Policies and Procedures
About this Guide
This guide contains information about writing and revising Utah Valley University policies. It, along with the policy template, provides a standardized format and writing style for institutional policies, which will (1) make policies more consistent from one to the next, (2) make policies easier for members of the campus community to read and understand, (3) make the process of writing and revising policies easier for those involved, and (4) produce better quality policies for the institution.
Policy Cover Sheet
This section of the guide provides direction on how tofill out to policy cover sheet.
The policy title is the primary means of identifying, locating,and referring to a policy.
Questions to consider when writing a policy title:
- Is the title descriptive enough to accurately reflect the main contents of the policy?
- Is the title easily understood by people not familiar witht he policy?
- Does it contain words that will be identified in keyword searches?/li>
STANDARD POLICY APPROVAL PROCESS
If the proposed policy is to go through the standard policy approval process, check the appropriate box for a new policy, revision of existing policy, or deletion of existing policy. If the policy proposal is a revision of existing policy or deletion of existing policy, put the current policy title and number on the blank line. (See Policy Governing Policies and Procedures, #101, for more information about the standard policy approval process.)
TEMPORARY EMERGENCY POLICY APPROVAL PROCESS
If the proposed policy is to go through the temporary emergency policy approval process, check the appropriate box for a new policy, revision of existing policy, or deletion of existing policy. If the policy proposal is a revision of existing policy or deletion of existing policy, put the current policy title and number on the blank line. (See Policy Governing Policies and Procedures, #101, for more information about the temporary emergency policy approval process.)
DRAFT NUMBER AND DATE
Put the draft number and date of the proposed policy. The draft number and date need to be updated every time a new version of the proposed policy is entered into the policy approval process. Note: during the policy approval process only one version may be out for review at a time so that all campus entities are working from the same draft (Policy Governing Policies and Procedures, #101).
PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL SPONSOR
Put the name and telephone number of the President's Council Sponsor. Note: only certain members of President's Council may sponsor a policy in the approval process (Policy Governing Policies and Procedures, #101).
Put the name and telephone number of the policy Steward.
POLICY PROGRSS STAGES AND DATES
Put the date into each required field for the stages of the policy approval process. Note: stage 5 is to be completed by the Policy Office.
This section of the guide provides direction on how to fill out the header of the policy template and write appropriate policy sections.
Enter the exact name for the proposed policy that is used on the cover sheet.
The Sponsor and Steward may recommend a policy number. Assignment of the official policy number will be done by the Policy Office in consultation with the Sponsor and Steward.
Enter the section of the policy manual where the proposed policy will be located (e.g., 100: Governance, Organization, and General Information).
The approval date is the date of approval by the Board of Trustees. This date will be entered by the Policy Office.
If the proposed policy is to have an effective date different from the approved date, enter the effective date. If no effective date is specified, the effective date will be the same as the approval date. Note: the effective date cannot be before the approval date.
This section provides the rationale for the policy. Questions to consider when writing the purpose section:
- Does it clearly state the objective(s) of the policy?
- Does it reflect the mission, values, and strategic directions of the institution?
- What applicable legal and regulatory mandates are being addressed by the policy?
- What conflicts or problems are being addressed by the policy?
- What financial, operational, technological needs are being addressed by the policy?
This section lists related laws, regulations, and policies. Questions to consider when writing the references section:
- Does it cite applicable authority (federal and state laws. Regent's policies, etc.)?
- What institutional policies should be read in conjunction with this policy?
- Are legal references cited with the full name of the law, volume number, page number, an year? Provided URL when available.
- Are institutional policy references cited with index number, full policy title, and URL?
This section defines the key terms of the policy. For consistency, when drafting a proposed policy, the Sponsor and/or Steward should check the institutional Glossary of Policy Terms for prior usages of specific terms and follow the meaning of the terms as defined in the Glossary of Policy terms wherever possible. Questions to consider when writing the definitions section:
Does it define new, uncommon, and/or specialized terms?
Does it define terms that can have different meanings in different contexts?
Does it list terms in alphabetical order?
Are terms italicized, followed by a colon, and defined with a complete sentence? (e.g. Term: The definition of the terms goes here.)
