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Policy creation and update process

24 January 2024

We follow a standardised process to create and update UC Policy Library (UCPL) documents. From creating to reviewing policies, learn about our policy creation and update process.


UC Policy Library (UCPL) documents are created and updated following a standardised process. Commonly only the term "policy" is used to describe the documents involved in that process. However, a broad range of compliance documents fall within the term "policy" (see the Metapolicy). 


Creating a new policy


Wide consultation is required and approval must be sought from the Approval Authority

Developers are required to use the UCPL document template to create the new documents. The only exception to this is the development of new regulations which should follow the format displayed in the University of Canterbury CalendarGuidelines for Using the UC Document Template are available and the Policy Unit may also be contacted for assistance. An editable version of the UCPL document template can be obtained upon request from the Policy Unit. 


Policy development and review


Policy development and renewal follows a five-step process: Proposal, Development and Consultation, Approval, Dissemination, and Amendments and Review:

A new policy may be initiated after identifying that a need exists to address a gap or meet compliance standards. The Senior Policy Advisor should be consulted at this point.

All new policies must be created using the approved template - UCPL Document template (this is also available under the Templates and exemplars webpage).

An existing policy review will be initiated by the scheduled review date, but may also undergo a review prior to that date.

This step has several components:

  • The new or existing policy is developed by an individual or committee using the official UC template and guidelines and supported by the Policy Unit;
  • A draft is widely promulgated amongst relevant persons for comment/input;
  • A quality control checklist should be applied to a new policy draft (see Appendix A of the Metapolicy). The Senior Policy Advisor will assist with this check. For an existing policy, the Policy Unit will undertake a review.

Following a rigorous development and consultation stage (Step 2), the appropriate Approval Authority must take the policy to the Senior Management Team (SMT) for information, unless the Policy Unit direct otherwise.

The Approval Authority must formally approve a new policy, or a policy that has undergone a major review, in writing, prior to moving to Step 4.

Delegations for approval are identified in Appendix B of the Metapolicy.

The approved policy is then lodged with the Senior Policy Advisor, who is responsible for its deposit in the UC Policy Library and notification of its existence on this website.

The copy of the policy that exists in the UC Policy Library is the official University version and may be accessed on a read only basis by anyone viewing the site.

The Contact Person identified for each policy or procedure will be asked to identify an on-going review date. Normally, this will be three years but in some instances, it will be appropriate to review annually or biennially.

All reviews will be initiated by the Policy Unit three months (90 days) before the review date with an automated email to the Contact Person. Follow-ups will be made as necessary to ensure the policy or procedure is reviewed by the anniversary date.

The Policy Unit will provide any assistance required to facilitate the review and will undertake to publish the document including any new amendments as soon as practicable. 

Ad hoc reviews and amendments may also occur. It is the responsibility of the Contact Officer to ensure these are forwarded to the Senior Policy Advisor.

Find out more about a particular document


Any queries about a document should be referred to the Contact Officer identified in the header of the document. The Contact Officer is responsible for day-to-day administrative enquiries about each document. This person will also be the first contact during the review process and will have tasked responsibility for the document's validity.


Document templates


Templates are available to guide users through the document development process. See the template gallery.

Department, School and Service Unit policy developers or adminstrators can find guidance and a template to use on T4 under the UC Style guide  webpages. 


Need more information?


Read Intercom for helpful tips about reviewing and approving policies from the Policy Unit, or contact us. 

The Policy Unit can provide further advice and information

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