Policies and procedures

What goes where is still confusing for a lot of people. Because for many committees, creating policies and procedures is the only reason of their existence, we thought it was important to dedicate an entire section of our best practice manual to the development of policies and procedures.

This section is far from complete and we will add more content as we go but at least it's a start!
There are very few places on the Internet that contain free and practical information on policy and procedure development. Please don't hesitate to send us your best practice tips, articles or links to useful information.
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What is a policy?

There are many definitions of 'policy' but in general terms we might define a policy as:

"a principle of action that guides the decision-making and activities of the organization"

Or similar: a policy is a documented set of principles and guidelines enforced by the organization and usually with regard to a specific subject area.

Click here for a list of other definitions

What is a procedure?

A procedure is a certain way of doing something. It is usually developed as a series of steps to be followed to achieve an end result.

Policies & procedures manual

In very simple terms a policy defines 'what' you will do while a procedure describes 'how' you will do it.

Procedures are usually closely tied to a policy and together they form the 'policies & procedures manual'. This manual is a very effective management tool and considered by some as a strategic link between the organizations vision and its day to day operations.

Creating this manual or parts of this manual is a decision making process and is the unique role of many existing committees.

more about policies & procedures

links to external resources

Policy/Procedure Review

Policies and procedures are subject to change like anything else and a review should be scheduled at regular intervals.
The interval can depend on the subject but once a year is recommended in most cases.