Victoria University defines a critical incident as a traumatic or tragic event or situation, or the threat of such (within or outside Australia) that has an adverse impact on the University community or activities, which requires or warrants a coordinated University response.

We use a risk based critical incident classification and escalation process in relation to minor, moderate and major incidents.

Critical incidents management

Emergency response

VU has arrangements in place to ensure its resources and services are directed to where it is most needed, in the event of an emergency or non-emergency occurring on/or off campus.

Emergency response procedures and further information can be found on the VU intranet OHS Library.

Minor event (Level 1 incidents) cover minor incidents or minor injury, with a localised impact on staff, students or visitors and may involve minor property damage. 

Typically level 1 incidents are:

  • contained and unlikely to escalate in severity.
  • handled by the emergency response team using normal operating procedures.

Moderate event (Level 2) incidents are incidents or events, which have a localised impact on University operations and may threaten life or property, or could potentially escalate to a major incident.

Typically, a moderate event:

  • might include death or serious injury.
  • may involve the notification and/or activation of an emergency response and/or the Critical Incident Team (CIT).

Major event (Level 3) incidents are incidents or events that have a high impact or imminent severe adverse effect on University Operations stemming from an emergency, business continuity failure or an external incident.

During a critical incident, the University's Critical Incident Team will activate the Critical Incident Communications Plan.

If appropriate, during or following a critical incident, we may display:

  • web alert banners on the VU website and VU Polytechnic website
  • a news story/media release on our website.

Business continuity

Business continuity planning for the University's key assets contributes to the resilience of the organisation. It takes into consideration other tools such as risk management and emergency response plans.

Disruption-related risks may be infrequent but have severe consequences for critical University services as they may not be resolved by routine management. 

Disruption-related risks include physical and non-physical events such as (but not limited to):

  • natural disasters
  • cyber-attacks
  • pandemics
  • significant loss of utilities
  • financial crises 
  • incidents that threaten VU community.

VU Critical Incident Team may be activated to appropriately manage business recovery according to the Critical Incident, Emergency Planning and Business Continuity Policy and Procedure. It makes sure we recover critical business functions first in order to function with minimal disruption.