Policies and Procedures

Having policies and procedures is important for effective governance and management for organisations, providing a framework for legal compliance, accountability, risk management, and overall organisational effectiveness. 

Your organisation should have policies and procedures for several important reasons:

  • Legal Compliance: Policies and procedures help ensure that the charity complies with relevant laws and regulations. In Scotland, this is the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005, and having policies in place can demonstrate compliance with legal requirements.
  • Accountability and Transparency: Policies and procedures contribute to the transparency and accountability of a charity’s operations. Providing a framework for decision-making and actions, making it clear how the organisation operates and making it easier for stakeholders to understand its processes.
  • Good Governance: Policies and procedures are essential for good governance. They establish guidelines for the board, staff, and volunteers, defining roles and responsibilities.
  • Risk Management: By outlining specific policies and procedures, a charity can identify and manage potential risks more effectively. This includes financial risks, legal risks, operational risks, and other challenges that may arise in the course of carrying out the organisation’s aims.
  • Consistency and Fairness: Having policies ensures consistency in decision-making and treatment of individuals within the organisation. This helps create a fair and equitable workplace, reducing the likelihood of conflicts and ensuring everyone is equal.
  • Protection of Reputation: Charities often rely on public trust and support. A well-defined set of policies helps prevent misconduct or unethical behaviour, protecting the charity’s reputation and maintaining trust.
  • Employee and Volunteer Guidance: Policies and procedures provide clear guidelines for employees and volunteers. This can include expectations for behaviour, procedures for conflict resolution, and guidelines for professional conduct. This  can contribute to a positive culture.
  • Efficiency and Effectiveness: Standardising procedures can enhance operational efficiency by providing a structured approach ensuring that activities are conducted in a manner consistent with the aims and objectives.
  • Continuous Improvement: Policies and procedures should not be static; they should be regularly reviewed and updated. This process of continuous improvement ensures that the charity adapts to changes and learns from its own experiences.
  • Funding and Grant Requirements: Many funders require evidence of good governance and responsible management. Having well-documented policies and procedures is beneficial for securing funding.

Related resources

All resources