Policy and procedures development process

Created: July 26, 2013 at 3:57 PM | Updated: September 20, 2018 | By Community Resource Kit

1. Set overall policy objectives

These are the overall objectives, or guiding principles, that underlie your policies and need to be kept in mind when developing the details of your policies. They link to the mission and values of the organisation.

For example, the objectives of Xxxx group's policies are:
  • Xxxx services are accessible and appropriate to its community
  • Xxxx supports the Treaty of Waitangi and the rights of Māori as tangata whenua
  • Xxxx is accountable and responsive to its community
  • Xxxx has effective management and governance arrangements
  • Xxxx has co-ordinated, planned and reliable services
  • Xxxx values the role of its various stakeholders, including staff, volunteers, clients, and community members
  • Xxxx will represent and, where appropriate, advocate on behalf of its community
  • Xxxx welcomes feedback, including complaints, which it will address in a timely, fair and equitable manner.

2. Develop detailed policies

1.  Describe the issue the policy needs to address.
  • keep it simple.

2.  Consult key stakeholders, experts or conduct research as appropriate.

  • who will be/may be affected by the policy, or the issue? what do they have to say?
  • don't just consult the professional experts.

3.  Identify the ranges of policy options.

  • keep this practical.

4.  Consider the internal and external environment (e.g. vision statement, government rules).

  • consider legal requirements (such as health and safety) and any relevant standards (e.g. Child, Youth and Family (CYF) Standards for Approval).

5.  Draft policy (in written form).


  • use clear, simple and unambiguous language
  • have a set format for your policies.

6.  Present to board for consultation/adoption.

  • board (governing body) is responsible for approving the policies.

7.  Set up systems to ensure policy is applied on an ongoing basis.


  • it is management's responsibility to make sure procedures are in place so that the policy is communicated, understood and followed
  • have an up-to-date policies and procedures manual
  • include policies for staff (including volunteer) and induction training.

8.  Review at an agreed date.


  • set an achievable review cycle e.g. three years, unless circumstances change and an earlier review is required
  • some policies may need to be reviewed more frequently than others due to changes in the external environment.

3. Develop/review procedures

Procedures are the steps that put a policy into effect and let everyone in the organisation know how that should be done. In practice, the procedures are often developed at the same time as the policies and need to be reviewed at the same time as the policies. Management should be responsible for developing and circulating the procedures.


Next page: Checklist of Policies and Procedures

Previous page: Developing policies

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