The University Policy Development Cycle generally incorporates a number of discrete stages – which may not necessarily be sequential, but iterative - depending on the particular policy development and review context.
The cycle includes the following stages:
These stages are outlined clearly in the Policy Development and Review Procedure, and some additional explanatory detail is provided below.
Stage 1 – Identification of Policy Requirements
The first stage of the University Policy Development Cycle involves the identification of policy development requirements, through the identification of:
Stage 2 – Nomination of Responsible Officer and Policy Delegate
Nomination of the Responsible Officer and Policy Delegate may be made in a number of ways, however ensuring the correct position (with sufficient seniority) is nominated is important to guide the policy development process to success.
The Director, Governance can provide advice where clarification regarding the nomination of the correct Responsible Officer is required.
The Policy Delegate should have sufficient resources (i.e. experience and time) to conduct or co-ordinate much of the policy development process.
Stage 3 – Drafting (Writing)
The next stage of the University Policy Development Cycle involves drafting the policy statements, including, as required, the Policy, Procedure and Guideline.
This may include:
The templates available from the University Policy Website provide a basis for drafting policy documents.
Components of the University Policy Framework (i.e. Policy, Procedures, Guidelines) must be consistent with:
Responsible Officers for Policy include Senior Management Team members and in a limited number of instances in accordance with the respective Ordinance, Directors or Principals of University Entities.
Responsible Officers for Procedures and Guidelines include: Senior Management Team members; Directors or Principals of University Entities; and heads of University organisational units.
Stage 4 - Benchmarking
Benchmarking may be defined as ‘an objective, ongoing search for best practices and processes … for organisations committed to achieving world class standards of performance’ (Prescott, 1993). Benchmarking provides an opportunity to examine a range of policy alternatives, and draw on lessons learned by other institutions.
Policy Delegates are required to undertake benchmarking (or access benchmarking reports) to consider Australian and international university’s and related organisation’s responses (e.g. policies) and strategic approaches (e.g. strategic plans).
Stage 5 – Consultation
Genuine and comprehensive consultation with Policy Stakeholders is fundamental to the University Policy Development Cycle, and underpins successful policy implementation. The Responsible Officer is responsible for identifying Policy Stakeholders, and the Policy Delegate is responsible for co-ordinating consultation processes to provide opportunities for Policy Stakeholders to participate in the policy development and review process. The UTAS Policy Network may be accessed to consult with a cross-section of University members. Contact the Manager, Policy and Delegations to access this network for policy consultation purposes.
Stage 6 – Revision
The next stage of the University Policy Development Cycle involves revision of the draft documents to reflect outcomes from the consultation process. Contributions from Policy Stakeholders and others may or may not be incorporated into the revised documents, as appropriate.
Stage 7 – Endorsement
The University Policy Development Cycle may involve ‘endorsement’ of a particular Policy, Procedure or Guideline prior to submission of the respective document for formal ‘approval’.
University practice will generally dictate endorsement requirements. Alternatively, the Responsible Officer may determine, in conjunction with Governance and Legal, the requirement(s) for endorsement from an appropriate Endorsing Committee.
In most instances:
Stage 8 – Quality Control
All final draft Policy documents and University-wide Procedure and Guideline documents must be submitted to the Policy and Delegations Office of Governance for quality control purposes as outlined in the Policy Development and Review Procedure.
The Policy and Delegations Office will complete quality control processes in relation to all draft policy documents, and University-wide procedure and guideline documents.
Local organisational units are responsible for completing quality control processes in relation to local procedure and guideline documents.
Stage 9 – Approval
The approval process will involve revoking outdated or superseded policy versions and concurrent approval of new/updated policy in accordance with provisions of the Policy Development and Review Policy. Policy approval must be in accordance with established Approval Authorities.
The Policy and Delegations Office of Governance provides advice regarding policy approval processes, and is responsible for submitting all Policy statements and University-wide Procedures and Guidelines to the Approval Authorities. In such instances, Policy Delegates should submit all policy documentation to the Policy and Delegations Office to progress the approvals process.
Policy Delegates are responsible for submitting local Procedures and Guidelines to the respective Responsible Officer. Liaison with the Policy and Delegations Office of Governance is not a requirement.
Stage 10 – Promulgation
Responsible Officers are responsible for the widespread promulgation of Policy, Procedures and Guidelines and associated information (including web-based information) to support implementation and compliance.
Promulgation may involve:
Governance shall upload approved and reviewed Policy and University-wide Procedures and Guidelines to the University Policy Repository. Policy Delegates shall upload approved and reviewed local Procedures and Guidelines to their respective policy websites.
Stage 11 – Implement Policy
Policy implementation is conducted with respect to the specific policy provisions.
Stage 12 – Implementation and Compliance Monitoring
The Responsible Officer and Policy Delegate are responsible for ensuring that policy implementation and compliance is monitored.
Stage 13 – Implementation and Compliance Evaluation
The Responsible Officer and Policy Delegate are responsible for ensuring that policy implementation and compliance is evaluated. The Policy Development and Review Policy does not stipulate particular evaluation methodologies; however Governance and Legal encourage all Responsible Officers to ensure that policy implementation evaluation is undertaken to guide continuous improvement. Evaluation outcomes should be used to inform the formal review process.
Stage 14 – Review
Policy instruments are reviewed every three (3) years. Refer to the Policy Development and Review Policy for review requirements.
Stage 15 – Records Management
Records must be managed in accordance with the Records Management Policy. Electronic copies of all approved Policy and University-wide Procedures and Guidelines will be maintained by Governance. Local Procedures and Guidelines will be maintained by the Policy Delegate as authoritative source documents. These documents will be made available to support the policy review process.
Authorised by the University Secretary
31 May, 2013