View Current

Policy Framework

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions, click the link in the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Preamble

(1) The Policy Framework is effective from 16 November 2020.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Policy Framework:

  1. governs the development and review of policies to ensure that they are consistent with the University’s objectives and legislation and are kept current;
  2. defines responsibilities for the development, review and implementation of policies; and
  3. sets out steps to ensure that policies are effectively implemented and well understood across the University.
Top of Page

Section 3 - Scope

(3) All University policies and procedures must be developed, reviewed and implemented in accordance with this Policy Framework.

(4) University procedures are a subset of University policies and references to ‘policy’ and ‘policies’ include procedures unless the context indicates otherwise.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Policy

Regulatory framework

(5) Policies form part of a regulatory framework of rules and standards for University operations comprising:

  1. the Deakin University Act;
  2. University statutes;
  3. University regulations;
  4. policies; and
  5. procedures.

(6) Levels (a) to (c) in clause 5 are collectively known as ‘University legislation’. The University’s General Counsel is responsible for drafting University statutes and regulations and for providing legal advice on University legislation.

(7) Levels (d) and (e) in clause 5 are collectively known as ‘University policy’. Policy must be consistent with University legislation. Reviews of policy must have regard to relevant University legislation to ensure consistency.

(8) All policy is published on the University’s Policy Library and applies across the University.

(9) Any local work instructions, guidelines or similar information maintained by an organisational unit must be consistent with relevant documents in the regulatory framework set out at clause 5.

Policy standards

(10) The University develops and implements policies to:

  1. embed principles for the operation of the University consistent with legal requirements and community expectations
  2. promote behaviours and practices in line with the University’s values and objectives
  3. achieve a consistent approach across the University to essential University activities.

(11) The University maintains clear and streamlined policies that enable efficient operations and decision making, achieved by:

  1. consolidating policies where possible
  2. introducing new policies only where required to meet one or more of the objectives set out at clause 10
  3. regular review of policies and the revocation of those no longer required.

(12) Policy must comply with the University’s policy template and set out:

  1. policy purpose;
  2. scope of application;
  3. links to any University legislation providing authority for the policy and any external legislation whose compliance obligations the policy supports;
  4. policy content;
  5. any schedules forming part of the policy;
  6. any associated information providing further information on the policy or supporting its implementation; and
  7. the titles of the Responsible Executive and Implementation Officer for the policy.

(13) In addition to the template requirements policy must:

  1. be relevant to University objectives;
  2. use clear and inclusive language;
  3. focus on the key information required for compliance with the policy;
  4. avoid excessive detail and material belonging in work instructions or operating processes;
  5. minimise administrative burden; and
  6. refrain from repeating information covered in other policies.

(14) Policies will contain statements of principle to guide and enable decision making. Procedural steps to implement a policy may either be part of the policy itself or set out in a separate procedure, depending on which approach is most conducive to clarity and ease of reading. Seperate procedures are implementation oriented and do not contain matters of policy principle. The repetition of information between policies and procedures must be minimised.  

(15) Schedules have the same force as their parent document but should only be used where the information is essential to the policy and they are the best method for communicating the relevant information. In other circumstances schedules should be avoided to prevent readers having to consult multiple levels of documentation. Any schedules must conform to the Digital Accessibility Guidelines.

(16) In accordance with clause 13(c) and 13(d) detailed background information must be excluded from policy but can be linked to policy documents as associated information.

Categories and approval authorities

(17) There are three policy categories:

  1. University governance policies approved by the University Council and listed in the Deakin University Council Charter (section 5 Matters Reserved For Or Requiring Council Decision);
  2. academic governance policies approved by the Academic Board and listed in the Academic Policy Framework; and
  3. management policies concerning the management or administration of the University and approved by the Vice-Chancellor or delegate.

(18) The approval authority for each policy must be listed on the Policy Library.

(19) The relevant approval authority must approve the introduction, amendment or revocation of policies within their category of responsibility, except:

  1. a minor amendment; or
  2. an administrative amendment.

(20) A minor amendment:

  1. is a change which:
    1. is consistent with the objectives of the existing policy; and
    2. does not raise any issues requiring the process of policy review and consultation set out at clauses 30-32 and 38-43; and
  2. may be approved by the Responsible Executive.

(21) An administrative amendment:

  1. is a clarification, correction or editorial change including an adjustment required to align with University legislation; and
  2. may be approved by the Council Secretary.

(22) The Policy Library must maintain a record of all policy amendments.

Roles and Responsibilities

(23) The Responsible Executive for a policy is the member of the Executive whose portfolio covers the policy area.

(24) The responsibilities of the Responsible Executive are to:

  1. appoint an Implementation Officer;
  2. oversee the approval process for policies in accordance with the requirements of the relevant approval authority, as follows:
    1. for University governance policies by recommendation to University Council or the relevant committee of Council;
    2. for academic governance policies by recommendation to the Academic Board from the relevant committee of the Academic Board; or
    3. for management policies by recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor or delegate using the Request for Approval form;
  3. approve minor amendments in accordance with clause 20.

