Critical Incident Policy
Student Handbook > Student-Non-Academic Policies & Procedures  >  Critical Incident
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1. Purpose

The Critical Incident Policy (“policy”) outlines the Institution’s approach on planning for, responding to and managing critical incidents. 

2. Scope

This policy applies to all students, staff and visitors on any campus.

3. Definitions

Critical incident: a critical incident is a major or adverse incident, or series of events that have the potential to cause or had caused extreme stress, fear or injury to people or serious or severe damages to the Institution’s operations, environment or reputation.

This may include but is not limited to:

  • fatality or serious injury;
  • murder or suicide (or attempted suicide) of students/staff;
  • a missing student/staff member;
  • serious crime;
  • interruption to utilities for an extended period (e.g. electricity, water);
  • fire, explosion or bomb threat;
  • assault, including sexual assault;
  • mental health episode requiring hospitalisation;
  • major failure in internal and/or financial processes e.g. fraudulent activities, withdrawal of financial support from banks;
  • major disruption to IT technology;
  • data breaches to database or systems e.g. stolen personal information
  • significant chemical hazards;
  • threats of violence or terrorist attack;
  • external emergencies including, storms or natural disasters;
  • child protection matters or underage student safety concerns or abuse;
  • public health alert.

Emergency: sudden, unexpected event that requires an immediate response from the Institution’s nominated staff and/or external emergency services.

4. Policy statements

4.1 Prevention: The Institution’s strategy of mitigating future incidents or minimising the impacts

4.1.1 The Institution promotes and fosters a safe environment. It demonstrates this by advising its students and staff on actions they can take to enhance safety and security on campus. To this end, immediate actions to be taken in the event of a critical incident are outlined in this policy and in the Critical Incident Management Procedures.

4.1.2 The Institution ensures that all students and staff are provided with information on how to seek assistance for and report an incident that significantly impacts on their wellbeing, including critical incidents.

4.1.3 Critical incidents are monitored to be evaluate or reported as being effective and appropriate as part the Risk Management Plan to inform the risk prevention or mitigation strategy.

4.2 Preparedness: The Institution preparing to respond to and recover from incidents

4.2.1 Critical incidents are managed effectively, efficiently and compassionately and appropriate resources will be allocated to the response of a critical incident as outlined in the Critical Incident Management Procedures.

43 Response: The Institution will control, contain and minimise the impact of an incident

4.3.1 There are clear decision making processes, as outlined in the Critical Incident Management Procedures, to ensure that critical incidents are managed and reported effectively, consistently and in a timely manner.

4.3.2 The Institution will provide appropriate support to support students and staff, and their families or anyone where appropriate, who may be affected by a critical incident.

4.4 Recovery: The Institution will minimise disruption and recovery time

4.4.1 Resources are made available for recovery from a crisis or emergency and supporting the Institution’s infrastructure, business operations and community to resume normal business as soon as possible.

5. Roles and responsibilities

5.1 The Chief Operating Officer is the Responsible Officer of this policy.

5.2 The EMG has overall responsibility for the management of critical incidents and emergencies at the Institution.

5.3 The Campus and Operations Director is responsible for ensuring that the induction program for staff includes familiarisation with the Critical Incident Policy, how to report an emergency, and how to respond to an emergency situation. The Campus and Operations Director has responsibility for the implementation of the Institution’sCritical Incident Policy and Critical Incident Management Procedures.

5.4 The Work Health and Safety (WHS) Committee is responsible for ensuring that up to date information about personal security and emergency contact numbers are published on the institution’s website, and that emergency procedures and evacuation plans are prominently displayed in the common areas and corridors of the institution’s campus/sites. The WHS Committee will also ensure emergency evacuation drills are held regularly.

5.5 The Deputy Registrar (Student Engagement and Lifecycle) is responsible for ensuring that the orientation program for students includes familiarisation with how to report an emergency and how to respond to an emergency situation and for providing all new students with or refer them to (including electronically) general information on safety and awareness relevant to study and living on campus.

5.6 Wellness Officers are responsible for supporting and monitoring students, and their families or anyone where appropriate, who may be affected by a critical incident with personal wellness circumstances for the duration of their time at the Institution as per the Student Wellness Policy.

6. Related documents

Critical Incident Management Procedures

Risk Management Plan

Risk Register

Student Wellness Policy

Student Wellness Procedures

Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy


Approved by the Board of Directors on 21 August 2019