Policy process

Step 1: Identify the need for policy or procedure development, amendment, revision or rescission

The need for the development of the new policy or procedure, or the amendment, revision or rescission of an existing one can be identified by any member of the University community.

The main reasons for a development of a new policy are:

  • Change in legislation or government policy;
  • A new strategic direction for the University has been established;
  • A gap in the existing University policy being identified.

The main reasons for amending or rescinding an existing Policy document are:

  • Scheduled review
  • Managing risk
  • Outcomes of internal and external audits/reviews
  • Significant changes to practice
  • No longer relevant or required.

Once the appropriate Policy Sponsor has been identified, they need to confirm/approve that a policy/ procedure needs to be developed. Check for the possible enhancement of an existing policy and procedure which may cover the issue before developing a new one. It is important to establish principles which apply to the policy's subject and consider issues of implementation for the potential policy/procedure.

A Policy (usually less than 6 pages) is a formal statement of principle consistent with relevant legislation, and University Statutes and Regulations, that regulates, directs and controls University-wide operations and is formally reviewed every five years.

A Procedure (usually more than 6 pages) outlines a series of Actions, Activities and Steps required (and by whom) to implement the Policy across the University and is formally reviewed every three years. All procedures relate to and are consistent with the Policy to which they refer.

For more information and to determine your requirements, please see the Policy and Procedure Checklist

Step 2: Completing and Submitting a Policy Document Approval (PDA) Form

The Policy Sponsor must submit a signed Policy Document Approval Form to the Policy Committee (PC) through the Policy Systems Administrator (PSA). The PC meets regularly to consider proposals and the PSA will advise the Policy Sponsor of the outcome. If the proposal is not approved, a memo accompanied by an extract of minutes is forwarded to the Policy Sponsor outlining the reasons for the committee's decision.

The Policy Committee will take into consideration:

  • That the proposed policy/procedure does not overlap with other documents under development;
  • The University's need for the policy/procedure;
  • Where the document sits within the existing Policy Domains.

Once Policy Committee approval has been obtained:

For a new document - the PSA, or delegate establishes the new document in the University's approved policy management system (PAMS) with the status "Draft - with Sponsor" and provides a blank template document to the Policy Sponsor to use in developing the new policy document.

Where the approval is for the amending of an existing document, the Policy Sponsor is advised and PAMS is updated with the status "Under Review - with Sponsor"

For a document approved for Rescinding, PAMS is updated to status "To Be Rescinded" and a job is logged with System Support to rescind from the Policy Library.

Step 3: Policy development or revision

All policy and procedure documents are drafted or revised in consultation with relevant stakeholders, using the templates provided to ensure that the structure and style of documents are consistent.

Template documents:

The Policy Office can assist in reviewing the draft policy/procedure by providing advice on the quality of drafting and compliance to the definitions of the Policy framework hierarchy and suggest revisions and reorganisation of content as appropriate.

When forms are required to be attached to a procedure, policy Sponsors should forward these to the Policy Systems Administrator for inclusion in PAMS. If forms are required to be included on individual webpages e.g. Academic Board, the forms should be stored in PAMS and linked to this version to ensure all versions are current. The Policy Office can provide the URL to link forms or other policy documents.

Step 4: Consultation

There are two stages of the consultation process:

Stage one

The Policy Sponsor should consult with all relevant stakeholders in regards to the policy/procedure to assist with testing the document's options and to identify gaps that may have been overlooked.

Internal stakeholders may include:

  • Departments
  • Schools
  • Academics
  • Researchers
  • General staff
  • University committees and any other area of the University community that may be directly affected by the policy/procedure.

Refer to the original Policy Document Approval form to confirm who has been identified as key stakeholders and to ensure all relevant areas have been consulted.

In some cases external stakeholders may also need to be consulted.

Stage two

Once the Policy Sponsor has consulted with the relevant stakeholders and the first draft of the new/revised policy/procedure has been approved for release for University Wide comment, they forward this to the Policy Systems Administrator (PSA) for uploading to PAMS.

The PSA will return the draft copy of the document from PAMS for final approval prior to release for comment.

Once approval has been received from the Policy Sponsor, the PDA will change the status in PAMS to "For University-Wide Comment" and make an announcement via the FedNews webpage for the second stage of the consultation process.

The University-Wide comment phase is for 10 working days unless a shorter period is approved by Chair, Policy Committee in writing. All feedback received is to be collated and considered by the relevant stakeholders and working parties and this should be captured as evidence that the stage has been completed. The Feedback Form has been developed to assist in this stage of the process. If necessary, revise the policy/procedure based on the comments received

Please note: All policies and procedures in the consultation stage need to be sent to the National Tertiary Education Union: ballarat@nteu.org.au.

Step 5: Approval

All policies must be approved by the appropriate Approval Authority as stipulated in the Policy Procedure. The Policy Sponsor forwards the final draft including valid feedback, of the policy/procedure to the appropriate Approval Authority for final approval. The Policy Sponsor or EO of Approval Authority, if a committee, forwards the resolution/memo to the Policy Systems Administrator, for inclusion on the next Policy Committee meeting for endorsement of the final version for publishing in the Policy Library.

The Policy Systems Administrator will advise the Policy Sponsor when the document has been published.

NOTE: If amendments are recommended by the Policy Committee the Policy Sponsor needs to includes these and informs the Policy Systems Administrator when the document is ready for publishing.

All new and revised policies automatically appear on the 'Newly Approved Documents' section of the Policy Central Website.

Step 6: Announcement

The policy sponsor is required to:

  1. Post an announcement on the FedNews webpage about the new/revised policy/procedure.
  2. Target communication directly to the relevant University staff who are required to implement new processes as a result of the new/revised policy/procedure.

Step 7: Implementation

Policies must be implemented according to Section 2 of the approved Policy Document Approval Form that was submitted to the Policy Committee (Policy Process step 2). The Policy Sponsor or delegated officer is responsible for monitoring the implementation process and ensuring staff are provided with appropriate information and training.

Step 8: Periodic review

All policies and procedures are reviewed on a regular basis (normally between 3-5 years) to ensure the ongoing relevance and applicability.