Policy

Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response - Policy

Printer-friendly version
Body

1.0    Purpose and Scope

The University of Queensland (UQ or the University) is committed to promoting and fostering a University environment that is safe, respectful and free from all forms of Sexual Misconduct. Subject to what follows, this Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy (Policy) outlines the principles and key requirements governing UQ’s approach to preventing, addressing and responding to Sexual Misconduct, which is unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature without Consent.  It includes behaviour that could amount to a Sexual Offence and/or Sexual Harassment.  This Policy is to be read in conjunction with the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response for Students Procedure and the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response for Staff Procedure (Procedures).

UQ is committed to providing Support to all members of the UQ Community who have experienced, witnessed or otherwise been exposed to Sexual Misconduct.  This Policy applies to all members of the UQ Community, including all students and staff, whether or not those staff are covered by the Enterprise Agreement. Together with the Procedures, this guides our intent to promote and foster an environment where members of our community are supported to make disclosures and seek assistance through a Trauma-Informed approach.

This Policy and the Procedures do not govern disciplinary processes in relation to staff or students who are alleged to have engaged in Sexual Misconduct. Those processes are governed by the University's Disciplinary Framework.  This Policy and the Procedures deal with UQ's prevention of and response to Sexual Misconduct outside the Disciplinary Framework.

2.0    Principles and Key Requirements

The following principles reflect UQ’s commitment to preventing all forms of Sexual Misconduct, supporting members of the UQ Community who are affected by Sexual Misconduct, and responding appropriately and sensitively when Sexual Misconduct occurs.

  1. UQ prohibits all forms of Sexual Misconduct, and requires all members of the UQ Community to comply with this prohibition.

  2. UQ acknowledges that education and awareness are important aspects of prevention and is committed to educating the UQ Community to assist in the prevention of Sexual Misconduct in the UQ Community.

  3. All members of the UQ Community are required to take all reasonable steps to maintain a safe and respectful environment at or related to UQ.

  4. Members of the UQ Community, particularly supervisors and managers, will be made aware of the responsibility they have in responding appropriately when they receive information regarding Sexual Misconduct, particularly taking account of Trauma-Informed approaches.

  5. Procedures supporting this Policy are to be Trauma-Informed.

  6. UQ acknowledges that Sexual Misconduct may include conduct which would also amount to a Sexual Offence if proven in a court exercising criminal jurisdiction. The University does not have jurisdiction to determine criminal responsibility and does not make findings in terms of criminal responsibility, including as to whether a Sexual Offence has occurred.  However, the University can and will determine whether alleged Sexual Misconduct amounts to 'general misconduct', 'misconduct' or 'serious misconduct' (as the case may be) pursuant to the Disciplinary Framework. UQ can and will take action in respect of breaches of its rules, policies and procedures pursuant to its Disciplinary Framework. UQ will cooperate with and, where provided for in the Procedures, report matters to the police or other external agencies.

  7. The safety, welfare and support of the UQ Community is paramount. UQ recognises that any Sexual Misconduct is likely to have an adverse impact on members of the UQ Community, and is committed to providing Support to those affected.

  8. UQ will implement options for Support and Formal Reports that are simple, accessible and available through multiple avenues.

  9. UQ will bring sensitivity and timeliness when providing Support and responding to Formal Reports.

  10. Confidentiality and information privacy will be upheld where possible, in accordance with legislative requirements and UQ policies and procedures.

  11. UQ does not tolerate Victimisation.

  12. UQ recognises that Sexual Misconduct may be experienced by all people regardless of their sexuality or gender identity.

  13. A Formal Report of Sexual Misconduct may attract protections under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 (Qld) and UQ’s Public Interest Disclosure Policy and Procedures.

3.0    Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Human Resources, Student Affairs, Academic Services, and the Sexual Misconduct Support Unit coordinate UQ’s provision of Support and carry out other matters as specified in this Policy and the Procedures. 

Human Resources, Student Affairs, and Academic Services are responsible for resourcing and supporting the work of the Sexual Misconduct Support Unit, and implementing this Policy and the Procedures, including providing Support and responding to Formal Reports.

4.0    Monitoring, Review and Assurance

Human Resources, Student Affairs, and Academic Services are responsible for ensuring that this Policy and the Procedures are reviewed routinely and in response to any concerns or issues raised by members of the UQ Community.  Edits and updates can be made to the Procedures to ensure their ongoing relevance, effectiveness and compliance with law.

5.0    Recording and Reporting

5.1    Confidentiality and Privacy

  1. Information relating to offers or requests for Support or Formal Reports will be:

    1. recorded and kept confidential by UQ, and only used by UQ to take action as described in the Policy and the Procedures, to de-identify the information for statistical reporting (as described further below) or otherwise to comply with the Policy and the Procedures or the law;

    2. kept separate from, and not linked to, the enrolment, employment or other engagement records of the Complainant, the Third Party Reporter, or any witness; and

    3. accessible by the person who provided the information if they wish to later use it for the purposes of making a Formal Report or report to the police or other external agency.

  2. UQ may use de-identified data relating to offers or requests for Support or Formal Reports for the purposes of monitoring patterns of Sexual Misconduct and to inform future prevention and education programs at UQ.

  3. Any personal information collected by UQ under the Procedures will be handled according to the Privacy Management – Policy and Procedure.

