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Procedure: Policy governance

Purpose

The purpose of this procedure is to provide for the operationalisation of the Policy Governance Policy.

Procedure

Categories

  1. The appropriate category for a policy document is readily evident from reference to the definitions contained in the Policy Governance Policy.
  2. Where the appropriate category for a policy document is unclear, a decision is made by the member(s) of the University Executive within whose portfolio responsibility rests for the subject matter (or content) of the policy document. Where a policy document could be categorised as ‘governance’, the Vice-Chancellor is included in the decision-making process.

Custodians

  1. The appropriate Responsible Officer for a policy document is the Director of the Service Division with portfolio responsibility for the subject matter of the policy document. When appropriate, a member of the University Executive with relevant portfolio responsibility may be assigned as Responsible Officer.
  2. Where the Responsible Officer for a policy document is unclear, a decision is made by the member(s) of the University Executive within whose portfolio responsibility rests for the subject matter (or content) of the policy document.

Content and design

  1. The Policy Governance Policy requires that policy documents is written, presented and provides supporting information as specified by this procedure.
  2. Policy documents are written and presented:
  1. in a style consistent with the requirements of the ANU Writing Style Guide
  2. in plain everyday English, applying the ‘average person on the street’ test
  3. with a title that is easily understood by most potential users
  4. with a logical structure and appropriate headings and sub-headings
  5. without the use of unexplained jargon, technical or legal terms, acronyms or abbreviations
  6. succinctly, being no longer than they absolutely need be (preferably no more than 2 pages for policies)
  7. in definite, rather than vague language
  8. in gender neutral and gender inclusive language
  9. with consistent use of terminology (and for student related policy documents, definitions must be consistent with the Glossary: Student Policies and Procedures Policy)
  1. Policy documents adopt a consistent style and format in their presentation, using only official templates where provided. Such templates will be consistent with the Visual Identity Guide wherever possible.
  2. Policy documents contain current information in terms of use of names, titles, and references to law, other policy documents, delegations, web links and other documents.
  3. Policy documents clearly articulate contact officers to provide further advice.
  4. Policy documents clearly articulate appropriate delegates or other decision-makers.

Development

  1. Proposals for new policy documents or changes to existing policy documents emanate from the Service Division or University Executive member with relevant portfolio responsibility. Proposals which come forward from a College are first endorsed by the College Dean and then discussed with and endorsed by the relevant member of the University Executive or Service Division Director.

Development of policies, procedures and standards

  1. A Policy Document Concept Proposal (or a similar discussion paper) is prepared for all new policies, procedures and standards (other than those that are given special approval). See flowchart.
  2. A new policy, procedure or standard is not to be fully developed or considered for approval, unless a Policy Document Concept Proposal (or a similar discussion paper) has been prepared and given in-principle endorsement.
  3. A Policy Document Concept Proposal is prepared using the official form or alternatively a discussion paper may be prepared, either document articulates:
  1. a statement of the objectives of the policy, procedure or standard
  2. a justification for the policy, procedure or standard, including an analysis of potential alternative ways, if any, of achieving the same objectives
  3. with a statement of how the policy, procedure or standard accords (or is not inconsistent) with the strategic objectives of the University
  4. with any relevant legislated or other mandated requirements
  5. with a statement of the consultations to be undertaken on the policy, procedure or standard in development, identifying the stakeholders that are to be consulted
  6. with an assigned Responsible Officer and Responsible Executive for a policy, procedure or standard
  1. Once completed, a Policy Document Concept Proposal is submitted for in-principle endorsement, according the to the following table:

Table 1

Category

Policy

Procedures / Standards

Governance

To the University Policy Manager, who will present it to the Vice-Chancellor

To the University Policy Manager, who presents it to the Vice-Chancellor

Academic

Directly to the relevant Responsible Executive

Directly to the relevant Responsible Executive

Administrative

To the University Policy Manager, who presents it to a meeting of the Senior Management Group or the Service Division Directors and College General Managers

