Hierarchy of Control

The ‘hierarchy of control’ model is a proven approach to managing negative behaviour, initially with an informal conversation to raise awareness and reinforce organisational expectations and escalating in response if the behaviour worsens or remains unchanged.

This model supports the conversation to raise awareness and reinforce organisational expectations and allows a clear pathway to guide organisational response.

Western Health will base its response on the hierarchy of control:

  • Level 1. Initially seeking early resolution of negative behaviours before they become more serious or damaging and monitoring the issue and concerns
  • Level 2. Preventative interventions will be guided, supported and promoted by leaders and managers setting clear expectations for the individual of the need for a change in workplace behaviours
  • Level 3. Persistent negative behaviour will lead to action by Western Health People and Culture, with formal investigations of claims and subsequent disciplinary action
  • Level 4. If there is evidence of no change, consideration will be given to ceasing the individual’s employment with Western Health

At all levels, actions to remedy the behaviour and/or discipline the offender will be accompanied by an appropriate level of support for the employees or volunteers who have experienced poor behaviour.

How does the model fit in with the existing structure at Western Health for conduct which requires investigation, discipline or dismissal?

This Vanderbilt model is not to be taken as imposing any obligations on Western Health, beyond its obligations in the relevant enterprise agreement or its policies or processes.

To avoid any doubt, this Vanderbilt model is only a guide.  It tends to be most relevant for what might be described as “lower level” types of negative or inappropriate behaviour.

There may of course be situation where even a single incident may require Western Health going straight to level 3 or level 4, depending upon the circumstances.

For example, a single incident of negative or inappropriate workplace behaviour may be of a very serious nature and therefore a warning may be appropriate, or in very serious circumstances, a potential dismissal (e.g. a serious physical or sexual assault).