PRIA launches internship guidelines to describe best practices and required policy for interns
The Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) launched new internship guidelines today after a six month process of working with academics and consultancies. The guidelines describe core elements of best practice and required policy for interns.
“I am delighted to announce the launch of our Intern Guide and credit the work to the PRIA Registered Consultancies Group (RCG) PRIA National Education Advisory Committee for their tireless efforts pulling this member resource together. This document further encourages best practice internship programs to boost the quality of experience, which is so important for young practitioners” said Terri-Helen Gaynor, National President of PRIA.
“Eighteen universities offer accredited PR courses, and each one has different requirements for their compulsory internship subjects,” explained Annabelle Warren, National Chairman of the PRIA Registered Consultancies Group. “Some mandate 80 hours, others have a minimum of 200 hours. Some ban payment, others encourage payments to be made to students. However all tertiary subjects have common requirements for reporting, insurance and management.
“A survey of consultancies also highlighted confusion about the employment status of interns, the need for confidentiality agreements, reporting and the application of policies such as occupational health and safety.
“The guidelines also clarify obligations within the Fair Work Act, and when a student intern is exempted from the act. The PRIA RCG is currently running workshops with employment advisors in major states to ensure that PRIA RCG consultancies are offering best practice internship programs. The first one will be in Sydney on 30 May and then Melbourne on 26 June.
Mark Sheehan, Chairman of the PRIA National Education Advisory Committee said “Internships are the ultimate learning experience for tertiary students. Immersive placements where students are offered deep learning opportunities put theory into context and provide opportunities for networking, mentoring and lifelong professional relationships. In PR we have a rich culture of hosting interns and giving back to the practitioners of the future; these guidelines ensure we can confidently continue this win-win association” he said.
The internship guidelines are available at www.pria.com.au. The PRIA website also hosts information for interns and a page for internship opportunities, which PRIA members and students can access free of charge.
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