The Value of Having a Policy on Policies

While a Policy on Policies may sound a bit bureaucratic, having a policy that outlines the process for policy, procedure, plan and guideline creation, review, and management will provide the information required for consistency and adherence to your document management process.
There should be areas of content in the policy to provide all the information needed for anyone involved in document management to effectively and consistently perform their responsibilities within the scope of your organization. It is important to be specific under each area of content to define action steps to providing what is necessary and what the organization process involves.

Recommended content areas include:

1. Definitions

a. Types of documents and what they are and what they cover – policy, procedure, guideline, etc.
b. Roles and responsibilities in the organization process and/or software

2. Access information to the policy management site -url address and login information if using software

3. Procedures for changing current documents and creating new documents

a. Necessity of Document
b. Title and content
c. Scope
d. Identification of document owner
e. Policy area
f. Approval workflow
g. Review Date

4. Required fonts and formats – If you have document management software that predefines the fonts and does not allow font changes, it will be much easier to enforce your desired format. If your software does not offer that functionality it will be necessary to enforce it using the “Policy on Policies” document to do so. If your software does not force the fonts then it may be necessary to identify who will be responsible to insure that the document is done in the correct font.

5. Template(s) to be used for documents

6. Addressing regulatory standards

7. Education Processes for documents before publishing

8. Contact information for support resources within the facility

9. Additional attachments:

a. Visual workflow for your approval processes
b. Copy of template/templates with checklist outlining required fields in the templates
c. Checklists for various roles to refer to and insure everything has been completed in their area of responsibility

For further information on resources to assist in creating your “Policy on Policies” or training on effectively writing policies and procedures, contact us at PolicyStat.

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