To the University Policy Manager, who presents it to the Chief Operating Officer

  1. All policies, procedures and standards that are to be submitted to the University Policy Manager are emailed to policy@anu.edu.au.
  2. For administrative policies, the Chief Operating Officer, determines the appropriate meeting forum for consideration and endorsement of a Policy Document Concept Proposal.
  3. A Policy Document Concept Proposal is prepared, even in circumstances where the proponent is, or works within the office of, the Responsible Executive.
  4. For governance and administrative policies, procedures and standards, following in-principle endorsement, the University Policy Manager advises the Responsible Officer and any other associated proponent(s) to proceed to full development of the draft policy, procedure or standard.
  5. For academic policies, procedures and standards, following in-principle endorsement, the office of the relevant Responsible Executive will advise the Responsible Officer and any other associated proponent(s) to proceed to full development of the draft policy, procedure or standard.

Development of guidelines

  1. Guidelines are developed at the discretion of the Responsible Officer. A Policy Document Concept Proposal is not required for the development of a guideline.
  2. Following appropriate consultation with relevant stakeholders, guidelines are endorsed and approved according to the procedures described in Table 3.

Consultation and assessment of operational impact

  1. The Responsible Officer ensures that all relevant stakeholders are consulted as part of the development of a policy document, including any legislative obligation for consultation (such as work health and safety matters). For further guidance on appropriate consultation practices please read the Policy Document Consultation Guidelines.
  2. The Responsible Officer ensures that policy documents are thoroughly tested in the development stage to ensure they can be easily implemented, with likely operational problems identified and resolved prior to approval.
  3. A written log of all consultation undertaken and feedback received is kept throughout the development process. A template consultation log is available online. A copy of this log is kept on the relevant official file (please see ‘Record keeping’ section of this procedure).

Advice and support

  1. The University Policy Manager is available to provide advice and assistance to staff developing policy documents, at any stage of the development process, on matters such as:
  1. Compliance with the Policy Governance Policy and this procedure
  2. Reviewing of drafts of a policy document
  3. Use of appropriate written language
  4. Use of official templates
  5. Consultation processes and assessing feedback
  6. Information on existing policy documents
  7. Seeking information on the practices of other universities and relevant organisations

Preparation of an Implementation and Communications Plan

  1. An Implementation and Communications Plan is prepared before a policy document is submitted for approval, and is included with the package of documents accompanying the policy document when submitted (please see the ‘Implementation and communication’ section of this procedure).

Endorsement and approval

  1. All policy documents must receive the required endorsements, as specified in this procedure, prior to being presented for approval by the Approval Authority.
  2. The Approval Authority for a particular type of policy documents is as follows:

Table 2

Category

Policy

Procedures & Standards

Guidelines

Governance

Council

Council

Vice-Chancellor

Academic

Vice-Chancellor (via Academic Board)

Responsible Executive (via Academic Board)

Responsible Officer

Administrative

Vice-Chancellor

Chief Operating Officer

Responsible Officer

  1. The Council may exercise its authority to approve any policy document in any category should it resolve to do so.
  2. The Vice-Chancellor may exercise their authority to approve a procedure, standard or guideline that may otherwise be approved by a Responsible Executive, or a Responsible Officer.
  3. A Responsible Executive may exercise their authority to approve a guideline, which falls within their portfolio of responsibility, which may otherwise be approved by a Responsible Officer.

Academic Policy Documents

  1. The University Policy Manager is advised of an academic policy document, before it is submitted to the University Education Committee or University Research Committee (as appropriate) for endorsement. The University Policy Manager assesses it for compliance with the Policy Governance Policy, and offers feedback to the Responsible Officer for consideration.
  2. For academic policy documents, the University Education Committee or University Research Committee (as appropriate) considers the draft policy document, and determines whether to recommend its endorsement to the Academic Board. In turn the Academic Board determines whether to recommend its endorsement to the Approval Authority.
  3. The Secretary to the Academic Board is responsible for:
  1. conveying the Academic Board’s recommendation to the Approval Authority, and seeking their approval of the policy document;
  2. advising the Responsible Officer and any other associated proponents of the policy document of the decision of the Approval Authority; and
  3. advising the University Policy Manager of the decision and, if approved, arranging, with the responsible area, for appropriate documentation to be provided to the University Policy Manager for the recording of the policy document in the Policy Library.

