Policy for Policy Development and Review :: Northern Virginia Community College

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Policy for Policy Development and Review

Policy Number: 101

Categorized: General Policies

Responsible Office: Policy and Compliance

Subject: Guidelines and Requirements for Policy Development, Approval, and Review

Related Policies:

Forms: Policy Template

Additional Information:

Effective Date: 03/29/2017

Last Reviewed Date:

1.0 Scope

This policy governs the development, approval and review of all College-wide policies. This policy and its procedures apply to all Northern Virginia Community College academic and administrative units. The Policy and Compliance Office is tasked with coordinating the editing, review, issuance, and archiving of all official College policies.

2.0 Policy Statement

NOVA’s policies will connect the College's mission to the everyday work of the College community, clarify the institution's expectations of its individual members, mitigate institutional risk, enhance efficiency, and support the College's compliance with laws and regulations. NOVA will create and maintain well-articulated and understandable policies and procedures to which the entire College community will have ready access online. NOVA policies and procedures will conform to the policies and procedures of the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) and the laws and regulations of the Commonwealth of Virginia and of the United States. If a college policy or procedure is in conflict with an equivalent or related policy of the VCCS or with a law or regulation of the Commonwealth, the policy of VCCS or the law or regulation of the Commonwealth will take precedence and the NOVA policy or procedure will be modified to be in compliance.

All NOVA policies and associated procedures shall:

  • be written and presented in a common format
  • have a well-defined responsible office and approval path
  • be organized centrally and accessible online, and
  • be kept current at all times.

3.0 Definitions

Policy: A statement of management philosophy and direction, established to provide guidance and assistance to the NOVA community in the conduct of College affairs. College policies typically address operational expectations across all administrative and academic units of the College, and/or compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Procedure: A set of specific actions to be taken for the orderly implementation of policies. Typically, approval authority for a procedure rests with the Administrative Council member(s) responsible for the functional area addressed by the policy being implemented.

Responsible Office: The College Office charged with ownership of a specific policy and the point of contact for members of the College community regarding the policy. The Responsible Office initiates the policy, participates in its development, follows established procedures for obtaining its approval, and implements the policy. The Responsible Office ensures accuracy of content and reviews the policy on a regular schedule.

Stakeholder: A College office, department or unit with a notable interest in the subject matter or outcome related to a proposed policy.

Policy Work Group: A standing group of individuals from across the College, including College Senate, who participate in the review of all proposed College policies and revisions.

Policy and Compliance Office: The College office that coordinates the policy development and review process, maintains records related to the development and revision of College polices, and maintains the master list of current approved College policies.

4.0 Procedures

4.1. Policy Document Format

NOVA policies will be written and maintained in the following format to provide consistency, enable end-user readability, and enable effective review:

Header to include the following information:

  • Policy Title
  • NOVA policy number
  • Responsible Office
  • Subject
  • Related Policies
  • Forms
  • Additional Information
  • Effective date
  • Last Reviewed date

Section 1: Scope. The subject matter and population to whom the policy applies and when appropriate, identification of the law, regulation, or policy causing the necessity for the NOVA policy.

Section 2: Policy Statement. A statement of the philosophy, position, rule, regulation, or guideline.

Section 3: Definitions. Meanings or interpretations of words or terms specific to their usage in the policy or procedures.

Section 4: Procedures. The specific actions to be taken to implement the policy. If procedures are brief, they may be included in this section, otherwise this section should include a link to detailed procedures and forms.

Section 5: Authority. Related policies and laws

4.2. Development and Revision of College Policies

  • The need for a new or revised policy is identified by a College office, department, unit or committee (Responsible Office). Changes in law or in VCCS policy may also require the development or revision of College policies.
  • The Responsible Office prepares a draft of the new policy using the policy template in consultation with stakeholders.
  • The Responsible Office submits the draft policy to the Policy and Compliance Office, with a copy to the Administrative Council member(s) with responsibility for the subject matter of the proposed policy.
  • The Policy and Compliance Office circulates the proposed policy to the Policy Work Group for review.
  • The College Senate representative on the Policy Work Group will facilitate review and comment by that body.
  • The Office of System Counsel for NOVA will conduct a legal review of the draft policy.
  • The Policy Work Group reviews the draft policy for conflicts with existing policies and procedures, solicits input from relevant College constituencies, and finalizes the draft policy. The final draft is returned to the Responsible Office.

4.3. Policy Approval

  • The Administrative Council member(s) with responsibility for the subject matter of the proposed policy will present the proposed policy to the Administrative Council for review and approval.
  • When the policy is approved, the President will sign it and enter the Effective Date.
  • The Policy and Compliance Office will maintain a signed copy of the approved version of the policy and procedure.
  • The Policy and Compliance Office will maintain a file that contains pertinent backup materials applicable to the development of each new or revised policy and procedure. Included in that file will be copies of the various drafts, comments resulting from their review and revision.

4.4. Review and Updating of NOVA Policies and Procedures

Each NOVA policy and its associated procedures will be reviewed at the first anniversary of its initial approval. The review will ensure that the policy remains consistent with requirements of VCCS policy and the state and federal law, and that the policy and procedures are appropriate and effective. Each review will include a recommendation regarding the frequency of subsequent reviews based on the nature of the policy and procedures and their susceptibility to change.

4.5. Publication of Policies

Within two weeks of approval, the Policy and Compliance Officer will provide the approved policy to the Web Services and Digital Media Office for posting on the College Policies web page.

New or changed policies will be communicated within two weeks of approval. Such announcement should briefly describe the policy, and then refer readers to the NOVA website for the actual policy and procedure.

4.6. Location and Accessibility of NOVA Policies

The NOVA website will contain the most current approved version of all College policies, with links to applicable procedures and forms. The documents on the College Policies web page will constitute the only official College-wide policies.

To ensure consistency throughout the College, individual departmental web sites may not contain separate copies or versions of College policies or applicable procedures. Instead, departmental web sites that reference College policies and procedures must use hyperlinks to the documents on the official College Policy web page. Departments may maintain internal departmental policies and procedures on their web sites, provided the internal departmental policies and procedures are not identified as and do not conflict with official College policies and procedures.

4.7 List of Policies and Procedures

The Policy and Compliance Office will maintain the master list of policies and policy numbers. The “College Policies” webpage will list all policies by name and number and will provide links to them. Policies will be assigned a number according to the following system:

  • 100 General College Policies
  • 200 Academic Policies
  • 300 Administrative Policies
  • 400 Human Resources Policies
  • 500 Information Technology Policies
  • 600 Student Policies

5.0 Authority

VCCS Policy Manual