Policy Governance

Category: Governance
Number: GOV-070-010
Audience: All University employees
Issued: July 07, 2012
Revised: July 13, 2017
Owner(s): Executive Director (University Governance)
Approved by: Board of Governors
Contact: Executive Director, University Governance 306-585-5545

Introduction

This policy applies to all University of Regina governance, employment, operations and research policies and all University members who create, update, or approve these policies.

It provides a consistent, coordinated approach for planning, developing or updating, approving, publishing, and managing University policies.

Policies align the University’s practices and processes with its strategic plan and regulatory environment. They articulate the University’s position on matters. They help University employees make decisions and do their work more efficiently. They protect the University and the University community.

Definitions

Policy

University policies must be created or revised, approved, published, maintained, and repealed or retired as set out in this policy.

  • Policies will be sponsored by the appropriate officer of the University (the policy owner).
  • Policies will be approved by the appropriate approval authority.
  • Policies will meet the needs of the University and the intended audience (the users of the policy).
  • Policies will be consistent with The University of Regina Act, other relevant provincial and federal legislation, and the University’s Strategic Plan and policies.
  • Policies will be accessible to the University community on the University’s website.
  • Policies will be practical to implement, enforce, and measure.
  • Policies will indicate the significance of the policy for the University and the intended audience.
  • Policies will make clear the rights and responsibilities assigned to persons or offices.
  • Policies will be written concisely in plain English.
  • Policies will have a common and consistent structure and appearance.
  • Policies will be current. Whenever changes in organizational process or structure have an impact on the validity of a policy, the policy will be updated. At a minimum, a policy will be updated every three to five years according to its review schedule. A policy that has not been reviewed and updated in five years will be evaluated by the Executive Director, University Governance to determine if the policy is still valid. If valid, the author of the policy will be required to update the policy. The existing policy will remain in effect until it is updated. If the policy is no longer in effect, the policy will be removed from the University's website at the discretion of the Executive Director, University Governance.
  • A policy becomes effective the day it is published on the University’s website.
  • A policy may be repealed or retired by the Executive Director, University Governance, or its policy owner subject to approval by the approval authority.
  • Faculties, departments, units, and groups may create policy specific to the faculty, department, unit, or group. This policy must be consistent with other University policies.
  • University members in leadership positions will ensure the people in their faculties, departments, units, and groups are familiar with the University’s policies and their responsibilities.
  • The Executive Director, University Governance has the authority to make changes that do not affect the meaning of a policy without asking for the approval of the policy owner or approval authority. (Examples of such changes include: fixing typos or errors in grammar, clarifying text, changing terms to ensure consistency.)

Roles and Responsibilities

Executive Director, University Governance

The Executive Director, University Governance (who may designate an alternate to carry out these responsibilities):

  • is the custodian of the University’s policies and policy standards,
  • sets communication and management standards and processes for all policies,
  • assigns policy names and numbers,
  • determines the level of approval authority required for each policy,
  • determines how often a policy must be reviewed (the review schedule),
  • determines when a policy is ready to be published,
  • announces the new policy or the changes to an updated policy to the University community,
  • informs policy owners when he or she receives questions and complaints about their policies, and
  • maintains the definitive record or source of all policies.


Policy Owners

Policy owners are responsible for the policies within their areas of authority. They:

  • sponsor the development of new policies. The policy owner assigns an author (a subject matter expert) or contracts a writer to plan and develop or update the policy.
  • ensure the policies they own are current and correct, and
  • monitor and measure the value and success of their policies.


Authors and Writers

Authors and writers are responsible for developing or updating the policies they are assigned. They:

  • work with the University Secretariat and the policy owner to identify the policy stakeholders and all relevant legislation and policy,
  • collect and analyze the needs of all stakeholders,
  • adhere to the standards and conventions outlined in the University’s Policy Writing Guidelines (51 KB) pdf and Online Style Guide when they write policy, and
  • identify and use the appropriate policy template.


Policy Publisher

The University’s policy publisher:

  • posts approved policies on the University’s website, and
  • maintains the policy website.

 
University Members

University members:

  • use and comply with University’s policies, and
  • notify the policy contact or the Executive Director, University Governance when they notice an error in a University policy.


Approval Authorities

Policy approval authorities:

  • review the policy and any related materials they receive when the Executive Director, University Governance recommends they approve, repeal, or retire a policy, and
  • approve, repeal, and retire policies. They may ask for more information about any policy before approving, repealing, or retiring it.

