Policies and Procedures make up the foundation of any organisation and are fundamental to its structure, business practices and day to day functioning.
A policy is a statement of intent about how the organisation will conduct its business in specific areas. Policies need to be clear, concise and to the point; aiding in the decision making process and used as a building block for accompanying procedures.
A procedure utilises the information provided in the accompanying policy and gives defined steps for how the intent in the policy will be actioned within the organisation. Procedures can be created in many formats such as word documents, flow charts, process maps or bullet point instructions, provided they are clear on who does what, how they do it and what systems or documents are used in the process.
The larger or more complex an organisation is, the more policies and procedures it will have to help govern it, and industries such as consumer credit and financial services should have a strong foundation of policies and procedures to ensure regulatory, legal and contractual compliance with the vast array of requirements.