Policy University Delegations Academic and Student Delegations Policy

Academic and Student Delegations Policy

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This Policy provides the overarching principles for the management of James Cook University delegated authorities in order to perform the functions necessary to manage the University’s Academic and Student Delegations.


All Academic and Student Delegations will:

  • Establish appropriate responsibility and accountability for various Academic and Student Delegation 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 governance oversight)
  • Use committees where necessary (to bring in wider representation for making complex   decisions)


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 following policy domains:

  • Learning and Teaching
  • Student Services
  • Research Management
  • Research Education


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.

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 Academic and Student Delegation Management Procedure.
  2. All powers exercised under a Delegation must be exercised:

(a) in accordance with:

i. the James Cook University Act 1997 (Qld);

ii. Acts Interpretation Act 1954 (Qld);

iii. industrial awards and agreements;

iv. relevant legislation;

v. the Policy and Delegations Framework; and

vi. the University’s policies and procedures;

(b) with due consideration for the best interests of the University; and

(c) 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:

(a) an appropriately qualified member of the University Council;

(b) a committee consisting of appropriately qualified persons, but which must include 1 or more members of the University Council; or

(c) 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:

(a) to make University statutes or rules; or

(b) to adopt the University’s annual budget; or

(c) to 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.

5. 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’.

6. Delegations are limited to the Delegate’s area of responsibility, in terms of organisational unit or portfolio, unless otherwise explicitly stated in the relevant delegations register.

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

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

9.    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.

10.   Delegates are expected to act reasonably, in the interests of the University and in accordance with good governance practices at all times.

11.   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,

12.     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.

13.     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

14.     All Delegations pertaining to the policy domains of Learning and Teaching, Student Services, Research Management, and Research Education shall be contained in the Academic and Student Delegations Register.

15.     Delegations identified in the Academic and Student Delegation Register may not be sub-delegated.

16.     Where a Delegation is found to exist outside of the Academic and Student Delegation Register it must be brought to the attention of the relevant policy co-sponsor (Provost or Deputy Vice Chancellor, Students) for action and removal from policy to the relevant register.

Policy and delegation management

17.   All Delegations will be periodically reviewed by policy sponsors:

  • Learning and Teaching
  • Student Services
  • Research Management
  • Research Education

18.   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.

19.   Change management of the Academic and Student Delegation Register shall be the responsibility of the relevant sponsor as identified in the Policy and Delegations Framework and in accordance with the Academic and Student Delegation Management Procedures.

20.   Proposed changes to academic and student Delegations shall be made in consultation with relevant stakeholders prior to submission for approval.

21.   Delegates are responsible for communicating any policy, process and Delegation management issues to the relevant co-sponsor (Provost or Deputy Vice Chancellor, Students).

Related policy instruments

Policy and Delegations Framework

JCU policies and procedures

Academic and Student Delegation Management Procedure

Financial Delegations Policy

Human Resources Delegations Policy

Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct – University Council

Conflicts of Interests – University Council Policy


Academic and Student Delegation Register (PDF, 441 KB)

Related documents and legislation

James Cook University Act 1997 (Qld)

Integrity Act 2009 (Qld)

Public Sector Ethics Act 1994 (Qld)

Financial Administration and Audit Act 1997 (Qld)

Statutory Bodies Financial Arrangements Act 1982 (Qld)

Financial Accountability Act 2009 (Qld)

Statutory Bodies Financial Arrangements Act 1982 (Qld)

Acts Interpretation Act 1954 (Qld)


NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy Co-sponsors

Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Students

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review


Revision History

NOTE: A minor amendment will not result in a change of the next major review date.

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



18-109/03/201830/04/2018Changes made to reflect organisational structure 30/4/2018Quality, Standards and Policy Officer




Amendments to align with approved Legal Office changes to definition of ‘Authorisation’ and to the clarification of the meaning of ‘authorisation’ at clause 9.

Quality, Standards and Policy Office




Amendments resulting from review of academic and student delegations – refer to 20 June Academic Board Minutes for details.

Quality, Standards and Policy




Policy establishment

Manager Quality, Standards and Policy


Delegation, authority