How to Distinguish Between Policies and Procedures for Social Care Services

The terms policy and procedures are crucial to an organization and are interdependent. However, there is some wide dissimilarity between the two that are important to take notice of. The term policy is a plan for action and it impacts on an organization. It is reactive as it is created with a purpose of getting response to a current pressing problem. On the other hand procedures are footsteps that help one to achieve excellence with the policy.

Differences between policies and procedures for social care services are-

What is a policy?

A policy gives an organization the all-purpose direction provided by a set of rules that is made up by the top executive leadership. It is a general principle that top executives have agreed and each employee being a part of the association will abide by. A policy maker is someone who makes decisions for a collective group or organization. It is a high level rule that is supported by the organizations procedures.

A policy can be both reactive (as mentioned earlier) and pro-active. That means it is a course of action designed to prevent a problem or an issue.

Considering the examples given below-

  • Example of a reactive policy is that for house
  • Example of a pro-active policy is that of government rebates or kickbacks.

The key to good policy making is a good method for top executives to make decisions that set directions for the company.

What should be the characteristics of a good policy?

  • A policy should be clear and simple. It however does not explain how they are going to be achieved.
  • The principle is fortunately well-established in an organization and hence nullifying the need of revising.
  • There can be both internal as well as external policies for different stakeholders.

What is procedure?

The procedure explains the ways a policy work. It is similar to a road map that explains how the organizations comply with the policy. Procedure by its term has the literal meaning of a series of small tasks or steps that one take to accomplish a task. There are also different levels of procedures from higher to lower that summarize the steps that one needs to take while documenting a policy.

What should be the characteristics of a good procedure?

  • It should explain how a company reaches its destination and should also comply with all the laws of company.
  • It reveals the step by step instructions on how a company gets to that destination. The turn-by-turn directions help the company to overcome the barriers in the way of excelling in their policy.
  • It is an algorithm or protocol that one needs to follow for the benefit of the institution.
  • A procedure includes all the tools, means and methods that one uses to meet the policy requirements.

One might think that a policy and a law are somewhat similar. However, the truth is far behind. Policies on one hand guide the decisions of a company or institutions; on the other hand laws implement justice and order.

A policy is a plan of an action and a law is an established procedure or standard that each member of a society must follow. A law widely depends on policies as the latter is used to create them.

Having a set of both standard policy and procedure is essential for a company. On the other hand, the latter defines how one is going to do that. Hence, both policy and procedure are evident elements of an organization that one needs to take care while drafting the social care services.