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Governance Documents Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) The purpose of this Procedure is to give effect to the Governance Documents Rule.


(2) This Procedure applies to all staff involved in the development of Rules, Policies, Procedures or Guidelines (RPPG).

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Section 2 - Definitions

(3) As per the Governance Documents Rule.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(4) This Procedure must be read in conjunction with the Governance Document Rule.

Part A - Creating, Amending and Rescinding Documents

Development Stage - Rules and Policies

(5) Although the development of Rules and Policies is undertaken in a wide variety of contexts and by many different authors, document development must always satisfy the minimum standards specified in the Governance Documents Rule and this Procedure.

(6) Authors must identify the purpose of the document, either to:

  1. mitigate a risk to the University; or
  2. maximise opportunity for the University.

(7) Authors must identify the specific type(s) of behaviour required to mitigate the identified risk or maximise opportunity for the University.

(8) Authors should consider whether the identified risk or opportunity is unique to SCU, and if not, assess what behaviour(s) other organisations require in response.

(9) Authors must draft Rules and Policies within the approved SCU Document Template.

(10) Wording should be minimised and focus solely on directing the target audience's behaviour away from the identified risk, or towards the identified opportunity.

(11) Subject to the exceptions specific in this Procedure, Authors must consult stakeholders affected by their Rule or Policy proposal before drafts are presented for consideration of endorsement or approval.

(12) Proposers must be prepared to justify the development of a draft Rule and Policy, according to the following minimum criteria:

  1. what risk or opportunity the document addresses;
  2. whether the risk or opportunity is unique to SCU and if not, how a sample of similar organisations respond;
  3. whether key stakeholders affected by the proposal were identified and their views (where applicable); and
  4. what financial, physical, human and information resources are required for successful implementation (if any).

Procedure Documents

(13) University-wide Procedures must operationalize, and be consistent with, an existing or proposed By-Law, Rule or Policy.

(14) Wording should be minimised and focus solely on explaining how the target audience complies with the overarching By-law, Rule or Policy.

(15) Authors must draft University-wide Procedures within the approved SCU Document Template.

Guideline Documents

(16) University-wide Guidelines may provide flexible "good practice" recommendations and advice to assist a higher Governance Document's implementation.

(17) Authors may draft University-wide Guidelines in the approved SCU Document Template or in another format suitable to the author's needs.

Endorsement Stage

Rules and Policy

(18) Draft Rules, Policies (except HR Policy) must be provided to the Policy Advisor for assessment against the requirements of the Governance Documents Rule and this Procedure, prior to the document's presentation to the relevant Executive/Chair, Academic Board for endorsement and then Delegated Authority for approval.

(19) The Policy Advisor must review all new or amended Rule or Policy proposals (excluding HR proposals) against the SCU Policy Library suite of documents to ensure consistency of requirements, cross referencing, and writing style.

(20) The Policy Advisor may return documents to the author for further drafting where the requirements of the Governance Documents Rule or this Procedure are not met in the Policy Advisor's judgement.

(21) Draft Rules and Policies must be presented to the relevant Committee, Executive or Chair, Academic Board for:

  1. review and where necessary return to the author with advice for further drafting or to cease drafting;
  2. endorsement of the document for forwarding to the Delegated Authority; or
  3. for final approval where the Committee, Executive or Chair, Academic Board is empowered to approve that document.

Procedure and Guideline Documents

(22) Procedures and Guidelines must be endorsed by the relevant Director.

Approval Stage

(23) For compliance to be enforceable, Rules, Policies, Procedures must be approved by a Delegated Authority as specified in the Delegations Rule.

Exceptions to Part - A


(24) The Vice-Chancellor may approve departures from any part of this Procedure at their discretion.

Consultation and Briefing Papers

(25) An Executive or the Chair, Academic Board may waive the consultation requirements specified in clause (11) where they deem appropriate.

(26) Where a Rule or Policy is presented for approval as a consequence of a review and the document has not substantively changed from the approved original, the need for consultation and any supporting briefs may be waived by the relevant Head of Work Unit.