  4. Staff who have a role or responsibility under the Policy and the Procedures must keep confidential information relating to offers or requests for Support or Formal Reports, except insofar as necessary to:

    1. take any action permitted by, or otherwise comply with, the Policy and the Procedures or the law;

    2. make a report to the police or other external agency in accordance with the Procedures;

    3. facilitate support from an immediate family member, or a staff or student representative, or to obtain medical or legal advice.

5.2    Reporting and Monitoring

  1. The Sexual Misconduct Support Unit will regularly report to the Chair of the Vice-Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sexual Misconduct. 

  2. The Sexual Misconduct Support Unit will collate data relating to the use of the Policy and the Procedures. 

  3. The Sexual Misconduct Support Unit will work with Human Resources, the Integrity Unit, Academic Services Division, and Student Affairs to ensure that relevant de-identified data is recorded and reported to the Vice-Chancellor and Human Resources, Student Affairs, and Academic Services on a six monthly basis, including but not limited to:

    1. the number and types of offers of Support made and requests for Support received;

    2. the number and types of Formal Reports made;

    3. the number and types of matters reported to the police or other external agency in accordance with subsection 3.4 of the Procedures;

    4. whether further action was taken in response to Formal Reports, including the number referred for consideration pursuant to the Disciplinary Framework;

    5. the number of investigations conducted;

    6. time taken to respond to requests for Support and Formal Reports;

    7. any feedback provided by Complainants, Respondents, Third Party Reporters and witnesses;

    8. a summary of any patterns that emerge from the monitoring conducted, including any recommendations for further improving UQ’s relevant policies and procedures; and

    9. any further statistics the Vice-Chancellor and/or Senate considers necessary from time to time.

6.0    Appendix

6.1    Definitions

Complainant – is a person who makes a Formal Report on their own behalf.  It also includes a person on whose behalf a Formal Report is made by a Third Party Reporter. The University acknowledges that a person who has experienced sexual misconduct may refer to themselves as a complainant, discloser, victim or survivor.

Consent – Consent can only be freely and voluntarily given by a person with the cognitive capacity to do so.

'Consent' is the voluntary agreement to the act or acts in question and to continue to engage in the act or acts. Voluntary agreement to engage in the activity or to continue to engage in the activity must be communicated through words or conduct.

  • Consent can be withdrawn at any time including during the act or acts in question for any reason.

  • Consenting to a sexual activity with an individual or individuals does not mean that consent is given for another sexual activity with an individual or individuals, and consent only applies to each specific instance of sexual activity.

  • Circumstances in which a person does not consent to an act or acts include:

    1. the person is asleep or unconscious;

    2. the person is incapable of consenting;

    3. the person submits to the act because of: force or the fear of force; threats or intimidation; fear of harm; exercise of authority; or false or fraudulent representations about the nature or purpose of the act; or

    4. the person submits to the act because of false or fraudulent representation of identity.

  • Consent cannot be given by a person under the age of 16 years.

Disciplinary Framework – is the University's disciplinary processes in relation to a Respondent (including in response to a Formal Report) as follows:

  1. where the Respondent is a student, under the Student Integrity and Misconduct - Policy and Procedure;

  2. where the Respondent is a member of staff covered by the Enterprise Agreement, under the misconduct or serious misconduct provisions of the Enterprise Agreement; or 

  3. where the Respondent is a member of the UQ Community who is not a student, or a staff member to whom the Enterprise Agreement applies, in accordance with any relevant contract and/or UQ policies and procedures that apply.

For the avoidance of doubt, a Respondent who is both a student and a member of staff covered by the Enterprise Agreement (including, for example, a student enrolled in a higher degree by research course who is also employed as a member of staff covered by the Enterprise Agreement) at the University may be subject to multiple disciplinary processes in relation to the same alleged conduct, pursuant to subparagraphs (a) and (b) above.

Enterprise Agreement – is The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2018-2021, or as amended or replaced.

Formal Report – is providing a formal statement regarding Sexual Misconduct to the persons or units specified in section 3.3 of the Procedures.

Reasonable Measures – are arrangements or adjustments as defined in section 3.6 of the Procedures that may be implemented for a specified period of time on a case by case basis where Support has been sought or a Formal Report has been made.

Respondent – is a person about whom a complaint of Sexual Misconduct is made as part of a Formal Report.

Sexual Harassment – happens if a person:

  1. subjects another person to an unsolicited act of physical intimacy; or

  2. makes an unsolicited demand or request (whether directly or by implication) for sexual favours from the other person; or

  3. makes a remark with sexual connotations relating to the other person; or

  4. engages in any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to the other person;

and the person engaging in the conduct described in (a), (b), (c) or (d) does so –

  1. with the intention of offending, humiliating or intimidating the other person; or

  2. in circumstances where a reasonable person would have anticipated the possibility that the other person would be offended, humiliated or intimidated by the conduct.

Examples of sexual harassment include (but are not limited to):

Examples for paragraph (a)

  • physical contact such as patting, pinching or touching in a sexual way;

  • unnecessary familiarity such as deliberately brushing against a person;

Examples for paragraph (b)

  • sexual propositions;

Examples for paragraph (c)

  • unwelcome and uncalled for remarks or insinuations about a person's sex or private life;

  • suggestive comments about a person's appearance or body;

Examples for paragraph (d)

  • offensive telephone calls;

  • unwanted sexual attention using internet, social networking sites or mobile phones;

  • indecent exposure;

  • a publication such as sexually offensive emails or graphics;

  • sexually offensive screensavers or posters.

Just because someone does not object to inappropriate behaviour at the time, it does not mean that they Consent to the behaviour. 

