Critical Incident Policy and Procedure


Critical Incident Policy and Procedure

Latest Amendment/Approval Date: April 2022

1. Purpose

1.1 This policy and its associated procedures outline the College’s response to critical incidents, including:

  • Immediate response procedures;
  • Appropriate support and counselling services available;
  • Management of long-term consequences;
  • Provisions for incidents involving international students.

2. Scope

2.1 This policy and its associate procedures apply to all students, staff, contractors, volunteers, and visitors—on and off campus while participating in College activities, including locally and overseas.

2.2 This policy and the procedures do not apply to minor injuries or accidents that affect an individual or isolated area(s) and do not pose and additional threat or risk to students, staff, contractors, volunteers, visitors, property, or affect the College’s operations and/or reputation. Such minor incidents are managed under the College’s Workplace Health & Safety Policy and Procedures.

3. Definitions

Critical Incident means a traumatic event, or the threat of such (within or outside Australia) which causes extreme physical and/or emotional distress. Critical incidents are not limited to, but could include:

  • Sexual assault, or assault of any other kind;
  • Sexual harassment, or harassment of any other kind;
  • missing persons;
  • severe verbal or psychological aggression;
  • kidnapping or attempted kidnapping:
  • death;
  • serious injury;
  • attempted murder or suicide;
  • fire, explosion, bomb threat or toxic chemical release;
  • natural disasters;
  • domestic violence;
  • robbery;
  • drug or alcohol abuse

Nb. Non-life threatening events may still qualify as critical incidents.

Critical Incident Management Team means the senior staff responsible for managing the incident after it has been reported by the Contact Person.

Contact Person means the individual(s) available at all times with immediate responsibility for controlling the situation and documenting details of the incident to report to the Critical Incident Management Team.

International Student means a person who is legitimately enrolled at Campion in an academic program and who is not a citizen of Australia or New Zealand and who does not hold Permanent Residency status in Australia.

Staff Member means any staff member of Campion whether full-time, part-time, casual or sessional.

Student means a person who is legitimately enrolled at Campion in an academic program (including overseas students).

4. Principles

4.1 Campion is committed to implementing appropriate procedures to respond to critical incidents in order to provide for the safety and security of students, staff, contractors, volunteers, and visitors . Appropriate management of a critical incident may also mitigate the impact of an incident upon the College’s operations.

4.2 Campion acknowledges that international students studying in Australia have special needs due to distance from family, language and cultural issues and lack of familiarity with government and community support systems. The College has specific obligations relating to critical incidents involving international students under the ESOS legislation.

5. Policy

5.1 Campion College’s approach to Critical Incident Management incorporates the following key components:

  • Implementing the Critical Incident Management Procedures as outlined in Item 6, below.
  • Providing guidelines for the immediate response to incidents and subsequent monitoring of the situation;
  • Allowing for individuals impacted by a critical incident to access external emergency services and follow-up care;
    Reviewing the procedures annually or after every incident.
  • Notifying all students and staff of the Critical Incident Management Procedures.
  • Providing training, when needed, for staff and students with designated responsibilities.

6. Procedures

6.1 Contact Persons

6.1.1 Campion has designated Contact Persons in the event of a critical incident. Individuals involved in a critical incident may telephone a Contact Person at any time (24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the exception of the Receptionist during business hours). Contact details are provided to staff at the point of induction and to students at Orientation. Students are also provided with details of local emergency services and health providers in the Student Handbook.

6.1.2 The current Contact Persons are:

  • Director of Operations (Primary Contact Person) (Office: 9896 9320; Mobile: 0409 188 166)
  • Receptionist—First Aid Officer (9896 9300)
  • Senior Resident Tutor—First Aid Officer (0434 764 147)
  • SASH Contact Officer (0402 732 379)

6.1.3 The names and phone numbers of the Contact Persons are available on the student noticeboard and Student Handbook.

6.1.4 Contact Persons will inform students of the existence of support services (Appendix A) and how to access them.

6.2 Critical Incident Reporting

6.2.1 Any staff member or student who becomes aware of a critical incident involving threat to life or risk of serious harm to a student, staff member, contractors, volunteers, visitors, or property, must immediately notify the Emergency Services by calling 000.

6.2.2 Any staff member or student who is notified of a critical incident or receives a report of a critical incident involving a student, staff member or visitor to Campion must immediately:

  • during business hours (9am – 4pm weekdays) notify Reception (9896 9300) or the Director of Operations (Office: 9896 9320; Mobile: 0409 188 166) in person or by telephone.
  • at other times notify any one of the Contact Persons listed above. (refer to the phone numbers above).

