Responsibilities during EMS placements


Communication is the key to a successful placement.

Students should be in communication with their supervisor on site in the weeks leading up to their placements. When a placement is confirmed students are issued a Confirmation Email with their supervisor's contact details and are instructed to contact the site by phone on receipt of the Confirmation Email. Students will then contact the site two weeks prior and again two days prior to their placement start date. Supervisors need to be assured that students will actually arrive on site and with everything required for the placement.

It is vital that you telephone the supervisor at your placement as soon as possible if you are going to be late. If the supervisor is unavailable leave a message. Keep calling until you speak to someone.

Behaviour and Professionalism

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

Be aware that on farms there are many variables outside of Faculty and farmer control that may affect your placement. For example, drought situations may affect farming activities and water for personal use may be rationed (no 30 minute showers!). Always check with your direct supervisor for any restrictions or rules that you need to follow.

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

Students are expected to comply with the Code of Conduct for Students at all times.

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 wilfully breached the Student Code of Conduct by inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour 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 wilfully breached the Student Code of Conduct. Information on the VPCC is included at the end of this handbook.

Appropriate Attire

It is an issue of occupational health and safety and professional attitude that appropriate attire be worn when attending extramural placements. The Student Dress Code applies to all placements as is provided in this handbook.

The Sydney School of Veterinary Science Professional Conduct Committee will enforce this dress code using feedback from placement supervisors. Breaches of this code may result in a finding of unsatisfactory professional conduct or misconduct.

Transport, accommodation and living costs

All costs associated with transport, accommodation and general living costs (e.g. food) relating to the EMS Program are the responsibility of individual students. Some farm placements may provide accommodation (often at a small cost) however, you may be required to organise your own living arrangements in some cases.

You are encouraged to consider these costs and your transport requirements well in advance of your placement.

Cancelling or Altering a Confirmed Placement

Last minute sickness or misadventure may prevent students from attending a placement as scheduled. However, faculty must approve any alteration or cancellation of a Confirmed placement.

If a student believes they will not be able to attend a scheduled placement they should contact the either Melanie or Colleen in the faculty office immediately to explain their circumstances. If it is agreed that to cancel a placement is the only option, the student must:

  • Contact their placement supervisor on the farm/clinic/abattoir immediately by phone (unless the student is overseas) to thank them for their willingness to host then, to explain that they need to cancel their placement and to apologise for any inconvenience that their cancellation might cause.
  • Email to the supervisor to confirm the phone call. This email should be copied to the Extramural Unit on the relevant email account.
  • If alternate dates were arranged with the site supervisor, email the Extramural Unit with the details agreed upon.
  • Contact to enquire about completing a Special Consideration Application. Your placement record will not be updated until your Application to cancel your placement has been approved.

Students who do not follow this proceedure will be in breach of the Code of Conduct for Students and will be reported to the Veterinary Professional Conduct Committee (VPCC).

Deferring Students Required to Attend Confirmed Placements

Deferring your studies does not negate your responsibility to follow through on previously made placement arrangements. Farmers/OPV's will have made special arrangements to have you on site by organising their staff, program and stock. It would be unprofessional behavour to cancel a Confirmed placement.

Students who do not attend Confirmed placements will be in breach of the Code of Conduct for Students and will be reported to the Veterinary Professional Conduct Committee (VPCC).

Students are covered by the University insurance for Confirmed placements that have been organized while the student is enrolled. Therefore even though a student is not actually enrolled at the time of a Confirmed placement they are assured that they will be covered by the University insurance and that the placement will count toward their requirements for the relevant Unit of Study.

The Extramural Unit operates a database that is distinct from the University’s student database and we presume that students progress through their course unless we are informed otherwise. Likewise the student supervisors on the farm/clinic/abattoir where your placements have been confirmed will not be aware of a student’s changed enrolment.

Students deferring their studies should communicate with the Extramural Unit so that their VVC record can be updated. They should also confirm that they will be attending their Confirmed placement as scheduled.

Report All Incidents

Students must report any injury or accident whilst travelling to and from a placement or whilst on placement. Refer to Work Health and Safety.