The Professional Year Program (PYP) is different to university study and attracts lots of questions from prospective participants.

If you have questions not answered here, please contact us.

What does PYP teach? Is it like university?

The Professional Year Program is quite different to university studies. PYP Classes are interactive workshops which simulate the workplace and are designed to prepare you for your career and work life in Australia.

Professional Year Program classes are a mixture of classroom teaching, working in teams, interactive workshops, case studies, and individual and team presentations.

PYP class topics include:

  • Australian workplace culture
  • Workplace communication
  • Workplace Health and Safety (WH&S)
  • Job Seeking and Interview preparation
  • Business writing
  • Professional Performance
  • Workplace relationships

You will learn how to:

  • Write a targeted professional resume and cover letter
  • Perform in job interviews
  • Answer selection criteria for job applications
  • Conduct a personal skills audit
  • Develop a practical career plan
  • Communicate professionally in the workplace
  • Report to managers
  • Participate in meetings
  • Address customer needs
  • Network with other professionals in your industry

The PYP classes will give you the skills and concepts needed for your Internship, where you will apply this knowledge in a practical workplace environment.

How will I be graded?

The Professional Year Program is quite different to university studies. PYP students are graded on classroom attendance and participation, assessment tasks and completion of the 12-week internship placement in their field of study.

PYP Classes are very interactive workshops and assessment is ongoing throughout the Program. Active student participation in class is necessary. PYP students are assessed on their professional attire (clothing) when attending class and appropriate professional conduct (behaviour).

In-class assessment tasks include:

  • Participation in class and designated activities (including role-plays)
  • Group and individual presentations
  • Team research assignments and case studies
  • Exams and quizzes
  • Written assessments (document preparation, essays, reflective journals, blogs, business reports, etc.)

Professional Year Program participants must achieve 100% attendance throughout the program (required by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection), in addition to completing all required assessment tasks and a 12 week (full-time) internship in their field of study.

What kind of experience and duties will I have on my PYP Internship?

Professional Year Program Internships are entry-level trainee positions with beginner duties, designed give you an experience of the Australian workplace and help you develop practical skills needed for your professional career.

University studies are often very theoretical and graduates often lack the practical experience needed to find work in Australia.

Each PYP Intern is trained and supervised by a qualified professional in their Host Company. PYP Interns have negotiated training plans relevant to their qualifications and must complete learning journals each week to track the progress of their training.

Your tasks will be basic and easy, to begin with, and the challenge level will increase as your Internship progresses. You must first master simple tasks before your supervisor/manager will trust you with more complex and difficult tasks. The better you do simple tasks, the faster you will progress to more challenging duties.

PYP Interns will always be doing tasks that are related to their qualifications. The particular duties and training tasks will be negotiated between your supervisor/manager and Australian Internships (AI). You may also have some general administrative tasks which are common to every profession and industry, such as:

  • general administrative duties such as data entry and filing
  • customer service duties such as answering phones, emailing clients
  • general financial tasks and other duties as instructed by your supervisor

Staff from ICTE-UQ and Australian Internships (AI) are in regular contact with PYP Interns to ensure that the Internship is appropriate and to monitor Internship progress.

What kind of companies can I expect for my internship?

ICTE-UQ has placed PYP students in Internships in a wide range of high-quality Host Companies including (but not limited to):

  • KPMG
  • Bank of Queensland (BoQ)
  • Suncorp Metway
  • Credit Union Australia (CUA)
  • First Commercial Bank
  • UBS Wealth Management Australia
  • Hanrick Curran Chartered Accountants
  • Charter Partner
  • Bellas Accountants
  • Bird, Walker, McDonald and Associates
  • Scaini & Girach Chartered Accountants
  • HQ Tax Group
  • Agilis Accountants
  • ACRO Accounting & Financial Planning
  • B.I.T. Accountants
  • Coastwide Business Solutions
  • Gemini Accounting
  • DWS Accounting
  • GBST Holdings
  • Queensland Government
  • Queensland Health
  • Brisbane City Council
  • The University of Queensland (UQ)
  • Auto & General Insurance Company
  • The Stamford Plaza Hotel
  • Novotel Hotels
  • Sofitel Hotels
  • Mercure Hotels
  • Holiday Inn
  • Accor Hotels
  • Virgin Blue / Virgin Australia
  • Energex
  • Ergon Energy
  • Sandvik Mining & Construction Australia
  • RemServ (Remuneration Services)
  • Cerno Limited
  • Transpacific Industries
  • Brisbane BMW
  • EGR Automotive Australia
  • St Vincent de Paul Society
  • Anglicare Southern Queensland
  • Queensland Affordable Housing Consortium

Also, a variety of small, medium and large accounting firms and a variety of medium to large companies in a range of other professional industries (e.g. agricultural, chemical, manufacturing, food processing, construction, etc.)

