Policy Development and Review Policy

Policy Number: GC-4000-2006
Policy Title: Policy Development and Review
Policy Owner: General Counsel
Effective Date: May 2006
Last Revised: January 16, 2024

On this page:

  1. Purpose
  2. Application and Scope
  3. Definitions
  4. Principles
  5. Accountability and Compliance
  6. Rules
  7. Roles and Responsibilities
  8. Policy Revision Date
  9. Attachments

1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide Mohawk employees, students and community a rational framework and format for creating and revising all policies impacting the College. All reasonable efforts shall be made to ensure that such policies align with Mohawk College’s mission, vision, values and strategic direction.


2. Application and Scope

This Policy applies to the development and maintenance of all College policies and related procedures.


3. Definitions

“Material Change” refers to any change that affects the direction, functionality, purpose or process of the policy. 

“Mohawk College Community” refers to all students, employees, contractors, volunteers and visitors on Mohawk College Campuses, applicable learning sites and/or carrying out Mohawk College activities.

“Policy” is a statement of general intent adopted by the organization to indicate a course of action that is permitted or expected Policy is the formal guidance needed to coordinate and execute activity throughout the College. Policy provides the framework within which the College functions. Policy statements help focus attention and resources on high priority issues.

“Procedures” refer to a set of actions, generally linked to an organizational or departmental policy that provide a clear and concise sequence of College-approved instructions that are to be followed in undertaking a job, activity or task. Procedures are the operational process required to implement a College Policy.


4. Principles

Mohawk College recognizes that policies are required to promote consistency, efficiency and transparency of College processes. Policies are necessary to align operations and set expectations across the Mohawk College community.


5. Accountability and Compliance

5.1 Accountability Framework

This policy has been approved by the Senior Leadership Team

5.2 Compliance

The General Counsel will be responsible for monitoring compliance with the policy and updating as required.

6. Rules

6.1 Identification of policy issues is accomplished from ongoing input from the Mohawk College Community. Policies will be developed and/or reviewed where a valid need exists. 

6.2 Policies must be developed and reviewed using the methodology and template outlined in this policy. This will ensure that the resulting product is clear, complete and consistent with other College policies. 

6.3 All policies must receive approval from the Policy Committee.

6.3 A policy that has been developed or revised resulting in material changes must undergo review from the Presidents Advisory Council and the Senior Leadership Team. Final approval must be received from the Senior Leadership Team.

6.5 Implementation and communication plans must be developed in order to ensure that the Mohawk College Community is aware of the policy and are acting in accordance with College priorities.

6.6 All policies will be reviewed according to a predetermined schedule. The review process will incorporate appropriate College stakeholders and may result in no changes, material changes or the archiving of the policy.

6.7 Procedures that are attached to policies are written at the discretion of the policy owner. 


7. Roles and Responsibilities

7.1 Policy Owner

  • Initiate policy revisions on a predetermined schedule (refer to Attachment 3 for the policy revision process flowchart)
  • Identify concerns and create new policy when necessary
  • Consult with College stakeholders in the development of policy (refer to Appendix A for the procedure)
  • Provide guidance to the Mohawk College community on issues addressed in policy
  • Create an effective communication and implementation strategy for newly developed policies
  • Respectfully consider the opinion of College stakeholders
  • Present proposed policy revisions/creations to Policy Committee members to seek input, guidance and recommendations for revisions
  • Make changes to policy upon request from the Policy Committee, President’s Advisory Council (PAC) and/or Senior Leadership Team (SLT), as appropriate.

7.2 Policy Committee (PC)

  • Will consist of representatives from various College departments
  • Administer, review and approve all non-Board related policies and procedures
  • Formalize the policy creation/amendment process
  • Assume ownership for establishing a policy management framework which includes development, implementation and maintenance
  • Ensuring policies are inclusive and barrier free.

