How to deal with a serious incident?
The operational plan, case number 23/02991-2 in P360, is divided into six stages and described in detail in the points below. The plan must be followed if a serious incident related to incoming and/or outgoing exchange students for which OsloMet is responsible is reported or otherwise identified.
The term serious incident in this context means events such as terrorist attacks, natural accidents or accidents caused by humans, war, political unrest, pandemics or personal illness/personal crisis.
All employees at OsloMet can potentially receive an inquiry by phone, e-mail or other channels, or in some other way receive information about a serious incident and thus benefit from the plan. However, it is mainly the following groups that will work according to the plan:
- Employees at the Section for Career Services, Internationalisation and Student Services (KIS) who work with exchange, and their immediate manager
- International administrative coordinators at the faculty, and their immediate manager(s)
- The Reception and information centres, and their immediate manager(s).
- The duty telephone, OsloMet's 24/7 contact point.
1. Communication in a crisis situation
Listen: Listen to the caller and try to get a quick overview of the situation: who is calling, what is their contact information, what has happened and where has it happened?
Write down: Write down accurate information about who is calling, their contact information, what the case is about, and where they are.
Ask questions: Ask about what has been done, if they are alone or with someone, what the status is, including, depending on the need, if the person:
- has called the local emergency number?
- needs to get in contact with a doctor (embassy, Norwegian Church Abroad, or insurance company can help with local information)?
- has contacted an embassy or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ operational centre on +47 23 95 00 00, or e-mail UDops@mfa.no?
- has contacted the Norwegian Church Abroad +47 951 19 181 (round-the-clock emergency preparedness)
- has contacted their insurance company?
- has their passport available?
Help the caller assess which of these agencies must/can/should be involved and find out if the caller wants our help to ring or to just find contact information? Other important telephone numbers can be found at When something happens: When travelling (sikresiden.no).
Make arrangements: Make arrangements with the caller about when the next contact should take place and through which channel.
2. Notify your immediate manager
Your immediate manager is responsible for notifying the Section Head of Career Services, Internationalisation and Student Services (KIS) and further on up the line so that they can assess whether the incident needs to be passed on to the Emergency Preparedness Unit. If such incidents are reported or identified outside ordinary working hours, the immediate manager must be contacted and is the person responsible for further follow-up and allocation of responsibility in accordance with the operational plan.
The managers are also responsible for initiating employees at the Section for Career Services, Internationalisation and Student Services (KIS) and relevant international coordinators at the faculty for further follow-up of points 2-5.
Other employees should be stood down after notifying their immediate manager.
3. Identify and allocate responsibilities
Who is/could be affected/involved?
- Get an overview of students and their contact information from FS (user guide, in Teams limited access) and find out whether the incident concerns incoming and/or outgoing exchange students from one or more faculties.
Allocate responsibility for further follow-up.
- Does the incident involve students from more than one faculty? The Section for Career Services, Internationalisation and Student Services (KIS) provides further follow up.
- Does the incident involve students at one faculty? If so, the relevant faculty provides further follow up.
Scope of the incident
Gather more information about the incident itself, get a rough overview:
- Follow the news, local media channels and social media.
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ operational centre (regjeringen.no), local embassies (regjeringen.no) or the Norwegian Church Abroad (Sjømannskirken.no) may have useful information.
- The partner institution may also have relevant information.
4. Inform internally
Inform international administrative coordinators and the Section for Career Services, Internationalisation and Student Services (KIS) that the case is being followed up.
Channel and form
To provide brief information that the case is being followed up, the ‘Serious incidents’ Teams channel is used in the ‘International coordinators’ Team (restricted access).
Keep your message brief and avoid using any personal information. Create a clear and descriptive headline/title for your post. Remember to tag. All replies/comments are posted under the same post for a better overview.
In the event of serious incidents that require further follow-up, a separate Team is established for the incident in question. Only invite those who need to be involved, such as KIS employees, relevant international coordinators and immediate managers.
