Policy Governance

Document Currently Under Review

Current Status: For Uni-wide Comment 21 November 2017

Policy Governance Policy

Policy Code: CG1977

Purpose

Federation University Australia is governed by its Council which is established by the Federation University Australia Act 2010. The Council oversees the statutes, regulations and standing resolutions which govern other aspects of the University’s operations and through its policies and procedures, provide internal explanation of the regulatory requirements.

This policy provides an operational framework for developing, approving, implementing, reviewing and maintaining Federation University Australia’s policies and procedures in a clear and consistent format. Adherence to the framework through its associated procedure, will ensure that all University policies and procedures are necessary, relevant, useful and current.

Scope

This policy applies to all Federation University Australia staff, including sessional staff, researchers and research staff. It also applies to individuals who undertake work on behalf of the University, but are not employed by the University such as partner providers (on-shore and off-shore), commercial delivery, VETiS (including auspicing) and volunteers.

No University employee is exempt from this policy.

Legislative Context

  • Federation University Act 2010
  • University Statutes and Regulations

Definitions

Term Definition
Act Federation University Australia Act 2010 provides the legislative framework within which the University is required to operate
Approval Authority Person/s or body (eg Council, Academic Board), responsible for final approval of the content of a new policy or procedure, a major or minor amendment to an existing policy or procedure or the rescission of an existing policy or procedure and making recommendation to Policy Committee for endorsement to publish
Approval pathway The pathway through which a policy and/or procedure must proceed in order to be approved – refer Policy and Procedure Process Flowchart
Document As a generic term can mean policy, procedure, form or other associated document
Editorial amendment Change to nomenclature, correction of errors and hyperlinks or minor changes required to support compliance with law, statute or regulation
Feedback Form Suggested document for capturing, collating and actioning University-wide feedback
Governance The processes by which the University is controlled and held to account. It encompasses authority, accountability, stewardship, leadership, direction and control exercised in the organisation (Standards Australia As 8000-2003/Amdt 1-2004)
Hierarchy of precedence

Federation University Australia governs its operations through the following hierarchy of instruments:

  1. Federation University Australia Act 2010
  2. Statutes
  3. Regulations
  4. Standing Resolutions of Council 
  5. University policies and procedures
  6. Local and supporting documents eg handbooks, instructions

Where two documents in the hierarchy conflict, the higher document takes precedence

Key stakeholders Person/s whose roles or responsibilities are directly affected by a policy and includes Approval Authorities and relevant process sponsors
Major amendment

Includes a change likely to impact on:

  • Objectives of the policy or procedure; and/or
  • Any requirement for implementation related to a decision or action of a key stakeholder
Minor amendment

Includes a change not likely to impact on:

  • Objectives of the policy or procedure; and/or
  • Any requirement for implementation related to a decision or action of a key stakeholder

Examples could include but not be limited to:

  • Update of regulatory compliance to reflect current standards
  • Reflection to changes in University terminology and/or responsibilities
Policy Administration Management System (PAMS) The University approved centrally controlled policy repository (policy library) which is the authoritative source for all University-wide policies and procedures, accessible through the FedUni website.
Policy A formal statement of principle that regulates University operations
Policy Committee Oversees the development, review, approval and endorsement of University policies and procedures
Policy Document Approval Form Used to initiate the process for developing, amending or rescinding a policy or procedure
Policy Library The web portal for accessing current published policies, procedures and forms
Policy Sponsor

Responsible for:

  • Providing advice on approved policies and procedures under their stewardship
  • Drafting or overseeing the drafting of policy or procedure
  • Reviewing policy or procedure
  • Consulting key stakeholders including obtaining university-wide feedback and reflecting this in document as appropriate and update Policy Committee on university-wide phase;
  • Obtaining advice from relevant subject matter experts as required; and
  • Ensuring new or major amended policy and procedures are promulgated
Policy Systems Administrator Responsible for the system administration of the University’s policy administration management system (PAMS), including developing and managing systems necessary to implement the University’s policy process and associated continuous improvement projects
Procedure Describes the operational processes/steps to be adhered to in order to maintain effective adherence to the prescribed principles outlined in the associated policy
Regulation

Made under a University Statute to regulate interpretation and implementation of the Statute. Matters which involve penalties should be included in a Regulation rather than a policy. Regulations are enforceable by the University and are a permanent public record

Review A formal, comprehensive analysis of a policy or procedure conducted by the Policy Sponsor for the purposes of establishing the need for amendment (major or minor) or further development
Standing Resolution of Council A short statement or directive issued and approved by Council. Standing Resolutions give effect to matters considered by Council which are not detailed in other instruments.
Statute The subordinate legislations related to the governance of the internal affairs of the University under the Federation University Australia Act 2010 (as listed in Part 5 Section 29 of the Act). Statutes are enforceable by the University and are a permanent public record. Statutes can only be made, amended or revoked by Council and must be approved by the relevant State Minister with responsibility for tertiary education. A University Statute comes into operation on the day on which the Minister approves it (unless otherwise specified in the statute).
University legislation Includes the Federation University Australia Act 2010, University Statutes and Regulations

Policy Statement

Federation University Australia is governed by the Federation University Australia Act 2010 (the Act) which provides for the establishment of the University, its governing body (the Council) and its core functions. The Act stipulates that the Council is responsible for establishing policy and procedural principles for the operation of the University consistent with legal requirements and community expectations.

