Hazards Management

Student Excursions Procedure

Policy Code: CG1864

Purpose

To assist University staff in the planning, information gathering and recording of the health and safety aspects of student excursions. 

Note: Staff involved in planning or supervising student excursions should also refer to the Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Control (HIRAC) Procedure.

Scope

This procedure applies to teaching/academic staff who plan, organise, conduct, supervise or manage student excursions.  Several of the provisions 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. research fieldwork, trips unrelated to course/program outcomes, trips between campuses, etc), staff members who organise such outings are encouraged to apply the principles and use the forms outlined here.

Definitions

Refer to Risk, Health and Safety Glossary

Actions

Students Under 18

Overnight Excursions

The Staff Member in Charge requests students to submit a completed and signed Student Excursion Health Report and Consent Form Under 18 Years for that specific excursion.  Parents/guardians must complete sections 2B, 2C, 3, 4 and 5 of the form.

If students are living independently, they can indicate this on the form and complete it themselves.

Other Excursions

Schools request students to return a completed Excursion Health Report and Consent Form for Students Under 18 Years.

It is acceptable for a Staff Member in Charge to cover several excursions, or even all the excursions - excluding overnight - 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 endeavour to inform the parents/guardians of students under 18 years of the change in advance, as far as practicable. 

Parents/guardians must complete sections 2A, 2C, 3, 4 and 5 of the form, and they must sign at the bottom of section 6.  However, if students under 18 are living independently, they can indicate this on the form and sign for themselves. 

Students Over 18

The School requests students to complete an Excursion Health Report and Consent Form for Students Over 18 Years. This form can provide blanket cover for all student excursions conducted during the year. 

Other Participants (Non-students/Non-staff)

There are sometimes legitimate reasons to allow a person, who is neither a student nor a staff member of the University, to participate in a student excursion.  For instance, the participation of some students with disabilities in excursions may be dependent on the presence of their carer.

In such circumstances, the Staff Member in Charge must submit to their Dean a completed Application for Non-Student/Non-Staff Member to Attend an Excursion form.  The application must be approved in writing by the Dean (part 3 of the form) and the applicant must complete the appropriate Excursion Health Report and Consent Form, on which the word "student" has been replaced with "applicant".

Note:  This section is not intended to cover volunteers, self-employed people or employees of other organisations who may coordinate activities during part of an excursion because of their skills, expertise, knowledge, etc.  Examples of people who are not required to complete an application form 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. 

General

(a) Excursion Health Report and Consent Forms are to be filed within the School.  Staff must be advised of their location.  Schools must have mechanisms in place to ensure that relevant staff are aware of any existing medical condition and any special care required (see sub-section below for privacy considerations). 

(b) For any student excursion, the Staff Member in Charge must:

  • complete an Application to Conduct an Excursion form and obtain the relevant approval signatures;
  • complete the List of Excursion Participants form for all those participating in the student excursion, irrespective of their age or status, and provide a copy of this form to a nominated staff member within the School before the departure date; and
  • have with them appropriate notes regarding existing medical conditions, any special care or medication required, and emergency contact numbers of participants. 

Staff members in charge can best fulfil the last requirement by taking with them a copy of the List of Excursion Participants and copies of the completed Student Excursion Health Report and Consent Form, subject to being able to maintain privacy.) 

(c) If the University provides transport for the excursion, and a participant elects to use independent transport, the Staff Member in Charge must ensure that participant submits a completed Request to Use Own Transport to Excursion form prior to the excursion. 

(d) Staff Members in Charge must provide to their Dean full details of any incident or injury which occurs during an excursion.  They must comply with the reporting provisions of the Incident and Emergency Management Procedure.

Privacy

Deans must ensure all aspects of the collection, use, disclosure, security, etc, of personal or health information comply with the University Information Privacy Policy.  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 Members in Charge of excursions also have a critical role in complying with the Policy.  In particular, they must ensure appropriate arrangements are in place to maintain the security of any personal or health information collected as part of this procedure.  Particular care must be taken with health information.  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 Manager - Risk, Health and Safety is responsible for maintaining this procedure.

Other responsibilities are outlined in the section titled "Actions".

Promulgation

This Procedure will be communicated throughout the University via:

1.    an Announcement Notice under ‘FedNews’ and through the University's Policy - ‘Recently Approved Documents’ webpage to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy;

2.    inclusion on the University's Policy, Procedure and Forms website; and/or

3.    distribution of emails to Deans / Directors / University staff; and/or

4.    documentation distribution e.g. posters, brochures.

Implementation

This Procedure will be implemented throughout the University via:

1.    Information sessions; and/or

2.    Training sessions.