Policy Directory


Date approved

15 April 2005

Date Guidelines will take effect

15 April 2005

Date of Next Review

October 2016

Approved by

University Council

Custodian title & e-mail address

Manager Workplace Health & Safety


Manager, WHS

Responsible Faculty/Division & Unit

Human Resources Division, WHS Unit

Supporting documents, procedures & forms of these guidelines

Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace Policy – Guide for Supervisors
Residence Handbooks

University of Wollongong Fieldtrip Safety Guidelines

References & Legislation

Liquor Act, 2007 (NSW)
University Code of Conduct (Staff)

Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace Policy

WHS Policy

WHS Risk Management Guidelines
Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy

Children in the Workplace and Study Environment Policy


Public – accessible to anyone

Expiry Date of Guidelines

Not applicable


1 Introduction / Background

  • 1. The University recognises that from to time there may be functions either on or off campus which involve the sale or supply of alcohol at University functions. It is important that organisers of these events are aware of and ensure compliance to legislative requirements around the sale and supply of alcohol.

2 Scope / Purpose

  • 2. These guidelines provide staff members organising University based events and activities with an understanding of the legislative requirements and risks associated with alcohol misuse and their role in minimising this risk.
  • 3. The guidelines are based on ensuring the University fulfils its duty of care to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all employees, students and other members of the campus community.
  • 4. The guidelines apply to all events and activities, which have been approved by a Director/ Executive Dean or other senior officer of the University, whether on campus or off-site. The guidelines should be read in conjunction with the Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace Policy

3 Definitions

Not Available.

4 General Principles

  • 1. A risk management approach should be taken in planning events/activities involving the supply or consumption of alcohol. Those responsible for the organisation of functions that involve alcohol, and those responsible for the management of venues at which alcohol is consumed, must ensure that such functions and venues are conducted and managed in a manner consistent with the current licensing legislation (see section 5) and these guidelines.
  • 2. Alcohol misuse can lead to unsafe or unacceptable sexual and/or violent behaviour. Accordingly the University will not tolerate behaviour that endangers others or constitutes a violation of relevant law, these guidelines or other University rules and regulations. Abusive consumption of alcoholic beverages shall not be seen to excuse unacceptable conduct.
  • 3. The University does not condone any social function that has as a purpose or focus the rapid or over-consumption of alcohol.

5 Liquor License Regulations

  • 1. A liquor licence is required at any event where alcohol is to be sold. This includes events where alcohol is included in the ticket price or where a donation is required for entry to the event or where the cost of liquor is hidden in other charges such as membership fees.
  • 2. Alcohol can be sold or supplied at functions and events through the use of an existing caterer’s licence or through the use of a permanent liquor licence that already exists at the venue where the event will be held.

Regulations for the Service of Alcohol (Liquor Act, 2007 (NSW))

  • 3. Alcohol must not be provided to anyone under the age of 18 years. It is to be expected, for example, that a proportion of those attending functions during Orientation Week will be under 18 years of age.
  • 4. All holders of licences should be aware that heavy fines now operate if alcoholic beverages are served to under age drinkers. The licensee can be fined $15,000 for this offence.
  • 5. Alcohol must not be provided to anyone who is, or appears to be, intoxicated.
  • 6. On licensed premises, times when alcohol will be served must be specified. Service should adhere strictly to these times.
  • 7. At functions where under 18's are in attendance, a sign requesting Proof of Age must be displayed stating that proof of age is required to purchase alcohol.

6 Categorising Circumstances in Which Alcohol may be Consumed and Specific Responsibilities

  • 1. These guidelines contemplate five general circumstances relevant to the University in which alcohol may be sold/served/consumed. Each environment should be considered within the framework of Liquor Act, 2007 (NSW). Event or function organisers in all of the following circumstances MUST refer to Table 1 below and Appendix 1 to ensure appropriate steps have been taken to minimise risk of alcohol misuse at their event.

On University Premises

  • 2. The first circumstance includes functions or events held on University premises where the alcohol is supplied by a party who holds a liquor licence (i.e. UniBar, UniCentre, 67 Dining). Generally the principal responsibility for supply and service of alcohol at events in this category belong to the licence holder.
  • 3. The second circumstance includes University residences. Students living in residence should abide by the Code of Behaviour for Students, policies and Discipline Procedures as outlined in University of Wollongong Residence Handbooks. The Director Accommodation Services shall have responsibility on behalf of the University for ensuring all Student Residences have appropriate safeguards in place to ensure the responsible consumption and service of alcohol. The Head of each residence has responsibility for managing events and consumption of alcohol in premises under their jurisdiction.
  • 4. The third circumstance covers situations when a member of the University community wishes to serve alcohol on University premises other than in the situations described above.
  • 5. If alcohol is provided by an individual without a liquor licence, the organiser MUST have approval from Executive Dean/Director prior to service or consumption.

