"What’s 'PES'?" is a question commonly asked of the 60 or so people who work there.
PES is Professional Experience Services and started in 2013 with the centralisation of Placement Services for all students in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Since then, PES has added Simulation Services and Scientific Services to its brief.
With six Schools in the Faculty it makes sense to take a whole of Faculty approach which reduces duplication, increases efficiencies and most importantly delivers a consistent experience for students regardless of location or discipline.
Head of PES, Joanne Cameron says she regularly receives feedback from community partners. “ACU placements are very well organised. Partners tell me they’re confident that ACU students are ready for placement in terms of meeting their pre-placement compliance requirements. This reflects very well on the whole of ACU.”
Importantly, Joanne Cameron highlights that the PES approach is also consistent with the Service Principles underpinning ACU’s Service Matters Framework. She says it makes sense to organise work in a way that allows everyone to play to their strengths.
“PES are the national experts in providing the business services that support students in their professional experiences. There’s no reason for teaching staff to spend time on these support functions,” she said.
An early win for PES was improving the procurement process for purchase of student uniforms, saving $300,000. This is good example of a service improvement initiative in support of the University’s Service Excellence Agenda. The PES Leadership Group is constantly looking for ways to improve students’ experiences.
Simulation Services supports over 14,500 students to participate in simulation based learning each Semester. 100 mannequins also form part of the team. Some of them can give birth, die and do many things in between that can enable students to practice their professional skills in an environment where patient safety is not compromised. The skilled team creates simulated environments to meet the learning needs of students across the whole Faculty.
Scientific Services have skilled technical staff at each campus to safely manage laboratories and prepare for experiments. Most first year students across the Faculty will participate in human biology units. Around 600 students go through two anatomy laboratories each week, with a third being readied for 2017 in Ballarat.
In 2016 Placement Services has placed 14,486 students from 11 different disciplines in 26,221 placements at 1648 different organisations.
PES also offers expertise in business analysis, administration, governance, and policy formulation in the areas of clinical education experience-based learning and industry partnerships.