The NCIS Unit offers internship placements designed to introduce students to a professional workplace where the skills and knowledge gained through study can be applied. There are two internship streams available – quality assurance and research and reporting.

Interns are provided with a tailored work program that gives an overview of tasks and expected outcomes. Supervision is provided by a dedicated member of the NCIS Unit.

All NCIS Unit internships are unpaid.

We encourage tertiary institutions to contact us to discuss opportunities for collaboration on student internships.

Quality assurance

The foundation of high quality and fit-for-purpose data within the NCIS is a rigorous quality assurance program. The program encompasses a range of activities including maintaining classifications and publications supporting the NCIS codesets, data entry training and coder support, review of case coding and reporting on data quality to maintain the highest possible standards of data quality and consistency.

The NCIS quality program ensures data conforms to the defined, standardised codeset and provides an accurate reflection of each case.

This includes data entry training and support, coding review and reporting on data quality to maintain the highest possible standards. Data must be accessible, reliable, relevant and usable.

The NCIS Quality Assurance Framework outlines our end-to-end approach to ensuring reliability, quality and consistency.

Intern activities in the quality assurance internship stream may include:

  • completing targeted quality review of cases against NCIS protocols and practices
  • contributing to codeset upgrades by assessing coded and free-text data fields

See Eligibility and How to apply for further information.

I thoroughly enjoyed all my tasks, particularly because I was able to use my analytical skills. Each task required me to think critically, so I was constantly engaged. […]

My course teaches us the fundamentals of database design, so comparing this to what I have seen at university really highlights the complexity of the system. […] It was great to see real world examples of using SQL to extract data within the NCIS. Comparing these SQL queries to my SQL assignments really highlight how technical the database is. […]

I loved contributing to the quality team meetings because it made me feel like part of the team. It was a great way for me to listen and learn about the various work that occurs around the NCIS. It was also an opportunity for me to practice my communication skills through reporting my progress to the team. […]

Learning about quality improvement methods is extremely beneficial for Health Information Managers because it can be applied to all sorts of careers where data is involved. I have learnt about various techniques such as reducing duplicates, educating coders, implementing standards, using validation rules, as well as conducting regular audits and reviews just to name a few. […]

I thoroughly enjoyed my internship under the quality sector. I loved the work I was doing, and the people too. This is by far my favourite placement.

My placement with the National Coronial Information System (NCIS) Unit has proved invaluable in allowing me to apply the theoretical knowledge I have learnt whilst at university in a practical setting. I did not imagine prior to placement that I would be able to use many of the skills taught to me in a variety of projects specifically related to coronial and death data (especially given that I have previously analysed ‘health’ data whilst at university).

I appreciated being able to work and be involved in varied projects which I have been told will be beneficial for the team. These projects included:

  • Reviewing coronial cases from Western Australia to assess if requested amendments have been made and if so, are the amendments appropriate
  • Data analysis of why the cause of death field is being amended during the NCIS quality assurance process […]
  • Reviewing object codes and keywords in preparation for the future NCIS code set upgrade
  • Developing a PowerPoint summary on my placement block and presenting it to the NCIS team

The most significant part of the placement for me personally was the ability to attend a two-day coronial inquest. […] During the inquest, I observed how the patient’s record is used as part of the medico-legal process. The inquest showed the importance of documentation standards that has clinical information recorded as soon as possible after an event. Health Information Management students are consistently taught how important it is to document medical records accurately and in a timely manner and the inquest illustrated just how important it is to do so.

Thank you for allowing me to undertake placement with the NCIS team; I particularly appreciated the documented student placement plan developed specifically for me. This document was very useful to refer to and clearly outlined all my assigned tasks for this placement block. I very much appreciate the well-organised supervisor and I know that I have learnt more than I thought I ever could. I also appreciate all the time everyone in the team has taken to make me feel welcome, explain their roles as well as sharing how coronial data provides vital statistics and information to government departments, researchers, and other interested parties. I was made to feel that my small contribution of work was worthwhile and valued.

Research and reporting

The NCIS Unit conducts analysis, publishes data and supports research projects from approved organisations. NCIS reporting services, research publications and tools are designed to promote the unique data collected, support evidence-based decisions in death and injury prevention, and enhance awareness of mortality risks and trends.

The NCIS Research agenda 2018-2021 describes key objectives and activity streams of our research and reporting function.

Intern activities in the research and reporting internship stream may include:

  • preparing an NCIS fact sheet, including data analysis and fact sheet design
  • preparing case summaries for NCIS Fatal facts

See Eligibility and How to apply for further information.

I undertook a 200-hour internship with the NCIS Unit as part of my Master of Criminology course at the University of Melbourne. Although I was nervous and unsure of what to expect coming into the internship, I was excited for the opportunity to contribute to a meaningful organisation and engage in personal development. In both regards, my internship experience was more than I could have hoped for.

Within hours of starting, I was able to gain an understanding of what my role would be and how I would fit into the team, and I immediately felt settled in. This was further supported by the one-on-one meetings I had with each team member in my first week, where I was able to get to know everyone and better understand the workings of the NCIS. I also had the opportunity to engage in team meetings throughout my internship which were great for communicating issues and reporting on the progress of tasks. The manner in which I received support, feedback, and encouragement throughout my internship is something that really stood out to me.