Administrative and Governance Policy Documents

  1. A governance or administrative policy document is endorsed by the University Policy Manager, for compliance with the Policy Governance Policy, before it is submitted for further endorsement and approval.
  2. Once the University Policy Manager has endorsed a governance or administrative policy document he or she submits it for endorsement and approval (as appropriate) as described in the following table:

Table 3

Category

Action

Policy

Procedures / Standards

Guidelines

Governance

For endorsement

Vice-Chancellor

Vice-Chancellor

No endorsement required

For approval

Council

Council

Vice-Chancellor

Administrative

For endorsement

Senior Management Group or the Service Division Directors and College General Managers

Senior Management Group or the Service Division Directors and College General Managers

No endorsement required

For approval

Vice-Chancellor

Chief Operating Officer

Responsible Officer

  1. For administrative policies, procedures and standards, the Chief Operating Officer, determines the appropriate meeting forum for consideration and endorsement of a policy document.
  2. All submissions to the University Policy Manager are by email to policy@anu.edu.au.
  3. The University Policy Manager will record the policy document and all relevant metadata in the Policy Library.

Special approval

  1. The ordinary provisions of this procedure may be suspended if the Vice-Chancellor, or the Responsible Executive determines that special approval of a policy, procedure or standard is required.
  2. Special approval may be granted where approval of a policy document:
  1. is urgent;
  2. implements a provision of the ANU Enterprise Agreement;
  3. meets a legal obligation of the University in which there is minimal scope for discretion in implementation; or
  4. is otherwise deemed to be in the best interests of the University by the decision-maker.
  1. If a determination is made that special approval may be given, a policy, procedure or standard may be developed:
  1. without preparation and endorsement of a Policy Document Concept Proposal
  2. without endorsement by the University Policy Manager
  3. without endorsement by the Academic Board, relevant Committee or meeting group
  1. If a policy, procedure or standard is given special approval, the Responsible Officer initiates a major review within 12 months of its approval.

Implementation and communication

  1. An Implementation and Communications Plan includes:
  1. Stakeholder analysis – defining what, how and with whom communication needs to occur
  2. Action plan – the detailed steps to implement and communicate the new policy document
  3. Change management – details of the planned change management activities that will be undertaken as part of implementation, ensuring compliance with the University’s change management framework.
  4. Responsible staff - details of staff responsible for implementation and communication, and what aspects, if more than one staff member is involved
  5. Risk management – details of the risks to successful implementation, their likelihood and impact; and how the risks will be managed?
  6. General sensitivities – details of any key stakeholders or issues that may present a sensitivity during the implementation of the policy document and comment on the steps being taken, or planned, to manage.
  7. Success indicators – how to assess the success of the policy implementation and communication, and how to determine if the outcomes sought have been achieved.
  1. The scope and level of detail of the Implementation & Communications Plan should be appropriate to the complexity and/or sensitivity of the policy document and its implementation. A template Implementation & Communications Plan is available online. Use of the template is not mandatory, and modifications or alternative formats (subject to the above requirements) are permissible.
  2. An Implementation and Communications Plan may be produced for each individual policy, procedure or standard, or a standard Implementation and Communications Plan may be adopted by the Responsible Officer to cover the standing approach to implementation and communication of all or a grouping of policies, procedures and standards. It is recommended that standard Implementation and Communications Plans only be adopted to cover policies, procedures and standards that are neither complex nor sensitive in their implementation.
  3. Once a policy document is approved, the Responsible Officer must ensure that the Implementation and Communications Plan is executed. The Responsible Officer may exercise their discretion to modify the Implementation and Communications Plan as necessitated by changes in circumstances or available information.

Amendments and repeals

  1. Amendments may be made to policy documents, which are subject to approval by the relevant Approval Authority.
  2. Amendments that significantly change the content or focus of a policy, procedure or standard, are subject to the requirements for preparation of a Policy Document Concept Proposal. The Responsible Executive is authorised to determine if the change is significant or not. A change to a policy, procedure or standard that is not regarded as significant does not require preparation of a Policy Document Concept Proposal.
  3. A policy document is only be repealed with the endorsement of the Responsible Officer and Responsible Executive and approval by the relevant Approval Authority.

