Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment (SASH)

As a student of Kaplan Professional, you have the right to feel safe and secure at all times, and to be able to fully participate in all aspects of your learning. We believe unwanted sexual attention including harassment, stalking and assault can prevent a student from taking part in activities and fulfilling their learning goals.

Kaplan Professional takes a proactive approach to prevent the incidence of sexual assault and sexual harassment, and to respond to, and support, the victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment appropriately, and in a timely manner. Sexual assault, sexual harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct are NOT tolerated at Kaplan Professional.

It doesn’t matter if the incident was recent, or in the past, on campus or off campus, we’re here to support our students when they report incidents of sexual assault or sexual harassment. On this page, you’ll find some suggestions and resources to assist, as well as emergency contacts, if find yourself in difficult situations.


What’s sexual assault and sexual harassment?

Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual behaviour that makes a person feel uncomfortable, threatened or scared. It encompasses:

  • Rape – forced, unwanted sex or sexual acts
  • Child sexual abuse – using power over a child or young person to involve them in sexual activity
  • Indecent assault – indecent behaviour before, during or after an assault


Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual behaviour, which could be expected to make a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual harassment isn’t consensual sexual interaction, flirtation or friendship, and isn’t behaviour that’s mutually agreed upon.

Sexual harassment can be physical, verbal or written and it can include:

  • Comments about a person’s private life or the way they look
  • Sexually suggestive behaviour, such as leering or staring
  • Physical contact of a sexual nature such as brushing up against someone, touching, fondling or hugging
  • Sexually suggestive comments or jokes
  • Displaying sexually offensive material
  • Accessing pornographic websites on campus, at work or on the Kaplan network
  • Continued requests for dates that have been previously denied
  • Requests for sex
  • Sexually explicit emails, text messages or posts on social networking sites,
  • Making or distributing sexually explicit photos or videos
  • Unwelcome sexual advances
  • Making or distributing sexually explicit photos or videos
  • Acts of indecency
  • Sexual assault

There’s more guidance about what may amount to sexual harassment and sexual assault available on the Australian Human Rights Commission website.



Consent is having the capacity to give free agreement and giving clear and unambiguous agreement, expressed outwardly through mutually understandable words of actions, to engage in a particular activity. Consent can be withdrawn by any party at any point and must be voluntarily given. It’s not valid if a person is being subjected to actions or behaviours that elicit emotional, psychological, physical, reputational, financial pressure, threat, intimidation, or fear (coercion or force). Consent to engage in one sexual activity, or past agreement to engage in a particular sexual activity, can’t be presumed to constitute consent to engage in a different sexual activity or to repeat a sexual activity. Consent can’t be given by a person who doesn’t have the capacity to give consent, including those who are intoxicated, unwell, distressed or otherwise disadvantaged. Circumstances in which a person doesn’t consent to an act include, but aren’t limited to, the following:

  • The person submits to the act because of force or fear of force, whether to that person or someone else
  • The person submits to the act because of the fear of harm of any type, whether to that person or someone else or an animal
  • The person submits to the act because the person is unlawfully detained
  • The person is asleep or unconscious
  • The person is so affected by alcohol or another drug as to be incapable of consenting to the act
  • The person is incapable of understanding the sexual nature of the act
  • The person is mistaken about the sexual nature of the act
  • The person is mistaken about the identity of any other person involved in the act
  • The person doesn’t say or do anything to indicate consent to the act
  • Having initially given consent to the act, the person later withdraws consent to the act taking place or continuing

A person can’t consent if they lack the capacity to understand what’s taking place because of a cognitive disability, or because they’re under the age of 16 for all Australian states, except South Australia and Tasmania where the age limit for consent is 17 years of age. The age limit for giving consent in New Zealand is 16 years of age.

It’s important to understand a person might not consent to behaviour even though they were, or are, in a relationship with you.

You can watch a short explainer video created by ‘Blue Seat Studios’ here.

There’s more information about consent’ on the Australian Law Reform Commission website.


Report and Support


Whether the incident is recent or it happened in the past, we’re here to support our students when they report incidents of sexual assault or sexual harassment. You can either contact us in person or via email at to report the incident.

You can also report an incident which has happened to someone else (e.g. where you witnessed the incident or you’re reporting on behalf of a colleague or friend). If you report on behalf of another person, please don’t provide any identifying information that can reveal who the person is (e.g. their name) unless you have their consent. If you’ve witnessed an incident and you don’t know the name of the persons involved so you can’t seek their consent, you may report the incident.

