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Travel Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy outlines QUT’s approach to the management of official University travel. In this Policy, individuals who travel on official University business are referred to as QUT travellers.

(2) The following principles apply: 

  1. QUT travellers are responsible for managing their travel program and activities and must ensure that travel is authorised and conducted consistently with QUT policies and procedures;
  2. travel must be appropriate and relevant to the traveller’s role, activities and responsibilities, and able to withstand public scrutiny;
  3. QUT travellers must, in undertaking their travel program and activities, comply with the applicable code of conduct (Code of Conduct - Staff, Code of Conduct - Student) and must ensure that QUT resources are used responsibly and appropriately, and only for official University travel;
  4. travel should be by the most direct, economical and logical route and mode of transportation, unless it can be demonstrated that an alternative is in the best interests of the University;
  5. safety of QUT travellers is of paramount importance and is a shared responsibility between QUT and the traveller; and
  6. QUT travellers and other staff involved in the administration of travel must comply with detailed procedures specifying how official University travel must be managed (Travel webpage in the Digital Workplace(QUT staff access only)).
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Section 2 - Application

(3) This Policy applies to all QUT Council members, staff members, holders of honorary titles (Distinguished and Honorary Titles Policy), and students who undertake official University travel. This Policy also applies to contractors and consultants who are required to undertake travel in performing their contractual obligations to QUT.

(4) The Policy applies regardless of the funding source used to meet travel costs.

(5) This Policy does not apply to travel to or from QUT to begin employment, enrolment or an engagement with the University, and does not apply to travel at the conclusion of the relationship with QUT. 

(6) All students undertaking official University travel must, at a minimum, utilise QUT’s global assistance services and address risks associated with travel, and will be subject to the Code of Conduct - Student whilst engaged in approved travel activities. Where the University funds official University travel, students must comply with all aspects of this Policy and related procedures.

(7) Staff international travel cannot be in excess of 90 days. An approval exception may be provided for a period in excess of 90 days by the Executive Dean, Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Vice-President.

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Section 3 - Roles and Responsibilities

Position
Responsibility
Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar
Approves travel procedures for publication.
Director, Campus Services
As service owner of travel, develops travel procedures and implements the travel management system.
Supervisor (where applicable)
Approves absences from the workplace during travel (where applicable).
Endorses proposed travel as relevant to role and program of work or study.
Approving officer
Ensures travel is appropriate and that benefits gained from travel justify the expense.
Approves official University travel as set out in the Register of Authorities and Delegations, including approval of estimated costs from an approved budget.
QUT traveller
Obtains relevant approvals prior to booking travel and departure.
Consults travel advisories on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website and complies with risk/threat advices in regard to international travel.
Manages any other risks associated with travel.
Expends University funds economically and cost effectively whilst on official University travel and ensures the costs incurred are within available budget.
Incurs travel costs for University purposes only and ensures that all private expenses are paid by the QUT traveller.
Complies with all applicable QUT policies and procedures.
Acquits funds to provide both transparency and accountability.
Travel Manager, Campus Services
Manages travel product category effectively and appropriately.
Adopts a client service focus in managing travel processes and procedures.
Director, Health Safety and Environment or nominee
Supports duty of care responsibilities for all QUT travellers by monitoring travel advisories and incidents.
Provides updates to senior officers during overseas incidents and events.
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Section 4 - Approving Travel

(8) All travel must be approved by the approving officer (Register of Authorities and Delegations (QUT staff access only)) prior to booking a trip and departure.

(9) Approval by the authorising officer is required even where travel costs are not funded by the University (for further requirements which may apply in this case, refer to, the Staff Gifts and Benefits Policy).

(10) An approval exception is provided for members of the University's Executive Leadership Team who may travel domestically up to and including a total cost of $1,500 (exclusive of GST) without requiring further approval.

(11) Where Supervisors are not the approving officer, their endorsement of the travel and approval of absences from the workplace or from studies must be obtained. Travel approvals must be made via the QUT Travel Registration and Approval form, available in HEAT and accessed from the Travel - before you book webpage in the Digital Workplace (QUT staff access only).

(12) A specific approval is required for all QUT travellers travelling to high-risk destinations. High risk travel (international travel to a destination having a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) travel advice risk of ‘reconsider your need to travel’ or domestic travel to remote or isolated areas) must be approved by the Executive Dean, Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Vice-President. For international travel with a DFAT travel advice of ‘do not travel’, approval of the Vice-Chancellor and President is required. Further information is available from the DFAT website and the Travel webpage in the Digital Workplace (QUT staff access only).