A single incident is enough to constitute sexual harassment – it does not have to be repeated.

Sexual Misconduct – is a broad term encompassing any unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature without Consent.  It includes conduct that could amount to a Sexual Offence and/or Sexual Harassment.

‘Sexual Misconduct’ as defined in this Policy may amount to ‘general misconduct’ for the purposes of the Student Integrity and Misconduct Policy and the Student Code of Conduct or ‘misconduct’ or ‘serious misconduct’ under the Enterprise Agreement.

Sexual Offence  is any criminal offence of a sexual nature under the criminal law, including the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld) and the Summary Offences Act 2005 (Qld).

student – means a person enrolled as a student at the University or undertaking courses or programs at the University, and includes a former student in relation to a Formal Report made by the former student concerning conduct that occurred at the time the person was a student. 

Support – means all reasonable steps to support members of the UQ Community affected by Sexual Misconduct, which will normally be coordinated by the Sexual Misconduct Support Unit in accordance with section 3.2 of the Procedure and may include:

  • the provision of information about UQ’s processes for managing complaints about Sexual Misconduct, including linking parties affected by Sexual Misconduct to support services;

  • counselling; and/or

  • Reasonable Measures.

Third Party Reporter – is a person who makes a Formal Report on behalf of or in relation to another person.

Trauma-Informed – means understanding, recognising and responding to the impact of trauma, and emphasising physical, psychological and emotional safety and the importance of choice for persons who have experienced Sexual Misconduct.

UQ Community – means current UQ students, staff, other workers, volunteers, official visitors, recognised individuals, honorary position holders, adjunct academic and support position holders, suppliers of academic placements or official suppliers of academic related activity, and anyone else contractually bound to comply with this Policy.  For the purposes of making a Formal Report, UQ Community also includes former members of the UQ Community who were members at the time of the conduct alleged to be Sexual Misconduct.

Victimisation – happens if a person does an act, or threatens to do an act against a Complainant, or another person associated with the Complainant, including a witness or Third Party Reporter, because a Complainant, or another person associated with the Complainant:

  • has made a Formal Report, report to the police or other external report; or

  • intends to make a Formal Report, report to the police or other external report; or

  • is, has been, or intends to be involved in a proceeding relating to Sexual Misconduct.

A reference to involvement in a proceeding includes involvement in a prosecution for an offence involving Sexual Misconduct, involvement in a University disciplinary process or investigation pursuant to the Disciplinary Framework or external agency investigation, or any other process to deal with Sexual Misconduct. 

Victimisation does not include any action taken against a person for a false or malicious complaint made against another person in order to prejudice that other person.

Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Director, Student Affairs Mr Andrew Lee

Procedures

Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response for Staff - Procedures

Printer-friendly version
Body

1.0    Purpose and Scope

The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response for Staff Procedure (Procedure) applies to all staff who have experienced, witnessed or otherwise been exposed to Sexual Misconduct.  It outlines The University of Queensland’s (UQ or the University) processes and activities to promote and foster a University environment for staff that is safe, respectful and free from all forms of Sexual Misconduct. 

The complex nature of Sexual Misconduct means that there may be circumstances in individual cases where this Procedure is abridged, supplemented or changed to suit the circumstances of a particular case.  In any such case, UQ will draw on the principles and key requirements outlined in its Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy (Policy) and advise the relevant parties about the procedures that will be adopted.

Nothing in this Procedure prevents staff from accessing other policies or procedures available to them, including but not limited to the Public Interest Disclosure – Policy and Procedure. 

2.0    Process and Key Controls

  1. UQ will implement appropriate processes, systems and education programs to promote and foster a safe environment for the UQ Community, including for preventing and responding to Sexual Misconduct. 

  2. Staff who have experienced, witnessed or otherwise been exposed to Sexual Misconduct may request or be offered Support from UQ and/or make a Formal Report to UQ.

  3. The Policy and this Procedure do not govern disciplinary processes in relation to members of the UQ Community who are alleged to have engaged in Sexual Misconduct. Those processes are governed by the Disciplinary Framework.  The Policy and this Procedure deal with UQ's prevention of and response to Sexual Misconduct outside the Disciplinary Framework.

  4. Subject to subsection 2.0.3, the provision of Support and responding to Formal Reports by staff of Sexual Misconduct will be managed in accordance with this Procedure. Further information and/or advice for staff is available from Human Resources or the Sexual Misconduct Support Unit.

3.0    Key Requirements

3.1    Prevention of Sexual Misconduct

3.1.1    Maintaining a safe and respectful environment

  1. All members of the UQ Community are required to take all reasonable steps to maintain a safe and respectful environment at or related to UQ.  

  2. UQ leaders have particular responsibilities to promote and foster an environment that is free from all forms of Sexual Misconduct.  

3.1.2    Education

UQ provides a number of educational opportunities for the UQ Community to support the understanding of, prevention of and appropriate response to Sexual Misconduct.

Human Resources and the Sexual Misconduct Support Unit will relevantly:

  1. coordinate appropriately trained and supported Discrimination and Harassment Contact Officers and a First Responder Network;

  2. including with the heads of organisational units, coordinate the delivery of an education program designed to assist in the prevention of Sexual Misconduct in the UQ Community;

  3. coordinate appropriate Support for staff affected by Sexual Misconduct;

  4. establish, oversee and coordinate Sexual Misconduct prevention and response protocols and processes, communications, awareness and training; and

  5. carry out any other matters required from time-to-time to perform its functions.

