Return to campus

Return to campus

A huge amount of work has been undertaken to help keep colleagues, students and essential visitors safe on their return to campus. This encompasses many different areas - from risk assessments and enhanced cleaning, to social distancing measures and modifications to reduce campus footfall.

We have published a Five Steps process to working safely at Oxford Brookes. This aligns with Government guidance on reopening workplaces and has been implemented.

We have also published our University high-level risk assessment, and made all of our workspace risk assessments available to staff.

It is important that all colleagues are familiar with the Five Steps document and FAQs.

Covid-secure Feedback Form

This is a new environment for everyone, and so we really want to hear from you about how things are working. If you have any worries or experience any issues, please let us know by completing this feedback form, so that we can make any improvements needed and ensure a positive campus experience.

Students can submit feedback by emailing covid-19@brookes.ac.uk

Covid-19 induction package for staff returning to campus

We know there has been a lot of information to absorb about the new covidsecure measures we have put in place for the safe return to campus. Therefore, we have compiled all of the information you need into a single induction package for staff, available on your Moodle dashboard. All staff should complete this prior to returning to campus.

Entitled Phased reopening of Oxford Brookes University (Covid-19 Induction Package), the purpose of this resource is to:

  • explain the University's approach to making the workplace safe;
  • provide information on what arrangements are in place for a safe working environment;
  • explain your responsibilities for maintaining your safety and that of the wider University community.

Occupational Health return to campus risk assessment for staff

This guidance is currently being reviewed and will be updated soon (June 2021). If you need specific advice at this time, please contact Occupational Health

Individual risk assessments will be reviewed again by the Occupational Health team. 

To ensure that we can provide a safe environment for staff, we are asking all colleagues who are returning to campus (or other work location) to undertake an individual health risk assessment.

This risk assessment process will be in two stages: a self-assessment stage, and a further Occupational Health assessment stage. You will only go through to the second stage if your answers to the first stage suggest that you MAY be a higher risk.

This individual health risk assessment form is based on the ALAMA ‘COVID-age’ tool. This is the recognised tool for Occupational Health practitioners which assesses an individual’s vulnerability to COVID-19. It is based on published evidence for the main risk factors, including age, sex, ethnicity and various health conditions.  

High Level University Risk Assessment

The safety and wellbeing of our staff and students remains our number one priority.

We have carried out a comprehensive Risk Assessment as a key part of our recovery planning.

This High Level Risk Assessment highlights the potential hazards, the level of risk involved and the measures we are taking to keep people safe. 

Covid-related policies and processes

Test and trace

In order to support the NHS ‘test and trace’ service and help ensure the safety of our staff, students and visitors across our campuses, we have implemented a simple system to track attendance in a number of areas. These areas include all teaching rooms, catering outlets, social study areas and libraries.

In each room/area where tracking of attendance is required, there will be at least one QR code (and short URL link) which is specific to that location. The person registering their attendance will then have to complete some basic attendance information through a google form.

It is also essential that staff working on campus keep their Google calendars set to ‘public’ (not private) and kept up to date with information about the office/space you are working in, and the date, time and location of all meetings (even if it is just in a social/study space or in your office). 

We strongly encourage staff and students to download the NHS Test and Trace app. NHS QR codes are being used in external campus areas such as the Co-op store in Headington and Brookes Sport, as well as social spaces indoors such as cafes. Everyone (staff and students) should continue to check in with the Oxford Brookes QR codes in teaching rooms.

You can access further details of our test and trace policy

Face coverings policy

It is widely accepted that wearing a face covering helps protect others. For this reason, everyone (students, staff and visitors) to campus will be required to wear face coverings while indoors on campus (except where there is a valid medical reason).

A new face coverings policy has been introduced. In summary, the changes are:

  • Increased the requirement from wearing a face covering for staff to higher quality face masks. A supply of Chemport V-100 masks are available for staff (currently two per member of staff and can be washed up to 50 times).
  • Clear face masks will be available for staff to assist students or staff who need to lip read, but the wearer should use other mitigations, i.e. maintaining 2m distance, increasing ventilation. The amount of time wearing a clear face mask should be kept to a minimum and replaced with a Chemport V-100 mask as soon as possible.
  • Face coverings should be worn by students and staff during teaching and practical sessions.
  • A sunflower lanyard should be worn to signify an exemption from wearing a mask (see below).

All staff and students on campus must understand and comply with the University’s Face Coverings Policy

Sunflower lanyard scheme - support for students and staff with a hidden disability

For many students and staff the experience of the pandemic has created increased risks and some people may have new or worsening health conditions. We recognise that many disabilities and health conditions are not visible.

We know that many of our disabled students and staff have understandable and real concerns for their own safety and protection and therefore as a whole community we need to be highly conscious and responsible in how we protect ourselves and each other. It is still important to remember that Covid-19 is highly transmissible and we need to take extra care. We need to maintain a social distance of 2m, maintain good ventilation, as well as wearing face coverings (where possible) to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission to others.

The University signed up to the nationwide Sunflower Lanyard scheme with Hidden Disabilities last year. A sunflower lanyard can be used by those who have a hidden disability so university staff and students can identify those who may require extra help, understanding or patience, and in some cases exemption from face coverings.

We ask all students and staff to be mindful and respectful. Regardless of whether or not you wear a sunflower lanyard, it’s not ok to experience any kind of bullying or harassment. If you experience or witness any such behaviours involving students, you can report it online at Report and Support. Staff can report incidents to their line manager or to a Staff Harassment Adviser.

Equality Impact Assessment for return to campus 2020

Twice-weekly lateral flow testing available to staff

Staff and students returning to campus from 17 May are encouraged to book three tests, three to four days apart on arrival at University, and then to go for twice-weekly rapid Covid-19 tests at one of our three testing centres (Headington, Harcourt Hill or Swindon). Tests are for those without Covid-19 symptoms. Please check the website for opening times for testing centres

If you require staff assistance with your test you will need to book this in advance. Please contact covid-19@brookes.ac.uk to arrange assistance for your test if you cannot physically carry out the test yourself.

Return to campus FAQs

Ensuring workspaces are Covid secure

Occupational Health Risk Assessment Process for Staff

Access and use of campus

Communication