Frequently Asked Questions
What is the role of the Council Secretariat with respect to delegations?
The Council Secretariat is the “librarian” of the delegations / authorities database. For example, we:
- provide some general guidance on the delegations process (eg via these FAQs);
- submit requested changes to delegations to the relevant authorising person (eg the Vice-Chancellor) for approval; and
- upload new and updated delegations to the database after they have received final approval.
Similar to a “librarian”, we do not provide advice on the scope of a particular delegation, either in the relevant policy or authorisation. The relevant Policy Custodian or authorising person is responsible for the scope of a particular delegation.
What is a delegation or an authority?
How do I find my (or someone else’s) delegations?
You can search this by your position (eg Council Secretary, Head of School, etc). Go to the delegations webpage and click the “Position” button under “Authority Register”.
An A-Z list will open when the “Position” button is clicked. Navigate to your position in the list and click on it. The delegations for your position will be displayed.
Can I also search by the type or category of delegation (eg financial delegation)?
I’ve read the delegation, and the relevant policy/authorisation and had a question on the delegation. Who do I contact?
My position does not appear on the A-Z list. Why don’t I have any delegations?
Particular positions are listed in the Authorities Register only where there are delegations that are unique to that position.
Some authorities are listed under more generic position descriptions where they are be exercised by a number of office holders in a certain category, such as “Branch Head”. Consult the consolidated list of positions at the level of Branch Head or above to identify the category (called “Delegation Title” in the list) to which your position belongs. If your position belongs to one of these categories then navigate to the Delegation Title in the A-Z list and click on it. The delegations for positions in that category will be displayed.
What is the difference between the various position categories such as “Branch Head” or “Corporate Manager”?
The categorisation of positions in the list of positions at the level of Branch Head or above is determined by the Human Resources Branch based on the differing levels of responsibility of the various positions. The list is approved by the Vice-Chancellor.
How can I get a delegation or amend an existing delegation?
See the webpage on Procedures for Additions, Amendments and Deletions of Authorities | University Governance (adelaide.edu.au) which contains a link to the Request for Authority Approval Form. If you consider that you require a delegation which you do not currently have, then your division head (DVC, COO or Executive Dean) must apply to the Vice-Chancellor on your behalf.
Does it matter whether a delegation is covered or not covered by a policy?
Yes, as that affects how you can amend that delegation. Before submitting an application for changes to delegations, you must determine whether:
- the delegation already exists in a policy and you simply would like to be listed as an additional delegate;
- the delegation does not exist in a policy, however, there is a policy covering the subject matter concerned which contains similar delegations;
- the delegation that you are seeking is unique and is not covered by a policy; or
- the delegation already exists but has been approved by the Vice-Chancellor via an authority form and is not contained in a policy.
For 1) and 2), the policy will need to be amended. You will need to speak to the relevant policy custodian. If agreed, the policy custodian will need to submit a revised policy to the Vice-Chancellor seeking approval of the revision to the policy and the granting of the delegation.
In the case of policies approved by Council, please consult the Council Secretariat. For further information regarding changes to delegations contained in policies, visit the Policy Directory webpage which contains a list of FAQs.
For c) and d), your division head must apply on your behalf using the “Request for Authority Approval Form”.
Where do I find information about Financial Expenditure Delegations and Approvals?
Information on financial (expenditure) delegation can be found on the Finance webpage, Financial Expenditure Delegation & Approvals | Finance (adelaide.edu.au) and includes links to apply for financial delegation and to view the list of financial delegates.
I’ve got a delegation or an authority to make a decision, but is there anything else I need to know in exercising that delegation?
I think we have too many delegations and/or they are too complex – what can I do?
Most delegations are covered within the relevant policy or the Enterprise Agreement. Each policy is regularly reviewed (at least every 3 years, and sometimes more frequently) by the Policy Custodian and the Responsible Policy Officer. You are welcome to provide feedback on any policy both during the consultation stage, and also after a policy has been introduced. For example, you may have a suggestion on how part of a particular policy can be simplified. Each policy will have contact details for queries and feedback at the end of the policy. Also, you may contact the responsible officer listed there.
Part A: general
What is the role of the Council Secretariat with respect to policies?
The Council Secretariat is the “librarian” of the policies database. For example, we:
- provide some general guidance on the policy process (eg via these FAQs);
- publish draft policies for consultation, and forward any feedback to the policy working group;
- submit finalised policies to the relevant authorising person (eg the Vice-Chancellor) for approval; and
- upload new and updated policies to the database after they have received final approval.
Similar to a “librarian”, we do not provide advice on the content of policies, either in the policy development stage or in regard to policy implementation. The Policy Custodian or author is responsible for the policy content.
Part B: for users of policies
How do I find a policy on a particular matter?
Go to the Policy Directory and enter your search terms in the search textbox and click the “Search” button.
Alternatively, you may browse policies by type by clicking on one of the links below the search textbox.
Click the image to view a larger version.
In browsing by “type”, what is the difference between an academic, management and governance policies?
Academic policies relate to the academic business of the University, such as course development and planning or research management and compliance. Academic policies are normally endorsed by Academic Board before being formally approved by the Vice-Chancellor.
Management policies are those that underpin the University’s administrative and operational functions. Management policies are normally endorsed by the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive before being formally approved by the Vice-Chancellor.
Governance policies are those that underpin the framework of rules, relationships, systems and processes by which the University is directed, controlled and held to account and whereby authority is exercised and maintained. Governance policies are approved by Council unless otherwise delegated.
I’ve done a search and cannot find a relevant policy on a particular subject matter. What do I do?
It may be that there is simply no policy on that subject matter. Depending on the subject matter, you may wish to contact the relevant University area. For example:
- if the query relates to a research matter, you may wish to contact the DVC (Research) area;
- if it relates to a human resources matter, you may wish to contact the Human Resources area.
I’ve read the policy and had a question on the content. Who do I contact?
Each policy will have contact details for queries at the end of the policy. Also, you may contact the responsible officer listed there.
For minor administrative queries, please contact the Council Secretariat at: email@example.com.
I think we have too many policies and/or they are too complex – what can I do?
Each policy is regularly reviewed (at least every 3 years, and sometimes more frequently) by the Policy Custodian and the Responsible Policy Officer. You are welcome to provide feedback on any policy both during the consultation stage, and also after a policy has been introduced. For example, you may have a suggestion on how part of a particular policy can be simplified. Each policy will have contact details for queries and feedback at the end of the policy. Also, you may contact the responsible officer listed there.
How do I find any applicable procedures or forms that are prescribed by a policy?
Most policies are “stand alone” and do not require further procedures or forms. However, some are more complex and may need supporting procedures or forms.
After you’ve searched for a policy, and click on it, the relevant webpage for that policy will open. On that policy’s webpage, you can easily find any applicable procedures or forms by clicking the “Related Procedures, Forms” tab. in that policy’s webpage. For example, on the webpage for Financial Management Policy and Procedures, you can find the Corporate Credit Card Procedure.
Where do I find previous versions of a current policy?
After you’ve searched for a policy, and click on it, the relevant webpage for that policy will open. On that policy’s webpage, you can easily find any previous versions by clicking the “Related Procedures, Forms” tab, and the link to “Show previous versions”. For example, on the webpage for Financial Management Policy and Procedures, you can find the previous versions of the policy going back to 2014.
Part C: for authors of policies
How do I draft a new policy or significantly amend an existing policy?
In broad terms, the development of a policy goes through the following stages:
- Development of a Stage One Proposal
- Approval of a Stage One Proposal
- Policy Development
- Approval of a Policy
- Communication and Implementation
The Adelaide Policy Framework provides detailed guidance on the process of policy development and the drafting of policies.
Why is it called a Stage One Proposal? Is there a Stage Two?
Sorry for any potential confusion. There is only a Stage One, and the subsequent stages are simply the stages listed in FAQ above, "How do I draft a new policy or significantly amend an existing policy?".
Where can I find the templates to use?
How do I review/amend a policy or extend the expiry date?
Section 4.4 of the Adelaide Policy Framework explains how to review an existing policy. In short, significant changes will require development of a new Stage One Proposal, whereas minor edits can be dealt with by the Policy Custodian directly.
If there are no changes required, or additional time is required to undertake a review, the Policy Custodian should advise Council Secretarial accordingly. See example memo one.
If following policy review the Policy Custodian and/or the Policy Development working group find that only minor edits are required (ie, changes in titles, names, references, or other minor amendments and which do not otherwise affect the policy content and/or intent), the Policy Custodian should advise Council Secretarial accordingly. See example memo two.
How do I complete the authorities table?
What about consultation?
Once a policy is drafted it needs to be made available for comment by stakeholders. Section 4.3.4 of Adelaide Policy Framework lists who should be consulted, including the process to publish draft new policies or policy revisions via Staff News and how comments/feedback is collated and forwarded to the policy development working group by the Council Secretariat.
What is the difference between a procedure (or a form) and a policy?
A University policy consists of principles, procedures or both.
Policies contain Principles, are the standards or essential features which underpin decision-making and/or the way members of the University community conduct the activities of the University. Policies may also contain delegated authorities.
Procedures mandate operational activities and assign responsibilities. Procedures step through the practical actions required to support the implementation of Policy Principles, or to assist the University's operations and compliance with external requirements. Procedures may apply to a specific activity of the University or be of more general application.
Some policies combine the principles and procedures in one document, whereas others may contain an overarching policy document, setting out the principles and authorities, with numerous separate procedures. They key determinant is the length of the document and its “user friendliness”. For example, the Financial Management Policy contains some 14 specific procedural documents that underpin the principles of that policy. By having these as separate documents allows reads to quickly locate the procedure that they are looking for.
How do I add a procedure or form?
Procedures and forms are normally developed at the time that the policy is first drafted. However, procedures and forms may also be drafted or updated independently of the policy and only require the approval of the policy custodian.
Note: If the intent of the policy needs to be amended (i.e. a change to the policy principles) to accommodate a new procedure, then this will usually necessitate a full review of the policy, commencing with a Stage One Proposal. It may be prudent to contact the Council Secretariat for further advice.
What format should the policy be in for uploading to the Policy Directory?
Once all amendments have been made and the policy approved, a Word version should be provided to the Council Secretariat. It’s easiest if the policy Word documents are updated in Content Manager and the CM references are provided to Council Secretariat (to ensure the right version is used). Council Secretariat will convert the file to PDF and update to the website.
We need to amend the membership of the Working Group for a policy currently under development or review. Do I need to do anything officially to confirm the new membership?
The membership of the policy development working group is specified in section 4.1 of the Stage One proposal. The Stage One proposal is approved by the Vice-Chancellor and, consequently, any changes must be approved by the Policy Custodian and by the Vice-Chancellor.
To avoid having to seek approval for every change to the membership of the policy development working group, you should:
- Not use officers’ names
- If a specific person must be included in the membership, use their title and not their name
- Wherever possible, use generic terms such as “A nominee of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic)” or “A representative of Information Technology and Digital Services”.