Policy on Policies

1.  Purpose

1.1  This policy specifies the requirements for the approval, development, review, publication and promulgation of all University-wide policy,  procedures, and related documents, which form the Policy and Procedures Manual ('PPM documents').

1.2  The purpose of procedures pursuant to this policy is to ensure that:

  • only one authorised version of a PPM document, as approved by the relevant authority in accordance with this Policy is published on the University website and promulgated throughout the University;
  • all PPM documents published on the University's website are kept up to date and contain the mandatory banner information.

2.  Definitions

2.1  Policy – a formal statement of intent that mandates principles or standards that apply to the University’s governance or operations or to the practice and conduct of its staff and students. 

2.2  Procedures – a formal statement that mandates or prescribes the actions or processes required to ensure the implementation of policy or efficient management of the University’s operations, or legal or other regulatory compliance.

2.3  Responsible officer – a senior member of staff in whose area of responsibility a policy or procedure resides.

 

3.  Legislative context

3.1  In accordance with the Flinders University of South Australia Act, 1966 (the ‘Act’), Council has as one of its primary responsibilities the establishment of policy and procedural principles, consistent with legal requirements and community expectations.

3.2  Section 19A of the Act provides that Council may delegate this power to any officer, employee, board or committee of the University.

 

4.  Authority to approve University policy and procedures

4.1  Council may at its discretion delegate to standing committees or to the Vice-Chancellor authority to approve University policy and procedures.

4.2  Delegations of authority made in accordance with this Policy are set out in Schedule A. This Schedule also sets out the policy areas for which approval authority has not been delegated. Amendments to this Schedule are subject to Council approval.

4.3  The Vice-Chancellor may sub-delegate his or her authority to approve University policy and procedures to another officer of the University. A record of sub-delegations made in accordance with this Policy are set out in Schedule B  to this Policy.

4.4  An officer holding an sub-delegation from the Vice-Chancellor will at all times be required to act within the limits of the scope of the Vice-Chancellor’s delegation from Council and will be accountable to Council for the exercise of the authority.

4.5  Delegates and sub-delegates must bring to the attention of the approving authority any policy or procedure which:

  • is capable of affecting the governance and strategic direction of the University in a significant way; or
  • involves significant budgetary or resource commitment, including staff time; or
  • is capable of adversely affecting the reputation of the University or of bringing the activities of the University under negative public scrutiny. 

5.  Development and review of policies and procedures

5.1  Normally, the development of new, or review of existing, University-wide policies and procedures will be sponsored by a member of the University’s senior executive.

5.2  All University-wide policies and procedures will be reviewed on a regular basis.

5.3  Proposals for approval of new and amended policies and procedures must be forwarded to Policy and Secretariat in the first instance for submission to the appropriate approval authority.

 5.4  The Committee Secretary or approving officer will, via Policy and Secretariat, notify the Responsible Officer of the approving authority's decision to approve new or amended PPM documents.  The notice of approval will be in writing and will advise the Responsible Officer of the decision and of any alterations to the draft documents made by the approving authority.  This written notice of approval may be by action sheet, letter, internal memo or email, accompanied by an extract from the unconfirmed minutes, if relevant.

6.  Publication, promulgation and record keeping

Publication in PPM

6.1  The Responsible Officer will ensure that the up-to-date and correct authorised version of the PPM document is published on the University website in the Policies and Procedures Manual (PPM).  A link to new PPM documents should be placed in alphabetical order in the relevant policy area index.  In cases where it is appropriate for a link to the PPM document to appear in another policy area index, a request should be forwarded to the relevant Responsible Officer or to Policy and Secretariat for the creation of a link in the related index.

6.2  PPM documents must not be loaded on to websites of individual divisions or units.  However, a unit's website may include links to relevant documents in the PPM.

6.3  All PPM documents published in the PPM must contain up-to-date banner information, which will indicate:

  • the approving authority (i.e. the committee/officer that approved the PPM document) and establishment date;
  • the date, approving authority and nature of the last amendment;
  • the date last reviewed and the repsonsible officer; and
  • other relevant information as determined by the Head, Policy and Secretariat and Secretary of Council.

Promulgation

6.4  Within two weeks of receiving notice of approval, the Responsible Officer will promulgate the approved PPM document by circulating to heads of affected faculties, divisions or units:

  • the approved version of the PPM document;
  • notice of its location of the web;
  • advice on the implementation of the policy and changes that arise from it, including:
    • date the policy becomes effective;
    • necessary transitional arrangements, if any; and
    • administrative implications

Record keeping

6.5  The Committee Secretary, or the Responsible Officer, as appropriate, must ensure that the approved version of the policy or procedure, along with a record of the approval, is placed on the University’s  Records Management System (RMS). The Responsible Officer will also ensure the notice of promulgation is placed on the relevant RMS file. 

6.6  The Head, Policy and Secretariat and Secretary of Council will maintain a record of all policy approvals in a Policy Register containing the title, approving authority and approval dates. 

 

Schedule A to the Policy: Authority to Approve University Policy and Procedures

Council will approve policies in the following areas:

1.    Appointment Policy and remuneration of the Vice-Chancellor and senior executives.
2.    Budget formulation and control, including the capital works budget.
3.    Delegations Framework
4.    Financial and contractual delegations.
5.    Investment.
6.    Risk management and legislative compliance.
7.    Commercial activities and controlled entities.
8.    Intellectual Property.
9.    Work Health and Safety Policy.
10.  Equal Opportunity policy.
11.  Policies and Rules in respect of honorary degrees and awards.
12.  Policies supporting the operation of Council.
13.  Any other policies as determined by Council from time to time.

Council has delegated to the following Standing Committees of Council and to the Vice-Chancellor authority to approve policies and procedures as follows:
Approving Authority  Scope of delegated authority 
Academic Senate   1. Policies relating to:
1.1 Academic, education and research programs, including their development, review and management 
1.2 Admissions, assessment and teaching
1.3 Research practice
1.4 Student awards and prizes 
1.5  Centres and institutes
Vice-Chancellor    1. Major amendments (including establishment and rescission) relating to all University wide policies, except for those specified as being retained for Council or Academic Senate approval  
2.  Minor amendments to all University wide policies.  Minor amendments are amendments that do not alter or affect the substance, meaning or intent of the policy
3.  All University wide procedures, including procedural elements of University wide policies   


Schedule B to the Policy: Authority to Approve University Policy and Procedures

The Vice-Chancellor has sub-authorised his/her authority to approve University policy and procedures to officers, as listed :

Officer  Scope of Sub-authorisation 

Senior Vice-President, Vice-President, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Pro Vice-Chancellor.

1. 

Major amendments (except establishment and rescission) to all policies in his/her area of responsibility, with the exception of

  • policy retained for Council or Academic Senate approval; or
  • policy for which he/she is the designated Responsible Officer  
2. Minor amendments to policies in his/her area of responsibility which do not alter or affect the substance, meaning or intent of the policy
3. All procedures, including procedural elements of policies in his/her area of responsibility 
Executive Director, Strategic Marketing and Communications 1. Minor amendments to policies in his/her area of responsibility which do not alter or affect the substance, meaning or intent of the policy
2. All procedures, including procedural elements of policies in his/her area of responsibility
Secretary to Council 1. Minor amendments to Council operating procedures recorded in the Council Handbook that are consequential to Council decisions