Fieldwork is any work, study or research authorised by UNSW and conducted by workers (such as staff, post-graduate student) and others (such as under-graduate student(s) and volunteers) at a location off site.


  1. Campus: Activities undertaken at the following locations (campuses) do not constitute fieldwork: Kensington, Randwick, Manly Vale, UNSW Canberra, Paddington or the Bankstown flight training facility.
  2. Placement: Student placement or Industry Training with other businesses, organisations or sole traders. 
  3. Student Exchange or overseas study programs

Low risk fieldwork

Fieldwork or off site travel where a person or persons may be exposed to hazards and risks which are considered low in terms of both the environment and the activity. Low risk environments have ready access to emergency services (15 minutes), communication, food and shelter. Low risk activities are those which can be undertaken without the need for specialist training or procedures to ensure safety. Only specified sections of this guideline apply.

Remote fieldwork

Remote Fieldwork is defined both in terms of distance and accessibility and is that which entails;

  • Working more than 5km from a town, farmhouse or another facility with telephone or radio communications (even if personal communications equipment, eg. Mobile phone, is carried).
  • Working off-road in areas where very little traffic is likely or where hills, dense timber or other topographic features would make it difficult to summon help, or if medical and other emergency support would be an hour or more away.
  • Any work in rivers, on river banks, inland waterways, estuarine and oceanic work sites.

Off campus work and activities present some of the greatest risks to staff and students therefore it is important that the procedures below are followed:

  1. A Risk Assessment for the Field Work activity must be completed by the Subject Coordinator, the student or staff member undertaking the work and authorised by the Head of School/Department.
  2. Identify any hazards which may be relevant to your particular fieldwork and assess the risk and where required, put into place controls to minimise such risks.
  3. Complete Fieldwork Plan and Authorisation form.
  4. Ensure a fieldwork safety induction/briefing is given to all fieldwork participants before commencement of the trip.
  5. Where fieldwork is conducted outside the Sydney metropolitan area, you must read and comply with the UNSW Travel Policy and Travel Procedure.
  6. ALL staff, students and others assisting in such a trip MUST complete and submit a Fieldwork Participant Form (HS009) including the medical section. For more details refer to the UNSW fieldwork guidelines.

See also

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