ERS Practical Experience

Welcome to ERS Practical Experience - the preparation and administrative module for your mandatory practical experience.

By gaining practical experience and applying coursework theory to workplace situations during your studies, you should be in a good position to prepare for and enter permanent avenues of employment following the completion of your degree. The purpose of 'Practical Experience' is to provide students with opportunities to examine how properties and various agribusinesses are managed, to identify the factors which limit production and efficient resource management, to develop skills in the assessment of management and to relate components of the curriculum to agricultural practice.

In the past, students have reported significant benefits from their practical experience activities – as a means to identifying which path they really are interested in, to aid the process of selecting a meaningful program of units, and to prepare them for the post–degree job market. Some employers have used the practical experience program as a screening mechanism for prospective employees. Some students have gone on to work full–time for their one–time professional experience employers.

Practical experience is a mandatory part of your ERS course and it is administered through the School Office.  You will not be eligible to graduate until you have satisfied the practical experience (PRACEXP) component of your award.  NB. All Work Experience including forms must be completed and submitted by mid-January for Autumn graduation, and mid-August for Spring Graduation.

The process to undertaking Practical Experience is an easy 2 step process and submission is by clicking on this link INPLACE:

Instructions on how to use InPlace

Step 1

You will need to download a Host Employer Form which includes a Work Placement Agreement, take it to your host employer and submit the signed agreement back to UNE via InPlace. You will receive a confirmation email advising that your Work Placement Agreement has been approved. It is your responsibility to organise the finer details with the Host Employer as the School does not make contact with the Employer unless a problem arises. You can find a more detailed document on how to complete your placement application in InPlace by logging in and clicking on the document icon (between the Calendar icon and Placement menu item).

Step 2

Once you have completed your Practical Experience and have submitted your timesheet hours via InPlace– A confirmation email will advise you once your completed weeks have been granted. The placement will also then be placed into a status of ‘Completed’ and be counted towards your courses’ placement requirement.

Please note: A Work Placement Agreement MUST be completed and at least two weeks prior to commencing your work placement with a host employer. A new Agreement will be required for each Host Employer. No weeks will be granted for any claims whereby an agreement is not submitted prior to the work being completed.

It is important to note that you MAY NOT undertake unpaid Work Placement if you are not enrolled in any other units i.e. if you are inactive or lapsed.  If, however, you have applied for, and been granted, a period of Intermission, you may engage in unpaid Work

Regulations

These regulations are based on the general philosophy that practical experience is an important aspect of employability at completion of the degree and that students should be exposed to a variety of environments and enterprises/agribusinesses across Australia and even internationally. Therefore each candidate will complete the equivalent of 3 or 4 weeks practical experience per year of their degree:

  • Bachelor of Rural Science and Bachelor of Livestock Science  will complete 16 weeks approved practical work
  • Bachelor of Agriculture, Bachelor of Agriculture/Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Agriculture/Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Animal Science a minimum of 12 weeks
  • Diploma of Agriculture must complete a minimum of 8 weeks

Enterprises/Agribusiness Categories

NOTE: Students may work on their own family property/agribusiness for a maximum of four weeks.

***To claim for an enterprise category a minimum of two weeks work must be completed in that enterprise/business. It does not necessarily have to be on the same property/business as long as a total of 2 weeks is completed within the category. ***

Bachelor of Rural Science and Bachelor of Livestock Science students are required to complete work on a minimum of four (4) enterprises

Bachelor of Agriculture and Bachelor of Animal Science students on a minimum of three (3) enterprises.

Bachelor of Agriculture/Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Agriculture/Bachelor of Business students must complete work in a minimum of three (3) enterprises; but, in their case, the enterprises can be focused on rural business and law firms that are not directly related to agricultural or natural resource management activities

Bachelor of Animal Science will be required to work in businesses and enterprises that relate to their selected streams.  They do not have specific enterprise requirements but are encouraged to seek a diversity of practical opportunities in various localities throughout Australia

The enterprise/business categories are:

  • Dryland cropping
  • Irrigation cropping
  • Horticulture (vegetables, flowers, fruit and nuts)
  • Viticulture
  • Forestry
  • Grazing sheep
  • Grazing beef
  • Dairy
  • Pigs
  • Poultry (layers or broilers)
  • Feedlot beef
  • Alternative animal systems (e.g. aquaculture, goats, horses, dogs, etc.)
  • Agribusiness (e.g. merchandising, agronomic advisors and consultants) and includes agricultural contracting (e.g. shearing, bug checking etc.)
  • Research and Administration (University labs, CSIRO, State government DPI, private research organizations and also Natural resource management roles such as Landcare and Catchment Management Authorities)
  • Approved special courses: see further information below.  A total maximum of 4 weeks in this category is permitted. These include Intercollegiate Meat Judging; Artificial Insemination Course; Farm Chemicals Course; Care of Primates Course; WIRES Rescue and Immediate Care Course; Live Export Accreditation course

Approved Special Courses - additional information

When submitting for Special Courses – please tick the button within the Inplace system and upload the Certificate as per below

Uploading a certificate

  • Intercollegiate Meat Judging Competition - 2 weeks

    The Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging Association (ICMJ) Inc. is a not-for-profit association aimed at exposing and encouraging students into careers in the red meat industry - http://www.icmj.com.au/

    Students are to apply for a position on the UNE ICMJ team via written application including a resume.  Upon being offered a place on the team, students must complete & submit the ERS Work Placement Agreement at least two weeks prior to commencement of the competition, and you will be advised of its approval.

