Policy

Critical Incident Management - Policy

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Body

1. Purpose and Objectives

This policy outlines The University of Queensland’s framework in preparing for, responding to and recovering from a critical incident.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Critical incident – An adverse incident or series of events that have the potential to damage the University’s people, operations, environment and its long-term prospects and or reputation.

Critical Incident Management (CIM)– The process by which the University builds resilience, responds to and recovers from a critical incident.

Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT) – A group of staff members responsible for carrying out the functions of planning for and responding to a critical incident.

Incident Classification:  Critical incidents are classified into three levels of escalation.

Minor Event - a minor incident or minor injury has a localised impact on staff, students or members of the community and may entail minor property damage. The incident has been contained and is unlikely to escalate in severity. It can usually be handled by campus personnel at the organisational unit level using normal operating procedures.

Moderate Event – an incident or event, which has a localised impact on University operations and may threaten life or property, or could potentially escalate to a major incident. A moderate event might include also, the serious injury or death, of an individual student or staff member.

A moderate event may involve the activation of an emergency response, and or the CIM Team. 

Major Event – an incident or event that has a high impact or imminent severe adverse effect on University operations stemming from events such as explosion, large fire, shooting, material release, pandemic or natural disaster. It may entail or threaten to cause multiple fatalities or serious injuries and/or significant property damage or adverse media reporting.  It is likely to involve an emergency response from relevant Queensland Emergency Services and would usually necessitate activating the CIM Team.

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to incidents and events affecting The University of Queensland’s people, property, operations, environment and reputation.

4. Policy Statement

The Critical Incident Management policy provides a standardised approach to managing incidents. This policy provides a mandate for decisions and actions that need to be taken at the University level to most appropriately and expeditiously respond to a critical incident.

The principal policy objectives are to facilitate decision making and action which:

  • saves lives and avoids any further injury;
  • minimises the impact on the people involved including next of kin;
  • limits damage and preserves the University’s assets and operations;
  • minimises the impact on the local community and environment; and
  • minimises business interruption and ensures a recovery to normal operations as soon as practical. 

Critical Incident Management is part of the University’s risk management framework, consistent with PPL1.80.01a Enterprise Risk Management.  The risk management policy requires organisation units to ensure risk assessments have been undertaken with respect to the likelihood and impact of potential adverse events on their operation. Risk management, disruption risk management and business impact analysis is undertaken at University level and at the individual organisational unit.

The University level plan is the:

  • Critical Incident Management Plan

Organisational unit plans include:

  • Campus Business Continuity Plans
  • Localised Faculty / Institute Business Continuity Plans
  • Administrative Support Business Continuity Plans
  • Emergency Response Plan

The University has an obligation under the Education Services for Overseas Student (ESOS) Act 2000 to document its critical incident policy in respect to international students. The procedures relating specifically to dealing with critical incidents involving students are an important annexure to this policy.

5. Critical Incident Management

The University notes that some critical incidents demand an immediate response such as incidents involving the serious injury or death of one or more individuals, toxic/chemical releases, a major fire or an explosion. Similarly the University notes that other events, which may have an equally serious impact on the University, may require a staged response, such as a flu pandemic.

This policy outlines The University of Queensland’s key principles in preparing for, responding to and recovering from a critical incident. The details of how this policy is translated are covered in PPL 7.60.01b Critical Incident Management - Procedures as well as the University’s Critical Incident Management Manual.

The Critical Incident Management Manual provides information on how the University manages and responds to critical incidents and encompasses guidelines and checklists for action by members of the Critical Incident Management Team.

Custodians
Chief Operating Officer
Mr Greg Pringle

Procedures

Critical Incident Management - Procedures

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Body

1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures enact the staff and student provisions of the Critical Incidents Management – Policy.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Critical incident – An adverse incident or series of events that have the potential to damage the University’s people, operations, environment and its long-term prospects and or reputation. A Critical Incident is further defined by the ESOS National Code as a traumatic event, or the threat of such (within or outside Australia), which causes extreme stress, fear or injury to international students.

Critical Incident Management (CIM) – The process by which the University builds resilience, responds to and recovers from a critical incident.

Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT) – A group of staff members responsible for carrying out the functions of planning for and responding to a critical incident.

Incident Classification: Critical incidents are classified into three levels of escalation.

Minor Event - a minor incident or minor injury has a localised impact on staff, students or members of the community and may entail minor property damage. The incident has been contained and is unlikely to escalate in severity. It can usually be handled by campus personnel at the organisational unit level using normal operating procedures.

Moderate Event – an incident or event, which has a localised impact on University operations and may threaten life or property, or could potentially escalate to a major incident. A moderate event might include also, the serious injury or death, of an individual student or staff member.

A moderate event may involve the activation of an emergency response, and or the CIM Team.

Major Event – an incident or event that has a high impact or imminent severe adverse effect on University operations stemming from events such as explosion, large fire, shooting, material release, pandemic or natural disaster. It may entail or threaten to cause multiple fatalities or serious injuries and/or significant property damage or severe adverse media coverage. It is likely to involve an emergency response from relevant Queensland Emergency Services and would usually necessitate activating the CIM Team.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to incidents and events affecting staff and students at The University of Queensland.

