Planning and Reporting Framework - Procedures

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Planning and Reporting Framework - Procedures

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Approval authority
Vice-Chancellor and President
Responsible officer
Vice-Chancellor and President
Designated officer
Chief Operating Officer
First approved
1 August 2019
Last amended
7 August 2019
Effective start date
7 August 2019
Review date
1 August 2024
Status
Active
Related documents
Planning and Reporting Framework - Governing Policy
Related legislation / standards
Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009 (Qld)
Financial Accountability Act 2009 (Qld)
Download PDF

1. General guidelines

The following procedures must be read in conjunction with the Planning and Reporting Framework – Governing Policy. The Planning and Reporting Framework is implemented through the annual planning process.

2. Planning process - overview

2.1 The Planning process is essentially an annual cycle of events that are undertaken to update University-level plans, translate those high-level plans into operational and action plans, and finally review, evaluate and report on the outcomes of those plans. Responsibility for the steps in the process lies with key responsible officers of the University.

2.2 While the process is designed to ensure that the University’s plans, and associated strategies and targets are regularly updated and responsible officers account for performance against those plans, it is recognised that the steps and associated plans described in the process can be varied with the specific authorisation of senior officers of the University in response to changing circumstances and requirements, such as emerging opportunities and threats and changes in statutory requirements. However, the underlying principle is that the University will develop plans and associated strategies to deliver the objectives articulated in those plans and ultimately account for its performance against targets specified in the plans on a regular basis.

2.3 These principles are illustrated in the Planning and Reporting Framework diagram included in the Planning and Reporting Framework – Governing Policy.

2.4 The University Strategic Plan and Top Level Plans outline our objectives for the next four years. They are monitored and undergo major reviews before conclusion of the plan’s lifespan with new plans then developed for public release at the end of the cycle.

2.5 The performance measures contained in the Strategic Plan are monitored through:

(a)   the Corporate Performance Report, which is prepared for Council twice-yearly; and

(b)   the University’s Annual Report.

2.6 The performance measures contained in the Top Level Plans are monitored through:

(a)   the Top Level Plan Performance Reports, which are prepared for Council twice-yearly; and

(b)   the University’s Annual Report.

2.7 The University’s Operational Plan and Budget follow a three-year cycle and are updated and renewed each year for the next three-year period. Status and outcome reports are prepared quarterly to monitor implementation as follows:

(a)   April Reforecast – 31 March Status Report;

(b)   August Reforecast – 30 June Status Report;

(c)   October planning meeting – 30 September Status Report (as part of planning process for following year);

(d)   Year-End – 31 December Status Report.

2.8 Department/school action plans and budgets also follow a three-year cycle and are updated and renewed each year for the next three-year period.

3. Strategic Plan

3.1 The University Council sets the strategic direction for the University. The Vice-Chancellor and President is responsible to Council for initiating development, implementation, monitoring and review of the Strategic Plan and is accountable to Council for achievement of the Plan.

3.2 The Strategic Plan:

(a)   will be developed through a consultative process led by the Vice-Chancellor and President with the active participation of University Executive and Council and involve other key University bodies, relevant external stakeholder bodies (as determined by the Vice-Chancellor and President), and staff and students for example through their participation in any of the key University bodies;

(b)   will identify key goals and strategies for pursuit of the University’s Vision over a specific period

(c)   will identify through those goals and strategies the priorities for planning at all lower tiers;

(d)   may include statements of values, context and other matters that underpin or contribute to the plan; and

(e)   will be developed in the context of anticipated resources and used to inform University budgeting.

3.3 The Strategic Plan and any amendments to it must be approved by Council (after review by the Planning and Resources Committee), except that minor amendments to correct omissions or inaccuracies may be approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President and reported to the next scheduled meeting of Council.

3.4 Following approval of the Strategic Plan, the Vice-Chancellor and President will communicate the Strategic Plan across the University.

3.5 The Vice-Chancellor and President will ensure that reports are presented to Council on a regular basis throughout the year so that they can monitor the University’s performance against the Strategic Plan. In addition, the University’s Annual Report will include a report on performance against the Strategic Plan.

3.6 The Vice-Chancellor and President will ensure that a review of the current Strategic Plan is undertaken before conclusion of the plan’s lifespan, with a view to identifying strengths and weaknesses in performance to inform development of the next iteration of the Plan.

