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Web Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The Charles Sturt University (the University) website (CSU Website) is a University facility supporting all areas of core business of the University. It provides a range of activities critical to the operation of the University and to support its stakeholders including; prospective and current students, staff, alumni, researchers and the research community, partners and related third parties such as; workplace learning supervisors, agencies, consultants and contractors, and the general public.

(2) This document sets out the University's policy on management, development, maintenance and use of its web environment in support of the University's objectives.


(3) This policy applies to any person or group who publish or who are responsible for making decisions relating to publishing to University web platforms, with the exceptions outlined in clause 5. This includes authorised partners of the University.

(4) This policy applies to any published web content that contains official University material or material relating to the University whether on the CSU Website or other online service not hosted on University web infrastructure or web platforms, except learning resources as outlined in clause 5.

(5) This policy does not cover online activities specific to the conduct of learning and teaching and the development and maintenance of learning technologies or learning resources. All official teaching resources, such as course and subject-related resources, are published to an authorised protected University server or approved external educational technologies servers as per the External Educational Technologies for Learning and Teaching Policy and the External Educational Technologies for Learning and Teaching Guidelines. Online activities specific to the conduct of learning and teaching and the development and maintenance of learning technologies and learning resources are governed by the Learning Technologies Framework, Learning Technologies Plan, External Educational Technologies for Learning and Teaching Policy and the External Educational Technologies for Learning and Teaching Guidelines and fall outside the scope of this Policy.


(6) This policy should be read in conjunction with the following:

  1. Brand Governance Policy;
  2. Brand Guidelines;
  3. Computing and Communications Facilities Use Policy;
  4. Copyright Act 1968;
  5. Disability Discrimination Act 1992;
  6. Delegations and Authorisations Policy, including Delegation Schedule 11 - Information and Technology Delegations;
  7. External Educational Technologies for Learning and Teaching Policy;
  8. External Educational Technologies for Learning and Teaching Guidelines;
  9. Information and Communications Technology Security Policy;
  10. Intellectual Property Policy; and
  11. Social Media Use Policy for Staff.
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Section 2 - Glossary

(7) For the purpose of this policy:

