CRITICAL INCIDENT POLICY
Educare College recognises the effect critical or traumatic incidents can have on students and how these affect their education outcomes.
CRITICAL INDICENT POLICY
Educare College recognises the effect critical or traumatic incidents can have on students and how these affect their education outcomes. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to respond to a critical incident and to minimise, where possible, the impact on students who are affected and impacted (post incident, by providing appropriate and adequate support).
The Critical Incident policy is intended to provide a framework for the response to, and management of, critical incidents that pertain to domestic and international students studying with Educare College. Educare College has an obligation to notify WHS, DESBT and DOHA as soon as practical after the critical incident.
For international student management, a critical incident is defined by the ESOS National Code, Standard 6, as ‘a traumatic event, or the treatment of such (within or outside Australia), which causes extreme stress, fear or injury’. Critical incidents may include but are not limited to:
- Missing student;
- Workplace health and safety incident;
- Severe verbal or psychological aggression;
- Death, serious injury or any threat of these;
- Aggressive behavior/assault;
- Witnessing a traumatic event;
- Child/person abduction from educare college site
- Natural disaster both within Australia or home country; and
- Issues such as domestic violence, sexual assault, drug or alcohol abuse.
All critical incidents should be reported using the Educare College’s Critical Incident Form. The form may be used to inform an investigation into the critical incident, therefore all information must be an accurate representation of the incident.
Educare College adheres and implements process for appropriate, effective and speedy responses to, and management of, critical incidents. Priority will be given to responding to and managing critical incidents.
Educare College has staff members designated to assist in the prevention and management of critical incidents, or off campus in the case of an overseas student for whom Educare College has undertaken care responsibilities or other students and staff involved in Educare College-related activities.
The critical incident team includes the Principal Executive Officer, Training and Compliance Manager, Manager, International Services and the Student Management Officer.
The responsibilities of the team include:
- risk assessment of hazards and situations which may require emergency action;
- analysis of requirements to address these hazards;
- establishment of liaison with all relevant emergency services e.g. police, fire brigade, ambulance, community emergency services, hospital, poisons information Centre, community health services;
- 24-hour access to contact details for all students and their families [for overseas students this includes agents, consular staff, embassies, interpreter services];
- 24-hour access to contact details for all relevant faculty or staff members needed in the event of a critical incident;
- development of a critical incident plan for each critical incident identified;
- assisting with implementation of critical incident plans;
- dissemination of planned procedures (including provision of a summary of the Critical Incident Policy in plain English and highlighting the critical incident contact person for distribution to all students, and especially international students);
- co-ordination of appropriate faculty and staff development; and
- regular review of critical incident plans (including an annual review of contact numbers to ensure currency).
The Principal Executive Officer will be responsible for critical incident procedures and for designating an appropriate member of critical incident team as team leader.
Designated Team Leaders within Educare College will guide critical incident response and management from first report of an incident to completion of the response, including review and evaluation of responses to the incident.
Other than the Principal Executive Officer, members of the Educare College staff must not communicate with the media concerning a critical incident unless they are approved by the Principal Executive Officer to be a spokesperson in relation to the incident.
Educare College approved records management system will have effective processes for record-keeping and records management in relation to critical incidents.
- In the event of a critical incident, the following steps must be taken to ensure safety and well-being of all students and staff.
- Evacuate building, if necessary;
- Contact emergency services as appropriate;
- Advise Student Management Officer and/or Manager, International Services
- The Student Management Officer or the designated team leader will:
- Provide all those affected by the incident with access to information;
- Coordinate the de-briefing of those affected within 8 hours of the incident;
- In the case of international students advise DOHA and student’s family, if appropriate;
- Liaise with emergency services or authorities, if required;
- Monitor the need for counselling for those affected by the incident and facilitate, if required.
- Record of incident to be made and kept in administration and/or student files. In the event of any injury or critical incident to a student, details are to be recorded in the Critical Incident Form. Completed forms are to be forwarded to the Student Management Officer who will ensure appropriate registration of the incident and required follow up procedures are followed.
- Post-Incident support services – If the Student Management Officer perceives that a student appears to require counselling or other support following a critical incident, they will approach the member of Critical Incident Team to identify and discuss potential supports and actions. The student who involved in or present during a critical incident will receive post-incident support such as rest, information and transition before leaving the College premises. There may be instances where the Training and Compliance Manager (in consultation with the Principal Executive Officer) may allow a student to not attend classes due to an investigation process and/or severity of the incident. Student involved in a critical incident have a responsibility for self-care. If a student chooses not to participate in debriefing, this should be noted through the Student Management Officer on the Critical Incident Form.
- Follow-Up and Ongoing Support Follow-up is viewed by Educare College as essential, as some find that different aspects of a critical incident come into prominence later and other issues may need to be addressed after by the Critical Incident Team. Follow up should also include a program or site review of the critical incident, including identification of factors and strategies for the prevention of recurrences which may include changes to this policy and process.
- Review of procedure to occur annually. In the event of a critical incident a review should be conducted initially within 2 weeks and then monthly as deemed necessary. The review of critical incidents provides important information for Educare College to develop relevant occupational health and safety policies for the future.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT EDUCARE AT ADMIN@EDUCARE.EDU.AU