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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 the University; and
  2. provide threshold standards for the development, approval, communication, implementation, and review of policy documents.


(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, the Delegations of Authority Framework, 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 is assisted in that function by other Approval Authorities as provided in the Delegations of Authority Policy and Delegations of Authority Register.

(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.


(7) This Policy applies to all University staff involved in the development, approval, communication, implementation, or review of University policy documents.

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Section 2 - Policy

(8) All University policy documents must be developed, approved, communicated, implemented, and reviewed in accordance with this Policy and the Policy Framework Procedure.


(9) Compliance with policy documents is mandatory for all persons covered by the scope of a particular document.

Policy Cycle                          

(10) The policy cycle involves the following seven (7) stages:

Stage 1: Approval to Proceed

(11) All proposed new policy documents and substantial amendments to existing policy documents require an Approval to Proceed from the relevant Approval Authority prior to drafting or re-drafting. The Toolkit - Approval to Proceed Checklist should be used.

(12) Administrative amendments to an existing policy document may be submitted directly to the Policy Unit for processing. Administrative 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 template (refer Resources webpage). Definitions used in policy documents must align with the University Glossary unless the policy document requires an alternative definition (refer Glossary Procedure).

(14) Draft policy documents are not to be made available outside the University, unless this is appropriate for consultative purposes and is approved by the relevant Responsible Officer or Responsible Executive.

Stage 3: Consultation

(15) Consultation is to be wide, inclusive and provide sufficient time for the provision of feedback. The Policy Central Bulletin Board will be used to publish draft policy documents which are available for open consultation or limited audience consultation.

(16) All  policy documents 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.

(17) Students will have access to draft documents in accordance with their representation on University committees or sub-committees, or through open or limited audience consultation.

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

Stage 4: Document Approval

(19) The Responsible Officer must submit the policy document to the relevant Approval Authority.

(20) The Approval Authority for policy documents is by functional area as described in the Delegations of Authority Register .

(21) 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.

(22) 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 endorsed by an appropriate senior officer in the other functional area prior to approval by the Approval Authority.

(23) Approval  should be documented on the completed Toolkit - Document Approval Checklist and provided to the Policy Unit with the final approved version of the policy document. The Policy Unit will only publish policy documents in Policy Central where evidence of approval by the Approval Authority is provided.

Stage 5: Publication and Communication

(24) Policy Central is the sole authoritative source for all appropriately authorised policy documents.

(25) Recently approved policy documents will be listed on the Bulletin Board, and the Policy Unit will coordinate periodic notifications via relevant online communications.

(26) The Responsible Officer will notify stakeholders as appropriate.

Stage 6: Implementation

(27) The Responsible Officer should develop an implementation plan. The plan should 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

(28) The default review date for policy documents will be three (3) years from the effective date or the date of the last evaluation and review, as detailed on the Status and Details tab of the policy document. An earlier date may be set if appropriate.

(29) Evaluation and review of policy documents will be led by the Responsible Officer and the Responsible Executive.

Maintenance and Reporting

(30) A policy document will remain in force unless:

  1. formally expired by the relevant Approval Authority; or
  2. replaced by another version of the policy document.

(31) The Policy Unit will report periodically to the Academic Senate and other stakeholders as appropriate on progress relating to specific policy documents, including the review, amendment or deletion of existing policy documents and the development of new policy documents.

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

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Section 3 - Procedures

(33) Refer to the Policy Framework Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(34) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(35) 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. Enquiries Contact means the person who can be contacted if users have questions about a policy document.
  4. Responsible Officer means the position responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of a policy document and for its review.
  5. Responsible Executive means the position with overarching responsibility for monitoring the effectiveness of a policy document and for its review.
  6. Policy means a strategic statement of the principles, intent and values governing decision-making and operations in the University. This category will include Codes.
  7. Policy documents means policies, codes, appendices, schedules, procedures, and guidelines.
  8. Policy Framework means the mandated system for the development, approval, communication, implementation, and review of University Policy Documents.
  9. Policy Unit means the organisational unit responsible for management and maintenance of the integrity of the Policy Framework including Policy Central.
  10. Procedure means a statement of the responsibilities and actions that must be undertaken to implement the operational activities of the University. Procedures may contain workflows and be accompanied by Instructions.
  11. 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.
  12. Supporting materials means, protocols, operating manuals, toolkits, checklists, standard operating procedures, or forms.
  13. University Glossary means the authoritative glossary of key terminology and definitions in use at the University and its controlled entities.