Policies & Procedures

Policies are statements about how an organisation intends to run its services or business. They provide a framework, or a set of principles,  within which the organisation’s activities take place.

Policies can help organisations to comply with the law – some policies flow from legislation, for example health and safety and GDPR –  and/or with the requirements of regulators such as the Charity Commission, and/or of funders and commissioners.

Policies also help us to clarify expectations and to achieve consistency across the organisation.

There is potentially a huge range of different policies that could be put in place, but it’s important to be proportionate. A small volunteer-run charity with one or two services or projects is unlikely to need all of the policies that a larger organisation with numerous staff and a range of different services would.

There are some basics like health and safety, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, data protection/GDPR and financial policy and procedures, that all organisations should have in place. If you’re applying for grants you’ll see that many funders are asking to see your environmental policy and, if you work with children or adults at risk, you’ll need safeguarding policies in place too.

There are several really good sources of information and guidance on developing policies:

Developing policies and procedures | NCVO – they also produce some policy templates, which are free to NCVO members. Their membership info is here: Join NCVO | NCVO.

Charity Excellence Framework also provide templates as well as information. You need to register to access the templates but registration is free.

Kent Volunteer Partnership has lots of information and guidance for volunteer-involving organisations, including some policy templates