Writing University Policy
These rules must be followed when developing new and revising existing policy and should be read in conjunction with the processes for policy development and review. A downloadable version (rtf 150kb) is also available. There are separate instructions for writing procedures.
A blank policy template can be downloaded to assist in developing and revising policy into the required format.
A downloadable manual (doc 519kb) giving detailed instructions for completing the customised Policy and Procedures CMS web templates is also available.
Except for the Research and Analysis phase which will not be reported in the Policy Bank, the headings below correspond to the mandatory fields in the online policy submission template. These fields can be completed in the online template by cutting-and-pasting from the template used to prepare the policy; to minimise problems when copying it is recommended that minimal formatting be applied and that the policy be saved as an rtf (not Word) file. Note that the formatting of some fields in the online template is mandatory.
Please also refer to the university’s editorial style guide.
Policy and procedures must be written in clear, concise, grammatical plain English. Aim to capture the essential features of the policy and its procedures as succinctly as possible.
Definitions of many key terms used in the university websites and publications can be found in the university Glossary. If you wish to recommend inclusion of additional terms in the glossary, please contact email@example.com.
Policy Template Fields
The title of the policy must not start with the words "The", "Monash", "University" or "Policy". Policies will be listed alphabetically within policy categories, and the first word of the policy should be informative to facilitate recognition when scanning the list. “Policy” or “Procedures” must be the last word of the title (e.g. Special Consideration Policy).
The title of the policy must use key descriptors that reflect accurately the policy domain. Where there are multiple descriptors, the title should begin with the broadest descriptor and then be refined with narrower terms following a colon; for example, Assessment: Alternative Arrangements Policy rather than Alternative Arrangements for Assessment.
Describe briefly (one or two sentences) the rationale for the policy, ie why the policy is needed. This must be based on the outcomes of the research and analysis phase of policy development (see below).
Supporting Research and Analysis
Note: this field is for documenting the process of policy development and review, but is not included in the on-line submission template.
Give a brief summary of the background research undertaken that supports the need for the policy (if new) or its revision or rescission (if existing). Research and analysis also aims to avoid duplication and inconsistency with legislation and other university policies. The summary and any relevant data may be listed in dot points under headings reflecting the following areas of investigation:
Scope of Application
List in separate lines:
This must be a concise, formal and mandatory statement of principle of no more than a short paragraph or two. Be careful not to get into a level of operational detail that belongs in the associated procedures. The principle of the policy must be capable of guiding decision-making in areas within the scope of the policy even if not explicitly mentioned in the policy or procedures.
Give the title of the procedures here, which must be identical to the title of the associated policy except ending in “Procedures” instead of “Policy” (eg Assessment: Alternative Arrangements Procedures).
List in separate lines:
Indicate whether policy is New, Revised, or Rescinded. This is a pull-down menu in the online submission template and these are the only choices available.
List on separate lines the senior positions or bodies of the university who:
Key stakeholders must include the offshore campuses, and may include students or members of the external community as well as university staff. Use position titles, not the name of individuals. For example:
On separate lines state each key word/abbreviation followed by a colon, followed by the definition (maximum 500 characters including spaces). For example:
Block Credit: Credit granted in the form of whole stages or semesters of a course.
In the online submission template, these will be entered in separate fields. Where possible, use the university glossary to list key terms and acronyms used in the policy, and their definitions.
Definitions must be statements that give the meaning of the term being defined. Be careful not to provide definitions which are inconsistent with ordinary dictionary definitions, and there is no need to define commonly-understood terms.
Use exact titles of Statutes or Regulations as recorded in university legislation and hyperlink to the relevant legislation.
Use exact policy titles as approved and recorded in the Policy Bank and hyperlink to the relevant policies.
List any additional supporting documents (guidelines etc) and hyperlink to the relevant documents if available on the web.
Unless otherwise determined by the Approval Body, the policy will become effective from the date it is approved. In the on-line submission template this is a calendar button.
Next Review Date
The default review date is normally three years from the date of policy approval, unless a later or earlier date is otherwise approved. In the on-line submission template this is a calendar button.
The Policy Owner must be referred to by position title, not the name of an individual staff member.
The Policy Author must be referred to by position title, not the name of an individual staff member.
The Contact Person should be the position assigned with the responsibility for responding to queries about policies and procedures in the relevant area/division. Divisions are encouraged to use a generic email address set up as a role account with a user name and password (eg firstname.lastname@example.org), not just an alias attached to an existing staff member’s account. That is, the address should be a physical address that exists in the Monash Staff Directory, not a virtual address.