Policies and the Approval Process
University Policies and Policy Categories
Policies define the University’s position and/or objective on matters of strategic significance and the relevant outputs and outcomes that UQ needs to deliver to give effect to its position and/or to achieve its stated objectives. Depending on their categorisation (see below), policies are approved either by the Senate or by the Vice-Chancellor and President.
Policies are issued for one or more of the following reasons only:
- To give effect to advice or directions from the Senate, the Vice-Chancellor and President or the Academic Board (subject to approval from the Vice-Chancellor and President);
- To support the achievement of the University’s strategic objectives and priorities;
- To manage risk/s of strategic significance; and/or
- To demonstrate compliance with laws, regulations, government policies and/or standards.
All policy requirements are principles-based and verifiable. Compliance with policies is mandatory across UQ.
Policies are categorised into the following three groups:
Governance policies are policies that underpin the system of practices and processes by which the University is governed and controlled. The approval of some governance policies has been reserved by Senate (as specified in PPL 1.10.06 Senate Governance Framework - Policy).
Academic policies are policies that underpin the University’s teaching, learning and research functions, strategies and activities. Other than specific policies reserved by Senate, these policies are approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President based on recommendations from the Academic Board.
Operational policies are policies that underpin the University’s corporate/administrative and non-academic functions and activities. These policies are approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President based on recommendations from the relevant VCC member.
An administrative amendment to a policy is a change that is superficial or administrative in nature. Administrative amendments may correct patent errors in a policy, reflect nomenclature changes to organisational units or position titles, or address other non-substantive issues of content or format. Following request by the relevant PPL Custodian, the PPL Manager is authorised to approve administrative amendments to policies.
Policy Approval - Workflow Diagram
(click on a policy step to see further detail or scroll to end to see all details)
Policies must be consistent with, underpin and support achievement of the University’s strategic and operational goals. The Relevant Senior Executive should present a proposal seeking endorsement of VCC to create, change or rescind any policy that has a strategic impact on UQ (see VCC Meeting Submission Guidance, VCC Agenda Submission Template and VCC Agenda Coversheet).
The Relevant Senior Executive presents a proposal for the new or updated policy to VCC for endorsement to proceed.
The academic function comprises student matters, teaching and learning and research matters covered in but not limited to Sections 3 and 4 of the PPL.
To ensure that policies reflect an understanding of the key issues, the PPL Custodian responsible for the policy should consult with relevant stakeholders on the attached list to seek input on matters to include in a review, or on the proposed changes, as appropriate. The stakeholder list is not exhaustive. Other or additional stakeholders may be more relevant to be consulted on a particular matter.
Depending on content of the policy, proposals to create, change or rescind policies relating to the academic function of the University must be considered by the relevant board sub-committees (e.g. Teaching and Learning Committee, Research Committee etc) before progressing to Academic Board for endorsement (see Academic Board - Secretariat Resources (UQ login required)). In cases where a policy change is significant or relates to strategic changes, the appropriate member of VCC should be involved to determine whether VCC input is required.
The PPL Custodian completes the Policy Approval Template which sets out the reason for change, stakeholder input and promulgation and implementation plan.
The PPL Custodian completes the Policy Approval Template which sets out the reason for change, stakeholder input and promulgation and implementation plan, including any additional matters raised by Academic Board.
The Relevant Senior Executive for a policy is the member of VCC whose portfolio carries primary responsibility for the matter and to whom the PPL Custodian reports (see VCC Membership List).
Matters reserved by Senate are listed in Section 6.1 of PPL 1.10.06 Senate Governance Framework.
The Vice-Chancellor considers the policy and the recommendation and other information provided in the Policy Approval Template:
§ Part 1 – Policy Approval Request is completed by the PPL Custodian and the Relevant Senior Executive
§ Part 2 – VC Briefing covers PPL editorial compliance and VC Executive Officer review.
The Vice-Chancellor refers the draft policy to the relevant Senate Committee for consideration and recommendation to Senate for approval at the next Senate meeting.
Evidence of approval and the new policy are forwarded to the PPL Manager for publishing in the PPL. The timing of publication is coordinated with the PPL Custodian to comply with the promulgation and implementation plan in the Policy Approval Template.
The PPL Custodian actions the promulgation and implementation plan submitted in the Policy Approval Template.
Communicating policy changes to relevant stakeholders is a critical step in ensuring the changes are effectively implemented across the University. The communications targets for specific policy changes should include:
- bodies/groups listed on the stakeholder list;
- employees or students to whom the policy or policy changes applies or impacts;
- relevant heads of organisational units responsible for administering the policy, or other relevant staff.
Communication to relevant stakeholders on the changes to the policy may include details of the changes and the impacts of those changes, and any training or other resources available to assist in the implementation of the policy change.