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Policy Advisory Council

What is Policy?
“Governing board policies are broad statements that establish the direction for the institution and set standards for college operations (Smith, 2000, p. 90).” When writing policy, boards of trustees consider what is in the best interest of the community and the college.

Policies are formal in nature and rarely change unless a regulation, law or code of practice changes. Good policies are general and future-oriented. They create an environment that supports creativity and innovation. Broad policies enable the board (and college) to benefit from the expertise of its administrators, faculty and staff.

The boundary between what is the responsibility of the board and in the purview of the administration is not always clear. In general, the board writes policies and sets broad parameters for acceptable practice. The president and the executive team further define acceptable practice.

What is the difference between a Policy and Procedure?  How are they connected?
A policy is a statement of guiding principles. Procedures are detailed, step-by-step descriptions of the actions required to carry out and implement the policy.

Policy Procedure
Broad application Narrow application
General guiding principles Detailed processes or protocols
Explains who, what and why Explains how, when and/or sometimes who
Rarely changes Prone to change
Needs Board approval Does not need Board approval

(Adapted from Council on Accreditation, http://coanet.org/home/)