About Policy Development and Review FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is responsible for a university policy and/or procedure?

A Responsible Office and Responsible Officer will be assigned to Board and Senate approved policies as part of the policy renewal project, if they are not clear in the existing policy already.  The responsibilities of Responsible Offices and Responsible Officers are detailed in Policy 1.1 - Policy on Establishing University Policies & Procedures and the Procedures for Policy 1.1 - Policy on Establishing University Policies & Procedures.  

By definition a responsible officer is, "the University Secretary or Vice-President who is designated to be responsible and accountable for the development, implementation, maintenance and review of a University Policy and related Procedures. More than one Responsible Officer may be designated for a particular University Policy or Procedures." A responsible office is, "a unit or division of the University that is responsible for developing and administering a University Policy and related Procedures under the direction of the Responsible Officer.  More than one Office of Accountability may be designated for a particular University Policy or Procedures."

What steps are involved in the development or revision of a university policy and/or procedure?

The development and review of a University Policy can include the following steps:

  1. Identify relevant legislation and policy;
  2. Collect and analyze pertinent information;
  3. Determine, in conjunction with the University Secretary, who ought to be consulted and conduct these consultations as appropriate;
  4. Draft a preliminary University policy, and associated Procedures where applicable, that meet the criteria set out herein and revise the draft as necessary during the consultation process;
  5. Submit the draft to the University Secretary, who will provide feedback to the individual or team carrying out the review;
  6. Make the draft available to the University community through the University Secretariat for comment, if appropriate; and
  7. Finalize the draft and submit the final draft to the Responsible Officer so that the Responsible Officer may recommend it for approval.

How often are policies reviewed?  How will I be notified if a policy is up for review?

University policies are to be reviewed every 5 (five) years, but may be reviewed sooner as needed.

How do I rescind a university policy and/or procedure?

According to the Procedure for Policy 1.1, a University Policy or Procedures may be rescinded at any time subject to approval of the Approval Authority (Policy) or Responsible Officer (Procedures).

What about lengthy policies that don't fit into the template?

Policy 1.1 - Policy on Establishing University Policies and Procedures notes that in the case of large and lengthy policies, they may be exempt from the formatting requirements and may reside on the web site of the originating department with links to the relevant section of the University Secretariat web site.

What is the difference between a policy, procedures and guidelines?

A University Policy is an official University directive that:

  • Provides guiding or governing principles to be followed in carrying out the activities of the University;
  • Establishes key requirements and responsibilities;
  • Helps ensure compliance with applicable laws, promotes operational efficiencies, advances the University's mission and/or reduces institutional risks;
  • Has broad application throughout the University and is binding on members of the University Community; and
  • Is approved by the Board of Governors or Senate. 

Procedures are a statement that:

  • Articulate the method by which a University Policy is carried out and must be consistent with the related University Policy; 
  • Identify roles and responsibilities; and 
  • Are approved by the Responsible Officer or Approving Authority.  

Guidelines are general statements that:

  • Are not mandatory and are a suggestion of best practice;
  • Can change frequently and are not subject to the requirements of this Policy 1.1 or Procedures for Policy 1.1.  

Why are the policies numbered?

Policies are numbered as a result of the functional classification system outlined in the Procedure for Policy 1.1.  The first number corresponds to the functional area (e.g., all 2.0 policies are Academic in nature), while the second number is arbitrary and differentiates individual policies from one another.  

I am responsible for an administratively-approved policy.  Can I use the template for Board- and Senate-approved policies?

Certainly! The Policy 1.1 and the accompanying Procedures for Policy 1.1 outline best practices in policy development and review. The Policy template is also available for members of the University community and can be adjusted depending on approval authority.

How do I obtain a copy of a University Policy or Procedure?

All University Policies are linked to the University Secretariat's List of University Policies.  By September 2018, all university policies will be made available in HTML format.

If you require further clarification or have a question not covered by the FAQs, please do not hesitate to contact the University Secretariat.