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Section 5 - Booking Travel

(13) All travel must be booked and paid for via QUT’s Travel Management Provider. Use of the Travel Management Provider is mandatory for all QUT travellers (other than students whose travel costs are not funded by the University), to plan and book airfares, accommodation and car hire. Travel bookings must be at the ‘lowest logical fare’, that is, the most economical available airfare which, at the time of booking, suits the requirements of a QUT traveller in enabling business objectives to be met, and ensures effective use of the QUT traveller's time.

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Section 6 - Cost of Travel

(14) Fair and reasonable travel costs can be incurred based on actual expenditure.

(15) In the majority of cases, QUT staff travellers will be provided with a corporate card to fund travel costs including transport, accommodation, meals and incidental costs. When required, students and visitors will have approved funds to cover travel costs transferred directly into their personal bank accounts. Payment via purchase orders and reimbursement of actual costs may be approved by the delegated authority where deemed more efficient.

(16) Travel allowances (per diems) will only be approved by the Executive Dean, Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Vice-President and only in exceptional circumstances.

(17) Procedures and payment arrangements for travel costs are set out in the Finance Manual (QUT staff access only).

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Section 7 - Class of Air Travel

Travel Within Australasia

(18) All air travel within Australasia must be booked at economy class unless the QUT employment contract expressly specifies otherwise. QUT travellers at or above the level of Executive Dean, Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Vice-President, and Distinguished Professors may travel to Western Australia or the Northern Territory at premium economy or business class.

International travel (other than within Australasia)

(19) International travel is booked at economy class by all travellers, except as follows:

  1. Where a staff member’s employment contract expressly states otherwise;
  2. The following travellers may travel at premium economy or business class:
    1. Vice-Chancellor and President;
    2. Provost/Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor;
    3. Deputy Vice-Chancellors;
    4. Vice-Presidents;
    5. Executive Deans; and
    6. Distinguished Professors.

(20) When a QUT traveller who is entitled to a higher class of travel is accompanied by another QUT traveller not so entitled, both may travel at the higher class. In exceptional circumstances, and with approval, other categories of QUT travellers may upgrade to premium economy or business class.

Council Members

(21) QUT Council members (other than QUT staff who serve on Council, to whom the above provisions apply) are entitled to travel at premium economy or business class for all air travel.

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Section 8 - Other Transport

(22) Travel other than by air should involve the most economical commercial service available. For example, this may include the use of taxis or public transport where such use is more economical. In cases where the most efficient and economical means is a University vehicle or a QUT traveller’s private vehicle, the private vehicle can be used with prior approval and the traveller’s agreement.

(23) Procedures for claiming vehicle mileage allowance where a private vehicle is used by a staff member for official University travel are set out in the Finance Manual (QUT staff access only).

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Section 9 - Travel Insurance and Global Assistance

(24) A corporate travel insurance policy is in place to provide cover for all QUT travellers on official University travel (including students). QUT travel insurance policy covers approved business travel only.

(25) Global Assistance Provider has been engaged to provide medical, security and travel assistance services to all approved QUT travellers undertaking international travel. All international QUT travellers must be registered for these services.

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Section 10 - Breach of Travel Policy or Procedures

(26) A QUT traveller may be required to reimburse travel expenses where these were not properly incurred under travel or other policies and procedures. 

(27) Where there is a serious breach of the applicable code of conduct relating to unauthorised or inappropriate travel, or the QUT traveller does not comply with the provisions of this Policy and/or the procedures set out in the Finance Manual, the matter may be dealt with under the relevant procedures for the management of misconduct or serious misconduct, or unsatisfactory performance. 

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Section 11 - Definitions

Term Definition
Approving Officer Means the officer who has the relevant authority for approving travel.
Australasia For the purposes of this Policy, refers to the following countries:  Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea (including Papua New Guinea), Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
Domestic Travel Means travel more than 50 kilometres (one way) from a QUT traveller’s regular place of work/study.
Economy Class Excludes Premium Economy.
International Travel Means travel outside the borders of the Commonwealth of Australia.
Supervisor Is the person the QUT traveller reports to directly (if a staff member) or in the case of higher degree research student, that person’s principal supervisor.
Travel Is an approved journey involving commercial transportation (eg aircraft, train, bus, car hire) and/or accommodation as part of QUT business activities.
Travel Acquittal Is the process to substantiate and approve business related expenses.
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Section 12 - Delegations

(28) Refer to Register of Authorities and Delegations (VC126, VC127, VC128, VC129, VC202, VC203, VC204) (QUT staff access only).