Critical/Non-Critical Incident Management and Reporting Policy

This policy must be read in conjunction with the Critical/Non‐Critical Incident Management and Reporting Procedures.

  1. What is this policy about?
    1. This policy and associated procedures guide the Directorate in managing and reporting critical incidents by providing clear advice on:
      • the level of criticality of an incident
      • which incidents are immediately reportable to the Directorate
      • the purpose and intended outcome of incident reporting
      • the roles and responsibilities in managing and reporting incidents.
  2. Policy Statement
    1. All schools are required to have procedures and strategies in place for managing and reporting incidents and for promoting learning environments that are safe and supportive.
    2. Duty of care

    3. All staff have a duty of care for students and colleagues during the management of incidents and duty of care for students and colleagues during and following stressful and traumatic incidents.
    4. Reporting

    5. Schools will report immediately to the Directorate when any incident, whether critical or non-critical in nature, that results in serious harm or injury or puts the safety of students, staff or visitors at significant risk, or poses a real threat to property or the school environment occurs.
    6. The purpose and intended outcome of efficient and accurate reporting is to ensure the legislative and duty of care obligations of principals and Directorate staff are met, and to ensure the effective resolution of any identified gaps or issues in providing safe work and learning environments.
    7. Recovery and preparedness

    8. Following a critical incident, recovery processes must be implemented and monitored to facilitate a return to the normal daily routine of the school as soon as possible and ensure persons involved were well supported.
    9. Schools will undertake an evaluation of the effectiveness of the incident management and recovery processes to reinforce what worked well and to refine and improve processes should a similar incident occur in the future.
    10. Schools will review and revise as appropriate any school policies and practices or other measures that may contribute to reducing the risk of a similar critical incident occurring again or minimising the impact of a similar incident on students and staff. This may include planning, staff training, acquisition of specific safety equipment, additional infrastructure, and increasing the safety of the school grounds.
  3. Who does this policy apply to?
    1. This policy applies to all school and Directorate staff.
  4. Context
    1. The school’s Emergency Management Plan or the Directorate’s Emergency Response Guide are followed when an incident of a serious nature occur. Emergency response services such as police or ambulance and the School Network Leader are notified as a matter of urgency.
    2. The mandated reporting requirements are set out in the Directorate’s Critical/Non-Critical Incident Management and Reporting Procedures. The information sheet Determining Incident Criticality, and flow chart Directorate Critical Incident Reporting Process, enable principals to determine which incidents must be reported immediately to the Directorate and the required reporting processes to be followed.
  5. Responsibilities
    1. The principal is responsible for implementing this policy in schools.
    2. Principals or their delegate must take all necessary action to ensure staff and students are removed from any imminent or potential danger and, where possible to prevent any further injuries or incidents.
    3. Specific roles and responsibilities for principals and school network leaders in managing and reporting incidents are set out in the Critical/Non-Critical Incident Management and Reporting Procedures.
    4. Policy Owner: The Director, Governance and Assurance is responsible for this policy.
  6. Monitoring and Review
    1. The Policy Owner monitors the policy. This includes an annual scan of operation and review. A full review of the policy will be conducted within a three year period.
  7. Contact
    1. For support contact the Governance and Assurance Branch on (02) 6205 9328 or email det.legal.liaison@act.gov.au.
  8. Complaints
    1. Any concerns about the application of this procedure or the procedure itself, should be raised with:
  9. References
    1. Definitions
      • Critical and/or emergency incident - an event that causes severe impact, such as significant disruption to the school routine, an emergency management situation, loss of a sense of control, or threat to the safety of students and staff. It may be sudden or protracted, extremely dangerous, involve police or emergency services personnel, and generally be outside the normal range of experience or expectation of the people affected. It may involve:
        • a siege/hostage situation
        • terrorist activity
        • natural disaster - bushfire, flood, earthquake, severe storm
        • a bomb threat
        • a lock down, evacuation or temporary closure
        • disappearance or suspicious removal of a student
        • death on campus or a at a school activity
      • Non-critical Incident - An event unanticipated or outside the accepted social norm, for which the school has strategies and procedures in place to manage with little or no external assistance and in the experience of the general community, would not be considered an extraordinary occurrence or situation. It may involve:
        • accident or injury
        • harassment
        • bullying
        • misconduct
        • sexual harassment
        • racism
        • conflict
        • theft
        • brief interruption to the supply of a utility
        • intruders
        • first aid
        • minor flooding
        • minor property damage
        • absenteeism
      • Accident: An event or mishap involving a student enrolled in an ACT public school, staff member, volunteer, contractor, parent or visitor occurring at school or while involved in an approved school-organised activity, where the student or staff member is injured and requires first aid intervention and/or professional medical services.
      • Notifiable Incident: A notifiable incident as defined in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 is:
        • the death of a person
        • a ‘serious injury or illness’ of a person, or
        • a ‘dangerous incident’
        • arising out of work carried out by a business or undertaking and includes any place where a worker goes, or is likely to be, while at work.
        Notifiable incidents may relate to any person whether an employee, contractor or member of the public.
      • Parent is a person having parental responsibility for a child or young person under the Children and Young People Act 2008 (ACT), including a carer under that Act.
    2. Legislation
    3. Implementation Documents
      • Critical/Non-Critical Incident Management and Reporting Procedures
    4. Related Policies and Information
      • Countering Bullying, Harassment and Violence in ACT Public Schools Policy
      • Countering Racism in ACT Public Schools Policy
      • Countering Sexual Harassment in ACT Public Schools Policy
      • Emergency Response Guide
      • IEU Critical Incident Management Guidelines
      • National Safe Schools Framework
      • Protocols for Student Management
      • Providing Safe Schools P-12 Policy
      • School Emergency Management Plan
      • Student Accidents/Incidents Policy
      • Suspension, Exclusion or Transfer of Students in ACT Public Schools Policy
      • Temporary Closure of Schools Policy
      • Unwelcome Visitors to Schools Handbook 2005

Critical/Non-Critical Incident Management and Reporting Policy: CNCIMR201301 is the unique identifier of this document. It is the responsibility of the user to verify that this is the current and complete version of the document, available on the Directorate’s website at http://www.education.act.gov.au/publications_and_policies/school_and_corporate_policies/A-Z.

Policy Identifier: CNCIMR201301

Published: January 2016

Related Policies and Information:

  • Countering Bullying, Harassment and Violence in ACT Public Schools Policy
  • Countering Racism in ACT Public Schools Policy
  • Countering Sexual Harassment in ACT Public Schools Policy
  • Emergency Response Guide
  • IEU Critical Incident Management Guidelines
  • National Safe Schools Framework
  • Protocols for Student Management
  • Providing Safe Schools P-12 Policy
  • School Emergency Management Plan
  • Student Accidents/Incidents Policy
  • Suspension, Exclusion or Transfer of Students in ACT Public Schools Policy
  • Temporary Closure of Schools Policy
  • Unwelcome Visitors to Schools Handbook 2005