Policies Policy

Approval Date
16 May 2022
Next Review
16 May 2024
Te Kaihāpai
Baldrige Criteria

To provide a consistent approach to the development, approval, implementation, and review of all policies to ensure that they:

  • Meet Otago Polytechnic Limited’s (Ltd) administrative, quality, and compliance requirements.
  • Are practical and easy to understand and implement.
  • Are consistent with one another.
  • Are appropriately approved and reviewed.

Approved policies and procedures are always intended to comply and conform with the current Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA,) and other external agency legislation requirements and procedures.


Contact Authority: This is the senior staff member in whose portfolio of responsibilities the Policy matter most clearly resides. They have overarching responsibility for liaising with the Policies Committee and leading the development of the Policy and related Procedure/s and for ensuring the Policy and Procedure is/are approved, implemented, and reviewed as required under the Policy Framework.


Guidelines:  Guidelines embody the Otago Polytechnic Ltd's current view of appropriate processes or best practice. They are not necessarily set out in a step-by-step fashion, though they are sometimes associated with, and give effect to a Policy.  Compliance is expected in normal circumstances and any departure from a Guideline needs to be justifiable.


Legislation:  Statutes enacted by the New Zealand Parliament and Statutory Regulations made pursuant to those Statutes and enforced by law.


Major Amendments: A major amendment to a policy or procedure is a change to a current policy or procedure that is likely to affect or alter the effect, responsibility, meaning or intent of all or any part of the policy, procedure or related policies, stakeholders, aligned procedures or systems.


Minor Amendments: A minor amendment to a policy or procedure is a change to a current policy or procedure that is not substantive and that does not alter the effect, responsibility, meaning, or intent of all or any part of the policy or procedure. Examples of minor amendments include a position or title change; updating links; or adding new or amending existing supporting documents.


Policy Documents:  For the purposes of this Framework, refers to Policies, Procedures, or Guidelines.


Policies Committee: A group convened by the Te Kaihāpai that has responsibility for overseeing the Policy Framework, including guidance on best practice and the development of forms and procedures.


Policy Library:  The Otago Polytechnic Ltd searchable, online policy repository, containing the current versions of approved policy documents.


Policy Vault:  The Otago Polytechnic Ltd searchable, online policy repository, containing the expired and/or rescinded/updated versions of policy documents is available via the Otago Polytechnic Polices Committee Team site.  The Policy Master Database, available via Otago Polytechnic Policies Committee Team site, records current information and changes minor/major occurring during the life-cycle of each policy.


Procedure:  A Procedure sets out, often in a step-by-step manner, the way in which the Otago Polytechnic Ltd undertakes appropriate or best practice. Procedures sometimes elaborate on, and give effect to, a Statute, Regulation or Policy. Compliance is mandatory.


1.0 Principles

1.1         Policy documents govern Otago Polytechnic Ltd's practice and support the achievement of the Polytechnic’s mission, values, and objectives.  Policy documents also support the achievement of quality outcomes and reduce institutional risk and ensure legislative compliance.

1.2         Policy documents should address matters which are of Otago Polytechnic Ltd-wide significance. 

1.3         The latest approved versions of all Otago Polytechnic Ltd policy documents will be stored in the Policy Library on the Otago Polytechnic Ltd website.  Documents in the Policy Library shall be considered the authoritative source.

1.4         Policy documents must:

1.4.1 Have an Approver and Delegated Authority

1.4.2 Be consistent with legislation and other Otago Polytechnic Ltd policy documents

1.4.3 Be clearly written and non-ambiguous and presented in accordance with the formatting requirements specified in the Policy Drafting, Review, and Approval Guidelines.

1.5         Policy documents will be regularly reviewed.

1.6         All policy development and review will be managed by Policies Committee.

1.7         Policy documents should be developed and reviewed with an appropriate level of consultation and engagement with the Otago Polytechnic Ltd community.

1.8         The approval and review dates, the current version, Baldrige Criteria category, Section, and Responsibility will be used for version control and record retention and recorded on each published policy and within the Policy Master Database.


2.0   Membership of Policies Committee

2.1   Permanent members of the Policies Committee will comprise:

  • Chief Executive (ex. officio)
  • Te Kaihāpai
  • Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety
  • Deputy Chief Executive: Partnership and Equity
  • Otago Polytechnic Internal Auditor/Policies Project Manager
  • Director: Academic Excellence
  • The permanent members can co-opt members from time to time to develop specific policies and/or undertake a specified role for a specified timeframe.


3.0         Types of Policy Documentation


Types of Otago Polytechnic (OP) Ltd Policy Documents



Approval Body



The Polytechnic's official position on matters; policies normally require or exclude a certain line of action.

OP Ltd Board, OP Ltd Board Chair (Board Policies only), or the Chief Executive.



