View current

Anatomy Facilities and Programs Governance Policy

This is the current version of the approved document. You can provide feedback on this document to the Enquiries Contact - refer to the Status and Details tab from the menu bar above.

Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) The University of Queensland (UQ), St Lucia Campus is an authorised School of Anatomy under the Transplantation and Anatomy Act 1979 (Qld) (the Act) and operates a Body Donor Program (BDP) and Gross Anatomy Facility (GAF) on the same campus under this authorisation.

(2) The purpose of this Policy is to establish the framework for the governance and operations of the School of Anatomy, in particular the GAF and the BDP.

(3) This Policy applies to all UQ staff, students, contractors, volunteers or visitors using donated human tissues for anatomical purposes at UQ.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Principles and Key Requirements

(4) UQ recognises the significant contribution made by those who donate their bodies for medical or scientific purposes with the support of their families and is committed to treating all donors entrusted to its care with the utmost respect, dignity, and professionalism.

(5) In managing the School of Anatomy (including the GAF and the BDP), UQ will ensure all donated bodies/body parts used for anatomical examinations, study, teaching and research are treated with the highest legal and ethical standards, in accordance with relevant legislation, donor consents and community expectations.

Management of the School of Anatomy


(6) The governance and practices of the School of Anatomy (including the BDP and the GAF) are overseen by the School of Anatomy Custodian, who is the Head of the School of Biomedical Sciences (SBMS) or their delegate. The Head of School receives advice on the management of the School of Anatomy from:

  1. School of Anatomy Assurance Committee;
  2. Ethics Advisory Group;
  3. Chief Anatomist;
  4. GAF Manager;
  5. BDP Manager;
  6. UQ’s Health, Safety and Wellness Division (HSW Division) and Health, Safety and Wellness Managers (HSW Managers);
  7. Anatomy Teaching and Research Management Committee (ATARM).


(7) The principal teaching spaces of the School of Anatomy (namely the GAF) are to be kept secure at all times and only authorised staff and students, and/or other specially approved visitors are permitted to enter.

(8) Authority for access and access privileges are determined by the GAF Manager.

(9) Supervisory staff, including professional staff, academic staff, demonstrators and external workshop leaders shall monitor compliance associated with:

  1. participants from other approved research activities, surgical workshops, short courses or demonstrations;
  2. UQ contractors for repair, general maintenance, or safety checks within the facility;
  3. other users as needs require (e.g. emergency services or repairs); and
  4. other users who are authorised under legislation to gain access in order to perform the official duties of their position.

(10) Before accessing the GAF, all individuals (including staff, students and visitors) must complete the relevant induction program approved by the Head of School, SBMS.

(11) The general public, including family members of students, the media and journalists, are not permitted into the GAF.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

The School of Anatomy Custodian

(12) The School of Anatomy Custodian, who is the Head of School, SBMS or their delegate is accountable for the overall management of the School of Anatomy, including:

  1. monitoring UQ’s compliance with the School of Anatomy authorisation;
  2. ensuring UQ retains and/or where appropriate and necessary, updates its authorisation;
  3. ensuring that adequate resources including personnel and financial resources are available and adequate to ensure the GAF is operated and maintained as fit-for-purpose and to comply with all relevant safety legislation, codes and standards and guidelines;
  4. ensuring that the GAF is a safe place of work and that all hazards are identified, risk assessed and adequately controlled in liaison with UQ’s HSW Division, the Faculty HSW Manager and local HSW Division personnel;
  5. approving key GAF and BDP procedures at the local level, including the relevant codes of conduct;
  6. overseeing GAF security procedures, and document management and security;
  7. ensuring that GAF and BDM procedures are kept current, communicated to all personnel associated with the School of Anatomy, and complied with by all personnel; and
  8. reporting any real or potential breaches of this Policy to the Executive Dean, Faculty of Medicine with recommendations for immediate and appropriate corrective actions.

Chief Anatomist

(13) The Chief Anatomist is responsible for:

  1. advising the Head of School on School of Anatomy matters, legal compliance and other relevant anatomy related issues associated with the operation of the School of Anatomy;
  2. notifying the Head of School of any real or potential breaches of this Policy;
  3. ensuring effective mechanisms are in place for security and privacy of all personal records of donors, de-identification of donors prior to release for teaching purposes and tracking of donor parts while in the School of Anatomy;
  4. liaising with the GAF Manager to administer access rights and maintain facility security;
  5. ensuring that the operations of the GAF are conducted with the appropriate decorum and respect for the donors;
  6. liaising with the regulator to co-ordinate any mandatory physical inspections of the facility; and
  7. as a member of the School of Anatomy Assurance Committee, assisting with facility self-assessment audits.

