Code of Conduct: putting RMIT’s values into action

Intent and objectives

The Code of Conduct for Staff provides definition on how RMIT’s values are demonstrated in the day-to-day activities of the University. The Code outlines the expected standards of behaviour and how members of the RMIT staff community are to conduct their duties while representing RMIT and working towards achieving the goals of the University. All standards contained in this Code are in addition to the general obligations imposed on staff members including implied duties such as the duty of fidelity and to act in good faith.

Scope

The Code applies to all staff, contractors, agency staff, honorary and visiting appointments and other personnel involved with the University. Other members of the University community who are covered by this Code include members of University committees, the Council and its committees. The Code does not apply to staff employed by RMIT subsidiaries and offshore partner institutions of RMIT

Exclusions

Not applicable

Principles

1. Respecting others

When working with others, staff are expected to treat students, other staff and members of the community with respect for their rights and obligations by:

  • being courteous, honest and fair when dealing with others and when making decisions
  • treating all people justly, irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, race, disability, religion, marital status, age, political conviction or other attributes
  • acting in ways that support the reputation of staff, students, clients or partners of the University
  • protecting the privacy of others and maintaining appropriate confidentiality regarding personal and commercial matters
  • respecting cultural backgrounds of staff, students, clients and partners and conducting activities sensitive to the cultural context in which staff are representing RMIT
  • avoiding behaviour which might reasonably be perceived as harassment, discrimination, bullying or intimidation

2. Behaving professionally

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

  • behaving in accordance with RMIT’s values: Creative, Connected, Fair, Passionate and Committed to Making a Difference
  • behaving in accordance with relevant University policies, contractual obligations or agreements and legislation
  • behaving ethically and taking action to prevent unethical practices
  • maintaining confidentiality of RMIT information which the reasonable person would consider confidential
  • seeking to attain the highest possible standards of performance and providing accurate, timely and useful information to colleagues and students
  • ensuring any public comments made in the University’s name are authorised and in accordance with RMIT’s Media policy
  • responsibly controlling the use of substances that could adversely affect behaviour or performance in line with RMIT’s Health, safety and security policy
  • reporting fraud or corrupt conduct to appropriate internal or external authorities
  • dressing and maintaining an appearance in accordance with standards appropriate to the duties undertaken and the responsibilities held
  • conducting activities in a manner that supports health, safety and wellbeing for all affected members of the RMIT community
  • refraining from acting in any way that would unfairly harm the reputation of the University

3. Avoiding conflict of interest

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

  • performing their duties primarily in the interests of the University’s mission and strategic directions
  • disclosing actual or potential conflict of interest and withdrawing themselves immediately from the situation giving rise to the conflict
  • not misusing the influence of their position to pursue personal, sexual or financial relationships with other staff, students or members of the community
  • not accepting gifts which go beyond common courtesies consistent with ethical and accepted business practices, or which could be considered bribes
  • declaring private paid outside work, including directorships and board memberships in line with RMIT’s Conflict of interest policy

4. Using University resources

Staff are expected to use all University facilities, equipment and processes efficiently, carefully and in a proper manner by:

  • using University resources economically and securing resources against theft, damage, or misuse
  • being green in the workplace: pursuing the principles of sustainability and understanding the impacts and opportunities of their work
  • not using University resources for personal purposes unless permission has been granted in accordance with relevant University policy

5. Recognising intellectual freedom

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. In particular, staff should:

  • act responsibly with respect for the intellectual property rights of others
  • exercise intellectual freedom in a manner consistent with a responsible and honest search for and dissemination of knowledge
  • 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 and openness to others

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

Breach of the Code of Conduct

Failure to behave in accordance with the RMIT Code of Conduct for Staff may lead to disciplinary action.

Staff should report suspected breaches of the Code of Conduct in the first instance to their manager. Particular breaches may be dealt with under the relevant University policy in instances where the policy has a defined reporting or review procedure.

Suspected breaches should be dealt with under the appropriate review procedure prior to reporting to the RMIT Ombudsman. Nothing in this Code of Conduct restricts the right and ability of staff to report concerns as set out within the Protected Disclosure Management Instruction.

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