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C9_Policy document

What is a policy?
Policy documents: content and structure
Format

Policy refers to principles, basic ideas or guidelines in conducting


any kind of activity;
Policies are found in businesses, governance, organizations of all
kinds;

What is a
policy?

They help the organization to make best decisions, to reach its goals
or to function properly;
Policies are implemented through procedures or a protocol of
procedures;
All activities and actions will, then, be conducted within the
boundaries set by the policy.

Policies can be addressed to decision makers to help them fulfil


their leading role;
Policies can be addressed to employees, all kinds of staff,
committee members, etc. to guide them in their activity in or
connected with the respective organization;

Who is it for?

Some policies must be observed (mandatory), others are only


guidelines (advisory);
Usually, failing to observe a mandatory policy has penalties;
The consequences of acting in contravention to an advisory policy
are different from those of acting in contravention to a mandatory
policy.

Policy
document

Policies are made widely-available to all stakeholders in an


organization via a policy document;
The policy document can be short, describing the main guiding
principles or it can be a lengthy document (even a booklet)
containing detailed information on principles, responsibilities, the
procedure to implement these principles and many other details.

There are many kinds of policy documents, adapted to suit the


profile and objectives of the organization that issued them;
All, however, contain information on:

Policy
document:
content

Title and purpose of the policy;


Effective and revised dates;
Authority governing the policy;
Scope of policy;
Responsible party;
Definitions of terms or unusual concepts used in the document;
Policy statement;
Policy content;
Non-compliance with the policy;
[Procedures necessary to comply with the policy.]

The title captures the main idea of the policy;

Title and
purpose of
policy
document

The purpose is a concise statement of the rationale for the policy,


including sometimes reference to other regulations, further policy
discussion, etc.

e.g.
Policy Title: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence,
Domestic Violence, and Stalking

Purpose: This policy details the Universitys commitment to providing


a learning, working and living environment free from sex and genderbased discrimination, harassment, and violence.
Boise State University Policy # 1065

Effective and
revised dates

This states when a policy document becomes effective - the date/s of the next/previous revisions:
Eg.
Effective from

17 February 2014

Review Date

28 February 2017

Authority
governing the
policy

Contains reference to other regulations, policies, laws, etc. on


whose content the policy has been conceived;

E.g.
Idaho SBOE Administrative Rules IDAPA 08.01.08
Idaho Code 23-105

Explains to who or to what the policy applies, who needs to follow it


or who is the primary audience.
e.g.
Applies to alcohol on university owned or controlled property. (Boise
University, USA)

Scope of policy

This policy applies to every person who undertakes or participates in


University of Adelaide related activities, uses University of Adelaide
facilities and/or are employed or engaged by the University or
affiliated with the University in any capacity. This includes but is not
limited to employees, title holders, volunteers, students, visitors or
third parties engaged by the University under a contract of service or
a contract for service and/or any person engaged on any basis by a
controlled entity. Residential Colleges affiliated with the University
are also encouraged to develop, implement and monitor alcohol
policies consistent with this policy that reflect the specific needs of
their communities. (The University of Adelaide, Australia)

Responsible
party

This section states what unit, department, etc. is responsible for


applying or enforcing the policy (individual names are not
mentioned).
e.g
Office of the President, 426-1491
Office of the Vice President for Campus Operations, 426-1233

A policy document often contains a list of definitions of terms used


or concepts to which the policy makes reference.
e.g.
Alcohol Compliance Officer means the person holding the position
of Manager, Campus Services.

Definitions of
terms

Alcohol Management Committee means a committee formed by


the University under the direction of the Director, Infrastructure.
Harassment A form of discrimination consisting of unwanted
conduct that is so severe, pervasive, or persistent that it creates an
intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment that would cause a
reasonable person substantial emotional distress and undermine
the ability to work, study, learn, or participate in regular life
activities or in the activities of the University, and actually does
cause the harassed person(s) these difficulties. Harassing conduct
may be verbal, written, visual, electronic or physical in nature.

This is a section where the underlying principles of the policy are


detailed and reference is often made to the mission and core values
of the organization.
It could be expressed in 1-2 sentences or in paragraph/-s.
e.g.

