View Current

Policy Framework Policy

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this policy to the document author - refer to the Status and Details on the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Overview and Scope

(1) This policy defines the policy management framework that enables a standardised approach to the development, review and retirement of policy at the University of New England (UNE).

(2) Within this policy:

  1. Part A – states the UNE policy principles;
  2. Part B – outlines the UNE policy framework and authorities; and
  3. Part C – provides an overview of the policy lifecycle, key roles and responsibilities.

Part A - Principles and key requirements

Table 1 – Policy principles

UNE policies are:

Principle 1 – UNE policies promote equity and a culture of excellence through articulation and adherence to common standards, and are responsive to the environment in which the University operates.

• Principles based.
• Enablers of behaviours and practices aligned with the University objective and values, driving consistency and quality across University activities.
• Enablers of compliance with relevant legislation, regulations, standards and codes.
• Adaptive to the evolving needs of the University, reflecting processes that support efficient and effective operations and outcomes.
• Aligned with the strategic plan, relevant and transparent.

Principle 2 – UNE policies promote compliance and risk mitigation, through open assignment of key roles and responsibilities. 

• Open and transparent with assigned policy stewards and approvers.
• Accurate, relevant and maintained through regular policy reviews and reflecting process continuous improvement.
• Clear in the assignment of roles, responsibilities and delegations in each policy.
  1. Delegated authorities are also reflected in the    UNE Delegations Framework Rule.
  2. Accountability is assigned, supporting decision      making processes.

Principle 3 – UNE policy is accessible and usable.

• Accessible on the policy register webpage, categorised into thematic areas and searchable.
• Supports the way people carry out their functions and duties.
• Written concisely, in plain language using simple concept structures.
• Designed for ease of content navigation and meet accessibility standards.  
• Culturally appropriate and inclusive, support inclusion and diversity, and are equitable and fair.
• Implemented, published and communicated, to support updates and change to practice and assist users in the application of the policy

Part B - UNE Policy Framework 

(3) The UNE Policy Framework encompasses the hierarchy, authority, categorisation of policy, the policies and delegations register, the nomenclature and expectations in terms of UNE Representative compliance with requirements to enable effective and efficient governance and management of the University.

(4) The University’s Policy Framework is applied university‐wide, across all UNE locations and functions, including controlled entities (unless they are specifically exempted). 

(5) University Representatives should be aware that compliance with the Policy Framework is required unless an exemption approved by the Council or by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer or other authorised officer (authorisation of exemption must be in writing by the Council or Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer) is in place.

Policy hierarchy & authorities

(6) An outline of the policy hierarchy and associated authority is outlined in Table 2.

Table 2 – UNE policy hierarchy and authorities

Level Type UNE application and nomenclature Authority 
1 Legislation, Regulations, Standards and Codes Sets obligations or threshold standards which the University is expected to meet when performing its functions.
Local, State, Territory or Federal Governments.
Professional Associations
Statutory Authorities.
2 UNE Rule
These documents have the effect of a Rule as defined in the Act.  These policy instruments state the key principles and standards for decision‐making and the conduct of UNE operations or activities. Policies define roles, responsibilities and delegations.
Document naming conventions: Rule, Charter, Code.
UNE Rules may be made by:
• Council
and where Council has confirmed a delegated authority for individual functions, by:
• specified Council Committees; or
• Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer.
3 UNE Policy 
Supporting a Rule, these policy instruments provide further direction and guidance for the application of rules. 
Document naming conventions: Policy, Terms of Reference
UNE Policies may be made by:
• Council
and where Council has established a delegated authority then in relation to specific functions:
• the identified Council delegate (role or Committee of Council); 
• the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer or their delegate and where the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer has approved a Rule/confirmed a delegate for specific roles/responsibilities, then:
• the relevant VC&CEO or Management Committee; or
• the VC&CEO's delegate.
UNE Supporting Documents 
UNE Supporting Documents are associated information to enable implementation of policy into practice.
Note: Local operating procedures
Local protocols, work instructions or similar information maintained by an organisational unit may be developed to assist with the implementation and application of a policy if consistent with relevant documents in the policy framework.
UNE Supporting Documents may be made by
• Council (usually for Council related policy documents); or
• VC&CEO or delegate; or
• specified Policy Steward.
Local operating procedures:
• approved by the Policy Stewards or other position identified in the relevant policy.
• stored with associated meta data in the Policy Register.

