Policies Development and Review Rule

The Rule

The Senate made the University of Sydney (Policies Development and Review) Rule 2011 on 31 October 2011, with effect from 1 February 2012.

The Policies Development and Review Rule establishes the University’s official policy framework. It defines the kinds of documents which we use and their hierarchy, and specifies which are compulsory and which are merely advisory. You will find these provisions in clauses 4 and 5 of the Rule.

The Rule also specifies (in clauses 12 and 13) a process for policy development, which must be used for all new policies after 1 February 2012. This process is not required for procedures, guidelines or local provisions. Before a new policy is developed, a policy proposal must be submitted to the University’s General Counsel, who must consider if the proposed policy is necessary. Policy development can only proceed once the General Counsel has certified that it is necessary. Responsibility for drafting and preparing the new policy will remain with the relevant operational areas, as it is now, but the Policy Management Unit is available to assist. After consultation with stakeholders and any necessary revisions, the draft policy will then be provided to the person or body with the authority to adopt the policy.

The Rule establishes the Policy Register. You can find out more about the Policy Register here, and in clauses 15, 18, 19, and 21 of the Rule.

Once a policy, procedures or local provisions have been adopted, they will need to be registered to be effective. New policies and procedures will need to use the prescribed document templates.

The Rule contains transitional provisions, which permit documents which were effective when the Rule commenced to continue to be effective until they are amended or repealed.

The procedures

The associated Policies Development and Review Procedures came into effect on 15 February 2012. The procedures set out the necessary steps to:

  • Obtain approval for a proposed new policy or amendment to an existing policy
  • Obtain endorsement from the Policy Management Unit of any draft document to be registered, whether a new document or amendments to an existing document
  • Get an approved policy document (policy, procedures or local provisions) registered or get guidelines or other documents linked to a registered document.

Adding or amending documents on the Policy Register

Before you start working on any policy or procedures work, you should be familiar with both the University of Sydney (Policies Development and Review) Rule 2011 and Policies Development and Review Procedures. University staff can also complete an online training module about the University Policy Framework in Careerpath.

All policy changes require development approval. The development or amendment of policy documents first requires that General Counsel approve that changes are necessary. Approval is also required if it is proposed to rescind a policy. This involves submitting a policy proposal form to the Policy Management Unit outlining the reason and intention of the change and detailing the proposed consultations. You should allow up to 2 weeks from the time of submitting a final, signed form for the approval to be granted.

Once you have approval from General Counsel you can then begin work on drafting the changes. Rules, procedures and local provisions do not require this step. We recommend that the Policy Management Unit review an early draft of your document prior to it being distributed for consultation. You should allow up to 4 weeks for this review to be completed.

Before final policy, procedures or local provisions documents are approved by a determining authority, the endorsement of the Policy Management Unit must be obtained. The Policy Management Unit will also confirm that you have completed the necessary consultations regarding the changes. You should allow up to 4 weeks for this review to be completed.

When the final document is ready for submission to the determining authority for approval, you should submit the final clean and marked up versions of the document along with the original Proposal for a New or Amended Policy and a covering Policy Approval Request here.

Once the final document has been signed, follow the instructions on the Request for Amendment to Policy Register form to submit the document to the Policy Register.

Further information or assistance can be obtained at any stage during this process by contacting the Policy Manager.