Hazards Management

Student Excursions Procedure

Policy Code: CG1864

Purpose

This procedure assists University staff in fulfilling their statutory health and safety responsibilities in relation to student excursions. 

Scope

This procedure applies to teaching/academic staff who plan, organize, conduct, supervise or manage student excursions.  Several of the provisions also apply to students and other participants who take part in such excursions.

Whilst this procedure is not intended to cover outings that do not formally constitute student excursions (e.g. trips unrelated to course/program outcomes, trips between campuses, etc.), staff members who organize such outings are encouraged to apply the principles of this procedure and use relevant forms.

Legislative Context

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic)
  • Health Records Act 2001 (Vic)

Definitions

Term Definition
Student excursion (‘excursion’) A trip away from a campus of the University conducted for a group of students for purposes related to achieving the learning outcomes of the course/program.  An "overnight excursion" is one that starts on a given day and finishes on the following day or later.
Staff Member in Charge The Federation University Australia member of staff who plans, organizes, conducts, supervises or manages a student excursion.  There can be several Staff Members in Charge for an excursion. 
Participant

Any person who takes part in an excursion, other than the Staff Member(s) in Charge and volunteers, self-employed people or employees of other organizations who may coordinate activities during part of an excursion because of their skills, expertise, knowledge, etc.  Examples of people who are not considered to be participants include: guides in an art gallery, park rangers accompanying students during field activities, bus drivers taking students and staff on an excursion, farmers allowing students on their property, etc.

Participants are primarily students, but can include staff members and others (see Note 4 under 1.E.1. below).

Actions

1. Planning a student excursion

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Identifying, assessing and controlling risks associated with the planned excursion Staff Member in Charge
  1. Refer to the Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Control (HIRAC) Procedure.
  2. Conduct a documented HIRAC Review if any foreseeable risk applies to the planned excursion.
B. Managing excursions involving participants under the age of 18 Staff Member in Charge
  1. Request any participant under the age of 18 to have a parent/guardian(see Note 1) complete and sign their Excursion Health Report and Consent Form for Students Under 18 Years.

Note 1: where a student under the age of 18 is living independently (i.e. without the supervision and care of a parent/guardian), the Staff Member in Charge is required to make contact with the Manager – Risk, Health and Safety. 

Note 2: It is acceptable for a Staff Member in Charge to cover several excursions, or even all the excursions – excluding overnight ones – they are planning for the forthcoming year on a single form.  However, they must list in section 6 of the form all relevant details of the planned excursions, insofar as these details can be specified at that stage.  If the details of an excursion that was listed need to be changed or a new excursion is planned, the Staff Member in Charge must inform the parents/guardians of students under 18 years of the change in advance, as far as practicable.

The parents/guardians of students must also be provided with the opportunity to withdraw permission in advance, as far as practicable.  A letter advising each excursion is sent out to Parents/guardians with an option to withdraw permission.  Parents/guardians should provide formal written notification of their decision to withdraw their permission for all or selected excursions.

Parents/guardians must complete sections 2A, 2C, 3, 4 and 5 of the form, and they must sign at the bottom of section 6.

C. Managing overnight excursions involving participants under the age of 18 Staff Member in Charge
  1. Request any participant under the age of 18 to submit a completed and signed Excursion Health Report and Consent Form for Students Under 18 Years for that specific excursion.  Parents/guardians must complete sections 2B, 2C, 3, 4 and 5 of the form.  Note 1 under 1.B.1. above also applies here.
D. Managing excursions involving participants over the age of 18 Staff Member in Charge
  1. Request any participant to complete an Excursion Health Report and Consent Form for Students Over 18 Years.

Note 3: This form can provide blanket cover for all student excursions conducted during the year.  However, if the details of an excursion that was listed need to be changed or a new excursion is planned, the Staff Member in Charge must inform the students over 18 years of the change in advance, as far as practicable.  The students must also be provided with the opportunity to withdraw consent in advance, as far as practicable.

E. Authorizing a person who is neither a staff member nor a student to participate in an excursion Staff Member in Charge
  1. If legitimate reasons exist to allow a person who is neither a student nor a staff member of the University to participate in a student excursion(see Note 4), submit to your Head of School/Director a completed Application for Non-Student/Non-Staff Member to Attend an Excursion form and the appropriate Excursion Health Report and Consent Form, on which the word "student" has been replaced with "applicant".

