Manual of Policies and Procedures

D/7.1 Outside work - academic staff and senior staff

Contact Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research and Innovation)

Approval Date

12/10/2016

Approval Authority

Council

Date of Next Review

31/10/2018

7.1.1 Purpose
7.1.2 Application
7.1.3 Definitions
7.1.4 Roles and responsibilities
7.1.5 Approval to undertake outside work
7.1.6 Financial and contractual considerations for University outside work
7.1.7 Workload and payment mechanisms
7.1.8 Intellectual property
7.1.9 Reporting
Related Documents
Modification History

7.1.1 Purpose

QUT encourages academic and senior staff to identify and pursue outside work aligned to the University's strategic priorities.

QUT positions itself as 'a university for the real world' and a leading 'university of technology'. QUT values outside work which:

  • engages with the world of the professions, industry, government, and the broader community; and
  • builds capacity by pursuing activities that add to the range and depth of expertise of staff.

When outside work is undertaken it is important:

  • to create a balance between the internal work commitments of academic and senior staff, and the outside work
  • for academic and senior staff to be able to pursue professional development opportunities in a way that minimises risks and ensures appropriate use of QUT resources; and
  • to appropriately manage additional income that may be generated through the outside work.

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7.1.2 Application

The policy applies to ongoing and fixed-term academic staff and to senior staff (either full-time or part-time). Academic staff are staff classified at Level A to Level E inclusive. Senior staff are staff classified at Senior Staff Group (SSG) level SSGA to SSGE inclusive. Sessional academic staff are not required to seek approval for any work with an outside entity, however, must still comply with the QUT Staff Code of Conduct (B/8.1) and other policies.

Arrangements for professional staff (HEW levels 1 to 10 inclusive) are found in B/7.9 Outside employment - professional staff.

This policy does not apply to research or development which is conducted at the request of and paid for by individuals, agencies, companies or other organisations external to the University and involves creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge (for further details see D/1.1.6 Commercial research).

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7.1.3 Definitions

Authorising officer is the officer who determines applications to undertake outside work in accordance with section D/7.1.5 of this policy.

Exempt outside work refers to the following activities: journal editorship and editorial work, external examining and examination of theses, occasional lectures and public appearances (including unpaid broadcasts and performances), occasional publications (such as newspaper articles), writing and publishing books, professional associations and working parties, pro bono, community and voluntary work, and honorariums including payments for external co-supervision of Higher Degree Research students.

Outside work refers to any work, whether paid or unpaid, undertaken by a staff member for an outside entity, or in a self-employed capacity, where the work relates to the staff member's position at QUT. It does not include second jobs unrelated to the discipline in which the staff member is employed at QUT, or activities arising from personal interests which are not related to the staff member's position at QUT. Outside work is categorised as either 'university outside work' or 'private outside work' (D/1.1.6).

Private outside work refers to outside work, whether paid or unpaid, where the activity is agreed directly between a staff member and an outside entity subject to prior approval in accordance with this policy. This includes where a staff member is an officer of a company, except where the appointment is made by the University.

University outside work refers to outside work, whether paid or unpaid, where the activity is agreed between the University and an outside entity such as Government, Industry, the Community or the professions. It usually includes use of subject knowledge and expertise (pre-existing know how or intellectual property) of the University and/or equipment/facilities for analysing an issue or solving a problem.

Unrelated work refers to work performed external to the University and not related to a staff member's duties or area of expertise.

Further information and guidance is provided under Outside work procedures for academic and senior staff on the QUT Digital Workplace.

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7.1.4 Roles and responsibilities

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research and Innovation)

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research and Innovation) approves administrative procedures and guidance consistent with this policy, which include:

  • the procedure for the approval of outside work by academic and senior staff
  • procedure for handling complaints about university outside work by clients
  • management of breaches of this policy
  • record keeping and reporting. 

Staff undertaking outside work

Staff undertaking outside work must do so in a manner consistent with all of the obligations imposed on staff in the QUT Staff Code of Conduct (B/8.1). In particular, where any outside work is being undertaken (including private outside work), staff members retain an obligation to the University under the Staff Code of Conduct to address conflicts of interest situations (B/8.1.3), in consultation with the authorising officer under this policy. This obligation is ongoing and applies for the duration of any outside work activity.

Staff members are required to notify the authorising officer of any material changes to the outside work during its course, such as to the nature of the work, its value, its impact on time or resource use, insurance arrangements, and any conflicts of interest which arise.

Head of School or Head of Department

Responsibility for delivery of University outside work lies with the staff member's Head of School or Head of Department. This includes handling complaints from clients in relation to the conduct of University outside work.

Executive Director, Office of Research Services

The Office of Research Services provides guidance on assessing and managing University outside work proposals which meet any one or more of the following criteria:

  • is not conducted under an agreement that is an approved QUT template
  • is valued at $10,000 or more
  • includes commercial research
  • is an expert witness project
  • is an international project.

Executive Deans and Executive Director of Institute and Heads of Division

Faculties, Divisions, and Institutes manage University outside work valued at less than $10,000, and not otherwise within the responsibility of the Director, Office of Research Services in accordance with this policy.