4. Top Level Plans

4.1 For each Top Level Plan, the Vice-Chancellor and President will nominate a responsible officer (sponsor) who will be allocated responsibility for initiating development, implementation, monitoring and review of the plan. The sponsor will be a member of the University Executive, who will be accountable to the Vice-Chancellor and President for those operational elements, while the Vice-Chancellor and President will be accountable to Council for achievement of the plan.

4.2 Top Level Plans:

(a)   will have University-wide application;

(b)   will be designed to elaborate on goals and strategies in the Strategic Plan in relation to a specified area of focus over a specific period, usually four years;

(c)   will, for its specified area of focus, identify goals and strategies that address and expand on those given in the Strategic Plan;

(d)   will be developed through a consultative process led by the Plan’s sponsor with the active participation of Senior Staff, the University Executive, Council, Academic Board, Planning and Resources Committee and involve other relevant internal and external stakeholder bodies (as determined by the Vice-Chancellor and President), including staff and students where applicable;

(e)   will identify through its goals and strategies the priorities for concerted University action in its area of focus; and

(f)   will be developed in the context of anticipated resources and used to inform University budgeting.

4.3 Top Level Plans, and any amendments to them, must be approved by Council (after review by the Planning and Resources Committee), except that minor amendments to correct omissions or inaccuracies may be approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President and reported to the next scheduled meeting of Council.

4.4 Following approval of a Top Level Plan, the sponsor will communicate the Plan across the University.

4.5 The sponsors will ensure that reports are presented to Council on a regular basis throughout the year so that they can monitor the University’s performance against the Top Level Plans. In addition, sponsors of each Top Level Plan will be responsible for providing a report on performance against goals and targets which will be included in the University’s Annual Report.

4.6 Each sponsor will ensure that a review of the relevant Top Level Plan is undertaken before conclusion of the Plan’s lifespan, with a view to identifying strengths and weaknesses in performance to inform development of the next iteration of strategic planning.

5. Support plans

5.1 Support plans are generally University-wide and may include:

(a)   specific support plans that articulate strategies needed to enable students to succeed (e.g. retention, equity and diversity); or

(b)   other support plans that align resources to priorities (e.g. asset management, risk management and workforce planning).

5.2 For all support plans, the Vice-Chancellor and President will nominate a responsible officer who will be allocated responsibility for initiating development, implementation, monitoring and review of the plan. The responsible officer will be a member of the University Executive, who will be accountable to the Vice-Chancellor and President for those operational elements, while the Vice-Chancellor and President will be accountable to Council for achievement of the plan.

5.3 A support plan:

(a)   will have University-wide application;

(b)   will be designed to elaborate on goals and strategies in the Strategic Plan or Top Level Plans in relation to a specified area of focus over a specific period;

(c)   will be developed through a consultative process led by the Plan’s responsible officer and involve relevant internal and external stakeholder bodies (as determined by the Vice-Chancellor and President), including staff and students where applicable;

(d)   will be developed in the context of anticipated resources and used to inform University budgeting.

5.4 These plans may be approved by either Council or the Vice-Chancellor and President (‘approving body’), as appropriate for each specific plan. Any amendments to these plans must be approved by the original ‘approving body’, except that minor amendments to correct omissions or inaccuracies may be approved by the responsible officer and reported to the “approving body’ as soon as practicable.

5.5 The responsible officer will ensure that performance of each support plan is monitored in accordance with the requirements of the plan.

5.6 Each responsible officer will ensure that a review of the relevant support plan is undertaken before conclusion of the plan’s lifespan, with a view to identifying strengths and weaknesses in performance to inform development of the next iteration of the plan.

6. Review of the Strategic Plan, Top Level Plans and support plans

6.1 During the lifespan of the Strategic Plan, Top Level Plans or a support plan, there may be ad hoc reviews to adjust either the plan or the implementation processes.

6.2 Council and other University bodies with a stake in the Strategic Plan, Top Level Plans or a support plan will be presented with a report on any changes arising from the ad hoc review and those changes will be widely publicised within the University community.

7. Operational Plan

7.1 The University-wide Operational Plan is developed on a triennial basis, with the first year being a detailed operational business plan and the two following years developed at a broader level. Triennial planning is undertaken as part of the University’s annual planning and budget process to assist with strategic analysis and decision making.

