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Code of Conduct

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) The Code of Conduct is effective from 18 October 2018.

(2) The Code of Conduct includes the following schedule:

  1. Schedule A: Relevant Legislation.
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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) The Code of Conduct sets out the standards of responsible and ethical behaviour and conduct expected of all University staff and associates.

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Section 3 - Scope

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

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Section 4 - Policy

Equity and fairness in the workplace

(5) Staff and associates must:

  1. promote and support an accessible and inclusive learning and work environment free from discrimination, sexual harassment, sexist behaviour, gender-based violence, sexual assault, workplace bullying, victimisation and vilification
  2. not engage in unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment, vilification or victimisation as set out in the Diversity and Inclusion policy
  3. not engage in any behaviour contrary to the Sexual Harm Prevention and Response policy
  4. not engage in workplace bullying as specified in the Workplace Bullying policy.

Personal and professional behaviour

(6) Staff and associates must:

  1. maintain and uphold the reputation of the University, support its goals and act in its best interests
  2. observe and obey the laws of Australia and the laws of any jurisdiction that they are in while on University business at all times
  3. behave professionally and ethically, act honestly and comply with all University policies and procedures, statutory obligations and relevant professional codes of conduct and practice
  4. perform their duties diligently, conscientiously, with integrity and in good faith, and make decisions objectively and ethically, in a fair, timely and reasonable manner
  5. work cooperatively and collaboratively with staff, associates, students and University partners
  6. treat students, members of the public and other officers, staff, associates and University partners with respect, impartiality, courtesy and sensitivity
  7. 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
  8. work with children in a manner which promotes child safety and wellbeing, including by encouraging the participation and empowerment of children by listening and responding seriously to their ideas and concerns in relation to learning, child safety and other matters which impact them, and by avoiding discrimination and child abuse, and comply with all relevant legislation, including the Working with Children Act (Vic), the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 (Vic) and the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic), and University policies and procedures including the Child Safety policy and the Child Safety and Child Abuse Response and Reporting procedure
  9. ensure they are clear that views and comments expressed publicly are their own and are not perceived to be made on behalf of the University
  10. ensure their use of communications, including but not limited to email and social media, is respectful and professional and complies with University policies and procedures (including this Code of Conduct), statutory obligations and professional codes of conduct and practice and does not include the use of comments that are or could be perceived to be obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, discriminatory or hateful to or about the University or about another person or entity
  11. ensure that, subject to the University’s Academic Freedom policy,  their private actions (including media communications and communications in social media) and participation in non-University activities uphold the reputation of the University and do not compromise their ability to fulfil their duties as a staff member or associate of the University.
  12. ensure they, particularly Academic staff who teach, support or mentor students do not misuse their position of influence or trust, including entering into any type of romantic or sexual relationship, in carrying out their duties, specifically including assessment
  13. promptly raise with their supervisors and/or manager any professional and ethical issues that may arise in their work
  14. use University property and resources appropriately and in accordance with relevant policies and procedures.

(7) Academic 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

(8) Conflicts of interest (COI) 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 COI, staff and associates must act in accordance with the Conflict of Interest procedure.

(9) All staff and associates are required to disclose any actual, potential or perceived COI as they arise during the conduct of their duties in accordance with the Conflict of Interest procedure

Academic integrity

(10) Academic staff will demonstrate academic integrity in all duties relating to teaching and research. Academic staff will:

  1. acknowledge authorship of, and contributions to, ideas in their teaching materials and research output
  2. refrain from using information gained in the course of their teaching or research for personal, commercial or third party advantage
  3. acknowledge academic merit and ensure student assessment outcomes are based on a set of appropriate and relevant criteria in accordance with the Assessment (Higher Education Courses) procedure.


(11) The University is committed to responsible research practices and promotes integrity in research through its Research Conduct policy and in accordance with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018. Any breach of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018 may be dealt with in accordance with the Research Integrity Breaches procedure and the Staff Discipline policy.

Intellectual property

(12) Staff 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 University Statute 09.1 and Regulation 09.1(1) — Intellectual Property and Intellectual Property (Staff) policy and Intellectual Property procedure which seek to protect the rights of intellectual property owners and the interests of the University.