Policy categories and themes

(7) Policies are assigned a category and a theme to enable reporting and to support understanding of related policy advice. Refer to Associated Information for categories and themes.

Policy and Delegations registers

(8) The UNE Policy Register ( is the centralised policy content management system for UNE. In support of UNE’s obligations under Government Information and Public Access (GIPA) Act, all UNE policies are be displayed in this register either as public or internal documents (the latter requires a UNE login to access). 

(9) The UNE Delegations Register ( tracks the authorities assigned in policies to roles or functions at UNE. It assists UNE Representatives to search and find details of their roles and responsibilities and those of others. 

Part C - Policy lifecycle

(10) The UNE Policy Lifecycle supports the effective management of policies at UNE. The Policy Lifecycle is outlined in Table 3 below.

Table 3 – Policy Lifecycle 

Lifecycle stage Objective Actions
1. Define and Scope
Define the need for the policy and identify the required controls and integration with the current and future compliance and operational environment.
All new policy proposals and proposed policy amendments must be notified to the Policies team via as soon as possible.
This stage involves consideration/review of policy category and thematic alignment.
2. Develop and Approve
The development and approval of a policy that meets the needs of the university and provides adequate compliance controls and authority.
Approve that a policy be rescinded or disestablished when it is replaced or no longer required.
This stage involves consideration of key stakeholders (Policy Steward, roles impacted by this policy, business system owners etc), alignment with strategy and values, delegation and consideration of risk.
Key stakeholders are consulted and contribute expertise, feedback and process information to inform policy development.
The Policies team guides policy development in a manner consistent with policy standards. Advice includes but is not limited to relationship with other policies, language, format, quality assurance, authorities and standards/compliance considerations.
Following development and consultation the policy is proposed for approval to the delegated authority.
A new policy version may be created when a policy is updated (historic versions are available), or a policy maybe expired or replaced by another policy when no longer required.
Policy rescission will be done at the request of the Approval Authority defined in the policy.
3.Implement and Use
Ensure the policy is accessible, current and effectively implemented.
Implementation will involve updating delegations register and review of related policies, supporting documents and/or systems procedures as well as any required change management, including communication and training;
Use of the policy may be supported by induction/training and by inclusion of links to relevant policies in related guides and information.
4. Review and Manage
Ensure the policy is fit‐for‐purpose and continues to meet the current and future needs of the university
UNE values the input of all UNE Representatives and students in the policy process – this may be provided at any time, and/or during formal consultation process via
Policy reviews seek to simplify and streamline UNE policy, to support University Representatives, students, and other policy users to meet policy requirements.
A policy’s review schedule and review criteria are defined in the Policy Register, and based on a matrix assessment of policy type, risk and complexity.
The Policy Steward is accountable for the completion of policies assessment and reviews prior to the review date using the standardised process. 
More information: available in associated documents and on the policy website
–  policy lifecycle diagram, templates and tools  
-  policy assurance standards and supporting guides

Help:  Comments or suggestions regarding policies or policy implementation can be made by using the Feedback option in the Policy Register at any time.

Roles and responsibilities 

(11) Key roles and responsibilities relating to policy at UNE are outlined in Table 4.

Table 4: Summary of key policy roles and responsibilities

Role / Function  Responsibility
Policy Approval Authority
Council & Committees
Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer
Responsible for policy approvals or endorsements as per delegated authority.
Responsible for monitoring the implementation of the policy framework to meet university needs and ensure consistency with the law, University strategy and values.
Policy Steward
The senior executive or senior manager assigned to a policy, is responsible for ensuring those policies and associated documents are:
• developed, approved and implemented in accordance with the policy framework; and
• current and accurately meet the university’s needs, consistent with the university strategy and values.
Director Governance and University Secretary
Accountable for the:
• review of the effective application of the policy framework and lifecycle;
• administrative changes to policy (reporting obligation regarding such changes); and
• oversight of the Policy Register.
Head Records Policy and Governance
Responsible for:
• defining policy quality standards and quality assurance;
• reporting to committees and management on progress of policy reviews, currency and development; and 
• defining the policy review criteria and timeframes.
Policy Team
Responsible for the:
• development and maintenance of tools, information and services to support policy users;
• effective implementation of the policy framework and lifecycle including quality assurance of policy and maintenance of the policy register; and
• supporting and advising Policy Stewards in meeting their policy obligations and responsibilities.
UNE Representatives and Students
Providing feedback on current and future policy and identifying opportunities for policy improvement.
Complying with university policy.
More information: Detailed Policy Lifecycle roles and responsibilities are defined in the associated documents and Policy website.
Top of Page