5. Contact and follow up affected parties
Use the following channels
- E-mail (student e-mail/private e-mail), SMS, ring mobile phone, message on Facebook/Messenger/other social media, or partner institution if you are unable to contact the student.
- Text suggestions are stored in the ‘Serious incidents’ Teams channel
If you need to contact relatives/next of kin or if you are contacted by relatives/next of kin
- The general rule for sharing personal information is that consent must be given by the student in each individual case before we share information with others.
- If it is not possible to obtain consent, this may be an argument in favour of informing relatives/next of kin anyway. Ask your immediate manager to make the assessment in such cases.
- Find information about relatives/next of kin: in the exchange contract that the student has uploaded in FS, you can find information about who the student has designated as their next of kin and the relevant contact information. The contract can be found via ‘Document archive’ in FS, in the drop-down menu in the right margin in ‘Student samlebilde’. Is the contract not in the student’s document archive? Contact KIS c/o Hege Amalie Engedahl Jacobsen.
- In cases where an incident has taken place but it is unclear whether a student is affected and one is not able to get in touch with the student after trying several times and through several channels, one can contact the next of kin as a last resort to clarify whether they have heard from the student. You do not need consent for this type of contact.
Inform students about what OsloMet can offer
- Send students information about and links to relevant support services and welfare services.
Provide further follow up in accordance with the situation.
- Coordinate communication and clarifications with everyone involved.
If necessary, contact the partner institution(s)
The partner institution has follow-up routines and resources for incoming and outgoing exchange students and can be contacted in the event of:
- an incident abroad where a partner may have information about the incident, or about OsloMet students studying there.
- an incident in Norway/Oslo/at OsloMet where we have information about the incident and may have information about students from partners studying at OsloMet.
Preferably, it is the agreement owner at OsloMet who should contact the partner institution.
- Remember data protection when contacting a partner institution.
- Text suggestions are stored in the Teams channel.
6. After the incident
Both debriefing and evaluation are managerial responsibilities.
Fact-based review of the incident. Evaluation is a managerial responsibility.
- For employees: Focus on how the incident was managed - what worked/didn’t work? Learning points?
- For students: Students should be given the opportunity to provide feedback on how they perceived OsloMet's management of an incident. Tread carefully and be fact-based. Managers should be involved in the evaluation, and both managers and other employees should be aware of their own lack of expertise on how people can/should be followed up after an incident. In the event of a serious incident, students should be offered a debriefing session and follow-up from relevant services before an evaluation is carried out.
- For employees: A tool for involved employees focusing on how they experienced the situation. Involve the occupational health service as needed. The Norwegian Church Abroad can also be consulted.
- For students: Students should be informed about what follow-up services are available after an incident. In the event of serious incidents, the person responsible for follow-up should, if possible, refer directly to follow-up at SiO.
SiO Health (sio.no)
The Student Chaplain
The Student Humanist
Check that the offer is still open and available before making any referrals.
- For serious incidents where there has been a need to create a separate incident Team: Call logs must be copied and archived as Word documents in P360. The Team must then be deleted in its entirety. The user guide for archiving logs is stored in the ‘Serious incidents’ Teams channel.
- In the case of limited incidents without the need for further follow-up apart from sharing information in the ‘Serious incidents’ channel: there is no need to copy/delete the call log. Call logs from various incidents remain as an easily accessible log of incidents.
Useful links and resources
- Helpful advice and important telephone numbers (sikresiden.no)
- FS guidance for retrieving student lists and text suggestions for emails can be found in the ‘Serious incidents’ Teams channel (restricted access)
- Text suggestions in the ‘Serious incidents’ Teams channel (restricted access)
- EMERGENCY POSTER How to manage the incident (pdf. file for printing)
The Section for Career Services, Internationalisation and Student Services (KIS) is responsible for the operational plan and it is updated on an ongoing basis. If you see things that are no longer correct or if you have input or experiences you want to provide, contact KIS c/o Hanne Maanum or Hege Amalie Engedahl Jacobsen.