during their clinical placements. For further information or to download these standards visit the 

Links to specific Professional Association and Registration Boards

Allied health Students

Allied Health Professional students and trainees are expected to abide by their individual discipline’s code of conduct and ACT Health’s Standards of Practice for ACT Allied Health Professionals (bottom of webpage).

Professions regulated under the National Law (Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act) need to abide by the standards, codes and guidelines of their respective National Board. Allied Health professions registered under the National Law include: Dental, Medical Radiation Practice, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry and Psychology. Self-regulated allied health professions act in accordance with accredited qualifications, codes of conduct and continuing professional development specific to their discipline as determined by their respective peak professional associations. For further information, visit your professional discipline’s peak professional association website.

Medical Students

Medical students are expected to abide by the Medical Board of Australia’s Codes and Guidelines in addition to ACT Health’s Code of conduct.

Refer to Medical Board of Australia website.