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Clinical Placements

Students undertaking clinical placements in medicine, dentistry, oral health, nursing, counselling and psychotherapy, and some postgraduate psychology degrees must satisfy a number of requirements.

AHPRA student registration

Students undertaking a clinical placement at a hospital or other health facility require student registration with the relevant national board. This process is undertaken by the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA), the organisation responsible for the implementation of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme across Australia.

It is completed at the time of the student’s enrolment in their degree and does not require action by the student. The student will be advised when they have been registered. There is no fee for student registration.

The following degrees include a clinical placement component and mandatory student registration with the relevant national board:

At the start of each year, the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Placements and Internships team informs AHPRA of new students admitted into each of the Master of Psychology programs. It is important that, on enrolment, all students MUST apply for and obtain provisional registration with the Psychology Board of Australia. Students are required to provide a copy of their registration details to the Placements and Internships team before their first day of class.

The application form and details of fees payable are available on the Psychology Board of Australia website.

Students will not automatically be registered as a full practitioner on completion of their degree. This is a separate process, and must be completed by the student on graduation. See the AHPRA website for details.

Clinical placement deed poll

The University of Adelaide and the Minister for Health have a clinical placement agreement in place which allows the University to request clinical placements in SA Health facilities.

As part of this agreement students are required to complete a deed poll. A deed poll is an agreement between the student and SA Health to ensure patient information is treated with confidentiality. Students will have access to a range of confidential information and need to be familiar with, and understand, the relevant requirements of maintaining confidentially. By signing a deed poll students understand their obligations and agree to comply with the relevant state legislation.

The deed poll only needs to be signed once and will cover every SA Health placement students attend for the duration of their program (unless superseded).

Criminal history clearances

In response to concerns raised in the community, the Children's Protection Act (SA) and similar acts across Australia have been revised and strengthened. Legislation requires that organisations providing services to children or vulnerable adults establish policies and procedures that ensure a safe environment.

All commencing students in medicine, dentistry, oral health and nursing degrees will be required to demonstrate a satisfactory criminal history clearance.

Three-yearly checks
All students who, as part of their degree, undertake activities such as internships or research projects involving children or adults who are ill, elderly or vulnerable, must demonstrate that they have an Australian criminal history clearance that will be current for the duration of that activity. Information on specific requirements for individual clinical placements will be provided by the placement coordinator.

A criminal history clearance is an assessment of an individual's criminal history and is part of the legislated (Child Protection Act and Aged Care Act) risk management requirements of organisations where children or vulnerable adults may be present. Students must ensure their criminal history clearance will be valid for three years and the duration of the placement (i.e. the three years should not expire during the placement).

If the Screening Unit does not identify any risk requiring assessment, the turnaround time for your clearance should be approximately 20 business days, so please apply as early as possible to ensure your placement is not delayed or cancelled.

How to apply
It is your responsibility to acquire your criminal history clearance and take it with you to all clinical placements. You should obtain your clearance certificate as soon as possible upon commencing the first year of your degree. If you do not have a clearance certificate you will not be allowed to attend the placement.

For placement in South Australia, the University will accept only the National Criminal History Record Check (NCHRC) and Screening Assessment conducted by the Department of Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI), (previously known as the Department for Families and Communities).

How to apply for National Criminal History Record Check and Screening Assessments from the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DSCI)

The faculty’s Placements and Internships team will register your details with DCSI, including your name, date of birth and email address. We will specify in the student registration which DCSI clearances are required. 

Once the registration has taken place, you will receive an email from DCSI prompting you to apply online (a link to the application will be provided in the email). 

DCSI clearances expire after three years. If you are required to renew your clearances, please ensure you contact at least eight weeks in advance of the expiration to ensure the University has registered your details to enable the process.

Find out more about how to apply for a DCSI screening check.

National police clearance
All students will also require a National Police Clearance Certificate in addition to DCSI clearances. This will cost $20. Apply online for a national police clearance.

Interstate students
DCSI will assess interstate students. Refer to the procedure above.

International students
International students are required to obtain a criminal history clearance certificate from their home country and DCSI upon arrival to Australia.

Interstate placements
Your DCSI clearance certificate will not be accepted by interstate health placement organisations. Some states within Australia have specific legislation which defines their systems and processes for clearance to work with children. For further information in relation to interstate processes, please visit:

If your certificate is not obtained before clinical placement
If you do not have a valid criminal history clearance you will not be allowed to attend the placement and will be at risk of not being able to complete your degree (as placements are a compulsory component).

Process if there is an issue with clearance 
If DCSI does not grant you clearance the circumstances will be fully evaluated by a committee with representation from both the faculty and University.

DCSI conducts the checks; the University does not view your criminal record. Any emails issued by DCSI to the requesting officer from your degree will only be used for the purposes of managing placements.

Duration of clearance certificate 
The duration of a criminal history clearance is three years. If your criminal history clearance is more than three years old, you may be asked to apply for an updated clearance.

First-aid certificate

Commencing dentistry, medicine and oral health students must hold a current and approved national first-aid certificate (including cardiopulmonary resuscitation) before the end of semester one of their intake year. The preferred first-aid certificates are Apply First Aid (HLTFA311A) or Provide First Aid (HLTAID003), issued by members of the Australian Resuscitation Council. For example:

These certificates are awarded after attendance at a program of between one and two days in length (8-16 hours) duration with a requirement to demonstrate competency. An organisation's membership of the Australian Resuscitation Council provides guaranteed standards and uniformity of teaching.

