Definitions - UC Policy Library - University of Canterbury - New Zealand
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Acts and laws approved by Parliament and enforceable by the government of the country.

e.g. Privacy Act 1993


The University's 'Policy on Policies'. Outlines the processes and responsibilities applicable to the University's institutional policies. The Metapolicy (PDF, 391KB) can be found via the search function in the UC Policy Library Home.


A policy is a University Council or delegated authority approved document regarding the University’s position and expectations in a particular area. It clearly communicates the University’s direction and ensures compliance with University goals, values, strategies and relevant statutory and regulatory regimes. A policy will consist of statements including (but not limited to) what the policy is about, why it is required, consequences of non-compliance, what department governs it and who is responsible for executing and enforcing it.

Policies will usual include Procedures and/or Guidelines as sub-headings.

e.g., Fraud Response Policy


A procedure is a standardised, step by step method of implementing the University’s goals, strategies and compliance with regulatory and statutory regimes, at a high level. Those procedures published on the UCPL are also University Council or delegated authority approved. Compliance is expected to avoid breach of policy. Procedures will identify what tasks are performed who performs what task, as well as when and at what standard they are to be performed.

e.g., Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) – Funding and Allocation Procedures


A guideline is a University Council or delegated authority approved “best practice” statement that supports the implementation of policy or procedure by identifying risk mitigation methods and/or methods to enhance efficiency, accuracy or productivity. If the guidelines are followed, the risk of acting outside of policy or procedures is substantially reduced. If guidelines are not followed, deviation should be explained as it could contribute to a breach of procedure or policy, or increase the risk of a breach.



Rules that determine:

  • the standards for each qualification offered by the University,
    e.g. General Course and Examination Regulation L: Theses
  • the formal expectations of the University with regard to other general matters pertaining to its function.
    e.g. Discipline Regulations

Regulations are approved by Council or a person or body holding delegated authority from Council, are mandatory, and failure to comply with them will normally result in penalties.

Note: other tertiary institutions may refer to 'regulations' as 'statutes'. The University of Canterbury rarely uses the term 'statute' but an exception are the Parking and Traffic Statute 2003 and Court of Convocation Statute.