3.2    Support for staff who have experienced, witnessed or otherwise been exposed to Sexual Misconduct

3.2.1    Type of Support available to UQ Community

  1. Support is available to staff who have experienced, witnessed or otherwise been exposed to Sexual Misconduct. This includes staff who may be supporting someone who has experienced, witnessed or otherwise been exposed to Sexual Misconduct.  In an emergency, members of the UQ Community should contact emergency services by dialling triple zero (000).

  2. Support is available from the following areas within UQ:

    1. Human Resources, including Discrimination and Harassment Contact Officers;

    2. Sexual Misconduct Support Unit, contactable through sexualmisconductsupport@uq.edu.au; and

    3. First Responder Network, details are available on www.respect.uq.edu.au.

  3. Support may include, but is not limited to:

    1. referral to medical services;

    2. counselling by a qualified counsellor or other mental health professional;

    3. taking Reasonable Measures (see section 3.6 below);

    4. assistance in making a Formal Report should the staff member wish to do so;

    5. assistance through the process of an investigation or determination (to the extent outcomes are able to be disclosed) of allegations pursuant to the Disciplinary Framework; and

    6. assistance in making a report to the police or other external agency.

  4. Accessing Support does not preclude staff from also reporting Sexual Misconduct through any of the options listed in section 3.3 of this Procedure.

3.2.2    Offer or Request for Support

  1. UQ will take all reasonable steps to ensure that Support is provided to all staff affected by Sexual Misconduct.  This includes, but is not limited to, Complainants, Third Party Reporters, Respondents, and any witnesses.  This may include facilitating access to one of the Support options outlined in section 3.2.1 above. 

  2. Staff who are offered or who request Support can expect the person assisting them to:

    1. provide information relating to the available Support and the Reasonable Measures that may be implemented;

    2. outline the options available to help the person determine any next steps they may wish to take;

    3. ask the person whether they wish to proceed with either a Formal Report or a report to the police or other external agency; and

    4. provide other information set out in section 3.3.3 and/or offer assistance in any other way as appropriate in the circumstances.

  3. An offer or request for Support in the context of this section does not itself initiate further action by UQ. A staff member requesting Support is not required to make a Formal Report, and a member of the UQ Community who receives a request for Support from a staff member is not required to make a Formal Report in relation to the matter as a Third Party Reporter.  However, if the staff member offered or making the request for Support wants UQ to take further action, they must make a Formal Report.  Support will remain available while any Formal Report is progressed.

  4. There may be circumstances where UQ is required to take further action as a result of an offer of or request for Support even if the person offered or requesting Support does not elect to make a Formal Report  - see section 3.4 of this Procedure.

3.3    Formal Reports of Sexual Misconduct

3.3.1    How to make a Formal Report

  1. Staff may make a written or verbal Formal Report, including through:

    1. Human Resources or their supervisor;

    2. the Sexual Misconduct Support Unit reporting webpage; or

    3. the Complaints and Grievances webpage.

  2. UQ may make a report to the police or other relevant external agencies (see section 3.4 of this Procedure) and it will be considered a Formal Report under this Procedure if the matter is referred back to UQ by an external agency or separately notified to any of the UQ bodies referred to in paragraph 1 of this section 3.3.1.

3.3.2    Anonymous Formal Reports and Formal Reports from a Third Party Reporter

  1. In some cases, staff may prefer to make a Formal Report without including names or other identifying details.

  2. Staff who witness or become aware of Sexual Misconduct may also make a Formal Report and are encouraged to do so.

  3. UQ will, where possible, act on anonymous Formal Reports including reports from a Third Party Reporter.

  4. Formal Reports that are anonymous or contain minimal information may limit UQ’s ability to take further action.

3.3.3    What happens when a Formal Report is received?

The person receiving a Formal Report will take each of the steps below as are appropriate in the circumstances:

  1. inform the staff member making the Formal Report of the Support available to them, including Reasonable Measures that may be implemented;

  2. outline the options available to the staff member making the Formal Report to help them determine any next steps they may wish to take;

  3. inform the staff member making the Formal Report that if the Formal Report does not relate to conduct covered by the Disciplinary Framework, the University may not be able to take any further action beyond the provision of Support, including Reasonable Measures;

  4. outline UQ’s processes for investigation and determination of allegations pursuant to the Disciplinary Framework and the likely burden of proof that will apply in any investigation;

  5. inform the staff member making the Formal Report that conducting an investigation and determination of an allegation pursuant to the Disciplinary Framework may not be possible without the staff member's participation (including by assisting in preparing evidence and participating in a hearing);

  6. ask the person making the Formal Report how they would like their report resolved (UQ will take this into account, but will take such further action as it considers appropriate in the circumstances);

  7. ask the person whether they wish to make a report to the police or other external agency;

  8. outline how Formal Reports are progressed;

  9. outline the likely timeframes, including when any updates are likely to be provided;

  10. provide the name of a UQ contact person who will provide updates and from whom they can seek further information; and

  11. offer assistance in any other way as appropriate in the circumstances.

3.3.4    Who will a Formal Report be provided to? 

  1. A Formal Report will be provided to the following officer/s at UQ:

    1. if the Respondent is a member of staff covered by the Enterprise Agreement, the head of the organisational unit where the Respondent is engaged and the Chief Human Resources Officer (or nominee);

    2. if the Respondent is a student, the Academic Registrar; or

    3. if the Respondent is a member of the UQ Community who is not a student, or a staff member to whom the Enterprise Agreement applies, the head of the organisational unit responsible for the engagement of the Respondent or other person to whom the Respondent reports and the Chief Human Resources Officer (or nominee).

