Policy University Management Staff External Professional Activities and Outside Employment Procedure

Staff External Professional Activities and Outside Employment Procedure

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This procedure provides guidance to managers and staff of JCU who may undertake paid or unpaid employment, consultancy or professional activities outside the University. It outlines the process for staff to seek approval for such appointments to ensure they do not impinge on the effective discharge of their duties with JCU, and manage any potential conflict of interest in doing so.


This procedure applies to all University staff, whether they are continuing or fixed-term, appointments, including senior management, executive, academic, professional and technical and conjoint appointments. Casual staff and Affiliates (including adjunct appointments and visiting scholars) are excluded from this procedure.

JCU nominee appointments to Controlled Entities, Affiliated Companies or the Affiliated Residential Colleges are also excluded (see the Legal Services, Claims and Litigation Assistance Policy).


Except as otherwise specified in this Procedure or the Conflict of Interest Policy, the meaning of terms used are as per the Human Resources Policy Glossary and the Policy Glossary.


Means appointment to a board or association or other entity (not including JCU appointments to Controlled entities or Affiliated Residential Colleges).

External professional activities (paid or unpaid)

Refers to activities within the professional expertise of staff that are outside their terms of employment  and that do not involve their acting as an agent for, or on behalf of, the University

Head of Work Unit

Means the manager of a Division, College, Institute, Centre, Directorate or any successor structure.  A Head of Work Unit would be a Staff Member in one of the following roles: Dean, Director, PVC, DVC, Provost or Vice Chancellor.

Outside Employment (paid or unpaid)

Where a staff member may be hired or otherwise contracted, whether paid or unpaid, to an outside agency eg, a second job or private consultancy

Outside Agency

An employer or organisation that is not JCU or a Controlled Entity of JCU.


1. Principles

1.1 In valuing the expertise of its people, the University recognises that staff may engage in paid or unpaid outside employment or private practice but expects that their doing so will not adversely impact on their ability to fulfil their employment obligation to the University, nor impede its work health and safety commitments.

1.2 Full-time staff may not undertake other paid employment without express prior approval of their Head of Work Unit. Subject to individual staff contracts, the University requires that people will not, unless expressly approved, use the University's name, reputation, or resources in association with any outside work or private practice.

1.3 Staff undertaking external professional activities or outside employment, have a responsibility to ensure that those activities do not:

  • interfere with the effective carrying out of their normal University duties;
  • involve staff members in any conflict of interest with their University responsibilities, or in any situation where there is a reasonable basis for the perception of such a conflict.

1.4 Staff must also take all reasonable steps to avoid the University incurring any liability as a result of their conduct whilst undertaking these roles.

1.5 Any external activity or outside employment with any foreign university, academic organisation, government or government agency or company must be declared on the form provided at Appendix 1.

1.6 Relevant University considerations are outlined below. The approval process is as per the form at Appendix 1.

2. External Professional Activities

2.1 The University encourages staff to participate in professional activities outside the scope of their normal duties and recognises that benefits may accrue to both the staff member and to the University from external professional activities. These benefits include:

  • developing, broadening and strengthening the skills and experience of the staff member, and hence enriching the academic and intellectual capital of the University;
  • making the specialised knowledge and talents of the staff member, and hence of the University, available to the community;
  • enhancing the personal satisfaction that staff gain from their professional position;
  • relating the pure and strategic research pursued in the University to the applied research and technology necessary for industry, government and other community sectors; and
  • widening the options available to the University for additional sources of funding for research and scholarship.

2.2 Appointment as a director, secretary, public or executive officer of any entity gives rise to legal obligations and can require a significant investment of time. The requirements set out under this procedure do not apply to appointments in entities where the sole purpose is to act as a trustee for a family trust or self-managed superannuation fund.

2.3 If staff members wish to have such activities considered as part of their University duties for the purposes of increment review or promotion, they should ensure that the activities have the prior approval of their Head of Work Unit as appropriate. Staff may cite such approved activities in their applications for promotion, as "service to the relevant profession and/or academic discipline and/or relevant contributions to the wider community".

2.4 Staff members should ensure that when acting in the course of professional activities to which this Procedure applies, that they do not represent or act in a way which is calculated to convey that they are speaking or acting on behalf of the University, or conveying the views of or expressing the position of the University as an institution.

3. Outside Employment (including private consultancy)

3.1 All research, consultancies and other contract work is to be negotiated through the University unless a formal approval for outside employment is granted by the relevant Head of Work Unit.

3.2 Outside employment that is related or similar to the staff member's work, duties or responsibilities at JCU may be sought where it is required to maintain expertise in professional practice, is considered private consultancy, and/or the workload or fractional hours allows alternate employment.

