What is a Student Placement Agreement (SPA)?

Before a student commences a clinical placement outside of a UQ clinical site, a contract must be in place. At UQ, the most common type of contract is a student placement agreement. Student placement agreements (SPA) are a legal document between UQ Medicine and host placement organisations. They are used for students undertaking a clinical placement. These agreements detail the responsibilities of UQ and the placement provider and set out the terms and conditions of the placement. Should an overarching agreement, or partnership arrangement already be in place with a provider, a one-off SPA may not be necessary. 




  • The SPA will be obtained by the Clinical Placements team once the academic merits of the intended placement have been assessed.
  • Remember that getting an SPA signed can be a long process. Keep this in mind when you are organising your placements and managing the application processes through the placement provider and UQ. 

Organisation name/address: This is the entity that is providing the placement. A doctor at a hospital does not provide the placement, the hospital itself does. A specialty unit does not provide the placement, the hospital does. The same can be said for larger entities who operate hospital facilities. The address should reflect the physical location of the organisation. A family doctor can be their own entity if they operate a private practice outside of hospital facilities. The legal name of the private practice must be reflected in the organisation name space.

Provider: The provider should be the same as the organisation. This line must be completed and signed by an authorised signatory. NOTE it is not up to UQ staff to discern the nature of the signatory. UQ staff must trust that the document is signed by the appropriate person and sent back to be executed. The signatory might be the education, or student coordinator at the placement site.

Appendix 1: Provide the details of the placement that is not reflected in the previous sections. Here you can give details on where the placement will take place more specifically. The date in appendix 1 should reflect the date noted on page 1. You can further provide the details on the specific unit the placement will be, and the hospital, if not the same as the organisation name. The supervisor name does not have to reflect the authorised signatory.

Issues arising: If there are any issues in getting the SPA signed, this does not mean the placement cannot go ahead. Find the details of the contact person at the placement site. Pass this information on to the SPA officer in the School of Medicine. The terms of the SPA can be negotiated with the legal team at UQ through the SPA officer.

Indemnity and indemnity: When host institutions receive the SPA they are under the impression that they are required to provide insurance coverage for UQ students. This is not the case. The SPA outlines the coverage that UQ places on its students while also confirming that the host institution has insurance in place in the event that an accident occurs. 

An overarching SPA is one that has been signed by a host institution and UQ School of Medicine. This agreement contains the same language as a one-off SPA. In cases where an overarching SPA has been signed, you may not have to provide a one-off SPA for your application. The School has compiled a list of institutions where students have previously been successful in obtaining signed SPAs. Click here to view a database of locations of overarching and one-off SPAs.