Off University Premises

  • 6. The fact an event or activity is held on University premises provides a very clear link to the University. However the link to the University is not as clear for events or activities held off campus and attended by staff and/or students from the University. An off campus University function is characterised by prior knowledge and approval by Executive Dean/Director and knowledge of planning and organisation by the relevant Head, Manager or Supervisor.
  • 7. The fourth circumstance involves the organisation of a function off campus at a venue, which holds a liquor licence. The principal responsibility for supply and service of alcohol at events in this category belong to the licence holder. Organisers should have prior approval and arrangements should align with these guidelines. Individuals in attendance must accept responsibility for their own behaviour and a designated staff member must assume responsibility for ensuring appropriate steps have been taken to minimise the risk of alcohol misuse and the safety of those in attendance at the event.
  • 8. If an event is held in a private home, the host of the event is responsible for ensuring the safety of all participants and for ensuring that alcohol is not served to impaired or underage individuals.

7 Risk Assessment Procedure for Events Involving Alcohol

  • 1. The following points should be followed to help complete a risk assessment for an event involving alcohol:
    • 1.1. Plan your event and consider it in terms of the criteria provided in table 1.
    • 1.2. Read through the descriptions next to each criteria and decide which one best represents your planned event, then using the vertical columns, assign a risk factor in order to determine the Low, Medium, or High risk to that particular criteria of your planned event.
    • 1.3. For each criterion that presents a medium or high risk, click on the link in the orange column and you will be provided with appropriate and workable control measures.
    • 1.4. Consider how to further minimise the risk by referring to Appendix 1 Guidelines for the Responsible Service and Consumption of Alcohol.
  • 2. Please note the overriding preference is that organiser of functions opt to hold the function at a premises/venues which hold a licence as this minimises risk.

8 Roles & Responsibilities

Executive Deans and Directors

  • 1. Executive Deans and Directors are responsible for overseeing the implementation of these guidelines in their area and for the approval of alcohol at events or activities emanating from in their faculty/division.
  • 2. Compliance with relevant University policies is also the responsibility of Executive Deans and Directors.

Heads of Department/Managers/Supervisors

  • 3. Heads, Managers and Supervisors are responsible for ensuring the guidelines are implemented in their unit. This includes ensuring that:
        • a. functions and activities are approved at a senior level and planned with full consideration of any alcohol related risks as outlined in Table 1 - Risk Criteria for Events Serving Alcohol;
        • b. preference is given to a licensed venue when planning a University function at which alcohol will be served, however it is recognised this may not always be the appropriate venue for some events;
        • c. intoxicated persons are not a risk to the health, safety or welfare of themselves or others (Within the context of a university function where alcohol is served);
        • d. employees do not consume alcohol while on duty, other than in accordance with the Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace Policy; and
        • e. compliance with relevant University policies.

Academic Staff

  • 4. Academic staff have responsibility for students in the educational context including fieldwork. This includes ensuring:
        • a. student behaviour is monitored and observed to ensure the welfare and safety of the whole group.
        • b. alcohol is not consumed in the teaching environment.
          • i. end of session celebrations are planned within the provisions of these guidelines.
          • ii. compliance with relevant University policies.
  • 5. Where a student's behaviour is inappropriate, staff should immediately address the issue to minimise harm to those present, then discuss the matter with the student in private, setting the parameters for acceptable behaviour.
  • 6. Student disciplinary procedures as to misconduct may be involved and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Individual Members of the Campus Community

  • 7. Individual members of the campus community are responsible for adhering to their duty of care and have specific obligations, which include:
        • a. responsible behaviour to avoid any incidents from alcohol misuse, including unsafe practices, harassment, aggressive or disruptive behaviours or drink driving.
        • b. observing all directions from their academic or workplace supervisor in regard to these guidelines.
        • c. advising their academic or workplace supervisor if they believe a peer presents a threat to the health and safety of themselves or others. Individuals should not feel embarrassed about raising safety concerns with senior staff in charge of an event or activity or with alcohol affected peers.
        • d. professional and responsible behaviour and the use of good judgment when representing the University at functions sponsored by another organisation, company or institution, where alcohol is available.
        • e. compliance with relevant University policies.
  • 8. As per the Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace Policy, students undertaking tasks categorised as medium to high risk and who display behaviours which indicate they are affected by alcohol, will be asked to cease that task and undertake other learning activities or go home.

9 Version Control Table

Version Control

Date Effective

Approved By



15 April 2005

University Council

First Version


October 2006

Manager OHS

Updated to reflect key changes


September 2007

Manager OHS

Updated for currency and formatting


6 May 2009

Vice Principal (Administration)

Migrated to UOW Procedure Template as per Policy Directory Refresh


9 March 2010

Manager OHS

Future review date identified in accordance with Standard on UOW Policy.


