Student Access, Progression and Wellbeing

Deceased Student Procedure

Policy code: SS2021
Policy owner: Dean of Students and Registrar
Approval authority: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Approval date: 15 February 2018
Next review date: 25 March 2025

Purpose

To enable the University to respond in a timely, compliant, and sensitive way to the death of a student, whilst endeavouring to minimise distress to the student’s next of kin, fellow students, and staff.

Scope

This procedure applies to all Federation University students and staff and covers student death for the duration of their enrolment at Federation University, including periods of Leave from Studies and lecture breaks. For International Students, this also includes any periods of their student visa where this is outside of the length of their Confirmation of Enrolment.

Legislative Context

•   Statute 5.6 Admission to and Granting of Academic Awards

•   Statute 9.1 Fees & Charges (Higher Education Division)

•   Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic)

•   Standard 6 – Student Support Services:  National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018

•   Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015

•   The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act)

Definitions

A complete list of definitions relevant to this procedure is contained within the Federation University Health and Safety Policy.

A further list of definitions specifically relevant to this procedure is included below:

TERM DEFINITION
Case Manager A Federation University staff member appointed by the DVC (Academic) to lead and direct all actions pertaining to the death (or reported death) of a student
Crisis Management Incident Register The University’s central repository for all record-keeping in relation to crisis management.
Crisis Management Team A University department with overall responsibility for managing critical incidents and crises involving the University, its staff and students.
Partner Contact Officer A designated member of staff at a Partner Provider to whom the Case Manage may delegate certain responsibilities under this procedure.

Actions

1. Appointing a Case Manager

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A Appointing a Case Manager DVC (Academic) or nominee
  1. Appoint a Case Manager to act in accordance with this policy.
    a) The DVC (Academic) will appoint the Dean of Students and Registrar as the Case Manager.

    Note: The Case Manager may delegate to designated Case Coordinator as approved by DVCA

  2. If the student is a student of a Partner Provider, the Provider shall appoint a Partner Contact Officer, who will operate under the direction of the Case Manager.

2. Notification

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Notifying Police or Emergency Services

All Staff (including Partner Providers)

Security

Case Manager

All Staff (including Partner Providers)

  1. When a student dies on campus, Security must be notified immediately (1800 FED SEC). The Incident and Emergency Management Procedure otherwise applies.
  2. Security will coordinate emergency service response and notify the DVC (Academic) and Case Manager.
  3. In all cases, the Case Manager or DVC (Academic) must notify the Vice-Chancellor and Crisis Management Team Leader or Coordinator of the death as soon as possible.
  4. If death occurs off-campus, staff must contact Emergency Services (000), and notify their Dean/Director who will notify the Case Manager. Staff at Partner Providers must contact Emergency Services (000) and notify the Manager, Partner Relations, who will notify the Case Manager.
B Where a staff member is notified of a student death by a third party All Staff

1.        Obtain the student’s name and student number.

2.        Obtain the name, contact phone number and relationship to the student of the person making the notification.

3.        Notify their Dean or Director (or for staff at Partner Providers the Manager, Partner Relations) who will notify DVCA, or the Case Manager, as soon as possible and within 1 day of the initial notification and forward to the Case Manager, all information obtained.

       

3. Verification of the death

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Verifying the death Case Manager
  1. The Case Manager will take reasonable and sensitive steps to verify the death. This may include via:
  • A reliable source such as the student’s family;
  • Notification from an official government agency such as the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages;
  • A copy of the Death Certificate, Coroner’s Report or police report which explicitly indicates the student’s death;
  • A letter from a solicitor or executor of the deceased’s estate;
  • Death notice in the local newspaper; or
  • Other evidence as deemed appropriate by the Case Manager.

2.      The Case Manager will be the contact point for all external individuals/bodies and emergency services in the process of verifying the death.

3.      In the event that the student’s death cannot be verified, the Case Manager will instruct the Associate Director Student Administration and Deputy Registrar to halt all correspondence to the Student until such time as the death can be verified.

B Notifying the Crisis Management Team Case Manager The Case Manager will notify the Crisis Management Team
C Documenting student death in the Crisis Management Incident Registrar Crisis Management Coordinator

The Crisis Management Coordinator will document the student’s death in the Crisis Management Incident Register. This should be done within 24 hours of notification.

Note :

Applies for all students for the duration of their enrolment, including during approved Leave from Studies and University holidays, until graduation. 

For International Students this includes the entirety of the duration of their Confirmation of Enrolment and/or their student visa.

4. Communication

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Communicating with family Case Manager
  1. The Case Manager shall act as the point of contact with the deceased student’s family and coordinate all formal interactions.   
  2. The Director, Corporate Communications and Government Relations will coordinate sending of letters of condolence from the University
B. Communicating with the media Crisis Management Team
  1. The Crisis Management Team will
  • Co-ordinate all external communications regarding the death; and
  • Ensure that all relevant staff and students are appropriately briefed as to how to direct and handle media enquiries.

