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Web Policy

Ref. No. Executive sponsor Policy steward Approval authority First approved Last reviewed Effective date Next review
56.01 Vice President, College Services and CFO Director, Marketing & Communications, Director, Digital Innovation & Technology Executive Council May 26, 2017   June 1, 2017 June 2018
  1. Purpose
    1. NSCC maintains public and internal websites that serve as marketing and communications vehicles and service platforms that support College priorities, allow for online interactions, promote community-building and enhance brand and reputation.
    2. The purpose of this policy is to clearly identify NSCC websites as College-owned and managed resources that serve NSCC business needs. This policy guides users in the effective and efficient management of NSCC websites and ensures that all NSCC web content is developed, presented, hosted, maintained and governed in a way that supports College priorities while addressing reputational risk associated with maintaining an online presence.
    3. This policy ensures that the College’s online presence aligns with other College policies, procedures, regulations, standards, guiding principles and relevant government legislation.
  1. Scope
    1. The College’s website, intranet site and any stand-alone sites created for College use are the sole property of NSCC and must comply with this policy.
    2. This policy applies to all NSCC employees and students.
    3. In instances where third-parties external to the College (designers, writers or developers, etc.) are involved in developing websites, web content or functionality, it is the responsibility of the NSCC employee or student initiating the work to ensure compliance with this policy.
    4. NSCC’s social media web presence (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is governed by the College's Social Media Policy.
  1. Definitions
Term Definition
Content Management System (CMS) Software or a suite of applications and tools that can be used to create, edit, review and publish electronic web content, enabling non-technical users to access and contribute content updates to a website.
Distributed Publishing Model  A content management framework where web content publishing responsibilities are distributed throughout the organization. Greater access to contributing, editing and approving/publishing content is provided to more people within the organization through a centrally-managed CMS, overseen by individuals with core expertise in web content development, user experience and information architecture.
Intranet The College’s official internal website which is intended for employee and student use and provides permission-based or role-based (username and password required) content. The College’s official public-facing website, intended for external audiences.
Subdomain A web address created by adding a third-level domain to an existing domain name.
Subsite A collection of pages specific to a department, business unit or campus that exist on the site.
Template An electronic file that provides a uniform, customized format and design.
Web Content Refers to text, images, documents, video, audio files and links available through a web browser, regardless of device (PC, mobile, etc).
Web Content Strategy A guide to ensure web content meets organizational business needs, as well as the needs of relevant audiences. The strategy defines audiences, goals and sets a process for prioritizing work.
  1. Guiding Principles for Web Content
    1. Supports the Mission, Vision and Values of NSCC
    2. User-centred, audience-first approach through research-based best practices
    3. Reflects a commitment to content that is accurate, relevant to key audiences, consistently presented, current and measurable
    4. Reflects the organization’s learning culture and collaborative approach
    5. Enhances NSCC’s brand and reputation
    6. Ensures internationally-accepted accessibility standards are met (WCAG 2.0+ guidelines)
  1. Policy Administration & Oversight
    1. The College’s website, intranet site and any stand-alone sites created for College use are the sole property of NSCC.
    2. Marketing & Communications (M&C) is responsible for identifying the purpose and direction for College websites, supporting NSCC’s Mission, Vision and Values, and business priorities.
    3. Digital Innovation & Technology (DI & TECH) is responsible for providing the technical and product development capabilities the College requires to meet its strategic objectives online, both from a communications and online services perspective. In doing so, DI & TECH will build user experiences rooted in best practice information, architecture and design.
    4. All requests for a new online presence and/or revised content and functionality must be made through the College’s Technology Service Desk ticketing system.
    5. Work required to develop a new online presence, new web content or make significant changes to existing web content or functionality will be prioritized by M&C and DI & TECH, using the Web Content Strategy and technical/platform constraints.
    6. Web content must be monitored and reviewed on a consistent basis to ensure accuracy by those accountable for content accuracy ( i.e., Content Owners & Approvers or their delegates) and those who monitor adherence to web editorial standards (e.g. M&C, Web Editors). Content that does not meet the standards outlined in this or other College policies will be revised or deleted.
    7. Only individuals who have been assigned a role in the distributed publishing model and have received training that has been developed and provided by M&C and/or DI & TECH will be given access to the CMS.
