Schedule of Programmable Events FAQs

The purpose of this Information sheet is to assist the Faculties/Divisions to complete the SPE in accordance with the HSW Handbook chapter.

(Printable version)

  • What is the Schedule of Programmable Events?

    The SPE is a planning template and process created for the University by the HSW Team, which collates the key activities in the Faculty/Division/School/Branch that require a specific safety check/activity at a specific frequency/time, in order to meet the requirements of the:

    • WHS legislation (or other legislation) and/or
    • University’s procedures contained in relevant HSW Handbook chapters.

    The HSW SPE document format, should provide the Faculty/Division/School/Branch with a template which:

    • summarises the activities that need to be done each year;
    • enables the area to record when activities are completed (e.g. a date or other indicator);
    • enables the area to monitor progress; and
    • identifies where there are any gaps in compliance.

    The HSW SPE also forms part of the Faculty/Division/School/Branch contingency arrangements (e.g. to ensure that if a person assigned HSW responsibilities on the HSW SPE is absent, the scheduling and implementation of those key activities is not “person” dependant.  Someone else can be assigned to pick up the task.)

    Remember: If you have any other system within your Faculty/Division/School/Branch which schedules and monitors these activities (i.e. where there may be duplication of documentation) then you are not required to manage these through the SPE.  However, you must ensure that the “other system” is appropriately monitored to ensure that the activities are being completed and identify on your SPE the process/system being used for audit purposes/reference.

    An SPE template (Word/Excel) is available for tailoring by your Faculty/Division/School/Branch if required.

  • Do all Faculties/Divisions/Schools/Branches need to create and maintain a Schedule of Programmable Events?

    No. It is possible that the activities listed within the HSW Handbook chapter SPE are not relevant to your School/Branch/area or are being monitored via another system. (Please note that if another system is being used to schedule and monitor HSW activities, then this should be clearly identified by the local HSW Team for audit purposes/reference, if required.

  • How does the University use and maintain the Schedule of Programmable Events (SPE)?

    At the local level the Faculty Technical Services Manager or equivalent (e.g. Research Technical Services Manager, Faculty HR Manager, or Faculty Executive Manager), or Head of Branch (or delegate):

    • will determine what HSW activities should form part of the Faculty/Division/School/Branch SPE document, in consultation with the relevant staff and decide on the best way in which to schedule and monitor that the activities are completed;
    • will nominate who is responsible for maintaining the tailored SPE(s);
    • will determine the frequency of the reviews; and
    • should report by exception to the Faculty/Division Health and Safety Committee when things are not going to plan.

    To assist areas in identifying the legislative/University requirements, a guide has been provided within the HSW Handbook chapter SPE (Appendix A) as a starting point. Please note that there may be additional requirements beyond this guide outlined in Legislation, Approved Codes of Practice and Australian Standards (AS) that also need to be captured where applicable.

  • Does the Faculty/Division/School/Branch have to use the Schedule of Programmable Events (SPE) templates provided within the HSW Handbook chapter?


    The Faculties/Divisions/Schools/Branches may choose another format provided that the SPE template meets the requirements outlined in the HSW Handbook chapter.  The templates are provided to save Faculties/Divisions/Schools/Branches administration time in interpreting the chapter and then setting up a template which meets the requirements.  Only the activities conducted need to be included on the SPE (i.e. it is tailored SPE for the area).

  • How is the Schedule of Programmable Events (SPE) monitored?

    The Faculty Technical Services Manager or equivalent (e.g. Research Technical Services Manager, Faculty HR Manager, or Faculty Executive Manager), or Head of Branch (or delegate) is to ensure that the SPE is monitored on a regular basis and determine how this is best achieved i.e. there isn’t a prescribed process set out in the HSW Handbook chapter.

    It is strongly recommended that checks are conducted at least quarterly, where there are a number of activities being monitored for completion, to avoid non-compliance with the WHS/relevant legislation and to provide the area with time to take corrective action before the end of the calendar year.

    It should be noted that a report to the Executive Dean/Divisional Head and/or copy of the final SPE for the year is to be provided, outlining the activities that have not been met.  This enables the “Officers” (see note) of the University to exercise their due diligence and rectify any non-compliance issues.


    In accordance with the HSW Policy, an officer is defined as follows -

    “An officer is a person who makes decisions, or participates in making decisions that affect the whole or a substantial part of a business or undertaking and has the capacity to significantly affect the financial standing of the business or undertaking.  If a person is responsible only for implementing those decisions, they are not considered an officer.”

  • Where can I find more information on the Schedule of Programmable Events (SPE)?

    If you would like more information about the SPE chapter of the HSW Handbook please contact your local HSW contact.

Further information

Please contact your local HSW team.