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Delegation of Authority

Understanding the Delegation of Authority

Every employee should understand who within the University has authority to make decisions, especially if it is not themselves. The Delegation of Authority policy will assist employees to understand who has authority to make commitments and decisions on behalf of the University.

The University of Calgary’s Delegation of Authority policy is a foundational governance document that details the organizational accountability for those empowered to make decisions on behalf of the University and sets the limits of those powers.

See the Delegation of Authority Policy and Delegation of Authority Appendix for a detailed look.

The purpose of a consultation is to engage stakeholders in order to make an informed decision on behalf of the University. An effective consultation assists in minimizing anticipated operational risks or potential issues associated with implementing a decision.

The consultation stage may vary; however, it provides the Designated Individual with the opportunity to obtain the points of view of relevant stakeholders prior to approving a decision. The purpose of a consultation is to balance the needs of stakeholders with operational realities and organizational ideals.

If the Delegation of Authority Matrix denotes, “Consultation Required With,” the Designated Individual is required to consult with the individuals listed.

The Designated Individual must ensure that support for the decision is obtained by the group, individual, or office referred to in the "Support Required By" field of the DOA Appendix A. In requesting their support, the Designated Individual should provide the reviewer(s) with the relevant background information, the potential financial and resource impact (if applicable), and the risks associated with implementation or non-implementation. 

Delegation of Authority decisions must align with the University’s vision, mission, values, goals and objectives. The Delegated Individual approving a decision must:

Ensure appropriate consultation and review steps were followed.
Retain documentation outlining the decision, including but not limited to, who was consulted and who endorsed/supported the decision.

The Designated Individual is required to maintain documentation, in accordance with the University’s Record Retention Schedule, indicating a decision has been appropriately reviewed and endorsed.

In accordance with the University of Calgary’s Delegation of Authority policy, Designated Individuals may sub-delegate any, or part of, their authority. There are two (2) types of sub-delegations:

  1. Continuing sub-delegation (e.g. A Designated Individual transfers their authority to their subordinate in order to empower that individual to continually make commitments, use resources and act in relation to their assigned duties).

    To establish a continuing sub-delegation of authority the ELT member must contact Legal Services

  2. Temporary sub-delegation (e.g. A Designated Individual is out of the office for a period of two weeks and temporarily transfers their authority to a subordinate for the duration of that time).

    To establish a temporary sub-delegation of authority please use the form below.

The Designated Individual must ensure the person receiving the sub-delegation of authority understands the scope of their authority, responsibility, and accountability. All sub-delegations shall be in writing and submitted to the General Counsel.


Each faculty, unit, portfolio and department across the university has unique business requirements. The following resources will assist leaders and employees in determining their delegated authority:

Temporary Delegation of Authority


Sub-Delegation of Authority

Contact the Office of the General Counsel

Delegation of Authority Primer


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