Policy Framework - Governing Policy

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Policy Framework - Governing Policy


Approval authority
Responsible officer
Vice-Chancellor and President
Designated officer
Vice-Chancellor and President
First approved
22 October 2013
Last amended
21 February 2019
Effective start date
21 February 2019
Review date
21 February 2024
Related documents
Delegations Framework - Governing Policy
Governance Framework - Governing Policy
Policy Framework - Procedures
Related legislation / standards
University of the Sunshine Coast Act 1998
Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Act 2011
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1. Purpose of policy

This policy is intended to set a broad framework for development of policy and related procedures within the University and to enunciate principles for consistency in the management of policy and procedures throughout their lifecycle.

2. Policy scope and application

This policy applies to all staff and members of University decision-making and advisory bodies.

3. Definitions

Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for Policies and Procedures. Terms and definitions identified below are specific to this policy and are critical to its effectiveness:


  • Consequential amendment is made to bring a policy into conformity with a University committee resolution or legal requirement.
  • Minor amendment is editorial in nature and does not change the substance of a policy.

Approval authority is the committee or position with authority (or delegated authority) to approve a policy or procedure within this Policy Framework.

Designated Officer is the most senior officer responsible for operationalising the policy and/or procedures. The Designated Officer has delegated responsibilities to develop and implement the policy and/or procedures on behalf of the Responsible Officer. Specific responsibilities are listed in full in Table 5.1, Policy Framework – Procedures.

Responsible Officer is the most senior officer with whom the policy matter most clearly resides. The Responsible Officer has overarching responsibility for the policy and related procedures and is accountable for the implementation and compliance of the policy. Specific responsibilities are listed in full in Table 5.1, Policy Framework – Procedures.

4. Policy Framework

The University Council and its Executive are empowered by the University of the Sunshine Coast Act 1998 to regulate the University’s activities.

The Policy Framework is guided by the principles set out in the Governance Framework – Governing Policy. The Policy Framework comprises of a standard model of concise high level policies and related detailed procedures.


4.1 Principles for policy

(a) A policy is a statement of principles or position that is intended to direct decision-making and operations that supports the achievement of the University’s vision and objectives. Policies have a long-term focus and are applied across the University as a whole. They form the foundation of the University’s governance processes and the basis of the quality system.

(b) Policies support the achievement of quality outcomes and reduce institutional risk by establishing standards and internal controls. The principles outlined in policy are shaped by:

  • the legislation and regulations that govern the University
  • national standards and community expectations
  • the values and vision the University articulates in its strategic plan.

(c) Policy should be relevant, transparent in its intent and meaning and developed in consultation with the University community and key stakeholders. They should comply with the requirements set out in the Policy Framework.

(d) The University processes for drafting, approval, implementation and review of policy and procedures are outlined in the Policy Framework – Procedures.

(e) The latest approved version of all University policies and procedures will be stored and managed through the Policy Repository. The Policy Repository is considered the authority source for the University’s policies and procedures.

(f) Policy is to be reviewed at least every five years.

4.2 Principles for procedures

(a) Procedures address processes and actions aligned with the policy principles. They outline the operational steps required to implement policy.

(b) Procedures will:

  • provide clear instructions on the way policy will be implemented
  • step through the actions required to implement policy principles
  • assign responsibilities
  • enable monitoring of policy implementation

(c) Procedures are to be reviewed every five years. Early review may occur where there are requirements to align procedures with:

  • amendment to policy
  • changes in operational needs

(d) Procedures may be further supported by guidelines and internal local documents. Guidelines provide advice which assist in the establishment and implementation of effective practices to achieve quality outcomes. Guidelines provide a more specific level of operational details where clarity of processes in procedures is required. Local documents apply within a work unit, such as a school or administrative area.

4.3 Policy categories

There are three categories of policy within the Policy Framework:

(a) Governing Policy

Governing policy pertains to strategic positioning, risk management, fiduciary responsibility, legislative and common law compliance. It gives effect to statutory or regulatory requirements, and relates to the processes of decision making and the controls and behaviours that support effective accountability and performance outcomes.

(b) Academic Policy

Academic policy relates to the core academic business of the University and covers matters of learning, teaching and research. This includes but not exclusively admissions; assessment; course and program approvals; discontinuation of courses and programs and student academic misconduct.

(c) Managerial Policy

Managerial policy relates to policy designed to support strategic intent and articulates both operational imperatives and outlines principles for administrative activities.

5. Approval authorities

The following authorities are delegated under this policy:

Category Approval Authority to approve new policy/procedures and to approve amendments Approval Authority to approve consequential amendments and minor amendments
Governing Policy Council Vice-Chancellor and President
Academic Policy Academic Board Chairperson, Academic Board
Managerial Policy Vice-Chancellor and President Vice-Chancellor and President
Procedures (all categories) Responsible Officer (unless otherwise determined when first approved)   Responsible Officer (unless otherwise determined when first approved)  


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