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What is the difference between Policies and Procedures?

Defines the WHY

Policy sets the rules, framework, or standards that guide or influence future decisions within an organization.  A policy is a concise formal statement that outlines non-discretionary governing principles and intentions, in order to guide principles, standards, and practices. The intent of a policy could be to set a mandate, provide a strategic direction, or state management's position on a subject.

PROCEDURE Defines the


Procedures are step-by-step descriptions of the tasks required to support and carry out policies. Procedures document a course of action accomplished in a defined order, ensuring a consistent and repetitive approach to accomplish specific actions or behavior. Procedures identify the people, the places, the processes, the forms, and the actions necessary to carry out one or more policies or to support other policies and procedures.

Policies and Procedures COMBINED

Policies and procedures are designed to influence and determine all major decisions and actions, and all activities that take place in day-to-day operations within the boundaries set by them. As a combination document, the policy sets the guidelines and the procedure sets the activities necessary to support the intent of the policy.
If you are ready to get started writing effective policy and procedures, check out a comparison page of my policies and procedures books. These books make a great addition to your reference library.
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