Prince Sultan University PSU
Policy Management System
Succession Planning Policy

Policy Code: GV0006
Policy Name: Succession Planning Policy
Handler: President Office
Date Created: 15 August 2020
Date of Current Review:
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Approved by: University Council
Date of Approval:

Policy Statement

As part of the Prince Sultan University’s (“PSU”) strategic plan, a succession plan must be created for each academic and non-academic department/position. The succession plan must take into consideration the staffing processing regulations and human recourses allocation policies. The succession planning policy aims to identify critical high-stack positions and to project and train individuals who fulfil the needed competencies and skills to meet the future needs of the university. Professional development plans will be created to help guide individuals to advance to higher levels of responsibility.

Background and Justification

In its continuous quest for excellence and achievement in all directions, PSU seeks to select the highest caliber of leaders and experts to take key positions in the university. Key positions are those critical for the success and growth of the university. As components of the organizational chart, key positions have well defined terms of reference, selection criteria and some preset rules and regulations. These include items such as the term in office, the renewal process, the approval process, and the reporting hierarchy. It is natural that key positions frequently become vacant when the term in office expires, or when the incumbent moves out of position through promotion, retirement, resignation or other reasons. This policy outlines how the succession plan is prepared and executed.

Scope and Purpose

To avoid disruption and discontinuity, PSU has a clear succession plan and process that covers both short-term and long term vacancies. The process starts by identifying the key positions based on the organizational chart and, preparing selection criteria for these key positions and a back-up strategy for all key positions. Priority should be given to internal loyal staff through professional development.

This Succession Planning Policy applies to all employees at the university.

Principles of the Policy

Identify key positions based on the University Organizational Chart.

  • Prepare clear selection criteria based on the type of position, regulatory requirements and the terms of reference.
  • Prepare a back-up plan for potential short-term vacancies in key positions.
  • Study and project future staffing needs and competency requirements based on PSU mission and growth trends.
  • Prepare promising internal candidates for future vacancies through well planned professional development programs.


Responsibilities and Implementation Strategies

Succession planning is an annual activity, where the responsible committee or entity prepares or updates the succession plan. The main steps for preparing the plan may be outlined as follows

  • Review or update the university organization chart in coordination with university leadership. Dynamic organizations learn through experience and update their books and processes as the need arises. The terms of reference for a particular position may be modified, a new key position may be introduced, and some positions may be merged or removed
  • Based on the revised organizational chart, identify the key positions for the period
  • Identify department and unit needs
  • Identify or predict potential key position vacancies
  • Prepare a short-term back-up plan for potential vacancies. This may be based on projections and predictions, or reports received from departments and units.
  • Identify and assess potential internal leaders that take future key positions
  • Prepare professional development programs to develop potential internal candidates for key position vacancies

Procedures for Handling Policy Violation

President Office will evaluate the Succession Planning Policy regularly. If any non-compliance of the Succession Planning Policy, President Office will take necessary steps.