The ‘Incident and Hazard Report’ form is intended to enable you to report on any of the above-mentioned situations.

Kaplan Professional’s aim is to offer information and support, and to let you know what options are available, as well as reducing sexual misconduct incidents by learning from reports about areas and/or activities of high risk.

If the incident involves a Kaplan Professional student or staff member and occurs on one a Kaplan premises, online or during an activity organised by Kaplan Professional (such as a corporate event or face-to-face workshop), Kaplan Professional will consider an investigation under relevant codes of conduct, policies and procedures. In serious cases, Kaplan Professional has a duty to inform the police about the incident.

The Incident and Hazard Report form can be found under ‘General forms’ here.



During your time with Kaplan Professional, we’ve developed the ‘Prevention of Harassment and Bullying Policy’ to guide you through the process, should you experience any form of harassment or bullying at Kaplan Professional.

Within the Kaplan Professional community, you’ll find a diverse network of specially trained ‘First Responders’ who are staff members who’ve been trained to assist students who have been the victim of sexual misconduct. The First Responders aren’t qualified to provide medical or counselling advice, but they can provide guidance about support services and appropriate contacts within Kaplan Professional. A list of First Responders and their contact details are available on the Kaplan Professional website here.


Student counsellors

Kaplan Professional engages LifeWorks to provide confidential and free counselling to support the wellbeing of our students.  LifeWorks offers initial support and assistance to individuals who have personal and/or work-related issues that may impact on their wellbeing, work and study performance, safety, individual and workplace morale, and psychological health.

To access LifeWorks’ service, call 1300 361 008 and advise them you’re a Kaplan Professional student.  Trained counsellors are available at any time of the day or night, and the service is completely anonymous.


The Health and Safety Champion Group (HSCG) leads efforts to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct connected to Kaplan, including strategy development and implementation, review of policies, systems and processes. The HSCG meets regularly and is responsible for reporting on sexual misconduct incidents.


“SASH” Policy

Under the guidance of the SASH Steering Committee and the SASH Working Group, Kaplan has also developed a sexual assault and sexual harassment only policy as part of its Wellbeing Framework, to ensure all aspects of sexual misconduct are addressed and followed up accordingly. The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy sets out principles for preventing and responding to incidents of sexual misconduct occurring, which are connected with Kaplan Professional. This policy can be found currently here.


How is privacy maintained when reporting an incident?

The personal information about you and any other person mentioned in your report will be held, stored, used and disclosed by Kaplan Professional solely for the following purposes and in the following ways:

  • To keep a record of your report
  • To enable us to contact you to acknowledge your report and to provide information and possible referrals to support services
  • Where appropriate, to enable us to commence a misconduct assessment and investigation under a Kaplan procedure in relation to a current Kaplan Professional staff member or student
  • Where appropriate and necessary, to report to the police or to a state or federal agency such as the Department of Family and Community Services
  • To enable us to understand and respond to the risk of sexual misconduct at Kaplan Professional

By ‘personal information’ we mean information that names a person, or from which the identity of a person can be determined.

Information collected from reports will also be used in internal reports to assist Kaplan Professional to identify areas or activities of risk, and take measures to reduce the incidence of sexual misconduct at Kaplan Professional. This information doesn’t identify individuals and doesn’t include personal information.

Kaplan Professional handles personal information in accordance with its Privacy Policy.



SASH Resources

The resources listed below have been used in the development of this policy. It’s recommended staff and students familiarise themselves with these resources.

Australian Human Rights Commission“Change the Course” – National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities 2017

University of NSWOn Safe Ground – Strengthening Australian university responses to sexual assault and harassment

Universities AustraliaRespect.Now.Always.

Universities Australia – Guidelines for University responses to SASH

Universities Australia – Principles for Respectful Supervisory Relationships

Full-stop Foundation – Factsheets

Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations Incorporated (CAPA) Wide Support for CAPA’s Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Recommendations

CAPA – Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Survey – Universities Australia/Australian Human Rights Commission

CAPA – Media Release: CAPA calls on universities to take action on sexual assault

CAPA – Sexual Assault at Universities: What has been achieved 3 months on

Australian Law Reform CommissionSexual Offences – Consent