Career Magazine

Difference Between Guideline, Procedure, Standard and Policy

Posted on the 14 February 2014 by Hr Success Guide @HRSuccessGuide

Human Resource Management

Guideline, Procedure, Standard and Policy

We come across these terms quite often and we find lot many people using them in a wrong way. Guideline is simply to give an overview of how to perform a task. Procedure tells us step by step what to do while standard is the lowest level control that can not be changed. Policy is a high level statement uniform across organization. Let’s explore these terms individually and develop a better understanding:

¨Guideline    » A piece of advice on how to act in a given situation    » Recommended but Non Mandatory Control    » Example: Employment Discrimination Guidelines, Screening Guideline    » Extras: ‘Guide’ + ’Lines’ meaning Instructions for guiding purposes only

¨Procedure    » A series of detailed steps to accomplish an end    » Step by step instructions for implementation    » Example: Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s), A Medical Procedure    » Extras: derived from ‘Process’; it’s an established way of doing something

¨Standard    » Acceptable level of quality or attainment    » Quantifiable Low Level Mandatory Controls    » Example: Standard of Living, Standard Size    » Extras: ‘Yardstick’; we don’t make or write standards, we follow them.

¨Policy    » Recommended High Level Statement protecting information across business    » Business rules for fair and consistent staff treatment and ensure compliance    » Example: Dress Code Policy, Sick Leave Policy, Email and Internet Policy    » Extras: ‘Police’; ensure discipline and compliance.Have you come across such words that confuse you? Share your experience with us about your encounter with such words and how you started using them the right way?

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