Staff ethics and integrity policy

Purpose

To set out expected standards of behaviour for RMIT staff and rules for managing real or potential conflicts between academic freedom and University values.

Scope

All staff, including consultants, visiting researchers, contractors, third party suppliers, honorary appointments, visiting appointments and agents of the organisation who have access to RMIT’s information systems or information, in the RMIT Group.

The Student conduct policy sets out the expected standards of behaviour for students and the rules of management of student misconduct.

Policy provisions

1. Code of Conduct

1.1. RMIT Group staff, contractors, agency staff, honorary appointments, visiting appointments and members of University committees, the Council and its committees must abide by the Code of Conduct approved by Council.

1.2. Complaints about behaviours that breach the Code of Conduct are reported via the Staff issue assessment and intervention policy process or the Student or third party complaints policy process.

2. Protected Disclosures

2.1. Any individual can make a disclosure to Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission about the conduct of staff or officers of the RMIT Group.

2.2. Disclosers remain liable for their own conduct even though this conduct has been disclosed.

2.3. Disclosures must be made in accordance with the Protected disclosure policy process approved by the Chief Risk Officer.

3. Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology

3.1. Staff, consultants, visitors, contractors, third party suppliers, honorary appointments, visiting appointments and agents of the organisation who have access to RMIT’s information systems or information, regardless of whether the information is held on RMIT’s premises or at other locations, and/or are bound by RMIT policy where their contract of engagement with the University specifically provides for this must abide by the Acceptable use of information and communication technology standard approved by the Chief Information Security Officer.

3.2. Any use of the University’s ICT facilities contrary to this standard may result in withdrawal of access.

3.3. The RMIT Group does not assume legal responsibility or liability for any content placed or communications made on social media platforms by its employees outside of the RMIT Group business.

3.4. Individuals are responsible for content placed or communications made on social media platforms.

3.5. ITS monitors and reviews online behaviour.

3.6. Exemptions to the Acceptable use of information and communications technology standard must be sought via the ITS Policy exemption request policy process approved by the Chief Information Security Officer.

3.6.1. Exemptions must be sought prior to undertaking investigations or research.

4. Conflict of Interest and Outside Activities

4.1. Staff members disclose potential or actual conflicts of interest between their personal interests and their duties, obligations and responsibilities to RMIT. Conflict of Interest guidelines for staff are approved by the:

4.1.1. Senior Manager, Policy and Workplace Relations for RMIT University

4.1.2. Chief Executive Officer for RMIT Training

4.1.3. The President RMIT Vietnam

4.1.4. The Executive Director RMIT Europe.

4.2. It is the responsibility of each staff member, contractor and consultant to understand and disclose actual or potential conflicts of interest via the Conflict of interest policy process approved by the:

4.2.1. Senior Manager, Policy and Workplace Relations for RMIT University

4.2.2. Chief Executive Officer for RMIT Training

4.2.3. The President RMIT Vietnam

4.2.4. The Executive Director RMIT Europe

4.3. For all fixed term and continuing staff, private paid outside work must be disclosed and approved where the work:

4.3.1. Directly or indirectly involves the professional expertise for which the staff member is employed at RMIT, regardless of when the work is undertaken. This includes external directorships and co-directorships of companies; and/or

4.3.2. Would be undertaken during a staff member's required days and hours of work;

4.3.3. Where the University has not stipulated set days and hours of work, the requirement for disclosure applies to private paid outside work that would be undertaken from Monday to Friday inclusive;

4.3.4. This does not imply any requirement for hours of attendance for academic staff; and/or

4.3.5. Impacts on the staff member’s ability to perform in their current role in any way.

4.4. Any other potential or actual conflicts of interest between outside paid work and a staff member’s duties, obligations and responsibilities to RMIT also must be declared.

4.5. For the purposes of disclosure, private paid outside work includes work where a benefit flows to a business enterprise with which the staff member or their immediate family or relatives are associated.

5. Intellectual Freedom and RMIT Group Values and Social Responsibility

5.1. Where necessary, a Sub-Committee of Academic Board is convened to consider and provide advice on academic and research activities that may be thought to conflict with the RMIT Code of Conduct, objects or values.

5.2. The Sub-Committee considers significant, high-risk activities which cannot be resolved via existing processes.

5.3. The Sub-Committee is chaired by the Chair of Academic Board.

5.3.1. Three Professors with relevant disciplinary expertise (one chosen from each College);

5.3.2. One Vocational Education teacher;

5.3.3. One PhD candidate;

5.3.4. Chair of Research Committee; and

5.3.5. Chair of Education Committee.

5.4. The Sub-Committee’s recommendation is submitted to Academic Board for approval.

5.5. The Sub-Committee’s recommendation and the decision of Academic Board are available as part of the Academic Board minutes.

6. Breaches of this policy

6.1. A breach of this policy and supporting documents may result in disciplinary actions. Depending on the nature and impact of the breach, other action may be instigated, including legal action.

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