Education and Work - Workplace Integrated Learning - Legal Realities

Presented By 2050 Knowledge Corporation – Speaker – John Boon, J.D.

For … institution managers, workplace hosts, students and education or workplace regulators. 

Available – Training Catalog


Education and work are not linear time and place constrained events. Education is about more than career preparation – but that is today more central given student and government funder demands.
Beyond post studies work and business, workplace integrated learning (WIL) is a hot topic – in education sectors and the worlds of politics, economics and management.
WIL can be an element of institution programs enabled by hosts, specific types of corporate training or professional training at the entry and continuing education stages. 
Professions often directly or via third parties recognize institutions and programs as a means to qualify grads for membership. They often influence curriculum development.
Many technology and social factors are forces of change in education sectors and workplaces. There must be a rethinking of assessment, credential and professional systems. WIL is one example of where institutions and non-traditional providers must use resources in the community.
Workplace learning contract and regulatory systems must be reformed so all stakeholders can achieve their goals and protect their interests.
Summary Outline - Papers and Articles Discussed
  1. Education and Workplace Contracts  
    1. Understanding education and work contracts are key to understanding relationships.
    2. The student can often simultaneously be an education service consumer and a workplace service provider – distinct contracts must have complementary provisions.
    3. Workplace laws may apply to workplace integrated learning – depending on each case.
    4. Workplace law is about contracts and contract law – formation – termination.
    5. Employment and non-employment contracts – benefits and tests – duties of parties.
    6. Related laws – income tax – employment insurance – pensions – employment standards – workplace safety – agency law – fiduciary law – professions laws.
  2. Multiple Workplace Learning Contracts – Contract Freedom – Regulation – Caution 
    1. Long protected contract freedoms and contract law apply to education and workplace contracts.
    2. Contract relationships – institution-student – institution-host – host-student (not always required).
    3. Limited authority of state actors to impose or restrict contract terms and private bargains.
    4. Regulators make and enforce laws – contract parties make and enforce their contract.
    5. Regulators govern how a service is provided – not what is provided – must not limit innovation.
    6. Contracts may trigger regulation if contract risk mitigation needs public and private law.
    7. Institutions provide a service to students – may include work elements made possible by  hosts.
    8. Placements relate to duties the host has to the institution. 
    9. Institutions and hosts are not integrated – no joint contract with students – institution provides 100% of the service (exceptions are rare) – work and program may be integrated.
    10. Many terms describe WIL types – no universally accepted legal definitions – meaning derived from institution and student contract intentions – not regulation.
  3. Reasons for Caution With Workplace Integrated Learning 
    1. Why all contract parties – and regulators – must be cautious with WIL.
    2. Institutions must not promise what they can’t provide directly or via third party commitments.
    3. Education quality regulators cannot usurp authority of workplace regulators.
    4. Legal issues exist if long periods of work are not supervised by institutions.
    5. Institutions must be resourced to offer and monitor workplace learning, ensure education elements are satisfied and ensure standards for hosts exist and are enforced.
    6. Institutions and regulators must act to ensure opportunities are available to all income groups.
    7. Scarce placements create gateways for otherwise qualified persons.