Governance

University Policies template and instructions

Further information

  • Policy Writers
  • Style checker for the html

This template and accompanying instructions will guide you through the process of compiling new University policies.

  1. Template
  2. Instructions
  3. Completing the sections of the Policy Template
  4. Approval and publishing

Template

Save the template to the preferred folder on your network drive.

 

Note: To ensure that you are using the most recent version of the template you must save the template each time you want to write a policy.

The template includes brief instructions on how to use it. You can use the show/hide button on your toolbar (this looks like a paragraph mark) to display or hide these. If clicking on this button does not work, make sure that reading layout is switched off. If the instructions are still not visible, go to Tools – Options – View – and untick “hidden text” before trying the show/hide button again.

Write the policy following the instructions in the template. A comprehensive set of instructions is also provided on this page.

Instructions

Downloading the template

Before using the template to prepare a policy, save the template to the preferred folder on your network drive. Saving the template in this way each time you wish to use it to ensures that you are using the most recent version. When the template is in your folder, double-click to open it.

Showing or hiding instructions in the template

The template contains instructions in hidden text. You can use the show/hide button on your toolbar (this looks like a paragraph mark) to hide or show the instructions in the template. If clicking on this button does not work, make sure that reading layout is switched off. If the instructions are still not visible, or you cannot switch them off, go to Tools – Options – View – and untick “hidden text” before trying again.

Including text in the template

To include your text in the appropriate sections of the template, except the "Definitions" section, place your cursor at the end of the relevant section heading or at the end of the relevant instructions and press “Enter” before beginning to type.

To include text in the "Definitions" section, place your cursor immediately under the heading before beginning to type. If you are pasting text from another document, save it first as "plain text" to ensure that you are not importing unwanted styles into the policy document. Copy the relevant text, place your cursor at the end of the relevant section heading in the template or at the end of the relevant instructions, press “Enter” and paste in your text.

Note: Do not type over the instructions in the template.

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Format styles

Format styles are embedded in the template. The styles available are in a drop-down list on your toolbar (normally indicated by a double ‘A’). If the styles are not showing, go to the Format menus on your toolbar and select Styles and Formatting.

Note: Do not add to or alter the styles.

It is recommended that styles be applied once the text of the document is complete. Apply a style by highlighting the relevant text and clicking on the appropriate style from the drop-down list.

Note: Normal, Policy style is automatically applied if you press “Enter” after a section heading or set of instructions in the template.

If you require a numbered heading style within the policy text, use Heading 4 from the drop-down styles menu. This will automatically apply a number to the heading and each time you use the Heading 4 style the next sequential number will also be applied automatically. Headings 1, 2 and 3 are the headings in the template document and are not available for use within the policy statement.

Styles 1.1 Style 1, 1.1.1 Style 2, and 1.1.1.1 Style 3 are available for the body of the text. To reduce complexity, it is recommended that numbering below the level of 1.1.1.1 be avoided. Bullet points can be used for lists if required. The list bullet style is available from the styles drop-down list on the toolbar.

As Styles 1.1, 1.1.1 and 1.1.1.1 have automatic numbering attached, each time you press a return a new number will be attached to the next paragraph. If you want to include a paragraph that will have the same indent as a given style, but do not want it to have a new number, apply the Body Text style that corresponds with the original style.

For example, if the style of the first paragraph is 1.1 Style 1 and you wish to include another paragraph under that style that does not have a new number but will have the same indent, use Body Text Style 1.

Note: Do not use tabs in your document.

Procedures must be in the Procedures style and must be identified in the document by including the word ‘Procedures’, in the Procedures style, above the relevant text.

It is the responsibility of the policy drafter to ensure that the format of the policy document is correct.

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Completing the sections of the Policy Template

University Policy on: Policy Name

This is the title of the policy. Overtype “Policy Name” with the name of the policy. This must convey specifically, accurately and succinctly what the policy addresses, for example 'Study Leave’.

Note: When choosing a name for the policy, bear in mind:

  • policies may be searched for by keyword in the policy title
  • the policy title may be displayed alphabetically in a comprehensive list of policies so the choice of first word in the title is important
  • the policy title must be meaningful in the wider University context

Purpose of policy and summary of issues it addresses

Format style

This must be in Normal, Policy style.

Content

Provide a brief summary of the reasons for the policy and issues it addresses. This section is designed to stand alone. The aim is to provide the reader with enough information to decide whether or not this is the policy they are looking for. It must not be longer than 200 words.

