Placements with Ballot Sites


Some of our Partner Sites prefer to have Faculty organise student placements with them and do not wish to have students contacting them to arrange placements. These properties are called 'Ballot Sites'.

The property list for Ballot Sites on the VVC is provided to assist students in undertaking the extramural animal husbandry farm placement requirements and students are granted access to this list, through the VVC, on the understanding that they will use it only for the purpose of undertaking their animal husbandry farm placement requirements. Any student found to be using this list for any other purpose or contacting properties, other than Direct Application Sites, without first receiving written consent from the Extramural Admin Unit will be found to be in breach of the Student Code of Conduct (pdf) and will be reported to the Veterinary Professional Conduct Committee.

When and When Not to Make Contact

Students are not to contact any Ballot Site without prior written consent from the Faculty Extramural Admin Unit. Once students are allocated and their placements confirmed with each property, they will be issued with a Confirmation email. That email will include phone numbers or email addresses so that students may contact their supervisors on site.

Prior to Preference Entering

Students should review their AH records on the VVC to ensure that they are able to enter preferences. Students should check the allocation status of each species to ensure that their records are as they believe they should be. Email to notify of alterations you believe should be made.

Students should review all the information on each Ballot Site that has offered to host students by searching the VVC/Animal Husbandry Properties pages.

Students inidcate their wish for placement by entering preferences. They should only enter preferences for properties they will be able to attend. Students can review their entered preferences and delete or change them until the deadline for preference entering for each round and species as published below in the Placement Organisation tables. Students will be required to attend if they are allocated.

The Student Guide to Organising Placements.pdf will assist you in entering preferences and tracking your placement on the VVC.

Sites that are both Ballot and Direct Application

Some of our Partner Sites require students to be allocated by the Ballot for the winter and summer placement periods but will place students outside these period ie during the Easter or Mid-semester break Sept/Oct. This information is on the Availability tab/section of the property record on the VVC. Students should follow the Application process as indicated in the property record.

Preference Entering & Allocation to Ballot Sites

Prior to each winter and summer placement period the Faculty invite each Ballot Site to indicate their availability to host students.

Prior to each vacation period, the faculty will schedule an information session for all students who intend to arrange placements over the coming vacation.

Students enter preferences through the Student Administration System - Virtual Veterinary Campus (VVC)

Information about each Ballot Sites is available on the VVC, Animal Husbandry Properties page. Students are reminded that prior to entering preferences they need to review each property's full record on the VVC, noting specific attendance dates and other requirements such as accessibility – do you need your own transport or not, accommodation options etc. The species operated at a particular property is identified in the 'TypeID' field and some properties operate two or more species. However, they may only offer one species over the placement period and this will only be apparent when you try to enter preferences.

Placement weeks generally run from Monday to Friday. However, this is not always the case. Some properties 'require' students to attend two weeks others 'prefer' students attend two weeks. Some properties require a student to have their own transport or do not supply accommodation etc. Students need to read the information available on the VVC and to be aware of each property's requirements for placement prior to entering preferences. Students will be required to attend all placements they are allocated to. Allocations will not be cancelled except under approved Special Consideration Application.

Some properties offer placements Wednesday to Sunday only. The travel time to a following placement should be considered before entering preferences. Students are reminded that they are generally required to be on site the evening before the Start Date of each placement.

Some properties offer only two week placements. If so students should enter preferences for either Week 1 & 2 or Week 3 & 4 of the month. Week 2 & 3 dates will not be allocated. Students must enter two successive weeks to be allocated. They may enter as one preference over 12 days or two preferences eg. Pig Experience for one week and Elective Experience as the next.

Student preferences are allocated by random ballot. 3rd Year students will have highest priority until the end of 1st Semester and 2nd Year students have preference over 1st Year students. Students are required to have their Animal Husbandry placements completed (or at least organised) by the beginning of 2nd Semester, 3rd Year. How The Ballot Works will explain how preferences are allocated and will assist students to enter preferences that will maximize their successful placement.

Preference for Students Attending the Same Site for More Than One Week.

Obviously students must enter dates for two week placements to Ballot Sites who require students to attend for two weeks. However, several Ballot Sites prefer students attend for two weeks rather than one and preference will be given to students entering preferences for a two week attendance. It is therefore an advantage, for allocation to these sites, to enter such preferences. A property's preference for a two week placement is indicated in the Availability tab/section on the property file.

Students obviously need to enter two successive weeks to be allocated. They may enter as one preference over 12 days or two preferences eg. Sheep Experience for one week and Wk 1 Elective Experience as the next.