4. Procedures Statement

In the event of a critical incident affecting one or more members of staff or students that is categorised as a minor, and where the CIMT has not been activated, a case manager will be appointed to undertake the actions as outlined in Section 5.

In the event of a critical incident affecting one or more members of staff or students that is categorised as either moderate or major, the CIM Team Leader will determine whether to activate and deploy the CIM Team.

5. Reporting

5.1 On and off-campus incidents

5.1.1 For incidents either on or off campus and involving death, serious injury or a threat to life, the person receiving the information must immediately contact University Security (telephone + 61 (7) 3365 3333). University Security will contact any Government Emergency Services required (including Police, Fire, Ambulance).

5.1.2 University Security will assess the nature of the incident, taking advice from CIM Team Leader as appropriate.

Minor - to be handled by a local case manager as agreed with Security.

Moderate - CIM Team Leader will determine whether to activate and deploy the CIM Team, and will advise Security.

Major - CIM Team Leader will determine whether to activate and deploy the CIM Team, and will advise Security.

5.2 Key details to be reported

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).

6. Response Checklist

6.1 Command 

Where the incident is deemed to require emergency response, Security will co-ordinate all emergency response activities, including liaison with Government Emergency Services.

Where a case manager has been appointed, ensure that the CIM Team Leader is kept abreast of all details the case. The CIM Team Leader will determine if escalation is required to the CIM Team.

Refer to any local continuity plans for specific local considerations.

6.2 Control

When managing a critical incident the case manager/CIM team leader actions should always consider:

  1. Preservation of life and avoiding any further injury;
  2. Preservation of the University’s assets and operations;
  3. Minimisation of the impact on the local community and environment;
  4. Supporting, where possible, the emergency services response; and
  5. Resumption of normal business operations as soon as is practicable.

6.3 Co-ordinate

The case manager/CIM Team Leader should ensure the following University sections/services are co-ordinated in their response to the incident:

  • Director of HR;
  • Academic Registrar;
  • Director, UQ International (for international students);
  • Director of Student Affairs;
  • Director of Student Services;
  • Executive Dean of the Faculty or Director, Graduate School and/or Head of School; and
  • Director, Marketing and Communication.

Other staff (or nominees) would be included as appropriate, e.g.

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) where the incident involves an international student;
  • Dean of the Graduate School where the incident involves a higher degree by research student;
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) where the incident involves a domestic student;
  • Pro-Vice-Chancellor where the incident involves a student enrolled at the Ipswich or Gatton Campus;
  • Director, Occupational Health and Safety Division, Director, UQ Health Service and Manager, Security where there are public health, safety or security implications;
  • Director of Property and Facilities Division, Director, Occupational Health and Safety Division where the incident is on-campus and involves a safety issue or the incident has or will cause physical damage to the UQ Estate; and
  • Head of residential college where the incident involves a resident of the college.

6.4 Communicate

As soon as possible, the Director, Marketing and Communications will liaise with relevant staff to prepare a communication plan and nominate a spokesperson.

  • Plan a response and ongoing strategies including individual roles and responsibilities;
  • Liaise with police, doctors, hospital staff and other relevant professionals;
  • Determine if legal assistance might be required and refer accordingly (Director, Legal Office);
  • Provide follow-up condolence letters to family; and
  • Complete an incident report for the Chief Operating Officer.

 Support for family, friends and staff:

  • Contact the next of kin and ensure support is provided to family and friends including classmates;
  • Make arrangements as required for visits from family e.g. accommodation, travel, crisis support and referral to appropriate services; and
  • If necessary, make arrangements for affected staff, e.g. Staff Assistance Scheme for counselling support.

7. Specific Circumstances

7.1 For incidents during semester:

  • Contact the relevant faculty to make appropriate arrangements for students (eg. release from classes, rescheduling assessments or exams);
  • If the student is unable to continue with studies, make arrangements for withdrawal without penalty and refund of fees if appropriate;
  • In the case of death, notify:
    • relevant faculty office or Graduate School
    • SI-net Functional Group
    • Library
    • Information Technology Services
    • Protocol and Ceremonies
    • Head of residential college (if applicable)
    • Manager UQ Security

7.2 Additional procedures for international students:

The Educational Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) requires the University to notify the relevant Government Department (Department of Imigration and Citizenship) as soon as practical after the incident.

In the case of a student's death or other absence affecting the student's attendance at University, UQ's Liaison Officer at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship should be contacted by phone prior to reporting via the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS).

If an international student dies or sustains serious injury, the University may be required to assist the student's family. This may include:

  • Hiring interpreters;
  • Making arrangements for hospital/funeral/memorial service/repatriation;
  • Obtaining a death certificate;
  • Assisting with personal items and affairs including insurance issues; and
  • Assisting with visa issues.

Expenditure associated with an intervention would ordinarily be covered at the organisational unit level. Significant expenditure requires the prior consideration and approval by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) in the event of incidents involving students.

7.3 For incidents involving staff:

  • Make follow-up contact to assess whether further help is required. Ongoing assistance is available through Staff Assistance Services.
  • Contact the University Insurance officer.
  • In the case of a staff death, notify:
    • Human Resources
    • Protocol and Ceremonies.
Custodians
Chief Operating Officer
Mr Greg Pringle
Custodians
Chief Operating Officer
Mr Greg Pringle