Critical Incident Management Policy

Fact box

  • Policy owner: Vice President Operations
  • Policy category: Management: WHS
  • Policy status: Approved
  • Approval body: Council
  • Endorsement body: Executive Committee
  • Related policies:
  • Last amended: 11th May 2018

Purpose

This policy outlines the Alphacrucis College (AC) framework in preparing for, responding to and recovering from a critical incident.

Scope

All staff and students
All campuses
All tenants

Policy

Critical incident management is part of the AC Risk Management Framework which ensures risk assessments have been undertaken with respect to the likelihood and impact of potential adverse events on AC operations. A critical incident is defined as a tragic or traumatic event or situation affecting a student/s and/or staff member/s which has the potential to damage AC staff, students and/or operations and its long-term prospects and/or reputation. A critical incident is further defined by the ESOS Act and National Code 2018 as a traumatic event, or the threat of such (within or outside Australia), which causes extreme stress, fear or injury to international students. AC has an obligation to document critical incidents in respect to international students.

Critical incidents are classified into three levels:

  • Minor event - localised impact which has been contained and is unlikely to escalate further. It can usually be handled by AC staff using normal operating procedures.
  • Moderate event – localised impact on AC operations and may threaten life or property, or could potentially escalate into a major incident. It might include serious injury or death of a student or staff member.
  • Major event – high impact or imminent severe adverse effect on AC operations. It may entail or threaten to cause multiple fatalities or serious injuries and/or significant property damage or adverse media reporting.

Responsible for implementation

Vice President Operations

Key stakeholders

Staff, students and tenants


Procedures

Critical Incident Management Policy

In the event of minor incidents, the person receiving the information must report it to the AC Workplace Health and Safety Officer or equivalent.

In the event of moderate or major critical incidents on or off campus and involving death, serious injury or a threat to life, the person receiving the information must immediately contact any government emergency services required (including police, fire, ambulance).

Key details to report include the time, location and nature of the incident (e.g. threat, accident, death or injury), names and roles of persons involved (e.g. staff, international or domestic student).

Response Checklist

In the event of a critical incident, the AC Workplace Health and Safety Officer should ensure that all relevant Department Heads are informed and are coordinated in their response to the incident.

When managing a critical incident, the AC Workplace Health and Safety Officer should always consider:

  • Preservation of life and avoiding any further injury;
  • Preservation of AC assets and operations;
  • Minimisation of the impact on the local community and environment;
  • Supporting, where possible, emergency services response;
  • Resumption of normal business operations as soon as is practicable.

Confidentiality and Privacy

Staff and student confidential and personal information will only be released with the consent of the person involved, next of kin or where it may be necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of others.

Communication Checklist

As soon as possible, the Workplace Health and Safety Officer will:

  • liaise with Marketing Department and other relevant staff to prepare a communication plan;
  • liaise with medical, government and other relevant professionals;
  • determine if legal assistance is required;
  • contact next of kin and ensure support is provided to family and friends, including staff and students;
  • provide follow-up condolence letters to family; and
  • ensure counselling support is provided, if required;
  • complete an incident report for the Vice President Operations.

For incidents during semester:

When a critical incident occurs during semester, AC will ensure that:

  • relevant staff and faculty make appropriate arrangements for affected students (e.g. release from classes; rescheduling assessments; withdrawal; refunds) as appropriate;
  • in the case of death, notify all relevant departments, including Library, IT, Registry, etc.

Off-campus critical incidents involving staff or students should be reported by the person with the information as soon as possible to the VP Operations.

Critical incidents involving a student studying off shore will be managed by the campus or institution where the student is studying, in collaboration with AC.

Additional procedures for international students:

AC will adhere to the current Educational Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act and notify the relevant government departments as soon as practical after the incident. In the case of a student’s death or other absence affecting attendance, the AC International Student Officer or equivalent will contact the Department of Home Affairs by phone prior to reporting via the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS).

If an international student dies or sustains serious injury, AC may be required to assist the family:

  • hire interpreters;
  • make arrangements for hospital/funeral/memorial service; repatriation;
  • obtain death certificate;
  • with personal affairs, including insurance and visas issues.

Costs:

Costs incurred by a staff member or student, next of kin or family as a result of a critical incident will be met by the staff member, student and/or family, unless approval to provide financial support has been granted by the Vice President Operations.