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Structured Workplace Learning Recognition (SWLR): Information for Schools

The content of this page is available as a downloadable fact sheet:
Schools Fact Sheet (pdf - 453.16kb) (March 2018)

What is structured workplace learning?

Structured workplace learning (SWL) provides an opportunity for students to apply the skills and knowledge they have learnt in their VCE VET program within an appropriately matched workplace placement.

The learning experiences help students to relate the theoretical information to a real world work context and develop their employability skills.

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How is structured workplace learning recognised?

A student can gain credit towards the VCE or VCAL by successfully participating in SWL and completing the workplace reflections.

Workplace reflections are recorded in a Workplace Learning Record (WLR). A WLR must be completed by a student to be eligible for a SWLR credit. It is the responsibility of the student to maintain the WLR.

To achieve a credit in SWL, a student must:

  • be enrolled in a minimum of 180 hours in the VET program for the year
  • undertake a minimum of 10 days full-time equivalent of structured work placement
  • complete the WLR according to the VCAA assessment guidelines
  • report on at least six units of competency (UoC) in section 2 of the WLR
    • one UoC must be a Work, Health and Safety unit.
Structured workplace flowchart

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What is the purpose of SWLR?

SWLR ensures that a learner reflects on the workplace learning experience in the context of their current skills and knowledge covered in the VET course. Students use the WLR to reflect on what they have observed and the tasks undertaken in the workplace that relate to the VET they are studying.

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What is the assessment process?

The assessment process requires a staff member to be assigned to each student. The staff member will review and assess the WLR based on the observations made by the student in the workplace and how they relate to the UoCs in the VET course.

SWLR is not a process for assessing competence in UoCs. Rather, it provides students with an opportunity to experience the UoC in a real workplace setting and to reflect on what they experience and observe.

The workplace reflections recorded in the WLR provide evidence for the formal assessment of SWLR.

Assessment can occur at any time and students may provide additional evidence or reflections to the satisfaction of the assessing staff member.

Once a determination has been made that the student has satisfactorily completed the assessment requirements, the assessing staff member will complete and sign the SWL Recognition Assessment Record (docx - 65.73kb) and return it to the VASS administrator for result entry.

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What is covered in Section 1 of the WLR?

This section covers pre-placement activities, underpinning knowledge and preparation for the work placement. School activities and learning should include:

  • completion of the Learner Profile in the WLR
  • understanding the industry and career opportunities
  • understanding generic workplace/employability skills
  • understanding how to record evidence in the WLR and what constitutes appropriate evidence
  • a focus on communication and interpersonal skills
  • expected roles and responsibilities and attitudes and behaviours in the workplace
  • benefits of the work placement with reference to experience, observations and contact with employers
  • workplace health and safety induction and training, covering hazard identification, accident prevention and emergency procedures.

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What is covered in Section 2 of the WLR?

Section 2 covers:

  • information extracted from UoCs that students may be exposed to in their workplace
  • examples of learning/skills/knowledge that relate to specific UoCs
  • observations of activities/experiences at the workplace that relate to specific UoCs.

Students record observations and tasks that relate to at least six UoCs. The duration of the work placement must be a minimum of ten days equivalent full-time.

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What is WLR evidence?

The WLR evidence can be drawn from:

  • observations at the workplace
  • activities and tasks undertaken at the workplace
  • learning from discussions with staff at the workplace
  • workplace documents prepared or used to support workplace activities
  • photos/videos of equipment/processes/workplace activities.

Note: the use of any workplace material should be discussed with the employer or workplace supervisor.

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What is covered in Section 3 of the WLR?

This section covers post-placement reflections for eight employability skills observed in the workplace. Students are required to demonstrate how they applied and developed the employability skills in the workplace.

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What are the SWLR guidelines?

  • SWLR is available for all VCE VET programs.
  • The student must be enrolled in a minimum 180 nominal hours of VET to access SWLR credit.
  • Work placement must align with the student’s VET enrolment on VASS.
  • The student must complete ten days of equivalent full-time work placement hours per unit of credit.
  • The UoCs selected for the SWLR program should align with the workplace activities.
  • A student would normally complete one unit of credit per year of the VET program.
  • A maximum of four units credit per student are available.
  • Credit is available at VCE Units 1+2 level and for all three levels of VCAL as general credits.
  • SWLR applies equally to VCE and VCAL students.

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What are the school’s responsibilities?

The school is responsible for:

  • scheduling the work placement to complement the student’s VCE VET program
  • assigning a staff member to coordinate and assess students undertaking SWLR
  • visiting/contacting students at the workplace
  • encouraging students to share experiences
  • providing students with opportunities to finalise the WLR
  • reviewing the student responses throughout the WLR
  • assessment of the WLR
  • awarding students with a result – Satisfactory (S) or Not Satisfactory (N)
  • informing students of their results
  • completing the SWL Recognition Assessment Record
  • recording SWLR results on VASS.

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