Federation University Australia policies and procedures will reflect and promote qualities that are consistent with the University’s core values.

Policy Committee

The Policy Committee is responsible for overseeing the development, review, major amendment, approval and endorsement of Federation University Australia policies and procedures.

The Committee, by endorsing the annual Policy Management Plan, has responsibility for:

  • overseeing the implementation of a consistent policy process across the University;
  • monitoring the status of University policies and procedures to ensure they are developed, implemented and reviewed in a timely manner and, in particular, that any policy gaps, overlaps and inconsistencies are identified and rectified;
  • ensuring that University policies and procedures are necessary, current, relevant and useful;
  • endorsing new or amended University policies and procedures for publishing in the University’s approved Policy Library;
  • referring final drafts of policies and procedures back to Policy Sponsors for further amendment if required; and
  • approving rescission of superseded or obsolete documents.

Principles

The following principles apply to all approved University policies and procedures:

  • all members of the University community must comply with University policies and procedures when carrying out their University activities
  • policies and procedures must be applied fairly, consistently and with common sense

Framework

In some broad governance circumstances, such as risk, quality and project governance, an overarching Framework document may be developed to document and confirm the University’s commitment to that cause through describing the intended application of the associated policies and procedures

Policies

Policies are formal statements of principle that regulate, direct and control University operations. They underpin decision-making and/or the way members of the University community conduct the activities of the University, with the following characteristics:

  • a policy must have long-term application to the University as a whole or a broad cross-section of the University community;
  • policy statements are consistent with and ensure that the University complies with its statutes and regulations, relevant legislation, national standards and community expectations;
  • policies assist the University to:
    • attain its strategic goals and priorities
    • promote operational efficiencies; and
    • reduce risks.

Policies will be formally reviewed every five (5) years, or sooner as deemed necessary.

Procedures

All procedures:

  • relate to a policy and are consistent with the policy to which they refer;
  • mandate operational activities, assign responsibilities and step through the practical actions required to support the implementation of policy statements, or to assist the University’s operations and compliance with external requirements;
  • have application across the University.

Procedures will be formally reviewed every three (3) years, or sooner as deemed necessary.

Forms

Forms attached or referred to in the relevant procedure have their use described within the body of the procedure. PAMS is the repository for all forms which are accessible to users through the Policy Library unless otherwise directed by the Chair, Policy Committee or delegate and documented within the relevant procedure eg University endorsed tools that are restricted to staff use only.

Guidelines, Instructions, Manuals, Handbooks and Checklists

These local documents fall outside this policy and its associated procedure as they are not mandatory nor formally approved but may be utilised to provide helpful information and advice such as additional detail and context or list matters which might be taken into account in carrying out an action from a particular procedure

Policy Library

The University’s approved Policy Administration Management System (PAMS) is the official repository for Federation University Australia policies and procedures.

The Policy Systems Administrator or delegate has management and oversight of PAMS and is responsible for publishing all current policies and procedures to the FedUni website Policy Library.

Approval, development, amendment, review and rescission

Development and review of all policies and procedures will be undertaken in accordance with the Policy Governance Procedure.

New and amendments to existing policies and procedures are initiated by Policy Sponsors through completion and submission of a completed Policy Form to Policy Committee for approval.

Following appropriate, documented consultation and feedback and approval by the relevant Approval Authority, new, amended or reviewed policies and procedures will be endorsed by Policy Committee prior to being published in the Policy Library.

Once identified policies and procedures for rescission have approval by the relevant Approval Authority and endorsement by Policy Committee they will be removed from the Policy Library.

A Policy Management Plan including review schedule will be developed by the Policy team and presented at each Policy Committee meeting.

Compliance

Policy Committee is responsible for the oversight of compliance requirements as they relate to the University’s policies and procedures and initiating any required action to ensure that the content of policies and procedures meets all the University’s compliance obligations.

Policy Sponsors will be responsible for leadership and guidance in supporting compliance. As appropriate, compliance requirements will be integrated into everyday work practices.

Policy Approval Authorities are responsible for approving the final draft of the policy or procedure before they are published in the Policy Library.

Supporting Documents

  • Policy Governance Procedure
  • Policy Document Approval (PDA) Form
  • Policy Committee Terms of Reference
  • Policy Committee Induction Handbook
  • Policy Template
  • Procedure Template
  • Feedback Template
  • Policy and Procedure Checklist
  • Policy and Procedure Process Flowchart

Responsibility

  • Council is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this policy and its accompanying procedure
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Learning and Quality is responsible for maintaining the content of this policy as delegated by Council

Promulgation

The Policy Governance Policy will be communicated throughout the University community in the form of:

  • An Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on Policy Central to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy
  • Notification to Council
  • Notification to Academic Board

Implementation

The Policy Governance Policy will be implemented throughout the University via:

  • An Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on Policy Central to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy
  • Policy training sessions
  • Staff induction program