Under no circumstances should staff (including Partner Providers) make any external comment or communication about the death without the express authority of the Crisis Management Team

C. Notifying Student Records Case Manager/Others as indicated
  1. Following verification, or subject to Activity 3A above, the Case Manager will notify as soon as possible:

a)   Student Administration to:

i.     Send out a Deceased Student Memorandum to the parties listed in C.1.a-k .

ii. Add the deceased NSI to the student's enrolment record and change student program plan status to discontinued for active programs;

iii. Change student’s address and contact details to:  c/- Student Administration and  remove enrolments into subjects

vi. Tick the ‘No communication’ field on the student study plan in FDL

vii. Update the CRM student record to ‘deceased; to stop communications

b)   Dean, Learning and Teaching, who will make the necessary arrangements in respect of the student’s learning technology accounts.

c)   Director Academic Services and Support, who will instruct the relevant School to remove the student from all class lists.

d)       The Senior Manager, Wellbeing, who will assist in notifying relevant staff and students about the availability of counselling and support services.

e)       The Director, Library and Learning Spaces, who will;

                          i.            Update the relevant systems to ensure that no automatic requests or notifications are sent to the student;

                             ii.        Use sound judgement and act sensitively in seeking to recover any outstanding library items, if deemed appropriate to do so.

f)     The Director, Information Technology Services, who will make the necessary arrangements in respect of the student’s email account and network access. Student email account is deactivated automatically once student’s Campus Solutions profile is marked as deceased. After 90 days, the account is deleted.

g)   If the deceased student is a Federation University Living student, notify the Executive Director, Ballarat Technology Park and Commercial Services. The procedure relating to the death of a student who was resident in University accommodation is set out below.

h)   The Associate Director, Financial Operations, who will halt all bills, invoices and/or requests for payment pertaining to the student.

i)     The Advancement Manager, if the student is an alumnus.

j)     The Senior Manager, University Service & Contact Centre, who will direct:

                          i.        Calls from the media or public to the Corporate Communications Office;

                         ii.        All other calls to the appointed Case Manager.

k) If the deceased student is an International/Overseas Student, notify DVC Global and Engagement and the Critical Incident Management - International Students Procedure also applies.

5. Academic Status

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Amending student’s record Student HQ
  1. The student’s record will be marked as ‘Deceased.’
  2. In cases where a deceased student has completed, or is close to completing, the requirements of their academic award the University’s Posthumous (Coursework) Awards Procedure applies.

6. Federation Living Students

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Dealing with matters related to Federation University Living Case Manager
  1. Where the deceased student was a resident of University accommodation at the time of death, the Case Manager will:

                    a)    arrange for the collection and return of the student’s personal effects; and

                    b)    Ensure that an appropriate member of staff is available to escort the student’s representative to the student’s room in the event that they wish to collect the effects in person;

                    c)    Instruct the Manager, Administration & Business (Commercial Services) to undertake any of the following steps as relevant:

i.      Lock and secure the student’s room;

ii.    Where relevant, co-operate with police and ambulance services;

                    d)        Consult with the Senior Manager, Wellbeing, regarding the management of information to other student residents, and measures that may assist with the management of grief. This will include information about counselling for students and staff.

7. Students of Partner Providers

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Dealing with matters related to students enrolled at Partner Providers Partner Provider/others as indicated
  1. If the deceased student is enrolled at a Partner
  • Provider :The Partner Provider shall appoint a Partner Contact Officer to act under the direction of the Case Manager in accordance with this policy;

2.      The Critical Incident Management - International Students Procedure applies in respect of Overseas Students.

Responsibility

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor, (Academic) as the Approval Authority is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this procedure.
  • Dean of Students and Registrar (as the Policy Sponsor) is responsible for maintaining the content of this procedure as delegated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

Promulgation

This procedure will be communicated throughout the University community via:

1.    A FedNews announcement and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the University’s Policy Central website.

2.    Distribution of e-mails to Deans and Directors group

3.    Distribution of emails to Partner Providers via the Manager, Global Professional Services

Implementation

This procedure will be implemented throughout the University via [delete or add to as appropriate]:

1.    A FedNews announcement and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the University’s Policy Central website.

2.    Distribution of e-mails to Deans and Directors group

3.    Distribution of emails to Partner Providers via the Manager,  Global Professional Services

4.    Training of the Case Manager (including temporary appointments when Case Manager is on Leave) conducted by Crisis Management Team

5.    Staff induction sessions.

Records Management

DOCUMENT TITLE LOCATION RESPONSIBLE OFFICER MINIMUM RETENTION PERIOD
Records of all actions and decisions pertaining to this procedure by the Case Manager and Crisis Management Team, and records of all student deaths (including Partner Provider students, and deaths off-campus) Crisis Management Incident register. Crisis Management Coordinator 2 years
Deceased Student Procedure Checklist Crisis Management Incident Register Case Manager 2 years