Note 4: For instance, the participation of some students with disabilities in excursions may be dependent on the presence of their carer.

Executive Dean/Director
  1. Review and approve/reject the application in writing.
F. Maintaining a list of excursion participants Staff Member in Charge
  1. Complete the List of Excursion Participants form for all those participating in the student excursion, irrespective of their age or status.
G. Organizing transport for an excursion Staff Member in Charge
  1. If the University provides transport for the excursion, ensure that any participant electing to use independent transport submits a completed Request to Use Own Transport to Excursion form prior to the excursion.
H. Obtaining authorizations for an excursion Staff member in Charge
  1. Complete an Application to Conduct an Excursion form.
  2. Submit the completed Application to Conduct an Excursion to the managers nominated on the form, with any documented HIRAC Review for the excursion and the List of Excursion Participants, and obtain their signed approval.

2. Conducting an excursion

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Ensuring the health and safety of excursion participants Staff Member in Charge
  1. Conduct the excursion in accordance with the risk control measures identified in the HIRAC Review.
  2. Maintain vigilance at all times for changing conditions that may change the level of risk associated with the excursion (e.g. weather, natural environment, unexpected behaviours or illnesses, security situation, etc.).
  3. Modify or cancel activities in response to changing conditions so as to maintain risk levels that are as low as reasonably practicable in all student excursions.
  4. Keep a copy of the List of Excursion Participants.
  5. Securely keep appropriate notes regarding existing medical conditions, any special care or medication required, and emergency contact numbers of participants (as obtained from the Health Report and Consent forms).
B. Managing an incident or emergency during an excursion Staff Member in Charge
  1. Manage the incident in accordance with the plan developed as part of the excursion planning.
  2. Comply with the requirements of the Incident and Emergency Management Procedure, including the reporting requirements for injuries and emergencies.

3. Complying with other administrative requirements

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Maintaining appropriate records whilst protecting individuals’ privacy Executive Deans/Directors
  1. Securely store Excursion Health Report and Consent Forms within the Faculty/Directorate/College/Centre.
  2. Provide relevant Staff Members in Charge access to forms so they can fulfil the responsibilities assigned to them under this procedure.
  3. Ensure all aspects of the collection, use, disclosure, security, etc. of personal or health information comply with the University Information Privacy Policy.

Note 5: The information must be stored in a secure location, where access is monitored.  For example, it may not be appropriate for health information to be stored on student files.

Staff Member in Charge Ensure appropriate arrangements are in place to maintain the security of any personal or health information as per 2.A.5. above.  Such details can only be disclosed for the safe conduct of the excursion, the management of incidents and emergencies, and as specified in schedule 1 – principle 2 of the Victorian Health Records Act 2001.

Responsibility

  • The Health and Safety Policy Committee is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this procedure
  • The Manager – Risk, Health and Safety is responsible for maintaining the content of this procedure as delegated by the Health and Safety Policy Committee

Promulgation

The Student Excursions Procedure will be communicated throughout the University community in the form of an Announcement Notice via:

  • an Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website; and
  • an email to Chairs of Health and Safety Implementation Teams.

Implementation

The Student Excursions Procedure will be implemented throughout the University community via an Announcement Notice via:

  • an Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website; and
  • an email to Chairs of Health and Safety Implementation Teams.

Records Management

Document Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
Application for Non-Student/Non-Staff Member to Attend an Excursion Faculty/Directorate/College/Centre Executive Dean/Director Destroy two (2) years after excursion date
Application to Conduct an Excursion Faculty/Directorate/College/Centre Executive Dean/Director One (1)  year after completion of administrative use
Excursion Health Report and Consent Form for Students Over 18 Years Faculty/Directorate/College/Centre Executive Dean/Director Destroy seven (7) years after date of last action or attendance or access by or on behalf of the individual
Excursion Health Report and Consent Form for Students Under 18 Years Faculty/Directorate/College/Centre Executive Dean/Director Destroy seven (7) years after date of last action or attendance or access by or on behalf of the individual, provided the individual has reached 25 years of age
Request to Use Own Transport to Excursion Faculty/Directorate/College/Centre Executive Dean/Director One (1)  year after completion of administrative use