  2. If the Respondent holds more than one status, the Formal Report may be provided to all relevant officers.  For example, a Respondent who is both a student and a member of staff covered by the Enterprise Agreement (including a student enrolled in a higher degree by research program who is also employed as a member of staff covered by the Enterprise Agreement) at the University may be subject to multiple disciplinary processes in relation to the same alleged conduct, if a Formal Report is made pursuant to both subsections 3.3.4.1(a) and 3.3.4.1(b).

  3. If the Respondent holds none of the above statuses or the conduct is not covered by the Disciplinary Framework, the University may be unable to refer the Formal Report for further action within the University.

3.3.5    How will a Formal Report be progressed?  

  1. Once a Formal Report is provided to the relevant officer/s at UQ under section 3.3.4, further action including a disciplinary process may be taken by UQ pursuant to the Disciplinary Framework.

  2. At the conclusion of any process for responding to a Formal Report the Complainant will be provided with outcome advice as is relevant (to the extent outcomes are able to be disclosed), having regard to the welfare and safety of the persons involved and subject to UQ’s obligations. This advice will be provided in writing and the Complainant will be offered the opportunity to discuss the outcome advice in a face to face meeting (with a support person present) with the officer referred to in 3.3.4 or their delegate.

3.4    Reporting to the police or other external agency

  1. UQ will offer Support to a staff member who wishes to report a matter to the police. 

  2. Two basic principles underpin UQ’s position on reporting Sexual Misconduct to the police or other external agency:

    1. Any person can make a report to the police or other external agency at any time.  No-one can compel or prevent any person from reporting or referring a matter to the police or other external agency and no-one is permitted to exert any pressure on any person to dissuade them from reporting or referring a matter to the police or other external agency; and

    2. Generally, it should be the Complainant who decides whether or not they report the matter to the police or other external agency.

  3. Offers or requests for Support and Formal Reports will not be reported by UQ to the police or other external agency without the consent of the Complainant, except where:

    1. UQ is required by law to report the matter; or

    2. the Vice-Chancellor is satisfied there is a risk to the health, safety or wellbeing of members of the UQ Community.

  4. When reporting an offer or request for Support or a Formal Report to the police or other external agency, UQ will only provide as much information as is required by law, or as necessary for action to be taken having regard to the health, safety or wellbeing of members of the UQ Community.

3.5    Victimisation

  1. UQ will not tolerate Victimisation of any member of the UQ Community involved in a Formal Report or an offer or request for Support, including the Complainant, the person/s who are the subject of the Formal Report or receiving Support and/or those involved in managing the matter. 

  2. Any staff member who feels that they are experiencing Victimisation should inform any of the following parties so the matter can be appropriately investigated:

    1. Human Resources; or

    2. the Sexual Misconduct Support Unit via the Sexual Misconduct Support Unit support webpage.

  3. Reasonable Measures may be used to prevent Victimisation of those involved in a Formal Report or receiving Support.

3.6    Reasonable Measures

  1. Staff affected by Sexual Misconduct can make a request for Reasonable Measures or UQ may implement Reasonable Measures as are necessary or appropriate in the circumstances.  Staff affected by Sexual Misconduct include, but are not limited to, a Complainant, Third Party Reporters, Respondents, and any witnesses.

  2. The implementation of Reasonable Measures for affected staff members will be determined by Human Resources on a case-by-case basis, in recognition of the complexities and sensitivities associated with managing Sexual Misconduct, and in accordance with UQ policies and procedures, relevant contracts and the Enterprise Agreement if applicable. Insofar as Reasonable Measures in a particular case may also affect a student, Human Resources will consult with Student Affairs or Academic Services when determining the Reasonable Measures and Student Affairs or Academic Services will implement those Reasonable Measures that affect the student or students.

  3. Any Reasonable Measures implemented following an offer or request for Support or Formal Report, during an investigation, disciplinary process pursuant to the Disciplinary Framework, or investigation by the police or other external agency, do not amount to a determination as to whether Sexual Misconduct has occurred. 

  4. In implementing any Reasonable Measures, UQ will:

    1.  be Trauma-Informed;

    2. consider the risk to the affected parties;

    3. where applicable, apply the principles of Procedural Fairness;

    4. seek to balance any conflicting rights and interests;

    5. seek to prevent Victimisation;

    6. discuss any proposed Reasonable Measures with affected parties where appropriate; and

    7. where appropriate, endeavour to implement an acceptable outcome for affected parties involved.

  5. At times, meeting the expectations of all parties will be difficult.  If an agreement cannot be reached between all parties about the Reasonable Measures, the following person will make a final decision having considered the position of all relevant parties:

    1. if the Respondent is a member of staff covered by the Enterprise Agreement, the head of the organisational unit responsible for engagement or management of the Respondent, in consultation with the Chief Human Resources Officer (or nominee), for the purposes of the Enterprise Agreement;

    2. if the Respondent is a student, the Academic Registrar; or

    3. if the Respondent is a member of the UQ Community who is not a student, or a staff member to whom the Enterprise Agreement applies, the head of the organisational unit responsible for the engagement or management of the Respondent or other person to whom the Respondent reports.

