How do I create a policy?

Developing a University-wide policy can be a daunting activity, so it helps to break it down into steps. The Policy Standards Office offers these five steps to development success:

Consultation

You've already decided a UAPPOL policy is needed. Before you go any further, you should make sure nobody gets left out of the development process. Many University policies and procedures have shared ownership, where authority for a particular issue overlaps (for example, a policy having to do with using a University vehicle touches on the vehicle pool as well as the risk management office).

During the consultation phase you will identify and consult with all potential stakeholders. You will advise them of the policy issue you are working on and, as appropriate, invite them to share in development. 

Make sure you talk with the Policy Development Office during this early consultation phase. We can save you from headaches that may develop further down the road. 

Development

This is where the bulk of your work happens. For this step you will rely on the Policy Development Plan Outline , which will guide you through development.

Development includes researching legislation and current practices, studying various alternatives, and evaluating the implications of the policy to the University. University Governance, working with the Policy Standards Office, can give advice about the implications of the policy, as well as guidance on the approval path.

In this step you will come to a consensus among stakeholders of what the policy should say, and you will write  a draft of the policy itself.

Vetting

You will vet the completed draft of the policy with a cross-section of people and groups who will be affected by it.

The scope of the policy will determine how widely you vet it. If a policy simply captures the current practice related to a small policy issue, you might choose to vet it with a few other offices. If the policy represents a whole new approach to an important issue, you will vet it more widely – potentially to several University committees, various administrative units, select “users,” and the staff or student associations.

The vetting process helps identify possible unforeseen effects of the policy and allows you to make improvements before you seek approval.

Approvals

The main bodies for approving policy at the University are the Board of Governors and General Faculties Council. They have delegated much of this authority to a number of other offices and committees. You will need to know which office or committee has the authority to approve your policy. Luckily, thanks to advice from University Governance, you have already planned for this step. 

Communication

It’s up to you to draw people’s attention to your new policy when it’s first created.

How you communicate this information depends on the scope of the policy. It might be as simple as posting the news on your unit’s website or it might require a full scale communication effort involving email, University media such as Folio, and live presentations to various groups.