Intent and objectives
This procedure supports the implementation of RMIT’s Travel Policy and must be read in conjunction with that document and the documents detailed as Supporting Guidelines and Documents below.
The RMIT Travel Procedure encompasses the following:
- Travel Management Company
- Travel Profile
- Travel Portal
- Responsibilities of Travellers and Arrangers
- Payment of Travel
- Domestic & International Travel Procedures
- Hire Car
- Travel Approval Matrix
- Credit Cards
RMIT controlled entities are excluded from complying with this travel procedure.
Travel within Victoria, where no flights, hire car or accommodation services are required.
Procedure steps and actions
RMIT recognises that Domestic and International Travel is an essential part of the RMIT business related activities of RMIT staff and students.
This procedure is designed to support the needs of RMIT Travellers and affirm RMIT’s commitment to:
- To protect the safety and wellbeing of all persons travelling on RMIT required travel;
- Timely and accurate settlement and reimbursement for all reasonable travel expenses
- To provide transparent, effective and accountable management of travel costs
- The safety of RMIT Travellers.
- To provide management with a reporting analytics/tracking tool for staff travel expenses, and ensure all expenditure complies with RMIT policy and other relevant legislation.
This procedure applies to all RMIT staff and students and to anyone undertaking travel on behalf of RMIT or funded in whole or part by RMIT.
1. Travel management company
All travel quotations or bookings associated with travel on RMIT required travel must be sourced / made through the RMIT’s contracted Travel Management Company (TMC) and the RMIT Travel Portal (RTP); except where there is a contractual agreement to use an alternate supplier and the departure is approved.
Associated with domestic travel needs, RMIT staff will access the services of a preferred vendor where a contractual arrangement exists (which may be different to the TMC) for the provision of related travel services; i.e. taxi services for domestic travel (refer to Taxi Travel Procedure)
Unless prior approval is obtained, RMIT will not guarantee the payment of invoices or settlement and reimbursement for any travel and related services booked or arranged through other (non-contracted) travel management companies, or booked direct with airlines.
RMIT travellers undertaking travel resulting from a contractual arrangement are not required to seek approval for using the non-preferred vendor for travel quotations/bookings.
All RMIT travel, including approved travel booked with any non-preferred vendor must be entered into the RTP, to ensure RMIT’s duty of care obligations are met.
2. Travel administrator
The Travel Administrator is responsible for the management of the Travel Portal and the financial operations pertaining to reconciliation and payment approvals. The duties of the Travel Administrator include:
1. Defines approval communities based on the Travel Approval Matrix
2. Manages new staff and students entered into the RTP and assigns them a standard travel profile. The travel profile is linked to an approval community.
3. Maps Chart of Accounts and financial information
4. Conducts financial operations which include reconciliations and payment approvals and settlement.
5. Ensures compliance and reporting requirements are adhered to.
6. Manages the settlement report received from the TMC.
7. Prepare travel exception and analytical reporting services.
8. Provides data to Taxation Accountant to meet RMIT’s FBT compliance obligations.
3. Travel profile
All RMIT travellers who intend to travel will have a Travel Profile established within the RTP by the Travel Administrator.
- All RMIT travellers are initially assigned a standard profile, defined by the TAM.
- All changes made to the Travel Profiles are subject to approval within the traveller’s approval community.
- All RMIT travellers must update their profile and ensure that the details contained within their profile are current. In the situation the RMIT Traveller does not have access to the RTP (non-staff member), the Travel arranger or Travel Administrator will maintain their profile.
- RMIT Travellers are unable to commence travel until their profile is completed and approved.
4. Travel portal
All travel quotations/bookings associated with travel and related services on RMIT required travel must be made through the RTP. In the event that the RTP is unavailable travel arrangements can be made manually via RMIT’s TMC. When the RTP is restored, the travel plan must be entered to track the travellers planned itinerary.
The Travel Portal will be pre-loaded with frequently booked domestic and international destinations (point-to-point trips) for self service. RMIT Travellers are able to:
1. Select the point-to-point trip required for RMIT required travel in real time.
2. Based on the traveller’s profile, only those classes will be available for the traveller.
3. Enter the RMIT Travel information and confirm booking request.
4. The booking request is automatically sent for approval within the traveller’s approval community.
5. If the booking request is approved, the travel is ticketed.
The Point to Point self service booking tool should not be utilised for travel arrangements for an accompanying non-staff member. Such travel arrangements must be completed with the assistance of the TMC.
RMIT will not guarantee the payment of invoices for travel booked or arranged through other (non-contracted) travel management companies, or booked direct with airlines unless prior approval is obtained.
For further information on delegated officers, refer to the Travel Approval Matrix.
