Institutional Planning Policy and Procedure

Policy overview

1 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to management about the institutional planning process.

2 Scope

Applies to management.

3 Policy Statement

Planning at USQ delivers defined objectives and key strategies designed to achieve a set of organisational goals, an assessment of the resource allocation to meet the goals and priority objectives which have been identified as key indicators of achievement of organisational themes. A priority objective will have an agreed USQ wide strategy for implementation.

4 Principles

USQ, as a statutory authority within the Queensland Government, is required to undertake organisational planning, as set out in The Financial Management Act 1997. The Commonwealth Government also has requirements for USQ to undertake planning. Further details of the State and Commonwealth requirements are set out in Important Authorities for USQ Planning.

Planning is considered to be an important function, especially for large public organisations which service a wide community of interests. The University endeavours to use planning as a means of:

  • reflecting the values and expectations of those in the university community
  • helping the University to respond proactively to emerging threats and opportunities
  • harnessing the capacity of the diverse university community to work towards the fulfilment of the University's vision and mission
  • integrating the academic and non-academic aspects of the organisation to not only maintain the academic rigour of USQ programs but also to increase the marketability and sustainability of these programs
  • synchronising functional and sectional planning activities to ensure availability of all relevant information on which to base planning
  • assisting the management team to allocate university resources consistent with the vision and mission, and
  • providing a framework for ongoing management and review so that progress be assessed and planning revised as circumstances change.

USQ's approach to planning is designed to align its approach to governance, management and quality. For this reason, USQ prepares the following types of plans

  • USQ Strategic Plan - the USQ Strategic Plan provides the framework that communicates the university's strategic intent.
  • Goal plans - these cover selected processes and authorities consistent with the USQ Strategic plan.
  • Sectional plans - these are operational and cover the enterprise, campuses and organisational sections.
  • Special purpose plans - these cover cross-organisational processes, sub-processes or parts thereof.

These plans address two time horizons;

  • Five Year plans (strategic)
  • One Year plans (operational) from which Operational Resource Management Plans are derived

USQ's approach is to update five year plans and prepare new one year plans each year. The operational implications of special purpose plans are incorporated into organisational section (operational) plans each year.

The Vice-Chancellor will agree to the plans to be prepared in any one year and will request that the Director (Planning and Performance Support Services) publish a list of those plans to be prepared with an accompanying timetable for preparation of those plans.

5 Procedures

5.1 Planning at USQ

5.1.1 Deployment and Implementation of Planning

This policy is expected to be deployed for each organisational goal and in each organisational section and for those USQ processes and activities which require plans. To assist these areas the Planning Quality and Review Committee (PQRC), through the Vice-Chancellor will:

  • communicate the planning timetable and related activities
  • maintain a set minimum requirements for plans, and
  • monitor and report to the Vice-Chancellor on the status and completion of relevant plans

There is considered to be an overall 'logical' order of plans in each year of the planning cycle. This policy anticipates that the order will be similar to that which is set out below. This however, will be subject to annual review and communication as set out above.

5.1.2 Annual 'order' of plans

The following list indicates the expected order of plans to be prepared each year. This is subject to review and change in line with the published timetable each year.

  1. USQ Strategic Plan updated - incorporates review of previous years' results
  2. Special purpose plans updated - incorporates review of previous years' results.
  3. Goal plans updated - incorporates review of previous years' results
  4. Revised goals and targets for USQ (informed by 1, 2 and 3)
  5. Goal plans approved
  6. Resource allocation model and organisational section structure updated and published incorporating review of previous years' results
  7. Section plans (Faculty) updated - incorporates review of previous years' results
  8. Section plans (non-Faculty) updated (taking into account 7) - incorporates review of previous years' results
  9. All section plans approved
  10. Special purpose planning review informed by goal and section plan requirements
  11. All special purpose plans revised
  12. One year plans (Operational and Resource Management Plans) prepared (taking into account 9 and 11) and approved
  13. Approved 'stakeholder' versions of strategic and operational plans published.

5.1.3 USQ Planning Cycle and Implementation

Organisational Strategic Plan - 5 Year Scope

5.2 Plan Templates

It is expected that plans will contain key information relevant to the current planning context. An outline of the key information required in each plan is set out in the USQ Planning Guidelines and Templates (embedded link). These requirements may vary from year to year and will be clearly communicated by the PQRC, through the Vice-Chancellor. The requirements for plans will be updated based on feedback and learning each year as part of the review process.

5.3 Review of Planning Process

The planning function is an important element of the Enterprise Goal at USQ and, as such, it will be scheduled for formal review as part of the organisational reviews undertaken in line with the USQ Quality Policy and the USQ Quality Assurance Plan. In addition to this review an annual survey of planning participants will be carried out by the Corporate Management Services Survey Unit in order to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning process and its objectives. The findings of this survey will serve to identify relevant aspects of the process for improvement.

6 References


7 Schedules

This policy must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

8 Policy Information

Accountable Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise Services)

Responsible Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise Services)

Policy Type

Executive Policy

Policy Suite

Subordinate Schedules

Approved Date


Effective Date


Review Date

Relevant Legislation

USQ Act 1998

Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cwlth) and associated schedules and regulations

MCEETYA 2007, National Protocols for Higher Education Approval Processes

Financial Management Standard 1997

Asset Strategic Plan Guidelines, and Maintenance Management Framework, Department of Public Works

Related Policies

Process Review Policy and Procedure

Organisational Section Reviews Policy and Procedure

Quality Management Framework

Related Procedures

Related forms, publications and websites


Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Definitions that relate to this policy only

Executive Portfolio Stewards

An Executive Portfolio Steward (EPS) oversees the governance of a Key Organisational Goal of the University and the management of its identified elements.

The EPS defines corporate strategies for the goal, coordinates key initiatives or activities associated with this strategy, and monitors project management within these strategic initiatives.

Within an Organisational Goal, the EPS oversees the role of Principal Activity Stewards to implement the goal strategies which will give effect to the achievement of goal objectives.

Principal Activity Steward

A Principal Activity Steward (PAS) is accountable for a component of an organisational goal and has responsibility for its management within that goal. The PAS may act as a project sponsor within the defined element. As an example, accreditation is a principal activity of the Academic Programs Goal. The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Academic Quality as the PAS of accreditation, has oversight of this component within the Academic Programs goal portfolio and reports to the EPS for Academic Programs, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Scholarship


Institutional planning

Record No


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