7.2 The Operational Plan is a consolidation of key priorities from across the University and is developed following the University’s annual Planning meetings.

7.3 The University budget is expected to mirror and give effect to the approved Operational Plan.

7.4 A member of Senior Staff will be allocated responsibility for each initiative in the Operational Plan, as relevant to their Department or School, and will be accountable for implementing and achieving these.

7.5 The Operational Plan:

(a)   will apply to the whole of the University;

(b)   will identify priority goals, objectives, strategies and initiatives for a specific budget period and will be a rolling plan of up to three years;

(c)   will be designed to result in:

(i)   effective implementation of goals and strategies within the Strategic Plan and Top Level Plans;

(ii)   effective implementation of University policy;

(iii)   compliance with all external requirements affecting the operations of the University;

(d)   will be developed in association with periodic University budgeting processes;

(e)   will be developed through a consultative process based on key University priorities identified as part of the University’s annual planning process; and

(f)   may be adjusted over time in order to align the Plan with the University’s resource capacity or in light of other matters that may affect achievement of the Plan, provided that the Vice-Chancellor and President approves the proposed adjustment of the Plan.

7.6 The University’s Operational Plan is approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President (‘approving body’) annually for the following financial year. Any amendments to it must be approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President, except that minor amendments to correct omissions or inaccuracies may be approved by the Chief Operating Officer and reported to the Vice-Chancellor and President as soon as practicable.

7.7 The Vice-Chancellor and President may require that the Operational Plan will include specific goals, strategies or actions.

7.8 During the lifespan of the University’s Operational Plan there will be ongoing monitoring to assess progress of the Plan’s implementation, as determined by the Vice-Chancellor and President. The Vice-Chancellor and President will be presented with a status report from this process, prepared by the Chief Operating Officer, and this report will be widely publicised within the University community. This process will also inform the development of the next iteration of the plan.

8. Monitoring of the Operational Plan

8.1 The officer responsible for each initiative in the University’s Operational Plan will:

(a)   complete the relevant update to the Operational Plan Status Report, reporting on performance towards achievement of the plan; and

(b)   ensure that a review of performance against each initiative in the Operational Plan relevant to them, is undertaken annually, with a view to identifying strengths and weaknesses in performance and for informing development of the next annual iteration of the Plan.

8.2 The Operational Plan Status Reports will be provided in writing to the Vice-Chancellor and President quarterly, through the Chief Operating Officer, and will report on progress across the University towards achievement of the Plan.

8.3 There will be at least annual meetings between the Vice-Chancellor and President, the Chief Operating Officer, and the relevant members of Executive and Senior Staff responsible for specific initiatives in the University’s Operational Plan for the purpose of:

(a)   identifying and reviewing progress and performance in achieving the Operational Plan goals and targets within approved budgets; and

(b)   identifying any weaknesses in or obstacles to implementation and performance with a view to adjusting the Plan or the implementation processes.

8.4 Any proposed adjustment to the Operational Plan must be approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President and the revised plan must be made available to all relevant staff.

9. Action plans

9.1 Department/School action plans are developed on a triennial basis, with the first year being a detailed operational business plan and the two following years developed at a broader level. Triennial planning is undertaken as part of the University’s planning and budget process to assist with strategic analysis and decision making.

9.2 The action plans are developed as part of the University’s annual planning process and submitted to the relevant Executive member (Vice-Chancellor and President, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Chief Operating Officer or Pro Vice-Chancellor) for approval.

9.3 The Department/School budget is expected to mirror and give effect to the approved action plan.

9.4 All members of Senior Staff are responsible for developing and implementing an action plan for their relevant Department (including campus) or School and will be accountable for its achievement.

9.5 An action plan:

(a)   will apply to a specific organisational unit or a group of organisational units (Department or School);

(b)   will identify priority goals, objectives, strategies and actions for the organisational unit or units for a specific budget period;

(c)   will be designed to result in:

(i)   effective implementation of goals and strategies within the Strategic Plan and Top Level Plans in relation to the purpose and role of the organisational unit or units;

(ii)   effective implementation of University policy as it pertains to the organisational unit or units;

(iii)   compliance with all external requirements affecting the operations of the unit or units;

(d)   will be developed in association with periodic University budgeting processes;

(e)   will be developed through a consultative process involving staff of the organisational unit or units, any relevant internal and external stakeholders (as determined by the responsible officer), and student representatives where appropriate; and

(f)   may be adjusted over time in order to align plans with resource capacity or in light of other matters that may affect achievement of the plan, provided that the relevant member of Executive approves the proposed adjustment of the plan.