Health, Wellbeing and Safety

(13) Staff and associates must:

  1. comply with occupational health and safety laws and the University's Health, Wellbeing and Safety policy, Alcohol policy and Occupational Health and Safety Manual
  2. ensure that best practice health, wellbeing 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
  3. not use, possess, manufacture, promote, or distribute illicit drugs whilst on University premises or whilst performing their duties or representing the University at a related function or activity either on University premises or offsite
  4. not allow any alcohol or drug consumption, either licit or illicit to impact on their ability to perform in any aspect of their role
  5. notify their supervisor if they are using licit drugs that may impair their ability to safely perform their job, or affect the safety or wellbeing of others
  6. not attend, perform or engage in work or University activities, including specifically the operation of University plant, machinery or vehicles whilst affected or impaired by alcohol or drugs, either licit or illicit.

Confidentiality, use of University information and Privacy

(14) It is acknowledged that staff and associates may be granted access to confidential or sensitive information in 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.

(15) The University is committed to the responsible management of Personal and Health Information, as defined in the Privacy policy. This commitment arises not only from a wish to comply with its legal obligations, including under the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic), but also in recognition of and commitment to information privacy as one of the foundations of human dignity.

Public comment

(16) In 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. Academic staff members may make public comments on a topic within their area of expertise. They may also make other comments as long as the staff member does so in their private capacity and does not claim to represent the University when making these comments. This includes the expression of unpopular or controversial views, provided that they do not harass, vilify, defame, or intimidate. In their exercise of academic freedom staff and associates must at all times comply with the requirements for personal and professional behaviour in clause 6.

(17) In 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 area. University spokespersons will be briefed by Media Relations and Corporate Communications to make public comment on matters of University policy or University management decisions.

Reporting and protected disclosures

(18) All staff and associates are actively encouraged to report suspected incidents of fraud and corruption, breaches of law and other related matters. In reporting such issues, staff and associates must comply with the Fraud and Corruption Prevention and Control policy and the Fraud and Corruption Prevention and Control procedure.

(19) All staff and associates must report suspected child abuse in accordance with relevant legislation, including the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 (Vic) and the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic), and the University’s Child Safety policy and Child Safety and Child Abuse Response and Reporting procedure.

(20) In accordance with the Public Interest Disclosures procedure, a complaint about the conduct of the University or a University employee or contractor may be made as a protected disclosure. Under the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (Vic), the University cannot receive protected disclosures; these must be made directly to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC).

(21) For complaints to be assessed as protected disclosures they must be about corruption in the public sector. If IBAC assesses a complaint as a protected disclosure, the complainant will be legally protected from adverse outcomes.

Breaches of the Code of Conduct

(22) The Staff Discipline policy may apply if the Code of Conduct is breached.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(23) There is no attendant Procedure.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(24) For the purpose of the Code of Conduct:

  1. associates: contractors, consultants, volunteers, visiting appointees and visitors to the University.
  2. child abuse: includes sexual abuse and grooming, physical abuse or violence, serious emotional and psychological abuse and serious neglect.
  3. conflict of interest: A conflict of interest exists when a staff member or associate (or a family member or friend of a staff member or associate) allows their financial, professional or personal interest, including any duty owed to another entity, to come into actual, potential or perceived conflict with the staff member or associate's duties to the University. This includes but is not limited to a situation where the staff member, associate, family member or friend is in a position to benefit personally, directly or indirectly as a result of the conflict.
  4. illicit drugs: includes illegal drugs, the misuse of licit drugs or using a product or substance not intended to be a drug in a way which produces a drug-like state.
  5. licit drugs: medicines used for illness, over-the-counter drugs used as directed, prescription medication used by the intended person for the prescribed usage.
  6. social media: Internet and mobile-based channels and tools that allow users to interact, share opinions and content - via written comments, video or audio files — and encourage participation and engagement in building communities or networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube).
  7. staff: a member of the Academic or Professional staff, Executive or Honorary staff member.