Submission Guidelines for Manual Revisions


Effective: 7/1/1998

Revised: 10/6/2014


[ASU]

Submission Guidelines for Manual Revisions

for Manual Coordinators and Departments

Overview of Revision Process

Manual Revision Schedule

Document Preparation

Procedure for Updating Manuals Outside the Revision Cycle

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Overview of Revision Process - Back to top

In accordance with institutional directives, the ASU system of administrative manuals is available on the ASU Web to allow easier access by the university community. In addition, the conversion to an electronic medium means that university departments can revise policies more often (three times a year vs. once a year), which provides the opportunity to keep the manuals accurate and current.

Records retention requirements

The policies of ASU, a state agency, are considered public records. In accordance with Arizona public records laws and requirements, a printout of the online text kept at ASU Libraries, University Archives serves as the official record, and is available for public inspection.

Publication procedure for manual revisions

Publication by University Policy Manuals Group (UPMG) involves the following:

  • copyediting (checking organization, grammar, syntax, spelling, accuracy, consistency, style, etc.)
  • HTML formatting according to an approved manual template, using specific coding routines for consistency throughout the manual system
  • proofreading
  • submitting drafts to manual coordinators and Office of General Counsel (OGC) for review
  • copyediting, incorporating, and formatting changes
  • inserting, correcting, and removing entries in the Index of Policies by Subject as revisions are made
  • checking hypertext links for accuracy and currency across the manuals system
  • Note: Manual coordinators must supply accurate URL addresses to sites outside the UPMG Web space and notify us of changes in such addresses. UPMG is not responsible for the accuracy of links to nor the content of sites outside our departmental control.
  • posting on the Web in the ASU policies and procedures manuals Web site in UPMG Web space

    and

  • making print outs from the source text and transmitting them to University Archives with documentation of chain of custody.

Manual Revision Schedule - Back to top

The manual revision schedule is fixed in accordance with an archiving schedule developed for the State of Arizona, Department of Library Archives and Public Records. There are three revision cycles each year posted on:

  • March 1
  • July 1

    and

  • November 1.

The ideal deadline for submitting revisions is ten working days after the previous posting (approximately two calendar weeks).

As a guideline, manual coordinators should request revisions in their departments in timely fashion. The manual coordinator should notify department heads and other persons responsible for maintaining or revising policies no later than two months before each deadline. Whenever a change in policy is foreseen, the manual coordinator is well advised to request the responsible departmental designee to begin writing the revision as soon as possible, so that departmental review and responsible executive approval can be achieved and rewrites can occur before the submission deadline.

Note: UPMG makes every effort to accommodate policy updates regardless of when submitted and to work with manual coordinators to ensure that manuals are as up-to-date as possible. However, policy updates submitted too close to the next posting date may not be processed on time as all policies must also go through a review and approval process. For urgent needs, refer to the interim posting process and/or contact UPMG for assistance.

Ideally, updates to all policies for a particular manual should be submitted simultaneously to expedite review. Additional policies submitted after an initial review draft has been created and sent out for review may not be reviewed before the next posting date.

Manual revisions submitted on time will be posted to the manual Web site according to schedule, although delays may occur on occasion. Common causes of delays include failing to return the review draft to UPMG by its due date or making extensive changes to the review draft in a constricted time frame or too close to the posting. Revisions submitted after the deadline will be processed in the next revision period, unless previous arrangements have been agreed upon or work on all previously submitted revisions is complete and sufficient time remains to complete the publication procedure for an earlier posting.


Document Preparation - Back to top

The following directions for the preparation of revisions for new or revised policies and exhibits represent experience gained over years. They are designed to make publication as efficient and accurate as possible. For more information about how policies should be structured or formatted, refer to the information on the policy template and/or contact UPMG for guidance.

Effective and Revised Dates

The manual coordinator must ensure that the correct effective and revised dates (months, days, and years) are indicated on every policy submitted to UPMG. Every policy has an effective date, the date on which the first policy/procedure on this subject became effective, and is not necessarily the posting date or publication date of the policy. Once a policy takes effect, this date never changes; it remains the same throughout the life of the policy, no matter how many revisions are made.

The revised date indicates the date on which the policy/procedure was most recently updated. It is always different from the effective date, and is not necessarily the posting date or publication date of the policy. Therefore, it may occur earlier than the posting date, but it is never earlier than the effective date.

