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USP Campus Directors briefed on Risk Management and Insurance

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Ms Sheila Sachs, Risk/Insurance Manager explains a point during her presentation at the Regional Campus Directors Forum.

Risk management is not a separate system or something ticked off on a check list but the way one makes decisions and must become part of an organisational culture or way of thinking.

This was the message by Ms Sheila Sachs, Risk/Insurance Manager during The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Regional Campus Directors Forum on 12 May 2017.

Ms Sachs said that everyone at all levels manage risk every day to help achieve their goals and objectives. Practicing risk management provides benefits by way of improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness.

Risk Management, she added, is identifying risks which matter, along with opportunities and both must be considered when selecting the best option to manage risks.

“However where practical it is important to practice risk management by identifying ways to prevent incidents occurring or prepare in advance to avoid a crisis situation,” Ms Sachs said.

As part of her presentation, Ms Sachs talked about the University’s Insurance programme which is centralised to Assurance/Compliance Unit at the Laucala Campus

A few of the main policies were explained including: All Risk Policy (cover for portable/attractive items), money and international travel policies.

She provided practical examples such as: petty cash, accountable advances and travel to demonstrate the importance of staff understanding their responsibility and accountability.

Ms Sachs informed the Campus Directors that all insurance claims are processed through the Risk and Insurance Unit (RI Unit) within Assurance and Compliance (AC) Section.

In case of an incident Campus Directors are to follow their procedures reporting cases to the relevant authorities (i.e. police) and RI Unit. Information is available on AC website including procedures reporting incidents to RI Unit.

The RI Manager further added that insurance policies include terms, conditions; therefore certain incidents may not be covered or are not fully covered. RI Unit will confirm if the incident is covered by insurance and will request for the required documents to process an insurance claim. 

“Regardless of the incident or location you must ensure that the incident is reported to the RI Unit immediately or as soon as practical,” Ms Sachs said.

She told the Campus Directors that it is important for staff to know their role and what they are responsible for.

For instance, she highlighted that it is the overall responsibility of the Campus Directors to know that Campus finances like cash is kept a safe location as specified in relevant policies such as ‘Petty Cash Policy’.

“Even if responsibility is delegated to someone else, the ultimate responsibility remains,” Ms Sachs said.

In cases of Accountable Advance, she said that anyone who is taking Accountable Advance is to acquit by/before the due date as per the Accountable Advance Policy.

This is to provide transparency and accountability on where and how the money has been used.  

Ms Sachs said that this is one of the ways to manage the risk to USP’s reputation and brand.

She deliberated on the University’s International Corporate Travel Policy and provided an insight of the travel insurance responsibilities of the Traveller, Campus (or department), Human Resource department and RI Unit.

The International Corporate Travel Policy is a single corporate travel insurance policy for all campuses and covers travel outside the traveller’s country of residence while on USP approved business.

Ms Sachs told the Campus Directors that, “travellers are not fully covered and it is important for travellers to take the time preparing for their trip”.

This includes understanding who is covered, the travel policy coverage, procedures reporting incidents, purpose of the travel card and so on.

Apart from this, Ms Sachs briefly talked about top extreme risks of the University which are categorised under people risks, digital, learning and teaching, and governance and management.

This news item was published on 16 May 2017 08:59:44 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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