Planning and approvals

This page supplements the Work Off-Campus and Fieldwork Procedure and should be read in conjunction with the procedure to ensure the prevention of work-related injury or illness during work off-campus or fieldwork.

The University frequently engages in work off-campus and fieldwork which is diverse in nature and may take place in unfamiliar surroundings or uncontrolled environments. While the location of work off-campus may not be a registered UQ site, it is legally a workplace, and all persons must comply with their duties under the relevant legislation applicable to the workplace. This includes those senior officers and supervisors involved in the planning and approval stages, and the trip participants performing the work.

UQSafe Work Off-Campus and Fieldwork (WOC/FW) Plan

If you are conducting work off-campus or fieldwork that would reasonably be considered a medium or greater health and safety risk level, you may need to complete a WOC/FW Plan in UQSafe. 

Log in to UQSafe

Resources and guides

For assistance completing a WOC/FW Plan in UQSafe contact your local Work Health and Safety Coordinator (WHSC) or HSW Manager.

Which activities need a WOC/FW Plan? 

Medium to high-risk activities

Off-campus and fieldwork activities within the scope of the Work Off-Campus and Fieldwork Procedure is work that is reasonably considered at medium or greater health and safety risk level. These activities require a WOC/FW Plan. Examples include:

  • Archaeology expeditions, geological and geographical research
  • Boating, diving, snorkelling, marine and estuary research
  • Collecting biological and other specimens
  • Farm studies and animal research at a non-UQ facility
  • Fauna observations and population monitoring
  • International travel to countries where health and/or personal security may be under threat
  • Interviewing members of the public, investigative journalism and photography
  • Working with clients in their homes or other off-campus locations
  • Working at mine sites or excavation sites
  • Working or studies in remote or isolated locations
  • Surveying work e.g. soil, vegetation.
High risk destination approval

Travel to high risk destinations (regardless of activity) requires additional safety risk management considerations and approvals. High risk destinations are those assigned on the DFAT Smart Traveller website with a travel advice level of,

Travel to High Risk Destinations will not be approved without careful planning and justification. The high risk destination travel approval process is outlined on the UQ travel website.

Low risk activities

The Work Off-Campus and Fieldwork Procedure does not strictly apply to work off-campus reasonably considered to be of a low health and safety risk level. There are many differing aspects to the types of work off-campus undertaken and therefore each must be considered on their individual merit. It is recommended where work off-campus or field work is reasonably considered at a low risk level, a proportionate health and safety risk management approach is taken. This may involve conducting a risk assessment for the work off-campus or field work for other reasons e.g. driving to the location.

Work off-campus or fieldwork that is reasonably considered at a low health and safety risk level includes work located in a low-risk environment and where the risks of the travel and work are considered minimal. Examples include: 

  • Travel via a reputable airline to a major Australian business centre
  • Conference participation in a conference facility
  • Administrative activities, interviews or audits in established facilities i.e. hospitals, schools
  • Educational presentations or workshops in a classroom environment
  • Clinical placement including clinical work at a non-UQ facility
  • Staff working at another organisation's workplace, with appropriate risk assessment

The WOC/FW Procedure, and WOC/FW Plan do not apply to:

  • Staff working from home
  • Student placements
  • Students undertaking work experience

When to complete a WOC/FW Plan:

ActivityPlan required?
Working from homeNo – refer to Flexible Work Policy for more information
Attending a conference or meetingsNo – refer to Travel Policy for more information
Student completing placement or work experience at an external organisationNo – refer to Work Integrated Learning and Work Placement Experience Policy for more information
Accompanying students to other major cities or low risk destinations for observation based learningNo - refer risk management requirements of Travel Policy
Accompanying students on placementYes – a WOC/FW Plan is required (for staff only)
Accompanying students on a UQ led field trip (not a placement and not a UQ site)Yes – a WOC/FW Plan is required (for all participants)
Staff, higher degree research students or volunteers performing medium to high-risk activities at non-UQ locationsYes – a WOC/FW Plan is required

      Fieldwork Safety Training

      A UQ Fieldwork Safety online training module is available via Workday (staff and HDR students), Blackboard (undergraduate students), and online (volunteers) and is required to be completed by all fieldwork participants. This training should be identified as a control in the work-off campus risk assessment.

      Contract your local Work Health and Safety Coordinator (WHSC) or HSW Manager if you have any questions about required safety training.

      Vaccinations and immunisation

      Depending on the work you are undertaking, you may require vaccinations and immunisation as per the Vaccinations and Immunisation Procedure. See Immunisations and disease for more information.

        Working overseas

        If you are planning an overseas work trip, you may be required to complete a WOC/FW Plan ahead of your departure. You should also consult the 6 steps to travel for more information on how to plan, book and pay for your travel.


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