Revising and reviewing existing policy documents


Why do policy documents need to be reviewed? 

Policy documents provide a convenient and reliable resource for understanding principles of behavior and required practices across the University. Ensuring that policy documentation stays current and continuously aligned with strategies, values and required practice is a cornerstone of good governance.

To ensure that the documents on the Policy Hub, maintain consistency with our required practices, a review of each policy document is required at least once every three years. 

Revision and/ or review may be initiated for either of the following reasons: 

  • The policy document is approaching its expiry date - and changes need to be made before the next review date
  • An existing policy document requires an update to its content or formatting prior to the normal review date 

Does the formatting of the existing policy document need to be updated? 

Formatting and content organisation: 

As our policy documents are updated, all reviewed policy documents that are to appear on the Policy Hub need to comply with the Policy Framework Policy (PFP) and Policy Framework Procedures

  • Relevant templates for policies, procedures, standards and guidelines are available   
  • For some existing documents this may require substantial re-drafting
  • If re-drafting support is needed the policy office is happy to advise and help with this process 

What if the document does not require any substantive content changes?

The document re-formatted document can be submitted by the owner to the policy office for a simple update of the document, without substantive change, on the Policy Hub

The policy office will then forward the document for approval to the Registrar  

Upon approval the document will be relaunched on the Policy Hub with amended review dates 

What do we mean by substantive change?

If changes to the document alter the meaning or the application of the direction given to users then this may well constitute a substantive change. In this case the document will go through a broader consultation and approval process 

How does the substantive revision of content happen? 

  • The content manager and owner for each document will review the existing document, identify gaps and/ or amendments required, and draft a new document highlighting any proposed changes
  • The content manager may then need to send the proposed draft document to other relevant stakeholders for input
  • Stakeholders will then review the document and send any feedback to the content manager
  • Using their feedback the content manager will summarize and present to the owner
  • The owner then agrees a finished draft for review
  • A brief synopsis of change is developed by the content manager to help when comparing the old and new documents
  • Any substantive change needs to be clearly identified so that it can be highlighted in review
  • At that stage the document is usually re-submitted to the policy office to check compliance with the PFP (this avoids submission of non-compliant docs to senior colleagues, VC and Council) 

What sort of consultation is required for substantive changes? 

  • Substantive changes to policy documents may often need wide consultation, for example including SLT, and at the owner's discretion through the 'Documents for Consultation' page on the Policy Hub
  • Policy documents that are placed for consultation on the Policy Hub for general review will put up for an agreed length of time (usually two to four weeks)
  • A synopsis of change needs to be attached for readers to view
  • Contact details must be provided for feedback
  • Receipt of feedback should be acknowledged 

How is the feedback included? 

After the agreed period the document will be removed from the review site and the owner will consider any changes that may be made as a result of feedback

The content manager will apply any changes resulting from the consultation process 

Does the document now require further committee (or other) endorsement prior to approval, due to the nature of any further changes? 

If not:

The owner sends the revised document with amended review dates to the approver 

If so:

The owner is responsible for putting the document through the appropriate endorsement process

A synopsis of change is required with all submissions to VC / Council to simplify the comparison to the old policy document 

When is the revised document published? 

On approval, the document is sent by the owner to the policy office

The revised document will be uploaded and replace the old document on the Policy Hub 

How do people find out about the new policy document? 

It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that appropriate notification and publicity is given to ensure that people who may be impacted are aware of any changes to the policy documentation 

When do guidelines normally get updated?

As guidelines exist to support users in implementing a particular policy document, they are normally reviewed and updated at the same time as the 'parent' documentation. However they may be reviewed and edited at any time to ensure that the advice within them stays current. For example, if they contain out of date contact details or advice on a process that has changed, it is important to change that quickly so that users are getting current information 

If I am just changing the guidelines do I need to go through the full consultation process?

No - guidelines can be changed simply with the approval of the owner, and then the new content is sent to the policy office for uploading to the Policy Hub. Of course, the new edits will need to remain consistent with the requirements of the Policy Framework Policy  

 

Revising and reviewingexisting policy docs flowchart