Workplace Learning

Workplace Supervisors.

For all WPL arrangements, the following factors should be taken into consideration:
Assess the student:

  • age
  • knowledge and level of skill
  • medical conditions or disability
  • type and location of activity
  • work readiness

Q.  Is it acceptable to induct one nominated workplace supervisor keeping in mind that a workplace ‘site’ may have many supervisors that directly oversee the WPL student? e.g. in a supermarket, the student will be with the Fruit+Veg supervisor one day and the Groceries Supervisor on another.
A. It may be feasible to have one or many workplace supervisors in the assigned workplace. The WPL coordinator may request that only one person act as a workplace supervisor for a new and inexperienced student or that other staff members may be suitable supervisors for a more experienced student. This should be discussed prior to commencement.

Where it is required for multiple workplace supervisors, the WPL coordinator may nominate appropriate ‘job roles’ within the worksite such as Assistant Managers, Supervisors and Workplace Trainers. Long term or highly experienced staff may also be appropriate. They may also specify that young, inexperienced, or low level staff are not suitable.

Q.  What if I can’t meet and induct all of the workplace supervisors?
A.  Where it is not possible to meet face to face with all of the potential workplace supervisors, telephone conversations could take place and/or written information to supplement the induction of the workplace supervisors. This may include check lists, contact details, supervision strategies, daily task/engagement strategies etc.

You could even create a sign off sheet for supervisors listing their name, job role and contact details (if required) to be included in the students log book. It may also be a good idea for them to sign that they have viewed and are aware of their supervision obligations including breaks and travel, read and understood the written supplementary information and/or received an induction from the main/lead workplace supervisor.

Q.  Can the supervisor be off site from the main workplace? OR Can the student undertake activities offsite/at a secondary site with another supervisor? e.g. attending various build sites with a tiler. 
A. This type of arrangement is common. The same advice for Q2 should be followed. Additional evidence as to the suitability of the worksite/s can include certificates of competency, references, interviews, past experience and reputation.

You may also ask to view relevant trade certificates of the off site supervisors in assessing their suitability in training and supervising the student in the use of related work equipment.

Q.  In an SBA/T arrangement with a GTO, can the GTO be inducted as the main workplace supervisor?
A.  Where there are established arrangements between a GTO and the host employers, it may be suitable to include the GTO as part of the supervisory team, rather than have them act as the main workplace supervisor.

You should ask your GTO to provide evidence of worksite suitability and workplace supervisor induction.

Where the GTO does not have evidence, it is in the best interests of all parties to default to the standard process for wholly school arranged work placements. The GTO may be able to assist with completing the standard arrangements and paper work.

Q.  Is it acceptable for the student to undertake activities without direct and constant supervision?
A.  “Supervision strategies should address circumstances where students are not in clear view of the supervisor.”

It may be deemed suitable to have the student undertake tasks without the constant and direct supervision of a workplace supervisor. E.g. the student may have been working part-time in the supermarket and has been inducted and trained on the use of all business equipment such as POS, deli slicers, palate lifter etc…

Conversely, should the student be new to the workplace, they will require a higher level of supervision. Over time, with training and supervision, the requirements for the level of supervision may change to match the level of proficiency of the student in the workplace and this should be discussed through out the course of the placement.


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