Standard 6 - Student Support Services

Critical Incident Management - International Students Procedure

Policy Code: SS889

Purpose

This procedure has been developed to reflect the University’s practices that comply with "Standard 6 – Student Support Services” of the “National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students".

Standard 6 requires registered providers to have a documented critical incident procedure that specifies action to be taken in the event of a critical incident, required follow-up to the incident, and records of the incident and action taken.

The procedure recognises that in most cases international students do not have close family available to care and provide support to them in Australia. It is imperative that the University responds in a practised and timely way with any critical incident involving an international student so that:

  • Timely and regular information is relayed to families abroad
  • Ongoing support is provided to a student in need, and
  • Comprehensive records are maintained.

Scope

To articulate the University’s practices that will apply to onshore international students in compliance with the ESOS legislation. The critical incidents covered in this procedure may occur at the partner provider teaching locations, after hours and off-shore e.g. natural disasters.

Definitions

Critical Incident: Is a traumatic event, which is likely to cause extreme physical and/or emotional distress involving the University, its staff and/or students.
Critical Incident Team: The group of the University officers responsible for the strategic management of critical incidents.
CUP: Centre for University Partnerships
Partner Provider: Educational institution providing courses and programs of the University through an approved Education Agreement.
Traumatic Event:

A traumatic event is not limited to, but could include:

  • missing students;
  • any fatality or serious injury;
  • a serious traffic collision;
  • murder or suicide;
  • physical / sexual assault or domestic violence;
  • severe verbal or psychological aggression;
  • fire;
  • explosion or bomb threat;
  • a hold up or attempted robbery;
  • serious threats of violence, and
  • storms or natural disasters;
  • drug or alcohol abuse.
University Federation University Australia

Actions

Reporting

  • By students – all international students will be advised during orientation of the details of the University’s Critical Incident Management - International Students Procedure. Each student will be given documentation which contains details of relevant Teaching Location emergency services contact persons and telephone numbers.
  • By staff - all members of staff will be made aware of the Critical Incident Management - International Students procedure.
  • By the responsible University or partner provider staff member in the event of a missing student – once staff are made aware that an international student has been missing from the University for 5 working days (no contact with staff (general or academic) and other students), the International Student Support Officer, or the Partner Provider Director or Campus Manager is to be notified.

Process

During Operating Hours

  • Students and staff are required to notify any critical incident involving an international student immediately to the Director, Student Connect/Partner Provider.
  • Director, Student Connect/Partner Provider will consider the details and severity of the incident and determine what action needs to be taken.
  • If the incident is not severe and can be resolved with resources available Director, Student Connect/Partner Provider will initiate the action to ensure the appropriate level of support is provided. Partner Provider will forward a report of the incident to the Manager, Compliance, Centre for University Partnerships within 5 working days.
  • If the incident is severe and warrants a level of support/assistance from external resources Director, Student Connect/Partner Provider will initiate action to arrange that support. Personal details may be provided to the relevant emergency service/s if the student involved is incapacitated and unable to provide these particulars themselves. The incident must be reported to the the University's Emergency Phone Number 03 5327 6911or Gippsland 5122 6999 as soon as possible after the initial support has been provided. The details of the critical incident will then be forwarded to the University's Critical Incident Team for further action under the University's Incident and Emergency Management Procedure.
  • Federation University Australia's Emergency Phone Number is only to be used by staff of the University or its Partner Providers. International Student Support Officer/Partner Providers will provide students with the contact person details for their teaching location.

Outside Operating Hours

  • Staff are required to notify any critical incident involving an international student immediately to the the University's Emergency Phone Number 03 5327 6911Mt Helen or 5122 6999 Gippsland.NOTE: staff access only as noted above. International Student Support Officer/Partner Providers will provide students with the contact person details for their teaching location.
  • The details of the critical incident will then be forwarded to the University's Critical Incident Team for further action under the University's Incident and Emergency Management Procedure.

Follow Up Action

The University's Critical Incident Team in consultation with Partner Provider (if applicable) will:

  1. monitor the condition of and provide appropriate support to the international student/s through any period of treatment/convalescence;
  2. in conjunction with the University Counsel, ensure where appropriate that family members and other relevant people are kept informed of the condition of the international student;
  3. coordinate the provision of any University based resources required during any period of treatment/convalescence;
  4. liaise with the police and other emergency services personnel;
  5. advise and assist any family members who decide to travel to Australia to support the international student/s with travel and accommodation requirements;
  6. ensure that detailed records are maintained of the incident.

Concluding Steps

In the event of the death of an international student, the Critical Incident Team will ensure the following is undertaken:

  1. contact the family and determine their wishes regarding repatriation of the body, personal effects, religious observances etc.;
  2. coordinate the repatriation of the body and personal effects in line with the family’s wishes and in accordance with Australian regulations;
  3. organise the sending of a letter of condolence to the family;
  4. ensure all administrative actions are taken e.g. adjust the student records database, process any tuition refunds, notify PRISMS etc.

Public Relations

Where the circumstances of a critical incident involving an international student/s (studying at University campuses or partner providers locations) is considered to have some public relations implication, the Vice-Chancellor or nominee, as indicated in the Critical Incident Plan is the only authorised spokesperson to speak to media representatives on behalf of the University.

Responsibilities

The University's Critical Incident Team has responsibility for the implementation of this procedure in liaison with partner provider (if applicable).

  • Strategic Management:
    • The Critical Incident Team, manages the broad organisational response, the continuity of business operations and contingencies, and the recovery and review phases.
  • Operational Management:
    • Emergency Control Personnel, under the leadership of the Campus Warden(s) (Partner Providers will nominate staff member for their location), manage the incident scene until the arrival of Emergency Services in accordance with Incident and Emergency Management Procedure.

Forms/Record Keeping

Records of the Critical Incident forms part of the Critical Incident Plan record keeping system.

Implementation

The Critical Incident Management - International Student Procedure will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice under ‘FedNews’ and through the University Policy - ‘Recently Approved Documents’ webpage to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy / Procedure / Guideline;
  2. correspondence to the University's Deans of Schools, Directors and Partner Providers.