Policies and Procedures are a fundamental aspect in records management. Having established policies and procedures ensure that your government’s records management program runs smoothly and efficiently.
Policies are rules, principles, guidelines, or frameworks that are adopted or designed by your government to achieve long term goals. The policy is usually viewed as the “What” or “Why” of the problem; and it is the general rule required to be followed that points the way to the general goal or desired outcome you wish to reach. They are usually set out in a written format that is easily accessible.
Policies are formulated to influence and ensure consistency on all major decisions made within your government. Written policies establish boundaries for your government and allows your government a basis of perspective when reviewing and updating their goals.
Procedures are an established way of doing something. It is a series of actions, conducted in a certain order or manner. Procedures are usually viewed as the “How” of the problem, it documents the things you need to do to get the desired outcome and provides the step-by-step instructions for specific routine tasks.
The Benefits of Policies and Procedures
Developing and/or documenting your policies and procedures offer the following benefits:
- It enhances program longevity and allows them to become an acceptable part of your business process, and institutionalized practices last longer.
- It aids in uniform implementation because it standardizes practices and allows everyone to play by the same rules.
- It serves as a training tool because it offers step-by-step instructions, delegates responsibilities and can assist with new hires.
- It supports external uses of your records because it defends your record keeping practices in court and creates uniform and efficient services of your records.
Documenting policies and procedures prevent improvised decisions and can protect your government if your recordkeeping practices are challenged.
Sample Policies and Procedures
Where can I find sample policies and procedures?
If you are with a State Agency go to:
If you are with a Local Government go to: