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To confirm the standards of responsible and ethical behaviour and conduct expected of all University staff and associates.

Responsible Officer: Executive Director, Human Resources Division
Implementation Officer: Executive Director, Human Resources Division

First approved by:
Vice-Chancellor on 21 January 2014

Amendments approved by:
Policy Manager on 7 March 2014
(admin amendment only - remove wording
'Child Protection Policy' (no doc) from 2g);

Policy Office on 02 September 2014
(add last sentence to para 11)

Policy Office on 20 January 2015
(amendment of RO from VC to ED-HRD)

Code of Conduct

This policy was approved by the Vice-Chancellor on 21 January, 2014 and includes all amendments to 2 September 2014.
This includes the following schedule:
Schedule A: Relevant Legislation

To confirm the standards of responsible and ethical behaviour and conduct expected of all University staff and associates.

The Code of Conduct must be considered in conjunction with University legislation and all University policy and procedures, including the Staff Discipline Policy, which may apply if the Code of Conduct is breached.

The Code of Conduct applies to all staff and associates of the University.


Associates: contractors, consultants, volunteers, visiting appointees and visitors to the University.

Conflict of interest: a divergence between the individual interests of a person and their professional responsibilities such that an independent observer might reasonably conclude that the professional actions of that person are unduly influenced by their own interests, including any actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest.

Protected disclosure: a disclosure or complaint made under the Protected Disclosures Act 2012 (Vic) that shows or tends to show (i) a person, public officer or public body has engaged, is engaging or proposes to engage in improper conduct; or (ii) a public officer or public body has taken, is taking or proposes to take detrimental action against a person. Under this legislation a person is protected from any repercussions from the disclosure.

Staff: a member of the academic or general staff, executive or Honorary staff member.

Equity and fairness in the workplace
1Staff and associates must:
a)ensure they communicate professionally, acknowledge the contributions of others and refrain from behaviour that may harm the reputation or careers of other staff, associates or students
b)not engage in unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment or victimisation as stipulated in the Equity and Diversity Policy
c)not engage in workplace bullying as specified in the Workplace Bullying Policy.
Personal and professional behaviour
2Staff and associates must:
a)maintain and uphold the reputation of the University, support its goals and act in its best interests
b)at all times observe and obey the laws of Australia and the laws of any jurisdiction that they are in while on University business
c)behave professionally and ethically, and comply with all University policies and procedures, statutory obligations and professional codes of conduct and practice
d)perform their duties diligently, conscientiously, with integrity and in good faith, and make decisions objectively and ethically, in a fair, timely and reasonable manner
e)work cooperatively and collaboratively with staff, associates, students and University partners
f)treat students, members of the public and other officers, staff, associates and University partners with respect, impartiality, courtesy and sensitivity
g)ensure their practices in relation to working with children comply with all relevant legislation and University policy
h)ensure their use of communications, including email and social media is respectful and professional and complies with University policies and procedures, statutory obligations and professional codes of conduct and practice
i)ensure their private actions (including media communications and communications in social media) and participation in non-University activities uphold the reputation of the University
j)ensure they — particularly academic staff who teach — support or mentor students and do not misuse their position of influence or trust in carrying out their duties, specifically including assessment
k)promptly raise with their supervisors and/or manager any professional and ethical issues that may arise in their work
l)use University property and resources appropriately and in accordance with relevant policies and procedures.
3Academic staff must demonstrate academic integrity in their teaching and research in accordance with University policies and procedures, including the Research Conduct Policy, the Academic Integrity Procedure and the Copyright Procedure.
Conflicts of interest
4Conflicts of interest are assessed in terms of the likelihood that staff and associates possessing a particular interest could be improperly influenced, or might appear to be improperly influenced, in the performance of their duties. Where there is a conflict of interest, staff and associates must act in accordance with the Conflict of Interest Procedure.
5Staff and associates must identify and promptly disclose as soon as they become aware of any conflicts of interest between their personal interests, including financial interests, and their University duties and responsibilities.
6Conflicts of interest arise in situations including (but not limited to):
a)relationships between members of staff and other staff, students or associates where that could have a bearing on decisions to the benefit or detriment of the other person
b)outside employment, activities or private practice.
c)the receipt of gifts and/or benefits received in direct relationship to the person’s role in the University (see Acceptance of Gifts Policy).
7The University is committed to responsible research practices and promotes integrity in research through its Research Conduct Policy and in accord with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. Any breach of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research may be dealt with in accordance with the Staff Research Misconduct Procedure and the Staff Discipline Policy.
Intellectual property
8Staff are encouraged to innovate and develop intellectual property in the course of their employment. Such intellectual property will be fairly and transparently managed in accordance with the University’s statutes and regulations which seek to protect the rights of intellectual property owners and the interests of the University.
Occupational Health and Safety
9Staff and associates must:
a)comply with occupational health and safety laws and the University’s Occupational Health and Safety Manual
b)ensure that best practice occupational health and safety processes are adopted in all University activities, and must take care not to put themselves or other University community at risk or reduce their ability to carry out their duties through unsafe practices or inappropriate behaviour.
c)not allow any alcohol or drug consumption, either licit or illicit to impact on their ability to perform in any aspect of their role.
d)not engage in University activities, including specifically the operation of University plant or vehicles whilst affected or impaired by alcohol or drugs, either licit or illicit.
Confidentiality and use of University information
10It is acknowledged that staff and associates may be granted access to confidential or sensitive information during their roles at the University. Staff and associates have a responsibility to maintain the integrity, security and confidentiality of that information, exercise good judgment and discretion and comply with any University policies and procedures or statutory obligations in relation to that information.
Public comment
11In accordance with the Academic Freedom Policy and the Media Policy, the University recognises and values the right to academic freedom as central to its endeavours in scholarship, teaching and research and is committed to its promotion and protection within the University. It supports the right of its scholars to engage in critical inquiry and robust and unfettered critical debate which extends to engagement with the media. In their exercise of academic freedom staff and associates must at all times comply with the requirements for Personal and Professional Behaviour in Clause 2.
12In accordance with the Media Policy, all media enquiries to non-academic staff, including requests by and invitations to media to visit Deakin campuses, must be referred in the first instance to the University’s Media Relations and Corporate Communications Unit. University spokespersons will be briefed by the Media Relations and Corporate Communications Unit to make public comment on matters of University policy or University management decisions.
Reporting and protected disclosures
13Staff and associates must comply with the Prevention and Control of Fraud and Corruption Policy and the Prevention and Control of Fraud and Corruption Procedure in reporting fraudulent and corrupt practices, breaches of law and other related matters.

Academic Freedom Policy
Academic Integrity Procedure
Acceptance of Gifts Policy
Assessment (Higher Education Courses) Policy
Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research
Conflict of Interest Procedure
Conflicts of interest and duty: a practical guide for directors of public entities
Equity and Diversity Policy
Media Policy
Occupational Health and Safety Manual
Prevention and Control of Fraud and Corruption Policy
Prevention and Control of Fraud and Corruption Procedure
Public Relations and Marketing Policy
Staff Discipline Policy
Staff Research Misconduct Procedure
Workplace Bullying Policy
Workplace Bullying Procedure

Printed copies of this document may not be current. Please refer to The Guide for the most recent version.
Deakin University 2015