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Policy Framework Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of this Policy is to:

  1. articulate the principles of the Policy Framework adopted by Macquarie University; and
  2. provide threshold standards for the development, approval, communication, implementation and review of Policy Documents

    in order to direct and support effective decision-making.

Background

(2) The University controls and manages its affairs in accordance with the Macquarie University Act 1989 (NSW) (‘The Act’), Macquarie University By-law 2005 and Rules. The University Council establishes Rules and may also establish policies and procedural principles consistent with legal requirements and community expectations.

(3) Some matters may not be incorporated into Rules or policies and remain within the scope of the Macquarie University By-law 2005 – these are listed in section 29(1) of The Act.

(4) The Council will continue to establish policies and procedural principles but wishes to be assisted in that function by other Approval Authorities as provided in the Delegations of Authority Policy.

(5) The Council has also retained authority to “approve the Policy on development of Policy” in order to provide direction to the University (Reserved Powers of Council and Council Committees, 12). That direction is established in this Policy.

(6) The hierarchy of University legislation and policy instruments is shown in Diagram 1: Hierarchy of University Legislation and Policy Instruments. In the case of an inconsistency between documents in the hierarchy, the higher order document prevails.

Scope

(7) All University staff involved in the development, approval, communication, implementation or review of institutional Policy Documents.

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Section 2 - Policy

(8) All University Policy Documents will be developed, approved, communicated, implemented and reviewed in accordance with this Policy and the Policy Framework Procedure

Compliance

(9) Compliance with Policy Documents is mandatory for all persons covered in the scope of a particular document.

Policy Cycle                                

(10) The policy cycle involves the following stages:

Stage 1: Approval to Proceed

(11) All new Policy Documents and substantial amendments to existing Policy Documents require Approval to Proceed from the relevant Approval Authority prior to drafting or re-drafting. The Toolkit - Approval to Proceed Checklist must be used. 

(12) Minor amendments to an existing Policy Document may be submitted directly to the Policy Unit for processing.  Minor amendments are changes that do not impact on the scope, intent or application of the Policy Document (for example changes to position titles as a result of organisational change, broken hyperlinks, typographical errors).

Stage 2: Drafting

(13) Policy Documents must be drafted using the approved templates, and include the word 'draft' as a watermark.  Definitions used in Policy Documents must be consistent with the University Glossary.

(14) Draft Policy Documents are not to be made available externally, except with the approval of the relevant Approval Authority.

(15) The Policy Unit will publish on Policy Central the name of each Policy Document under development or review and the name of the relevant Implementation Officer.

Stage 3: Consultation

(16) Consultation is to be wide, inclusive and provide sufficient time for the provision of feedback.

(17) All policies that impact workplace relations, human resources and other staffing matters must be referred to Human Resources for consultation with staff and union representatives, as appropriate, in accordance with the Macquarie University Enterprise Agreements.

(18) Students will have access to draft documents in accordance with their representation on University Committees or sub-committees, or through targeted consultation.

(19) For quality assurance, the Policy Unit must be consulted on final drafts prior to submission for approval. The final draft must be submitted with a completed Toolkit - Document Approval Checklist.

Stage 4: Document Approval

(20) The Implementation Officer is responsible for submitting the Policy Document to the relevant Approval Authority.

(21) The Approval Authority for policies is as described in the Delegations of Authority Register by functional area.

(22) The relevant Approval Authority for procedures and supporting materials is either:

  1. the same as for policies; or
  2. the person or committee named, in writing, as ‘Agent’ by the relevant Approval Authority in accordance with the Delegations of Authority Policy.

(23) Where the application of a Policy Document has a significant impact on more than one functional area, it may be appropriate for the Document to be approved by more than one Approval Authority. In such cases, the relevant Approval Authority/ies will be determined through consultation with the appropriate senior members of staff.

(24) Approval must be documented on the completed Toolkit - Document Approval Checklist and provided to the Policy Unit with the final approved version of the Policy Document.

Stage 5: Publication and Communication

(25) There will be one location on the University website for all appropriately authorised Policy Documents.

(26) The Policy Unit will notify staff and / or students of new or substantially revised Policy Documents via relevant online communications. 

(27) The Implementation Officer will notify staff and / or students via the mechanism(s) described in the communication plan included in the Toolkit - Document Approval Checklist.

Stage 6: Implementation

(28) The Implementation Officer will develop an implementation plan.  The plan must indicate how the expected impact of implementation has been considered, including impacts on budget and other resources, systems, business processes and required training. 

Stage 7: Evaluation and Review

(29) The default evaluation and review period for Policy Documents will be three (3) years from the date of commencement or the date of the last evaluation and review.  An earlier date may be set if appropriate.

(30) Evaluation and review of Policy Documents will be led by the Implementation Officer. 

Maintenance and Reporting

(31) A Policy Document will remain in force unless:

  1. formally revoked by the relevant Approval Authority; or
  2. superseded by another Policy Document.

(32) The Policy Unit will report quarterly to the University Executive on progress relating to specific Policy Documents, including the review, amendment or deletion of existing documents and the development of new documents. 

(33) The Vice-Chancellor will advise the Council of new and fully revised policies on a periodic basis.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(34) Refer to the Policy Framework Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(35) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(36) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Approval Authority means the name of the position or committee that is responsible for approving a Policy Document in accordance with the Delegations of Authority Register.  The Approval Authority is ultimately responsible for subsequent compliance.
  2. By-Laws means subsidiary legislation made under Macquarie University Act 1989 (The Act) that govern specific internal affairs of the University. The University Council is empowered to make by-laws not inconsistent with The Act for the purpose of giving effect to The Act. By-laws have no effect until they are approved by the Governor of NSW following approval by both houses of the NSW Parliament. The Macquarie University By-law 2005 (NSW) is the University’s By-Law.
  3. Contact Officer means the primary point of contact for any queries relating to the Policy Document.
  4. Implementation Officer means the name of the position that has operational responsibility for the promulgation and implementation of the Policy Document. The Implementation Officer must be authorised by the Approval Authority.
  5. Policy means a strategic statement of the principles, intent and values governing decision-making and operations in the University.  This category will include Codes.  Documents in this category are not subject to regular change.  Policies and Codes would typically be supported by Procedures and / or Supporting Materials.
  6. Policy Documents means policies, codes, schedules, procedures and associated instructions.
  7. Policy Framework means the mandated system for the development, approval, communication, implementation and review of University Policy Documents.
  8. Policy Unit means the organisational unit responsible for management and maintenance of the integrity of the Policy Framework including the Policy Central web site.
  9. Procedure means a statement of the responsibilities and actions that must be undertaken to implement the operational activities of the University.  Procedures would typically contain workflows and may be accompanied by Instructions. 
  10. Rules are made by the University Council or the Vice-Chancellor. Rules give effect to Macquarie University Act 1989 and the Macquarie University By-law 2005.
  11. Schedule means supplementary mandatory requirements that are subject to frequent (generally annual) change. For example admission criteria, travelling allowances, room hire rates. A Schedule has the same authority as the associated Policy or Rule.
  12. Supporting Materials means guidelines, protocols, operating manuals, toolkits, checklists or forms. 
  13. University Glossary lists the key acronyms, abbreviations, terminology and definitions in use at the University.