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DEi incident management procedure

Version number 1.3 | Version effective 23 December 2021
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DEi incident management procedure

Audience

Department of Education International (DEi) staff, school staff, students, homestay providers, international partners, teachers, chaperones, parents/legal custodians of students and their agents.

Purpose

To outline the process for managing incidents involving a student where the incident occurs outside school hours and where the activity is not organised by the school.

Overview

This procedure complements the following Department of Education (DoE) policies and procedures:

  • Health, safety and wellbeing incident procedure, which outlines the management of work-related health, safety and wellbeing (HSW) incidents to ensure compliance with workplace health and safety legislation
  • Student protection procedure, which outlines the responsibilities and processes for employees when dealing with student protection concerns and responding when it is suspected that a student has been harmed or is at risk of harm
  • School alerts procedure which provides the steps for state schools to notify senior executives about critical incidents that may seriously affect the health and safety of school staff, students and/or the school community and/or draw adverse media attention. DEi will be informed by State Schools – Operations where a “school incident alert notification” indicates that an international student is involved in a critical incident at school
  • Infection control procedure and Management of contagious conditions procedure, which outlines the responsibilities for the management of contagious conditions and workplaces to address infection control through both preventative and management strategies
  • Conducting home visits procedure, which outlines a process to ensure that health and safety risks are identified and controlled when conducting home visits. The process includes the requirements for how to plan, conduct and review a home visit.

This procedure supports 1800 QSTUDY (+61 1800 778 839), a hotline for all international students across Queensland and Queensland students and teachers travelling internationally on a DEi global program. The service supports students, agents, parents, homestay providers, teachers and chaperones with 24/7 phone support and general enquires regarding study in Queensland.

Responsibilities

All

  • in the event of an incident or unsafe situation, do what is reasonably practicable to respond, provide first aid assistance and protect the safety of yourself and others
  • escalate the incident in a timely manner to ensure an appropriate response to the incident can be undertaken
  • actively participate in any investigation and subsequent implementation, monitoring and evaluation of actions from investigation recommendations. 

1800 QSTUDY service

  • triage calls received through 1800 QSTUDY using approved scripts, including escalating to DEi first responders when student’s welfare may be at risk
  • undertake responsibilities outlined in the service level agreement.

DEi first responder (DEi staff)

  • respond to incidents and ensure effective communication with all persons involved
  • manage the incident, including respond, escalate, classify and report
  • ensure the safety and wellbeing of all persons involved in an incident, including taking action to prevent further injuries or incidents
  • refer to the1800 QSTUDY handbook for on-call staff (DoE employees only)
  • maintain accurate and up-to-date records.

Cluster support officer

School principal (or delegate)

  • respond to the incident, including to report, follow-up with the student and staff, and undertake corrective actions
  • provide appropriate information, instruction, supervision and training to school staff to enable the implementation of this procedure
  • report incident as per the Action Summary Table.

Director, DEi

  • support the principal with student support and monitoring 
  • monitor and analyse nature of incidents to manage future risk

DEi staff

  • support the DEi first responder to manage the incident
  • maintain and update the 1800 QSTUDY handbook for on-call staff (DoE employees only)
  • maintain DEi’s incident register (Ref: 14/293455)
  • manage the 1800Qstudy@qed.qld.gov.au mailbox
  • provide appropriate information and training to Smart Service Queensland (SSQ), DEi first responders and cluster support officers to enable the implementation of this procedure
  • maintain and update scripts for SSQ
  • provide feedback to SSQ services
  • manage incidents during school holidays
  • maintain accurate and up-to-date records.
  • conduct quarterly incident trend analysis, and where relevant identify, implement, monitor and review corrective actions.

School staff

  • provide students and homestay providers with information during orientation on how to respond to an incident and ensure they remain clear on how to respond to incidents for the duration of the student’s enrolment and stay
  • follow up on issues raised and ensure appropriate intervention is provided
  • maintain accurate and up-to-date records.

Homestay provider

  • contact 1800 QSTUDY to notify of incidents involving homestay students that occur either outside of school hours or during non-school organised activities
  • adhere to the ISP terms and conditions for homestay providers by notifying DEi if a student suffers harm, illness or injury.

Chaperone / Teacher

  • notify DEi staff and/or school staff via 1800 QSTUDY of incidents that occur outside of school hours.

Department of Education International State Schools Committee (DISSC) members

  • oversee incidents at quarterly meetings and keep relevant stakeholders informed of analysis and decisions.

Process

Image 1 Incident management process

Note - Many of the requirements identified in this process may occur concurrently.

