Division of the General Counsel, Governance and Compliance

Policies and guidance

It is important that when creating and updating policies across the University a clear and consistent approach is taken – as such, University Executive Group (UEG) have approved both a policy template and the new ‘Policy on Policies’ to sit alongside this template, in order to provide the necessary guidance for those responsible for policies.

The aim of this new policy is to make clear what a policy is and what policies should be used for, to differentiate between policies and guidance, and to outline the process that should be followed when creating, reviewing, and updating policies. An outline of where responsibilities lie in relation to policies is also included.

Copies of these documents are linked below:

Contact and Advice

The University’s Information Manager, Karen Blackman (part of the Information Management team in the Division of the General Counsel, Governance, and Compliance) is the University’s main point of contact for policies – please get in touch with her if you need any advice or guidance regarding the use of the template or application of the Policy on Policies.

Policy Tips

The Behavioural Insights Team, who work closely with government and organisations in relation to policymaking and improvement of public services, recently published a paper which highlights to some key points worth thinking about when creating, updating, and promoting policies and associated guidance, which support and align with the University’s Policy on Policies:

  • Simplify the message; avoid abstract terms
  • Make it as easy as possible for people to comply, to act, to engage; ensure required actions are clear and streamline processes
  • Draw attention to and demonstrate relevance clearly
  • Try to reach and target ‘decision makers’ where possible
  • Use a degree of formality to add weight
  • Point to examples of ‘desired behaviour’ rather than emphasising only the risk or consequence of not doing something
  • Use networks and social connections to enhance reach and effectiveness of policies / encourage people to engage
  • Use appropriate opportunities to promote policies and issue timely reminders to colleagues
  • When possible, use moments of change to introduce policies as ‘trigger points’ or periods of disruption or transition can make individuals more receptive to taking/seeking advice and implementing new processes

Policy Bank and Links to Existing Policies

Following the roll-out of this new policy, the Information Manager (Karen) will be working on completing an audit of policies across the University, reviewing them to ensure that they are up to date and accessible and that relevant guidance and processes are in place to support policies (also ensuring these are separated from the policies themselves).

This will culminate in the development of a central policy bank which links to all University policies as well as the inputting of policy review dates into the University’s corporate calendar. If you are responsible for policies in your area, please do get in touch with Karen to ensure that these are included in the policy audit and bank.

For the time being, some key existing policies are linked on the side menu here, and a number of new and updated policies completed using the Policy Template are linked below: