Policies and procedures

It’s essential for any organisation to have a set of policies and procedures in place that ensure compliance with the law and regulation, provide appropriate control, transparency and accountability from the board of trustees to staff or volunteers and sets out how things should be done and what is expected of people.

Getting started

This page can be used for you to begin gathering information about what you have in place and what you need to have in place. It does not cover the quality of these documents and our lists of policies and procedures are not comprehensive for what every organisation needs, but it is a starting point.

New organisations should think about which ones are most important for them and start with those, so you don’t become overwhelmed by the number of possibilities.

What’s the difference between a policy and a procedure?

The policy is what needs to happen, and the procedure is how it will happen. The procedure, therefore, follows the policy and can be either a separate document or a section of the same document.

It is good practice to include the review date on all policies and procedures that you write. This date, however, should not be set in stone as new legislation and or guidance may require policies to be updated earlier.

Policies and procedures are living documents that should grow and adapt to an organisation. While the core elements of policy may stay the same, the details should change with the regulations, legislation, best practice in your field and with the organisation.

Why is it important to have a set of policies and procedures?

A clear, appropriate and coherent set of policies and procedures help ensure that your organisation is well run. Together they:

  • provide the appropriate controls including a framework for delegation by the board of trustees to staff or volunteers, by setting out how things should be done and what is expected of people
  • ensure transparency and accountability that the board of trustees will be conducting the work of the charity appropriately and according to the organisation’s governing document.
  • ensure compliance with the legal framework.
  • limit risk to the organisation, trustees, staff, volunteers, beneficiaries and others

What is a good policy?

A good policy is:

  • easily understood and written in plain, jargon-free English
  • has a definite purpose for its creation
  • is linked to your organisation’s strategy
  • is flexible and can adapt to change and be amended if needed
  • is developed through the involvement of interested stakeholders including employees
  • is communicated to all relevant people.

Click to continue (How to develop policies)

Need more help with your policies and procedures? Call our Communities Team on 01480 420604 or email info@huntsforum.org.uk.