1. Respond and escalate

First person aware of incident

  • take immediate steps to make person safe to minimise risk of further injury or damage, if applicable
  • call triple zero (000), or 112 from a mobile, in life-threatening or emergency situations, or the emergency number of the country where the incident has occurred
    • follow instructions from emergency services personnel
  • call 1800 QSTUDY (+61 1800 778 839)
    • provide details of the incident, including the name of the student/teacher, contact phone number, and person/s involved
    • respond to questions from the 1800 QSTUDY service.

1800 QSTUDY service

  • apply the decision tool to classify the incident level and decide whether to escalate or not to escalate to the DEi first responder:
    • where it is decided to escalate the incident to the DEi first responder, call number/s provided by DEi
    • where it is decided not to escalate the incident to the DEi first responder, email 1800Qstudy@qed.qld.gov.au if the caller asks for the school to be notified or when the school is required to respond to a query.

DEi first responder

  • receive the notification of an incident from the 1800 QSTUDY service and request the following information:
    • date and time of incident
    • name of student/s or teacher/s
    • details of the incident
    • for a study tour or global programs student/teacher: the group name, host school name and the student’s nationality
    • for Queensland students/teachers travelling globally, what country and town they are in
  • while responding, classify the level of the incident using the decision tool
    • Level 1 (Extreme) – welfare at risk
    • Level 2 (High and Medium) – welfare possibly at risk
    • Level 3 (Low) – welfare not at immediate risk
  • coordinate the response to the incident by liaising with cluster support officer, the student, homestay provider and chaperone regarding the incident, and provide assistance if required, for example:
    • assist in accessing interpreters
    • provide access to welfare-related support services  
    • liaise with hospitals or medical staff and ensure the student’s parents are contacted to provide consent for medical intervention
    • evaluate situation to determine if a site visit is required by the cluster support officer/s
  • escalate Level 1 (Extreme) incidents by calling the school principal immediately on becoming aware of the incident details
  • escalate with relevant organisations and stakeholders regarding the incident, if required, for example:
    • request homestay provider to call police or emergency services 
    • contact the student’s agent
    • contact Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) provider
    • contact Go Safe Insurance in relation to Qld students and teachers on a global immersion program
  • notify the student’s parent or emergency contact and provide access to interpreters if required.

Cluster support officer

  • follow instructions from the DEi first responder to resolve incident
  • where a student is to be removed from homestay, the cluster support officer must identify an emergency homestay provider and initiate placement as per the DEi student homestay placement procedure
  • inform the DEi first responder of actions taken, maintain communication with the DEi first responder and advise when arrived safe at home after site visit.

School principal

  • support the DEi first responder to manage the incident, including providing assistance with actions to be undertaken, and liaising with relevant organisations and stakeholders regarding the incident, if required, for example:
    • police or emergency services 
    • other state government departments
    • consulate
    • Student protection procedures and guidelines.

2. Classify and report

After responding, the incident may be reclassified if new information emerges or if the incident is resolved.

DEi first responder

  • apply the decision tool to classify the incident:
    • Level 1 (Extreme) – welfare at risk
    • Level 2 (High and Medium) – welfare possibly at risk
    • Level 3 (Low) – welfare not at immediate risk
  • once classified, report as per the Action Summary Table:
    • Level 1 (Extreme) – call school principal immediately on becoming aware of the incident
    • Level 2 (High and Medium) – contact parent/agent/homestay provider/chaperone to advise of incident and school principal (if required) to report the incident
    • Level 3 (Low) – no reporting required.

School principal

3. Record and notify

DEi first responder

  • maintain accurate records of the incident and actions taken, including completing a Record of Contact in OneSchool as soon as practicable and ensuring all school staff managing the student are included in referrals to ensure they are notified of the Record of Contact
  • for students who do not have a student profile record in OneSchool (for example, Study Tour students or Global Programs students), enter all information into the DEi offline record of contact (DoE employees only) email template and send it to the relevant DEi Business unit
  • email the Director DEi and manager of the region (that is, International Student Programs Operations at the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Brisbane) or DEi business unit, as soon as practicable to notify of the incident and action taken
  • ensure all incidents are entered into the DEi Incident register on the next business day (Ref: 14/293455)
  • ensure all records created do not include sensitive information
  • debrief with school staff and relevant business unit on the next business day.

DEi Staff

  • Study Tours and Global Programs to notify and debrief with relevant school’s staff and business unit incidents of any level
  • monitor 1800QStudy@qed.qld.gov.au inbox and forward emails from 1800 QSTUDY service to the DEi school or DEi business unit to respond to queries.

School staff

  • review the record of contact after receiving the OneSchool notification or the DEi offline record of contact (DoE employees only) and contact the DEi first responder and/or cluster support officer for further information
  • discuss the incident with the school principal
  • respond to queries sent from 1800QStudy@qed.qld.gov.au.

