This policy sets out the requirements for schools in planning for and implementing work experience placements for secondary school students.


  • Work experience is the short-term placement of secondary school students with employers.
  • Work experience is generally undertaken in Years 9 or 10.
  • It is intended to give students insights into industry and the workplace.
  • Schools must ensure they implement this policy and follow the associated work experience manual when planning for and conducting work experience arrangements to ensure compliance with legislation.


Work experience is the short-term placement of secondary school students, generally during Years 9 and 10, with employers to provide insights into industry and the workplace. It provides students with the valuable opportunity to:

  • develop employability skills
  • explore possible career options
  • understand employer expectations
  • increase their self-understanding, maturity, independence and self-confidence.

Students are placed with employers primarily to observe and learn – not to undertake activities which require extensive training or expertise.

Work experience arrangements

All arrangements for work experience must comply with Ministerial Order 1413 – Work Experience Arrangements (PDF)External Link and the arrangement forms from the Resources tab must be used.

Work experience manual

The department’s work experience manual supports schools to comply with Ministerial Order 1413. Schools must use this manual when planning for and conducting work experience arrangements. Refer to the Resources tab.

Work experience arrangement form

The Work experience arrangement form (PDF)External Link must be completed and signed before the work experience commences. It must be signed by the:

  • employer
  • student
  • parent/guardian of the student – if the student is under 18 years of age
  • principal or acting principal – this authority cannot be delegated to an assistant principal or other member of staff.

The principal must ensure a copy of the signed arrangement form is provided to each party. The principal must retain the original copy.

Variations or amendments to the arrangement form must be made in writing and must be signed by the:

  • employer
  • student
  • parent/guardian – if the student is under 18 years of age
  • principal.

Work experience travel and accommodation form

The Work experience travel and accommodation form (PDF)External Link must be used:

  • if it is proposed that the student may need to undertake vehicle travel with their employer and/or supervisor during the arrangement, including travel to or from the workplace
  • if the student is required to stay in accommodation other than their normal place of residence while undertaking work experience.

This form must be signed:

  • for travel – by both the employer and the parent/guardian, or the student if they are aged 18 years or over
  • for accommodation – by the parent/guardian, or the student if they are aged 18 years or over.

School to Work Statewide Portal

The department’s School to Work (S2W) Statewide Portal provides students and teachers a single, easy to navigate information and referral point for work-based learning opportunities offered by a diverse range of employers.

Searching on the portal can be done by:

  • location
  • industry
  • VET certificate.

If you are a student or teacher looking for work-based learning opportunities, including work experience and structured workplace learning, refer to the School to Work Statewide PortalExternal Link .

The 31 Local Learning and Employment Networks (Victorian LLENs) are funded to deliver the S2W Program and facilitate student access to work-based learning placements tailored to local priorities and employment opportunities. To find your nearest LLEN, refer to the Local Learning and Employment NetworkExternal Link .

Occupational health and safety

Prior to commencing work experience, students must satisfactorily complete occupational health and safety (OHS) training, either through:

It is the responsibility of the principal to determine which OHS program is the most appropriate for the student to undertake.

COVID-19 advice

Employers and students participating in work experience must continue to follow COVIDSafe practices in line with public health guidance and recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Employers must ensure that students are aware of the workplace’s COVIDSafe Plan, if available, as part of their induction to the workplace. Students must comply with any control measures implemented in the workplace to manage the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Some employers, particularly in the healthcare and aged care industries, may have a workplace vaccination policy that requires a student on placement to provide evidence of their COVID-19 vaccination status to attend work onsite. Students and schools are encouraged to check with employers if a vaccination policy is in place before making a work experience arrangement. If a student refuses to disclose their vaccination status to an employer and the employer is not comfortable with the placement proceeding on that basis, then the employer may choose not to proceed with the placement. If this occurs, all efforts must be made to organise alternative arrangements for students.

For other department policy, guidance and advice on school operations during COVID-19, schools can also refer to COVID-19 advice.

Child Safe Standards

The Child Safe Standards are compulsory minimum standards for all Victorian schools to ensure they are well prepared to keep children and young people safe and protect them from abuse. Ministerial Order 1359 – Implementing the Child Safe Standards – Managing the risk of child abuse in schools (PDF)External Link provides the framework for child safety in schools.

The Child Safe Standards require schools to put in place systems and processes to help prevent harm to students in all school environments, including workplace learning environments where students undertake:

  • work experience
  • structured workplace learning
  • school community work (volunteering)
  • school based apprenticeships and traineeships.

For more information, visit:


For assistance with queries relating to work experience arrangements, please contact the relevant organisation as outlined below.

For government schools

Career Education Unit, Senior Secondary Pathways Reform Taskforce, Department of Education, email:

For Catholic schools

Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools, Jenny Wilson, email:, phone: 03 9267 0253

For independent schools

Independent Schools Victoria, Peter Roberts, email:, phone: 03 9825 7200


Work experience
The short-term placement of secondary school students with employers.

Relevant legislation

Department policy outlining work experience requirements

Reviewed 25 February 2024

Policy last updated

13 November 2023


  • Schools


There are multiple contacts for this policy. Refer to the foot of the policy page for contact details.

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