    Upon successful completion of the competition, you will be issued a Certificate of Participation, and this is to be submitted via the relevant email address in lieu of an Attendance Log. When you have submitted the Certificate you will be credited with two weeks Practical Experience
  • Artificial Insemination  and Pregnancy Testing Course - 1 week upon completion of both

    Complete & submit the ERS Work Placement Agreement at least two weeks prior to commencement of the course, and you will be advised of its approval.
    Upon successful completion of the course, you will be issued a Certificate of Participation, and this is to be submitted via the relevant email address lieu of an Attendance Log. When you have submitted the Certificate via the relevant email address you will be credited with one week Practical Experience.
  • Farm Chemicals Course - 1 week or 2 weeks depending upon which AQF you gain

    Complete & submit the ERS Work Placement Agreement at least two weeks prior to commencement of the course, and you will be advised of its approval.
    Upon successful completion of the course, you will be issued a Certificate of Participation, and this is to be submitted via the relevant email address lieu of an Attendance Log.
    When you have submitted the Certificate via the relevant email address you will be credited with one week Practical Experience.
    If you complete AQF3 qualification you will gain 1 week. If you complete AQF4 you will gain 2 weeks towards your professional experience time.
  • Care of Primates Course - 1 week

    Trimester Two 2013 sees the approval of the Care of Primates Course run by Sydney's Taronga Zoo - http://taronga.org.au/education/short-courses/care-primates
    Complete & submit the ERS Work Placement Agreement at least two weeks prior to commencement of the course, and you will be advised of its approval.
    Upon successful completion of the course, you will be issued a Statement of Attainment, and this is to be submitted in lieu of an Attendance Log.
    When you have submitted the Statement of Attainment you will be credited with one week Practical Experience.
  • Wires (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.) - 1 week

    New for Trimester Two 2013 is the WIRES scheduled Rescue and Immediate Care Course - http://wires.org.au/get-involved/training-courses.html
    Some branches run information sessions prior to the Rescue and Immediate Care Course. In some branches you must attend the information session to be eligible to enroll in the training course. This will not gain additional credit.
    If you have already completed this Introductory course and are ready to undertake additional training, please contact the School Office and provide detailed information on further training to be undertaken.  It will be assessed individually as to whether or not it is suitable.
    Upon successful completion of the course, you may be issued a Certificate of Completion, and this is to be submitted in lieu of an Attendance Log.  If no certificate is presented, please complete and have signed the Attendance Log to be submitted.When you have submitted the Certificate you will be credited with one week Practical Experience.
  • Live Export Accreditation Course - 1 week

    Complete & submit the ERS Work Placement Agreement at least two weeks prior to commencement of the course, and you will be advised of its approval.
    Upon successful completion of the course, you will be issued a Certificate of Participation, and this is to be submitted via the relevant email address lieu of an Attendance Log.
    When you have submitted the Certificate via the relevant email address you will be credited with one week Practical Experience.

Special situations/exemptions:

Scholarship holders who are expected to complete practical experience with companies as part of their scholarship agreement may be exempt from the normal enterprise rules. This will be examined on an individual basis and these students should consult the School Academic Manager   - Karen Morris 67732347 via email.

Insurance

In all states of Australia, it is mandatory for employers to have Workers Compensation insurance for its employees, but this does not cover any voluntary or work experience placements.  Therefore sometimes employers will be uncomfortable taking on students wishing to undertake work experience.

It is important to let your potential Host Employer know that UNE has accident insurance to cover you as part of your studies while you are on placement (unpaid placements only).

To be eligible for insurance coverage by UNE, you need to be a currently enrolled & active student OR have applied for, and been granted, a period of Intermission, and have all work placement paperwork completed and validated by the School of ERS office.  

A copy of the insurance ‘Certificate of Currency’ will be provided to the Host Employer upon receipt of Student’s paperwork, please note the insurance certificates are only applicable for unpaid placements.

Previously completed and overseas placements

Applications for Work Placement that has already been completed, prior to the commencement of their degree MUST be lodged within the first trimester of commencing your degree.  Applications covering Overseas Work Experience must be lodged within 28 days of work completion.  Late applications will NOT be accepted.

Students can apply for practical experience that has already been completed, in circumstances as listed:

  • Students who have been employed before initial enrolment in your course in an agriculturally related enterprise can claim this work for up to half of the required weeks for their program if documented evidence can be provided e.g.: letter from your employer, pay slips, etc.
  • Students who have worked in an agriculturally related business during a 'gap year' or before enrolment at UNE can also apply for up to half of the required weeks. Once again, documented evidence must be provided.
  • International Work Experience - we would encourage students to take up opportunities for international travel and work, but insurance in such situations is an individual responsibility. UNE will not provide any assistance or insurance for these placements. However, documented evidence of international work will be considered as counting toward the practical experience requirement of the degree but can only be claimed retrospectively.

If you fall into any of the above categories, you will need to fill out the Host Employer Form below and submit it via InPlace. Please identify on this form if the placement has already been completed. Applications without the following Documented Evidence will NOT be processed:

  • Self Employed - a letter from your accountant confirming ongoing business operation and detailing business description OR Statutory Declaration with detailed business description including stating your ownership of same;
  • Employed - proof from employer such as pay slips or group certificate covering period claimed AND a letter/statement outlining the scope of the business and a position description for the work you undertook;
  • Unpaid employment - proof from employer - a Statutory Declaration from the employer confirming dates worked, position description and business description.

Each application will be considered individually and is not automatically granted.

For future dated placements you must complete a download the Host Employer Package and submit this via Inplace prior to your placement.

For current Students requesting approval of past placements undertaken during their current enrolment, must be submitted via INPLACE by Close of Business 30th November, 2017 – after this date past placements will not be accepted;

Supporting Documents and Forms