School principal

  • review the entry in OneSchool or the DEi offline record of contact (DoE employees only) and identify if the incident needs to be investigated. The minimum level of post incident investigation is as follows:
    • Level 1 (Extreme) – Welfare at risk – School principal to commence a detailed investigation as soon as practicable on becoming aware of the incident, and follow the Student protection procedure for student protection matters
    • Level 2 (High and Medium) – Welfare possibly at risk – School principal to commence a standard investigation or quick assessment as soon as practicable
    • Level 3 (Low) – Welfare not at immediate risk – investigation not required
    • undertake investigation (either detailed or standard investigation or quick assessment)
  • prepare and implement suitable corrective actions to reduce the risk of the incident re-occurring and inform school staff, homestay providers, students and parents about these corrective actions
  • regularly update the Director, DEi and/or school/DEi staff with outcomes of the corrective actions implemented ensuring the OneSchool record of contact is maintained.

Director, DEi

  • support the principal with the required corrective actions and on-going student support (if required)
  • ensure all corrective action is taken and relevant policies, procedures and documents are reviewed and amended, where required
  • ensure that DEi maintains a written record of any critical incident and remedial action taken by DEi for at least two years after the student ceases to be an accepted student.

4. Student and staff follow-up

School staff

  • liaise with the student, parent, homestay provider, teacher and chaperone regarding the incident
  • follow up on issues raised and ensure appropriate intervention is provided, including an opportunity for student to access welfare-related support services
  • provide opportunity for the homestay provider to access welfare-related support services, for example by referring homestay providers to the department’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) (DoE employees only) provider, which is available to homestay providers that are part of DEi programs
  • where the student is at risk of not meeting attendance or course progress requirements due to the incident, refer student to Suspension of enrolment – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure or consider if circumstances warrant consideration of an Ongoing enrolment – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure.

School principal

  • liaise with school and/or DEi staff regarding the incident and follow up on issues raised and ensure appropriate intervention is provided, including an opportunity for staff to access the department’s EAP or Headspace’s Principals Coaching and Support Service(PCSS)
  • support the ongoing welfare and wellbeing of the student.

Director, DEi

  • liaise with staff, including staff rostered as DEi first responders and cluster support officers regarding the incident
  • follow up on issues raised by staff and ensure appropriate intervention is provided, including an opportunity for staff to access department’s EAP.

5. Monitoring

Director, DEi

  • carry out quarterly analysis of incidents involving students, teachers and/or homestay providers to identify incident trends and use this information to identify, prioritise and manage risks
  • prepare a quarterly incident report and submit it to the DISSC for review and to inform strategic planning to manage risks to students and homestay providers.

DISSC members

  • review the quarterly incident report, agree on prevention strategies to be implemented and communicate incident analysis findings to relevant school-based staff and DEi staff involved in delivery of DEi programs
  • report findings to principals for action.

Definitions

Term

Definition

1800 QSTUDY
(+61 1800 778 839)

A hotline for managing incidents involving international students across Queensland and Queensland students and teachers travelling globally on a DEi program.

Agent

Education agent registered with EQI to recruit students for EQI programs.

Chaperone

Bilingual English-speaking tour escort who is an accompanying adult or teacher that supervises and travels with the study tour or global program group.

Cluster support officer

School staff rostered on-call to respond to after-hours incidents, including site visits.

Corrective action

An action taken to control the risk and reduce the likelihood of injury following an incident occurring or a hazard present.

DEi first responder

DEi staff rostered on call to respond to incidents and record (OneSchool) incidents.

Department of Education International (DEi)

The international branch of the Department of Education and employees of DEi.

The Department of Education’s commercial trading name is Education Queensland International (EQI).

Department of Education International Schools Steering Committee (DISSC)

DISSC membership includes:

  • Executive Director, DEi
  • Director International Student Programs, EQI
  • Director International Business, Sales and Marketing, EQI
  • Director Global Engagement DEi
  • Alliance chairs/Cluster representatives.

Detailed investigation

A strategy based on Incident Cause Analyse Method (ICAM) methodology used to undertake a highly detailed investigation of complex and serious health and safety incidents. Detailed investigations are aimed at performance improvement measures.

Director, DEi

  • Director International Student Programs, EQI
  • Director International Business, EQI
  • Director Global Engagement, DEi

Global Programs

Inbound and outbound global immersion programs delivered by Global Engagement Unit, DEi, which offer participants the opportunity to develop their global competence by exploring new cultures and experience new learnings. Students participating in Global Programs are in Australia on visa subclass 600 (visitor), or are Queensland students undertaking an international global immersion program.

