Release of information from academic student files procedure

Intent

RMIT manages information about individual students to support requirements for access to information; support student progress procedures; meet audit / regulatory requirements; and to ensure that all information contained within Academic Student Files remains confidential except information which has been placed in the public domain.

This procedure outlines the circumstances in which information from Academic Student Files may be released. The release of information of an academic or personal nature relating to past or present students other than in accordance with this policy is prohibited.

Scope

University wide.

Exclusions

This Procedure does not refer to information contained within student files that may be created by RMIT counsellors, health service, etc.

Procedure steps and actions:

1. Release to meet legal obligations

Procedure

Responsibility

Information may be released, on the authority of the Academic Registrar, to external bodies to the extent required by requests made under proper legal authority consistent with the RMIT Privacy Policy. The principal legal authorities and the information that may be released are as follows:

(a) Subpoena

Information to the extent required by the subpoena, as directed by the officer on whom the subpoena is served.

Academic Registrar

(b) Search Warrant

Information required by the Search Warrant, as agreed between the officer executing the warrant and the senior staff member present. A receipt shall be requested for all documents, files, computer disks etc. removed from University premises.

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(c) Requests from the Ombuds

Information as determined or advised by the University Secretary.

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(d) Release to Bodies External to, but Authorised to Act on, the University's Behalf

Relevant student information may be released on the authority of the Academic Registrar to bodies external to RMIT who have been authorised by the University to act on its behalf in specific matters - on the understanding that all such student information will be destroyed by the authorised external body upon completion of their specified project.

Academic Registrar

Academic Registrar

Release Information from Academic Student Files Procedure 3.1.doc Page 2 of 5

Approved by Academic Registrars March 2005

Academic Registrar

(e) Freedom of Information Act 1982

Information may be accessed by the University Freedom of Information Officer and released to the extent required to comply with requests or determinations under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

FOI Officer

(f) Higher Education Support Act 2003

Designated contact officers in Central Administration may release to the Department of Education, Science and Training or to the Australian Taxation Office information to the extent required under the Higher Education Support Act 2003(or other directives) to administer HECS HELP or other provisions of the Act.

(g) Social Service Benefits, Austudy and Abstudy Legislation

Information may be released to the extent required by legislation to the relevant bodies administering social service benefits, Austudy, Abstudy, etc. Information may only be released in response to a written request, or a request from the Academic Registrar Central Administration in accordance with established benefits checking procedures.

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(h) Other Legislation

Information may be released to the extent required by future state or federal legislation.

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2. Emergency Release

Procedure

Responsibility

In the event of an accident or emergency, or a student becoming incompetent to manage their affairs, personal details may be released to the Police, hospital, civil emergency services, or the student's legal personal representative.

Director of Student Services, Academic Registrar or under the authority of the Vice-Chancellor.

Academic Registrar

3. Release by Student Administration

Procedure

Responsibility

Information may be released in accordance with an authorisation signed by a student authorising the release either generally or to specific bodies or class of bodies of all or specific parts of information from the student's record. The signed authorisation must be retained on the student's Academic Student File. This includes information released to Professional Registration Authorities.

Relevant Student Administration staff member.

4. Release of Information within the University

Procedure

Responsibility

(a) Release to Staff

Information relevant to the conduct and administration of University functions, eg. teaching and research, Library services, student parking, fee collection and student conduct may be accessed by and communicated to staff responsible for the conduct of such matters. The information should be restricted to information necessary for the conduct of such functions and should not normally include academic record details or personal information other than contact address and telephone number, where relevant. Where a student has, in writing, requested a staff member to provide the student with a reference, the record of the student may be made available to the staff member.

Academic Registrar and/or Portfolio/School Administration

(b) Release to Student Bodies

Student contact addresses, telephone numbers and other information collected on behalf of student organisations may, at the discretion of the Academic Registrar, be provided to the Student Union Council or other properly constituted student body.

Academic Registrar

(c) Release to Students

Students are entitled to access any information on their own personal enrolment and academic records. Applications should be made in writing, including sufficient documentation to enable identification to the student's home Academic Portfolio/School Student Administration Office.

Academic Student Files may be viewed at Academic Portfolio/School Student Administration Office.

(Refer FAQ’s ‘Academic Student File Policy’).

Portfolio/School Administration

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