6.2.3 The Contact Person will:

  • Attend the location and assess the situation;
  • Offer immediate assistance to persons involved in the incident;
  • Organise any additional support required;
  • Remain at the location to liaise with Police or other emergency services as necessary;
  • Document details of the incident
  • Inform members of the Critical Incident Management Team and provide them with a report.

6.3 The Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT)

6.3.1 The Critical Incident Management Team comprises:

  • The President
  • The Dean of Studies
  • The Director of Operations
  • The Senior Residential Tutor
  • Other specialists asked to join the CIMT for a particular incident relevant to their area

6.3.2 Other personnel that may need to be advised and be required to respond include:

  • The Contact Officer in cases of sexual assault and sexual harassment
  • The Chairman of the Board of Trustees

6.3.3 If a critical incident occurs, upon notification of the incident by the Contact Person and depending on the scope of the incident, the CIMT will be required to:

  • If required, co-ordinate emergency evacuation procedures.
  • Access student or staff records to verify family information and contact details, and contact family if necessary.
  • Make an assessment as to whether the circumstances are such as to warrant any further immediate action.
  • Liaise with emergency services to ensure effective ongoing management of the incident and recovery.
  • Formulate and implement a critical incident action plan, addressing risks and response actions, including liaison with external emergency services or support agencies.
  • Notify TEQSA if required.
  • Notify, if international students are affected, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and/or the student’s next of kin.
  • Notify, if international underage students are affected, the parents or legal guardians of that student, as well as the government institutions mentioned above.
  • Formulate and implement a communication plan, including with students’ relatives, carers, foreign embassies and the media.
  • Formulate a plan for appropriate after-incident care (including counselling) for those directly and indirectly affected by the incident and define personnel, resources and timelines for its implementation.
  • Ensure the effective implementation of after-incident responses (including effective communication to the College community and, where appropriate, the wider community).
  • Complete a Critical Incident Report.
  • Review and update these procedures as soon as practicable following any incident; or in accordance with the regular policy review cycle.

6.3.4 Where a critical incident involves an international underage student, disrupts the accommodation and welfare of that student, any change to those arrangements must be reported on PRISMS and the parents/guardians must be notified (see also Underage Management Policy).

7. Roles and Responsibilities

7.1 All students and staff must be aware of this policy and the procedures for managing a Critical Incident and the contact details of the designated Contact Persons.

7.2 As members of the CIMT, the Campion Executive is responsible for the implementation and regular review of these procedures, including providing any Critical Incident Reports to the Institute Board.

7.3 The Campion Executive is responsible for arranging the training of the designated Contact Persons.

7.4 The Student Life Coordinator is responsible for taking part in the CIMT’s actions and responsibilities during the management of a critical incident, including the review of the procedures.

7.5 The Student Wellbeing Team is responsible for monitoring the ongoing health and wellbeing of students affected by a critical incident, reporting any concerns to the Campion Executive Committee, and making recommendations for the management of such incidents in the future.

8. References

8.1 This policy was benchmarked against:

  • Critical Incident Management Procedure, University of Notre Dame
  • Management of Critical Incidents Policy, University of Notre Dame
  • Critical Incident Management Policy, Australian Catholic University

8.2 TEQSA Guidance Note: Wellbeing and Safety (8 January 2018)

Appendix A

Police, Ambulance, Fire000
Wentworthville Police Station
1 Wentworth Ave (Cnr Wentworth Ave and Railway St) Wentworthville
02 9688 8499
Westmead Hospital
Corner of Darcy and Hawkesbury Rds, Westmead
02 9845 5555
Medical Centres:
Toongabbie Family Practice
52 Aurelia St, Toongabbie
(shops side of train station)
8.30am – 5.30pm Mon-Fri; 8.30am - 12pm Sat
02 9636 2337
Wentworthville Medical Centre
122 Station St, Wentworthville
7am - 10pm Mon-Fri; 8am - 10pm Sat/Sun
02 8868 3800
Winston Hills Medical Centre
Winston Hills Shopping Centre, 180 Caroline Chisholm Dr
(access is from outside the centre on the Caroline Chisholm Dr side, near Winston Gardens Chinese Restaurant)
9am - 7pm weekdays, 9am - 1pm Sat; 10am - 1pm - Sun
02 9838 4800
CatholicCare Parramatta
Free counselling appointments (service agreement with Campion by appointment)
02 9630 7788
Counselling: Anne-Marie Goes
Bethany Health Centre, Strathfield
0402 472 619
Lifeline Australia
24hr counselling service
13 11 14
Mission Australia
24hr Family & Friends of Missing Persons support line
1800 227 772
National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service1800 737 732