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Guidelines on the development of HR Policies

1.         Introduction     

The aim of these guidelines is to assist in clarifying the process involved in developing and reviewing Human Resources policies and to clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the process. The review and development of policies will be led by the Human Resources Division co-ordinated by the Organisational Development Section in partnership with the Head of the relevant work area in line with the five stages outlined below.


2.         Design and Development

2.1      Stage 1 - Identification

Throughout the year the Human Resources Division will provide the Human Resources Committee with updates on progress in relation to policy development and design.

Heads of School, Directors, Trade Unions and Staff Networks will be provided with a copy for information and a proposed timetable of activities (Appendix 1).

Policy Review/Development requests of the University from the Trades Unions will be raised through the appropriate agreed consultation mechanisms.

2.2       Stage 2 - Scoping

The Human Resources Management team will begin the scoping process by agreeing the tone, context and direction of the policy ensuring that the policy is compliant with the Human Resources strategy and the overall direction of the division. The Management team will identify an individual who will lead in the development, the Equality and Diversity impact assessment and the drafting of the policy. The Management team will also identify who should be involved in the scoping process.

For completely new policies this stage will be used to identify the concerns and opportunities presented by a new policy within the area. For existing policies the development process will begin with a review of the effectiveness of the existing policy.  (To ascertain all aspects of the existing policy and obtain ideas on how the policy may be improved in the future.)

The lead person will facilitate focus groups, which will be held with Human Resources staff that advise and administer the policy, Heads of School/School Managers who are responsible for managing the policy within Schools and Directorates, Trade Unions who have used/will use the policy. These focus groups may be supplemented by representatives from other Administrative Directorates as required and may be facilitated by the use of information technology. The scoping period will normally take up to 4 weeks.

2.3      Stage 3 - Drafting

Feedback from the focus groups will be considered by the Human Resources Management Team who will agree the framework for the policy and an initial draft developed.

At this stage, representatives from each of the focus groups will form a working group to review the draft policy. This will be facilitated through a series of meetings or where possible through policy development activities which will be led by the Human Resources Division. Whilst the policy is in development all discussions/documentation will be considered confidential.

The reviewed draft policy and a draft implementation plan will be presented to the Human Resources Management team to ensure that the implementation of the policy can be appropriately resourced and administered by the division. This drafting period will normally take up to 4 weeks.

2.4       Stage 4 - Consultation

Once the draft policy has been finalised, it will be sent to University board; Heads of School/Directors; the Trade Unions for consultation with their members and where appropriate, Regional Officers; and placed on the University Web for wider consultation. Staff Networks and other appropriate staff groups, will also be consulted in line with the University’s statutory obligations[1], will be informed of the consultation period and also invited to provide comment. All feedback will be collated and considered and the policy will be amended if appropriate. The consultation period will normally take a maximum of 6 weeks. 

2.5      Stage 5 - Approval

Formal endorsement of University Board may be necessary on certain policies. It is the normal expectation of the University that all final draft policies will be presented to the Human Resources Committee for formal approval and will be accompanied by a summary of comments from the consultation period. 


3.         Implementation

3.1       A policy implementation plan will have been developed and approved by Human Resource Management team in stage 3.  As appropriate the Human Resources Division will work with the Welsh Language Services to ensure the Welsh translation of all relevant documentation in line with the University’s Welsh Language Scheme. 

3.2       Following approval by the University the new policy will be distributed to all Heads of School/Directorate and Trade Unions for their information, the policy will be placed on the website and a notice placed on the University notice board advising staff of the new policy and other identified communication methods appropriate to the Policy.

3.3       A series of briefing workshops will be implemented to communicate the policy. The Human Resources Division will work with Schools/Directorates to identify any development needs in relation to the new policy and will develop an appropriate development programme for staff involved.


4.         Monitoring

4.1       Monitoring processes, including Equality and Diversity Impact assessments, for policies will be developed and implemented where appropriate; this will depend on the specific need of the policy.

4.2      These guidelines will be renewed and evaluated annually to ensure their effectiveness.


                                                                                                                                                                                                Appendix 1

Policy Review Outline Schedule




Start Date

Completion Date

Person/Group Responsible

2.2  Scoping

Review current policies and associated documentation including guidance, frequently asked questions, standard letters and flowcharts






Review current legislation to ensure legislative compliance




Identify any future legislation which is likely to impact on policy provision




Review current management information in relation to the policy and  its accessibility




Review policies against key competitors within the local market and the Higher Education sector





Review Information Technology to support the policy and any streamlining which may be appropriate




Identify and quantify any resource implications




Develop a paper on the relevant key issues, to be presented to the Human Resources Management Team




Lead Person established and possible focus group participants identified




Focus Groups held with: Trades Unions, Heads of School/School Managers,Staff[2]




Review Management Information available




2.3  Drafting

Feedback from the Focus Groups collated and presented to the Human Resources Management Team




Draft policies developed




A Working Group established to review the feedback and draft policies




Implementation plan developed




Final Draft presented to the Human Resources Management Team for approval





2.4  Consultation

Draft policy sent to University Board






Draft and issue Heads of School Circular





Draft and issue a notice for the Notice board and place on the web




Draft sent to the Trade Unions




Draft sent to Staff Networks and other appropriate staff groups




Feedback collated and policies amended where





Final polices presented to the Human Resources Management Team for approval




2.5  Approval

Human Resources Committee




3.  Implementation


Information for Heads of School/Directorate/ Management :

Issue Heads of School circular

Seminars for Heads of School, individually or collectively

Sessions for School Managers, lead PIs, etc





Send Final Copy to all Trade Unions




Ongoing information and inclusion into existing materials and processes :

Look at any amendments required to other processes

Translate all documentation into Welsh

Include in all School / Directorate induction packs





[1]   In relation to specific proactive duties i.e. the disability equality duties, Disability Discrimination Act 1995 ( amended October 2006) ,the Race Relations Amendment Act (2000), the gender equality duties, Sex Discrimination Act ( amendment on gender 2007)  and  the Information and Consultation of Employee Regulations 2004.


 These sessions may be held individually/collectively and may be facilitated by one-to-one interview and correspondence, as appropriate.