7.3 President’s Advisory Council (PAC)

  • Will comprise of internal and external College stakeholders
  • Provide guidance, input and recommendations to proposed/revised policies

7.4 Senior Leadership Team (SLT)

  • Will comprise of the Mohawk Executive Group, Deans, Chiefs and certain directors as determined from time to time by Vice Presidents
  • Review and approve policies as recommended by the Policy Committee
  • Act as the final approval body for proposed or amended policies

7.5 General Counsel

  • Act as a member on the Policy Committee
  • Act as a resource for policy input, compliance and interpretation purposes as necessary
  • Act as a liaison between the President and Policy Committee

7.8 Appointed Administrative Resource

  • Assist in the scheduling and creation of meeting agendas
  • Take meeting minutes
  • Keep track of existing, revised and newly created policy

7.9 Manager, Risk, Legal and Governance Services

  • Act as Chair to the Policy Committee
  • Track and maintain College policies from their creation to posting
  • Assist in the coordination of policy presentations to Policy Committee, PAC and SLT
  • Coordinate the posting and deletion of policies
  • Aid in the researching, writing and editing phases of policy creation
  • Ensure that all posted web content on the policies webpage is WCAG 2.0 Level A compliant as per the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
  • Assist in the communication of approved created/revised policies to the  Mohawk College community
  • Post created/revised policies online to allow access for the Mohawk College community
  • Maintain  the Corporate Policies webpage, database and archive

7.10 Mohawk College Community

  • Be familiar with, and act according to College policies and procedures
  • If a policy need is identified, assist in policy development where required
  • Communicate policy concerns or need to appropriate department heads


8. Policy Revision Date

8.1 Revision Date

January 2029

8.2 Responsibility

The General Counsel will be responsible for reviewing this policy every five years or earlier as required.


9. Attachments

Appendix A - Policy Development and Review Procedure

Policy Development/Maintenance Model

Policy development and review is an ongoing process. Mohawk College’s policy development model includes the following six steps:

  1. Identification of Policy Issues
  2. Policy Development
    1. Policy Numbering
  3. Policy Approval
    1. Policy Committee
    2. President’s Advisory Council
    3. Senior Leadership Team
  4. Policy Implementation
  5. Policy Communication
  6. Policy Review
    1. Policy reviewed with changes
    2. Policy review without changes
    3. Policy reviewed and deleted
  7. Procedure Process and Review

1. Identification of Policy Issues

Whether you are revising existing policies or creating a new policy, be sure that a valid need exists for each policy. Ensure that the issue is not already adequately addressed in existing College policies.

Identification of policy issues will be accomplished through ongoing input from Mohawk College employees, students, the Mohawk Students’ Association (MSA), the Board of Governors, ministry representatives and members of the College community.

Key indicators of a need for policy may include:

  • Actions of employees/students indicate confusion about appropriate behaviour (ex. Student Behaviour or Employee Code of Conduct)
  • Guidance is needed for the most suitable way to handle various situations (ex. Travel expenditures)
  • Legal protection or legislative compliance
  • Need to provide consistent and fair treatment

2. Policy Development

The owner of the new or revised policy will explore policy issues that have been identified. In order to draft the policy, the owner must identify College stakeholders to be involved in the development. Consultations will vary depending on the nature of the policy under review. Those identified will be representatives from departments or groups that will be affected by the policy.

The policy must be developed using the methodology and template outlined in this Policy. The development of a final draft may take numerous consultations and revisions. Upon completion of this process, the Policy Owner will contact the Corporate Policy and Risk Management Analyst to coordinate the approval process.

2.1 Policy Numbering

A policy number will be assigned by the Corporate Policy and Risk Management Analyst before the policy is distributed to SLT for final review and approval. Policies will be classified within one of four departments and the respective category (refer to below for policy numbering schematic).

All College policies begin with Letter “CS”, “AS”, “SS” "PO" or “GC” as appropriate and end with year they were enacted (category)-(policy #)-(year enacted).

