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Part A - Determinations Regarding Serious Health Conditions

1. Definitions
2. Reporting serious health condition
3. Preliminary investigation by Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean
4. Denial of access in a situation of substantial risk
5. Review of matter by Deputy Vice-Chancellor – circumstances other than those involving substantial risk
6. Issue of notice by Deputy Vice-Chancellor
7. Response by person to whom notice is addressed
8. Review and decision by Deputy Vice-Chancellor
9. Notification of decision of Deputy Vice-Chancellor
10. Withdrawal of application for admission, enrolment or re-enrolment


1. Definitions

The following words and expressions have the following meanings in this policy:

Applicant means any person who is seeking admission to the University in order to pursue any program, unit or research, or to audit any unit, offered by the University.

Medical examination means an examination by a medical practitioner1.

Medical reports means reports on the person’s health condition provided by a medical practitioner1 or any other health or allied health practitioner to whom the person has been referred by a medical practitioner.

Notifiable disease means a health condition notifiable under any relevant state, territory or federal legislation.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, unless otherwise stated, means the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning and Teaching) and includes a nominee of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor appointed under Section 22.

Serious health condition includes:

  1. an illness, or physical or psychiatric condition (including any notifiable disease) that impacts adversely on a person’s capacity to pursue or benefit from any program, unit or research, or that creates a reasonably apprehended risk that any of the following consequences may ensue from it:
    1. physical injury to the person concerned or any other person;
    2. harassment of any member of or visitor to the University;
    3. serious emotional disturbance to any member of or visitor to the University;
    4. serious disruption to academic or other activities at the University; or
    5. serious damage to property; or
  2. an illness or physical or psychiatric condition (including a notifiable disease) or disability for which the person requires adjustments or facilities that in the circumstances of the case cannot reasonably be provided and without which:
    1. the person or any other person may be physically endangered; or
    2. the person would not be able to participate in a program, unit or research or to derive a benefit from that program, unit or research.

Support person means a person, other than a person with a qualification in law, whom the applicant or student designates as his/her support person in proceedings under this Policy.  A support person may make submissions on behalf of an applicant or student unless the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean dealing with the matter considers that the making of any submission is or might be disruptive to, or may unreasonably extend, the proceedings.

University premises or University’s premises means any campus, facility or other place where the University is conducting teaching, research or other activities.

Visitor to the University means any person lawfully on University premises.

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2. Reporting serious health condition

2.1 Any person who has reasonable grounds for believing that an applicant or a student may be suffering from a serious health condition may report the person’s behaviour to the relevant Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean.

2.2 An application for admission, re-admission or transfer by a person whose enrolment at this or another university has been refused, terminated or suspended on medical grounds will be referred to the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

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3. Preliminary investigation by Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean

3.1 Upon becoming aware (whether as a result of a report under Section 2 or otherwise) that an applicant or student may be suffering from a serious health condition, the Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean may undertake such investigation as he/she determines appropriate.

3.2 If in the opinion of the Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean there are reasonable grounds for believing that an applicant or student may have a serious health condition, the Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean:

  1. will report the matter to the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor; and
  2. may, where the circumstances warrant, take action under Section 4.

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4. Denial of access in a situation of substantial risk

4.1 If, following preliminary investigation under Section 3, an Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean has reasonable grounds for believing that:

  1. an applicant or a student has a health condition that is likely to be a serious health condition; and
  2. denial of access by the person to University premises is reasonably necessary to avert a substantial risk, in order to:
    1. protect the health and safety of the applicant or student concerned or any other member of or visitor to the University; or
    2. protect or preserve any property located on the University’s premises

the Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean may, without prior notice to the person, deny the person access to all or any of the University’s premises or to any activity conducted by or on behalf of the University for such period as the Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean may determine.

4.2 The Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean is not required to afford the person an opportunity to tender evidence or make a submission or the opportunity of a hearing before making such a decision in any such urgent circumstances.

4.3 Where the Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean has taken action to deny access under Section 4.1, he/she must refer the matter to the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor within one working day.  The Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor may, after investigation, institute such other measures and/or make such determinations as he/she considers necessary having regard to the circumstances of the student and the University.

4.4 A denial of access under Section 4.1 will remain in place for the period determined by the Associate Vice-Chancellor, Campus Dean or Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor or, if an appeal is lodged, until varied by a Medical Appeals Panel.

Denial of access under Section 4.1 does not, of itself, terminate a student’s enrolment.

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5. Review of matter by the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor – circumstances other than those involving substantial risk

5.1 In reviewing any matter referred to the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor under Section 3.2(a), the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor may consider such matters relating to the person’s health condition as the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor deems appropriate, including:

  1. the report from the Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean;
  2. a statement from any of the person’s lecturers, supervisors, tutors, counsellors or disability advisers or other staff or students who may have information relevant to the matter, provided that the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor is satisfied that any such staff or students will not be subject to harassment by the person whose health condition is being investigated, as a result of giving that information;
  3. medical reports related to the person’s health condition; and/or
  4. oral and/or written submissions made by the person about his/her health condition.

5.2 If, in the opinion of the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor, there are insufficient or no reasonable grounds for believing that the applicant or student may have a serious health condition, the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor will advise the Associate Vice-Chancellor or Campus Dean and any other relevant officers accordingly.

