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Travel policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy was approved by the Vice-Chancellor on 18 March 2014.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) The University recognises that domestic and international travel is an essential part of the work related activities of University staff and the study related activities of students.

(3) This Policy ensures that:

  1. University travellers have a clear and consistent understanding of the University's expectations in relation to travel, and how to apply these principles to their travel;
  2. the University maximises its ability to negotiate discounted rates with preferred suppliers;
  3. the University manages travel by University travellers effectively;
  4. the University exercises the appropriate duty of care towards University travellers who are undertaking either domestic or international travel;
  5. travel details are accurately and completely logged for approval, risk management, tax and insurance purposes.

(4) The Travel procedure documents how to comply with this Policy.

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Section 3 - Scope

(5) This Policy applies to anyone who undertakes intrastate, interstate or international travel on behalf of the University, as part of official University business or an approved University program or in connection with official University activities, regardless of the source of funds (including where travel is funded by an external organisation) or duration of travel. This Policy includes travel by students where they are travelling with the approval of the University in connection with University programs and activities.

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Section 4 - Policy

Exercising professional and business judgement

(6) University travellers and Travel authorising officers are expected to act consistently with the following principles when booking, authorising and undertaking University travel:

  1. use of an approved travel provider or Travel Management Consultant (TMC)
  2. safety
  3. convenience of journey, flight times, accommodation and expenses
  4. arrangements are able to withstand public scrutiny
  5. value for money.

(7) University travellers must ensure that their University travel complies with any relevant Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) requirements in accordance with the details in the Taxation policy.

(8) Travellers must not under any circumstances authorise their own travel.

(9) Any travel paid for by the University must be for University business. The University will not pay for private travel.

Travel approval

(10) All proposed staff travel arrangements, regardless of the source of the funding, must be approved in TEMS by a Travel authorising officer prior to booking travel for:

  1. all international travel
  2. all domestic air travel where the University traveller will be away for equal to or greater than five days.

(11) Approval for domestic air travel by staff of less than five days duration shall be approved in writing by a Travel authorising officer at a Faculty or Divisional level.

(12) All proposed travel arrangements by University travellers other than staff shall be approved by a Travel authorising officer at a Faculty or Divisional level.

(13) Approval for intercampus travel or other local travel that involves the use of a University central pool vehicle or a private vehicle must occur via the Smartfleet system or through a Travel authorising officer respectively. Intercampus or other local travel by University assigned or departmental vehicle, public transport, taxis or hire cars does not require approval although the University traveller must be able to justify the use through the credit card reconciliation or reimbursement process where applicable.

(14) Approval for travel encompasses all expenses associated with that travel, including but not limited to airfares, accommodation, car hire, taxis, public transport, meals and other related incidentals.

(15) Staff members who are requesting travel approval will ensure that arrangements are made to cover their teaching, examining and administrative duties during the approved absence. Where such arrangements cannot be made, travel may not be approved.

(16) All University travellers will comply with any conditions set down by a funding organisation for outside funded travel. In the absence of any conditions being applied by a funding organisation the requirements of this Policy and the Travel procedure apply.

University Travel Management Consultant

(17) The University has appointed an Approved Travel Management Consultant to facilitate travel on behalf of University travellers. Use of the Approved Travel Management Consultant is mandatory for all airfare purchases and is preferred for accommodation and car hire purchases (refer to the Travel website for details of the Approved Travel Management Consultant). Accommodation and car hire purchases associated with intercampus or local travel are exempt from this requirement.

Traveller safety

(18) If, prior to travel occurring, DFAT has issued a Level 4 'Do Not Travel' warning for a high risk country or restricted area, that travel must be cancelled or deferred. If travel to a Level 4 country or area cannot be cancelled or deferred then the University traveller must apply in writing to the Chief Operating Officer seeking approval to continue with that travel. Reasons why the travel needs to continue must be provided. Any application for continuation must be forwarded to in the first instance.

(19) If, during travel, DFAT issues an upgrade warning to Level 4 'Do Not Travel' for a high risk country or restricted area the University and the University traveller shall follow the requirements of the Travel procedure.

(20) All international travel details must be registered by the University traveller on the DFAT Smartraveller website prior to the commencement of travel.