  • Students indicate in the 'Priority Preference Option' section of their entered preference if they have entered the other half of a two week placement under another Species Requirement.
Entering Elective Experience Preferences

An allocation/placement to a Ballot Sites offering more than one species indicates that the student may be working with any species offered by that property. It is not possible to communicate a students preference for working with a particular species when the faculty confirms student Elective Experience placements. Students may express an interest in working with a particular species when they make initial contact with the site after their placement is Confirmed. However, students cannot be guaranteed that all or part of their Elective Experience will be spent on a particular species.

Students Enrolled from 2011

Students are divided into groups and subgroups for the Camden Animal Handling Week and for preference in placement allocation. The Extramural Student Placement Rotation Schedule outlines when each group is scheduled to attend for the Camden Animal Handling Week and when they will be given preference, within their Year, in the allocation process to attend each Species Experience. Other students will only be placed after preferred group preferences have been allocated.

The following timetables are issued for the organisation of placements.

Summer 2015 Placement Organisation

Summer 2015 will be allocated according to the following preference entering schedule. Preferences are allocated one species at a time and should be entered one species at a time. However, two-week preferences will be allocated as each preference entering deadline passes.

 FIRST ROUND

Preference Entering Opens 5pm

Preference Entering Deadlines  9am

Allocation on VVC 5pm

 Beef

 September 19

 September 22

 September 22

 Sheep

 September 22

 September 23

 September 23

 Pigs 

 September 23

 September 24

 September 24

 Horse

 September 24

 September 25

 September 25

 Dairy

 September 25

 October 7

 October 7

 Poultry

 October 7

 October 8

 October 8

 Elective 1

 October 8

 October 9

 October 9

 Elective 2

 October 9

 October 13

 October 13

 

 SECOND ROUND

Preference Entering Opens 5pm

Preference Entering Deadlines  9am

Allocation on VVC 5pm

 Beef

 October 13

 October 14

 October 14

 Sheep

 October 14

 October 16

 October 16

 Pigs 

 October 16

 October 17

 October 17

 Horse

 October 17

 October 20

 October 20

 Dairy

 October 20

 October 21

 October 21

 Poultry

 October 21

 October 22

 October 22

 Elective 1

 October 22

 October 23

 October 23

 Elective 2

 October 23

 October 24

 October 24

Entered Preferences Disappear After Each Preference Entering Deadline

Preferences are downloaded after the deadline for preference entering at each round and species as listed above. When preferences are downloaded from the VVC for sorting students will no longer be able to view or access their preferences. They have not disappeared from the system.

Do not reenter preferences.

Students will be required to attend all allocated preferences.

Since students will not be able to ammend or delete any preferences after they have been downloaded by faculty they should only enter preferences after the previous Species Experience has been sorted. A note on the VVC Preclinical - Animal Husbandry preference entering page will be updated to advise students which species they should be entering preferences for. Entering preferences according to this advice will prevent students being allocated two placements in the same week.

When the allocation process is finished students will be able to view their allocations on their Preference Allocations page on the VVC.

Notification of Preference Allocation

All students will be notified by email when all preferences for a species and round have been allocated. Students should log into the VVC and go to Animal Husbandry/ Preference Allocations page to view if they have been allocated. Students who have been allocated should check the details of the allocation, particularly the species, dates and number of days. If the details of your allocation are not as you expected email immediately.

Cancelling Allocations

Allocations will ONLY be cancelled if and when an Special Consideration Application is approved. Refer to Cancelling or Altering a Confirmed Placement on the Student Responsibilites page. Enquiries to . Students will be required to attach supporting evidence for cancelling an allocation. Not planning your finances or transport before entering preferences will not support an application to cancel an allocation.

Obviously if a student is allocated in error e.g. to two sites in the same placement week one of these will have to be cancelled. Students should email immediately they are aware of errors in their allocations.

Swapping Allocations

Students may swap their allocations with other students. However, this can ONLY be arranged if both students have entered preferences for their species and property in a previous preference entering period.

Both students must email . As with all communication with the faculty students must use the format required - see Uni Email.

Insert the words “Swap ‘Species’ Allocation” into the subject line please, so that it will be clearly identified. In the body of the email give the Name of the person you are swapping with, the Property Name and the Placement month and week that you are allocated and the month and week that you are swapping to. Your swap will be confirmed by email. If you do not receive a reply to your swap request within four days you should contact the Extramural Unit.

Giving your allocation to another student can be arranged but ONLY if that student has entered a preference for that site in a previous round of preference entering. The procedure is the same. Both students need to email their wishes - one to give up their allocation to a particular student (please give full name and Year) and the other to take up the allocation.