5. Responsibilities of travellers and arrangers
Staff wishing to undertake travel funded by RMIT will be required as part of the approval process to affirm that sufficient resources are available to settle the travel obligations. To ensure this attestation is accurate, the traveller shall verify with their local financial services officer or other means to ensure sufficient resource capacity exists to meet the travel obligations. It is the responsibility of the traveller to obtain guidance on the limits and conditions that apply to any particular type of expense.
RMIT staff that travel must have their booking confirmation approved prior to the booking being ticketed.
All travel must be approved within the approval community. In seeking or granting approval, the traveller or authorising officer must ensure that:
- the travel is not to a restricted area;
- the absence is convenient to the department/unit;
- the travel is for official RMIT required travel;
- the cost to RMIT is minimised;
- the travel is booked through TMC or the RTP
- where required, the traveller holds a valid passport for the duration of the planned travel or otherwise determined by the departure or destination locations’ regulations;
- the traveller has obtained the appropriate travel visa for the destination;
- external funds and private expenses are collected and settled within the general ledger;
- all relevant costs associated with the travel are fully captured
Approval maybe sought from an officer external to their approval community where a valid business reason exists. The Approval Level for such approval is one level above the highest level in the standard approval community as detailed in the TAM or configured to meet RMIT’s required travel requirements.
6. Replacement arrangements
RMIT staff members who are requesting travel approval must ensure that arrangements are made to cover their teaching, examining and administrative duties during the approved period of travel.
7. Use of contracted supplier
All travellers or arrangers must source quotations and make bookings through RMIT’s TMC or e-Amadeus and the RTP.
8. Travel diary
Travellers are to keep a Travel Diary for the purpose of maintaining records of all international journeys and of domestic journeys where the time away from home is more than five consecutive nights to substantiate to the Australian Taxation Office the genuine business purpose of the travel undertaken. Failure to do so brings the potential risk of substantial financial penalties (up to 200% of the deemed tax plus interest).
Travellers are to keep a Travel Diary for all international journeys and of domestic journeys where the time away from home is more than five consecutive nights.
- The Travel Diary is available from the RTP and is pre-populated by the travel itinerary.
- The Travel Diary must be submitted within the RMIT Travel Portal for approval within 28 days of completion of RMIT travel.
- To assist with the substantiation requirements the Travel Diary may be accompanied by an expense report and any relevant receipts for the duration of the journey. When the expenditure is funded in part by RMIT, and the traveller retains the receipts for their own purpose, a copy is appropriate.
Upon completion of the Travel Diary, a traveller will be requested to attest to its accuracy.
The Travel Administrator will advise the approval community leader if the travel diary is not completed within the specified timeframe. In such situations, any subsequent travel approvals will be at the community leader’s discretion, should the travel diary obligation remain outstanding.
9. Payment of travel
RMIT will not guarantee the payment of invoices for travel
- booked or arranged through other (non-contracted) travel management companies unless prior approval is obtained
- booked direct with airlines unless prior approval is obtained
Domestic travellers will utilise the services of a preferred vendor where an arrangement exists (which may be different to the TMC) for the provision of related travel services; i.e. taxi services.
10. International and domestic travel procedures
RMIT staff must have their booking confirmation approved for all international and domestic travel prior to the booking being ticketed.
- All domestic and international travel must be booked by the traveller or travel arranger via the RTP or via the travel consultants at the TMC. This will ensure the best negotiated fare.
- Where the domestic journey is part of an international travel booking, the processes described for international travel must be used.
The traveller/travel arranger will:
1. Use the Travel Portal to select a domestic or pre-determined international point-to-point trip.
2. Enter the RMIT Travel information and confirm booking request.
3. The booking request is automatically sent for approval within the traveller’s approval community.
4. If the booking request is approved, the RMIT required travel is ticketed.
If the requirements of the RMIT are not available for self service through the RTP, the RMIT Traveller is to make travel arrangements through the TMC. All bookings made through the TMC require approval from the traveller’s approval community.
If the requirements of RMIT are not available for self service through the Travel Portal, the RMIT Traveller is to make travel arrangements through the TMC. The TMC will reply via email with options for the traveller to consider;
- All bookings made through the TMC require approval in accordance with the TAM via the traveller’s approval community.
- The TMC will receive this authority from the RTP, make the appropriate bookings and issue the ticket - as close as possible to the date of travel to avoid penalties which can be incurred when changes are made after ticketing.
- Once the booking has been approved, the TMC will:
- Issue the ticket/e-ticket, generate an itinerary and an electronic tax invoice and forward to RMIT’s Accounts payable for processing. The traveller/travel arranger can view the approved travel booking in the RTP.
