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Web Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) This policy provides an effective University-wide framework for governance and management of matters related to web delivery of information and services at Western Sydney University.

(2) The policy is applicable to anyone intending to publish a web page, website or web application, as well as other web initiatives that involve proposed or actual use of University resources, whether by the University directly or by external organisations.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(3) For the purpose of this policy:

  1. external organisations - include public and private sector organisations within Australia or elsewhere, and wholly owned or related entities of the University.
  2. web content - refers to text, images, documents, video and audio files, links etc., available through a web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Lynx), regardless of device (e.g. PC, PDA, mobile phone).
  3. Western-Web - is the collective term for websites, web pages, web applications and web enabled corporate applications through which the University is represented in the online environment. This includes but is not limited to the domain.
  4. Micro-Site - refers to a web page or group of web pages which operate to support the University website, drive traffic to the University website, or meet an objective that cannot be supported by the official Content Management System (CMS) of the University.
  5. University website - refers to official University website at
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) The University recognises Western-Web's essential role in enabling the University to fulfil its mission and achieve its goals.

(5) The University is committed to making Western-Web accessible for all users, including users with disabilities.

(6) Appropriate use of Western-Web in promoting the University's purpose and in supporting its learning and teaching, research and engagement activities is actively supported and encouraged. In each of these endeavours, the University is committed to providing a web user experience that reflects our values and strategic priorities in accordance with the Western-Web standards.

(7) The University is committed to a program of continuous improvement for Western-Web and will provide regular opportunities for internal and external stakeholders to contribute to and provide feedback on its performance.

Part A - Governance and Management Framework

Web Steering Committee

(8) The Web Steering Committee is the peak web governance body of the University.

(9) Chaired by the Vice-President, People and Advancement its role is to:

  1. provide executive leadership and direction on matters related to the web;
  2. oversee the effective use of University resources for proposed or actual web delivery of information and services.

(10) The Director, Corporate Communications, provides strategic support to the Web Steering Committee and is the contact for Web Steering Committee enquiries.

(11) For matters related to this policy, the Web Steering Committee is the primary and official forum for consultation and communication with the University's stakeholders.

(12) Membership of the Web Steering Committee is by written invitation from the Chair of the Web Steering Committee.

Web Unit

(13) The Web Unit, a unit within the Office of Marketing and Communication, is the University's principal contact in relation to web matters, including those involving external organisations as clients, partners or suppliers.

(14) Web Unit's responsibilities include, but are not limited to, matters related to content, functionality, usability, accessibility and the representation of the University on the web.

(15) In consultation with key stakeholders, the Web Unit develops and manages University-wide strategies and processes to enable the University to achieve its goals in the web environment.

Content Authors and Subsite Managers

(16) Content Authors and Subsite Managers must follow and apply the conventions of the Web Style Guide.

(17) Content Authors are responsible for uploading web content to their allocated web pages.

(18) Content Authors and Subsite Managers have a responsibility to ensure that their information is accurate and timely, or to remove it from Western-Web if it becomes out-of-date or misleading.

(19) Subsite Managers are responsible for approving the publication of content on the University website for their specified area, and ensuring the information is accurate, relevant and consistent with the University's Web Policy.

(20) Subsite Managers must be a senior staff member or their delegate, reporting directly to a senior staff member for the purposes of website management. External people may create or coordinate University web pages, provided that a designated staff member accepts ultimate responsibility for the information published.

(21) Subsite Managers may not necessarily create the web pages, but they should have a clear idea of the objective of their web presence and the University's Web Policy framework in order to provide leadership for their site.

(22) Subsite Managers are responsible for ensuring that duplication of information on the University website is eliminated. Subsite Managers should ensure that pages under their control do not duplicate information available on Western-Web.

(23) Subsite Managers are responsible for ensuring web pages are maintained in their sites, for example, coordinating the work of the content authors and periodically reviewing the pages in their specified areas.

(24) Subsite Managers will also typically:

  1. Take part in the policy formulation processes
  2. Receive and act on reports from Web Coordinators (Office of Marketing and Communication ) indicating broken links.
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Section 4 - Procedures

Part B - Western Web Standards

(25) The Web Unit, Web Coordinators, Subsite Managers, Content Authors and all others who contribute to Western-Web have an essential role to play in ensuring their contribution meets the requirements specified in this policy and its associated procedures and guidelines.

Web Design

(26) All site designs and developments must comply with the University Web Technical Style Guide,Web Design Style Guide and Visual Identity Manual.


(27) The University is obliged to comply with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 with the aim to meet level AA requirements. All new websites should meet level AA compliance prior to publication and existing sites should work towards AA compliance. The Web Unit will continue to ensure web standards guide the development of Western-Web.

Web Content

(28) Obsolete or inaccurate information damages the reputation of the University. Content should be reviewed regularly and removed if out of date.

Acceptable Content

(29) Content on Western-Web must be specific to the official work of the University and not expose the University to risk in relation to its reputation, the conduct of its business, or its legal or ethical obligations.

Unacceptable Content

(30) Western-Web must not:

  1. contain or link to content unrelated to the official activities of the University;
  2. contain or link to outdated, inaccurate, misleading, offensive, obscene, defamatory or threatening content;
  3. contain or link to content which implicitly or explicitly contravenes State and Commonwealth legislation, including anti-discrimination legislation;
  4. contain or link to content of commercial or non-University activities performed by staff members or their families or their commercial or business associates;
  5. contain recognisable images of people unless a Photo Release form including specific release for web use has been completed and signed by those in the images (still or video). Photo release forms can be obtained from the University Photographer.
  6. contain content owned by external organisations;
  7. contain copyrighted content unless written permission from the copyright holder is held. Please refer to the Copyright Policy and the Intellectual Property Policy for more information.