Minor amendments

  1. A minor amendment may be approved by the following officers:
  1. the Approval Authority
  2. the Responsible Executive
  3. the Responsible Officer
  4. the University Policy Manager
  1. Officers authorised to make minor amendments to policy documents submit their changes to the University Policy Manager by sending an email to policy@anu.edu.au.
  2. Following receipt of a minor amendment, the University Policy Manager records the changes to the relevant policy document and/or its metadata in the Policy Library.

Major reviews

  1. The University Policy Manager provides to Responsible Officers, at least bi-annually, a complete list of all policy documents that are overdue for a major review, and a list of policy documents due for major review in the coming calendar year.
  2. Responsible Officers maintain at least an annual plan for the major (3-yearly) review of policy documents. Where there are several policy documents about the same broad subject, the Responsible Officer times the reviews to occur concurrently to ensure consistency of outcome (with the due date for review to be the earliest of due dates amongst the policy documents concerned) .
  3. A Responsible Officer ensures that a major review of a policy document includes consultation with affected or concerned organisational units, staff, students and other key stakeholders of the University. Please read the Policy Document Consultation Guideline for further assistance.
  4. A written log of all consultation undertaken and feedback received is kept throughout the review process. A template consultation log is available online. A copy of this log is kept on the relevant official file (please see ‘Record keeping’ section of this procedure).
  5. The University Policy Manager is available to provide advice and assistance to staff reviewing policy, at any stage of the review process, on matters such as:
  1. Compliance with the Policy Governance Policy and this procedure
  2. Reviewing of drafts of changes to a policy document
  3. Use of appropriate written language
  4. Use of official templates
  5. Consultation processes and assessing feedback
  6. Information on existing policy documents
  7. Seeking information on the practices of other university and relevant organisations

Minor reviews

  1. The University Policy Manager undertakes a minor review of every policy document and form contained in the Policy Library on an annual basis.
  2. A minor review will involve the checking of a policy document for currency and accuracy of all titles, names, numbering, hyperlinks, metadata and references to law, other policy documents, delegations, or other relevant documents. In conducting the minor review, the University Policy Manager may call upon the Responsible Officer to provide assistance with the review.
  3. Upon completion of the minor review, the University Policy Manager records any necessary changes to the relevant policy document and/or its metadata in the Policy Library.

Record keeping

  1. An official file is maintained for all records associated with the development, approval and review of the policy document by the staff member working on the development of the policy document.
  2. All official files for policy documents are named using the following naming convention: <First level function term> - Policy and Procedures - <Name of Policy Document> (eg Human Resources - Policy and Procedures – Academic Promotion Policy). Existing files not named according to this convention are to be renamed following the relevant University process.

Policy Library

  1. A policy document comes into effect when it is recorded in the Policy Library, unless an alternative date is explicitly determined by the Approval Authority.
  2. The University Policy Manager is the custodian of the Policy Library, and manages the Policy Library in accordance with the Policy Governance Policy and any related policy documents.
  3. Changes to the Policy Library may only be made by the University Policy Manager or their nominee.
  4. Forms, including online forms, may be recorded in the Policy Library if approval is given by the relevant Service Division Director or member of the University Executive with portfolio responsibility.
  5. A template is only added to the Policy Library (recorded as a form) when the University Policy Manager is of the opinion that a more effective alternative for staff or students accessing the template is not available.
  6. The Policy Library, or any related record keeping system, records all versions of a policy document which have been in force on occasions in the past.

Templates

  1. Templates to support the operation of the Policy Governance Policy may be adopted with the approval of the Director, Corporate Governance and Risk Office.
  2. Templates will be made available on a webpage associated with the Policy Library.

Information

Printable version (PDF)
Title Policy governance
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_012207
Version 9
Purpose The purpose of this procedure is to provide for the operationalisation of the Policy Governance Policy.
Audience Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Governance & Structure
 
Effective Date 13 Jul 2015
Review Date 13 Jul 2018
 
Responsible Officer Director, Corporate Governance and Risk Office
Approved By: Vice-Chancellor
Contact Area Corporate Governance and Risk Office
Authority Australian National University Act 1991