Policy Human Resources Human Resources Delegation Policy

Human Resources Delegation Policy

Print Friendly and PDFPrint Friendly


This Policy provides the overarching principles for the management of James Cook University delegated authorities in order to perform the University’s Human Resources, Equity and Health Safety and Environment functions.


All Human Resources, Equity and Health, Safety and Environment Delegations will:

  • Establish appropriate responsibility and accountability for various administrative and operational functions
  • Have multiple Delegates where possible (to ensure flexibility)
  • Be positioned close to the source of responsibility with the appropriate knowledge, skills and designated position (decision relevance)
  • Adhere to the one up rule where appropriate (to ensure suitable oversight)
  • Use committees where necessary (to bring in wider representation for making complex   decisions)
  • Reflect the minimum seniority of the band of authority to exercise the delegated authority


This policy applies to all members of University Council and all staff of James Cook University while acting in their official capacity and in accordance with Delegations pertaining to the Human Resources and Staff Development, Equity, and health, Safety and Environment Policy Domains of the university Policy and Delegations Framework.


Authorisation - is a mechanism where a Delegate authorises an appropriate JCU Staff member to carry out actions which arise from a decision made by a Delegate where:

a. such enactment of that decision requires significant administration; and

b. does not involve further decision making.

Band – means a delegation band specified in the Human Resources Delegation Register”

Delegation – is the authority granted to a Delegate by a person or body in whom a power is vested by legislation or otherwise, to independently exercise that power.

Delegate - an appropriately qualified officer or group of persons empowered to act through a Delegation.

University – James Cook University



  1. All Delegations must be managed in accordance with this policy and the Human Resources Delegation Management Procedure.
  2. All powers exercised under a Delegation must be exercised:
    1. in accordance with:
      1. the James Cook University Act 1997 (Qld);
      2. Acts Interpretation Act 1954 (Qld);
      3. industrial awards and agreements;
      4. relevant legislation;
      5. the Policy and Delegations Framework; and
      6. the University’s policies and procedures;
    2. with due consideration for the best interests of the University; and
    3. in accordance with the University’s values and beliefs.

3. Section 11(1) of the James Cook University Act 1997 (Qld) allows the University Council to delegate its powers under the James Cook University Act 1997 (Qld) to:

  • an appropriately qualified member of the University Council; or
  • A committee consisting of appropriately qualified persons, but which must include 1 or more members of the Council; or
  • An appropriately qualified member of the University's staff.

However, section 11(2) of the James Cook University Act 1997 (Qld) prohibits the University Council from delegating its power to:

  • make University statutes or rules; or
  • adopt the University’s annual budget; or
  • approve spending of funds available to the University by way of bequest, donation or special grant.

4. No Delegate is allowed to sub-delegate their delegated power to another individual or group of people.

Where the University's Enterprise Agreement is identified as the Source of the decision-making power in the Human Resources Delegation Register, it is recognised that a holder of the decision-making power may delegate that power, where required to support the effective operation of the University's Enterprise Agreement.

5. In exercising Delegations, Delegates must comply with related policies and procedures, applicable legislation and the applicable Enterprise Agreement.

6. Section 32(5) of the James Cook University Act 1997 (Qld) allows the Vice Chancellor to delegate his/her legislatively vested powers to an ‘appropriately qualified member of the university’s staff’.

7. Delegations apply only in respect of the Delegate’s area of responsibility, in terms of organisational unit or portfolio, and must only be exercised within budgetary limits, unless otherwise explicitly stated in the Human Resources Delegation Register.

8. Delegations are attached to positions not to the occupant of the position.

9. Delegations must have a clear and traceable source of authority.

10. A Delegate may provide an Authorisation.   This is not a sub-delegation. A Delegate cannot authorise any other person to make a decision under a delegation on behalf of the Delegate. In circumstances where a Delegate makes an Authorisation, the Delegate retains full accountability for the exercise of the Delegation.

11. Delegates are expected to act reasonably, for a proper purpose, in the interests of the University at all times.

12. Delegations in the Human Resources Delegations Register reflect the lowest Band of Delegates who hold the Delegation. Delegates within all Bands higher than that specified will also hold the Delegation.

13. In accordance with the Code of Conduct, Code of Conduct – University Council or Conflicts of Interest – University Council Policy (if applicable), a Delegate must not exercise powers under their Delegation if it involves a direct personal benefit or interest.

14. Delegates may not exercise powers under Delegations in respect of themselves or their own positions. Limited exceptions to this must be specifically identified in approved Policy, Delegation Registers or other formal University instruments.

15. A Delegate who is found to have exercised a power under a Delegation improperly may be subject to discipline and the Delegation(s) may be revoked.

Delegation Registers

16. All Delegations pertaining to the policy domains of Human Resources and Staff Development, Equity shall be contained in the Human Resources Delegation Register.

17. Where a Delegation is found to exist outside of the Human Resources Delegation Register it must be brought to the attention of the relevant policy sponsor (Deputy Vice Chancellor Services and Resources) for action and removal from policy to the relevant register.

Policy and delegation management

18. All Delegations will be periodically reviewed by the sponsor.

19. Where inconsistency is found between a Delegation located in a Council approved Delegations Register and a Delegation contained in a policy, the Delegation located in the relevant Delegations Register (as approved by Council) shall be deemed to be the applicable Delegation.

20. Change management of the Human Resource Delegation Register shall be the responsibility of the sponsor of the Human Resources Delegation Register, as identified in the Policy and Delegations Framework (Deputy Vice Chancellor Services and Resources) and will occur in accordance with the Human Resources Delegation Management Procedures.

21. Proposed changes to Human Resource Delegations shall be made in consultation with relevant stakeholders prior to submission for approval.

22. Delegates are responsible for communicating any policy, process and Delegation management issues to the sponsor of the Human Resources Delegation Register (Deputy Vice Chancellor Services and Resources).

Related Documents and Legislation

James Cook University Act 1997

Human Resources Delegation Management Procedure

Human Resources Delegations Register


Approval Details

Policy Sponsor

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval Authority

Human Resources Committee

Approval date:


Date for next review


Revision History

Approval date - the date the approval authority approved the establishment, minor or major amendment or disestablishment

Implementation Date - the date the policy was published in the Policy Library and is the date the policy takes effect


Approval date

Implementation date



18-116/08/201805/10/2018Clarification of decision making authority under the Enterprise Agreement to ensure effective operation.

Director, Human Resources




Minor amendments to reflect Council approvals of HR Delegations Register – definition clarification and editorial changes

Quality, Standards and Policy



See 17-3

Policy approved by Human Resources Committee. Replaces Human Resources Delegation Policy 17-1. This policy will be implemented following approval of the revised Human Resources Delegation Register by Council. The HR Delegations Register is being considered by Council at its meeting of 20th July 2017.

Deputy Director and Director, Human Resources, Director Quality Planning and Analytics, and Legal Office.



1 June 2017

Policy approved by Human Resources Committee via circulating resolution subject to clarification of the use of ‘Authorisation’ (refer to Clause 10). Effective from 01/06/2017. Replaces Human Resources Delegation Policy 16-2 which is effective until 31/05/2017.

Deputy Director and Director, Human Resources and Legal Office


Human resources delegations