About - Policies - Intellectual Property

Policies and Procedures - Intellectual Property

Type: Policy
PD Number: PD20050272

1.Objectives – Policy statement


TAFE NSW owns, controls and manages all intellectual property (IP) that it has created or acquired. All staff, contractors and consultants have a responsibility to properly identify, attribute and preserve the IP of TAFE NSW. It should be managed professionally, protected, shared and commercialised where appropriate.

2. Audience and Applicability


This Policy applies to:

  • All activities of TAFE NSW and related operations
  • All core or commercial undertakings at state, national and international levels
  • All staff whether permanent or temporary, consultants, contractors or other appointees
  • All students involved with the activities managed or conducted jointly by TAFE NSW.


The supporting Intellectual Property Policy Guidelines – TAFE NSW and Intellectual Property Licensing Guidelines – TAFE NSW (Intranet only) provide further information about the applicability and implementation of this Policy.


These Guidelines, included in the implementation details, also provide links to other relevant guidelines, policies and supporting material.



The Intellectual Property Management Framework for the NSW Public Sector outlines mandatory principles for managing IP and requires that every public sector agency develops policies to manage IP and maintains systems to properly identify, capture and record its IP assets.

3.2 Staff and Intellectual Property Rights


TAFE NSW owns, controls and manages all IP created by TAFE NSW staff pursuant to the terms of their employment or otherwise created under the direction or control of TAFE NSW.


TAFE NSW staff employed outside of this organisation cannot use TAFE NSW IP, as part of this employment, unless permission has been granted in writing by the appropriate policy delegate or sub-delegate (see Section 4). In these situations the policy delegate or sub-delegate is to comply with the following policies, Private and Secondary Employment Policy and Code of Conduct.

3.3 Consultants, Contractors and Agency Staff and Intellectual Property Rights


Where TAFE NSW engages any contractor or consultant, and that contractor or consultant creates any IP (including copyright) as part of that engagement, then there must be a written agreement which clearly sets out that TAFE NSW owns this IP.


Any such agreement must also address the issue of sub-contractors being engaged and the ownership of any IP created. This also applies to individuals employed by TAFE NSW through an agency.


Where TAFE NSW engages one of its own staff under a contract of secondary employment, then there must be a written agreement which clearly sets out who will own any IP that comes into existence.

3.4 Students and Intellectual Property Rights


Copyright in any material created by TAFE NSW students in the course of their studies will subsist with students, except where TAFE NSW and the student/s otherwise agree in writing.

3.5 Commercialisation of TAFE NSW Intellectual Property


TAFE NSW staff are to seek appropriate legal, financial and commercial advice when making decisions in relation to the commercialisation of IP. Licensing is the preferred approach for the commercialisation of IP owned by TAFE NSW.

3.6 Definitions


Intellectual property refers to what our minds create that is then put into material form (i.e. written down, drawn, photographed, composed, broadcast, performed, designed, invented). IP rights are protected in a variety of ways, some of which are automatic upon creation, e.g. copyright, and some are registrable, e.g. registered trade marks and patents.


The two main types of IP rights TAFE NSW has are copyright, covering: website content, multimedia, educational management systems, other educational software, learning and assessment strategies including curriculum; and registered and unregistered trade marks, brand names, logos, tag lines and other insignia of origin; as well as confidential information, including trade secrets. Other types of IP rights include: circuit layouts; registered designs; patented and patentable inventions; plant breeders’ rights; domain names; all other rights resulting from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary or artistic fields.


TAFE NSW intellectual property assets are captured and recorded in a variety of databases, repositories, websites, content management systems and files.

3.7 Document History and Details

Implementation date – 01/12/2005

Web publication date – 05/08/2013

Reference Number – PD/2005/0272/V02

Approval date – 01/12/2005

Approving officer

Associate director, TAFE policy, strategy and review

Superseded documents

Document history


Main changes since previous version

Updates to PD2005/0272/V01:

  • Definitions
  • Responsibilities and delegations
  • Policy contact

Policy contact

Manager, TAFE Knowledge Services, TAFE Customer Support, (02) 9244 5146.

NSW TAFE Commission reference numbers N/A

SCIS Number


Publication data

Publicly-available – Yes

Storage location – wwwpolicies: central

Primary location – TAFE | Administration & management | Intellectual property

Leading and Managing the School categories – none

Subject keywords – intellectual property, copyright, trade mark, asset register, infringement

4.Responsibilities and Delegations


All staff have a responsibility to properly identify, preserve and use the IP of TAFE NSW, and respect the IP of others. Where there has been an alleged infringement or misuse of IP owned by TAFE NSW by a third party, staff must notify their line manager, seek appropriate advice on managing this from the appropriate Sub-Delegate and as needed, Policy Administrator.


Where the alleged infringement or mis-use allegation involves a staff member or the allegation is made by a third party, staff must notify their line-manager who will provide a written report to the appropriate Sub-Delegate for action. Any action taken will be in line with the policies, Responding to Suggestions, Complaints & Allegations and Code of Conduct.


TAFE NSW staff are required to ensure copyright material is identified, captured and recorded in an appropriate system. Management of intellectual property will be by annual reporting.


  • Delegate: general manager, TAFE customer support
  • Sub-delegates: directors TAFE NSW institutes, directors industry skills units, state office general managers and directors
  • Policy administrator: Director, Learning Technologies, Knowledge and Library Services
  • Policy contact: Manager, TAFE Knowledge Services, TAFE Customer Support
  • Sub-delegates are not entitled to further delegation.

5. Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Requirements


This TAFE NSW Intellectual Property Policy provides a flexible framework for managing IP issues in TAFE NSW and accommodating change in this area. Where issues arise that require clarification, members of staff are encouraged to contact the policy administrator.


At any time the policy administrator may provide advice to the delegate about ongoing policy implementation and review issues. This may or may not lead to a formal report. In addition the delegate may request that a formal evaluation of the TAFE NSW Intellectual Property Policy, or aspects of the Policy, be undertaken.


Manager, TAFE Knowledge Services, TAFE Customer Support, (02) 9244 5146.

Last modified: 2016-10-20 14:34:17