Processes to achieve appropriate or best practice; Procedures may elaborate on, or give effect to, a Statute, Regulation, or Policy.

Relevant Deputy Chief Executives, Te Kaihāpai or the Chief Executive.


Guidelines/Standard Operating Procedures

The Polytechnic's current view of best practice; guidelines may elaborate on or give effect to, a Statute or Policy.

Relevant Deputy Chief Executive/s, Te Kaihāpai or the Chief Executive.

Mandatory in normal circumstances; variations must be justifiable.

Other strategic documents

Plans, strategies, strategic frameworks, delegation schedules, etc.




4.0            Approval of Policy Documents

4.1     All new or significantly amended policy documents will be circulated for staff via Otago Polytechnic Ltd intranet (Tūhono), Union, or other relevant party consultation as appropriate before being sent for formal approval. 

4.2     All new or significantly amended policy documents must be endorsed by the Policies Committee and the responsible senior staff member prior to being sent for formal approval.

4.3     All new or significantly amended policy documents must include a consultation, implementation, and communications plan.

4.4     Policy documents must be approved by the appropriate approval body:


Approval Bodies

Subject matter

Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines

Consultation body


OP Ltd Board Chair (Board Policies only), OP Ltd Board.

OP Ltd Board


Chief Executive

Academic Committee and Te Kāhui Manukura.

   All staff where applicable.


Chief Executive.

Te Kāhui Manukura, Unions, Staff Sub-committee.

   All staff where applicable.


4.5     A senior staff member may not approve any policy document for which they are responsible.

4.6         When a policy document is approved, it will state the date the policy is effective from.

4.7         Following approval, the Implementation and Communication Plan shall be activated, and the Policy Library updated (normally at the time when the policy document takes effect).


5.0      Amendment of Policy Documents

5.1         New Policy* and Major Amendments: (refer to Definitions (above) and Appendix 1. flowchart for procedure). Unless the policy review or development is urgent, new policies, and reviewed policies with major amendments will be submitted for consultation for a four (4) week period with appropriate stakeholder groups, this includes but is not limited to staff and learners, Unions, Academic Committee, and Te Kāhui Manukura members.

*Excludes Board policies.

5.2         Minor Amendments: (refer to Definitions (above) and Appendix 1. flowchart for procedure). The Policies Committee has the delegated authority from the Chief Executive to make minor changes to policy in areas where there is no substantive change to the intent of the policy. This may include improving clarity of wording, updating referral documents/legislative references where these do not impact on the policy itself, and updating headers, footers, and attached appendices and flowcharts. Procedures can be amended at any time to maintain currency in terms of accepted good practice.

5.3     Access to Policies: All policies will be published on the Otago Polytechnic Ltd website. The online version of a policy is deemed to be the current version of the policy.

5.4      Te Kāhui Manukura and Academic Committee will be provided with regular updates on the progress of all policies.

5.5     All staff will be notified of new or amended entries as they occur via Tūhono.

5.6     A database of all policies and their status, i.e., current, recently changed, under review, being developed, or proposed, plus all minor and major changes will be maintained.

5.7   All changes regardless of major or minor shall be recorded against the Policy Master Database.


6.0         Review of Policy Documents

6.1         Policy documents are to be reviewed biennially, unless otherwise stated, from the date they first take effect. However:

6.1.1 An alternative review cycle may be approved as part of the overall approval of a policy document.

6.1.2 Where major amendments (or other significant revisions) are required outside of the standard timeframe, the Policies Committee in conjunction with the responsible senior staff member may conduct a full review.

6.1.3 The Policies Committee may approve the deferral of a scheduled review at the request of the Deputy Chief Executive, who must provide a case for the deferral and first gain the endorsement of the Chief Executive, or Otago Polytechnic Ltd Board Chair, Otago Polytechnic Ltd Board.

6.2         The Policies Committee is responsible for alerting the respective senior staff member responsible for initiating and coordinating reviews, consulting relevant parties as appropriate, and considering:

6.2.1 Whether the policy document is still required.

6.2.2 Whether the policy document is achieving its intended purpose.

6.2.3 Whether content is current, accurate, and well understood.

6.2.4 Whether the policy document could be improved.

6.3         The outcome of the review shall be communicated to the Policies Committee, who may approve or endorse recommended amendments.

6.4         Where it is recommended that a policy document is no longer required, the Policies Committee may:

6.4.1 Recommend for approval of the deletion, that an Otago Polytechnic Ltd-level policy document on the relevant matter is no longer required and that appropriate consultation has taken place. Note:  Academic policies should be sent to the Academic Committee for approval to rescind.

6.4.2 Reject the deletion of the policy document.

6.4.3 Refer the matter to the Chief Executive for a final decision.


Approved by: 

Dr. Megan Gibbons

Chief Executive


Date:    16 May 2022megan gibbons signature


Policy Version: V5; Previously Coded MP0105.