Offshore teaching (fly in – fly out arrangements) procedure

Intent

Part of the RMIT University strategy is to be global. This encompasses attitude, action, presence, and may include working at global locations.

RMIT University recognises that in order to meet this vision and be a truly global competitive education institution having a policy and procedure for international work is crucial.

The intent of this procedure is to support RMIT University as a competitive education institution internationally by adequately preparing and supporting staff before, during and after working offshore.

Scope

All current RMIT University academic staff in Australia employed on contracts formed under Australian employment law who conduct teaching offshore on a short-term basis.

Offshore teaching describes programs where students are located in a country different from the one where the awarding institution is based and are normally studying through a partnership arrangement.

Exclusions

The procedure does not apply when:

  • There are specific arrangements already in place (for example fellowships) which are governed by the terms and conditions of their funding.
  • An RMIT University staff member in Australia is undertaking work outside Australia associated with research leave (academic staff) or sabbatical leave (Vocational Education and Training staff).
  • An RMIT University staff member in Australia proactively applies for an offshore position with another RMIT University entity or an RMIT University Partner.
  • Staff members are recruited in the location where the international work is to be undertaken.
  • Staff members are employed by an institution other than RMIT University as part of a partnership agreement with RMIT University.

Procedure steps and actions

RMIT University values internationalisation and will ensure that all RMIT University staff in Australia who travel offshore for business reasons are suitably qualified, appropriately equipped and adequately prepared.

Any offshore teaching related to the provision of a program will be counted as a part of a staff member’s normal workload where possible and appropriate. Offshore teaching or activities relating to teaching offshore are to form part of a staff member’s workplan. Where it is not possible to schedule within normal teaching load, and the reasons have been outlined, there will be the flexibility to pay above load based on casual academic rates as referenced in the relevant Enterprise Agreement. Pro Vice Chancellor approval is required in these instances.

Selection of staff to undertake offshore teaching will consider the following:

  • Qualifications and experience
  • The needs of the college/portfolio/school
  • Visa/work permit requirements
  • Duration of program/Offshore teaching arrangement
  • Other circumstances where participation in offshore teaching is not feasible

Types of offshore arrangements are described in the definitions section of this procedure.

Employment conditions and responsibilities

RMIT University staff in Australia required to work offshore will be provided with suitable terms and conditions to ensure there is no overall financial disadvantage to staff member.

Staff member’s representing RMIT University offshore will behave in a manner consistent with RMIT University’s and the host organisation’s values at all times. Staff will not in any way harm the reputation of RMIT University or the host organisation. Staff members are required to abide by the host organisation’s policies and procedures, as well as the host country’s legislation during the assignment, and to work in accordance with local custom.

Costs

Before an RMIT University Australia staff member commences an offshore assignment, there should be a written agreement, outlining how the costs will be covered and the relevant internal order number. If the work is above load, reasons as to why this is the case and justification for the additional cost will be outlined. Costs can include salary, payroll on-costs, superannuation, assignment allowances or per-diems, temporary accommodation, travel expenses, insurance, immigration costs, possible tax advice and relocation expenses.

Support for offshore work

Tailored support will be provided depending on the location, duration and nature of the assignment or project. Support for offshore work may include:

  • Travel to and from offshore destination
  • Temporary accommodation at offshore location
  • Travel and health insurance
  • Pre-departure medical advice and required vaccinations (if applicable)
  • Pre-assignment briefing including overview of key tasks, key contacts offshore and destination preview (if applicable)

Other support for working offshore will be considered and determined on a case by case basis and will be agreed in writing prior to the commencement of the assignment.

[Next: Supporting documents and information]