EmAGN on Work Experience and Internship

The Institute has a clearly defined Work Experience and Internship Policy (2017). 


The Institute acknowledges the value of work experience, internships or trial work to architecture students and graduates. Such opportunities are a direct way for students and graduates to get a foot in the door and secure employment and in specified circumstances these arrangements may be unpaid. These arrangements can be legitimate for educational and vocational purposes and can benefit the industry in the long term by building more comprehensive knowledge and skills. Within the profession, employees need to be aware of their rights and employers need to be aware of their responsibilities under the Fair Work legislation.


The Australian Institute of Architects endorses the following:

  • All members of the architecture profession – students, graduates and registered architects – should be supported, valued and paid fairly
  • Vocational work placements should be entered into only if they are genuinely:
      • undertaken as a requirement of an Australian-based education or training course and
      • authorised under a law or administrative arrangement of the Commonwealth, state or territory and
      • entered into only where no employment relationship exists
  • If a work experience placement or internship is used to determine a prospective employee’s suitability for a job, that candidate would be considered an employee for the trial period and must be paid the applicable Award rate
  • The main benefit of the arrangement should be to the person doing the placement
  • If a person is performing productive activities or if their activity benefits the employer, they would normally be deemed to be an employee and would be entitled to be paid the applicable Award rate
  • All unpaid internships, work experience or similar arrangements must be genuine and must comply with the Fair Work Act 2009.

Further Reading

Further information can be found on:

To download a PDF version of the Institute’s Work Experience and Internship Policy 2017 click here.

A+ and Graduate members can search the online resource database or contact an HR+ workplace relations advisor directly by phone, email or online chat.