Part B - Communication, Publication and Implementation


(27) The Policy Advisor must consistently monitor the outcome of RPPG proposals submitted to delegated authorities for approval, and advise the Head of Work Unit and Author in a timely manner when their proposal is approved, deferred or rejected by the Delegated Authority.

(28) The Policy Advisor must advise the University community of the titles of all new RPPG approvals, amendments or Rescissions authorised by all delegated authorities on a regular basis.

(29) Following receipt of confirmation of approval, the Policy Advisor should publish approved RPPGs to the SCU Policy Library within 10 working days.

(30) Work Units must not host nor duplicate original RPPG files on their websites, but Work Units may publish advisory and supporting information on their web sites and may host hyperlinks to Governance Documents hosted within the SCU Policy Library.


(31) The Head of Work Unit or nominated representative(s) of Academic Board, must ensure the proposal's approved physical, financial, information technology and information resources are available as required to support the Rule or Policy's implementation.

(32) The Head of Work Unit must ensure that the requirements of any new or amended RPPGs are effectively communicated to staff and/or students (excluding the minor amendments specified in the Governance Documents Rule).

Part C - Compliance

(33) Non-compliance by staff is to be addressed by Heads of Work Units under the provisions of the University's Code of Conduct.

(34) Non-compliance by students may be addressed using the relevant University Rules or Policies.

Part D - Review

(35) The Policy Advisor must annually provide each Executive with a list of their portfolio's Rules and Policies and dates of last review to assist with annual work planning.

(36) Upon receipt of the list of Rules and Policies, Executives, the Chair, Academic Board, or their nominees must determine which documents within their portfolio they will review in the following 12 month period.

(37) After reviewing a Rule or Policy, Head of Work Units or the Author must provide the Policy Advisor with either:

  1. an updated draft document for approval processing;
  2. the original document accompanied by a written statement declaring the document remains current and effective; or
  3. a recommendation to Rescind the document.

(38) In the case of clause (37)b, the Policy Advisor may reset the review period to a further three years without further approval. In the case of (37)a or (37)c, approval must be sought from the delegated authority.

Part E - Rescinding an Approved Governance Document

(39) Where the Policy Advisor considers, or receives a recommendation from Head of Work Unit, that a Governance Document has no continuing use, in consultation with the relevant Head of Work Unit he or she will present the document for Rescission to a Delegated Authority with a brief outlining the reasons why the document has no continuing use.

Part F - Record Keeping

(40) All staff involved in the development of Rules, Policy, Procedures and Guidelines must keep records in accordance with the University's Record Keeping Policy.

Part G - Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

(41) Executives and the Chair, Academic Board are responsible for:

  1. mitigating risks and maximising opportunity within their portfolio via Governance Documents;
  2. authorising the Policy Advisor to forward a Governance Document for approval (or declining to authorise); and
  3. ensuring Heads of Work Units within their portfolios review their Rules and Policies triennially at a minimum.

(42) Heads of Work Units are responsible for:

  1. facilitating implementation of Governance Documents which they or their nominees have authored;
  2. approving amendments to Guidelines;
  3. making the University community aware of the specific requirements of Governance Documents which they or their nominee has authored; and
  4. consistently monitoring authored Governance Documents for continuing accuracy and effectiveness.

(43) Authors are responsible for:

  1. drafting Governance Documents (including accompanying briefs where required) in accordance with their Head of Work Unit's direction and the Governance Documents Rule and this Procedure;
  2. consulting stakeholders affected by their Rule or Policy proposal.

(44) The Policy Advisor is responsible for:

  1. administering the SCU Policy Library;
  2. providing advice and assistance to all stakeholders at all stages of the document development, review and implementation process;
  3. reviewing documents to ensure consistency with this Policy;
  4. providing documents to the correct Delegated Authority for final approval;
  5. ensuring the University community is informed of approved new, amended and Rescinded documents in a timely manner;
  6. annually providing each Executive with a list of their portfolio's Rules and Policies and dates of last review to assist with annual work planning.
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Section 4 - Guidelines

(45) Nil.