(21) The Chief Operating Officer or nominee may recall any University traveller (except students) at any time, or may refuse to approve travel, if it is considered that a University traveller, travelling or due to travel, is or may be at risk. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Global Engagement or nominee may recall students at any time, or may not approve travel, if it is considered that the student, travelling or due to travel, is or may be at risk.

(22) When a University traveller is travelling in an aircraft owned and/or operated by a client for whom the University is providing services or is an aircraft chartered for the purpose of provision of the services, the University traveller must advise the Insurance Office and the Implementation Officer at least five (5) working days prior to travel. The client's or charter aircraft must be a licensed aircraft.

(23) Academic staff undertaking travel as part of an approved Academic Study Leave program are required to comply with the requirements of this Policy and the accompanying Travel procedure.

(24) Students undertaking travel as part of an approved program, where that travel is funded in whole or in part by the University, are required to comply with the requirements of this Policy and the accompanying Travel procedure and other applicable procedures covering Student International Programs and Placements.

(25) Students undertaking travel as part of an approved program, where that travel is funded in whole by the student, are required to comply with the requirements of this Policy and the accompanying Travel procedure and other applicable procedures covering Student International Programs and Placements except that the student may purchase their airfare and accommodation from other than the Approved Travel Management Consultant. Prior to travel all itineraries for students shall be provided by the student's Faculty to the Global Mobility Office for entry into StudioAbroad

Other pre-trip considerations

(26) All travel must be cost-effective with no regard for personal benefits from a travel provider's loyalty program. Points gained through a loyalty program whilst on University travel should wherever possible, be used on further University travel.

(27) Membership of a travel provider's loyalty program or an airline lounge will not be funded by the University unless the membership has been approved by the Vice-Chancellor.

Air travel

(28) All domestic air travel and trans-tasman air travel must be booked using the University's On-line Booking Tool or the Approved Travel Management Consultant (refer to the Travel website).

(29) All international air travel must be booked using the Approved Travel Management Consultant (refer to the Travel website).

(30) University travellers must book a class of air travel in accordance with the following:

  1. Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor: Business Class
  2. The Executive: Economy Class for continuous trips of four hours or less, and Business Class for continuous trips of four hours or more
  3. All other University travellers: Economy Class

(31) The only exceptions to the class of air travel are:

  1. University travellers who have a particular class of airfare stated in their contract of employment;
  2. University travellers who can provide a medical endorsement to their Travel authorising officer indicating that their normal entitlement is unsatisfactory and they require a higher class of travel;
  3. University travellers who personally fund the difference between a higher class of fare and their normal entitlement;
  4. University travellers who have the approval of the Vice-Chancellor to travel in a higher class of travel.

(32) The University has a number of corporate discount agreements in place with airlines. These airlines are considered preferred carriers therefore in the first instance travel with one of these airlines should be considered over other airlines unless the preferred airlines do not service specific destinations. Details of the corporate agreements can be found on the Travel website.

(33) With the exception of participants travelling on a study tour, the number of University travellers travelling together on University travel by air shall not exceed four from the one business area unless prior approval is obtained from the Chief Operating Officer.

Ground transportation

(34) University travellers shall use public transport (where it is safe and economical to do so), University vehicles or hire cars and where these options are not available, private vehicles. The use of University vehicles or private vehicles is governed by the requirements of the Guidelines for Use of University Vehicles.

(35) Taxis should only be used by a University traveller when all other transport means have been exhausted or when the taxi use is considered safer or more cost effective. Taxi use within Australia should be paid by Cabcharge voucher wherever possible. Cabcharge vouchers are available from Corporate Finance or as detailed on the Travel website. A University corporate credit card may also be used to pay for taxi travel.


(36) The maximum standard of accommodation is four star. A higher star standard may be taken in a country or area where there is a security concern or where the higher star standard is less in price than a four star standard. A higher star standard can only be taken following approval by the Travel authorising officer prior to the booking or where approval has been given by the Vice-Chancellor.

(37) University travellers may, where applicable, stay with family, friends or a host if this is a preferred option. Accommodation of this nature is acceptable and encouraged by the University provided that work performance is not affected by any discomfort or inconvenience created by the home visit and the accommodation is a 'no-cost business expense'. For duty of care reasons, University travellers must ensure that stays with family, friends or a host for international travel are recorded in TEMS and details provided to the approved Travel Management Consultant.