  6. Reasonable Measures for staff will be implemented by Human Resources or the Sexual Misconduct Support Unit and may include, but are not limited to:

    1. housing re-location or short term emergency housing;

    2. class timetable changes;

    3. temporary remote learning or working arrangements;

    4. other adjustments to working arrangements;

    5. other schedule changes;

    6. work placement reassignment;

    7. emergency funding;

    8. wellbeing and safety planning;

    9. measures to minimise the risk of Victimisation;

    10. residential separation arrangements;

    11. other safety measures.

7.    Staff who are not satisfied with a decision made in relation to Reasonable Measures under section 3.6 of this Procedure have rights to appeal the decision under any UQ policy, procedures or process applicable to the decision.        

4.0    Appendix

4.1    Definitions

Words or phrases used in this Procedure and not otherwise defined in this document have the meaning they have in the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy.

First Responder Network – can be contacted through the details outlined on www.respect.uq.edu.au. This is the group of individuals who are trained to assist members of the UQ Community who have experienced, witnessed or otherwise been exposed to Sexual Misconduct, including by assisting them to:

  • request and access Support; and

  • make Formal Reports. 

Procedural Fairness – is a principle that is applied by the University to ensure that decisions are made in accordance with the rule against bias and the hearing rule (i.e. a respondent is given an opportunity to present their case with knowledge of any prejudicial material that may be taken into account by the decision-maker).

Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Director, Student Affairs Mr Andrew Lee

Procedures

Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response for Students - Procedures

Printer-friendly version
Body

1.0    Purpose and Scope

The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response for Students Procedure (Procedure) applies to all students who have experienced, witnessed or otherwise been exposed to Sexual Misconduct.  It outlines The University of Queensland’s (UQ or the University) processes and activities to promote and foster a University environment for students that is safe, respectful and free from all forms of Sexual Misconduct. 

The complex nature of Sexual Misconduct means that there may be circumstances in individual cases where this Procedure is abridged, supplemented or changed to suit the circumstances of a particular case.  In any such case, UQ will draw on the principles and key requirements outlined in its Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy (Policy) and advise the relevant parties about the procedures that will be adopted.

Nothing in this Procedure prevents students from accessing other policies or procedures available to them, including but not limited to the Student Grievance Resolution – Policy and Procedure, the Student Integrity and Misconduct – Policy and Procedure or the Public Interest Disclosure – Policy and Procedure. 

2.0    Process and Key Controls

  1. UQ will implement appropriate processes, systems and education programs to promote and foster a safe environment for the UQ Community, including for preventing and responding to Sexual Misconduct. 

  2. Students who have experienced, witnessed or otherwise been exposed to Sexual Misconduct may request or be offered Support from UQ and/or make a Formal Report to UQ.

  3. The Policy and this Procedure do not govern disciplinary processes in relation to members of the UQ Community who are alleged to have engaged in Sexual Misconduct. Those processes are governed by the Disciplinary Framework.  The Policy and this Procedure deal with UQ's prevention of and response to Sexual Misconduct outside the Disciplinary Framework.

  4. Subject to subsection 2.0.3, the provision of Support and responding to Formal Reports by students of Sexual Misconduct will be managed in accordance with this Procedure. Further information and/or advice for students is available from the Sexual Misconduct Support Unit.

3.0    Key Requirements

3.1    Prevention of Sexual Misconduct

3.1.1    Maintaining a safe and respectful environment

  1. All members of the UQ Community are required to take all reasonable steps to maintain a safe and respectful environment at or related to UQ. 

  2. UQ leaders (including student leaders) have particular responsibilities to promote and foster an environment that is free from all forms of Sexual Misconduct.

3.1.2    Education

UQ provides a number of educational opportunities for the UQ Community to support the understanding of, prevention of and appropriate response to Sexual Misconduct.

Human Resources and the Sexual Misconduct Support Unit will relevantly:

  1. coordinate an appropriately trained and supported First Responder Network;

  2. coordinate the delivery of an education program designed to assist in the prevention of Sexual Misconduct in the UQ Community;

  3. coordinate appropriate Support for students affected by Sexual Misconduct;

  4. establish, oversee and coordinate Sexual Misconduct prevention and response protocols and processes, communications, awareness and training; and

  5. carry out any other matters required from time-to-time to perform its functions.

3.2    Support for students who have experienced, witnessed or otherwise been exposed to Sexual Misconduct

3.2.1    Type of Support available to UQ Community

  1. Support is available to students who have experienced, witnessed or otherwise been exposed to Sexual Misconduct. This includes students who may be supporting someone who has experienced, witnessed or otherwise been exposed to Sexual Misconduct.  In an emergency, members of the UQ Community should contact emergency services by dialling triple zero (000).

  2. Support is available from the following areas within UQ:

    1. First Responder Network, details are available on www.respect.uq.edu.au;

    2. Sexual Misconduct Support Unit, contactable through sexualmisconductsupport@uq.edu.au;

    3. Discrimination and Harassment Contact Officers;

    4. the Graduate School; and

    5. Directors of Research Training.

  3. Support may include, but is not limited to:

    1. referral to medical services;

    2. counselling by a qualified counsellor or other mental health professional;

    3. taking Reasonable Measures (see section 3.6 below);

    4. assistance in making a Formal Report should the student wish to do so;

    5. assistance through the process of an investigation or determination (to the extent outcomes are able to be disclosed) of allegations pursuant to the Disciplinary Framework; and

    6. assistance in making a report to the police or other external agency.