My main tasks with the NCIS included the production of a fact sheet and writing summaries for an edition of Fatal facts, both of which will be published on the NCIS website. Working on the fact sheet was a particularly rewarding experience in that it was produced to raise awareness about an issue of public concern and to prevent harm in the community. Compiling summaries for Fatal facts was equally as rewarding as it gave me a greater understanding of coronial inquests and recommendations, and of the coronial system overall. Together, these tasks allowed me to better understand the process of how to efficiently collect, analyse, and plan a diverse range of data and information, and how best to extract relevant information out of large datasets. The research and reporting process in developing these tasks was an extremely unique learning experience which I know will be valuable to my future. Although the fact sheet and Fatal facts comprised most of my internship hours, I was still able to work on a variety of other tasks that kept each day interesting and engaging. This not only allowed me to work on my ability to be flexible and adaptable to changing situations, but it also allowed me to refine my writing skills to be more professional and concise. 

While the work I did was confronting at times due to the nature of coronial information, it was made clear to me from the outset that my emotional wellbeing was of the utmost importance. This made approaching difficult tasks easier as I knew I had the support of everyone at the NCIS Unit. It was a great feeling knowing they all genuinely cared about me and my development.

This internship has exceeded my expectations, and I truly believe it has provided me with a range of skills and knowledge in a variety of areas which I can transfer and apply to any future work.

I undertook an 80-hour internship at NCIS as part of my Bachelor’s degree at Monash University. […] Although I have learnt a large amount of theoretical knowledge during my degree, I felt I was lacking work experience in a setting related to my course. 

Before beginning my internship, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect and how I would fit into the workplace. However, I was able to gain a strong understanding of my role once I began and the team were all really helpful at assisting me to settle in. During my first week, I had individual meetings with each team member where I was able to gain a better understanding of how the organisation functions as a whole and how each person’s role works. I was also able to go to team meetings while I was there which allowed me to feel like I was a part of the team. […] Everyone was really supportive and encouraging towards me whenever I had a question or wasn’t sure about something.

I feel that I was really able to broaden my criminological thinking while I was there through the work I was completing. I completed two editions of Fatal facts during my time there which will later be published on the NCIS website. Through doing [this task] I was able to gain an understanding of the coronial division within the criminal justice system and how it is intertwined which is not something I have dealt with previously. As well, I was able to apply my research skills that I have developed during my course through the preparation of Fatal facts summaries. […] The process was very interesting and rewarding for me as I feel I was able to achieve a lot while I was there and feel happy that the work I did will be able to aid in public discourse. 

The work I did was confronting and difficult at times. However, from the beginning of the internship, the team placed a strong emphasis on my emotional wellbeing and so I knew I had support […]. I am really thankful for not only the opportunities I was awarded while I was there, but also the flexibility that NCIS allowed me to have in spreading out my internship hours […] to ensure I could still work my usual hours at my current part-time job.

I undertook a 200-hour internship with the NCIS as part of my Master of Criminology program with the University of Melbourne. […] This internship allowed me to develop an understanding of the coronial division of the justice system, an area that I was not familiar with previously. It also allowed me to extend my criminological thinking and experience into areas I was previously unfamiliar with.

The main portion of my work with NCIS involved the production of a report and fact sheet […]. Undertaking this project gave me a good understanding of the various processes involved in research; how to plan the research, use the NCIS database, analyse data, prepare a report and produce a fact sheet for publication. The research process was a very interesting and valuable learning experience for me, and I also appreciated the opportunity to produce research on an issue that is of particular interest within the public discourse. These outcomes contribute to a body of work that aims to prevent harm in the community. I also assisted with compiling summaries for the Fatal facts search tool, which gave me a good understanding of coronial inquests and recommendations at a broader level […].

The internship experience was not without its challenges, as by nature coronial information can be confronting, and working with such information can be difficult at times. However, the NCIS team places a strong emphasis on staff wellbeing, and I felt very well supported throughout my internship knowing that I was part of a team that genuinely cared about my wellbeing. The NCIS team was also very welcoming and it was wonderful to be working with a team who not only care about the work they do, but also care about my learning and development through the internship. This internship has taught me a lot, and I have been able to expand my knowledge of the justice system significantly. I am confident that this internship has provided me with tangible experience and skills in research that will be valuable and transferable other roles in the future.

Eligibility

Only tertiary students undertaking a subject with a relevant placement component are eligible to apply.

Quality assurance – Students studying their final year of Information Management or Health Information Management are encouraged to apply.

Research and reporting – Students studying undergraduate or postgraduate Criminology or Sociology are encouraged to apply. Students from other disciplines may also be eligible.

All interns are required to abide by the Victorian Public Service (VPS) Code of Conduct and adhere to the Public Sector Values.

Interns are expected to demonstrate the following skills and personal qualities:

  • Written and verbal communication – produce written pieces using concise and grammatically correct language. Actively listen and provide clear information in a polite and considerate manner, building rapport with others
  • Planning and organising – plan and review own work and track progress according to organisational expectations
  • Self management – monitor own work and discuss with supervisor, working to address skills gaps and seeking assistance when encountering unfamiliar situations
  • Conceptual and analytic ability – use conceptual thinking and sound analytical approaches to support decision making
  • Detail focus – undertake finely detailed work in a precise and accurate manner
  • Flexibility – adapt to changes in the environment and effectively meet new challenges
  • Self discipline – work methodically in a sustained manner to meet objectives

How to apply

Check in with your tertiary institution regarding internship application processes for your course.

Send your enquiry or application to ncis@ncis.org.au.

Your application must include a current resume and a covering letter detailing your relevant skills and personal qualities, interest in the position, and requirements of your course (hours, assessment, dates). Applications must include the subject code and title.

All applicants are required to meet with the NCIS Unit prior to placement selection. Successful applicants will be required to perform a police check.