Anatomy Facilities and Programs Governance - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus is an authorised School of Anatomy under the Transplantation and Anatomy Act 1979 (Qld) and operates a Body Donor Program and Gross Anatomy Facility on the same campus under this authorisation.

The purpose of this policy is to establish the framework for the governance and operations of the School of Anatomy, in particular the Gross Anatomy Facility and the Body Donor Program.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Acts means the Transplantation and Anatomy Act 1979 (Qld); Coroners Act 2003 (Qld); Cremations Act 2003 (Qld); and associated Regulations.

ATARM means the Anatomy Teaching and Research Management Committee, which is advisory to the Head of SBMS on anatomy teaching and research under the School of Anatomy.

BDP means the Body Donor Program, which is the administrative arm of the School of Anatomy responsible for donor acceptance, transfer and release paperwork.

GAF means the Gross Anatomy Facility.

SBMS means the School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all University staff, students, contractors, volunteers or visitors using donated human tissues for anatomical purposes at the University.

4. Policy Statement

The University recognises the significant contribution made by those who donate their bodies for medical or scientific purposes with the support of their families and is committed to treating all donors entrusted to its care with the utmost respect, dignity, and professionalism.

In managing the School of Anatomy (including the GAF and the BDP), the University will ensure all donated bodies/body parts used for anatomical examinations, study, teaching and research are treated with the highest legal and ethical standards, in accordance with the relevant Acts, donor consents and community expectations.

5. Management of the School of Anatomy

5.1 Governance

The governance and practices of the School of Anatomy (including the BDP and the GAF) are overseen by the Head of the School, SBMS. The Head of School receives advice on the management of the School of Anatomy from:

  • School of Anatomy Assurance Committee
  • Human Ethics Research Committee
  • Chief Anatomist
  • GAF Manager
  • BDP Manager
  • The University's OHS Division and OHS managers
  • ATARM.

5.2 Access

The principal teaching spaces of the School of Anatomy (namely the GAF) are to be kept secure at all times and only authorised staff and students, and/or other specially approved visitors are permitted to enter.

Authority for access and access privileges are determined by the GAF Manager.

Supervisory staff, including professional staff, academic staff, demonstrators and external workshop leaders shall monitor compliance associated with:

  • Participants in other approved research activities, surgical workshops, short courses or demonstrations;
  • University contractors for repair, general maintenance, or safety checks within the facility;
  • Other users as needs require (i.e. emergency services or repairs);
  • Other users who are authorised under legislation to gain access in order to perform the official duties of their position.

Before accessing the GAF, all individuals (including staff, students and visitors) must complete the relevant induction program approved by the Head of School, SBMS.

The general public, including family members of students, the media and journalists, are not permitted into the GAF.

6. Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

The Head of School, SBMS is accountable for the overall management of the School of Anatomy, including:

  • monitoring the University’s compliance with the School of Anatomy authorisation;
  • ensuring the University retains and/or where appropriate and necessary, updates its authorisation;
  • ensuring that adequate resources including personnel and financial resources are available and adequate to ensure the GAF is operated and maintained as fit-for-purpose and to comply with all relevant safety legislation, codes and standards and guidelines;
  • ensuring that the GAF is a safe place of work and that all hazards are identified, risk assessed and adequately, controlled in liaison with the University OHS Division, the Faculty OHS Manager and local OHS personnel;
  • approving key GAF and BDP procedures at the local level, including the relevant codes of conduct;
  • overseeing GAF security procedures, and document management and security;
  • ensuring that GAF and BDM procedures are kept current, communicated to all personnel associated with the School of Anatomy, and complied with by all personnel;
  • reporting any real or potential breaches of this policy to the Executive Dean, Faculty of Medicine with recommendations for immediate and appropriate corrective actions.

The Chief Anatomist is responsible for:

  • advising the Head of School on School of Anatomy matters, legal compliance and other relevant anatomy related issues associated with the operation of the School of Anatomy;
  • notifying the Head of School of any real or potential breaches of this policy;
  • ensuring effective mechanisms are in place for security and privacy of all personal records of donors, de-identification of donors prior to release for teaching purposes and tracking of donor parts while in the School of Anatomy;
  • liaising with the GAF Manager to administer access rights and maintain facility security;
  • ensuring that the operations of the GAF are conducted with the appropriate decorum and respect for the donors;
  • liaising with the regulator to co-ordinate any mandatory physical inspections of the facility;
  • as a member of the School of Anatomy Assurance Committee, assisting with facility self-assessment audits.

The GAF Manager is responsible for:

  • the day-to-day management of the GAF;
  • liaising with contractors and other personnel to ensure the GAF is maintained in good condition;
  • assisting with the identification of hazards and ensuring that safe work procedures and systems are implemented and complied with in cooperation with the SBMS safety management team;
  • assisting the Chief Anatomist to ensure that the operations of the GAF are conducted with the appropriate decorum and respect for the donors;
  • as a member of the School of Anatomy Assurance Committee, assisting with facility self-assessment audits.

The BDP Manager is responsible for:

  • managing the University’s relationship with potential donors and coordinating donor acceptances and releases;
  • ensuring all records of the operations of the program are maintained according to requirements of the Act and securely stored with utmost respect for privacy and confidentiality;
  • liaising with the Chief Anatomist and GAF Manager to co-ordinate the respectful and appropriate screening, documentation, acceptance and funeral processes;
  • as a member of the School of Anatomy Assurance Committee, assisting with annual facility self-assessment audit.

The Director of OHS is responsible for:

  • maintaining oversight of OHS practices at the GAF in liaison with School safety personnel and the Faculty OHS Manager;
  • arranging the annual independent inspection of the GAF;
  • ensuring that corrective actions identified are implemented in coordination with the Head of School.

Staff, students and visitors to the GAF are required to comply with:

  • relevant SBMS codes of Conduct;
  • University and local GAF procedures;
  • all reasonable directions of staff in the GAF.

7. Monitoring and Review

7.1 Annual Review

A review of the School of Anatomy’s use of human bodies/body parts and anatomy facilities will be conducted at least annually by the School of Anatomy Assurance Committee. This review must include an independent inspection of the GAF by the Occupational Health and Safety Division.

Through the Head of SBMS and the Executive Dean, the review will be reported to the Vice-Chancellor’s Risk and Compliance Committee and the requirements of the University's authorisation issued under the Act. The review will consider:

  • compliance with this policy and any requirements of the University’s authorisation issued under the Act;
  • the facility’s operational compliance with legal and ethical requirements;
  • details of any dealings with the regulator;
  • the general condition of the GAF and any operational issues including changes in demand/numbers/requirements of students;
  • completion rates of required training modules including codes of conduct;
  • compliance with other relevant legislation and standards, including those relating to workplace health and safety.

7.2 Reporting of non-compliance

Where an annual review or other inspection of the School of Anatomy identifies activities of non-compliance with this policy, the Head of School, SBMS must report the non-compliance to the Executive Dean, Faculty of Medicine.

The Executive Dean, in consultation with the Head of School, is responsible for:

  1. ensuring actions are taken to address areas of non-compliance; and
  2. reporting any cases of non-compliance with this policy to the Vice-Chancellor's Risk and Compliance Committee; and
  3. in the case of any statutory non-compliance, notifying the relevant Government authority in accordance with the relevant legislation.
Provost Professor Aidan Byrne
Provost Professor Aidan Byrne