These guidelines primarily cover the use of UCS owned or licensed IT facilities, including but not limited to:
These are all referred to as UCS IT facilities.
These guidelines apply to all users of UCS IT facilities including staff, students, associated staff across the Learning Network, contractors and visitors.
From time to time, these guidelines may be supplemented by other advice, guidance and rules concerning the use of IT.
In addition to the facilities identified above, a special note is included at paragraph 11 regarding UCS students’ use of electronic resources made available through our special relationship with the University of East Anglia.
Users of UCS IT facilities who also use IT facilities provided by other organisations (for example, those provided by the Learning Network colleges) must adhere to local policies and procedures. In the event of any perceived conflict, you should seek advice from your course tutor or line manager.
2. Rules Governing the Use of UCS IT Facilities
As a member of the UCS community, you are permitted to use UCS IT facilities for the purposes of your studies and/or your work. You may make limited and reasonable use of these facilities for personal use in your own time.
You are prohibited from making any use of UCS IT facilities, which in the judgement of UCS may adversely impact on the business or reputation of UCS or which may interfere with, or adversely affect, other staff/students.
You must not use UCS IT facilities for any unlawful activity.
You must not use or alter UCS IT facilities to create, transmit, store, download or display any offensive, obscene, indecent, or menacing images, data, or other material.
You must not use UCS IT facilities to defame, harass, offend, or hinder another person by the creation, transmission, storage, download or display of materials or by other means.
Unless you have express permission to do so from your line manager or tutor, you may not disclose your password to another person nor may you access another person’s IT account.
You may not use UCS IT facilities to create, access, store or transmit material in a way that infringes copyright, trade mark, or other intellectual property rights.
Unless you have express permission to do so, you may not enter in to any contracts or commitments in the name of UCS nor arrange for the delivery to UCS of any goods ordered on the Internet.
Further guidance regarding the use of e-mail, the Internet, and on-line discussion groups is shown below.
Failure to observe these obligations may lead to withdrawal of your access to some or all UCS IT facilities and may result in formal disciplinary action. Serious breaches of these guidelines could result in dismissal for staff, or exclusion for students. In the case of staff employed by other organisations, UCS will notify their employer of any breaches of this policy and will work with that institution to ensure appropriate action is taken.
If, during the course of your work or studies at UCS, you receive or become the subject of any unwanted or offensive messages, you should report this to your line manager or tutor so that appropriate action may be taken.
If you inadvertently access material which you consider to be inappropriate (or that may cause others to question your use of UCS IT facilities) you should immediately alert your manager/tutor.
From time to time, for the purposes of legitimate research, students/staff may need to access material/information that might in other circumstances be regarded as inappropriate. If this is the case, you must register your planned use of such sites with your Head of School or, in the case of Learning Network Colleges, the Head of Higher Education. If you are in any doubt about who to notify, please refer to your line manager or tutor in the first instance. It is your responsibility to ensure your planned activities are understood and have been deemed acceptable to UCS. Failure to do so may result in misunderstanding, embarrassment, or even disciplinary action.
UCS reserves the right to monitor the use of its IT facilities, including monitoring electronic communications and access to external electronic resources. Such monitoring may include, but is not limited to, monitoring the use of different internet sites, monitoring communications based on key words, and monitoring the volume of usage of e-mail and internet access.
The reasons for such monitoring include, but are not limited to, establishing facts, quality control, preventing or detecting crime, and investigating unauthorised use. These Guidelines represent formal notice that communications may be intercepted for reasons allowed in law.
UCS will usually confine itself to looking at the address and heading of e-mails, but you are advised to identify clearly personal/private e-mails to avoid misunderstanding.
UCS reserves the right to access staff e-mail accounts if an employee is absent and communications must be checked for business reasons. Personal/private e-mails will not be accessed where these are clearly identifiable.
5. Helping Us to Help You
If you become aware that others are downloading offensive, obscene, or unlawful material, you should report this to your line manager or tutor so that appropriate action may be taken. We will treat your disclosure in confidence.
UCS does not allow the posting of offensive or embarrassing messages/images of its staff or students on weblogs or other external sites. Such behaviour represents bullying and harassment and may lead to disciplinary action being taken against the person responsible.
If you become aware that you are the subject of offensive or embarrassing messages/images, please tell your line manager or tutor. We have a duty to protect you from unacceptable behaviour of this kind, but we can only do so if you let us know.
6. Caring for the Environment
Unnecessary printing is expensive and a waste of resources. You should print selectively and make use of double-sided printing and other paper saving approaches, particularly when printing draft documents.
7. Looking after the kit
Please treat workstations and other IT equipment with respect. Please don’t eat or drink or deposit gum at a workstation – this will prevent keyboards getting clogged and liquids getting spilt. It’s also not very nice for the next user. Don’t unplug wires and remember to remove any USB sticks or wires of your own when you have finished. If you notice any damage or missing equipment, it would be really helpful if you could report it to the IT Helpdesk.
8. Using E-mail
You should be aware that any information written in an email is open to scrutiny for the purposes of data protection requests. This means that, if any member of the UCS community or a member of the public requests a copy of all of the information held about them in UCS databases, this will include anything written in an email.
You should check your UCS e-mail account(s) in a timely manner and respond to any course-related matters within a reasonable period of time.
You should manage your mailbox and avoid storing large volumes of messages.
You should present yourself honestly and accurately and remember you are accountable for all activity in your account.
You should avoid sending messages to large numbers of people – only copy messages to those who need to see them.
You should avoid attaching very large files because these may adversely affect the operation of the UCS IT network.
You should ensure you log out promptly when you have finished, particularly if you are accessing off-site.
9. Using the Internet
You should be cautious about the reliance placed on information sourced through the internet: check the information is from a reliable source and that it is likely to be accurate and up to date.
If you are citing internet sources in academic work, ensure these are properly referenced.
10. Using Discussion Sites
When participating in UCS sponsored discussion sites, for example on the VLE, you should be aware that your identity may be known to UCS.
UCS accepts no legal or financial obligation in connection with any weblogs or other personal websites created or operated by students or staff. In these circumstances, staff/students are advised to seek their own legal advice and to take care not to breach laws concerning copyright, libel, data protection, and equality.
Staff who participate in weblogs and other on-line discussion sites not sponsored by UCS are advised that they are not authorised to disclose the name of UCS nor to allow it to be identified in any way.
Staff should bear in mind they have a duty to act in good faith and in the best interests of their employer. Criticism of UCS in weblogs in your capacity as a member of staff, rather than as a private individual, could lead to disciplinary action being taken.
11. Student Access to the University of East Anglia's Electronic Resources
As a UCS student you are entitled to access many of UEA’s resources for private study provided you ensure the security and confidentiality of the resources made available to you. Students enrolling with UCS must comply with the provisions of UEA’s IT Conditions of Use, which include: not making an electronic or print copy unless the appropriate authorisation is given; not disclosing their username and password to others. UEA wish it to be known that failure to comply with these requirements may result in disciplinary or legal action. Students who are uncertain about their obligations in this respect may contact their UCS Librarian. The UEA IT Conditions of Use can be found at http://www.uea.ac.uk/is/itregs/usepols
12. Need Help?
The UCS Learning Support Team and the UCS IT Services Helpdesk can provide support and advice about using IT efficiently for example, using the internet and/or e-mail or in accessing the VLE or other online resources.