Types of Document Explained
Policies deal with key areas of the University, and provide high level direction and guidance, establish key principles and responsibilities, set fundamental requirements and limits, and allocate responsibilities under the Strategic Plan.
A Policy is a concise, formal statement of principles which indicate how the University will act in a particular area of its operation. In short, policy provides members of the University with the approved way of operating in relation to a particular matter.
Approval would normally be by a formal mechanism such as the University Court, with the policy stored on Policy Zone.
Policies exist to enable the Strategy to be pursued, and because they are required by
- A regulatory agency, commission, or accrediting body
- Campus-wide decision concerning everyone’s obligations
Policies define what needs to be done to implement the Strategy.
Procedures define how a policy will be implemented. Procedures are specific, factual, succinct and to the point.
Procedures are used:
- As tools to help and inform people about how to accomplish their work within current systems
To help in decision-making, to ensure appropriate consistency, and to avoid wasteful re-invention
Guidelines define the recommended approach for conducting a specific activity. They normally provide operational detail, instructions and advice that facilitate the implementation of a procedure and policy.
Guidelines may also be used to encourage the adoption of practices and standards, and in this context they define what is considered to be best practice.
The Strategic Plan is the key document defining the priorities and targets for the University to achieve.
Plans describe the 'high-level' targets and help define the direction for the institution.
Plans are therefore less operational than the Policies, Procedures or Guidelines that sit below them to help achieve the targets set within the Plans.
Plans are often required by accrediting organisations to help the University to achieve certain statuses.