Swinburne Policy Framework

Hierarchy of documents

All Swinburne policy documents are part of a structured hierarchy that governs University activities. The Governance Framework sets out the regulatory hierarchy and processes that ensure appropriate content, authority and consistency. Policy documents are divided into three broad categories:

Policies, regulations and statutes are university-wide instruments governing all administrative, operational and academic functions of the University. They must comply with all relevant legislation and are approved by appropriate delegated authority.

Procedures, guidelines and manuals are instructional documents that set out processes but do not impose obligations. They must be consistent with the statutes, regulations and policies that sit above them. They are approved by the relevant Senior Manager.

Work instructions are detailed instructional documents that set out processes at a localised unit level. They are approved and managed within each Management Unit.

Definition of documents

Policy University-wide Principle-based documents that give guidance to decision making and administration
Procedure May apply across departments Specific "how to" document that sets out processes and actions
Guideline May apply across departments Offers detail and context to assist staff in making decisions. It informs best practice in how a task might be undertaken.
Manual May apply across departments A comprehensive operational document that may contain procedures and guidelines
Work instruction Local application 
Specific task description for a localised audience or team, often in support of a procedure.

Management of documents

Policy Council
  • Coordinated by Governance and Assurance Unit
  • Created only where there is a justifiable need
  • Publicly available on this website
Senior Manager
  • Coordinated by the relevant Senior Manager
  • Created only where there is a justifiable need
  • Available via the Management Unit's website or wiki
  • Access may be restricted to staff only
  • Managed according to Swinburne's Information Management principles and any appropriate templates or guidelines
Management Unit
  • Coordinated by the relevant Manager
  • Format and location is guided by operational need of the localised audience
  • Access is usually restricted to staff only