Critical Incident Management Policy
|Date Approved||2 August 2007|
The University of Newcastle recognises that critical incidents can arise that have the potential to impact seriously on the safety of staff and students and/or the University’s business continuity. The University of Newcastle further recognises that effective planning, management and rehearsal are the keys to success in the event of a critical incident affecting the University.
This policy and the related procedure are designed to ensure the University:
meets its duty of care obligations in providing the highest possible standard of health and safety for staff, students and visitors and other persons working at or visiting the University;
is able to respond swiftly and effectively in the event of a critical incident;
implements an integrated approach to management of risks associated with critical incidents; and
is compliant with relevant legislation and Standards so that: (i) exposure of persons to health and safety risks arising from critical incidents is avoided or minimized; and (ii) physical and psychological trauma are reduced.
2. Policy Intent
This policy provides a framework for the University’s response to a critical incident in the period immediately following the incident, and for its management of the longer term consequences of such an incident.
This policy and the Critical Incident Management Procedure define the roles and responsibilities of key staff in:
■ the management, coordination and communication of information about a critical incident; and in
■ the recovery and post incident review of the critical incident and its handling.
3. Relevant Definitions
In the context of this policy:
Critical Incident means an event that may cause or has caused:
■ injury to staff, students or members of the University community;
■ major disruption to a faculty, service or the University as a whole; and/or
■ significant property or environmental damage or loss;
and/or poses a serious threat to the financial standing or public image of the University.
A critical incident may require an emergency response and/or special communication mechanisms.
If you have any doubt as to whether an event is a Critical Incident advise your superior immediately.
Critical Incident Coordination Team (CICT) means the team that will be formed in the event of a critical incident to coordinate the management of the incident;
Critical Incident Director (CID) means the staff member who has overall responsibility for coordinating the University’s response to the critical incident.
Critical Incident Recovery Teams (CIRTs) means the teams appointed to manage
Critical Incident Response means the initial response to the incident;
Emergency Critical Incident means an incident which involves the possibility of immediate or imminent threat, physical and/or emotional distress to staff, students and other visitors to the University; and which may be regarded as outside the normal range of experience of the people affected.
Non emergency Critical Incident means a critical incident which does not involve the need for an initial emergency response (for example the development of an avian flu pandemic from a lower phase to a higher phase).
Further relevant definitions are contained within the University’s Critical Incident Management Procedure document.
4. Policy Principles
4.1. Critical Incidents at the University of Newcastle will be managed by a designated Critical Incident Director and Critical Incident Coordination Team.
4.2. The Vice-Chancellor or Deputy Vice-Chancellors will have authority to designate an incident as critical (in line with the definition of ‘critical incident’ in this policy); appoint a Critical Incident Director (CID); and establish the Critical Incident Co-ordination Team (CICT).
4.3. The Critical Incident Director will be responsible for:
i. coordinating the University’s response to the critical incident; and
ii. declaring when the incident has moved from a critical phase to a recovery phase (as defined in the Critical Incident Procedure). The CID will be a member of the CICT.
4.4. The CIC Team will be responsible for managing the University’s response to and its recovery from the incident, with the assistance of Critical Incident Recovery Teams (CIRTs).
4.5. In managing the response to and recovery from a critical incident the Critical Incident Co-ordination Team will have authority to make decisions in line with the Critical Incident Delegations .
4.6. Communication, both internally and externally, throughout the various phases of a critical incident will follow the protocols outlined in the Critical Incident Management Procedure 000829 and the Critical Incident Management Communication Procedure 000914.
4.7. This policy will provide a model for continuous learning and improvement of the University’s performance in critical incident management. To that end, a defined self-evaluation and review process will be followed.
5. Essential Supporting Documents
Critical Incident Management Contact List
6. Related Documents
Incident Report Form
|Date Approved||2 August 2007|
|Date for Review||2 August 2010|
|Policy Owner||University Secretary|
|Policy Contact||Director, Corporate Services|
Change in Definition of Critical Incident, approved by Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Services) 31 July 2012.
Amended links to Procedures 99 and 100 replaced with link to Emergency Procedures Page 12 January 2011.
Amended Policy Contact 24 March 2010.