Revising Posted Policies

  1. The departmental designees responsible for specific policies should prepare revisions by marking changes in red ink on printouts of the currently posted policies. The deadline for submitting revisions is ten working days after the previous posting, so manual coordinators always have the opportunity to mark revisions on the most recent posting.
  2. The manual coordinator forwards a readable, decipherable electronic copy of the policy (ideally, in Word with track changes activated showing edits), including any updated or new exhibits if necessary, to UPMG via e-mail. If desired (but optional) by the manual coordinator, hard-copy print outs that match the e-mailed documentation may also be submitted through campus mail (mail code 4104).
    Note: Documents that are improperly prepared or unreadable will be returned to the manual coordinator for correction, and will be placed at the end of the queue when resubmitted for editing and production.
  3. After copyediting, HTML formatting, and proofreading, UPMG prepares review drafts of the policies submitted and sends the drafts (typically in PDF format with highlighted changes and notes/comments) to the manual coordinator and the appropriate attorney in OGC, specifying the return date necessary to process changes.
  4. The departments, through the manual coordinator, and OGC review the drafts, indicate changes, and return the drafts to the manual coordinator before the due date.
  5. UPMG prepares the final versions and posts them to the ASU Web on the designated posting date. At the same time, UPMG prepares and delivers a printout of the manual for University Archives in accordance with the archive requirements.

Developing the Manual Revision Notice (MRN)

Each submission must be accompanied by a manual revision notice (MRN). For revisions to posted policies and exhibits, describe the change and the reason it was made. For new policies, include a statement of why the new policy is being included in the manual. In addition, UPMG will edit/update the submitted MRN text to match the style of the manuals and the content of the policy updates. For example, refer to a sample MRN.

Note: The MRN always has an effective date equal to the posting date; it never has a revision date, because each MRN is created specifically for each posting.

If you need assistance with creating entries for the MRN, contact UPMG for guidance.

Revising or Creating Exhibits

“Exhibits” are often charts that illustrate departmental organization or flowcharts showing how some action proceeds through different steps. Exhibits are also useful to show how to complete a form by filling out a sample with hypothetical information. All exhibits that are forms have the word “Sample” printed across them.

Exhibits are not blank forms intended for downloading. Forms for downloading should be accessed from a departmental Web site. By putting such forms on the department’s Web site, the department can change the forms as necessary. The manual coordinator should indicate where a link to the form should be inserted in the policy text and UPMG will format the links according to the manual standards.

Ideally, updated or new exhibits, in electronic formats, such as Word or PowerPoint documents, which can be converted to PDF (or other appropriate format) by UPMG, should be submitted.

If exhibits are not available in electronic formats, provide a clean hard copy on white paper (an original, with no hole punches or staple holes). High quality originals produce better quality scans.

UPMG does not prepare or correct art for exhibits. The manual coordinator must submit copy suitable for posting.


Procedure for Updating Manuals Outside the Revision Cycle - Back to top

In order to address those instances when it is absolutely necessary to post new or changed policies and procedures or to delete policies and procedures outside the review cycle, the following policy and procedure has been approved. It is intended for issues of a magnitude that necessitate posting as soon as possible. The responsible executive for the manual in which the change will occur will make the exception based on the following criteria:

Criteria

  1. The new or revised information has such an immediate and significant impact on university employees or students that it must be communicated in the manual as soon as possible. If this revised information does not appear in the manual before normal submission would result in its publication, individuals or the university will be disadvantaged.
  2. Absence of the new or revised policies or procedures will result in legal liabilities for the university, the employees, or the students.
  3. The new or revised policies and procedures result from state or federal legislation, Arizona Board of Regents’ (ABOR) policy changes, or legal interpretation that has a direct and immediate impact on employees or students.
  4. If a question arises concerning whether a change meets the above criteria, the determination will be made by OGC in consultation with the executive responsible for the affected manual.

Process

The responsible executive with authority for the manual in which the update is to be posted determines whether the policy change meets the foregoing criteria. If so, and if all appropriate approvals for the change have been acquired, the manual coordinator forwards an electronic copy of the policy (ideally, in Word with track changes activated showing edits), including exhibits if necessary, to the University Policy Manuals Group via e-mail. The manual coordinator should also indicate that appropriate approvals have been given for this posting as interim. If desired by the manual coordinator, hard-copy print outs can also be submitted as supporting documentation through campus mail. The interim posting will be edited for style, format, or links at that time, and include an “Interim Posting Notice” on the manual’s table of contents, an “Interim Posting Alert” on the main manuals page (at http://www.asu.edu/aad/manuals), and a statement about the interim posting at the beginning of the policy, all of which will be removed at the time of the next scheduled posting. To view how interim posting notices should be formatted, refer to the policy template information.

Note: The effective date (if a new policy) or the revised date must be included in the policy text.

UPMG will provide a printed copy of the newly updated policy (included as a part of the manual) to University Archives with the next scheduled posting, in compliance with the records retention schedule established with the State of Arizona. In other words, any policies posted as interim become a part of that manual’s official updates at the next scheduled posting.


Need Additional Information? - Back to top

The ASU system of academic and administrative manuals is maintained by UPMG, a part of OGC. Contact us.

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