Critical Incident Management Communication Procedure

Document Number000914
Date Approved13 April 2010
   

1.0   Introduction

The Critical Incident Management Communication Procedure should be read in conjunction with the Critical Incident Management Policy (000828) and Critical Incident Management Procedure (000829).

The University of Newcastle recognises that accurate and timely internal and external communications are an essential component of effectively managing a critical incident. 

This procedure is designed to guide the management of communication in relation to critical incidents to ensure the University:

  • meets its duty of care requirements in keeping relevant internal and external stakeholders informed 
  • is able to communicate to stakeholders quickly, accurately and effectively
  • adopts a systematic, coordinated and centralised approach to communications.

 

2.0   Procedural Intent

This procedure outlines how internal and external communications are to be managed upon the declaration of a critical incident, and in the longer term.

This procedure operates in conjunction with the Critical Incident Management Policy and the Critical Incident Management Procedure

3.0   Relevant Definitions

In the context of this document:

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.

Internal and external communication means information that is released publicly to inform and update stakeholders on the critical incident and its management. 

Stakeholder means any person within the University (staff, students, other workers and visitors) and external to the University (media and media officers from relevant agencies for example emergency services media officers).

 

Further relevant definitions are contained within the University’s Critical Incident Management Policy (000828) and Critical Incident Management Procedure (000829).

 

4.0   Principles

4.1   All internal and external communication will be managed in accordance with Part 3 of the Critical Incident Management Procedure – Roles, responsibilities, actions and communications within the management phases of a critical incident.

4.2   The Director Marketing and Public Relations, or the alternative representative, Manager Media and Public Relations, will be notified as soon as practicable during phase 1 – Immediate response to a critical incident as outlined in Part 3 of the Critical Incident Management Procedure – Roles, responsibilities, actions and communications within the management phases of a critical incident.

4.3    The Director, Marketing and Public Relations, supported by the Media and Public Relations team, will provide communications management advice and support, and assist with (and where appropriate coordinate) the development and implementation of internal and external communication during the four phases of critical incident management as outlined in the Critical Incident Management Procedure.  Internal and external communication includes, but is not limited to:

  • electronic communication with students and staff (including email, copy for the website, copy for SMS alerts)
  • call centre scripts
  • media management (including liaison, talking points, interviews, releases, conferences, site visits)
  • liaison with media officers from relevant agencies

4.4   The development of internal and external communication will be based on information verified by the Critical Incident Director.

4.5    Prior to release, all internal and external communication will be cleared by the Critical Incident Director, the Vice-Chancellor or the relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

4.6   The Media and Public Relations team will maintain a log of all internal and external communication interactions during all phases of the critical incident management.

 

5.0   Essential Support Document

Critical Incident Management Policy 000828

Critical Incident Management Procedure 000829

6.0   Related Documents

University of Newcastle Media Policy 000894

University of Newcastle Media Procedures (under development)

University of Newcastle Media, Branding and Advertising Delegations

 

Approval AuthorityVice-Chancellor
Date Approved13 April 2010
Policy SponsorVice-Chancellor
Policy OwnerUniversity Secretary
Policy ContactDirector, Corporate Services
Amendment History

Change to Definition of Critical Incident, approved by Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Services 31 July 2012.

New procedure approved as part of changes to Critical Incident Management Procedure 000829, approved Vice-Chancellor 13 April 2010. This Procedure replaces the Critical Issues Media Management Policy 000599.