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Policy Justification: The Policy Development Workflow can be used to approve policies and/or best practices and formalizes the process so that all can participate and understand how to move an issue forward. The workflow enables Alliance groups to create, test, gather community input, refine, and approve policies and best practices related to Alliance programs and services. 


Policy: a mandatory course or principle of action approved for adherence by all member institutions. Policies require compliance as following a different course of action can result in negative effects for other members.

Best Practice: recommended based on a variety of factors. Member institutions may elect to follow or not based on their individuals situations and needs.

Phases Chart

Additional Information

It is anticipated that most policies and/or best practices will proceed through Phase 1: Development and Phase 2: Review followed by Phase 5: Approved as teams are empowered to make policy decisions within their area of responsibility. Phase 3: P &C Review and Phase 4: Board/Council Review will be utilized for a subset of issues if additional review is deemed necessary such as issues that have significant budgetary implications or create sustained inequalities among the members.

Phase 1: Development
  • Should include a description justifying reason for a policy (required) or best practice (recommended)
  • Timeframe for feedback: group discretion
    • Reasonable amount of time for members to review, test, and provide feedback as needed.
    • If feedback is solicited recommend at least five days for review.
    • Depending on the issue, this could take more time if there are dependencies or other circumstances. 
Phase 2: Review
  • Timeframe for feedback
    • Soliciting from Representatives to act as voice for their institution on the issue.
    • Representatives may need to consult with multiple parties within their institution on the issue.
    • Recommend at least five days for review, but generally not longer than 2 weeks.
Phase 3: P & C Review (if needed)
  • Program Manager coordinate comments and submittal to P & C
  • Recommend P & C discuss at next available meeting or decides to discuss via email if matter has time constraints.
Phase 4: Board/Council Review (if needed)

Phase 5: Approved
  • Create calendar to schedule review of policies
    • Set reminders to be notified it is time for review
Options for comments/input:
  • Distributed via email to relevant lists to encourage discussion and comments
  • Policies/best practices may be posted to the web to assist in review
  • Scheduled live webinar to present/discuss topic and/or adding as an agenda item on an open call
  • SurveyMonkey survey (PM administers) to capture Representative comments in Phase 2

Current phase: Phase 5 Approved Written by: Alliance staff
Approved by: Council on November 13, 2015 Last updated: March 16, 2016
Staff Contact: Cassie Schmitt Nature of last update: minor revision