I'll chime in with a thought that sits between Fred and Peter:

Peter said: It should be difficult to change policy since it affects the
entire organization. If you include procedures as part of your policy then
that same organization will have to ratify procedural changes resulting from
laws/regulations/business needs.

Fred said: I generally suggest the most concise main body possible, and then
throw everything else (with as much detail as you like) into appendices.  So
the main body functions almost entirely as introductory matter, while the
appendices provide the encyclopedic content.

Okay, I do prefer to have them physically/logically tied into one thing,
however as Peter noted that can cause updating issues unless you
specifically address updates in your policy.

For example, I would write the Policy (capital P), making it very concise
and simple, with as little instruction as possible.  The exhibits/appendices
to the Policy are where I put the "how to do it" detail.  However, in the
Policy I will include a statement that the Policy can only be modified by
[insert policy making body name], but that the Exhibits/Appendices are
subject to modification as deemed necessary by [insert your title here, or
your boss, whoever can make those tactical decisions].  I also will
typically include a bit about how/when/to whom updates to the Policy and its
attendant supporting documentation are disseminated and if there is any
regular review interval for either/both.

As I'm sure you can tell, there's lots of ways to go about it and come up
with something that is successful.  If you haven't already, I would suggest
grabbing a copy of one or more other policies already in place in your
organization (that appear to be working) and examine those for ideas about
structure, format, etc. that works for your particular organization.

Good luck!


Julie J. Colgan, CRM

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