Homestay

Homestay is accommodation services offered by a family, a couple or a single person where food and shelter and a safe, caring and supportive home environment is provided to a Student. Homestay is arranged by schools and/or DEi staff.

For International Student Programs: student accommodation arranged by schools; where DEi is responsible for the welfare of the student at all times, including outside school hours.

Homestay provider

Homestay provider is a family, a couple or a single person who is approved by DEi or schools to host students in their home.

For Study Tours a homestay provider is also known as a Host Family.

For Global Programs this includes families involved in reciprocal global immersion programs.

Incident

An unplanned event which results in harm to people, damage to property or loss to a process.

Any serious injury or illness suffered by a student or any serious threat to a student’s health, safety or wellbeing, which occurs within or outside Australia.

An incident includes a critical incident as defined by the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 as ‘a traumatic event, or the threat of such (within or outside Australia), which causes extreme stress, fear or injury’.

Incident register

A database used to record incidents.

International Partners

Education department or organisation through which short-term global immersion programs are delivered, under international Memorandums of Understanding with DEi.

Investigation

The process of systematically gathering and analysing information about an incident. This is done for the purposes of identifying causes and making recommendations to prevent the incident from happening again.

OneSchool

A comprehensive program to help Queensland State Schools manage key teaching and school administrative activities. Its features cover a wide range of school operations (DoE employees only).

Outside school hours

Generally before 9.00am and after 3.00pm on school days, weekends and school holidays.

Parent

Natural parent or legal custodian.

Quick assessment

A concise assessment of the facts of a health and safety incident. A quick assessment is undertaken to quickly:

  • establish key facts
  • draw conclusions about what caused the incident
  • make recommendations about corrective actions and
  • identify the need for a more detailed level of investigation, if required.

From these facts, the quick assessment should produce a verified description of the incident, including what happened, where, how and why it happened, as well as make some recommendations for corrective and/or preventative actions.

Reasonably practicable

The things that could be done at a particular time to ensure health and safety measures were in place. Deciding what is ‘reasonably practicable’ to protect people from harm requires taking into account and weighing up all relevant matters, including:

  • the likelihood of the hazard or risk concerned occurring
  • the degree of harm that might result from the hazard or risk
  • knowledge about the hazard or risk, and ways of eliminating or minimising the risk
  • the availability and suitability of ways to eliminate or minimise the risk, and

after assessing the extent of the risk and the available ways of eliminating or minimising the risk, the cost associated with available ways of eliminating or minimising the risk, including whether the cost is grossly disproportionate to the risk.

School

For International Student Programs: Queensland state schools accredited by DEi to deliver international student programs.

For Study Tours: Queensland state schools accredited to deliver study tours.

For Global Programs: Queensland state schools and non-state schools.

School staff

Employees of schools with responsibilities to support international students. For example – international student coordinator, homestay coordinator, head of department, deputy principal, accredited officer (study tours).

School principal delegate

School staff who can act on the principal’s behalf, and who have been given appropriate OneSchool access.

Smart Service Queensland (SSQ)

The primary point of contact for the 1800Qstudy hotline. SSQ provides general advice and escalates calls to EQI first responders. 

Staff

Employees of the Department of Education and includes: School staff and DEi staff (for example, Project Officer, Global Engagement Unit).

Employees of non-state schools and international organisations partnered with DEi to deliver Global Programs.

Standard investigation

A process that involves the collection of information relating to one or all of the following areas with regard to an incident:

  • procedures and processes (management systems)
  • environment
  • equipment (plant, machinery and tools)
  • people.

These elements guide the investigator to identify the conditions, actions or deficiencies in each of these areas that may have been contributing factors to the incident.

Student

For International Student Programs: Student in Australia on visa subclass 500 (schools sector) enrolled in an EQI course.

For Study Tours: Student in Australia on a visa subclass 600 (visitor) participating in a group Study Tour program.

For Global Programs: International student in Australia on a visa subclass 600 (visitor), or Queensland student who is overseas, participating in a global immersion program.

Study tours

Short-term commercial programs for groups of students to visit Queensland state primary and secondary schools, to enrich their learning and cultural experiences. Student groups are accompanied by adult tour chaperones. Students participating in Study tours are in Australia on visa subclass 600 (visitor).

Teacher

For Global Programs: Teacher in Australia on a visa subclass 600 (visitor), or Queensland teacher who is overseas, participating in a global immersion program.

Welfare-related support services

Services which address mental, physical, social and spiritual wellbeing. These services may include information/advice about, for example: counselling; financial matters; legal issues; medical issues; mental health; peer mentoring; programs promoting social interaction; religious and spiritual matters; and stress management.

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

  • Nil

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

1.0 EQI Critical incident procedure

1.0 DEi incident management procedure

Review date

24 January 2023
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