  1. Operational Roles & Responsibilities
    1. Marketing & Communications (M&C)
      1. Provide editorial oversight and support, through developing and maintaining a Web Content Strategy
      2. Edit / alter content as needed for clarity, grammar, spelling, usage, and style, as well as to conform to College naming conventions and branding standards
      3. Ensure content is brand-aligned and adheres to NSCC’s web standards
      4. Ensure that all web content has an identified owner and subject-matter expert
      5. Use data and research to establish and evaluate goals and inform decision-making
      6. Measure and evaluate user experience through analytics tools, research and usability testing
      7. Ensure content conforms to College naming conventions and branding standards
      8. In collaboration with DI & TECH, develop and deliver training as required
    2. Digital Innovation & Technology (DI & TECH)
      1. Provide technical oversight and support
      2. Ensure content is aligned with NSCC’s web interface style guide standards
      3. Ongoing leadership and collaboration with M&C and College business owners and to identify website functionality requirements
      4. Serve as subject-matter experts on industry research and general standards for information architecture and usability best practices for different audience types and platforms
      5. Develop, implement and oversee website design/brand standards
      6. Measure and evaluate user experience through analytics tools, research and usability testing
      7. In collaboration with M&C, develop and deliver training as required
      8. Manage CMS permissions and access levels
    3. Web Editors
      1. Able to access a specific website area to add new content or revise existing content, and publish
      2. Received Web Editor training
      3. Maintain web content to be accurate, consistently presented, current, functioning as intended and updated as required
      4. Required to notify M&C when content revisions have been made or new content has been created
      5. Required to notify M&C if they leave their position and are replaced by another Web Editor
    4. Role of Web Content Owners & Approvers
      1. Has final accountability over a specific area of web content, usually a Senior Leadership Forum member or delegate
  1. Acceptable Use
    1. Material contained on must support core business activities of the College and align with the Web Content Strategy.
    2. The College maintains a “create once / publish everywhere” approach to web content. Duplication of pages or content is not permitted.
    3. Information that is of a personal nature, confidential to NSCC, or deemed for internal use only (intended for employees and/or current students) will be posted on the College’s intranet, rather than the publicly accessible NSCC website.
    4. All digital images and videos used on NSCC websites must be approved by M&C.
    5. Content must adhere to editorial, usability, and measurement standards as defined by NSCC’s Web Editorial and Interface Style Guides.
    6. Content that does not meet the standards outlined in this or other College policies will be revised or deleted.
    7. NSCC respects the valid copyright of third parties and shall not reproduce, distribute, adapt, or display copyrighted works belonging to third parties without permission of the copyright holder.
    8. NSCC websites must not include links to other sites that contain inappropriate content (pornography, discriminatory materials, violent content, illegal activity content, etc.) or inaccurate or outdated information.
    9. Links to external websites are not permitted, unless approved by M&C and identified as advancing the interests of the College.
    10. College-provided photo release forms are required for any recognizable images of people appearing on an NSCC website. Photo release forms must be completed, signed by the subject, and provided to M&C.
  1. Platform and Hosting
    1. All College web content must be developed using a College CMS, unless otherwise approved by DI & TECH.
    2. All NSCC public-facing web content must be hosted within the domain and through the College’s content management system (CMS), unless otherwise approved by DI & TECH and M&C.
    3. Use of subdomains is not permitted (, unless otherwise approved by DI & TECH and M&C.
    4. All NSCC web content must be hosted on a web server owned and/or controlled by the College, unless otherwise approved by DI & TECH and M&C.
    5. External domains – or College-related websites that do not use NSCC in the domain name, e.g., – may be hosted on the College web server(s) only under the following conditions:
      1. There is an institutional affiliation
      2. Proposed content has been reviewed by M&C to determine the level of College branding required
      3. There is no duplication of content that already exists on or the College intranet
    6. All content must be developed and maintained using College approved and provided web page templates.
    7. CMS templates must not be used outside of the CMS.
  1. Advertising & Promotion
    1. NSCC websites must not give the appearance of endorsing or promoting any commercial activity, product, or service, unless approved by M&C. This includes, but is not limited to, advertising, endorsements, links or sponsorship acknowledgements in the form of banner ads and website development credits by third party vendors.
  1. Policy Supports

54.01 Social Media Policy

Web Standards documents

  1. Web Content Editorial Guidelines
  2. Web Interface Style Guide
  3. Web Content Strategy

Web Publishing Model (2016/17)
Photo Release Form

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