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7.1.5 Approval to undertake outside work

Engagement in outside work varies between staff members and unless otherwise stated in their position description, is normally negotiated in performance management and workload allocation discussions as part of the Performance Planning and Review (PPR) process (B/9.2 for academic staff and University-wide framework for academic workload allocation (QUT staff access only), and B/9.3 for senior staff).

Authorising officers may withdraw approval to undertake University or private outside work where there is any change in the work which would impact on the approval criteria or, in the case of university outside work, if there is an agreed change to the work's terms, conditions or scope. In this case, leave without pay or a part-time appointment may be considered to enable the staff member to undertake outside work or to meet contractual obligations.

a) Approval authority

The following authorising officers approve or reject applications to undertake outside work.

Authorising officers may also negotiate modifications to outside work arrangements.

Staff category

Authorising officer

Academic staff

Executive Deans of Faculty (may be delegated to Heads of School or equivalent)

Heads of School or Department, and other academic staff who report to the Executive Deans of Faculty or Heads of Division or Executive Directors of Institutes

Executive Deans of Faculty

Executive Directors of Institutes Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research and Innovation)

Executive Deans of Faculty

Provost

Deputy Vice-Chancellors and Heads of Division

Vice-Chancellor and President

Vice-Chancellor and President

Chancellor

Where an academic staff member is a member of an Institute, the Executive Dean of Faculty will consult with the Executive Director of Institute regarding the application for outside work prior to granting approval.

Further information and guidance is provided under Outside work procedures for academic and senior staff.

b) Approval criteria

An application to undertake outside work must be assessed in terms of risk, workload management and use of University resources. An authorising officer must be satisfied that the category of outside work (University outside work or private outside work) and resulting contractual and payment arrangements are appropriate having regard to the circumstances.

i) University outside work
Applications to undertake University outside work will normally be approved where:

  • the work is aligned to the staff member's performance plan, the organisational area's strategic, workload and financial plans, and the strategic ambitions of the University
  • the work falls within the staff member's agreed workload allocation for outside work and will not interfere with carrying out agreed workload commitments
  • the work contributes to staff development and capacity building
  • the proposal realistically assesses any costs to the University, and addresses, where necessary, issues related to use of university resources, cost recovery, disbursement of revenue, management of intellectual property, confidentiality, and liability and indemnity
  • any conflicts of interest are avoided or appropriately managed (QUT Staff Code of Conduct (B/8.1);¬†Conflict of interest (B/8.7) and the University's Disclosure of Interest procedures)
  • the work is of a type and quality which enhances the reputation of the University and the staff involved
  • risks have been managed and the work is not likely to expose the University to litigation or liability
  • contractual arrangements will not inhibit the freedom of enquiry of the University and its staff, nor detract from any function of the University
  • the work is not in competition with services otherwise provided by the University, nor unfairly in competition with services provided by other entities
  • ethical clearance has been obtained where this is appropriate (D/6 and Office of Research Ethics and Integrity).

Approval to undertake University outside work may be granted for part-time staff but the authorising officer must take into account the fraction of the appointment and associated workload issues.

A staff member undertaking approved university outside work is covered by the University's professional indemnity and public liability insurance policies, subject to the current terms and conditions of those policies.

ii) Private outside work
Applications to undertake private outside work will normally be approved where:

  • there is no use of university resources, or adequate reimbursement arrangements are in place
  • the work is in addition to the staff member's agreed workload allocation for outside work and will not interfere with carrying out agreed University work commitments (D/7.1.7)
  • there is no use of QUT intellectual property, or arrangements are in place consistent with the Intellectual Property Policy (D/3.1)
  • appropriate arrangements are in place to ensure that clients are aware that the staff member acts in a private capacity and not as an employee or representative of QUT (D/7.1.9)
  • any conflicts of interest are avoided or appropriately managed (QUT Staff Code of Conduct (B/8.1) and University's Conflict of Interest procedures)
  • risks have been managed and the work is not likely to expose the University to litigation or liability nor does the work have the potential to damage the University's reputation
  • the work is not in competition with services otherwise provided by the University.

Further information and guidance is provided under Outside work procedures and guidance information for for academic and senior staff.

The authorising officer should be satisfied that approval is in the University's interests. Leave without pay or a part-time appointment may be negotiated with the staff member to enable them to undertake private outside work if there is likely to be an impact on allocated workload.

If an employee seeks to undertake private outside work during a period of long service or recreation leave, the authorising officer should take a number of factors into account in determining approval, for example:

  • the nature of the work and how it was obtained by the staff member, including any prior arrangements for similar work (D/7.1.3)
  • whether the work is to be performed for a competitor of QUT
  • whether there are any work health, safety and environment concerns weighing in favour of the employee not working during the period of leave
  • whether the work has the potential to adversely affect the reputation of QUT or the employee
  • whether there are any compassionate reasons that allow the work to be performed
  • whether the work will enhance the skills or knowledge of the employee to the benefit of QUT
  • any other matters that might be considered relevant.
Staff undertaking exempt outside work are not required to seek approval. The pursuit of exempt outside work must however be consistent with the performance planning and workload allocation discussions.

