FAQ

FAQ

General
( Top )Who do I contact for further assistance?

Contact the VU Policy Manager for assistance using the VU Policy Library on +61 3 9919 4774.

( Top )Why aren't all the VU policies in here in full?

VU moved from an older PDF-based policy database system (the Central Policy Register) to the new dynamic, fully searchable Policy Library in September 2014. However, many VU polices are in a state of flux and are expected to change radically in the coming 6-12 months. To be as efficient as possible with time and resources, we decided to leave these old, soon-to-be-revised policies in their PDF forms, and they will be brought into the inline system as they are revised.

Every single one of VU's policies can be found here, though - it's just a matter of looking in the Associated Documents tab of the policy name if you encounter one of the "placeholders" on your travels! You'll be able to open the PDF normally from that tab, but you won't be able to use text searching on those policies.

( Top )Operational dates of policies

The Policy unit has received several queries regarding the operational date of policies that were transferred into the new Policy Library system in September 2014. As many users have noted, the Policy Library automatically appended the date the policies were added to the system as the “in effect” date, which is not an accurate reflection of when some of these older policies actually came into effect.
 
To provide better information to users, we have added the Operational date of these policies into the Status and Details text for each policy. You can find this text below the square panel on each page.
 
This issue will be resolved slowly over time, as more policies are remade and their correct effective date is applied by the system. In the interim, we trust this measure will help to provide greater clarity for policy users.

( Top )Where do I get a WORD version of a current Policy or Procedure?

The following steps will help you to create a WORD version of a policy or a procedure, so you can edit, review, or make notes.

  1. Open the relevant policy/procedure in the Policy Library.
  2. Select “Print” – which is situated far right on the light blue bar.
  3. Select “Print to Portable Document Format” – located in a green bordered box at the bottom of the screen.  This will create a pdf copy of the policy/procedure.

At this stage, depending on your software version, you may need to save the pdf to your computer before Step 4.

  1. In the pdf copy select “File”, then “Save As” the “Microsoft Word” – choose the word version and you will have your word copy ready to save to your drive.

Please note that if you are reviewing a policy or procedure, please let the Policy Unit know, to avoid duplication.

Student Support
( Top )What do I do if I want to make a complaint?

You refer to the Student Complaints Resolution Policy here.

( Top )What behavioural policies apply to my life as a student at VU?

As a student of VU, you are protected by, and expected to behave in accordance with, several key policies that relate to the behaviour of others and yourself.

Key items to be aware of  are:

The Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Prevention and Management Policy: VU does not tolerate unlawful discrimination or any form of sexual harassment. We want all our students, staff and visitors to feel safe, valued and supported here. This Policy outlines our expectations and commitments in this area.

The Bullying Prevention and Management Policy: Bullying is never acceptable at VU, whether perpetrated by staff or students. This Policy outlines our expectations and commitments in this area.

The Health, Safety and Wellbeing Policy: Your health and safety is of vital concern to the University. As a member of our community, we undertake to safeguard it as far as possible, and expect the active participation of all students and staff in this goal.

The IT Appropriate Use Policy: VU provides you with access to IT resources to support your study with us, and expects that you will understand, and abide by, the appropriate use conditions that we impose.

The Student Misconduct Regulations and Procedure: In the event that you or another student behave inappropriately, the Student Misconduct Regulations may be utilised to allow the University to respond. 

The Student Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy: VU expects that you will understand, and abide by, our rules around the use of alcohol and other drugs while on our premises or participating in activities as a VU student.

The Student Charter: The Charter sets out your rights and responsibilities as a VU student.

The Student Volunteering Policy: Many VU students engage in volunteer activities with the University, which is a wonderful way to enhance your studies with us and gain valuable experiences. This policy sets out our obligations to you as a volunteer, and your obligations to us when performing these roles.

Policy Development at VU
( Top )How is policy and related documentation structured at VU?

At VU we operate a document hierarchy which looks like this:

VU Act
Governance, Academic and Student Affairs Statute
Regulations
Policies
Procedures
Guidelines
Work Rules and Instructions
FAQs and Informational Material

As is the case in many documentation hierarchies, higher-level documents override lower-level ones. In the unlikely event of any inconsistency, the position expressed in the higher-level document will apply.