Requests to 'swap' or 'give' allocations must be received by the Extramural Unit while the Allocation Status of that allocation reads "Allocated - To Be Requested". No adjustment can be made to an allocation once the property has been requested to confirm the placement.

The VVC is a true record of the status of your placements. If you believe it to be incorrect you should contact the Extramural Unit immediately.

Property Confirmation of Placement

Faculty will contact properties with student names and dates asking for confirmation that they are still able to host the students scheduled to attend. These requests for confirmation will be issued to properties after the second round of allocations at the end of May.

If the property has confirmed their placements students will be sent a Confirmation Email to their Uni email. A Confirmation Email will include the Site details, Supervisor contact details, and your placement dates. Also included are instructions for contacting the site, further requirements for submitting reports, and information relating to insurance.

A placement package including a cover letter, insurance certifcate, Meeting Schedule, WHS Induction Checklist, Site Contracts and Supervisor Report form will be posted to the property prior to the placement by the Admin Unit. If these documents have not arrived before you please contact ph: (02) 9036 5110 or email on

At commencement of all placements students will be required meet with their supervisor, review the Induction Checklist and sign the Site Contracts with their supervisor. The Site Contract outlines your agreement to abide by a professional code of conduct. Your supervisor completes the Supervisor Report form and returns it directly to the Admin Unit.

UNSUCCESSFUL Placement

Occasionally properties may for unforseen reasons, business or personal, decline a student placement. Changes in circumstances such as illness, accident or reduced stock numbers can happen and although a property was able to host some students a month or so ago, they may no longer be able to take students. In this instance the placement is cancelled.

Students are advised to plan for at least one cancelled placement when they are organising their holidays and break times so that they are able to meet their placement requirements.

Students are required to complete all their species requirements by the 3rd Week of the winter break in their 3rd Year. However, sometimes placements in this break fall through. Students in this situation are advised to investigate properties still available for placement by Direct Application or to find a Non Partner site for placement. Refer to Non Partner Site Placements.

Properties for some species can be difficult to find and students may be unsuccessful in finding a Direct Application Site or a Non Partner site to meet the deadline for completion of their Animal Husbandry placements. If this is the case the student may apply to have their Year priority in the ballot restored for possible placement with a Ballot Site in the next placement period. However, the student is required to substantiate that they have contacted a minimum of ten sites without success when applying for Year priority.

Students in 2nd Year will also be assisted in finding another suitable Ballot Site if possible during the same placement period. They may be given priority in the next round of preference entering. If this is not possible the student should seek placement with a Direct Application Site or a Non Partner site.

Prior to Placement

The Confirmation Email instructs students to communicate with their supervisor on the site. Students are required to phone the Property within a few days, two weeks prior to placement and again two days before placement. Students and supervisors confirm phone numbers and arrange arrival details. Students are not to contact the property by email unless they are specifically instructed to do so.

Students need to make sure that they have checked maps and itinerary to reach the property on time as agreed with the supervisor at the property. If you predict that you will be delayed in your arrival contact the site to inform them of your circumstances.

Students are required to attend the afternoon or evening before the Start Date for orientation and to discuss your placement expectations with your supervisor. Students should arrive with the Report Template with Skills Sheet for the appropriate species so that they can discuss the skills they are required to become competent in while on placement.

Students are required to work the operating hours of the property as indicated on the property's VVC record.

If you are staying on site you should advise the site of any health or diet requirements you have when you first contact the site. Take supplies as applicable.

Special Consideration and Emergency Cancellation

If you are unable to attend a placement for reasons of illness, or misadventure due to circumstances beyond your control, please phone the Extramural Unit immediately. If your placement is due to commence before you are able to contact the Extramural Unit, please contact the property to explain your situation and apologise that you will not be attending as scheduled.

To cancel a placement for reasons of illness or misadventure you are required to apply for Special Consideration (pdf) within 7 days of the commencement of placement.

Students are expected to behave in a professional manner at all times, to be enthusiastic and willing to learn whilst on placement.

Property owners and their staff always look for enthusiasm from the students and a keenness to learn and to understand their situation.

The Veterinary Professional Conduct Committee (VPCC) reviews any complaints concerning student behaviour while on placement. The VPCC is not punitive but aims to educate students in appropriate and professional behaviour. If the VPCC finds that a student has willfully breached the Student Code of Conduct (pdf) by inappropriate and unprofessional behavour it will be noted on the student's Faculty records. The Academic Board will be notified if the VPCC determines that a student has again willfully breached the Student Code of Conduct.