Other certificates obtained in Australia will only be accepted if they are issued by organisations holding a Registered Training Organisation certificate. In such cases it is the responsibility of the student to provide evidence that the organisation is a certificate holder.

First-aid certificates obtained overseas from internationally recognised organisations, such as the Red Cross/Red Crescent or St John Ambulance, are acceptable, provided: participants are required to demonstrate competency; they are approximately 8-16 hours in duration; and they cover cardiopulmonary resuscitation for adults and infants. It is the responsibility of the student to provide evidence of the content covered in the first-aid course.


Students undertaking clinical placements are required to have the appropriate level of immunisation. Immunisation records are requested by clinical venues prior to placements.

Prior to commencing professional placements, students will be advised by their school to consult the University Health Practice to be screened and immunised for all infectious diseases recommended in the Immunisation Guidelines for Health Care Workers in South Australia 2014 Policy Guideline.
Failure to adhere to these guidelines will result in a student not being allowed to attend clinical placements. It is a student's responsibility to acquire their immunisation record and take it with them to all clinical placements.

As part of your course enrolment you are required to have blood tests to determine your immunity status to hepatitis A, B and C, HIV, measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox. You will also need to provide evidence of previous vaccinations for the aforementioned diseases, as well as pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus and polio.

Prescribed Communicable Infections (PCI) screening

Students who undertake clinical placements, internships or research projects involving children or people who are ill, elderly or vulnerable are required to demonstrate Prescribed Communicable Infections (PCI) clearance by producing a PCI Screening Notification obtained through a test at a registered medical provider, such as your GP or the University Health Service.

If a student does not have a valid PCI Screening Notification they will not be allowed to attend the placement, or undertake the relevant research. Some of these placements and research activities are essential components for successful completion of the year. It is the student's responsibility to acquire their PCI Screening Notification and take it with them to all clinical placements.

For more information, consult the University Policy regarding PCI Testing.

Tuberculosis screening

As part of the requirements for your clinical placements, you must undertake screening for tuberculosis infection with the South Australian Tuberculosis Services (SATB) prior to any clinical placement. This is a South Australian Government requirement.

It is the student's responsibility to acquire their Tuberculosis Screening Notification and take it with them to all clinical placements.

Please complete the online screening form. Upon completion of the form, you will receive an email from SATB advising you of further instructions to complete your tuberculosis screening.

Should you have any difficulties accessing or completing the online questionnaire, please email

Once you have completed and submitted the questionnaire, please remember to check your email for your screening results.

If you were screened at SATB Services last year, you do not need to return unless you have been on an overseas placement.

Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS)

In some of South Australia’s training hospitals you will access patient records using an electronic system known as the Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS). To gain access to this system you must undergo training.

The training modules are available to Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Bachelor of Nursing/Master of Clinical Nursing, Master of Psychology (Clinical and Health streams), and Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy students on My Uni.

You will be contacted by the Placements and Internships team should the training need to occur.

Responding to abuse and neglect—education and care

Students in the Master of Psychology (Clinical and Health streams) and Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy are required to complete a one-day responding-to-abuse-and-neglect training course. Training providers vary, as do their fees. Please review the list of training providers.

Please ensure you provide proof of completion to

Clinical placement non-attendance

The clinical placement non-attendance form must be completed by students in the following degrees if they are absent from placement or seeking approval to take leave during placement: MBBS (years 4-6); Bachelor of Nursing; Master of Clinical Nursing; Master of Psychology (Health, Clinical, Organisational and Human Factors streams); and Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Students in the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (years 3-5) and Bachelor of Oral Health (years 2-3) who are absent from placement or seeking approval to take leave during placement should login to SONIA and self-select a ‘Clinic Non-attendance’ form, then submit it and upload any supporting documents. Please see the guide to completing this form.

Memorandum of insurance

The University’s insurance certificates, also known as Memorandum of Insurance (covering medical malpractice, public and product liability, and professional indemnity) are updated annually on 31 December. The certificates are incorporated into our insurance guides and the various student placement guides, available from the Legal and Risk website.

The Memorandum of Insurance and guides for 2017 will be made available early in 2017. The University’s insurance cover continues over this period, and the information provided in the 2016 guides remains applicable until the 2017 ones are available.

Medical indemnity insurance

Medical students are potentially at risk in many situations in which they provide clinical care (not restricted to the hospital environment). It is therefore extremely important that every student is indemnified, whether you’re in first year or sixth. Do not assume the University provides you with full coverage, as outlined under the Memorandum of Insurance (see above).

The Adelaide Medical Students’ Society (AMSS) also has valuable information explaining the importance of having medical indemnity insurance on their website. Case studies are provided to highlight how such an insurance policy (and AMSS membership) can assist you.

Some suggested providers include Medical Insurance Group Australia (MIGA) and MDA National. After securing your cover, please ensure that you upload proof of your insurance to your student placement e-portfolio on the Mahara website, under the Ready for Practice tab.

Contact us

The Placements and Internships team is located on Level 3, AHMS Building, North Terrace, or you can email us at

If you are currently on clinical placement and need local assistance, contact your local precinct officer.