( Top )How are policies developed and approved at VU?

Policy development at VU is governed by the Policy Development Policy, which provides direction on:

  • How policies are developed;
  • Who is responsible for endorsing and approving policies of differing types; and
  • How policies are amended, edited or disestablished.

VU divides policies into three types:

1. Academic Policies, which covers policies about learning and teaching, some aspects of student administration, research, and academic employment. Academic policies are developed by the Policy Unit or the responsible business area, with subject matter expert support from other academic areas. All Academic policies are considered and endorsed by the Academic Board, and are approved for publication by the Vice Chancellor.

2. Governance Policies, which covers policies about the good governance of the University, including matters such as Delegations of Authority, Risk, Compliance, the operation of Council and Academic Board, Fraud prevention, Quality, Strategy and Planning, Protected Disclosures, and the handling of Gifts. Governance policies are developed by the Policy unit, under instructions from the Director of the Portfolio of the Vice Chancellor. All Governance policies are considered and endorsed by the Compliance, Audit and Risk Committee of Council, and are approved for publication by Council.

3.  Operational Policies, which covers policies about the general management of the University, its assets, and its community. (This includes Finance, Procurement, IT, Facilities, OHS, HR / Staff Management, and some aspects of student administration). Operational policies are developed by the Policy Unit or the responsible business area, with subject matter expert support from other areas. All Operational policies are considered and endorsed by the Senior Leadership Team, and are approved for publication by the Vice Chancellor.

All VU policies are subject to both stakeholder and University-wide consultation processes, so that the whole University community has the chance to contribute to the development of the policies that we commit to following.

New Templates (2017)
( Top )What has changed?

As of 22 May 2017 Victoria University has a new policy and procedure template.

The main differences between the old and new template are an enhanced emphasis on accountability and plain English.

Accountability Section

There is a new Accountability Section that includes an  Accountable Officer (previously known as the Policy Owner) and a Responsible Officer:

  • Accountable Officer – accountable for content, compliance and adherence;
  • Responsible Officer  responsible for operational implementation of policy or procedure.

Also included in the Accountability Section is ‘Key decision making powers under the policy (if applicable)’.  This should contain any key, final decision making powers.  It is intended to only capture very high-level and important decisions (e.g. those that could affect a person’s rights).  The delegation of these powers will be approved by the Vice-Chancellor during the policy approval process.  These powers may currently exist under procedures, but should be clearly set out in policy, if such powers exist. There may be more than one decision-making power in a policy.

Plain English

It is important that policies or procedures are written in plain English.  They are intended to be read by a broad audience and it is important that they can be easily understood by a person who may speak English as a second language. 

Please ensure your policy or procedure is written in clear language that has natural meaning.

Plain English Resources are available on the Policy intranet site.

Summary Section

Your policy and procedure need to be summarised in Plain English, in forty (40) words or less. Make sure you focus on what your policy or procedure is trying to achieve.

Definitions Section

All definitions of a general nature will be inserted in the Global Glossary. The word will appear under the ‘Definitions’ section of the policy or procedure and its meaning will appear in the Global Glossary. The definition will be easily accessible via a ‘float-over’ function with the computer mouse, as well as accessible via the Global Glossary.

Before defining your terms, please check there is not one already in the Global Glossary.

Some definitions that are specific to your policy or procedure but not appropriate for the Global Glossary, can be included in the Definitions Section, or defined in the body of the policy or procedure. Please speak to the Senior Policy Manager about this.

If using Plain English that has clear and natural meaning, the number of definitions required will be reduced.

Spelling out acronyms does not require listing in the Global Glossary and can be accommodated in the body of the document.

( Top )Why the change?

The changes are critical to Victoria University’s commitment to accountability.  The changes make it easier for policy and procedure users to know who is accountable for decision making across the University.

As a University that is committed to Opportunity and Success, to being an open and excellent choice for students of any background, it is crucial that we communicate in plain English to ensure policies and procedures can be read and understood by a broad audience.

( Top )Where do I find the new Templates?

The new templates can be found at – http://intranet.vu.edu.au/Policy/templates.asp.

There is no required Guideline template.  Accountable Officers can decide what is appropriate for their areas.