This section contains the statement of policy. The policy statement is the governing principle, plan, or understanding that guides the action. It states what we do, but not how. Questions to consider when writing the policy statement section:
Does it accomplish the purpose of the policy?
Does it clearly articulate what the policy is and what it is to accomplish?
What is the scope of the policy?
Does this section contain only policy (not procedures)?
Are the responsibilities for entities or individuals clearly stated?
Is the policy section consistent with the applicable laws, regulations, and policies listed in the reference section?
This section prescribes the means of implementing and complying with the policy. Procedures articulate how the policy will e implemented. Questions to consider when writing the procedure section:
Is it consistent with the policy statement section?
Does it contain the specific actions or steps needed to comply with the policy?
Does it contain implementation plans and dates for policies that require a phased implementation?
Are procedural requirements reasonable?
Does this section contain only procedures (not policy)?
Is the procedure section consistent with the applicable laws, regulations, and policies listed in the reference section?
Formatting Policy Documents
This section of the guide provides direction on how to format policies. All policy drafts are to be written in Microsoft Word and formatted to the specifications outlined below.
TURN OFF AUTOFORMATTING
Autoformatting must be deactivated when working on a policy for ease of editing and converting to other electronic formats. To deactivate the autoformattting feature in Microsoft Word, follow the steps below:
Open Microsoft Word
Go to "Tools"
Select "AutoCorrect Options"
Select the "AutoFormat As You Type" tab
Unclick everything under the 2nd ("Apply as you type") and 3rd ("Automatically as you type") headings
Select the "AutoFormat" tab
Unclick everything under "Apply"
Click on "OK"
For revisions to current policies, use strikethrough for deletions and underline for additons. In cases of extensive revisions where strikethrough and underline would be overly cumbersome, two separate documents are required. One document will be the proposed policy without revision marks. The other document will be the current policy with strikethrough throughoutthe entire document.
Do not use colored text or highlighting to indicate additions or deletions to the text of a proposed policy.
Do not use Microsoft Word "Track Changes" to indicate additons or deletions ot the text of a proposed policy.
FONTS, MARGINS, SPACING, ETC.
Use Times New Roman, 12pt font, bold for headings, Use Times New Roman, 12pt font for text.Use 1" margins on all sides.
Do not use the tab key or spacebar to align paragraphs or individual lines.
Set default tab stops to .5"
Use a single space after punctuation.
Paragraphs are to be left justified (i.e. left aligned with a ragged right edge.) Use single spacing for paragraphs. Paragraphs should be set for a .5: hanging indentation. There needs to be one blank line above and below every paragraph.
Use position titles (e.g,, Vice President for Academic Affairs) rather than names.
Acronyms should be used only after the full compound terms has been written out.
Use the following outline standards as appropriate for each policy. The section titles of the template are already in the gray horizontal bars.
|A. Alpha flush left. Text should be indented .25 from left
|1. Indent number .25 from left. Text should be indented .5 from left
|a. Indent small alpha .5 from left. Text should be indented .75 from left
|(1) Indent .75 from left. Text should be indented 1.0 from left
|(a) Indent 1.0 from left. Text should be indented 1.25 from left
Each paragraph is the document must begin with the appropriate outline level identifier.
Additional Tips for Policy Writing
This section of the guide provides direction on language usage standards in UVU policies.
Use terms that accurately convey the intention of the policy.
Be careful about using absolute terms (shall, must, will, all, etc.) versus conditional terms (could, may, some, etc.)
Do not put unreasonable obligations or duties on the institution or the members of the institution. For example, the institution cannot "insure" an environment free from sexual harassment.
Policies should be written in the third person.Questions
For questions not addressed in this guide, refer to the current edition of the Chicago Manual of Style or contact either the Policy Administrator, Dr. Cameron Martin, Assistant to the President for Development and Planning; (801) 863-8245, Cameron.Martin@uvu.edu or the Policy Facilitator, Nancy Bartlett, Director, Institutional Compliance and Policy Administration; (801)863-8156, Nancy.Bartlett@uvu.edu.