26 August 2010

Vice-Principal (Administration)

Updated to reflect divisional name change from Personnel Services to Human Resources Division


14 October 2011

Senior Manager, Policy & Governance

Reference to Children on Campus Policy updated to Children in the Workplace and Study Environment Policy.


16 March 2012

Manager WHS



12 November 2013

Manager WHS

Scheduled review. No significant changes.

Table 1: Risk Criteria for Events Serving Alcohol

Determine the general risk factor for your event by determining a low, medium or high rating to each of the criteria in the left hand column. The column which is selected the most is the general risk for the event. However, any one criterion may determine an event categorised as high risk dependant upon the situation.


Low Risk Event

Medium Risk Event

High Risk Event




On campus licensed



Off campus licensed




Non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages

‘Happy Hour’ drinks

All you can drink packages




Non-alcoholic beverages served, light beer only, no spirits


Non-alcoholic beverages served, full strength beer as well as light beer and wine


Full strength and light beer, wine, spirits and water




Two/three course Meal served near start of event


Food (dips, cheese, crackers etc) available ½ hour before alcohol available


No food or only salty food (chips/nuts)




Dedicated supervision

Part time supervision


No supervision


Length of event


<2 hours


2-4 hours


>4 hours


Bar Staff


Trained paid staff

Combination of paid staff and volunteers (trained and untrained)


Self serve or volunteers (untrained), BYO


Bar Service


Cash (licensed)




Open /BYO


Type of Activity


Low key


Special occasion


Party (end of year, Melbourne Cup)




Majority can walk, get taxis or use public transport


Majority must drive, taxis and public transport available


Everyone must drive, no public transport


Mobility of event


Event starts and finishes in one location


Events starts in one place then people are encouraged to move to another


Pub crawl type event, three or more locations


Crowd mix


>Number of females

Broad age mix


Females equal to males

People in 20’s-30’s


>Number of males

People in 18 – 25s


Number of people


< 50





Underage present




Limited number


20+% of attendees


Event Organisers Note: If alcohol is provided by an individual without a liquor licence, the organiser MUST have approval from Dean/Director prior to service or consumption using the Risk Assessment Form

Appendix 1 – Guidelines for the Responsible Service and Consumption of Alcohol

These guidelines have been designed to promote a balanced approach to the consumption of alcohol. The key elements include promotion of adequate quantities of non-alcoholic beverages and food.

Responsibility of the Organiser

  • The person responsible for organising any function where alcoholic beverages are to be served is accountable for seeing that alcohol is served in a manner which reflects its potential as a drug which affects health and safety.
  • The use of alcohol is a personal choice. No one should feel pressured to drink or not to drink or be made to feel uneasy or embarrassed as a result of his or her choice. Permit each person to accept or decline an alcoholic beverage and ensure non-alcoholic choices are available.

Advertisement for Functions where Alcohol is Served

  • Advertisements should not overemphasise the availability of alcohol, or refer to the amount of alcohol available. For example an event should be labelled as providing “Drinks and Nibbles” rather than “Wine and Cheese”.
  • Advertisements and organisers should not encourage rapid drinking.
  • Advertisements should not encourage in any way the excessive consumption of alcohol eg advertising drinking contests or "as much as you can drink" functions.
  • Advertisements should give equal reference to the availability of non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Advertisements should display a clear start and finish time for the function.

Availability of Non-Alcoholic and Low Alcohol Beverages

  • Non-alcoholic beverages should always be visibly available in adequate variety and supply and should be presented in as appealing a manner as beverages containing alcohol.
  • Low alcohol beverages should be available.
  • Non-alcohol and low alcohol beverages should be offered at competitive prices.


  • Adequate quantities of fresh and interesting foods should always be made available at functions where alcohol is served.
  • Alcohol should not be served for longer than 30 minutes before substantial food is served.
  • High salt content foods should be avoided as they promote thirst.
  • Distribution of food should be in waves to encourage frequent return trips back to the table or have food served by walking around the room.
  • Where possible, service of alcoholic beverages should cease at least an hour before the designated time for close of the function. At this time non-alcoholic beverages, eg coffee, tea, soft drinks can be made available.

Training of Beverage Servers

  • Beverage servers where alcohol is sold under a liquor licence or caterer’s licence are required to have Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) training. In other instances where alcohol is provided free of charge, beverage servers should receive instruction and training in the following:
        • i. Permit each person to accept or decline an alcoholic beverage.
        • ii. Where spirits are provided, service of double/triple measures is discouraged.
        • iii. Adherence to standard measures of alcohol is encouraged. Accuracy in measures of alcohol assists the patron/guest to accurately monitor their alcohol consumption.
        • iv. Identification and management of intoxicated persons.
        • v. Regulations pertaining to under age drinking.
  • No arrangements should be made with a caterer that would require a minimum amount of liquor or where the liquor provider is paid by a percentage of sales, which might encourage excessive drinking.

