POLICY / PROCEDURE ?
tdc is providing the following information as part of our
If governance consultation assistance is required
Policy / Procedure Definition
The question regarding the difference between these two words at first might be perceived
as one of semantics.
At first glance it appears that they are synonyms.
From the standpoint of a member of a Board of Directors or even from being a Member of a
these words are not synonymous but have clear concise meanings.
Policies tell organizations what is to be done and procedures tell them how it is to be
Concerning this general definition, policies permeate all aspects of an organization,
whereby procedures can be and are often specific to certain aspects of the organization.
In short - Boards set policies and administrators define and carry out procedures .
Quoting John Carver, a
" Board policies are an expression of
a specific Boards values and perspectives ".
Policies created by Boards of Directors, do not require the specific expertise of the
Statements of policy are based upon the collective values; judgment; fundamental
principles of management; experience in governance and organization of all the members of
In closing, policies generally provide both vision and inspiration to the
Procedures are the tools that are used to assemble, create and operate the organization
a Boards policy.
For Inquiries or your Comments e-Mail
Comment and Question - December 3, 2003
I read your web page on policies and procedures.. but I am a faculty
member, not a board member, and this is a little confusing. We
grievance committee written into our by-laws and it has a whole set of
procedures that we (the faculty) use to conduct a hearing. Who
authority to write/modify these procedures and are they subject to
faculty approval.. and vote ? by majority or quorum?
Much thanks - Pat Freed
Jewish Hospital College of Nursing
Thanks for your interesting and thought
The answer is the Board of Directors has always the ultimate
authority over the entire operation of the organization.
Specifically, to find the answer to your question, the authority to change
a committee's procedure, might be written into the constitution
of the Board, outlining who, what, where, etc and how committees
In their description of the role of committees there should be a
section on committee rules and how to change them if needed.
If you do not find information about the committees in the
constitution or reference thereof.... then I would suggest
that your committee write to the Board of Directors and/or CEO
explaining what changes are needed and asking them for guidance.
They have the ultimate authority to outline the governance of committees.
Another way to look at this is to see if the general rules
of the Board are governed by "Robert's Rules of Order" which
I believe does describe the role of committees and how theyare run.
You might want to peek in at http://www.robertsrules.org/rror--00.htm
and look up committees.
Comment sent - June 11, 1999
" Thank you for the clarity on Policy and Procedures. Very Helpful "
Co-Chair, Board of Directors
Halifax Transition House Association
November 5, 1999
Do you have any information/samples on procedural rules for
running Board meetings, a modern version of Robert's Rules of Order?
I have seen about three versions of Robert's Rules of Order,all are about the same....
Usually, what some boards do is establish Robert's Rules
for their board....
and then if they want amendments, they amend accordingly.
What influence does policy have on municipal liability for negligence?
Books to Buy
Robert's Rules of Order: The Classic Manual of Parliamentary Procedure
Webster's New World Robert's Rules of Order:
Robert's Rules in Plain English
Robert's Rules of Order
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