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6. Issue of notice by the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor

6.1 If in the opinion of the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor there are reasonable grounds for believing that an applicant or student may have a serious health condition, subject to Section 6.2, the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor will issue a written notice to the person that:

  1. sets out the nature of the assessment as to the person’s health, including the grounds for the assessment that the person has a serious health condition;
  2. includes a copy of any substantive material upon which the assessment was made, including all information available to the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor under Section 5.1;
  3. outlines the potential consequences of a finding that the person has a serious health condition;
  4. allows the person not fewer than 5 working days in which to respond to the notice in writing or as otherwise set out in the notice.

6.2 If, on the information available to the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the time of preparing the notice referred to in Section 6.1, the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor determines that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the person to whom the notice is to be issued may be adversely affected by receipt of such a notice, the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor may obtain advice, including medical and/or other professional advice, on the most appropriate method of communicating with the person and/or of conducting any further investigation.

6.3 The Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor may, at his/her discretion, permit the person to seek, in writing, additional time of no more than 5 working days to prepare his/her response to the notice.

6.4 If the person is hospitalised at the time of issue of the notice, the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor may, at his/her discretion, grant the person such additional time to respond as the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor determines.

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7. Response by person to whom notice is addressed

7.1 Any response by the person to whom a notice is addressed must:

  1. unless otherwise indicated in the notice, be in writing;
  2. be dated and signed by the person to whom the notice is addressed;
  3. provide the person’s preferred contact details to be used during any investigation regarding his/her health condition;
  4. provide a response to the report and the grounds for the assessment that he/she may have a serious health condition;
  5. include copies of any supporting medical report or evidence on which the person relies.

7.2 If the person to whom a notice was issued is offered and has taken up the option to respond to the notice in person:

  1. he/she may be accompanied at any meeting by a support person;
  2. the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor may be accompanied by another person, other than a qualified person with a qualification in law, at any such meeting.

7.3 Failure of the person to respond within 5 working days (or extended period approved by the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor under Section 6.3 or 6.4) or failure by the person and/or the person’s support person to appear for any meeting or discussion of his/her health condition at the time and/or place notified to him/her, will not prevent the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor from proceeding to investigate and determine the matter.

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8. Review and decision by the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor

8.1 The Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor will review the person’s response in conjunction with other information available to the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor (and to which the person has been provided access under Section 6).

8.2 If the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor has reasonable grounds for believing that any available medical report does not provide a sufficient basis from which to draw reasonable conclusions regarding the person’s health condition, the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor may require the person to undergo a medical examination, at the expense of the University, by a medical practitioner nominated by the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor and may specify the timeframe within which such examination must be undertaken.

8.3 After the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor has considered all material relevant to the case, including any submission made by the person to whom the notice was issued, the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor will determine whether that person has a serious health condition.

8.4 If the person:

  1. does not undergo a medical examination arranged by the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor; and/or
  2. does not provide information requested by the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor or by the nominated medical practitioner; and/or
  3. is otherwise unco-operative with the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor

the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor may nevertheless make a decision as to whether the person has a serious health condition, taking into account the unco-operative behaviour of the person. That decision may contain adverse conclusions arising from the person’s lack of co-operation.

8.5 The Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor will normally make a decision on the matter within 5 working days of the due date (or extended due date, if applicable) for response.  If the person has sought a meeting and it has not been possible to arrange a meeting within that time, or if the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor has requested the person to undergo a medical examination under Section 8.2, the matter will normally be determined within 5 working days of any such meeting or of receipt of the report on the medical examination.

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9. Notification of decision of the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor

9.1 The Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor will inform the person in writing within 5 working days of making a decision as set out in Section 8 of:

  1. the process undertaken to consider the matter;
  2. the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s decision;
  3. the reason(s) for that decision;
  4. if the person is permitted to be admitted to, or to enrol, re-enrol or resume research, study or auditing in a program or unit, any conditions that must be satisfied by the person, which may include taking medication and/or obeying medical, behavioural or other specified directions;
  5. if the person is not permitted to be admitted to, or to enrol, re-enrol or resume research, study or auditing in a program or unit:
    1. whether any existing enrolment is terminated or suspended;
    2. the duration of any period before which the person may be permitted to be considered for admission, enrolment, re-enrolment or resumption of research, study or auditing of a program or unit;
    3. any conditions to be met by the person before any future application for admission, enrolment, re-enrolment or resumption of research, study or auditing of a program or unit will be considered by the University;
  6. the person’s right of appeal.

9.2 In the case of a person to whom Section 6.2 applies, the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor may obtain advice, including medical and/or other professional advice, on the most appropriate method of communicating the decision to the person.

9.3 The Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor will provide a copy of the letter to the relevant Associate Vice-Chancellor/Campus Dean and such other staff as are relevant.

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10. Withdrawal of application for admission, enrolment or re-enrolment

If, at any time before determination of the matter by the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor the person voluntarily withdraws his/her application for admission or withdraws from enrolment/re-enrolment in the program, unit or research or auditing the program or unit, the Provost or Deputy Vice-Chancellor may terminate his/her investigation or review.


1Includes a general practitioner, registered psychologist, psychiatrist or other registered specialist.

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