Ex. Finance Policy CS-1001-2012

  • “CS” refers to Corporate Services
  • “AS” refers to Academic Services
  • “SS” refers to Student Services
  • “GC” refers to General Counsel
  • "PO" refers to Office of the President

Corporate Services (1000s)

  • Finance (1000s)
  • Facilities (1100s)
  • Purchasing and Procurement (1200s)
  • Human Resources (1300s)
  • Emergency Response, Health and Safety (1400s)
  • Information Technology (1500s)
  • Environmental Stewardship (1600s)
  • Business Development, Ancillary Services & EPMO (1700s)
  • Miscellaneous (1800s)

Academic Services (2000s)

  • Academic Operations (2000s)
  • Applied Research (2100s)

Student Services (3000s)

  • Awards, Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees (3000s)
  • Admission, Records, Withdrawals, Academic Appeals (3100s)
  • Student Success, Rights and Responsibilities (3200s)
  • Advertising, Marketing, Promotion (3300s)

General Counsel (4000s)

  • Legal and Freedom of Information Requests (4000s)
  • Intellectual Property e.g. Copyright (4100s)
  • Communications (4200s)
  • Human Rights and Accessibility Planning (4300s)

Office of the President (5000's)


3. Policy Approval

Step One: Policy Committee (PC)

The owner will present the policy to the Policy Committee for the first level of approval. The PC includes members of senior leadership, selected as representatives of various appropriate departments and ensures input from all potentially effected stakeholders. The committee will review the policy and make any suggestions or recommendations for revision. The policy may come back to the committee as many times as significant revisions are needed. Once approved, the policy moves on to the next step.

Step Two: President’s Advisory Council (PAC)

The President’s Advisory Council is a group of internal and external College stakeholders that provide guidance, input and recommendations to proposed policies. The committee is not an approval body but is an opportunity to receive input from a wide college audience. The owner will present the policy to PAC and consider their recommendations. The policy does not need to be approved at this step to move forward.

Step Three: Senior Leadership Team (SLT)

The SLT is the final approval body for policies. After presenting to PAC, the policy owner will present the policy to SLT.  The SLT will either approve the final draft or request changes/revisions to be made. If revisions needed do not affect the functionality of the policy it will not have to return to SLT. If revisions are needed which materially affect the policy, the policy will return to SLT until approval is granted.

4. Policy Implementation

An implementation plan is to be discussed in the development stages of writing/revising the policy. The implementation plan will depend on the scope of the policy. Where required, the policy owner will work in conjunction with other stakeholders to determine the appropriate strategy.

5. Policy Communication

The policy owner is required to develop a communications strategy prior to policy approval. and is a part of the review process.

Once the policy has received final approval from the SLT, the policy owner will make the necessary final revisions and forward the policy to the Manager, Risk, Legal and Governance Services for posting on the College webpage and other College-wide announcements as deemed appropriate. 

6. Policy Review and Maintenance

The “Compliance” and “Policy Revision Date” sections of the policy identify who is responsible for initiating the review of the policy. All policies will be reviewed, at minimum, every five years or earlier where required. The review process should incorporate feedback from individuals and groups directly affected by the Policy.

Policy Reviewed without Changes

Where a policy has been reviewed and there are no material changes necessary, the policy will only be submitted to the Policy Committee for final approval. Material changes refer to any change that affects the direction, functionality, purpose or process of the policy. Housekeeping changes (department name, position title etc.) are considered of minimal impact and held to the same standard.

Policy Reviewed with Changes

A policy must re-enter the approval process if there have been any changes made which impact the direction, functionality, purpose or process of the policy.

Policy Reviewed and Deleted

If a policy has been reviewed and is determined to be irrelevant, the policy must be presented to the Policy Committee for approval to delete the policy. If the Policy Committee agrees with the deletion, the policy will be removed from the College webpage and archived. If the Committee disagrees, the policy must return to the originating department for further review.

7. Procedure Process and Review

Procedures will be attached as appendices to policies and do not have to follow a particular format. The style and format of the procedure is left up to the discretion of the policy owner. Procedures must only go through the approval process on the policy’s specified revision date.

A procedure must enter the review process when:

  • They accompany an existing College policy;
  • When they impact the wide-spread Mohawk College community; and
  • When there is a legal or regulatory requirement.

Procedures that are specific to one department do not need to enter the approval process.