GAF Manager

(14) The GAF Manager is responsible for:

  1. the day-to-day management of the GAF;
  2. liaising with contractors and other personnel to ensure the GAF is maintained in good condition;
  3. assisting with the identification of hazards and ensuring that safe work procedures and systems are implemented and complied with in cooperation with the SBMS safety management team;
  4. assisting the Chief Anatomist to ensure that the operations of the GAF are conducted with the appropriate decorum and respect for the donors; and
  5. as a member of the School of Anatomy Assurance Committee, assisting with facility self-assessment audits.

BDP Manager

(15) The BDP Manager is responsible for:

  1. managing UQ’s relationship with potential donors and coordinating donor acceptances and releases;
  2. ensuring all records of the operations of the program are maintained according to requirements of the Act and securely stored with utmost respect for privacy and confidentiality;
  3. liaising with the Chief Anatomist and GAF Manager to co-ordinate the respectful and appropriate screening, documentation, acceptance and funeral processes; and
  4. as a member of the School of Anatomy Assurance Committee, assisting with the annual facility self-assessment audit.

Director, Health Safety and Wellness (Director, HSW)

(16) The Director, HSW is responsible for:

  1. maintaining oversight of HSW Division practices at the GAF in liaison with School of Anatomy safety personnel and the Faculty HSW Manager;
  2. arranging the annual independent inspection of the GAF; and
  3. ensuring that corrective actions identified are implemented in coordination with the Head of School.

Staff, Students and visitors

(17) Staff, students and visitors to the GAF are required to comply with:

  1. relevant legal and regulatory obligations;
  2. relevant SBMS codes of conduct;
  3. UQ and local GAF procedures; and
  4. all reasonable directions of staff in the GAF.
Top of Page

Section 4 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

Annual Review

(18) A review of the School of Anatomy’s use of human bodies/body parts and anatomy facilities will be conducted at least annually by the School of Anatomy Assurance Committee. This review must include an independent inspection of the GAF by the HSW Division.

(19) Through the Head of SBMS and the Executive Dean, the review will be reported to the Vice-Chancellor's Risk and Compliance Committee and the requirements of UQ’s authorisation issued under the Act. The review will consider:

  1. compliance with this Policy and any requirements of UQ’s authorisation issued under the Act;
  2. the facility’s operational compliance with legal and ethical requirements;
  3. details of any dealings with the regulator;
  4. the general condition of the GAF and any operational issues including changes in demand/numbers/requirements of students;
  5. completion rates of required training modules including codes of conduct; and
  6. compliance with other relevant legislation and standards, including those relating to workplace health and safety.
Top of Page

Section 5 - Recording and Reporting

Reporting of Non-compliance

(20) Where an annual review or other inspection of the School of Anatomy identifies activities of non-compliance with this Policy, the Head of School, SBMS must report the non-compliance to the Executive Dean, Faculty of Medicine.

(21) The Executive Dean, in consultation with the Head of School, is responsible for:

  1. ensuring actions are taken to address areas of non-compliance;
  2. reporting any cases of non-compliance with this Policy to the Vice-Chancellor's Risk and Compliance Committee; and
  3. in the case of any statutory non-compliance, notifying the relevant Government authority in accordance with the relevant legislation.
Top of Page

Section 6 - Appendix


Term Definition
ATARM Means the Anatomy Teaching and Research Management Committee, which is advisory to the Head of SBMS on anatomy teaching and research under the School of Anatomy.
BDP Means the Body Donor Program, which is the administrative arm of the School of Anatomy responsible for donor acceptance, transfer and release paperwork.
GAF Means the Gross Anatomy Facility.
SBMS Means the School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine.
School of Anatomy Means the school for the study and practice of anatomy carried on by UQ pursuant to an authorisation granted by the State of Queensland under section 37(1) of the Transplantation and Anatomy Act 1979 (Qld). School of Anatomy is the legislative terminology used by the government for anatomy operations and is not to be confused with academic Schools. At UQ, the School of Biomedical Sciences (SBMS) operates UQ’s authorised School of Anatomy to include a Body Donor Program (BDP), Gross Anatomy Facility (GAF) and authorised alternate sites.

Relevant Legislation

(22) Relevant legislation includes:

  1. Transplantation and Anatomy Act 1979 (Qld);
  2. Coroners Act 2003 (Qld);
  3. Cremations Act 2003 (Qld); and
  4. associated Regulations.