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7.1.6 Financial and contractual considerations for University outside work

a) Costing and pricing

University outside work contract prices are set by the University regardless of whether the work is to be undertaken within allocated workload or in addition to allocated workload. The University seeks to recover the full costs of university outside work, and charge market competitive rates for staff and equipment. However, in setting contract prices, the specific circumstances of any project may be taken into account.

As a component of the cost of a project, an indirect costs charge must be made to provide for the indirect support provided by the University. The charge is returned to the operational area. Refer to University overhead charge on gross income for the contract: Finance Manual (QUT staff access only).

Further information on costing and pricing is available from the Office of Research Services (QUT staff access only).

b) Signing authority for contracts

The officers delegated to sign contracts for University outside work are specified in the Schedule of Authorities and Delegations (Governance - Contracts and Agreements).

c) Expenditure of funds

Expenditure of funds for University outside work, such as acquisition of equipment or appointment of support staff, is made in accordance with University policies and procedures and the Schedule of Authorities and Delegations.

d) Management of University outside work contracts

General requirements for management of contracts are specified in the policy on management of contracts and MOU’s (G/6.1), and must be complied with in regard to a University outside work contract.

e) Disbursement of income

Disbursement of income arising from University outside work is based on actual, not budgeted, revenue and costs. Disbursements of surplus funds shall only occur after all costs have been attributed against the income for which charges are prioritised in the following order:

  • indirect costs (refer University overhead¬†charge on gross income for the contract: Finance Manual (QUT staff access only))
  • actual direct non-labour costs
  • actual direct labour costs, usually in the form of salary and salary on-costs for administrative staff and other staff contracted specifically for a project
  • professional fees where the work is undertaken in addition to allocated workload, as appropriate (D/7.1.7).

Any residual income may be disbursed to operational area Surplus Account(s) or other accounts with the funds to be expended in accordance with University policies and procedures.

Further information on disbursement of income is available from the Office of Research Services.

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7.1.7 Workload and payment mechanisms

University outside work

Workload allocation and monetary arrangements must be resolved prior to approval of University outside work under (D/7.1.5).

As part of workload allocation discussions and the approval process specified in this policy, University outside work may be designated as either:

  • within allocated workload
  • in addition to allocated workload.

Where University outside work is designated as being within allocated workload, professional fees are retained by the University in an account of the operational area of the staff member.

If University outside work is regarded as being in addition to allocated workload, then payment options are:

  • retention of professional fees by the University in a surplus account in the operational area of the staff member, with funds to be expended in accordance with University policies and procedures
  • subject to the appropriate approval procedure being followed, payment to the staff member through the University payroll (via a completed Payroll (Overload) Claim form available from the Finance and Resource Planning website (QUT staff access only)). The approval process is detailed in D/7.1.1.

Where University outside work is undertaken in combination of 'within allocated workload' and 'in addition to allocated workload', the workload proportions to be allocated and monetary arrangements are negotiated and approved by the authorising officer.

Private outside work

All private outside work is regarded as being in addition to allocated workload. As noted in approval to undertake outside work (D/7.1.5), payment or remuneration for private outside work does not involve the University in any way.

Exempt outside work

Workload and payment arrangements for exempt outside work will be negotiated as for University outside work (D/7.1.7) where applicable.

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7.1.8 Intellectual property

Management of intellectual property used in or generated in the course of University outside work is to be in accordance with the University's intellectual property policy (D/3.1).

Ownership of intellectual property generated by staff in the course of private outside work will not generally be owned by QUT, subject to contractual arrangements and use of University resources. Any arrangements for use of QUT intellectual property in private outside work must be finalised prior to commencing any private outside work.

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7.1.9 Reporting

The Office of Research Services provides a report to the Vice-Chancellor and President each year, through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research and Innovation).

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Related Documents

MOPP A/7.1 Indemnity and insurance

MOPP B/8.1 QUT Staff Code of Conduct

MOPP B/8.7 Conflict of interest

MOPP D/1.1 Research and innovation

MOPP D/3.1 Intellectual property

MOPP G/6.1 Policy on management of contracts and MOUs

QUT Finance Manual (QUT staff access only)

Outside work procedures (QUT staff access only)

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Modification History

Date

Sections

Source

Details

12.12.18 D/7.1.4, D7.1.6, D/7.1.9 Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation) Revised to include department name change to Office of Research Services
12.10.16 All Council Periodic review - senior staff outside work arrangements consolidated into this policy (formerly included in B/7.9) and approval mechanism for staff offered a paid or unpaid company directorship with an entity outside QUT clarified

22.02.12

D/7.1.7

Council

Policy revised to include change to reporting arrangements for institute directors

20.10.10

All

Council

Periodic review - Policy revised

15.09.10

All

Governance Services

Policy revised to reflect repeal of Information Facilities Rules

01.03.06

All

Council

New policy - replaces MOPP D/7 Commercial research, consultancy and private practice (D/7.1 - D/7.6 rescinded) (endorsed by Planning and Resources Committee 15.02.06 and Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Committee 22.02.06)

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