Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


All Year 2 units, HMSV301 Professional Communication in Human Service Practice ; PSYC200 Life Span Development ; HMSV305 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Social Work and Human Services ; UNCC300 Justice and Change in a Global World

Teaching organisation

150 Hours of focussed learning

Unit rationale, description and aim

Human service workers are required to practice autonomously and apply knowledge and skills to demonstrate problem solving, well developed judgement and professional responsibility.

In this final practicum unit, students will undertake a supervised field practicum of 150 hours in a human service agency where they will engage in professional tasks, demonstrating professional accountable conduct and apply professional knowledge and skills to a range of practice situations. This unit will also include integrative seminars which will facilitate their learning and assist them to integrate theory and practice. Learning in this unit is informed by the ACWA (Australian Community Workers Association) Code of Ethics and Practice Guidelines.

The aim of this unit is for students to apply their knowledge and skill base in the human service context and develop their professional competency as human service practitioners.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Demonstrate ethical practice in accordance with the ACWA Code of Ethics (GA3, GA4)

LO1 - Demonstrate professional accountable conduct throughout the field placement (GA1, GA2, GA9)

LO1 - Practice inclusively and respectfully with cultural difference and diversity (GA1, GA5, GA6)

LO1 - Apply communication and interpersonal skills to meet more complex practice in the agency (GA7, GA9, GA10)

LO1 - Engage in critically reflective practice to develop professional competency as an emerging human service practitioner (GA4, GA5)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include:

Ethical practice and professional conduct

  • Professional ethics and applying ACWA (Australian Community Workers Association) Code of Ethics
  • Practice standards and applying ACWA (Australian Community Workers Association) Practice Guidelines

Cultural context of practice

  • Workplace culture
  • Working with diversity

Placement learning

  • Learning styles, knowledge and information seeking skills
  • Interpersonal and communication skills in negotiating learning tasks

Professional supervision

  • Use of supervision for practice learning
  • Professional and personal boundaries
  • Reflective practice - use of self, self - awareness and self-care

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Students will participate in 150 hours of supervised field education experience in a community based agency including 12 hours of participation in class seminars.

For this professional experience unit, the main teaching and learning strategies include experiential learning, reflective learning, practice - theory integration and skills development. These are used in the placement setting, and integration of this experience with social work knowledge, values and ethics is facilitated in campus-based integrative seminars with short lecture content and small group discussions.

This unit may also be offered on or off campus in intensive mode or multi-mode for sponsored / special cohorts, with the learning and teaching strategies being equitable with on campus mode offerings as endorsed by the School Curriculum Implementation Committee.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to pass this unit, students are required to complete a range of assessment items and administrative requirements on placement and participate in campus-based integrative seminars. Students need to demonstrate that they have met identified ethical and practice standards at the level defined by the unit’s learning outcomes and provide necessary evidence to support this.

Students will be assessed on a range of learning tasks that they will be expected to complete in their placement. The Learning Agreement is an essential planning tool which outlines students learning goals, strategies and learning activities for the placement and is completed by students at the outset of the placement. Students are required to maintain a reflective journal throughout placement to encourage reflective thinking about their learning and placement experiences. Students are also required to participate in both a mid - placement and end of placement evaluation of their competency and how they have met their learning goals.

Intensive and multi-mode assessment of this unit will be transparently equitable with on campus mode offerings as endorsed by the relevant Course Implementation Committee.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Reflective journal – Enables students to reflect on placement experiences and their learning


LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA7,

GA9, GA10

Learning Agreement – Formalises learning goals for the practicum


LO1, LO2, LO3,

LO4, LO5

GA1, GA2, GA3,

GA4, GA5, GA6

GA7, GA9, GA10

Mid placement report – Evaluates student progress against their learning goals at mid - point in their placement


LO1, LO2, LO3,

LO4, LO5

GA1, GA2, GA3,

GA4, GA5, GA6

GA7, GA9, GA10

Final Placement Report - Evaluates student progress against their learning goals at placement completion


LO1, LO2, LO3,

LO4, LO5

GA1, GA2, GA3,

GA4, GA5, GA6

GA7, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Cleak, H., & J. Wilson. (2013). Making the most of field placement (3rd ed.).  Victoria. Thomson: Learning Australia.

Gil, D. (2013). Confronting Injustice and Oppression: Concepts and Strategies for Social Workers  (2nd ed.). New York: Columbia University Press.

Hughes, M. (2011). Do challenges to students’ beliefs, values and behaviour within social work education have an impact on their sense of well-being? Social Work Education, 30(6), 686-699.

Jones, S. (2013). Critical Learning for Social Work Students (2nd ed.). Exeter: Learning Matters.

McDonald, C., Craik, C., Hawkins, L. and Williams, J. (2011). Professional Practice in Human Service Organisations. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.

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