Drinking and Driving

  • Prior to any function where alcohol is to be served, the organiser of the function should provide information to those attending the function about the transport facilities available to travel to and especially from the function.
  • Where people have to drive vehicles home following a function, the organiser should consider providing non-alcoholic drinks free of charge to the "designated drivers".
  • If the organisers of the function are aware that a guest has had too much to drink, he/she should arrange for supervised transportation home for that person.
  • If guests are charged a fee, separate the price of admission or food from the cost of drinks; where possible, avoid having non-drinkers share the cost of alcoholic beverages.

Appendix 2 – Alcohol Consumption Recommendations

Staying within the safe levels recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council may seem daunting at first, particularly if you are spending time with friends or family who are drinking heavily. But there are ways to reduce your drinking without diminishing your enjoyment of the occasion:

Be wary of "shouts", i.e. taking turns to buy drinks for those in a group.

  • The "shout" often means that everyone in a group drinks as quickly and as much as the heaviest drinking, fastest drinking member of the group.
        • i. If drinking with a large group get into "shouts" with only two or three others, preferably with people who drink at a similar rate to you.
        • ii. If you are in a shout, buy yourself a soft drink when it is your turn to shout. It means that you have a regular break from alcohol throughout the drinking session and it saves you money.
        • iii. Try always to eat properly before drinking and while drinking. If you are eating chips and peanuts, try drinking a non-alcohol drink with them as they will make you thirstier.

Pace yourself.

  • Only have one drink each half hour or each hour. Take smaller sips of a drink, rather than gulping it. Be careful to avoid "top-ups" at parties. Unless you finish a drink before refilling your glass, it is hard to tell how many drinks you have consumed.

Don't just drink.

  • Focus on socialising.

Drink for the taste.

  • Drink something you enjoy and savour the taste of it.

Avoid drinking spirits with beer chasers.

  • This style of drinking can allow you to consume a large quantity of alcohol very quickly.

If you drink spirits, dilute them.

  • If you are buying a glass of spirits, you can usually ask for a half-nip, and if you are making them yourself, you can add more of a mixer to reduce the strength of the drink. If you drink beer, try a low-alcohol beer, at least occasionally during the session.

Start later.

  • If you are thirsty, try having one or more soft drinks before you have an alcoholic drink.

Learn to refuse drinks.

  • If you have had enough, bow out of the shout or ask your host/hostess not to pour you any more drinks. No one else has the right to try to force you to drink any more than you want to drink.

Appendix 3 – Alcohol Assistance Programs

If alcohol is causing a problem in your life, or in the life of someone you care about, don't despair. There are many people and organisations in the community who can help. You only have to call.

The University of Wollongong’s Employee Assistance Program has been established to offer free and confidential counselling to employees at all levels for a wide range of personal difficulties such as alcohol misuse: http://www.uow.edu.au/student/services/cs/

Referrals for Assistance with Alcohol and Drug Abuse

    Telephone: 1800 422 599 (Toll Free) or 02-9361 8000 Facsimile: 02-9361 8011
    Email: adis@stvincents.com.au
    Address: C/- St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
    Telephone: 02-4285 6788 or 02-4297 5632
    Address: 114-116 Princes Hwy, Fairy Meadow NSW 2519
    Telephone: 02-4283 2034 mail: info@lensw.org.au
    Website: http://www.lensw.org.au
    Address: PO Box 179, Fairy Meadow NSW 2519
    Contact: Director
    Telephone: 02-4223 8155 Facsimile: 02-4223 8159
    Address: 4th Floor, Port Kembla Hospital, Cowper St, Warrawong NSW 2502
    Telephone: 02-4254 1688 Facsimile: 02-4254 1689
    Address: 1/1 Atchison St, Wollongong NSW 2500

Drug & Alcohol Abuse - Counselling

Alcohol Abuse Education

    Contact: Service Manager, Social Health Team
    Telephone: 02-4223 8336 Facsimile: 02-4223
    Address: Port Kembla Hospital, Cowper St, Warrawong NSW 2502

Drug & Alcohol Abuse

    Telephone: 1300 652 226 Facsimile: 02-4275 8323
    Address: 4th Floor, Port Kembla Hospital, Cowper St, Warrawong NSW 2502
    Contact: Manager
    Telephone: 02-4275 1188 Facsimile: 02-4225 2944
    Address: Cnr Shellharbour Rd & Northcliffe Drv, Kemblawarra NSW 2505
    Telephone: 02-9212 2322 Facsimile: 02-9281 9771
    Website: http://www.salvos.org.au
    Address: PO Box A 127, Sydney South NSW 2000

Here to Help

Need a hand? Contact the Governance Unit for advice and assistance on policy issues.