  4. Accessing Support does not preclude a student from also reporting Sexual Misconduct through any of the options listed in section 3.3 of this Procedure.

3.2.2    Offer or Request for Support

  1. UQ will take all reasonable steps to ensure that Support is provided to all students affected by Sexual Misconduct.  This includes, but is not limited to, Complainants, Third Party Reporters, Respondents, and any witnesses.  This may include facilitating access to one of the Support options outlined in section 3.2.1 above. 

  2. Students who are offered or who request Support can expect the person assisting them to:

    1. provide information relating to the available Support and the Reasonable Measures that may be implemented;

    2. outline the options available to help the person determine any next steps they may wish to take;

    3. ask the person whether they wish to proceed with either a Formal Report or a report to the police or other external agency; and

    4. provide other information set out in section 3.3.3 and/or offer assistance in any other way as appropriate in the circumstances.

  3. An offer or request for Support in the context of this section does not itself initiate further action by UQ. A student requesting Support is not required to make a Formal Report, and a member of the UQ Community who receives a request for Support from a student is not required to make a Formal Report in relation to the matter as a Third Party Reporter.  However, if the student offered or making the request for Support wants UQ to take further action, they must make a Formal Report.  Support will remain available while any Formal Report is progressed.

  4. There may be circumstances where UQ is required to take further action as a result of an offer of or request for Support even if the person offered or requesting Support does not elect to make a Formal Report – see section 3.4 of this Procedure.

3.3    Formal Reports of Sexual Misconduct

3.3.1    How to make a Formal Report

  1. Any member of the UQ Community may make a written or verbal Formal Report, including through:

    1. the Sexual Misconduct Support Unit reporting webpage; or

    2. the Complaints and Grievances webpage.

  2. UQ may make a report to the police or other relevant external agencies (see section 3.4 of this Procedure) and it will be considered a Formal Report under this Procedure if the matter is referred back to UQ by an external agency or separately notified to any of the UQ bodies referred to in paragraph 1 of this section 3.3.1.

3.3.2    Anonymous Formal Reports and Formal Reports from a Third Party Reporter

  1. In some cases, students may prefer to make a Formal Report without including names or other identifying details.

  2. Students who witness or become aware of Sexual Misconduct may also make a Formal Report and are encouraged to do so.

  3. UQ will, where possible, act on anonymous Formal Reports including reports from a Third Party Reporter.

  4. Formal Reports that are anonymous and/or contain minimal information may limit UQ’s ability to take further action.

3.3.3    What happens when a Formal Report is received?

The person receiving a Formal Report will take each of the steps below as are appropriate in the circumstances:

  1. inform the student making the Formal Report of the Support available to them, including Reasonable Measures that may be implemented;

  2. outline the options available to the student making the Formal Report to help them determine any next steps they may wish to take;

  3. inform the student making the Formal Report that if the Formal Report does not relate to conduct covered by the Disciplinary Framework, the University may not be able to take any further action beyond the provision of Support, including Reasonable Measures;

  4. outline UQ’s processes for investigation and determination of allegations pursuant to the Disciplinary Framework and the likely burden of proof that will apply in any investigation;

  5. inform the student making the Formal Report that conducting an investigation and determination of an allegation pursuant to the Disciplinary Framework may not be possible without the student's participation (including by assisting in preparing evidence and participating in a hearing);

  6. ask the person making the Formal Report how they would like their report resolved (UQ will take this into account, but will take such further action as it considers appropriate in the circumstances);

  7. ask the person whether they wish to make a report to the police or other external agency;

  8. outline how Formal Reports are progressed;

  9. outline the likely timeframes, including when any updates are likely to be provided;

  10. provide the name of a UQ contact person who will provide updates and from whom they can seek further information; and

  11. offer assistance in any other way as appropriate in the circumstances.

3.3.4    Who will a Formal Report be provided to?

  1. A Formal Report will be provided to the following officer/s at UQ:

    1. if the Respondent is a student, the Academic Registrar;

    2. if the Respondent is a member of staff covered by the Enterprise Agreement, the head of the organisational unit where the Respondent is engaged and the Chief Human Resources Officer (or nominee); or

    3. if the Respondent is a member of the UQ Community who is not a student, or a staff member to whom the Enterprise Agreement applies, the head of the organisational unit responsible for the engagement of the Respondent or other person to whom the Respondent reports and the Chief Human Resources Officer (or nominee).

  2. If the Respondent holds more than one status, the Formal Report may be provided to all relevant officers.  For example, a Respondent who is both a student and a member of staff covered by the Enterprise Agreement (including a student enrolled in a higher degree by research program who is also employed as a member of staff covered by the Enterprise Agreement) at the University may be subject to multiple disciplinary processes in relation to the same alleged conduct, if a Formal Report is made pursuant to both subsections 3.3.4.1(a) and 3.3.4.1(b).

  3. If the Respondent holds none of the above statuses or the conduct is not covered by the Disciplinary Framework, the University may be unable to refer the Formal Report for further action within the University.

3.3.5    How will a Formal Report be progressed?

  1. Once a Formal Report is provided to the relevant officer/s at UQ under section 3.3.4, further action including a disciplinary process may be taken by UQ pursuant to the Disciplinary Framework.

  2. At the conclusion of any process for responding to a Formal Report the Complainant will be provided with outcome advice as is relevant (to the extent outcomes are able to be disclosed), having regard to the welfare and safety of the persons involved and subject to UQ’s obligations. This advice will be provided in writing and the Complainant will be offered the opportunity to discuss the outcome advice in a face to face meeting (with a support person present) with the officer referred to in 3.3.4 or their delegate.

