Policy Approval

Step-by-Step Process

The policy on Development & Approval of University Policies requires the use of a template to provide for a standardized written format. In addition, the policy establishes an approval process for those who develop policy here at the University.

This approval process applies to University of Virginia academic and general faculty, classified staff, University Staff employees and/or students with policy issuance responsibilities. This Web site provides information on the steps that must be taken to promulgate new policy at the University of Virginia. Eventually, all policies will be linked from this Web site.

Policies developed for the University of Virginia Health System/Medical Center are not governed by this process. For policy information, please see the Health System Web site.

Instructions for Submitting a New Policy or a Revision

For consistency, a standardized format for policies has been adopted. When a need for a policy or a policy revision has been identified, a draft of the policy should be submitted in the template format to the Policy Manager via email. The Policy Manager will review the draft and coordinate submission of the draft with the initiator and appropriate Vice President.

Consider information in the Equity Minded Decision Guide when drafting a University policy.

If you are currently developing a policy, revising an existing policy, or considering doing so, please carefully review the following steps. Each step in the draft, revision, and approval process should be completed. If you have questions regarding this process, please contact Lynn Mitchell, University Policy Manager: (434) 924-4037, [email protected].

Steps in the Development and Approval of University Policies

Initiator Action

1. Identify Need

Contact Office or Oversight Executive (Responsible VP or equivalent officer), or other University member Identifies the need for a new policy or substantive policy revision in a specific functional area and brings to attention of Policy Review Committee (PRC) through the Policy Manager.

Contact Office, with assistance from the Policy Manager

Drafts an Impact Statement using the prescribed template and include the reason for the policy,the impact it will have on the University community, and identify stakeholders.

Discuss the Impact Statement with relevant stakeholders and the Oversight Executive and obtain preliminary approval from the President or their designee (for academic management policy) or EVP/COO (for administrative policy) to proceed to develop the draft.

Chair of the Policy Review Committee Inform the Policy Review Committee and offer opportunity for involvement in the Policy Development Group.
Note: If a non-substantive revision is proposed, the policy manager in consultation with the Chair of the PRC, will determine next steps in the process.

2. Policy Development

Policy Manager, SME/stakeholders as Policy Development Group

Identify subject matter experts (SMEs) from stakeholders and involve to draft policy in template format.

Obtain input from identified constituencies and revise draft as necessary.

3. Policy Review

Policy Manager, in consultation with the Contact Office Submit draft to the chair of the Policy Review Committee.
Policy Manager Upon approval from the chair, submit draft to PRC members for review within their areas.  Allow minimum 30 days for review (14 days for non-substantive policy revisions).
PRC Representatives Obtain feedback from constituencies and submit it to the Policy Manager.
Policy Manager, in consultation with the Contact Office Consider feedback and revise policy accordingly.

Chair of the Policy Review Committee

Convene PRC and discuss feedback received and subsequent revisions made during PRC policy review.

4. Policy Approval

Policy Manager, in consultation with the Contact Office

Modify draft policy based on PRC discussion, if necessary.

Policy Review Committee Consider policy for approval.
Policy Manager Submit PRC-approved policy to respective Oversight Executive for approval.
Chair of the Policy Review Committee Submit approved final policy to the President or their designee (for academic management policy) or the EVP/COO (for administrative policy).
Note: In urgent situations, interim policy is approved.

5. Policy Communication

Policy Manager

Publish the approved policy in the Policy Directory.

Notify the University Policy Network of the approved policy.

Contact Office with Chair of the PRC, if appropriate Impart additional policy communication, if necessary.

Contact Office

Provide training and education.



Contact Office: The functional office that is the owner of the policy and is responsible for University units' compliance with the policy. The Contact Office typically would administer and update the policy, provide training, and develop a plan for monitoring compliance and taking corrective action. The Contact Office is accountable for the accuracy of the subject matter.

Oversight Executive (Responsible VP or equivalent officer): The University officer to whom the Contact Office reports.

Policy Review Committee (PRC): A standing committee with representatives from major central administrative areas (typically the staff responsible for policy formulation) and policy users. Its charge is to evaluate draft policies (1) to address clarity and implementation issues; and (2) for contradiction or duplication with existing policies. (Composition of the PRC)

Policy Development Group: Formed for each new or substantially changed policy under development. It should consist of subject matter experts, representatives from affected units, PRC members who wish to participate, and, if the topic warrants it, a member from the Office of University Counsel.