- Automatically generate a report which is forwarded to the Travel Administrator
Best logical fare of the day
The TMC is obliged to offer you a fare which is the cheapest daily fare available in their system for the particular route you will be travelling, meeting your business requirements. You should accept the Best Logical Fare of the Day option for your travel otherwise decline if this is unsuitable.
If you decline, you must state a valid reason for doing so, such as:
Travelling with a companion and must be on the same flight
Passenger Requested Class Ticketed
Passenger specifically requested certain class at extra cost.
Fare Condition Cancellation
Restrictive ticket conditions pertaining to flight cancelation makes it unsuitable for use on this planned travel.
Fare Condition Alterations
Restrictive ticket conditions pertaining to flight itinerary alterations make it unsuitable for use on this planned travel.
Frequent Flyer Chosen
Chose a particular flight in order to gain more frequent flyer points.
Times & routings are not suitable for use on this planned travel.
Only Full Fare Applicable
There are no discount seats available on this flight
Booked inside deadline
Flight booked with insufficient notice to use advance purchase (cheaper) airfares.
If FF is selected as a reason, RMIT reserves the right to seek reimbursement from the traveller.
Changing a booking
- Changes to bookings once a ticket has been issued must be made through the TMC to comply with ticketing rules and restrictions. Additional charges may apply.
- Any changes to approved travel plans that results in an increase in charges greater than the tolerance limits configure within the RTP, the travel booking will require re-approval by the traveller’s community leader pursuant to the TAM.
RMIT travellers must use the RTP or the TMC to book all accommodation, unless accommodation is provided by an external party. When the accommodation is provided by an external party, the accommodation details must be recorded in the RTP.
RMIT appreciates that not all travel arrangements will conform to a set model and that flexibility is required to document a traveller’s intended accommodation pattern whilst still complying with RMIT’s duty of care obligation. The following table details types of accommodation arrangement that a traveller may avail themselves of:
Hotel arranged and paid for by RMIT
Travel is booked via the RMIT Travel Portal
Hotel arranged and paid for by partner
Traveller must detail hotel and dates in the ‘Where will i be’ record
Other accommodation provided by partner (ie. Serviced apartment on/off campus)
Traveller must detail address and dates in the ‘Where will i be’ record
Other accommodation provided by friend, relative or academic colleague
Traveller must detail address and dates in the ‘Where will i be’ record
The TMC can access a range of online reservation systems/distribution channels for RMIT preferred hotels and other accommodation options.
In booking accommodation the following guidelines apply:
- The standard of accommodation should provide a safe and secure environment, be convenient to the place of work, comfortable and friendly and provide value for money
- Hotels are selected on preferred RMIT arrangements;
- The standard of accommodation is 4 star level (or international equivalent) unless a cheaper or equivalent price at a 5+ star hotel is offered by the TMC.
- For international accommodation, in some countries and areas or where there are safety concerns, a higher standard of accommodation may be approved by the Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellor (A) or the Vice President Resources.
- Conference accommodation
- RMIT travellers attending conferences are required to compare the special conference rate with the rates available through the TMC.
- If the TMC can provide a cheaper rate at the same hotel then the traveller is required to take this rate.
Where accommodation is not booked through the TMC or where approval has been given to select accommodation independently of the TMC, travellers must ensure that they advise the TMC of their arrangements so that their details can be recorded in the RTP for duty of care obligations.
RMIT will not guarantee the payment of invoices for accommodation booked or arranged through other (non-contracted) travel management companies, or booked direct with hotels unless prior approval is obtained.
Domestics hire car arrangements booked via the RTP will be completed online with e-Amadeus and generally will not require TMC engagement. The following table details the minimum hire car selection and is based upon the number of passengers.
Number of passengers (including driver)
Group / code
D-FCAR-Full Size (where employee comfort is not accommodated by class B,C,G and S).
D-FCAR – Full Size
T-FVAR/LVAR - Minibus
Hire car selection beyond this table (including four wheel drives, based upon licence and insurance requirements) will require an ‘out of policy’ approval.
Travellers must be aware of any special licence conditions pertaining to their vehicle choice or intended vehicle usage prohibitions to ensure selection is fit for purpose.
12. Per diem
A per diem is given to a traveller to cover meals, and incidental expenses incurred on RMIT required travel.
- RMIT Travellers can request reimbursement for one portion of their trip and per diem for the remainder on the basis both claims are mutually exclusive activities.
- RMIT Travellers who use per diem allowances do not have to substantiate meal and incidental expenses, but they must demonstrate that the trip occurred via the Travel Diary (if applicable).
