As a benefit to all our members, we are proud to offer CU PolicyPro as our repository for sample policies and forms. It is located at the link below.
Policy-writing Tips & Techniques
Credit union board members and management staff have the responsibility of writing an endless number of policies these days. Policies protect our organization by documenting a commitment to laws/regulations and to the success of our business goals. Policies are a statement of our values or principles, providing boundaries to live within. The Board of Directors is responsible for adopting policy, but policy writing may be delegated to staff or committees. Writing your own policies ensure that they are tailor-fit to your unique organization. When the components of a policy are identified, policy writing is easy to do. The first rule of policy writing is there is NO one correct way! A policy should be sufficiently broad so specific procedures may be developed to uphold the requirements of the policy.
A policy is a course of action or inaction towards the accomplishment of some intended or desired end.
Purpose of a policy:
- Provides a clear sense of purpose
- Specifies the outcome required
- Assures compliance with the laws
- Reflects commitment to business goals
- Provides consistency in operations
- Title Name of Policy
- Purpose Describes the necessity of the policy
- Scope What does this policy apply to?
- Policy Statement Actual policy
- Certification Process Approval by the Board of Directors, Date of approval.
- Cross-references References; related laws, regulations, other policies
- Definitions of terminology - optional
Characteristics of a Policy:
- It is an agreed statement that identifies what your organization intends to do.
- Establishes a unique vision and identifies principles to be followed by those responsible for turning policy into action.
- Is based on a clear statement of belief or purpose.
- Provides a framework for achieving a clearly stated purpose on an issue.
- Explains what is expected.
- Explains why certain things are expected.
- Provides a clear basis for the implementation of internal controls and procedures.
- Permits staff to make interpretations to adjust for changing conditions.
- Ensures that there will be uniformity and consistency in decisions and operational procedures.
- Adds strength to the position of staff when possible legal actions arise.
- Is constantly updated to foster stability and continuity.
- Clarifies principles an/or responsibilities of the organization.
- Supports the mission and vision of an organization through structure.
- Is mandated by laws/regulations, operational consistency and to satisfy business goals.
Policy writing Tips:
- A policy is a statement referencing a single, broad issue
Policies do NOT prescribe methods for arriving at an end result
1. Are free of jargon
2. Normally include the word shall
3. Avoid using the word will
4. Are easily understood avoid legalese
5. Guide the reader
6. Avoid exceptions
7. Address concepts and broad issues
8. Are uniform and consistent
A well-written policy is a foundation to build sound business practices on.