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Queen's University

Policy Development Guide

Steps to Policy Development/Review:

  1. Determine the need for a policy:
    • Review existing, related policies that could be revised or expanded.
    • Consider contacting the University Secretariat to determine whether there is an existing policy and whether this process is necessary.
    • Review new or existing legislation, in particular the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) or a university obligation, eg, Collective Agreement that must be fulfilled.
    • Is there a need to manage significant risks? (safety, financial, reputational)
    • Is there a need to ensure coordination and consistency across departments or units?
    • Does this impact more than one unit/faculty/school?
  1. Discuss your intentions with your colleagues and others who may be stakeholders.

  2. Review any relevant legislation (e.g. OHRC and AODA etc.) and the Queen’s University collective agreements to ensure that the proposed policy is not in contravention of either. Consider the risks of the new policy (and the risks of not having a policy.) Feel free to consult with members of the University community such as the University Counsel, the University Secretariat, Human Resources, Human Rights and Equity Offices etc. for advice.

  3. Write the policy:
    • Use the template (PDF*, 79 KB)
    • Write in clear and concise statements.
    • Use the active voice, rather than passive (words such as "Shall, Will").
    • "Definitions" section: No need to define terms that are commonly understood by all.
  1. Write the procedures (PDF*, 62 KB) - the steps by which the policy can be implemented. The Guidelines provide instructions that may explain how procedure or policy could be implemented in differing circumstances and assistance when the use of judgment is required for the application of a policy. Often they will establish a "best practice" for applying a policy and can assist in interpreting policy. 

  2. Set a review date. The default is five years.

  3. Share your draft with your key stakeholders and consider all feedback received.

  4. Complete a covering sheet and forward it and your draft policy & procedure to
  5. The Policy Advisory Sub-Committee will review the draft policy, consider the stakeholders that have been consulted, set an appropriate approval body and may make suggestions.

  6. You may be asked to attend meetings with the Policy Advisory Sub-Committee, or approval bodies such as the Vice-Principal’s Operations Committee (VPOC) to answer questions.

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