  1. Audience stakeholder - means the faculty, division, office, or centre who has responsibility for ensuring a piece of content owned elsewhere is appropriate for provision to a particular audience for which the audience stakeholder has responsibility, eg: Division of Marketing and Communication for content being provided to prospective students, Division of Student Success for content being provided to current students or Office of Research Services and Graduate Studies for content being provided to researchers;
  2. Authorised approvers - means the head of unit such as; Pro Vice-Chancellors, Executive Deans, Heads of Schools, Executive Directors and Research Centre Directors who have responsibility for a relevant designated area of the CSU Website;
  3. Brand guidelines - means the guidelines developed around the use of the University's brand in line with the Brand Governance Policy;
  4. Content management system (CMS) - means a software/computing platform which helps create, manage, and publish content to the University's web environment. The system provides access to a simple and non-technical means of web publishing for use by the University's web content editors;
  5. Content owner - means the faculty, division, office or centre responsible for the development and maintenance of a piece of content emanating from their faculty, division, office or centre, which will be used on the CSU Website in line with the single source of truth principle;
  6. Faculty Operations Team - means the team within the administration structure of each faculty established under the Faculty Common Support Model (FCSM) that is responsible for operations of the faculty including faculty websites;
  7. Learning resources - means digital learning and teaching resources which enable pedagogical outcomes. Learning and teaching resources include, but are not restricted to; text, images, video and interactive content, and may be aimed at students or teaching staff (including work place learning) and other University staff. Learning and teaching resources may be published via any of the University's internal learning and teaching technologies or externally online depending on the audience and the required outcome, in line with the required University policies;
  8. Learning technologies - means all information, communication and related technologies used in the learning and teaching processes at the University. Learning technologies include, but are not restricted to; software, computers and networks, mobile devices, video conferencing and multimedia, including audio/visual and online production systems. Examples can be found at the University's Technologies for Learning and Teaching Website;
  9. Official University content - means all content published to the University's web servers, which has the approval of the University and which is subject to the University's quality assurance procedures and practices;
  10. Publishing - means placing text, print, images, video or sound on the CSU Website and the University's social media platforms;
  11. Social media platforms - means applications, websites or tools that enable users to socialise online, send messages to one another, share interests and information, chat, meet people, and post information, photographs and videos;
  12. University’s web environment - means any website, webpage or web application that sits on the domain, except the internal and external learning technologies described in clause 5;
  13. Vanity URL - means a shortened descriptive URL that points towards a website or webpage;
  14. World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) - means the World Wide Web Consortium who develops standards to ensure sustainable growth of the web including best practice, accessibility and web development frameworks;
  15. Web page - means a document that can be displayed in web browsers such as Safari or Chrome;
  16. Website - means a collection of webpages grouped together. At the University this means any webpage structurally coming under the domain, known as the CSU Website;
  17. Web Application W3C - means an application that is a web page (XHTML or a variant thereof + CSS) or a collection of web pages delivered over HTTP which use server-side or client-side processing (eg. JavaScript) to provide an application-like experience within a web browser as defined by W3C;
  18. Web content - means information contained in a web page or web application including text, documents, images, video and sound;
  19. Website Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)- refers to the series of web accessibility guidelines published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) which determines industry standards that the University is required to meet at a minimum level of AA compliance;
  20. Web content editor - means the person(s) in each faculty, school, division, office or centre who has been assigned responsibility for publishing changes to web content to ensure accuracy and appropriateness of pages of the CSU Website designated to that faculty, school, division, office or centre;
  21. Web Improvement Program - means the approved 12 month rolling program of major development and redevelopment works which supports the objectives of the Web Strategy and University Strategy and which is endorsed by the Web Steering Committee.
  22. Web Platform - means a software/computing platform that allows users to deliver content to the web;
  23. Web Steering Committee (WSC) - refers to the governance committee that has oversight of the strategic online operations of the University's web environment and is responsible for ensuring alignment with the University's strategic objectives and priorities and for ensuring the CSU Website meets required web standards and industry best practice; and
  24. Web Office - refers to the University's centralised office that creates and/or coordinates all web development, web user experience, web analytics and web content.
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Section 3 - Policy

Part A - Guiding principles for the use of the University's website

(8) The CSU Website is the official online presence of the University and as such is the central point of access to the University and provision of information to stakeholders in the online environment.

(9) The CSU Website is designed and developed in such a way as to ensure:

  1. it is of high quality and projects a positive image of the University that aligns with our strategic vision and purpose;
  2. it remains innovative, agile and responsive to users needs;
  3. it is accessible across standard browsers and multiple platforms and devices;
  4. information is current and accurate;
  5. Australian and international law and the rules, regulations and policies of the University are met; and
  6. it continues to meet minimum AA WCAG 2.0 accessibility standards (refer to the Website Accessibility Guidelines) and that due consideration is given to the needs of the diverse range of users who access the site, including those with disabilities.

(10) The University's web environment is viewed as a single entity to ensure a consistent and coordinated environment which aligns to the University's strategy and supports the good reputation of the University. Therefore, strategy, governance, operational oversight, development and maintenance is centralised through an approved governance structure lead by the Web Steering Committee and a dedicated service unit, the Web Office.

(11) Where applications constitute a component of the University's web environment, this policy provides guidance on web templates for user interface design and development, web user experience design, web analytics and web accessibility.

(12) Responsibility for publication of web content to the CSU Website is devolved to staff across the University, via a system of distributed ownership to authorised approvers and their assigned web content editors to ensure that each faculty, school, division, centre and office has editorial control of the content presented on the site.

(13) The same care in the management of information must be exercised in publishing online information as would be expected with conventional publishing. This includes care in writing and proofing, and high standards of layout, following University style requirements where applicable.