Section 2 - Authority and Compliance


(12) The UNE Council may make rules and policies consistent with the University of New England Act 1993 and may delegate authority to the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer committees or other officers of the University (as defined in the UNE Delegations Framework Guidelines and associated schedules) to approve the establishment, amendment and rescinding of a policy. 

(13) The Council, pursuant to Section 29 of the University of New England Act 1993, makes this University policy.

(14) The Policy Steward, the Director Governance and University Secretary, is authorised to make associated documents that are consistent with this policy.

(15) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this University policy, the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer may approve an exception to this policy where it is determined that the application of the policy would otherwise lead to an unfair, unreasonable or absurd outcome. Approvals by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer under this clause must be documented in writing and must state the reason for the exception.


(16) This policy operates as and from the Effective Date. The previous Policy Framework Procedures and any associated documents are replaced. They have no further operation from the Effective Date of this policy.

(17) UNE Representatives and students must observe this policy in relation to policy. Matters of non-compliance may be a breach of the Code of Conduct and may be addressed under the disciplinary provisions of the relevant Enterprise Agreement, Student Behavioural Misconduct Rules or HDR- Higher Degree Research Student Responsible Conduct of Research Conduct Policy.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Quality Assurance

(18) The implementation of this policy will be supported and measured by the quality assurance activities outlined in Table 5.

Table 5: Quality Assurance Mechanisms

QA Mechanism QA Activity / Reporting / Measure 
Annual Compliance Reporting Evaluation of the compliance with this policy and recommendations for improvement.
Policy Register UNE’s Policy Register is complete (all University policies are expressed via the register), maintained and up to date. Policies are reviewed and accessible to policy audiences. UNE policies will generally be available to all website users though some specific policies may require a staff or student login to access.
Policy Stewards and stakeholders Policy Stewards are supported in their roles and stakeholders have opportunity to provide feedback on the Policy Lifecycle and identify opportunities for continuous improvement.
Top of Page

Section 4 - Definitions (Policy Glossary/website)

(19) Compliance ‐ the University meeting its compliance obligations by adhering to the requirements of laws, industry and organisational standards and codes, principles of good governance and accepted community and ethical standards.

(20) Compliance Obligation — means the requirement defined in  specified by laws, regulations, codes or organisational standards.

(21) Compliance Requirements — means a requirement that the University has to comply with. This includes: laws and regulations; permits and licences; regulator guidance; court judgements; treaties and conventions; etc. Compliance Requirements are known as Compliance Drivers in the Compliance Register System.

(22) Managers ‐ A person responsible for controlling or administering a group of employees.

(23) Policy Document – “Policy” or “Policy Document” describes any document made by UNE Council, or Vice‐Chancellor & CEO, or delegate (as outlined in Clause 6 of the Policy Framework Policy)  direct the activities of the University as provided for in the UNE Act. Policies are published on the UNE Policy Register.

(24) Relevant Stakeholders — this means those parties immediately affected by the policy or compliance obligation.

(25) Policy Steward — means the University officer who has received delegated authority from the Vice‐Chancellor/Council for the development, implementation and review of policy established in the University's Policy Register.

(26) UNE Policy Framework ‐ The Policy framework outlines the University's principles and standards for its business practices. The framework and its components underpin and give authority to the decisions made by University Representatives on a day‐to‐day basis.

(27) Compliance risk ‐ The potential for financial loss or reputational damage if the University fails to be aware of and implement legislative or regulatory requirements that could impact operations, results in a breach of compliance, or through action or inaction gives rise to potential litigation against the organisation, its staff or students.

(28) Local protocol – operational‐level procedures or practices that apply within an organisational unit that must be consistent with all policy documents above them in the policy hierarchy.

(29) Approving Authority ‐ the Council, committee, responsible Executive member or responsible University officer with prescribed delegated authority to approve, amend or rescind a policy document.