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Bullying and Harassment Prevention Policy

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to demonstrate CIT's commitment to an environment where all people are treated fairly with dignity and respect.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all CIT staff, contractors, visitors and students.

3. Principles

3.1 CIT is committed to providing a working environment that is free from harassment, bullying and violence of any kind.

3.2 All staff, students and visitors are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect and therefore bullying, all types of discrimination and harassment are unacceptable and will not be tolerated at CIT.

3.3 All staff, students and visitors to CIT must take personal responsibility to create a positive, working and learning environment and to ensure that their conduct does not include behaviours which could constitute discrimination, harassment including sexual harassment, bullying or increase the risk to another person's physical or psychological health or safety.

3.4 All students must abide by the CIT Student Code of Conduct.

3.5 All staff must abide by section 9 Public Sector Management and ACT Code of Conduct.

3.6 Staff, students and/or visitors who experience or witness harassment or bullying behaviour should report the incident as soon as possible.  All incidents of bullying and harassment will be dealt with in accordance with the Student and Community Members Complaints Policy for students and the Resolving Workplace Issues Policy and Procedures and enterprise agreements for staff. A single incident of unreasonable behaviour may have the potential to escalate into bullying and therefore should not be ignored.

3.7 All reports of alleged bullying, harassment or violence will be treated in a fair, timely, sensitive manner and procedural fairness/natural justice will apply to the complainant and respondent for all matters raised.

3.8 Reported circumstances may result in disciplinary actions.

3.9 Where criminal laws may apply, CIT will refer such matters to ACT Policing.

3.10 Supervisors and managers have a leadership role and are responsible for preventing incidents and taking prompt action if breaches do occur.

3.11 The ACTPS Respect, Equity and Diversity (RED) Framework aims to ensure that all ACT public servants value and consider others at work. CIT is required to comply with this Framework and encourages staff and management to use this in conjunction with the attached Procedures.

3.12 In line with the Fair Work Act an employee experiencing bullying may make application to the Fair Work Commission for a stop order. For more information see the Fair Work Commission Anti-bullying web page.

3.13 CIT will ensure support and assistance is available to any student or staff member in cases of discrimination, bullying and harassment.

3.14 Suspected risk of harm to a child or young person will be dealt with in accordance with the mandatory reporting requirements in the Children and Young People Act 2008.

4. Documentation

Work Health and Safety Act 2011

Public Sector Management Act 1994 (in particular section 6 and 9 of the Code of Conduct)

Discrimination Act 1991

Human Rights Act 2004

Ombudsman Act 1989

Children and Young People Act 2008

Information Privacy Act 2014

5. Definitions

Bullying - Bullying behaviour is a form of harassment and is based on a misuse of power in human relationships. From a workplace health and safety perspective, bullying is defined as: repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed toward a person, or group of people, which, creates a risk to health, safety and welfare.

Bullying is not:

  • expressing differences of opinion in an appropriate manner;
  • giving lawful instructions;
  • giving feedback in an appropriate manner; or
  • taking reasonable action to equitably manage the learning environment such as:
    • allocation of work to a student, and setting reasonable goals, standards and deadlines;
    • warning students about unsatisfactory behaviour;
    • appropriate management of a student’s unsatisfactory behaviour;
    • appropriate management of the learning environment.

What is "reasonable" will depend on the circumstances of each case but must be assessed objectively.

Complainant - a person who makes a complaint

Harassment - Harassment is any form of behaviour that is unwelcome, unsolicited, unreciprocated and usually (but not always) repeated and may be biased.  It is behaviour that is likely to offend, humiliate or intimidate.

Procedural fairness/natural justice - Procedural fairness, also called natural justice, applies to any decision (action /inaction) that can affect the rights, interests or expectations of an individual in a direct or immediate way.  It requires that:

  • individuals are given an opportunity to be heard;
  • decision makers act without bias or self-interest;
  • decision makers base their decisions on evidence that is relevant to the facts in issue i.e.
    • all relevant matters are considered when reaching a recommendation/decision
    • irrelevant matters are not given weight in reaching a decision

Respondent - Person about whom a complaint is lodged

Sexual harassment - Sexual harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour, which makes a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated.

6. Policy Contact Officer

Manager, Workplace Culture.

Contact CIT Student Services on (02) 6207 3188 or email for further information.

7. Procedures

This policy is implemented through the associated procedures. Authority to make changes to the procedures rests with the policy owner.