3.3 A staff member seeking to undertake significant amounts of outside employment, may be required to move to a fractional appointment.

3.4 Approved outside employment may not count in the calculation of a teaching or administrative load.

3.5 Approvals need not be sought for work that is unrelated to the staff member’s work duties or responsibilities at JCU and where their fractional hours allow. Nor is it required for:

  • the refereeing or editing of articles for academic journals, or other such texts;
  • the refereeing of research grant proposals or reports;
  • external examining;
  • a place on a professional board in return solely for a sitting fee; or
  • the writing of books, or the creation of other artistic works.

3.6 Paid private tuition of University students in a subject in which the staff member is formally involved, is not permitted.

3.7 Approved outside employment must not involve any use of the University brand (emblem, logo, letterhead, etc), or make any explicit association with the University.

3.8 Full-time staff members must obtain approval in advance from the Head of Work Unit before publicly announcing or advertising in any form, that they are seeking outside employment.  The announcement or advertisement must not contain any association with the University.

3.9 Prior to accepting any outside employment, staff must seek approval from their Head of Work Unit using the form at Appendix 1. This includes:

  • a place on the board or governing body of an entity, except where the entity is non-profit and charitable, or where it exists exclusively for the arrangement of private affairs; or
  • a position as a partner or principal in, or regular consultant to, a commercial entity.

3.10 An application to commence outside employment must including the following information:

  • the duties to be undertaken and when the duties will be undertaken;
  • title or role of the position;
  • the name and address of the employer;
  • duration of the appointment, noting that approvals cannot be given on an ongoing basis, periods of approval will not exceed more than one continuous year; and
  • completed conflict of interest declaration where relevant.

4. Use of University Resources

4.1 Paid external professional activities or outside employment must not involve the use of University resources.

4.2 Approval may be granted to a staff member to conduct external professional activities involving the use of University resources if it can be demonstrated there is a significant benefit to the University.

4.3 Staff approved to undertake external professional activities or outside employment involving University resources must reimburse the University for the costs involved at a rate previously agreed in writing with the Head of Work Unit.

5. Conflict of Interest

5.1 Staff requesting approval for outside employment should consider the questions in the checklist at appendix 2 to consider whether their employment may conflict with their JCU duties.

5.2 Where actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest arises from an external activity or outside employment, a Conflict of Interest form will be required as part of the approval process and can be found at Appendix 2 of the Conflict of Interest Procedure.

6. Resolution of disputes

6.1 In cases where the University as a corporate entity is subjected to, or threatened with, legal action arising from the activities of a staff member, the University will, where appropriate, advise the relevant Head of Work Unit, and inform and consult with the staff member concerned, in accordance with the  Legal Services, Claims and Litigation Assistance Policy.

6.2 In cases where a staff member wishes to dispute a decision to not approve an external activity or outside employment, they should do so in accordance with the Resolution of Grievances Procedure.

7. Income, Indemnity and Reporting

7.1 External professional activities are not covered by the University's professional indemnity insurance, nor any other related cover such as workers' compensation; nor will the University provide accounting or related services. Earnings received for private work must not be paid through the University.

7.2 Staff members are responsible for informing their clients of any relevant conditions that this policy imposes on their relationship with the clients, particularly with respect to:

  • their operating totally independently of the University, and
  • the University not accepting any liability whatsoever, for any losses, expenses, claims or damages that may be incurred by the member of staff as a result of their external work.

8. Record Keeping

8.1 Once the Head of Work Unit has approved the Outside Employment or External Professional Activity, they are to be forward to the respective Deputy Vice Chancellor for noting with Conflict of Interest forms if appropriate. The forms are then to be forwarded to HR for entering on the staff HR record, and HR Conflict of Interest Register respectively.


Appendix 1 – External Activity and Outside Employment Declaration and Approval form

Appendix 2 – Conflict of Interest checklist

Related documents and legislation

Staff Code of Conduct

Conflict of Interest Policy

Conflict of Interest Procedure

Public Interest Disclosure Procedure

Fraud and Corruption Procedure

Foreign Interference Policy

Crime and Corruption Act 2001

Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010

Public Sector Ethics Act 1994


NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainUniversity Management

Policy Sub-domain

Human Resources

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval Authority

Vice Chancellor

Date for next Major Review


Revision History

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date






Procedure established to replace Statement on Staff External Activities and updated to incorporate all staff, and to align with the principles and expectations articulated in the Conflict of Interest Policy and Foreign Interference Policy

Chief of Staff