Professional experience (Bentley and regional)

Professional Experience is one of the strengths of the Curtin Education degrees.

Curtin University seating area on campus

Each student is placed into a different setting (such as a school or early learning centre) on each professional experience placement, in order to be exposed to as wide a variety of learning environments as possible. Students may seek placement in State, Catholic or Independent schools. Students are not permitted to be placed in schools where family members are on staff or attending as pupils.

Placements are undertaken on a full-time basis for the number of days shown in a continuous block and students need to plan carefully to ensure they are able to meet this commitment. None of the four professional experience placements can be broken or split into shorter periods. The total number of days of professional experience in the course will satisfy all states’ requirements for teacher registration. No more than 25% of professional experience days may be undertaken in schools outside Australia. Therefore, students will only be able to complete one 3 week placement outside Australia and will be required to complete all other placements within Australia.

Professional experience requirements Pre-requisites for professional experience placement

Before students can undertake a professional practice placement in a school, they must have:

Office of Professional Experience Administration - Bentley, Western Australia Campus


Professional Experience Placement Officers – Bentley Campus

Megan Bankes
Tel: +61 8 9266 3405

Felicia Tierney
Tel: +61 8 9266 2042

Glenys Parkey
Tel: +61 8 9266 3624

Solina Sapsford
Tel: +61 9266 2166

Frequently Asked Questions Applicable to Bentley and Regional students only

1. Do we have to do a professional experience placement?

Yes; it is a requirement for Professional registration for students to undertake some days and full-time continuous block weeks of professional observation or experience. None of the professional experience placements can be broken or split into shorter periods. The dates of these are stipulated in the School of Education’s Professional Experience Calendar [Please check back shortly for calendars].

2. Do we have a choice in where we might go to undertake our professional experience?

No. The School of Education does have constraints on the schools in which you might undertake your pre-service experience:

a. some schools are allocated to other universities
b. the University hopes to expose you to a range of schools, year groups and systems to ensure you are well-prepared to teach in any school after you graduate.
c. The School of Education is keen to have City-based students consider the possibility of a rural or remote practicum during their courses.
d. Students cannot be placed at a school where they have close family or friends employed as staff.
e. Students cannot be placed at a school where their siblings or children attend.

3. Can I work as a teacher in Term 3 having finished my Internship and my studies?

Yes; if you have successfully completed all requirements of the degree in semester 1.
For accurate information on the registration and employment process please contact the Teachers Registration Board of WA (TRBWA)

4. Can I work as a teacher in Term 4 having finished my Internship and my studies?

Yes; if you have successfully completed all requirements of the degree in Quarter 3.
For accurate information on the registration and employment process please contact the Teachers Registration Board of WA (TRBWA)

5. Am I able to change the dates for when I go out on prac?

No, the School of Education arranges specific dates for professional experience and students must adhere to these dates unless there is some exceptional reason or special circumstances (evidence of reasons will need to be submitted to the Office of Professional Experience for consideration – see Policy on Professional Experience on this web page).

6. How do I obtain my Student Name Badge?

Students on the Bentley campus can order name badges from the Student Guild Copy and Design office situated in building 106B.

Regional students can lodge an order form with the Student Guild Copy and Design office by fax or email.

7. How do I arrange to have my final academic transcript sent to TRBWA and DoE?

At the end of each study period (Semesters 1, 2 and Quarter 3) the School of Education sends an interim Academic Transcript of completion to Teachers Registration Board of WA (TRBWA) and the Department of Education on behalf of the students who have successfully completed the degree

8. Can I approach a school myself?

No, not for official professional experience placements. Students can, however, approach a school as a volunteer but will not be presenting as a Curtin student, nor be covered by Curtin insurance.

9. How do I know if my paperwork has been received and filed?

You can always email and ask them check this for you.

10. How do I request a particular type of school (e.g. Catholic) or location (e.g. country town)

Early in your course you are asked to complete a Personal Data Sheet/Professional Experience Enrolment Form giving this information. If anything changes in your circumstances you are asked to up-date this at the Office of Professional Experience.

11. If I’m from the country can I go home to do a prac?

It may be possible to accommodate this for one professional experience placement. However, this would require special arrangements to be put in place.

12. Can I do a prac overseas?

Yes. Where the University has a prior arrangement with another university, guaranteeing supervisors and quality placements, this can be arranged. However, it must be remembered that you are studying for a degree in an Australian university which, from 2012, must meet Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

13. What is the process if a teacher passes a student but a supervisor doesn’t? (or vice versa)

Typically, a student will be given the opportunity to improve performance over coming weeks, or be given a supplementary placement. This must be formally approved at the relevant School Board of Examiners’ meeting.

14. What support or options are available to students who fail pracs or need to repeat them or have deferred them on medical grounds?

Depending upon the situation, the university offers a range of support structures for students, including opportunities to repeat the practicum or the unit associated with the practicum. However, failure twice will result in termination in the course.

15. What clearances do I require before I go on prac?

16. If I am a Fully On-line Midland or Armadale student (or reside in the metro area), who organises my prac placement?

The Bentley Professional Experience Office will place all students living in the metropolitan area requiring a practical placement in the metropolitan or regional area.


1. Do I get paid to take a pre-service teacher?

Yes. The University does pay Mentor Teachers to take pre-service teachers. However, given the costs associated with this aspect of their studies, the University pays only for the days the students are in the classroom for the block placement.

2. What is the process if a teacher or supervisor (or student) is concerned about a student’s progress during a prac?

There are a variety of processes. In the first instance all concerns should be directed to the Office of Professional Experience and each case will be addressed according to the degree of concern.