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Policy Development by RACMA
Approval Date: 19th October 2006
Review Date: October 2009
Review By: Executive of Council


1. Background

Strong strategic and policy development processes are critical elements of good governance. 
Policy clarity:

• Enables members and other organisational stakeholders, both internal and external, to understand an organisation's position on key issues;
• Guides decision-making processes;
• Enables appropriate strategic positioning; and
• Assists to ensure the effective operations of an organisation within a clear governance framework.

RACMA is a professional college which was founded with the aim of promoting and advancing the study of health services management by medical practitioners.  It is governed by an elected Council and has an appointed management team.  RACMA is committed to ensuring that its leadership, control framework and internal processes are effective, transparent and consistent with its role and objectives.

RACMA's stakeholder community is growing.  As well as providing educational services to Fellows, Members and Candidates, RACMA increasingly is requested by external stakeholders to assist with consultations and submissions on a range of issues of relevant to the profession of medical administration.  RACMA needs to ensure that its submissions and consultation responses to external bodies are consistent with RACMA policy and achieve maximum impact.

2. Purpose of this policy

This policy defines RACMA's approach to policy development. 
It is a RACMA Council policy which is intended to:

• Optimise RACMA's governance and operational performance;
• Assist RACMA Council, staff and consultants to prioritise and respond to external requests; and
• Promote transparency to Fellows, Candidates and Members as well as to external stakeholders where possible.

3. Types of RACMA policies

RACMA has the following types of policies:

a. Council policies that define the way in which Council conducts its business. 
Examples may include:

• Policies addressing the management of conflicts of interest within Council;
• Policies defining dispute resolution mechanisms for Council;
• Policies defining Council members' obligations with respect to the management of confidential information; and
• Codes of conduct for Council members.

b. Council policies that define the operational control framework. 
Examples may include:

• Policies defining financial and other delegations to management;
• Policies addressing privacy and confidentiality of information relating to Candidates, Members and Fellows;
• A risk management policy;
• Policies addressing the candidate examination process and the awarding of Fellowships;
• Policies addressing the management of complaints against Candidates, Members or Fellows; and
• Policies addressing the management of RACMA intellectual property.

c. Council policies that define RACMA's position(s) on key strategic issues of broader significance in the health care sector.  These policies are high level and will guide RACMA's response to external inquiries; and

d. Operational policies which are developed by management and define the way in which management conducts RACMA business.  Examples may include organisational privacy policies, cash-handling policies, leave management policies and policies addressing the management of media inquiries.

4. Principles for the development and maintenance of RACMA policies

The following principles apply to the development of RACMA policies:

a. RACMA policies will always comply with applicable legislation and with RACMA's constitutional instruments.

b. Where possible, RACMA policies will be based on thorough research and evidence.

c. Where possible, RACMA Council policies will be developed in a consultative manner, providing meaningful opportunities for stakeholders (in particular, Fellows, Candidates, and Members) to contribute to policy development.

d. If the Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges (CPMC) has adopted a policy that is relevant to RACMA, RACMA will consider that policy.  Where consistency with CPMC policy is not possible or desirable, RACMA will detail why it takes a different policy position and advise the CPMC accordingly.

e. The following individuals and groups are responsible for leading policy development:
1.1 Council policies will be developed by staff with input and comment by Council and other stakeholders and with final endorsement by Council; and
1.2 Operational policies will be developed and endorsed by the Chief Executive with assistance from staff and with input by Council where necessary and appropriate.

f. Council reserves the discretion to query or change operational policies but will do so only in exceptional circumstances, respecting the role of the Chief Executive and the responsibility of Council to establish an appropriate distinction between governance and management roles.

g. A policy register will be maintained, with Council policies separately identified from operational policies.  All policies will be dated and endorsed by the President or Chief Executive according to the authorisation level.

h. H.RACMA Council policies will be available on request to all Candidates, Members and Fellows unless Council determines otherwise.

i. All RACMA policies will be reviewed on a regular basis and updated where necessary and at least annually, by the individual or body responsible for their endorsement.

5. Priorities for the development of policies

RACMA has a small employee group which is experiencing increasing workload pressure.  RACMA needs to ensure that it applies its professional resources efficiently and effectively.
Priorities for new Council and operational policy development will be agreed annually and revised as necessary.

6. Responding to external policy requests or invitations to make submissions

RACMA will make every effort to monitor the external health policy environment and respond to relevant policy-based requests by external stakeholders, recognising the responsibility and opportunity to contribute to policy and practice in the broader health care system, particularly in areas in which RACMA has specific expertise.
RACMA will make every effort to provide high quality, timely submissions and consultation responses in areas in which RACMA holds specific expertise. 
These areas include but are not limited to:

• Health system administration;
• Health system clinical leadership;
• Health care quality and safety;
• Health system structure and financing;
• Health system regulatory structures and processes;
• Education and training of health care professionals;
• Health care ethics;
• Medico-legal issues;
• Health workforce issues; and
• Health care professional regulation.

The Chief Executive, in consultation with the President if considered necessary by the Chief Executive, coordinates the development of and authorises RACMA submissions and consultation responses.
In general, jurisdictional committees should limit their submissions and consultation responses to issues that are relevant only at a jurisdictional level.  If an issue has broader relevance, or a requesting body operates at a multi-jurisdictional or national level, submissions and consultation responses should be coordinated by the secretariat and authorised by the Chief Executive, with Council input if necessary.
For quality and consistency purposes, jurisdictional committees that are asked to make submissions and consultation responses should consult with the RACMA secretariat to ascertain if there is an existing RACMA policy.  If so, jurisdictional submissions and consultation responses should be consistent with that policy unless otherwise approved by RACMA Council. 
A copy of each jurisdictional submission and consultation response should be submitted to the secretariat for inclusion in a central repository of all RACMA submissions and consultation responses, which will be maintained by the secretariat.

7. Access to RACMA policies and related documents

Council policies will be accessible on request by all RACMA Fellows, Candidates and Members.
Council policies will be published on RACMA's website unless Council specifically decides that a policy will not be published.
Public access via RACMA's website will be the preferred mode of broader promulgation of RACMA's submissions and consultation responses, unless the Chief Executive, in consultation with Council if necessary, identifies specific sensitivities associated with a submission or consultation response that preclude its publication.

8. Conclusion

RACMA is committed to the development of high quality policies in a range of areas relevant to its governance and its broader role in the health care system.  RACMA will prioritise its health system policy development in areas in which it has specific expertise and interest. 
Where possible, RACMA will develop its policies through a consultative and evidence-based process. 
RACMA policies will be transparent and unless specific contraindications apply, they will be promulgated publicly.
RACMA will develop a standing policy platform which will assist it to respond in a timely manner to external requests for policy advice.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 April 2012 11:13