A message from Chief Operating Officer Dr Stephen Weller:
As part of a commitment to providing a safe environment for our staff, students and visitors, ACU has been making improvements to Critical Incident Management practices over the past 12 months. A range of initiatives have been implemented to ensure that an effective response can be mobilized at ACU campuses during an emergency.
As part of this work, the University has liaised with experts from RiskLogic to review ACU’s Critical Incident Policy and Procedures. The Policy has been updated to maintain best practice, and is available to view on the ACU Policy website.
Other improvements include:
Security infrastructure: Providing a safer work and study environment through more lighting, security patrols, a network of CCTV cameras, access control, intruder alarms, plus better signage and wayfinding messaging.
One-touch emergency help: The SafeZone mobile app has been introduced for all ACU students and staff. SafeZone gives immediate access to emergency assistance if needed, and can help emergency services to locate you quickly. Download SafeZone to your smartphone at www.safezoneapp.com SafeZone can connect students and staff directly with services such as ACU Security during any incidents on campus, and send you emergency notifications. You can also use SafeZone to notify ACU Security if you will be working alone on ACU premises, or after hours.
Incident Response Group training: ACU Campuses in Ballarat, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Strathfield and North Sydney each have an identified Incident Response Group. Led by the Campus Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean, each group has undertaken critical incident training.
Scenario exercises: The Incident Response Groups have also participated in simulations of critical incident scenarios, to build capability and confidence and to practically examine reactions and road-test planning measures. Scenarios included: Gas Leak, Explosion, and Assault on Campus.
Guidance for all staff: An online staff training module is being finalised, which will give you the knowledge of what to do if any type of minor or major incident occurs. All staff will be required to complete this training.
Guidance for students: Student online training is also being developed.
Systematic review processes: A timetable has been established for the review of emergency process and procedures, including inspections and testing regimes and evacuation drills and exercises.
Respect Now Always campaign: In line with Universities Australia’s ‘Respect Now Always’ campaign, ACU’s Critical Incident Policy has been updated to provide clarity for dealing with sexual assault and harassment incidents, including: - A distinct incident category for Sexual Assault and Harassment, and - Specifying the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Student Learning and Teaching as the Incident Lead.
Support a safe ACU
While safety and security is vital at an organization–wide level, it is equally important for each of us to take responsible steps to ensure a safe environment for everyone. I encourage all staff to support these initiatives by downloading the SafeZone app , to ensure that you can receive prompt assistance during an emergency.
For more information on emergency and security services at ACU, visit the ACU website.