Talkabout Tours Critical Incident and Management Policy and Procedure

Note: This policy is subject to change.


These procedures aim to assist Talkabout Tours to respond appropriately and ensure the relevant stakeholders are informed, and to manage in a compassionate and culturally sensitive manner, critical incidents that involve international students placed in Homestay by Talkabout Tours, in accordance with Standard 6.4 of the National Code 2007.

Related Documents

National Code Part D, Standard 6 Explanatory Guide


A critical incident is defined as ‘a traumatic event, or the threat of such (within or outside Australia), which causes extreme stress, fear or injury’. It is an event that causes individuals to experience a strong emotional reaction that interferes with their usual coping skills. The event has a level of trauma that is beyond the normal living experiences of those affected.

The resulting stress reaction may include emotional, physical, behavioural and cognitive changes evident either at the time of the incident or later. The impact of a critical incident may affect the host family or Talkabout Tours staff, not only those most directly involved.

Critical incidents are not limited to, but could include:

    • Death of a student or close family member
    • Attempted suicide
    • Life threatening injury
    • Illness
    • Missing student
    • Mental health crisis
    • Threats of violence to one-self, host family member or Talkabout Tours staff member
    • Severe verbal or psychological aggression
    • Drug or alcohol overdose
    • Natural disaster
    • Issues such as domestic violence or sexual assault
    • Neglect


The purpose of this document is to articulate a plan for delivering a timely and co-ordinated response to critical incidents and to ensure that the reported critical incidents are:

  • Responded to, or resolved, in the best possible way for the student(s), their families, for the host family and for Talkabout Tours
  • Documented
  • Reported to relevant personnel of the Education Provider and government agencies
  • Managed in a manner to ensure that negative publicity, both locally and overseas, is not generated from an incident


With reference to the National Code, as Talkabout Tours is providing a management tool for Education Providers which are required to have in place a critical incident management policy, as per Standard 6.4 of the National Code, our role is one of a communication conduit. It is the responsibility of the Education Provider to determine the appropriate course of action for each critical incident as provided in their own critical incident management plan.


In cases of a critical incident the Talkabout Tours Critical Incident Policy and Procedure must be engaged. The Directors of Talkabout Tours will be informed of the incident immediately and determine the circumstances of the situation, and if necessary, assign roles and responsibilities with Talkabout Tours staff.

The following steps will be taken:

  1. Confirm that the person/people involved in the incident is an international student/s placed by Talkabout Tours with a host family.
  2. Record any details of the incident provided by the person who reported the incident.
  3. Plan an immediate response.
  4. Contact the relevant Education Provider, and  in the case of under 18 students, ISA and the Duty of Care Holder
  5. Enact Talkabout Tours staff assistance, if required.
  6. Complete Critical Incident Initial Report
  7. Continue liaising with stakeholders and advise of further action
  8. Complete Incident Report/Debrief


It is not the responsibility of Talkabout Tours staff to contact the next of kin, Consulate, Department of Immigration (DIAC).

These matters will fall to the Education Provider under their duty of care responsibilities.

Homestay Host

Keep in contact with the student/s homestay host ensuring that support and assistance is available to them and to keep them informed of the situation as it unfolds.


Conduct debriefing session for everyone directly involved in the incident. People can express their emotions about the incident and ensure that any needs are met. Policies, procedures and the implementation of procedures and responses should be evaluated and possible changes and improvement for future critical incidents discussed and adopted.


Documented records should be kept by Talkabout Tours throughout the whole response period. Including:

  • Detailed documentation
  • Copies of emails and letters
  • Records of significant interactions
  • Contact details for significant people in the process

Follow Up

Monitor the need for counselling and maintain contact with those who may need ongoing support.  Access the need for and organise debriefing sessions for all involved in the incident.