Crisis and Routine Emergency Preparedness and Response, Policy on [June 27, 2018]

University of Toronto Governing Council

Policy on Crisis and Routine Emergency Preparedness and Response

June 27, 2018

To request an official copy of this policy, contact:

The Office of the Governing Council
Room 106, Simcoe Hall 27 King’s College Circle University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario
M5S 1A1

Phone: 416-978-6576
Fax: 416-978-8182

Policy on Crisis and Routine Emergency Preparedness and Response

Crisis and routine emergency situations on the University of Toronto’s three campuses are governed by the Policy on Crisis and Routine Emergency Preparedness and Response. In addition to the Policy, there exist internal and external policies and statutes that define the University's roles and responsibilities in a crisis or routine emergency situation. University officers are reminded that each and every crisis and routine emergency requires a response as set out in the Policy and an evolving administrative Framework.

If a University officer is uncertain about the seriousness of an incident, they are directed to contact Campus Police immediately to assist in an assessment.

The Incident Manager has full decision-making authority in the implementation of this Policy.


The University of Toronto is committed to protecting its community, facilities, and property from the effects of routine emergencies and spontaneous, unpredictable crisis situations by establishing specific guidelines, procedures, and resources. This Policy assists the University in coping with such incidents on all three campuses.


Under this Policy, the following definitions apply:

  • Incident: A situation requiring institutional consideration, including a routine emergency and crisis.
  • Routine emergency: A predictable incident for which the University has standard, planned responses. Routine emergencies may affect operations and may involve actual or potential harm to individuals.
  • Crisis: An unpredictable and serious incident that involves novel circumstances, as well as a significant impact on University operations and actual harm to persons.


The foremost priority in responding to crisis and routine emergency situations is the safety of University of Toronto students, faculty, staff, and affected community residents.

The University is also committed to limiting or containing the extent of damage incurred during a crisis, including making provisions for the safety and protection of research animals, University facilities, property, and grounds.

Other priorities include ensuring clear and effective communication with University of Toronto constituencies throughout a crisis or routine emergency situation, and the recovery and restoration of academic and research operations.


The University of Toronto has developed a Framework for Responding to a Crisis or Routine Emergency that details a wide range of institutional support mechanisms that can be brought to bear in a crisis or routine emergency, depending on the nature and extent of the incident.

The University undertakes prevention, precautionary, and response procedures designed to protect human and animal life, to limit or contain the extent of damage to facilities and property, to permit communication systems to function despite suspension of normal operating conditions, and to enable the institution to respond in a safe, orderly, and efficient manner.

The Framework is revised on a regular basis so that it will remain as current as possible. The Framework is distributed to the President, Vice-Presidents, Principals, Deans, senior administrators and members of the Incident Management and Emergency Response Teams. Additional copies may be obtained from Campus Police and the Community Safety Office.


Teams with designated leaders will be established at the onset of a crisis or routine emergency to coordinate the University's response, implement procedures, and monitor the progress of the situation. These teams will be activated depending on response levels established according to criteria and procedures detailed in the Framework. Once a response level is established, team leaders are authorized to mobilize University of Toronto staff and resources as required to deal effectively with the incident.

The University of Toronto will work with the federated universities, affiliated hospitals, municipal agencies, and related community organizations to ensure that appropriate mutual aid provisions are in place in the event of a crisis, and that suitable lines of authority are established and understood.


The University of Toronto requires all Faculties, units, and facilities to prepare appropriate emergency and business continuity plans consistent with University of Toronto policies. It is the responsibility of individual departments to be familiar with the content of the Framework and to assess their individual planning and emergency resource requirements in light of the considerations raised by it. The Framework may be used as a resource to identify sensitive or vulnerable operations and to assist in formulating suitable precautionary procedures.

All persons occupying space controlled by the University of Toronto are subject to the procedures and authorities outlined by this Policy. Violations of this Policy, including refusal to evacuate a building or area upon activation of an alarm or failure to follow the directions of emergency personnel during a crisis or routine emergency or drill, shall constitute unacceptable behaviour and will be subject to appropriate corrective and/or disciplinary action by the University.


The following is a list of University of Toronto policies that are relevant to the University’s crisis and routine emergency preparedness and response.

Statement of Institutional Purpose
Statement Regarding Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Statement on Freedom of Speech
Policy on the Disruption of Meetings
Statement on the Bearing of Firearms
University of Toronto Police Policy
Statement on Human Right
Statement on Prohibited Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment
Code of Student Conduct
Policy with Respect to Workplace Violence
Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment

For more information or to obtain a copy of any of the above, contact:

The Office of the Governing Council Secretariat Room 106, Simcoe Hall
27 King's College Circle University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario
M5S 1A1

April 9, 2018

Approved by Governing Council on June 27, 2018