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Staff Code of Conduct Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose / Objectives

(1) The Staff Code of Conduct provides a definition of how Victoria University's (VU) values are demonstrated in the day-to-day activities of the University.

(2) The Code outlines the standard of behaviour expected of all VU staff while undertaking their duties.

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Section 2 - Scope / Application

(3) The code of conduct applies to all staff and associates of the University.

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Section 3 - Definitions

(4) For the purposes of this policy, staff means:

  1. all employees of the University, on all domestic and offshore locations, including student residences, and while engaged in all work-related activities such as conferences and work-sponsored social occasions;
  2. all contractors and consultants performing work on University sites or on behalf of the University;
  3. visiting academics, honorary, adjunct and exchange staff;
  4. the Council and its committees;
  5. students as staff; and
  6. any volunteer in the workplace and study environment.
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Section 4 - Policy Statement

Part A - Respecting others

(5) When working with others and while engaged in all work-related activities such as conferences and work-sponsored social occasions, staff are expected to treat students, other staff and members of the community with respect for their rights and obligations by:

  1. being courteous, honest and fair when dealing with others and when making decisions that impact others;
  2. treating all people fairly, irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, race, disability, religion, marital status, age, political conviction or other attributes as protected by law
  3. acting in ways that support the reputation of staff, students, clients and partners of the University;
  4. protecting the privacy of others and maintaining appropriate confidentiality regarding personal and commercial matters; and
  5. avoiding behaviour which may constitute harassment, discrimination, bullying or intimidation.

Part B - Behaving professionally

(6) Staff are expected to carry out their duties in a professional and conscientious manner at all times by:

  1. behaving ethically and taking action to prevent unethical practices
  2. behaving in a way that is consistent with VU's reputation as an accessible and friendly University to all students, staff, clients and partners.
  3. maintaining confidentiality in relation to VU information as appropriate
  4. striving to provide excellence in education, research and knowledge exchange
  5. striving to maintain professional integrity in the conduct of teaching, research and various other roles and duties involved in providing service to the University, and reporting suspected breaches of integrity where these may occur
  6. ensuring any public comments made in the University's name (including Social Media) are authorised and in accordance with the Media Policy
  7. responsibly controlling the use of substances that could adversely affect behaviour or performance in line with VU's OHS Drugs and Alcohol Policy (under review)
  8. reporting fraud or corrupt conduct to appropriate internal or external authorities in line with the University's Anti-Corruption and Fraud Prevention Policy and Procedures
  9. maintaining a professional standard of personal presentation
  10. conducting themselves at all times in a manner that is supportive of the health, safety and wellbeing of all members of the VU community
  11. upholding the reputation of the University, supporting its goals and acting in its best interests.

(7) All staff are required to comply with the laws of Australia, as well as all policies, statutes and regulations of the University, as amended from time to time.

Part C - Avoiding conflict of interest

(8) Staff must take reasonable steps to avoid any actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest and act in the best interests of the University including, but not limited to:

  1. performing their duties in the interests of achieving the University's mission and strategic objectives;
  2. disclosing actual or potential conflict of interest and withdrawing themselves immediately from the situation giving rise to the conflict;
  3. not misusing the influence of their position to pursue personal, sexual or financial relationships with other staff, students or members of the community;
  4. applying the principles contained in the University's Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Policy and Procedure in the matter of the acceptance of gifts or favours; and
  5. declaring private paid outside work, including directorships and board memberships

Part D - Using University resources

(9) Staff are expected to use all University resources, including IT resources, in line with appropriate University Policies and avoid any waste of public resources.

(10) Staff must safeguard, properly use, protect and care for VU resources at all times.

Part E - Recognising intellectual freedom

(11) Staff have a general right to intellectual freedom of enquiry and expression. This applies to areas of intellectual life over which the academic can demonstrate that they possess a level of expertise. When exercising intellectual freedom, staff must:

  1. respect the intellectual property rights of others;
  2. exercise intellectual freedom in a manner consistent with a responsible and honest search for and dissemination of knowledge; and
  3. support the role of the University as a place of independent learning and thought, where ideas may be put forward and reasoned opinion expressed freely while maintaining respect for others.

(12) Intellectual freedom does not justify poor behaviour or disrespectful treatment of others.

Part F - Breach of the Staff Code of Conduct

(13) Failure to behave in accordance with the Staff Code of Conduct may lead to disciplinary action.

(14) Staff should report suspected breaches of the Code of Conduct in the first instance to their manager. Particular breaches may be dealt with in accordance to the relevant Industrial Agreement.

(15) Nothing in this Code of Conduct restricts the right and ability of staff to report concerns as set out within the Protected Disclosure Policy.

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Section 5 - Procedures

(16) Nil

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Section 6 - Guidelines

(17) Nil

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Section 7 - References

VU Policies and Procedures

(18) Privacy Policy

(19) Student Complaints Resolution Policy

(20) IT Hardware and Software Policy

(21) IT Security Policy

(22) IT Appropriate Use Policy

(23) Purchasing Policy

(24) Purchasing (Credit) Cards Policy

(25) Delegations & Authorisations Policy

(26) University Fleet Vehicle Policy

(27) Mobile Phone Usage Reimbursement Procedure

(28) Anti-Corruption and Fraud Prevention Policy

(29) Copyright Material (use of) Policy

(30) Academic Integrity and Preventing Plagiarism Policy

(31) Equity and Diversity for Staff Policy

(32) Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Prevention and Management Policy

(33) Bullying Prevention and Management Policy

(34) Staff Issue and Complaint Resolution Policy

(35) Recruitment and Selection Policy

(36) Records Management Policy

(37) OHS Drugs and Alcohol Policy

(38) Learning and Teaching Policy

(39) Travel Policy

(40) Media Policy

(41) Protected Disclosure Policy

Codes, Standards and Other Instruments

(42) Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes 7th Edition 2004

(43) National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research involving Humans

(44) Human Research Ethics Committee (terms of reference)

(45) Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

(46) Code of Conduct for Research

(47) Equity and Diversity Strategy for Students, Staff and Community

(48) Copyright agreements

(49) Leadership and Management Capability Framework

(50) A VU Framework for Engagement and Partnerships with External Organisations

(51) Victorian Teaching Profession Code of Conduct

(52) Gift, Benefits and Hospitality Policy Framework for the Victorian Public Sector

(53) Victoria University Enterprise Agreement 2013

(54) Victorian TAFE Teaching Staff Multi Business Agreement 2009 / Victoria University TAFE Enterprise Agreement 2014

Relevant State / Federal Govt. Legislation

(55) Copyright Act 1968

(56) Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)

(57) Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic)

(58) Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)

(59) Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)

(60) Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth)

(61) Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)

(62) Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic)

(63) Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 (Vic)

(64) Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004

(65) Fair Work Act 2009

(66) Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (Vic)

Further information

(67) People and Culture