Please note: ICTE-UQ cannot guarantee Internships with a particular company or industry.

Students are welcome to suggest a company/industry for their Internship and are welcome to be actively involved in the search for an appropriate host company for their Internship. All Internships must be approved and negotiated by ICTE-UQ’s internship placement partner, Australian Internships (AI), and must include a signed tri-party contract.

All Internship placements for the Professional Year Program are at the final discretion of ICTE-UQ.

Are PYP interships paid?

PYP Internships are unpaid and are taken as a developmental learning process.

Most Internships in Australia are not paid. On rare occasions, some companies may choose to pay PYP students throughout their Internships. This decision is at the discretion of the Host Company and PYP students should not request or expect this.

All Internships must be approved and negotiated by ICTE-UQ’s internship placement partner, Australian Internships (AI), and must include a signed tri-party contract.

Do I have to do my internship in Brisbane?

No – while most PYP students choose to do their Internships in Brisbane, students may choose to do their Internships anywhere in Australia if they prefer.

Students need to elect to undertake their Internships outside of Brisbane, otherwise, internships are organised in the greater Brisbane area.

What are the attendance requirements? Can I take leave?

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) requires 100% attendance throughout the Professional Year Program. This applies to all PYP Providers and all PYP students.

PYP students who achieve less than 100% attendance without approved leave will fail the Program and will not be eligible for additional migration points. We must report to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) regularly on PYP student attendance rates.

Only very serious reasons for being absent from class will be accepted as reasons for leave. Requests for leave are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Valid reasons for class absences include:

  • personal illness (must include a Medical Certificate)
  • unexpected emergency circumstances such as natural disasters, car break-down
  • important life events during class that cannot be rescheduled, e.g. NAATI exam, university graduation ceremony.

Absences should be kept to an absolute minimum at all times. PYP students are warned that should they not meet a minimum acceptable attendance rate, their enrolment in the Professional Year Program will be cancelled.

ICTE‐UQ has a catch-up assignment system in place for all absences (e.g. illness/medical reasons, emergencies and unforeseen extreme situations). 

Does completing the PYP guarantee permanent residency?

Completion of the PYP does not guarantee permanent residency. Successful PYP graduates are eligible to apply to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to receive additional migration points towards a permanent residency application.

Do you recognise prior learning or provide credit transfers?

There is no recognition of prior learning or experience available to PYP participants. It is a requirement of the program that placements take place within the PYP enrolment period and it must be undertaken as a complete (44 week) program with a single provider.

Therefore, we cannot offer any Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or Credit Transfers for the Professional Year Program.

The PYP is quite long. Can I fast track the course?

No - the Professional Year Program is a government-designed program that must be undertaken as a complete (44 week) program with a single provider.

It is a requirement of the program that you first finish 32 weeks of PYP classes before commencing your Internship.

I have already started PYP at another institution. Can I transfer to ICTE-UQ?

Yes, however, you will need to start the Professional Year Program again from the beginning. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) requires that the Professional Year Program must be undertaken as a complete (44 week) program with a single provider.

If you wish to end your enrolment with your original PYP provider, you will need to contact that provider for the appropriate withdrawal/refund policies.

Can I work during the PYP?

Depending on the conditions of your visa, you may be able to work during the Professional Year Program. For more information about Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485), conditions refer to 485 Visa information.

For conditions for other visas, please refer to Visa Finder and refer to the relevant information for your visa type.

Can I expect to be employed as a result of the PYP?

The Professional Year Program does not guarantee employment. However, it is designed to help make you work-ready and to provide you with the skills and experience that will give you an advantage when applying for jobs in Australia.

Many ICTE-UQ PYP graduates gain employment either directly after completing the program or within 6-12 months of graduating.

Our graduate surveys show that 60-70% of graduates gain employment with the host companies and around 85% of all graduates are employed in their chosen field within 12 months of graduating.