Promotional Space

(31) Promotional space on the University home page must only be used to enhance the brand reputation of the University, or to drive student recruitment. Publishing of any promotional banners or buttons that do not clearly fulfil these requirements will be at the discretion of the Director, Corporate Communications.

Friendly URLs

(32) Friendly URLs are to be used in place of actual web addresses for commonly referenced content in print publications or promotional material. An example of a friendly URL would be "" for references to the Campuses page.

(33) A list of friendly URLs can be accessed here.

(34) Requests for allocation or changes of friendly URLs are to be submitted to the Web Unit.

Links to External Sites

(35) Team Leader, Web Unit, reviews and approves and/or makes recommendations to the Director, Corporate Communications, on the suitability and nature of links to non-Western Sydney University websites ('outbound links') for initial or continued publication as part of Western-Web.

Sponsorship and Advertising

(36) Acknowledgement of sponsors on Western-Web is permitted where the sponsorship is directly related to the other content on the page on which it appears, for example, the inclusion of links to the websites of organisations sponsoring conferences or projects is permitted.

(37) Web pages may contain an acknowledgement of sponsors of University supported projects, provided that the appearance of the acknowledgement is in keeping with the University's web page design guidelines. Other forms of advertising on Western-Web are not permitted.

(38) Notwithstanding the above, mentioning of a sponsors' name is not permitted on the main entry-points to the site (e.g. the University's home page).

(39) Sponsor's name or company logo should not exceed the dimensions of the University logo published on Western-Web. If this is not possible, please contact the Web Unit for advice.

(40) Advertising for the purposes of commercial gain (e.g. revenue-raising) is not permitted on Western-Web.

(41) All web pages containing potentially promotional reference to external organisations or individuals should be referred to the Director, Corporate Communications for approval.

(42) Mention of particular software that was used to create a web page is not appropriate.

Part C - Micro-Sites

New Micro-Sites

(43) All requests for Micro-Sites are to be submitted to the Web Unit and require the approval of the Director, Corporate Communications or delegate.

(44) Business Cases supporting a Micro-Site must be lodged to the Director, Corporate Communications or delegate, at least 90 days before the proposed launch date.

(45) Guidelines for applications can be found on the Service Desk web page.

(46) Approval of the Micro-Site Business Case is by the Director, Corporate Communications or delegate.

(47) The final sign off for the launch of a Micro-Site is by the Director, Corporate Communications or delegate.

(48) Micro-Sites are to be reviewed on a yearly basis.

(49) Micro-Sites which contain out-of-date or misleading content are to be decommissioned with the approval of the Director, Corporate Communications.

Part D - Domain Name Registrations

(50) Information Technology and Digital Services (ITDS) is responsible for authorising domain name registrations and renewals. Requests for domain names must be logged via the IT Services Desk at

Part E - AARNET Membership and Web Obligations

(51) As a member of Australia's Academic and Research Network, the University is bound to comply with the AARNET Access Policy which includes conditions that impact the University's responsibilities in relation to web management.

Part F - Web Hosting for External Organisations

(52) The University may provide web hosting for external organisations where an official relationship exists between the parties and where hosting provides a benefit in relation to the mission and goals of the University.

(53) Websites that have potential to present a risk in relation to Western-Web are not permitted.

(54) The nature of the information published must be consistent with the University's Web Policy and relate to the mission and goals of the University and meet the following criteria:

  1. The information must relate closely to the University's strategies and objectives;
  2. There must be a demonstrable benefit to the University;
  3. The pages should have a positive impact on the University's reputation or image;
  4. The published information should not expose the University to the risk of legal liability or contradict official University policies;
  5. The University cannot provide a subsidised service to external organisations if the service unfairly competes with private providers.

New or Transferred Websites

(55) For consideration of web hosting, the chief executive (or equivalent) of the external organisation must lodge an application to the Director, Corporate Communications or delegate at least 90 days before the intended launch date of the website with final approval by the Director, Corporate Communications or delegate.

(56) The application process is outlined on the Web Hosting Request web page.

(57) The decision of the Director, Corporate Communications or delegate is final.

(58) Where approved, a Service Level Agreement between the Vice-President, People and Advancement and the chief executive (or equivalent) of the external organisation must be signed at least 60 days before the intended launch date of the website.

(59) Hosting arrangements and corresponding Service Level Agreements are subject to annual review.

Replacement Websites

(60) Where an external organisation intends to replace a website that is currently hosted by the University, a new proposal must be submitted and, where approved, a new service level agreement entered into. Proposals for replacement sites are assessed and processed under the same conditions and arrangements as new websites.

Part G - Social Media

(61) All University videos must adhere to the Digital Production Standards.

(62) All official use of social media at the University must follow the University Social Media Guidelines.

Part H - Protocol for Exemptions

(63) It may be determined that an exemption be granted to accommodate extenuating circumstances under this policy. Should an exemption be required, a business case providing grounds to support such an exemption must be submitted to the Director, Corporate Communications for consideration in consultation with key stakeholders, as appropriate.

(64) If not approved, there is a right of appeal to the Chair of the Web Steering Committee.

(65) The decision of the Chair of the Web Steering Committee in such matters is final.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(66) Web Design Style Guide

(67) Technical Style Guide

(68) Social Media Guidelines

(69) Digital Production Standards

(70) Micro-Site Guidelines and Support