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WHS OP004 - Terms of Reference (Vice-Chancellor approved) - Work Health and Safety (WHS) Management Group

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Section 1 - Overview

Establishment of the WHS Management Group

(1) The WHS Management Group is established as a Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer's Committee, and the Committee is delegated a number of functions in relation to Work Health and Safety (WHS) matters at the University.

(2) The establishment of this Committee (WHS Management Group) and the delegation of powers to it are actions authorised by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer.

(3) This document has been developed in accordance with:

  1. Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017;
  2. Work Health and Safety Consultation Cooperation and Coordination: Code of practice 2011.

(4) This document serves as the ratified Terms of Reference under which the University WHS Management Group will operate.


(5) The formation and continued existence of the WHS Management Group allows for effective:

  1. reporting and information flow;
  2. management review;
  3. demonstration of accountability and proactive interest;
  4. budget and resource allocation;
  5. implementation of management responsibility; and
  6. provides a forum to exercise and demonstrate due diligence.
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Section 2 - Committee (WHS Management Group) Membership


(6) The WHS Management Group comprises of:

  1. Chief Operating Officer (COO);
  2. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (P&DVC);
  3. Director People and Culture (HRS);
  4. Director Estate and Built Environment (FMS); 
  5. Director UNE Residential System; and
  6. Work Health and Safety (WHS) Manager.

In Attendance

Official Attendees

(7) Any person invited by the Chair.

(8) Various University Specialist staff may be invited to attend meetings.

(9) External experts may also be invited to attend meetings as determined by the WHS Management Group but will not have voting rights.

(10) Observers are welcome to attend WHS Management Group meetings, provided that permission has been sought and approved by the Chair prior to the meeting. Observers may address the WHS Management Group and answer questions only on the invitation of the Chair. Observers are not entitled to vote.

(11) If a member of the WHS Management Group cannot attend a WHS Management Group meeting, their deputy may attend in their place and hold the same voting rights as the absent member.


(12) The Chairperson of the WHS Management Group is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (PDVC).

Gender Representative Objectives

(13) The University is committed to gender equality and, so far as is practicable, it is an objective that the WHS Management Group membership should comprise a balance of genders.

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Section 3 - Functions of the Committee

(14) The WHS Management Group is charged with the following duties:

  1. promotion of a positive and proactive health and safety culture based on responsiveness, inclusion and consultation;
  2. review of hazards and risks (Section 79 of the WHS Act 2011), in particular those that have been tabled at work group meetings and the WHS Committee meeting and have not been resolved or that require further attention;
  3. review of injury and near miss reports (not including personal identification information);
  4. review of lead and lag indicator reports relating to University performance in health and safety management;
  5. strategic review, endorsement and budgetary sign off of the University WHS Management System and associated initiatives;
  6. setting of objectives and targets to set the benchmarks for continuous improvement in all areas of health and safety management; and
  7. circulation of minutes to all members of the WHS Management Group along with feedback to the WHS Committee on issues escalated from the WHS Committee and/or WHS Work Groups.

(15) The WHS Management Group will operate to make final decisions relating to health and Safety matters at the University.


(16) The Chair of the WHS Management Group will report to the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer on the business conducted by the WHS Management Group. Reports will normally be by email and will include minutes of each meeting.

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Section 4 - Delegations

Delegation from Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer

(17) This Committee (WHS Management Group) has delegated authority from the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer to perform on behalf of the University Secretary the approval, advice and monitoring functions set out in these terms of reference and all matters ancillary to those functions. The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer retains the discretion to withdraw, modify or override this delegation at any time.

(18) A delegate from the WHS Management Group, appointed by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, will attend each WHS Committee meeting as a Management Representative and facilitate information flow to and from the WHS Work Groups, WHS Committee and WHS Management Group.

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Section 5 - Conduct of Committee (WHS Management Group) Business


(19) The WHS Management Group will schedule meetings every two months to ensure:

  1. due attention is given to matters tabled with the WHS Management Group;
  2. continuity and follow up of action items; and
  3. against momentum loss, particularly where there are cases of absenteeism.

(20) WHS Management Group meetings may be convened more often at the request of the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor or at least half of the WHS Management Group members.

Business Papers

(21) An agenda and any accompanying reports will be circulated at least seven working days before each meeting by the secretary.

(22) WHS Management Group meetings are recorded via utilisation of template agenda and minute sheets.

(23) Minute records are to be circulated to members of the WHS Management Group within seven days of the meeting being held.

(24) The secretary is responsible for ensuring all WHS Management Group agendas, minutes (once confirmed at the following meeting) and reports are recorded in TRIM.


(25) A quorum is achieved where there are at least half of the WHS Management Group members present.

Use of Technology

(26) For its business papers, meetings and otherwise to conduct its business the Committee (WHS Management Group) and its members may use technology including telephone, video-conferencing, telepresence, email and internet as arranged by the Chair and/or Committee Secretary.


(27) Where the Chair deems that a vote is required to resolve an issue (where recommendations cannot be agreed upon via general consensus, a majority of the attendees must be in favour of a motion for it to be passed (assuming a quorum has been achieved).

(28) The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, as the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU), has the final authority within the University for any decision relating to health and safety matters and may rescind the outcome of a WHS Management Group vote.


(29) Meeting notes will be kept to a minimum and circulated promptly following the meeting, including all action items. These will not require formal endorsement by the Committee (WHS Management Group).

Disclosure of Information

(30) Disclosure of business papers, minutes and other information received by the Committee (WHS Management Group) should be made via the Chair or Secretary to the Committee.


(31) Once every twelve-month period, the Committee (WHS Management Group) shall devote at least one part of one meeting to the review of its policies, practices and procedures over the preceding 12 months.

Secretary to WHS Management Group

(32) A Secretary will be appointed by the Chair.