Most organisations have a comprehensive multi-page document to cover everything. This makes it complicated to understand especially for front line staff.


  • Policies are statements of intent i.e. "What we are aiming for"
  • They do not say HOW we will do this
  • Policies generally do not require customisation

Procedures and protocols

  • These define how we will implement the policies, i.e. the rules and methodology for people to follow
  • These may be more detailed and will vary with every organisation as each works slightly differently to others

Customisation affects management side more than staff side. e.g. staff usually pass over complaints to managers, job done, whereas Managers will have to define who will handle the investigation and who will have the final say

How to simplify policies

  1. Don't complicate it for staff.
  2. The only person who really needs to know the detailed process or protocol is the line manager.
  3. For staff, differentiate between MUST know Vs USEFUL to know

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