(14) A single source of truth will be maintained for information displayed in the University's web environment to avoid duplication and ensure accurate, consistent and non-conflicting provision of information. The web content owner will be responsible for maintaining this content and other areas will link to the content directly or embed it into any other pages of the CSU Website where the information is required. 

Part B - Publishing to the University's website

(15) All official University content must reside on sites that have been approved by the appropriate delegated authority as per Delegation Schedule 11 - Information and Technology Delegations of the Delegations and Authorisations Policy and adhere to the minimum standard set out under the Web Strategy.

(16) Requests for major strategic web initiatives are submitted to the Web Steering Committee for consideration via the Web Development Request Process.  Where there is a case for a major strategic initiative that seeks exemption from this policy in anyway, a request for consideration must be submitted to the Web Steering Committee. This may include developments supporting the University Strategy or other strategic initiatives which require early notice to the Web Steering Committee for consideration. 

(17) In accordance with the Web Strategy, University Strategy, Web Improvement Program or where it is deemed a significant risk to the University's reputation not to act, or where content contravenes University policy or codes of conduct, the Executive Director, Division of Information Technology reserves the right to make changes to the CSU Website at any time and without notice.

(18) Official University content for online access must be published on the CSU Website.

(19) All official University content on must be published within the enterprise CMS unless prior approval has been provided by the Operations Manager, Web Office.

(20) The CSU Website or web pages must adhere to the University's web style guidelines available from the Web Office unless specific exceptions have been sought and approved by the Operations Manager, Web Office. 

(21) All official University content must be able to be read by standard and commonly used web browsers and be responsive across multiple platforms and devices such as mobile, tablet and desktop computers. Exemptions can be sought from the Operations Manager, Web Office and must be for special and extenuating circumstances.

(22) All official University content must comply with W3C standards including meeting  WCAG 2.0 AA standard at a minimum and should not have any functionality inhibited when used by any commonly accessed browsers, devices or platforms.

(23) Confidential information shall not be published on any University web server without prior approval of the person responsible for such information. Confidential information approved for publishing must be protected by username and password security.

(24) When publishing to the site, users must refer to, and comply with, all copyright requirements under the Copyright Act 1968. The University has dedicated policy, staff and resources to assist publishers with copyright issues. The University Copyright Officer can provide advice on copyright matters not found in the Copyright website.

Advertising and sponsorship

(25) Links to commercial entities should not be displayed on the CSU Website unless they form part of an authorised engagement between the University and one of its partners. Specific exceptions may be approved by the Web Steering Committee if the links support the University's mission and/or provide an essential service to the University.

(26) Approval of paid advertising on the CSU Website will only be granted in exceptional circumstances by the Web Steering Committee. Approval must be obtained prior to paid advertising being placed on the website.

(27) Publication of sponsorship on the CSU Website may be approved provided the sponsorship arrangement does not reflect poorly on the reputation of the University. The sponsorship acknowledgment must take the form of a small logo and/or a short statement of acknowledgment. All sponsorship acknowledgments must be approved by the Web Steering Committee on advice from the Division of Marketing and Communication.

Domain names

(28) The domain is the official top level domain for the CSU Website and is managed and maintained by the Web Office.

(29) Requests for URLs for CSU websites are made via the IT Service Desk Request which will be triaged to the Web Office for approval.

(30) The business unit requesting the URL is responsible for any associated licensing costs. Web Office will centrally manage Domain name registrations and renewals and on charge associated costs of registrations and renewals to the relevant budget centre.

(31) The Web Office will maintain the University’s official domain name register. 

(32) Establishment of new URLs based on the University’s domain or relating to the University’s activities require approval from the Operations Manager, Web Office. These include:

  1. high-level domain names with the format,;
  2. virtual or sub-domain names with the format,;
  3. standard forms of domain name such as; and
  4. vanity URLs used for marketing purposes.

Part C - Responsibilities

(33) The Web Steering Committee is responsible for:

  1. governance of the University's web environment as per the 'Web Steering Committee' - Membership and Terms of Reference;
  2. assessing and approving Web Improvement Program and endorsement of web development initiatives or capabilities from the Technology Governance Committee (TGC) for inclusion in the Web Improvement Program.
  3. approving the Web Improvement Program and changes to the program; and
  4. assessment of the Web Improvement Program against deliverables.