3.4    Reporting to the police or other external agency

  1. UQ will offer Support to a student who wishes to report a matter to the police. 

  2. Two basic principles underpin UQ’s position on reporting Sexual Misconduct to the police or other external agency:

    1. Any person can make a report to the police or other external agency at any time.  No-one can compel or prevent any person from reporting or referring a matter to the police or other external agency and no-one is permitted to exert any pressure on any person to dissuade them from reporting or referring a matter to the police or other external agency; and

    2. Generally, it should be the Complainant who decides whether or not they report the matter to the police or other external agency.

  3. Offers or requests for Support and Formal Reports will not be reported by UQ to the police or other external agency without the consent of the Complainant, except where:

    1. UQ is required by law to report the matter; or

    2. the Vice-Chancellor is satisfied there is a risk to the health, safety or wellbeing of members of the UQ Community.

  4. When reporting an offer or request for Support or a Formal Report to the police or other external agency, UQ will only provide as much information as is required by law, or as necessary for action to be taken having regard to the health, safety or wellbeing of members of the UQ Community.

3.5    Victimisation

  1. UQ will not tolerate Victimisation of any member of the UQ Community involved in a Formal Report or an offer or request for Support, including the Complainant, the person/s who are the subject of the Formal Report or receiving Support and/or those involved in managing the matter. 

  2. Any student who feels that they are experiencing Victimisation should inform any of the following parties so the matter can be appropriately investigated:

    1. the Sexual Misconduct Support Unit via the Sexual Misconduct Support Unit support webpage; or

    2. the Student Grievances Unit.

  3. Reasonable Measures may be used to prevent Victimisation of those involved in a Formal Report or receiving Support.

3.6    Reasonable Measures

  1. Students affected by Sexual Misconduct can make a request for Reasonable Measures or UQ may implement Reasonable Measures as are necessary or appropriate in the circumstances.  Students affected by Sexual Misconduct include, but are not limited to, a Complainant, Third Party Reporters, Respondents, and any witnesses.

  2. The implementation of Reasonable Measures for affected students will be determined by either Student Affairs, Academic Services or Human Resources on a case-by-case basis, in recognition of the complexities and sensitivities associated with managing Sexual Misconduct, and in accordance with UQ policies and procedures, relevant contracts and the Enterprise Agreement if applicable.

  3. Any Reasonable Measures implemented following an offer or request for Support or Formal Report, during an investigation, disciplinary process pursuant to the Disciplinary Framework, or investigation by the police or other external agency, do not amount to a determination as to whether Sexual Misconduct has occurred.

  4. In implementing any Reasonable Measures, UQ will:

    1. be Trauma-Informed;

    2. consider the risk to the affected parties;

    3. where applicable, apply the principles of Procedural Fairness;

    4. seek to balance any conflicting rights and interests;

    5. seek to prevent Victimisation;

    6. discuss any proposed Reasonable Measures with affected parties where appropriate; and

    7. where appropriate, endeavour to implement an acceptable outcome for affected parties involved.

  5. At times, meeting the expectations of all parties will be difficult.  If an agreement cannot be reached between all parties about the Reasonable Measures, the following person will make a final decision having considered the position of all relevant parties:

    1. if the Respondent is a student, the Academic Registrar;

    2. if the Respondent is a member of staff covered by the Enterprise Agreement, the head of the organisational unit responsible for engagement or management of the Respondent, in consultation with the Chief Human Resources Officer (or nominee), for the purposes of the Enterprise Agreement; or

    3. if the Respondent is a member of the UQ Community who is not a student, or a staff member to whom the Enterprise Agreement applies, the head of the organisational unit responsible for the engagement or management of the Respondent or other person to whom the Respondent reports.

  6. Reasonable Measures for students will be implemented by the Sexual Misconduct Support Unit and may include, but are not limited to:

    1. housing re-location or short term emergency housing;

    2. class timetable changes;

    3. temporary remote learning or working arrangements;

    4. other adjustments to working arrangements;

    5. other schedule changes;

    6. academic adjustments;

    7. special considerations for withdrawal without penalty;

    8. work placement reassignment;

    9. emergency funding;

    10. wellbeing and safety planning;

    11. measures to minimise the risk of Victimisation;

    12. residential separation arrangements;

    13. other safety measures.

  7. Students who are not satisfied with a decision made in relation to Reasonable Measures under section 3.6 of this Procedure have rights to appeal the decision under (as relevant) the Student Grievance Resolution – Policy and Procedures, or any other UQ policy, procedures or process applicable to the decision. 

4.0    Appendix

4.1    Definitions

Words or phrases used in this Procedure and not otherwise defined in this document have the meaning they have in the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy.

First Responder Network – can be contacted through the details outlined on www.respect.uq.edu.au. This is the group of individuals who are trained to assist members of the UQ Community who have experienced, witnessed or otherwise been exposed to Sexual Misconduct, including by assisting them to:

  • request and access Support; and

  • make Formal Reports. 

Procedural Fairness – is a principle that is applied by the University to ensure that decisions are made in accordance with the rule against bias and the hearing rule (i.e. a respondent is given an opportunity to present their case with knowledge of any prejudicial material that may be taken into account by the decision-maker).

Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Director, Student Affairs Mr Andrew Lee
Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Director, Student Affairs Mr Andrew Lee