Policy Development

The University Secretariat, along with the members of the Policy Advisory Subcommittee (PASC) look forward to working with policy developers and engaged partners to create and modify policies that will ensure the best results for the Queen's community.  A number of tools have been developed to assist individuals writing and/or reviewing policy. The Secretariat is always interested in helping those engaged in these tasks. Please contact our office via policies@queensu.ca and we will be happy to work with you.  

Policy developers should also review the Policy on Creating, Reviewing and Administering University Policy for additional guidelines and resources.

Policy Development

Steps to follow:

  • This policy development flow chart (PDF document) outlines the steps you should follow as you develop your policy.  Note that while it may not be necessary to complete all aspects of this outline, the more comprehensive your review and consultation is, the better. 


  • Policy developers should also review the Consultation Guidelines for Policy Development (PDF document), which provides advice on how to engage in a meaningful way with the Queen's community. Consultation with relevant partners should take place before drafting or revising your policy, and the details of this process will be required as part of the documentation submitted to PASC. 

Policy Approval

Once you have completed the development process, you can start to seek approval

Steps to follow:

  • This policy approval flow chart (PDF document) outlines the stages of approval required, depending on the nature of your policy.  If you are not certain what is required for your policy/procedure, please consult with the Secretariat. 

Policy Documentation

The following documents may be required as part of your policy submission:

  • PASC Coversheet Template - Required for all new and revised policies being submitted to PASC for review.  Use this form to outline the rationale for the policy and how it will fulfill various requirements.  This must be signed by the Senior Administrative Officer responsible for the policy/procedure.
  • PASC Consultation Plan Template - Required for all new and revised policies being submitted to PASC for review.  Use this form to detail which community members you consulted with, whether you engaged with Subject Matter Experts, and how various units or individuals affected by this policy/procedure.  This must be signed by a member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). 
  • PASC Policy Template - Required for all new and revised policies being submitted to PASC for review. Use of this template ensures consistency for all users of Queen's policies.  As old policies are revised, please bring them up to date using this format. 
  • PASC Equity Impact Assessment Template- Required for all new and revised policies being submitted to PASC for review. Use this form to identify potential elements of systemic/institutional inequity against equity deserving groups within the policy along with mitigation strategies. 
  • PASC Procedure Template - Optional and to be used if your policy requires specific procedures to be followed. Not all policies will require a procedures document, while others may require more than one. 
  • PASC Guideline Template - Optional and to be used if you wish to provide guidance to users of your policy. Not all policies will require guidelines.  

Policy Development Guide - This guide, along with the Appendices below, presents general steps and ideas for policy development, which includes writing policy, procedures, and guidelines, conducting consultation and reviewing I-EDIAA considerations.

Appendix A: Guidelines for Policy Writing and Language

Appendix B: I-EDIAA Policy Guidelines

Appendix C: Consultation Guidelines for Policy Developers


  1. Why was the policy on Creating, Reviewing and Administering University Policy developed?
    Queen's University lacked a defined process for the development of policies with University-wide application.  This policy and its associated procedure and templates have brought consistency to the development and review of policies which have University-wide application to ensure that all appropriate partners are consulted, terms are clear, and policies are regularly reviewed to remain relevant and compliant with reporting and other requirements.

  2. Does this apply to every policy being developed or revised at the University?
    No.  This policy does not apply to regulations that are or will be communicated in academic calendars such as academic regulations, degree requirements, and regulations about admissions, fees, and financial aid, nor does it apply to university policies, procedures, guidelines or regulations that originate within the Senate, the Board of Trustees, Faculty Boards, Executive Councils of Schools, or their respective committees.

    Further, this policy does not apply to policies that have effect solely within one Faculty or School, or solely within the portfolio of one Vice-Principal.  University policies are policies that have application beyond the portfolio of one senior administrative officer.

  3. Can I use the templates to create a new policy if I am in one of the excluded groups mentioned above?
    Certainly! Although the framework does not compel the use of the templates or mandatory review of proposed policies by the Policy Advisory Subcommittee prior to approval, the entire university, including its governing bodies, are welcome to take advantage of the expertise on the Subcommittee and the best practices that will develop around policy drafting, consultation, and promulgation.

  4. Can I send my policy to PASC for review if I am in one of the excluded groups mentioned in question 2?
    Yes, the members of PASC come from a variety of areas within the university and can be useful in advising on a robust consultation process for policies being developed, revised, or reviewed within the university's governing bodies.  

  5. What is the difference between policy and procedure?
    A policy guides the operation of the university and is informed by the university's key principles and values. Generally, policies are enduring in nature and are approved at the most senior levels of the University.  Some policies can stand alone, but most often will be accompanied by associated procedures and/or guidelines.

    A procedure details the interrelated and sequential steps and/or actions individuals take to follow a university policy.  They steps/actions are mandatory and may be subject to routine changes based on operating practice.  Although procedures may be approved by the approval authority for a university policy, they are generally approved by the senior administrative officer responsible for that policy.

  6. Will the Policy Advisory Subcommittee write my policy?
    No.  Proponents of policies should provide drafts of proposed policies in the templates together with the coversheet for the assessment of the policy by the Subcommittee. Staff in the Office of the University Secretariat are more than happy to help guide you in your policy writing or to review drafts before they are submitted to the Subcommittee. 

  7. How does this framework affect policies that were developed several years ago?
    All policies currently in effect continue to be in force.  Over the course of time, units that post policies on their website will be asked to transfer their policies to the University's policy library so that an authoritative repository of policies with University-wide application can be developed.  Units will be welcome to hyperlink to the policies in the policy library.  This process will aid the community in quickly locating policies with University-wide application and will ensure version control.  All policies will be assigned a revision date, including existing policies.  When the revision date for policies is reached, the policy owner will be asked by the Secretariat to take the existing policy and place it into the new format and submit it to the subcommittee for review.  This activity will take place over a period of years so as not to be disruptive to units or cause undue administrative burden.

  8. Who do I contact for more information?

Rebecca Coupland, Interim University Secretary

Karen Logan, Governance Officer