Clinical Placements

Students undertaking clinical placements in medicine, dentistry, oral health, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology and postgraduate public health, counselling and psychotherapy, and psychology degrees must satisfy a number of requirements (listed below).

Clinical placements are managed in Sonia, which can be accessed via staff or student login.

  • 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) (external link), 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 (external link).

    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 upon graduation. See the AHPRA website (external link) 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 (pdf file). A deed poll is an agreement between the student and SA Health to ensure patient information is treated with confidentiality and that the student has met the required clearances. 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

    All commencing students in medicine, dentistry, oral health, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology and postgraduate counselling and psychotherapy, public health, and psychology degrees will be required to demonstrate a satisfactory criminal history clearance. For many of you the majority of clinical placements will be at SA Health sites where criminal clearances(external link) are mandatory.

    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 (known as Department of Human Services (DHS) clearances) together with a National Police Clearance. Students must ensure their criminal history clearances are valid at all times.

    How to Apply

    DHS clearances (formerly known as DCSI clearances)

    The faculty’s placements and internships team will register your details with the Screening Unit, including your name, date of birth and email address. We will specify in the student registration which DHS clearances are required. Once the registration has taken place, you will receive an email from the Screening Unit prompting you to apply online (a link to the application will be provided in the email). 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.

    DHS clearances cost $63.25 and expire after 3 years.
    Applications submitted for Working with Children screening from 1 July 2019 will be valid for five years. Working with Children clearances dated prior to 1 July 2019 are valid for three years along with all other clearances.

    If you need 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.

    Visit the DHS website for further information.

    National Police Clearance

    All students are required to obtain a National Police Clearance in addition to DHS clearances. This will cost $20 and expire after three years. Apply online for a national police clearance(external link).

    International students

    International students are required to obtain a criminal history clearance from their home country and the DHS/National Police Clearance upon arrival to Australia.

    Process if there is an issue with clearance

    If there are any issues with your DHS clearances or National Police Clearance the circumstances will be fully evaluated by academic staff in the relevant school.


    DHS conducts the checks; the University does not have access to this information. Once this process has completed the requesting officer is issued with a copy of the clearances and will only be used for the purposes of managing placements.

  • Immunisations/Prescribed Communicable Infections (PCI) screening

    Students undertaking clinical placements are required to have the appropriate level of immunisation and PCI clearance. 

    Prior to commencing placements, students will be advised by the Placements and Internships team to consult the University Health Practice (external link) to be immunised and screened for all infectious diseases outlined in the Immunisation for Health Care Workers in South Australian Policy Directive (external link). Commencing students will be directed by the Placements and Internships team on how to make their first appointment with the University Health Practice. At the appointment you will be required to provide evidence of immunity or blood taken to determine your immunity status for a number of diseases – the GP will work through this with you to complete the Certificate of Compliance(pdf file). You must retain this document as evidence that you have been cleared to attend placement. 

    The influenza vaccination is a mandatory requirement for placement in residential aged care facilities. 
    Failure to adhere to these guidelines will result in a student not being allowed to attend clinical placements. 

    Note: Applicable to postgraduate counselling and psychotherapy, public health and psychology students only—you are not subject to all of the above unless requested by University staff.

  • 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 (external link). 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 have concerns you were exposed to tuberculosis (TB) whilst on an overseas placement or holiday, you must reapply for screening.

  • Sunrise (formerly known as EPAS)

    In some of South Australia’s training hospitals you will access patient records using an electronic system known as Sunrise. 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, Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours), Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours), Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours), 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 (external link).

    Please ensure you provide proof of completion to

  • Clinical placement non-attendance

    The clinical placement non-attendance form (docx file) must be completed by students in the following degrees if they are absent from placement or seeking approval to take leave during placement: 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 Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (years 4-6), Bachelor of Dental Surgery (years 3-5), Bachelor of Oral Health (years 2-3), Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) (years 3-4), Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) (years 3-4) and Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours) (years 3-4) who are absent from placement or seeking approval to take leave during placement should login to SONIA and self-select the leave / non-attendance form, then submit it and upload any supporting documents. Please ensure as a courtesy your supervisor is aware of your absence and any other relevant staff for example for medicine students this might include the precinct staff if necessary.

  • 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, and are available from Legal and Risk.

  • 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 (external link) (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) (external link) and MDA National (external link). After securing your cover, please ensure that you upload proof of your insurance to Sonia.

  • Hand hygiene

    Medical, dental, oral health, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech pathology students are required to complete the National Hand Hygiene Initiative (NHHI) online training modules (external link) before commencing clinical placement. The purpose of the National Hand Hygiene Initiative is to develop a national approach to improving hand hygiene and monitor its effectiveness.

    You will need to select Register Now upon your first visit and ensure you select Education Facility when asked who should see your records?