University Policy on: Delegations

Policy No.
Strategic Management
Authoring Organisational Unit
Pre-Renewal - Office of the University Secretary
Date Approved
27/09/2005 Revised 07/02/2008
Next Review Date
Approving Body

The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Delegations

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

The purpose of this policy is to establish a framework for delegating authority within the University and to ensure that delegated authority is exercised by the most appropriate and well informed individuals. The policy is designed to facilitate efficiency and effectiveness and increase the accountability of staff for their performance. The policy applies to formal delegations where the individual to whom authority has been delegated can commit the University and/or incur liabilities on behalf of the University.


In this policy and any associated procedures,

delegation of authority means giving formal authority to an officer of the University to sign documents on behalf of the University and to commit the University and/or incur liabilities for the University

Policy statement:

1 General Principles

1.1 Delegations of authority are the mechanisms by which the University enables officers of the University to act on behalf of the University.

1.2 Delegations are a key element in effective and efficient governance and management of the University and provide formal authority to the officer concerned to commit the University and/or incur liabilities for the University.

1.3 Delegations of an informal nature, where there is no commitment or liability incurred on behalf of the University, are carried out in the normal business of the University without the requirement for a written authority.

1.4 Faculties, schools, centres and business units must align their delegations policies with this policy.

1.5 Delegations must be exercised within the framework of the University's Acts, Statutes, Regulations, Rules and Policies and any external legislative requirements.

1.6 Delegated authority must be exercised by the most appropriate and well- informed individuals.

1.7 Delegations reflect the University's organisational structure as set out in 'Organisational Structure of the University in Terms of Levels of Delegated Authority', which assigns bands of authority in relation to reporting lines within the University.

1.8 In addition to any authority delegated by University Statute, the members of the University's Executive have expressly delegated authority of the Vice-Chancellor.

1.9 Delegations are attached to the position occupied not to the occupant of the position.

1.10 The responsibilities of a position appear in a duty statement, role statement or statement of responsibility appropriate to the position.

1.11 Levels of authority are hierarchical through relevant lines of responsibility up to and including the Vice-Chancellor.

1.12 Given 1.11, formal authorities held by a delegate are included in those held by that delegate's supervisor or line manager, providing due account is taken of any requirements for professional qualifications.

1.13 A delegate who sub-delegates authority remains responsible and accountable for the decision or action or the sub-delegate.

2 Conflict of interest

2.1 A delegation cannot be exercised if the officer holding the delegated authority has a conflict of interest.

3 Variation or termination of delegation

3.1 The Vice-Chancellor may at any time vary or terminate any delegation, subject to any Statute governing the delegation.

3.2 Permanent changes to delegations relating to an individual business unit, either permissive or restrictive, require a written authority from the Vice-Chancellor, another member of the University's Executive or the Dean, as appropriate.

3.3 Any major variation to the Standard Schedule of Delegations must be approved by the Vice-Chancellor.

3.4 Sub-delegation on a temporary basis is appropriate in circumstances where the officer normally responsible is absent for a period of less than two weeks by reasons of authorised leave or secondment to other duties.

3.5 Sub-delegations require a written authority from the individual who holds the delegated authority, or a person in a position to approve the delegated authority.

4 Approval and amendment of delegations schedules

4.1 Delegation schedules that have been approved within the framework of this policy are accessible on the University's website in various formats.

4.2 The Standard Schedule of Delegations provides reports by function, position profile and administrative area.

4.3 A separate format, which may include variations to the Standard Schedule of Delegations, appears as the Business Unit Schedule with associated reports.

4.4 Approval of the Standard Schedule of Delegations, and the reports which derive from it, is given by the University's Executive.

4.5 After initial approval of the Standard Schedule of Delegations is given by the University's Executive, a member of the Executive , within their area of responsibility, judges whether a new or amended delegation is within the approved framework or whether it is outside the framework and therefore requires approval by the University's Executive.

4.6 The Business Unit Schedule is developed and maintained by the business unit concerned using only approved delegations from the Standard Schedule of Delegations and any permanent changes approved in accordance with 3.2.

4.7 Special care must be taken to retain currency of the delegations schedules when delegated authorities are redistributed, a position is reclassified or a business unit is restructured in ways that affect position profiles.

5 The Common Seal and Power of Attorney

5.1 Documents required to be signed under the Common Seal of the University are: certificates of degrees, diplomas or other qualifications granted or conferred by the Senate and Statutes made by the Senate.

5.2 The Senate from time to time approves other documents to be signed under the Common Seal.

5.3 The University requires instruments dealing with interests in land (for example transfers, leases, mortgages and caveats) to be signed under a Power of Attorney by two authorised members of the University's Executive or one member and the University Lawyer.

5.4 All documents signed under the Common Seal and executed under the Power of Attorney are registered in the Register of documents.

6 Monitoring for currency

6.1 Currency of the delegation schedules is monitored every three years, unless exceptional circumstances render an earlier review desirable.

6.2 Currency monitoring is carried out in the form of a report to the Delegations Steering Group to be sent by the head of the business unit in response to a request from the University Secretary.

6.3 The members of the Delegations Steering Group are:

the University Secretary

the Academic Secretary

the Director of Human Resources

the Director of Financial Services

the Director of Legal Services

a representative of the University Managers Group

Related forms: (Link)

TRIM File No:


Contact position:

University Secretary

Related Policies or legislation: