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Policy and procedure development and improvement cycle procedure

Version number 2.1 | Version effective 10 January 2022

Categories

PublishingPageContent
Policy and procedure development and improvement cycle procedure

Audience

Department-wide

Purpose

This procedure outlines the Department of Education’s (the department) approach to developing effective policies and procedures consistent with the Policy management framework development and improvement cycle.

Overview

Policies and procedures allow the department to articulate its functions, responsibilities and purpose, while also managing operational issues and risks. Policies and procedures explain what the department and its officers will do, how they will do it, and the overarching intent, imperative or direction informing those activities.

Responsibilities

Content authors

  • develop and review policies and procedures in line with the Policy management framework’s development and improvement cycle and the External consultation and publishing guideline (DoE employees only)
  • consult with all relevant stakeholders to ensure policies and procedures are fit for purpose
  • apply the Publication approval schedule process and nominated approver schedule to identify an appropriate approver
  • advise relevant stakeholders when policies and procedures have been published or decommissioned.

Consultation stakeholders (internal and external)

  • review policies and procedures circulated for consultation and provide feedback to content authors.

Policy and Procedure Register team (PPR team), Strategy and Performance 

  • provide advice and support to content authors and owners on the development and management of policies and procedures
  • manage the external stakeholder consultation process for all policies and procedures
  • ensure content meets publishing requirements and standards
  • undertake system administration activities and maintenance of departmental records for the PPR
  • monitor, review and provide management information and data to senior executives and content owners.

Deputy Directors-General (DDG), Chief Finance Officer (CFO) – as the content owner

  • ensure policies convey government intent and obligations, and procedures clearly outline the process and responsibilities required to support policy implementation
  • ensure policies and procedures remain current and accurate
  • review policies and procedures as scheduled or in response to changes in government priorities or other drivers
  • manage and approve policies, procedures and supporting documents, including decommissioning or transferring content
  • approve exemptions to external consultation and upcoming publishing requirements
  • nominate appropriate approver(s) for each new policy and procedure
  • refer policies and procedures to the Executive Management Board for endorsement when required.

Deputy Director-General (DDG), State Schools

  • approve exemptions to the external consultation and upcoming publishing requirements for policies and procedures related to state schooling.

Assistant Directors-General (ADG), Executive Directors or Directors – as nominated approvers

  • manage or approve policies and procedures assigned to them by the content owner
  • support content owners by ensuring policies and procedures are accurate and not overdue for review.

Executive Management Board (EMB)

  • endorse policies and procedures referred by content owners.

Process

Policy and procedure management follows the development and improvement cycle outlined in the Policy management framework. The Policy and procedure development and improvement process summary provides a high level outline of the steps below. The External consultation and publishing guideline (DoE employees only) provides additional information about policy and procedure development timeframes and processes.

Policy and procedure development and improvement cycle. Author, consult, approve, implement, manage.

Image 1 – Policy and procedure development and improvement cycle

1. Author

Identify if a new policy or procedure is required, or if an existing policy or procedure requires updating or decommissioning

  • The content owner or author identifies a new policy or procedure or a change to an existing policy or procedure is required in response to changes in government priorities or other drivers.
  • Prior to commencing, the content author considers the Policy management framework and determines the most appropriate policy instrument and policy hierarchy to meet their business objectives.

Content author develops new policy or procedure, or reviews existing policy or procedure

  • The content author drafts content in the approved policy or procedure template ensuring the following:
    • Master copy documents for existing policies, procedures and supporting documents are requested from the PPR team.
    • The policy or procedure clearly identifies all minimum mandatory requirements, who is responsible, and what activities need to be undertaken. Resources to guide drafting of content are available on the PPR OnePortal page (DoE employees only).
    • Requirements for human rights (DoE employees only), child safe organisations (DoE employees only) and students with disability (DoE employees only) are considered and addressed where required.
    • Content is drafted in plain English, meets publishing requirements, and addresses all items in the Policy and procedure quality assurance checklist (DoE employees only).