Example 1

This policy defines the nature and purpose of study leave provisions for academic staff and sets out eligibility criteria and other conditions that apply.

Example 2

This policy seeks to rationalise the award of honours across the University by addressing such issues as: entry standards, course content and structure, supervision, assessment, examination, grades, classifications, benchmarking and the maintenance and provision of documentation relating to these matters. It is based on resolutions of the Academic Board flowing from the 1999 report of the Honours Working Party.

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Definitions

Place your cursor immediately under the heading to obtain the Definitions style.

Policy statement

Format styles

Use the appropriate styles from the drop-down styles menu.

Content

The policy statement is the policy content. It must be written in clear, precise and direct language and bearing in mind the intended reader. Short sentences are preferable. Any specialist words or acronyms must be defined at the beginning of the statement.

Given the mandatory nature of policies, it is recommended that use of the word "should" to express obligation be avoided.

Note: If the policy includes procedural elements, these must be in the Procedures style and must be identified in the document by including the word ‘Procedures’, in the Procedures style, above the relevant text.

Administrative procedures have a different level of approval from policies. They are signed off by the relevant Director.

Related forms

Provide links to any forms associated with the policy (such as the Approved Leave form) and/or to information on online submission.

Note: Forms are a means through which policy is processed, not made. Forms must reflect policy and must not be used to create policy.

Policy Number

This is the TRIM record number (UPyy/xxx).

Note: This is not the TRIM file number.

If this is a new policy or it does not yet have a policy number, apply for a policy number by completing the New University Policy Number form after the policy is approved by the appropriate position or body and before it is submitted for storing in TRIM.

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Approving body or position

Give details of body or position with responsibility for approving the policy. This must be one of the following:

All policies should be submitted for approval with the University Policy Cover Sheet.

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Date original policy approved

Insert date of approval of the original version of the policy. If this information cannot readily be ascertained insert “as per file”.

Date this version of policy approved

When the policy document has been approved by the relevant body or position insert the date of approval.

Date policy to be reviewed

If the proposing body has not determined a date for review of the policy, a default date of 10 years from the date of the latest revision approval will apply. Enter the appropriate date.

Date this version of procedures approved

If the document contains procedures, include the date that these were last updated. Procedures are approved by the relevant Director.

TRIM File Number

Insert the appropriate TRIM file number. All policies must have a TRIM file on which policy development and other relevant information is stored.

Note: This is not the policy number.

If a TRIM file does not already exist for the policy, complete a New General File Form to have one created. Use the policy function as the keyword.

Contact position

State the title of the position that is to be contacted for any queries regarding the policy, such as the University Secretary. 

Note: Please ensure that the correct title is given.

Related policies or legislation

Provide details of, and, if appropriate, web links to, other policies, legislation or committee resolutions that relate to the subject of the policy, if known. If unsure what these might be, try one or more of the following:

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Approval and publishing

Step 1

Before you submit the policy for approval by the appropriate person or body, ensure that you complete the following:

  •   Switch off the instructions by clicking the hide/show button. (This looks like a paragraph mark on your toolbar.) Note: If clicking on this button does not hide the instructions, go to Tools – Options – View and untick "hidden text". 
  •   Check the content of the document for clarity and accuracy. Note: It may be useful to ask some who is not familiar with the content to read the document. 
Step 2

Submit the document to the relevant position or body for approval with the request that it be returned to you once approved.

Step 3

When the document has been approved:

  •   If the policy does not already have a University Policy number, apply for one by completing the New University Policy Number form and insert the number in the appropriate table box. 
  •   Complete the appropriate approval date box(es) at the bottom of the template and check that all other relevant boxes have been completed. 
Step 4

Save two versions of the policy document to a convenient location on your network drive. One should be saved as a Microsoft Word document. The other is to be saved in filtered html format by selecting File – Save As and choosing Web Page, Filtered from the drop-down list under the filename box.

Step 5

Apply the style checker to the html document as follows:

  • Go to the style checker.
  • Browse to find the policy document you have saved in Filtered HTML.
  • Hit "Submit" to bring up the preview of the converted document.
  • Hit download document if the preview is acceptable.

Check for errata and mis-processed characters.

Step 6

Once the document is correct, click on "Download Document" to download the document to the preferred folder on your network drive.

Step 7

The appropriate Director or delegate emails the Word version of the policy document and the version that has been through the process described in Steps 4, 5 and 6 to Information Governance Services.

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