PROCEDURE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF UOW POLICY DOCUMENTS
Date first approved:
Date of effect:
Date last amended
Date of Next Review:
Custodian Title, Unit, Division & e-mail address:
Senior Manager, Governance
Responsible Division & Unit:
Governance Unit, Governance and Legal Division
Supporting forms and other reference material:
Templates (including the Policy Template, Procedure Template, Policy Issues Log, Implementation and Communication Plan and New Policy Proposal Form)
Related legislation and policy documents
Public – accessible to anyone
Submit your feedback on this policy document using the Policy Feedback Facility.
1 Introduction and Purpose
- 1. This procedure supports the Standard on UOW Policy. The procedure provides instruction to UOW staff on the process to be used to develop and manage UOW policy documents. The procedure should be read in conjunction with the Standard.
- 1. This procedure applies to all UOW staff who have responsibility for development and management of UOW policy documents.
- 1. The definitions contained in section 2 of the Standard on UOW Policy apply to this procedure.
- 1. Policy Custodians or delegates shall follow the procedures set out in this document and in the Policy Development Flowchart.
- 2. All UOW policy documents must be created or amended using the UOW Policy Template. Staff drafting or reviewing UOW policy documents will ensure that:
- a. Title or main headings will be numbered sequentially
- b. Paragraphs will be numbered sequentially following the numbering of the headings, as this assists with cross-referencing.
- c. The header will include the UOW logo as illustrated in this document.
- d. The footer will include the document number, month and year of current approved version, the author, the title of the document, page number and will be in 9 point font, grey as illustrated in this document.
- 1. Policy development will normally follow a staged approach. The steps in each stage are defined in the attached Policy Development Flowchart. The staged approach to policy development follows the University’s continuous improvement cycle of plan, review, improve, act.
Stage One: Needs Analysis
- 2. In Stage One the issues that could trigger a review or the development of a new policy document are identified. Triggers can include:
- a. The review date for the policy document,
- b. Policy gaps which may come through the committee process, faculties, consultation with students or other stakeholders, or changes in the environment within or external to the University including:
- i. Legislative change
- ii. An accumulation of a critical mass of issues in the Policy Issues Log.
- 3. The Policy Issues Log should be maintained by the Policy Custodian or delegate and can capture issues that emerge through implementation and use of the policy document. It can be used to capture knowledge and inform future reviews.
- 4. In identifying issues requiring action, a decision will need to be made by the Policy Custodian or delegate about the urgency of the issues and whether to:
- a. Log the issues on the Policy Issues Log for a later review or development,
- b. Address the problem through mechanisms other than the policy process, or
- c. Proceed with a review or development of a new policy document.
- 5. In the case of development of a new policy document a New Policy Proposal Form shall be completed and submitted to the Governance Unit. Ideally, approval in principle of the creation of a new policy document from the relevant member of the senior executive should be sought once a needs analysis has been completed.
- 6. The Governance Unit will provide advice in relation to issues such as the development of the policy document, related policy documents, policy documents that may be superseded by the new policy, legislation and approval pathways. This information will assist in determining the scope and impact of the policy document and the timeframe for completion.
- 7. In most instances it may be useful to consult with practitioners, experts in the field and/or other critical stakeholders as this information may be of assistance in identifying gaps in the current policy document.
Stage Two: Research
- 8. The Policy Custodian or delegate shall analyse any relevant information that could inform the policy development/review. This may include but may not be limited to data analysis, literature review and examination of good practice.
- 9. The Policy Custodian must determine whether the policy document is achieving its purpose. Questions relevant to this include:
- a. What behaviour is the policy document seeking to encourage or prevent, and is it doing so;
- b. What data is available to show the impact of the existing policy document having, and what does it show;
- c. If no data is available, what options exist to collect and analyse relevant data that could help monitor the policy document and its efficacy;
- d. How well known is the policy document by those affected by it, and is this situation satisfactory; and
- e. What are the costs associated with implementing the policy document (for example systems costs, compliance costs, communications costs), and are they reasonable and proportionate.
- 10. The implications of the policy document development/review should be determined with consideration of the impact on other policy documents, stakeholders, administration and systems development.
- 11. The Policy Custodian must identify stakeholders and determine mechanisms for consultation with stakeholders for action in Stages Three and Four. In some instances it may be useful to consult with practitioners, experts in the field and/or critical stakeholders as this information may be of assistance in drafting the policy document.
Stage Three: Drafting
- 12. In consultation with stakeholders, the Policy Custodian or delegate must draft the new policy document or amend the existing policy document. The Policy Template and the Procedure Template should be used, as appropriate, for all UOW policy documents.
- 13. Depending upon the extent of change, urgency and timing of the policy document change, stakeholders will be consulted and have the opportunity to comment on the draft policy document. Changes that emerge from this consultation process may require further drafting of the policy document.
- 14. The Policy Custodian or delegate may find that early consultation with critical stakeholders or a working party will inform the drafting stage of the policy document. The Policy Custodian, in consultation with the Governance Unit as appropriate, will ensure that any associated policy documents are modified or superseded and archived, as required.
Stage Four: Consultation
- 15. The stakeholders identified in Stages One and Two will be consulted regarding the policy document.
- 16. A range of stakeholder consultation tools is available on the Policy Toolkit.
- 17. It is good practice to send feedback to stakeholders who participate in the consultation process.
- 18. Depending on the constraints operating on the policy document, it may not always be possible to consult with all stakeholder groups, however, these constraints should be made clear.
Stage Five: Approval
- 19. The final draft of the policy document shall proceed through the approval pathway outlined in the Standard on UOW Policy sections 11 to 14.
- 20. The policy document shall include the Communication and Implementation Plan. Any policy documents that are superseded should be identified in the Communication and Implementation Plan.
- 21. The policy document may require revision depending on feedback received as the policy document moves through the approval pathway.
- 22. New or amended procedures and guidelines may be approved by the relevant Delegated Authority.
- 23. A new rule, policy, standard or code may only be approved by the University Council, and must be accompanied by a Policy Implementation and Communication Plan.
Amendment to a Rule
- 24. A rule may only be amended with the approval of the University Council, and, where the amendment is a major amendment, must be accompanied by a Policy Implementation and Communication Plan.
- 25. An administrative amendment to a policy, standard or code is a change to the current policy document which refer to the administration of the policy document. Administrative amendments may refer to changes in nomenclature, position titles or reference updates, which have no effect on the intent of the policy document.
- 26. Administrative amendments to a policy, standard or code require approval by the relevant Delegated Authority.
- 27. A minor amendment to a policy, standard or code is a change to the current policy, standard or code that is of an insubstantial nature, not affecting the meaning or intent of a policy, standard or code. Minor amendments may affect responsibilities or operational aspects of the policy, standard or code.
- 28. Minor amendments to a policy, standard or code require approval by the Vice-Chancellor.
No Amendment Required
- 29. A no change review to a policy, standard or code means that, based on the findings of a scheduled review, the policy document requires no changes. This recommendation must take any issues contained on the Policy Issues Log into account.
- 30. The Policy Custodian should notify the Governance Unit if it is proposed that no change be made to the policy document arising from the review. The policy document should be sent by the Governance Unit to the Delegated Authority with a covering memorandum. Once considered the Delegated Authority will approve the review and sign off accordingly.
- 31. The Governance Unit will then update the version control table with review information and next review date details.
- 32. No change reviews for operational policies are to be reported at Finance and Resources Committee meetings and similarly, no change reviews of academic policies are to be noted at Academic Senate meetings.
- 33. A major amendment to a policy, standard or code is a change or number of changes to the current document that is likely to impact upon the intent of the document and/or on other related policy documents, stakeholders, aligned procedures, systems, UOW Rules or Codes of Practice or Conduct.
- 34. Major amendments to an operational policy, standard or code shall be submitted to the Finance and Resources Committee for approval. Academic policy documents shall be submitted to the Academic Senate for approval.
- 35. In the case of major amendment, the Policy Custodian or delegate shall consult with the Governance Unit which will who will provide advice in relation to policy development, related policies and legislation and approval pathways.
- 36. All following stages in the policy development process apply to new policy development or major amendments to Rules, policies, standards and codes.
Stage Six: Communication and Implementation
- 37. The latest approved version of the policy document shall be forwarded electronically (in the appropriate template, in word.docx format and in accordance with the University of Wollongong tone of voice guidelines) to the Governance Unit so that it can be placed in the Policy Directory.
- 38. Upon approval by the delegated authority required by the relevant approval pathway, and subject to any specific later implementation date, the policy document becomes operational.
- 39. The Policy Custodian or delegate will implement the policy document in accordance with the Communication and Implementation Plan.
- 40. All changes shall be documented in the Review and Change History of the policy document.
- 41. The Policy Custodian must maintain a record of progress against the Communication and Implementation Plan.
Stage Seven: Maintenance and Review
- 42. The Policy Issues Log should be maintained by the Policy Custodian or delegate throughout implementation and use of the policy document. The log will record feedback regarding the policy document, identified issues with the operation of the policy document and suggested improvements to the policy document. It will be used to inform further reviews of the policy document.
- 43. In order to ensure that the policy document is being followed, it may be necessary to audit compliance with the policy document or evaluate the policy document.
- 44. The policy document will be reviewed, with a view to ensuring that the review process will be complete by the date specified in the policy as the date of next review. The process will commence at Stage One.
- 1. Roles and responsibilities are detailed in the Standard on UOW Policy.
6 March 2007
Dominic Riordan, Senior Manager, Policy and Governance
5 February 2009
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Migrated to UOW Procedure as per Policy Directory Refresh
14 June 2013
Amended to reflect major changes to the Standard on UOW Policy
8 May 2014
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)
Name change from Policy and Governance Unit to Governance Unit