Content author identifies decommissioning or transfer of policy or procedure is required

  • If a policy or procedure has been identified for decommissioning, the content author prepares advice for the content owner to consider and approve decommissioning.
  • If a policy or procedure has been identified as requiring transfer of ownership, the content author prepares advice for both the transferring content owner and the receiving content owner to consider and approve.

2. Consult

Undertake stakeholder consultation

  • The content author ensures draft policies, procedures and supporting information is provided to all relevant internal and external stakeholders during the drafting process.

Internal consultation

  • Internal consultation is managed by the content author.
  • The content author provides draft content to the PPR team prior to content approvals for quality assurance, advice on aligning content to the Policy management framework, and review against publishing standards.
  • The PPR team reviews the policy or procedure and any supporting documents and returns feedback to the content author for consideration.

External consultation

  • External consultation during the development process is managed by the content author.
  • External consultation on the proposed final document is facilitated by the PPR team. Refer to the External consultation and publishing guideline (DoE employees only) for more information including timeframe considerations.
    • External consultation is required if the policy or procedure:
      • impacts state schools or school staff; and
      • is new, fully reviewed (unless only administrative updates are required) or has undergone major updates that impact stakeholders or staff. 
  • The content author must prepare the policy, procedure, any supporting documents and a summary of changes template (DoE employees only) for external consultation, and obtain Executive Director approval to release the documents.
  • If an exemption from external consultation is required, this must be approved by the content owner (DDG/CFO) and the DDG, State Schools Division.
  • For policies and procedures that are not related to state schooling, external consultation is still recommended.

Finalise draft

  • The content author incorporates relevant stakeholder and PPR feedback and finalises the draft policy or procedure and any supporting documents, or documentation for decommissioning.

3. Approve

Approve new or updated policy or procedure

  • The content author progresses the draft policy or procedure, any supporting documents and an updated summary of changes template (DoE employees only) for relevant approvals:
    • The content author should refer to the Publication approval schedule (which explains different types of changes) and nominated approvers schedule (CM 20/519237, DoE employees only, which shows who has been nominated to approve each type of change for a particular policy or procedure) to determine an appropriate approver. 
    • To obtain approvals, the content author can use the Deputy Director-General briefing note template (DoE employees only) or Exemption request briefing note template (DoE employees only), as appropriate.
    • The content author should seek clear decisions/approvals from the content owner or nominated approver about:
      • proposed actions for each document, including clear advice about whether documents are being updated, decommissioned or new documents are being introduced
      • nominated approvers for the policy or procedure, if content is new or a change to existing nominated approvers is recommended to the content owner
      • results of consultation and how feedback has been addressed, including consultation with the PPR team and other stakeholders
      • publishing timeframes, including whether the policy or procedure will first be published as an upcoming document before becoming effective at a later date, or if an exemption is needed because there is a critical need to publish the content as effective immediately.
        • Note that publishing as upcoming is the approved process for policies and procedures impacting state schools or school staff, unless an exemption is provided by the relevant content owner and the DDG State Schools Division.
        • Administrative updates or new or updated content that does not impact state schools or school staff can be published as effective without the need to first publish as upcoming, unless upcoming publishing is preferred by the content owner.
        • Refer to the External consultation and publishing guideline (DoE employees only) for more information about publishing timeframes.
  • The content owner or nominated approver will:
    • consider the approval request and determine whether to approve publication of the policy/procedure, supporting documents and the summary of changes template (DoE employees only), or
    • use their discretion to refer content to the Executive Management Board (EMB) for endorsement.
  • By approving content for publication on the PPR, the content owner or nominated approver is signifying that the content is accurate, and meets departmental requirements and standards.

Approve decommissioning or transfer of a policy or procedure

  • If a policy or procedure is no longer required, the content owner may approve its decommissioning and removal from the PPR
  • If a policy or procedure requires a change of ownership, the transferring content owner and receiving content owner must approve the transfer of the policy or procedure.