(34) The Web Office is responsible for oversight, maintenance and development of the University's web environment as a single entity to ensure a consistent, coordinated, innovative and current environment which represents industry best practice and aligns to the Web Strategy and University Strategy and supports the good reputation of the University. This includes responsibility for:

  1. development of a University wide Web Strategy;
  2. the University's website information architecture;
  3. web templates including user interface design and development;
  4. Web Application W3C development;
  5. web user experience including user testing, research and advice;
  6. web centralised content strategy and oversight and support of web content including the delivery of web content editor, writing for the web and accessibility training for web content editors;
  7. Website Accessibility Guidelines;
  8. web analytics and reporting;
  9. developing an annual Web Improvement Program for the endorsement of the Web Steering Committee;
  10. assessing business cases and preparing recommendations for major development and major redevelopment requests for the relevant governance committee;
  11. prioritising minor development/minor redevelopment and business as usual work in accordance with the Web Improvement Program, Web Strategy, University Strategy and resources available;
  12. scheduling approved web development activities into the Web Improvement Program;
  13. undertaking web development for any approved Web Development Request Process including websites and web applications and programs of work included in the Web Improvement Program and collaborating and coordinating with Division of Information Technology for delivery of application and integration work; and
  14. ensuring established web development processes are followed in order to provide consistency in the CSU Website user experience.

(35) Division of Information Technology is responsible for:

  1. the establishment, monitoring and maintenance of the overarching organisational technology policies, standards and architectures including maintenance and optimisation of the University's Application Portfolio, IT security and data governance;
  2. providing application and integration standards and services required for web development. Division of Information Technology will provide Web Office advice and direction in regards to applications development and/or procurement and integrations of University systems;
  3. using Web Office web templates and standards for user interface design and development, web user experience design, web analytics, web accessibility in application development and configuration, and systems procurement;
  4. triaging web development submissions made to the IT Service Desk Request to the Web Office;
  5. triaging any request for web developments to the Web Office including those that form part of an ICT: Significant Works Register; and
  6. management and maintenance of domain name server infrastructure.

(36) Approved authorisers are responsible for:

  1. web content published to the web pages designated to their faculty, school, division, centre or office including ensuring it is accurate, relevant and up to date;
  2. provision of web content which falls within their area of authority but which is required for other areas of the University website; and
  3. endorsement of business cases for major redevelopment which are submitted by their faculty, school, division, centre or office.

(37) Faculty Operations and Faculty Workplace Learning teams are responsible for:

  1. providing web content to schools and faculties;
  2. publishing web content to their site;
  3. editing web content on their site, or for other approved web content;
  4. publishing and editing on behalf of the content owners; and
  5. triaging web development requests to the Web Office.

(38) Web content editors are responsible for content on their designated sites and pages including:

  1. providing web content;
  2. publishing web content to their site;
  3. editing web content on their site, or for other approved web content;
  4. ensuring currency and accuracy of web content which falls within these responsibilities; and
  5. applying an appropriate writing style and tone of voice as per the Web Content Guidelines available through the Web Office.

(39) Web content editors are required to have web content editor, writing for the web and accessibility training at a minimum in order to perform their duties. This training is provided by the Web Office.

(40) Web content editors are not required to make changes in the design of a template or undertake the significant alteration of the information architecture of a site. This is the responsibility of the Web Office.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(41) Refer to Web Development Request Process for requesting major development and redevelopment work. Business as usual should be logged through the IT Service Desk Request.

(42) Refer to the Web Development Requests Triage to WSC Procedure for the consideration of substantial web development (or redevelopment) requests to the Web Steering Committee.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(43) Refer to the University’s Brand Guidelines.

(44) Refer the University's Vendor Web Style Guide available from the Web Office.

(45) Refer to the University’s Website Accessibility information webpage.