Travel insurance and risk management

(38) University staff who undertake International travel approved through TEMS or other travellers whose travel is funded in whole or in part by the University will automatically be provided with insurance cover by the University as specified by the University Travel Insurance, provided that prior to travel an entry is made in TEMS for staff; to the Faculty, Insurance Office or Global Mobility Office for students or to Procurement Services for all other traveller types. If no prior travel advice is provided then the University traveller may not be covered by the Deakin Travel Insurance for the travel in question.

(39) The University traveller will be required to purchase their own insurance for the following elements of travel:

  1. any leisure travel that is taken within, immediately prior to or after a period of University travel that is in excess of 10 days;
  2. any travel by a person or persons accompanying the University traveller on University travel (i.e. a dependent or non-dependent adult family member/partner and/or dependent children).

    This insurance may be purchased by the University traveller through the University's Travel Insurance, which is particularly recommended for continuity of insurance purposes.

(40) Students purchasing their own international travel are required to purchase an applicable travel insurance either through the Deakin Travel Insurance or with an insurer of their own choice. Prior to travel the student is required to provide evidence of the insurance policy and details of their proposed travel to the Insurance Office and to Global Mobility Office.

(41) University travellers who are affected by a critical incident must comply with the relevant requirements detailed in the Travel procedure and the Critical Incident Management policy where applicable.

Travel expenses and payments

(42) The University will reimburse travel expenses that are necessary, reasonable and actual and ensure funds are acquitted within stipulated timeframes and approved budget limits. All travel reimbursement requests must be processed via TEMS for staff, via the Faculty, Research area or StudioAbroad for students and via the University Financial Management System for all other traveller types.

(43) University travellers may, in exceptional circumstances, and with the prior approval of their Travel authorising officer, apply for a cash advance to the Chief Financial Officer where they:

  1. have obtained pre-approval for International travel and will not be receiving a University corporate credit card prior to departure; or
  2. can provide adequate justification that a University corporate credit card cannot be used for some travel expenses and the total of any personally incurred travel expenses is such that it would cause financial hardship.
  3. upon return from travel the University traveller must provide proof of receipt for all purchases made so that a matching process can be undertaken with the cash advance.
  4. any cash advance not used or not matched with a receipt shall be returned to the University.
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Section 5 - Procedure

(44) Refer to the Travel procedure

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Section 6 - Definitions

(45) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. approved Travel Management Consultant: the travel agent/s appointed by the University to facilitate University travel and afforded approved status.
  2. critical incident: is a traumatic event, or the threat of such and may include any natural disaster, outbreak of war (including civil war), invasion, insurrection, revolution, use of military power, usurpation of government or military power, terrorist activity, transport accident, damage to property, bodily injury, death, theft, disease or illness or other emergency that causes extreme stress, fear or injury such as to affect the travel plans of the University traveller.
  3. DFAT: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  4. domestic travel: travel within Australia and its territories.
  5. international travel: travel outside of Australia including trans-Tasman travel.
  6. reassure: the Travel Management Consultant's risk management and travel database.
  7. StudioAbroad: the online system used to manage student global mobility programs.
  8. TEMS: The University's travel approval and travel and expense management system.
  9. travel authorising officer: a Faculty General Manager, a Principal Officer of a School or Head of Business Unit, a Director of a Research Centre or a more senior officer for Domestic Travel or the Executive Dean of Faculty or Executive Director of Division or a more senior officer for International Travel. For detail on officers that can authorise Domestic or International Travel refer to the Travel website.
  10. trans-tasman travel: travel between Australia and New Zealand in either direction.
  11. Travel Management Consultant (TMC): the travel agent/s appointed by the University to facilitate University travel and afforded approved status.
  12. University travel: travel for official University business that may be associated with attending conferences, symposia or workshops, expatriate postings, Academic Study Leave (ASL), commercial business on behalf of the University, student international placements and programs, research or accredited fieldwork, visiting fellowships, overseas teaching, marking and business development, approved secondments, grant-funded travel, any other travel supported by the Vice-Chancellor.
  13. University traveller: anyone who travels on behalf of the University, on pre-arranged University business that is booked, arranged by or approved by the University, including, but not limited to staff, a dependent child or non-dependent family member accompanying staff who are engaged in University business, members of Council, consultants and contractors engaged by the University, students, other persons whose travel is associated with and/or paid for by the University.