4. Implement

Publish or decommission policy or procedure 

  • The content author provides the approved policy or procedure, and any supporting documents to the PPR team for publishing or decommissioning on the PPR.
  • The PPR team ensures documents meet departmental publication standards and requirements (DoE employees only) and publish the content to the PPR as upcoming or effective as per approvals.
  • The PPR team maintains records of all PPR publications or decommissioning activities in the department’s record management system following the department’s Information asset and recordkeeping procedure.

Communicate policy or procedure to stakeholders

  • The content author should advise key stakeholders that the policy or procedure has been published or decommissioned.
  • The content author must advise the PPR team of the approved transfer of a policy or procedure so departmental records can be updated.

5. Manage

Monitor and review policies and procedures

  • Content owners must ensure their policies, procedures, and supporting documents are periodically reviewed using the development and improvement cycle:
    • Policies are to be reviewed at least every five years and procedures are to be reviewed at least every three years. Supporting documents should be reviewed at the same time as their overarching policy or procedure.
    • Reviews must be holistic and critically examine all content to ensure accuracy, relevance, clarity and reliability. Reviews should also seek and consider feedback from key stakeholders and end users.
    • The review date on the published policy or procedure can only be updated when a full review process has been undertaken (i.e. the content has been holistically reviewed for currency and quality, rather than ad hoc updates or corrections).
  • If a review finds a policy or procedure is no longer required, or should be owned by a different content owner, it can be decommissioned or transferred, respectively.
  • The PPR team provides reports to content owners and business areas to monitor their policies and procedures and help schedule and manage reviews.
  • Every three years, the PPR team will supply the nominated approvers schedule to each division to reconfirm content owner approval of nominations.

Definitions

Term

Definition

Content owner

The EMB member of a division (normally the DDG or CFO) is the content owner for all policies, procedures and supporting documents for that division. While the responsibility for updating and implementing policies and procedures may cover several divisions, there can only be one content owner to ensure end responsibility for policy management is clear.

Decommissioned policy or procedure

Where a policy or procedure is considered no longer applicable and will be removed from the Policy and Procedure Register.

Effective date

The date at which the document becomes in force. A reference to "published as effective" means that the document is in force as soon as it is published (as opposed to published as upcoming).

Nominated approver

The position that the content owner has nominated to approve changes to policies and procedures on their behalf as per the Publication approval schedule.

Policy

A policy:

  • provides government direction and purpose
  • establishes a clear and concise statement of the department’s intent, actions and requirements
  • may be applicable to whole-of-government or to the department.

Compliance with a policy is mandatory.

Policies must be drafted in the approved departmental policy template and published on the Policy and Procedure Register.

Procedure

A procedure:

  • provides the ‘how to’ and sets out processes to implement the policy
  • identifies responsibilities for individuals or business areas
  • cannot override or conflict with policies. 

Compliance with a procedure is mandatory.

Procedures must be drafted in the approved departmental procedure template and published on the Policy and Procedure Register.

Policy management framework

Outlines the department’s framework for developing, implementing, communicating, monitoring and reviewing policies and procedures.

Policy and Procedure Register (PPR)

The central source of truth for operational policies and procedures for the department. The PPR is publicly accessible at ppr.qed.qld.gov.au.

Supporting documents

Supporting documents provide advice and tools to support staff to comply with the department’s policies and procedures.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • guidelines, checklists, information sheets, frequently asked questions, forms, notices, sample legal agreements, and sample letters.

Upcoming

Policies and procedures may be published on the PPR as upcoming, which means the content will be accessible but not in force until the effective date. This process enables stakeholders to prepare for policy or procedure implementation before it is in force.

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

  • Nil

Other resources

Policy management

Related policies, procedures and frameworks

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

2.0 Policy and procedure development and improvement cycle procedure

1.0 Policy and procedure development and improvement cycle procedure

Review date

29 October 2023
Attribution CC BY

Policies and procedures in this group

  • Policy and procedure development and improvement cycle procedure (current page)
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