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Travel Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of this policy is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all RMIT travellers and travel activities while maintaining the financial integrity and compliance of all travel activities.

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Section 2 - Overview

(2) RMIT considers anyone who travels on RMIT-related activities to be an RMIT traveller.

(3) RMIT has a duty of care to all RMIT travellers. The University must also avoid unnecessary or excessive travel expenditure and ensure the financial integrity and compliance of all travel activities including fringe benefits tax (FBT) and travel diary requirements. This policy ensures compliance with these obligations.

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Section 3 -  Scope

(4) This policy applies to all RMIT travellers across the University and its controlled entities (RMIT Group). It supersedes all previous policies and any college, school or divisional policies or procedures.

(5) This policy applies to all travel undertaken for RMIT-related activities, including domestic and international travel by air, and ground transportation.

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Section 4 - Policy

Principles

(6) RMIT supports travel to enhance and enable its teaching, learning, research and engagement activities.

(7) RMIT will fund travel where there is a clear and measurable purpose that can’t be undertaken in another way, the costs are reasonable and appropriate, and the travel is compliant with this policy and related student and staff travel procedures.

(8) In facilitating travel, RMIT is committed to ensuring:

  1. the safety of all RMIT travellers
  2. RMIT’s financial obligations are met
  3. environmental impact of employee travel is reduced.

Responsibilities

(9) RMIT travellers are responsible for:

  1. discussing travel plans with their people manager prior to booking travel arrangements
  2. ensuring that travel is booked and managed through the contracted travel management company (TMC) in accordance with the relevant RMIT Travel Procedure
  3. exercising practical judgement in booking the lowest practical fare (LPF), deciding on transport or accommodation for their circumstances
  4. ensuring that personal travel and expenses are not paid for using RMIT funds
  5. taking reasonable steps to ensure that they are fit for travel, obtaining appropriate security, health and safety guidance prior to embarking on travel
  6. ensuring travel documents are up to date
  7. ensuring that travel activities are covered by existing RMIT insurance
  8. exercising awareness of their cyber security responsibilities when carrying RMIT devices, including information
  9. ensuring that travel funded from an external body complies with the conditions of the relevant external body
  10. ensuring they are aware of the cultural and legal sensitivities of their host country or organisation.

(10) People managers are responsible for:

  1. discussing travel plans prior to approving arrangements with RMIT staff travellers to whom they report, including:
    1. the issues set out in clause 9(a) to (j)
    2. directing the traveller to book business-related flights and accommodation through the RMIT Travel Portal and contracted travel management company
    3. ensuring they can confirm that the travel is being undertaken for legitimate University business, and if there is a personal component to the travel that the dominant purpose of travel is for University business
  2. ensuring approved travel expenses adhere to the Delegations of Authority and Business Expenses Policy.

(11) VCE members are responsible for:

  1. approving travel to high-risk destinations for travellers identified under the Staff Travel Procedure
  2. approving their own travel arrangements, except for travel to destinations rated high risk or above.

(12) The Executive Director, Property Services and Chief Procurement Officer is responsible for:

  1. establishing the RMIT Group Travel Procedure - Staff
  2. overseeing the travel management company
  3. maintaining a list of approved travel suppliers
  4. ensuring appropriate pre-departure travel information is available to staff and students.

(13) The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for:

  1. establishing fringe benefits tax (FBT) guidelines
  2. establishing per diem requirements.

(14) The Chief Operating Officer:

  1. approves VCE member travel to high risk destinations
  2. may withhold approval for travel to high risk countries/regions, as determined by International SOS
  3. can require travellers to return home where their safety is at risk.

Review

(15) This policy will be reviewed every three years in accordance with the Policy Governance Framework.

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Section 5 - Procedures and Resources

(16) Refer to the following documents which are established in accordance with this policy:

  1. Travel Procedure - Staff
  2. Travel Procedure - Student
  3. Per Diem and Travel Guide (see Travel)
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Section 6 - Definitions

(17) Commonly defined terms are in the RMIT Policy Glossary. Any defined terms below are specific to this policy and procedures.

Domestic travel Where the departure and arrival of travel takes place in the same country. Travel takes place within the traveller’s country of origin. For RMIT Europe, all travel within the European Union and the UK is considered domestic. For RMIT Vietnam, all travel within Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar is considered domestic.
Excluded Airline List Regulation (EC) No.2111/2005 establishes a list of air carriers which are subject to an operating ban within the European Community. The European Commission maintains and publishes the detailed list of carriers subject to an operating ban on the European Union Transport website.
Fit for travel Travellers are fit and able to participate in the business-related travel.
High risk destination As determined by International SOS (ISOS).
International SOS RMIT’s consultant regarding travel security and medical advice and contracted provider of international emergency services.
International travel Where the departure and arrival of travel takes place in different countries.
Lowest practical fare (LPF) Lowest practical fare available on the day booked that reasonably meets travel requirements, considering factors such as safety ratings of airlines and practicality of schedules.
Online booking tool (OBT) A web-based software utilised by RMIT travellers to quote and self-book flights, hotel and rail travel.
Personal funds Does not include research grants or funds of any kind.
Personal travel Any non-RMIT-related travel or accompanying spouse, partner or dependant travel.
Point-to-point international travel Where travel is a maximum of two airfare sectors e.g. Melbourne – Singapore – Melbourne.
RMIT enrolment-related travel Travel which is fully or partly paid for by the University and/or undertaken by students to gain credit towards their course of study and/or undertaken by students where they are a participant in group travel organised by the University. It also applies to student travelling for activities including but not limited to sporting events, field trips & excursions, exchange & study abroad, study tours and student placement.
RMIT-related activities Activities undertaken for University business on the University’s behalf, whether within Australia or internationally, but does not include travel in which the employee reasonably expects to return to work within the same day. activity that fulfils employment functions or may contribute to course/program requirements.
RMIT Travel Portal (RTP) A web-based software utilised by RMIT travellers for pre-trip approval management.
RMIT traveller Anyone from the RMIT Group who travels for RMIT-related activities. The Staff Travel Procedure applies to all RMIT travellers funded wholly or partially funded by RMIT including HDR candidates, and in those instances where travel is funded by RMIT for people who are not staff or students, excluding consultants (“RMIT staff travellers”). The Student Travel Procedure applies to all students (other than HDR candidates) undertaking RMIT enrolment-related travel (“RMIT student travellers”).
Travel management company (TMC) RMIT approved travel management company FCM Travel.