Consequences for Noncompliance

If a policy does not adhere to the standards set out in this policy, the Executive Director, University Governance may refuse to publish the policy or may remove it from the University website if it has already been published.

Processes

Updating Policy or Creating New Policy

  1. A University member identifies the need for a policy update or a new policy and submits a written request to the Executive Director, University Governance (i.e. memo, email, or the University’s Request to Create or Change a Policy form). (Policy owners and the Executive Director, University Governance will initiate most policy updates and new policies.)
  2. The Executive Director, University Governance reviews the submission and determines if a policy update or a new policy is required.
  3. If a policy update is required, the Executive Director, University Governance consults with the policy owner to determine the approach that will be used to develop the policy.
    If a new policy is required, the Executive Director, University Governance assigns the policy name and number, determines the approval process and approval authority, designates a policy owner, and consults with the policy owner to determine the approach that will be used to develop the policy.
  4. The policy owner assigns an author or writer to update or develop the policy.
  5. The policy owner and author or writer identify all pertinent legislation and policy, the policy stakeholders, and how the project will be managed. (The Executive Director, University Governance may decide to participate in this discussion.)
  6. The author or writer creates a project plan, a communication plan, and a training plan (if training is required) and submits them to the policy owner for review.
  7. The policy owner reviews the plans and provides direction to the author or writer.
  8. The author or writer reviews the relevant legislation and policy, consults with stakeholders (particularly intended users), creates a content plan, and develops and submits a first draft of the policy to the policy owner.
  9. The policy owner reviews the draft and provides direction to the author or writer.
  10. The author or writer develops a second draft of the policy, submits it to the policy owner, and tests it with stakeholders.
  11. The policy owner review the draft and provides direction to the author or writer. The stakeholders provide their comments and advice in the usability tests and interviews.
  12. The author or writer continues to prepare and submit drafts of the policy to the policy owner (and to a small group of stakeholders if appropriate) until the policy is complete and the policy owner approves the policy.
  13. The policy owner submits the policy to the Executive Director, University Governance.
  14. The Executive Director, University Governance reviews the policy and requires revisions or recommends the policy for approval to the appropriate approval authority.
  15. If necessary, the author or writer prepares and submits another draft of the policy to the Executive Director, University Governance, the policy owner, and any stakeholders who were asked to participate in the review process. (This process continues until the Executive Director, University Governance approves the policy.)
  16. The Executive Director, University Governance recommends the policy for approval to the appropriate approval authority. (If the approval authority is the Board of Governors, the Executive Director, University Governance submits the policy to the University Executive Team members for their approval first.)
  17. The approval authority reviews and approves the policy or requests revisions.
  18. If necessary, the author or writer prepares and submits another draft of the policy to the Executive Director, University Governance, the policy owner, and any stakeholders participating in the review process. (This process continues until the Executive Director, University Governance approves the policy and again recommends it to the approval authority.)
  19. When the approval authority approves the policy, the policy owner arranges for training to be delivered according to the training plan (if training is required).

Publishing Policy

When the approval authority approves the new policy or policy update:

  1. The Executive Director, University Governance arranges for the policy publisher to publish the policy on the University’s website, files the definitive source of the policy, and updates the University’s records on the policy.
  2. The policy publisher posts the policy on the University’s website and notifies the Executive Director, University Governance.
  3. The Executive Director, University Governance announces the new policy or policy update to the University community. (A policy update or a new policy may be announced to different groups at different times.)


Changing Policy Ownership or Approval Authority

  1. The policy owner, Executive Director, University Governance, or policy approval authority identifies a need to change ownership or approval authority of a particular policy and completes the Request to Create or Change a Policy form (other written requests such as email or memo may also be accepted).
  2. The Executive Director, University Governance reviews the request and consults with all stakeholders (existing policy owner or approval authority and potential new policy or approval authority).
  3. If the change in policy ownership or approval authority is warranted, the Executive Director, University Governance designates a new policy owner or approval authority, asks the policy publisher to update the policy on the University’s website, and updates the University’s records on the policy.


Repealing or Retiring Policy

  1. The policy owner or Executive Director, University Governance recommends to the approval authority that the policy be repealed or retired.
  2. The approval authority reviews the recommendation (and the policy) and approves or denies repeal or retirement of the policy.
  3. When the approval authority approves repeal or retirement of the policy, the Executive Director, University Governance arranges for the policy to be removed from the University’s website and updates the University’s records for the policy.
  4. The policy publisher removes the policy and all references to the policy from the University website.
  5. If necessary, the Executive Director, University Governance announces the repeal or retirement to the appropriate University members or the University community.

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