Policies & Procedures


Section 1

Organization and Administration

Sec. 103-11: Guidelines for Writing and Publishing Administrative Policies and Procedures

Responsible Office: Administrative Policies and Procedures
Revised: October 2017

References / Resources

Contact: Manager of Administrative Policies at (949) 824-8713 or ucipolicy@uci.edu

A. Purpose and Scope

UC Irvine's Administrative Policies & Procedures are maintained by the Manager of Administrative Policies and published on the Official University Policies & Procedures website to ensure access by all employees. Whenever appropriate, links are provided to related sources of authority, both internal to the University and external, such as State and federal codes and regulations. The proposal and preparation of a new policy, or significant revision of an existing policy that will affect various campus constituencies, should be coordinated with the Manager of Administrative Policies in its earliest stage of development. These Policy Development Questions and the elements of a policy (shown below in C.1.) should be considered when a policy is being proposed.

B. Responsibilities and Authorities

  1. Responsible Office or Administrator

    Each section of the Administrative Policies & Procedures displays the office or administrator responsible for approving issuance of, or revisions to, the section, and ensuring that the section is revised promptly when policy or procedural changes occur (see UCI Required Approvals for Administrative Policies & Procedures).

    1. Policies unique to the UCI campus may be issued by senior administrative management when they have campuswide applicability.
    2. Implementation of systemwide policies issued by the President of the University of California are approved and issued as campus guidelines by the Chancellor or other senior executive officer.
    3. The Chancellor or Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor approves policies requiring participation and cooperation of multiple coordinating points.
    4. Responsible offices and administrators should revise their sections whenever their business processes or guidelines change, or whenever a change in systemwide policy affects stated campus practices. In general, sections should be reviewed no less than every three years. The most recent revision or review date is indicated at the top of each section. When sections are reviewed and there are no revisions, an email should be sent to the Manager of Administrative Policies confirming that the information is still current.
    5. Approval by the manager of the issuing unit should include cross-functional consultation, as determined by the subject matter.
    6. Managers and their support staff responsible for creating, monitoring and administering policies are also expected to continually seek ways to simplify them, to eliminate those that have outlived their usefulness, and to clarify those that are hard to understand. Efforts to streamline existing polices that over-control risks, costing more to administer than potential losses warrant, are as important as proposing new policies.
  2. Manager of Administrative Policies

    The Manager of Administrative Policies at 824-8713, ucipolicy@uci.edu, is responsible for administration of the policies and procedural guidelines function for the UC Irvine campus which includes:

    1. Ensuring that published documents adhere to the style and format standards established for UCI policies.
    2. Coordinating campus review and promulgation of administrative policies and procedures issued by The Regents and the Office of the President.
    3. Assisting subject matter experts develop new campus policies that communicate effectively, are appropriately vetted, and, if required, include a delegation of authority.
    4. Reviewing and editing existing administrative policies and procedural guidelines in coordination with campus administrative departments.
    5. Coordinating the development and issuance of campus Delegations of Authority.
    6. Publishing policy, procedural guidelines, Delegations of Authority, and UCI organizational charts on the Official University Policies & Procedures website.
    7. Serving as a consulting resource to campus administrative officers, to policy and procedure section owners, and to the campus community at-large.
    8. Bi-annually communicating new and revised UC and UCI policies and procedural guidelines to the campus community via ZotMail.

C. Procedures for Writing Policies and Procedures

  1. Policies

    A policy establishes the framework for what will or will not be done on the UCI campus. Policy statements reflect the "rules" governing the implementation of campus processes and should not include procedural guidelines. When the campus implements a specific UC systemwide policy, the systemwide policy should be referenced in the campus procedural guidelines but should not be restated as a campus policy.

    UCI policy documents will generally include:

    • The senior administrator responsible for ensuring the information is accurate and up-to-date
    • Contact information for questions and guidance
    • References to federal and State laws, systemwide and local policies, and related regulations
    • Purpose of the policy
    • Applicability (faculty, staff, students, non-affiliated visitors)
    • Definitions for key terms
    • Responsibilities and authorities for implementing and enforcing the policy (a delegation of authority may need to be issued to authorize the actions or to indicate who has authority to approve exceptions)
    • Clear statements of what will or will not be done
    • Enforcement methods, handling of violations, or sanctions for non-compliance
    • Record keeping or documentation requirements
    • Any special requirements regarding policy maintenance (e.g., a specific review period or review by an advisory committee)
    • Links to relevant forms, charts, websites, and other resources
  2. Procedural Guidelines

    Procedural guidelines reflect current operational models or standards for completing routine and exceptional business tasks. Unlike policy statements, guidelines should include whatever level of detail is 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
    • Process example (how the task may be successfully completed)
    • Forms (or links to forms) and appropriately completed samples
    • Contact information and resources available for assistance
  3. Language and Format (see University of California Policy Stylebook)
    1. Plain language that is clear, concise, and streamlined should be used to convey a message without additional officious or redundant wording.
      • Use gender-neutral pronouns by making the pronoun and its antecedent plural or try rewording the sentence. Use "their" in place of "he/she."
      • 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.
      • Avoid Latin phrases; use the English equivalent: "for example" instead of e.g. or "that is" instead of i.e.
      • In most cases, the present tense is preferred.
    2. References should include links to:
      • External sources, such as state and federal codes and regulations.
      • Relevant UC systemwide policies, directives, or letters. (If not available online, some restatement may be necessary within an introductory statement.)
      • UCI policies, procedures, and related documentation.
    3. Uniform, standard outline format is used after the references and any introductory statement:
          A., 1., a., (1), (a), (i), (aa)
    4. Online reading behavior should be considered and an appropriate style used within the outline format and throughout the document.
      • Use lists where possible. Indentations, bullets and the vertical arrangement of data aid reading sequential topics.
      • Avoid long paragraphs. If the information can be placed in a visual element, like a table or graph, it may be more effectively communicated.
      • Within the outline format, logically "chunk" information. Include important facts near the top of the first paragraph where users can find them quickly.
      • Avoid underlining; use bold to emphasize headings or key messages.
      • Avoid italics; they are not easily read online and more frequently not used.
      • Limit the amount of information under a heading to one screen size. This helps the user retain navigational control of the document.
      • Use links for supplemental information, but do not construct a sentence around a link phrase such as "click here for more information." A sentence should be normally written and links placed on the most relevant word in the sentence.
      • For lengthy documents, create a mini-menu at the top so the user is able to jump to a desired topic.
  4. D. Administrative Organization Charts

    Campus Administrative Organization Charts show senior campus administrators for each UC Irvine coordinating point. They are published on the Official University Policies & Procedures website and are considered current, with the date of last revision indicated in the top right corner. Although coordinating points are sent an annual reminder to update their charts, they are encouraged to communicate changes as soon as they occur to the Manager of Administrative Policies at (949) 824-8713 or ucipolicy@uci.edu.