UCR Policies and Procedures

Printer Friendly Version

Campus Policy Number:       100-90
Campus Policy Title:             Guidelines for Writing and Publishing Content for UCR Policy & Procedures Website
Policy Owner:                         Office of Compliance

Review Date:                            08/31/2018
Effective Date:                         05/01/2015


A.     Introduction
The UCR Policy & Procedures website, Policy King, is maintained by the Office of Compliance. The focus of the website is on campus administrative policies and procedures.

These policies and procedures establish local campus implementation procedures for University of California system-wide policies and/or state or federal laws. Whenever appropriate, links are provided to these related sources of policy and authority.
B.     Roles and Responsibilities
Members of the Campus Community:

Campus staff and faculty are responsible for identifying the institutional need for campus policy and procedural guideline information that addresses accountability, resourcefulness, effectiveness and efficiency in meeting the University's teaching, research, and public service obligations.

Policy Owner:

An administrative department is assigned a policy owner role for each of the policies in the UCR Policy & Procedures website. The policy owner responsibility rests with the respective department head who is responsible for:
o    drafting new policies or revisions to policies;
o    coordinating campus review and approval of the policy or revisions;
o    coordinating policy publishing with the UCR P&P website coordinator;
o    notifying the campus via Scot Mail and portal announcements of new or revised policies;
o    administering the policy; and
o    monitoring the policy and simplify, eliminate, or clarify, as needed.
UCR P&P Website Coordinator:

The UCR P&P Website Coordinator, in the Office of Compliance (827-8246 or ucrpolicy@ucr.edu), is responsible for: 
o    Assisting policy owners with researching, formulating, developing, implementing, and enhancing campus business and financial policies in the UCR P&P website.
o    Serving as editor/publisher of the UCR P&P website.
    o    Reviewing proposed policies for agreement with existing policies, consistent formatting, and understandability.
o    Working with information technology service providers to enhance and maintain the UCR P&P website.
o    Serving as a business and finance policy consulting resource to at-large campus community.
C.    Approval and Publishing

Campus administrative policies and procedures must be approved by appropriate campus administrators prior to issuance or publication. The policy owners consult with their respective Vice Chancellor or Dean to determine the appropriate process to vet the draft campus policy and secure appropriate approvals. The Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor approves policies requiring participation and cooperation of multiple coordinating points or organizational units across campus.
D.    Writing Policies and Procedures
1.     Policies

A policy establishes the framework for what will or will not be done on the UCR campus. Policy statements reflect the "rules" governing the implementation of campus processes.  

Policy statements should include:
§ References(including policy memos and delegations of authority)
§ What will or will not be done
§ Why the policy has been established, if appropriate
§ Who is responsible for implementing it
2.     Procedural Guidelines

Procedural guidelines reflect current operational models or standards for completing routine and exceptional business tasks. Unlike policy statements, guidelines should include the level of detail necessary for users, the persons who must follow the procedure, to complete the task properly. Procedural guidelines evolve over time as new tools emerge, new processes are designed, and the risks associated with a campus process changes in response to internal or external environmental changes.

Procedural guidelines should include:
·         References (including policy statements, memos, and delegations of authority)
·         Definition of the task to be accomplished
·         Statement of specifically required steps or authorizations
·         Roles and responsibilities (including key internal control steps)
·         Process example (how the task may be successfully completed)
·         Forms (or links to forms) and appropriately completed samples
·         Frequently Asked Questions
·         Exceptions process (if applicable)
·         Contact information and resources available for assistance
Review the “Format  Guide for a UCR Policy and Procedure Item” below.
3.     Language and Format
                                         a.  Plain English should be used that is clear, concise, and streamlined to convey a message without additional officious or redundant wording.
1)     Avoid gender-specific pronouns by making the pronoun and its antecedent plural or try rewording the sentence. Use "their" in place of "he/she."
2)     If an action is mandatory "must, or will" is used; whereas "shall" is avoided unless there is a legal requirement. If the action is recommended, then "should" is used. If the action is permissive, "may" is used.
3)     In most cases, the present tense is preferred.
                                        b.  References should include links to:
1)     External sources, such as state and federal codes and regulations.
2)     Relevant UC system wide policies, directives, or letters. (If not available on the web, some restatement may be necessary within an introductory statement.)
3)     Relevant Delegations and Redelegations of Authority
4)     Related UCR policies, procedures, and related documentation.
                                       c.  Introductory statements may be included, when appropriate, to:
1)     Clarify campus implementation of UC system wide policy
2)     State key components of UCR campus policy
3)     Summarize major aspects of UCR procedural guidelines
                                        d.  Uniform, standard outline format is used after the references and any introductory statement: 
                                        e.  Online reading behavior should be considered and an appropriate style used throughout the document.
1)     Use lists where possible. Indentations, bullets and the vertical arrangement of data aid reading sequential topics.
2)     Avoid long paragraphs. If the information can be placed in a visual element, like a table or graph, it may be more effectively communicated.
3)     Within the outline format, logically "chunk" information. Include important facts near the top of the first paragraph where users can find them quickly.
4)     Limit the amount of information under a heading to one screen size. This helps the user retain navigational control of the document.
5)     Use links for supplemental information.
6)     For lengthy documents, create a mini-menu at the top so the user is able to jump to a desired topic.
                                        f.  Follow the “Format Guide for a UCR Policy & Procedures Item” below.
F.     Format Guide for a UCR Policy and Procedure Item  

Campus Policy Number xxx-xx
Policy Topic:
Policy Owner:
Effective Date:
Discuss what is to be covered in the policy and procedure its scope and specific purpose(s) and goals for its development.
Provide related history or governmental information which would help the reader understand the genesis for this policy, its evolution, and its importance.

Provide references (with web site addresses)  to other related policies and procedures and delegations of authority.
Include definitions of important terms and links to where those items may be defined in other policies.
Provide clear statements which establish the rules of what will or will not be done on the UCR campus.  Discuss why the policy has been established and who is responsible for implementing it.
Provide guidelines defining the tasks, discussing what is to be accomplished and how it is to be done in a clear, concise, and logical manner. Include a chart listing roles and responsibilities, incorporating key internal controls responsibilities.
Provide samples of completed screens, or discuss an example situation applying the policy/procedure.
G.    FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions)

Provide a list of FAQ's with answers that help readers understand how to proceed and provide additional information to help with more complex issues.
H.    EXCEPTION PROCESS (if applicable)

Provide guidance on the process to follow to request an exception to policy. Provide relevant links to delegations of authority for approving exceptions.

Provide a path to the appropriate office for questions or comments.