International travel to countries identified as high risk protocols for RMIT staff
Intent & objectives
In light of ongoing global security and health risks, the following processes and protocols are to be followed in determining whether to proceed with scheduled travel to destinations where travel warnings are current from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and advise to “defer all travel” or that only “essential travel” should be undertaken.
Protocol for “defer all travel”
Where either DFAT advise to “defer all travel” or higher level of alert no travel by RMIT staff should occur and any staff in such locations should immediately leave.
Protocol for “essential travel only”
Where DFAT advise that only “essential travel” should be undertaken, RMIT staff are to proceed with travel only after gaining approval from the relevant Portfolio PVC and the PVC(IECD) in addition to normal travel approvals. Essential travel is that which cannot be deferred due to contractual or other obligations with serious financial, legal or strategic implications. Serious investigation and elimination of alternatives to travel must be conducted and noted.
Protocol for proceeding with travel
Where travel is deemed essential the following process is to be followed and will be evidenced by a checklist signed off by the traveler and supervisor. A pro-forma checklist is provided. Send the completed and authorised checklist to the International Office.
1. Supervisory staff are to determine if staff scheduled to travel are comfortable to do so. As an integral part of this process, all staff must be informed by the relevant supervisor or program leader of current DFAT and International SOS travel risk and warning advice (refer to web addresses below). Staff also have an equal responsibility to familiarize themselves with DFAT and International SOS travel advices prior to and during travel.
2. All ‘essential travel’ must be approved by both the staff supervisor, the relevant PVC and the PVC IECD according to the criteria at the head of this section.
3. Where relevant, the international partner or business organisation with whom RMIT is working should be contacted for advice on local conditions and sources of support.
4. Staff should be fully aware of the details of their travel insurance policy and keep International SOS emergency contact details on their person at all times. On or before arrival in country, the Australian High Commission or Embassy should be advised of the visit by the traveller and given contact details.
5. Staff travelling are advised to take extreme care and exercise caution throughout the duration of their stay. They should also keep abreast of, and heed, DFAT and International SOS travel advice and warnings.
6. If the risk rating for the country advances to ‘defer all travel’ or ‘Extreme’ during the visit then staff should leave as quickly as practical. The home school/department should monitor the situation and assist in such a case.
7. Full contact details for the duration of the stay abroad must be left with the University prior to travel by the traveller. Ensure there is an accurate record of travel plans including itinerary and contact details with the Head of unit.
Protocol where ‘essential’ travel is declined
1. Staff have the right to decline the option to travel. Where this occurs the supervisory staff member is responsible for making alternative arrangements.
2. Advice and assistance in determining options is available from the International Office. Refer to contact details below. Briefing of the traveler by those with in-country experience should be sought unless the traveler has substantial in-country experience.[Next: Supporting documents and information]