Policy on University Policies
The purpose of this policy is to define the process by which University policies are to be developed, approved and maintained. Through using a consistent policy development process it should be possible to assemble policies that are:
- appropriately developed and regularly updated;
- easy to find, read and understand;
- consistent with the University’s mission;
- compliant with applicable laws;
- reduce risk; &
- promote best practices across the University.
It is acknowledged that full compliance with this policy will take time. However, it is expected that as new policies are developed, or existing policies are amended, that they will adhere to the provisions of this policy.
This policy applies to all units of Dublin City University, both academic and support, and to its research centres. These are all hereinafter collectively referred to as the ‘University’.
This policy does not apply to the University’s Campus Companies.
The provisions of this policy will not apply to a ‘Pilot Policy’ where it is designated as such by the Unit Owner.
University policies will be:
- Developed according to the process set out in this policy;
- Presented and published in a standard manner;
- Formally approved by an appropriate level of University management;
- Accessible to all parties with an interest in the policy’s subject matter;
- Kept up to date and current;
- Clearly designated as ‘Policies’ and kept separate from related documentation such as procedures, guides and other types of related documentation whenever possible.
Policy Owners are responsible for the drafting of new or revised University policies, ensuring their policies are up to date, consulting with interested parties and for steering draft policies through to approval and publication.
University policies will adhere to the format set out in the Policy Template. The format may, in some cases, be amended but only to the extent necessary to enhance the clarity of a policy.
- Policies that have a University wide scope will be approved by the University Executive, or a by sub-group as delegated by the Executive.
- Policies whose scope is limited to a single Unit of the University may be approved by the Head of Unit.
- Draft policies are to be firstly reviewed by the Risk & Compliance Officer for alignment with this policy prior to being forwarded to the Executive for approval.
- It is acknowledged that certain policies, (i.e. on Equality and/or Access, Risk Management, Treasury etc.) may only be approved by the Governing Authority, after having been firstly approved in draft form by the Executive.
- New policies, or amendments to existing policies outside of the reserved functions of the Governing Authority, maybe brought to the Authority, at the discretion of the President.
- Where an existing policy is being reviewed, and fundamental changes are proposed, the revised policy will require final approval by the Executive. Where changes are not deemed to be fundamental the revised policy will not require approval by the Executive.
- Where an existing policy is either replaced by a new version, or repealed in full, the Head of Unit will inform the Risk & Compliance Officer of that decision and the University’s Policies webpage will be updated accordingly.
Responsibility for promoting compliance with a policy will rest with the Policy Owner unless as specified otherwise within a policy.
Policies will be accessible and published on the University’s website and by any other means as deemed appropriate. Confidential policies, which are for staff use only, will also be published on the University website but controls will be implemented to the extent that only current members of staff will have access to such policies.
Policy Owners will arrange for the publication of approved policies on the University’s website in consultation with the Risk and Compliance Officer.
Policy Owners are responsible for keeping policies up to date and for ensuring that only approved versions of policies are accessible on the University’s website.
They will periodically review policies which fall under their remit. Each policy will state the date on which it was initially approved and when it was last reviewed.
The University Risk and Compliance Officer will:
- assist Policy Owners in implementing a process of regular review;
- provide guidance to Policy Owners in relation to complying with the requirements of this policy; &
- remove superseded policies from the University’s website when they have been replaced or discontinued.
Policies are to be clearly designated as being a ‘Policy’. Other guidance material which assists in the understanding or implementation of a policy should, in general, not be included within the policy. Such material should be referred to in the ‘Related Documentation’ section of the policy.
In some exceptional cases it may be necessary to depart from the provisions of this policy. Where these arise, it will be at the discretion of the Chief Operations Officer to approve such a departure.
The requirements set out in this policy will not apply to those University policies that were in existence before the first version of this policy was approved in October 2015.
However, where an existing policy is revised or replaced in future after the date of approval of this policy, the requirements set out in this policy will be applied unless an exception is granted by the Chief Operations Officer as described above.
A university policy is a statement of intent, or a position on a particular matter, that can be used to guide decision making. It defines the expected organisational approach or behaviour. A policy may stand on its own or can be implemented through procedures, protocols or other types of supporting documentation.
A university policy has a broad application or impact throughout the University across both academic and/or support units. They can assist in promoting compliance with applicable laws or regulations, best practice, ethical norms, pursuit of the University’s mission or in the promotion of efficiencies. They can also assist in the reduction of risk.
University wide policies are, in general, approved by the University Executive whereas Unit level documents are usually developed, approved and adopted at a Unit level.
Once approved, compliance with a University policy is mandatory.
A pilot policy is an initial policy that is used to test the feasibility or suitability of a proposed formal University policy as defined above.
A procedure is a series of defined interrelated steps that are designed to achieve a defined outcome. Procedures set out, often in a step by step fashion, an organisational requirement for a particular course or mode of action. They establish who, what, where and when in relation to a given activity.
University procedures should be:
- written in a format that is easy to follow;
- published separately from the policy to which they relate; &
- reviewed and updated on a regular basis to check for compatibility with the most recent versions of the related policy.
The Policy Owner is the appropriate academic or support Unit of the University whose remit & responsibility covers the subject matter of the policy. The Policy Owner will be responsible for the substance of policy documents and for promoting compliance with the policy unless as specified otherwise within the policy.
The policy template sets out the prescribed layout to be used when drafting a University policy.
The document hierarchy lists and defines the various categories of documents which are generally in use within the University and their place within a structured document hierarchy.
Policy Development Guidelines
The Policy Development Guidelines sets out the issues to consider when drafting new University policies, or when amending and updating existing policies.