What is Work Integrated Learning?
An important feature of Occupational Education and Training is that a large proportion of the learning takes place in the workplace. The qualifications that we offer are registered on the NQF and each full or part qualification bears a certain number of credits. A rough guide is that 1 credit equates to about 10 hours of learning time in order for a learner to achieve that credit.
An example might be that you are attending an accredited short course of 5 credits. This requires 50 hours of learning time for you to achieve these credits. How these 50 hours are achieved will differ from course to course but a general guideline is that you would achieve it as follows:
- 30% (i.e. 15 hours or 2 days) attending theoretical training (what we term as a Contact Tutorial).
- 70% (i.e. 35 hours or 4 and a half days) of practical learning in the workplace (this also includes self-study time and working on your assignments).
This 70% of workplace learning is what we term Work Integrated Learning. Our training materials are designed with this component of your learning in mind. For example, some of your assigments in your Portfolio of Evidence Workbook are explicitly designed for you to do after the training contact tutorial, once you are back in your workplace.
Workplace Learning Support
We provide a variety of support mechanisms to ensure that your learning in the workplace is well structured and contributes effectively to your achievement of your qualification or part qualification.
You will receive a Learner Manual (texbook) for each qualification or part qualification that you enroll on. The Learner Manual contains references to and theoretical knowledge to support your work integrated learning in your workplace.
You also receive a Learner Workbook (a component of your Portfolio of Evidence or POE) that has specific assignments dedicated to the work integrated learning component of the course. The tools and procedures for recording your work integrated learning evidence are provided.
With our support, your employer will appoint a Mentor to support your work integrated learning. In most cases this will be your immediate supervisor or, in the case of organisations with internal training departments, it could be a training practitioner that is familiar with the requirements for supporting your work integrated learning experience. The Mentor provides you with a broad level of support for your workplace learning and ensures you are exposed to the right experiences to support your learning.
In some instances, you may require more specific support for example around specific standard operating procedures or the use of technical equipment or machinary. In this case, your Mentor will appoint a coach - someone who is proficient in the particular procedure, equipment or machinary that you are needing to learn - who will provide you with practical and theoretical guidance to support your learning and the development of your skills and experience.
What if I am unemployed?
In the case of learners who are unemployed, we will provide assistance in finding a placement for you in a relevant workplace environment. This can be in the form of an internship or work integrated learning experience provided by an employer organisation for the purposes of exposing you to the required work integrated learning experiences you require in order to achieve your qualification or part qualification.