- Per diem rates are automatically calculated based on the country of travel and reference the Australian Taxation Office rates advised
- Approval and quantum determination of per diem amount for non-teaching travel will reside with the traveller’s line manager and ultimately the community leader who has approval authority and the option to vary the amount from zero up to the maximum value (extension of days by destination country rate).
Per diem payments are made directly into the nominated account of the traveller prior to commencing travel.
Any changes to the Per Diem rates will be advised by Financial Services stipulating the effective date and configured within the RTP. Any approved per diem requests within the RPT will not be updated to reflect the effective date of the change, only those per diem’s subsequently processed.
13. Payment options (For travel items not settled via RTP)
RMIT travellers who hold an RMIT corporate purchasing credit card may use it to pay for all incidental travel and related entertainment expenses.
The payment and acquittal for all corporate credit card travel transactions will be made as per the Corporate Credit Card Approval process.
For any personal travel and related expenses, the traveller is accountable for the balance of expenditure not funded by RMIT.
Refer to the Staff Expense Re-Imbursement procedure.
Refer to the Corporate Credit Card policy and procedures
14. Travel insurance
RMIT global insurance policy provides travel insurance for staff and students travelling on official RMIT required travel. It is the responsibility of the traveller to ensure that they have adequate travel insurance for their entire journey and personal travel undertaken and not covered by this policy will require additional insurance.
- Travel insurance for the entire journey is mandatory for all RMIT travellers and companions and for personal travel not covered under RMIT’s travel policy.
- Travel is automatically covered for all RMIT required travel.
- If personal travel is greater than 50% of the journey travel insurance is not provided for the private travel that is greater than 50% and will require the staff member to augment the coverage at their own expense and be arranged prior to departure for international travel.
- Travel insurance for a companion or personal travel must be arranged and paid for using a personal credit card (i.e. non-University) or other means prior to departure.
All travel insurance will not be allowed if RMIT travellers are using tickets issued in someone else's name.
RMIT travellers should not fly on any ticket other than the one issued in their correct name as it appears in their passport.
15. Associated personal/private travel
RMIT acknowledges that RMIT required travel may be joined with travel for private purposes where it does not result in an additional unrecovered cost.
Personal or private travel on non-RMIT required travel may be permitted in conjunction with pre-approved RMIT require travel provided:
- the purpose of the travel is properly documented prior to travel;
- RMIT is only responsible for the RMIT required travel portion of the trip; and
- the absence is convenient to the department/ unit
- RMIT staff members must use some form of leave: annual, long service or leave without pay, to cover periods of absence that are not specifically required to conduct RMIT required travel. This does not apply to periods between authorised travels, when it is impractical to return to normal duties.
- RMIT staff wishing to take annual or other leave during, or at the conclusion of RMIT required travel must obtain the appropriate permission from the relevant authority before making arrangements. If permission is granted, any additional costs are at the traveller’s own expense. Travellers must pay separately for the personal/private travel component of a trip and its associated costs. These costs must not under any circumstances be charged to RMIT.
- For convenience, staff members can utilise the TMC for booking the personal travel portion of their trip in conjunction with pre-approved RMIT required travel. If choosing this they will pay for this using a personal (i.e. non-University) credit card.
- Staff members must at all times utilise the RMIT’s TMC for all RMIT required travel.
- All private travel expenses not settled within the agreed timeframe will be subject to Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT). The Taxation Accountant will determine the amount of FBT payable and charge amount to the Internal Order quoted in the RTP for the travel undertaken. The FBT charge will also be displayed on the staff member PAYG summary.
16. Accompanying spouse, partner and dependant travel
RMIT acknowledges that an Accompanying Spouse or Partner may accompany the RMIT traveller on RMIT required travel for private purposes where it does not result in an additional unrecovered cost.
- Where a spouse, partner or dependant accompanies them on official RMIT business travel, the traveller must:
- notify their authorising officer prior to travel; and
- ensure that the business of RMIT is not compromised
- RMIT will not fund any cost incurred for an accompanying spouse, partner, or dependant.
- In special circumstances RMIT will fund travel for a spouse, partner and dependents if it is approved in writing by the Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (A) or the Vice President Resources.
- For convenience, travel arrangements (including insurance) for a staff member’s spouse, partner, and/or dependants can be booked through the TMC in conjunction with the RMIT required travel of the staff member. These must however be paid for separately using a personal (non-University) credit card unless special circumstances (as referred to above) have been approved.
17. Travel approval matrix
The Travel Approval Matrix defines the following:
1. Staff Delegation Profile
2. Approval Matrix for approval for all community leader travel related bookings and payments.
3. Standard Class of Air Travel Matrix
4. e-Amadeus Configuration groups[Next: Supporting documents and information]