(25) The Implementation Officer will be a staff member with management responsibility for the activity addressed by the policy.

(26) The responsibilities of the Implementation Officer are to:

  1. draft and review the policy or oversee that drafting and review;
  2. ensure that key stakeholders are consulted in the drafting and review of the policy;
  3. obtain and implement advice from the General Counsel regarding legal compliance if the policy relates to:
    1. a right or obligation under University legislation; or
    2. implementation of a requirement from external legislation;
  4. lead the implementation of approved policies, including providing information or training to assist staff, students and associates to understand:
    1. changes resulting from any new or amended policy;
    2. compliance requirements; and
    3. how to provide feedback to the Implementation Officer on the policy and any compliance concerns;
  5. provide advice to the University community on the operation of the policy;
  6. monitor and report on compliance with the policy, including any reporting required under the Compliance Management policy;
  7. advise the Responsible Executive about any issues or problems arising with the implementation of the policy and proposed remedial actions; and
  8. recommend minor amendments to the Responsible Executive for consideration and, if appropriate, approval in accordance with clause 20.

(27) The Responsible Executive and Implementation Officer for each policy will be listed on the Policy Library.

(28) The Council Secretary is responsible for the management of the Policy Framework and must:

  1. publish policies on the Policy Library;
  2. consider and, if appropriate, approve administrative amendments in accordance with clause 21;
  3. publish the University’s policy template and supporting information;
  4. provide advice to University staff on the operation of this Policy Framework and on the drafting and review of policies;
  5. consult regularly with the Academic Board Secretary on the academic policy review schedule to ensure that there is a coordinated approach across the University to keeping policies in all categories up to date;
  6. meet at least annually with Responsible Executives about their policy portfolios to:
    1. ensure that the correct Responsible Executive and Implementation Officers are listed for each policy; 
    2. advise the date of the most recent review of each policy;
    3. identify policies to be reviewed in the coming year; and
    4. identify any policies to be considered for consolidation or revocation in accordance with clause 11.
Top of Page

Section 5 - Procedure

Consultation

(29) Policies typically affect many areas of the University. Under the leadership of the Implementation Officer policy drafters must consult with relevant areas affected by the policy to obtain their input.

(30) No single method of consultation is prescribed by this Policy Framework but useful methods include:

  1. a working group with representatives from different areas;
  2. circulation of drafts by email to different areas;
  3. posting drafts for comment on a website;
  4. committee review; and
  5. meeting and discussion groups or networks.

(31) Whatever method of consultation is used the Responsible Executive must be satisfied that adequate and effective consultation has been completed before endorsing a policy for approval by the approval authority.

Approval

(32) Submissions for the approval of policies in accordance with clause 24(b) above must:

  1. explain the changes proposed;
  2. identify any requirements for consequential amendments to or revocation of any existing policy;
  3. attest that:
    1. appropriate consultation has occurred and feedback integrated as required; and
    2. legal advice has been obtained where required by clause 26(c); and
  4. stipulate the date the changes are to come into effect, being either:
    1. the date when the policy is published on the Policy Library; or
    2. a specified future date.

(33) The approval authority may:

  1. approve the policy as submitted;
  2. approve the policy subject to specified changes being made;
  3. approve the policy to come into effect for a limited period and subject to further work being completed during that period;
  4. request that the policy be resubmitted for approval after specified concerns have been addressed; or
  5. reject the proposed policy on grounds including, but not limited to, that it:
    1. is not needed;
    2. would impose administrative inefficiency; or
    3. does not meet the standards set out at clauses 10-16.

Publication on the Policy Library

(34) To promulgate approved policies the Council Secretary must receive:

  1. the approved policy; and
  2. evidence of approval such as a completed approval form or minute of meeting.

(35) The Council Secretary is responsible for:

  1. publishing approved policies on the Policy Library within five working days of receipt unless unusual circumstances exist; and
  2. ensuring that a bulletin board of recent policy changes is maintained on the Policy Library.

Review

Review of new policies

(36) The Implementation Officer must ensure that any new policy is reviewed within one year of being introduced to ensure that:

  1. the policy is operating as intended; and
  1. any mechanisms to report on compliance with the policy are functioning effectively.

Review of established policies

(37) To ensure that established policies are kept current:

  1. the Implementation Officer must advise the Responsible Executive of the need for the immediate review of policy for reasons including but not limited to:
    1. evidence that an existing policy is imposing unnecessary administrative burden; or
    2. a change in the operating or regulatory environment; and
  2. review schedules for all policies must be maintained by:
    1. the Council Secretary for University governance and management policies; and
    2. the Secretary of the Academic Board for academic governance policies.

(38) Policies must be reviewed at least every five years.

(39) The Implementation Officer must oversee the review of established policies. The purpose of the review is to examine whether the policy remains relevant and useful to the needs of the University and whether it conforms to the standards set out at clauses 10-16.

(40) Any proposed changes arising from policy review must undergo the drafting, consultation, approval and publication steps set out at clauses 29-35.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Definitions

(41) For the purpose of the Policy Framework:

  1. associates: contractors, volunteers, visiting appointees and visitors to the University.