9.6 Action plans are approved by the relevant member of Executive (‘approving officer’’) - Vice-Chancellor and President, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Chief Operating Officer or Pro Vice-Chancellor - annually for the next financial year. Any amendments to the action plans must be approved by the ‘approving officer’, except that minor amendments to correct omissions or inaccuracies may be approved by the relevant member of Senior Staff and reported to the ‘approving body’ as soon as practicable.

9.7 The Vice-Chancellor and President or the relevant member of Executive may require that a Department/School’s action plan will include specific goals, strategies or actions.

9.8 During the lifespan of an action plan, there should be ongoing monitoring to assess progress of the plan’s implementation, as determined by the relevant member of Executive. This will also inform development of the next iteration of the plans.

10. Monitoring of action plans

10.1 The officer responsible for each Department/School action plan will:

(a)   complete the update to the Department/School action plan status report, reporting on performance towards achievement of the plan, as required by the relevant member of Executive; and

(b)   ensure that a review of performance against the plan is undertaken annually, with a view to identifying strengths and weaknesses in performance and for informing development of the next annual iteration of the plan.

10.2 There will be at least annual meetings between the Vice-Chancellor and President, the Chief Operating Officer, and the relevant members of Executive member and Senior Staff responsible for Department/School action plans for the purpose of:

(a)   identifying and reviewing progress and performance in achieving the action plan goals and targets within approved budgets; and

(b)   identifying any weaknesses in or obstacles to implementation and performance with a view to adjusting the plan or the implementation processes.

10.3 Any proposed adjustment to an action plan must be approved by the relevant member of Executive and the revised plan must be made available to all relevant staff.

11. University and Department/School budgets

11.1 The University Budget quantifies planned revenue and expenditure for the next triennium. It is developed in the context of a three-year outlook which considers the impacts of the University's Strategic Plan objectives and any other relevant factors, such as Commonwealth Government reforms or changes in regulation and competition.

11.2 The budget development process, as overseen by the Chief Operating Officer is as follows:

  • The University's funding priorities for the Budget are determined in the context of the objectives of the University's Strategic and Operational Plans.
  • Targets for student load and research income are prepared for the triennium in consultation with the University Executive and discretionary revenue calculated for the budget based on the agreed targets and known Commonwealth funding parameters.
  • Additional revenue is allocated or reserved, based on the financial initiatives set by the Vice-Chancellor and President.
  • Expenditure is calculated using previous expenditure limits, any required improvement in the operating surplus, Enterprise Bargaining and other indexation costs, increased strategic funding and other growth/cost pressures.
  • Senior Staff update their action plans with budget packs updates undertaken by Financial Services on the basis of agreed budget parameters.
  • The University Budget is finalised.

11.3 The University's Budget is a "collegiate" and priority-based model. It is not formulaic and the decisions taken on resource allocation should be transparent to all Departments and Schools.

11.4 The University Budget is reviewed by the University Executive, endorsed by the Vice-Chancellor and President and then recommended by the Planning and Resources Committee for approval by Council.

12. Individual staff performance and development plans

12.1 Staff performance and development plans should be designed to contribute to achievement of the Strategic Plan, relevant Top Level Plans, the Operational Plan and the action plan pertaining to the organisational unit within which a staff member is deployed.

12.2 Staff performance and development plans and achievement of those plans will be reviewed in accordance with the PPR Policy and procedures.

12.3 Aggregated and permanently de-identified data from staff members’ performance and development plans may be used by management and Human Resources to inform University planning, e.g. for the purposes of planning staff development programs.

13. Records management

13.1 Effective systems will be in place for record-keeping and records management in relation to plans, their implementation, monitoring reports, review, and any revisions or amendments. All records must be captured by all staff, at every stage of this activity, and should provide reliable and accurate evidence of business decisions and actions. All records must be captured in an approved records management system (i.e. RecFind, Objective ECM or TechOne) in accordance with the University’s Information and Records Management – Procedures.

END

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