Occupational Violence

Schools can now visit the Policy and Advisory Library (PAL) for this information. This page will remain in this location but will be for corporate staff only. School staff should use PAL for all policy, procedures and other operational information.

Occupational violence refers to all forms of physical attacks and threatening conduct. Discrimination, sexual and other forms of harassment, bullying, violence and threatening behaviour are deemed to be unacceptable in any of the Department's workplaces.

Principals and school staff must follow the Occupational Violence and Aggression in Schools Policy and Occupational Violence and Aggression in Schools Procedure.

Relevant sections of the OHSMS 





Occupational Violence and Aggression in Schools Policy

Occupational Violence and Aggression in Schools Procedure

Occupational Violence and Aggression in Schools-OHS Risk Management Flowchart

Occupational Violence and Aggression Risk Controls, Resources and Supports Guidance Advice

​Occupational Violence and Aggression in Schools-OHS Risk Management Flowchart- Accessible Version

Occupational Violence and Aggression in Schools Post Incident Checklist

 OHS Risk Management

Where/when would these issues be relevant?

All employees, students, parents, contractors and visitors in schools or other Department workplaces are expected to act in ways which are not aggressive and threatening to others. Occupational violence can occur in a number of settings including at the workplace; off site situations such as school camps, excursions and social functions; at an employee’s home, in a public place or at a community event as a direct result of a person’s role as a Department employee or, increasingly so, within cyberspace through threatening website postings, emails and SMS.

What do you need to do?

  • Consult with Health and Safety Representatives (HSR) and employees to determine when and where these issues occur;
  • Identify any particular individuals at risk;
  • Correctly identify what is creating the hazard for those individuals;
  • Take action to control the hazards;
  • Make sure workplace policies and procedures are in place to manage the risk;
  • Provide appropriate information, instruction and training for employees so they have the awareness, knowledge and skills to identify risk factors associated with occupational violence, the signs of impending violence and the appropriate prevention measures to control these kinds of risks;
  • If an incident is reported act in accordance with the Department's policies and procedures as set out in the Emergency and Security Management Guidelines;
  • Serious workplace incidents will require that you notify the Victorian WorkCover Authority also. Notifiable incidents are incidents that result in death or a serious injury. A serious injury involves immediate medical treatment or medical treatment within 48 hours of exposure to a substance. In summary, incidents involving injuries sustained from plant, broken bones, injuries requiring stitches, the administering of a drug, the loss of bodily functions or the exposing of the general public or students to the risk of a serious hazard are some of the issues considered to be reportable incidents;
  • Enter all incident data into eduSafe Plus for employees or CASES21 for students as soon as possible after the incident.

Managing Challenging Student Behaviour Training

The Department has developed a package of initiatives to support schools in developing and implementing their Managing Challenging Behaviours strategies.

Participants can register for free and complete the online course independently and in their own time..

For more information, please see: Managing Challenging Behaviours

Protective intervention training

Protective intervention training helps school staff to:

  • prevent and manage behaviours of concern while reducing the need for physical interventions
  • de-escalate situations involving aggressive or violent behaviour
  • ensure the health and safety of students and staff at all times

The Department has established a panel of protective intervention training providers. The panel is quality assured and centrally funded.

To find out how to access training for your school, see: Protective Intervention Training Panel

Legislation, guidance and Codes of Practice

Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017

Contact us

OHS Advisory Service on ph. 1300 074 715 or email: safety@education.vic.gov.au

Incident Support Operations Centre on 1800 126 126 (24 hour service)

Further information

Occupational Violence Training for Schools

Parents Complaints

WorkSafe Victoria - Occupational Violence