Policy
statement

Boise State University is committed to maintaining a working and learning


environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, and violence and
in which all Members of the University Community are treated with dignity
and respect. The University strives to create an environment that supports,
encourages and rewards career and educational advancement on the basis
of ability and performance. Accordingly, Boise State prohibits, to the extent
permitted by applicable law, discrimination on the basis of sex, gender,
sexual orientation, and pregnancy; sexual misconduct, domestic and dating
abuse and violence, and stalking. (policy on discrimination and harassment)
North Carolina State University commits to sustainability as a core value to
be integrated into institutional processes, administration, teaching, research
and innovation, outreach and engagement, and campus operations. North
Carolina State University will grow the intellectual and academic scope of
the university while using fewer resources. (policy on sustainability)

These are the elements of conduct, the guidelines, principles, etc.


which should be observed;
Clear and concise sentences in a formal style;

Policy content

Often, passive voice is used;


They can be arranged in a bulleted list;
Verbs such as must, should, require, recommend are often
used.

The policy content covers information such as:


In what situation(s) does this policy not apply? (limitations)

Policy content

What are the major conditions or restrictions?


What is expected of the employee or student?
Are there exclusions or special situations?

e.g.

Policy content

The University prohibits certain items from being brought onto


University property. Those prohibited items include: all types of
firearms, switchblade knives, knives with a blade length of more
than 3 inches, explosives and any other object carried for the
purpose of injuring or intimidating. (policy of preventing violence)

E.g.

Policy content

Graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) whose first language is not


English must demonstrate competency in spoken English prior to
assuming classroom teaching duties. Competency is established
through a minimum passing score (50) on the Speaking Proficiency
English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) administered and scored by the
English Language Institute (ELI) or on the Test of Spoken English
(TSE). (policy on English language requirements)

e.g.

Policy content

1)

Employees are allowed to associate themselves with the


company when posting but they must clearly brand their online
posts as personal and purely their own. The company should
not be held liable for any repercussions the employees content
may generate.

2)

Content pertaining to sensitive company information


(particularly those found within Adidas internal networks)
should not be shared to the outside online community.
Divulging information like the companys design plans, internal
operations and legal matters are prohibited.

3)

Proper copyright and reference laws should be observed by


employees when posting online.

(Adidas Social Media Policy, retrieved from: http://blog.hirerabbit.com/5-terrific-examples-of-company-socialmedia-policies/)

e.g.

I. Filing an SMS (Suspected Missing Student) Report


Anyone who suspects that a student is missing shall immediately
inform Campus Security and Police Services at 208-426-6911 who
will forward the report to Housing and Residence Life if the student
lives on campus.

Policy content

II. Who Will Investigate an SMS Report


Campus Security and Police Services will investigate each SMS
report and if they determine the student is missing they will notify
local law enforcement within 24 hours of the determination.
Campus Security and Police Services does not have to wait a full
twenty-four (24) hours after receiving an SMS report to notify local
law enforcement.
(Policy on missing students, retrieved from: https://policy.boisestate.edu/campus-security-and-safety/missingstudents/)

A statement on what happens in case the intended audience does


not comply with the policy;
Penalties are specified or measures are described.
e.g.

Noncompliance
with the policy

Interim actions include, but are not limited to:


a. immediate suspension from the University;
b. loss of privileges which may include restrictions from a specific
area of campus or to a specific area of campus;
c. hold being placed upon a students registration and records;
d. suspension or revocation of university-issued identification card;
e. class or housing adjustments; (Boise University)

e.g.

Noncompliance
with the policy

Sanctions
Violations of university policies, including the failure to avoid a
prohibited activity or disclose a conflict of interest in timely manner,
will be dealt with in accordance with applicable university policies
and procedures, which may include disciplinary actions up to and
including termination from the university.
(http://policies.iu.edu/policies/categories/academic-faculty-students/university-student-services-systems/USSS01-code-conduct-student-loan.shtml)

e.g.

Noncompliance
with the policy

Any person found committing any offence upon the University lands,
and who refuses, when required to do so, to give his or her name and
place of abode, may be apprehended by a University representative
upon or in relation to which the offence was committed, and
delivered to the custody of the nearest constable to be taken
before a Magistrate or an authorised officer within the meaning
of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 to be dealt with according to
law.
(policy on campus access)

Violations of this policy shall be regarded as University disciplinary


violations, which may (at the discretion of NC State) be adjudicated
at the University level in addition to being adjudicated in the court
system.
(policy on alcohol in the campus)