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Department Policy Guidelines

Below are the Integrity and Compliance Office’s (ICO) tips for developing, adopting, and maintaining department policies and procedures.

Developing Policies and Procedures

  • Gather Your Resources

    • Obtain your manager’s support to develop your department’s policies and procedures.
    • Assemble a small team of people to do the work. You can also enlist the assistance of subject matter experts in your department as you need them.
    • Make a list of the practices and processes in your department that should be documented and adopted as policies or procedures. Here are two tools to jumpstart your thinking:

      • Consider how your department would be impacted if certain employees were suddenly to retire and move to a remote island without phone, text, or internet access. Would the remaining or new employees be able to take over for the island employees? What things would the remaining department employees no longer know how to do?
      • Consider how the department would benefit from more consistency in its practices and processes. How do people in the department take different approaches to the same problems? Are any of those approaches better than the others? Are any unacceptable?
  • Identify One Specific Need

    • Try to determine which policy or procedure your team will draft first by prioritizing the list of practices and processes you already made.
    • Some departments like to draft policies in the following order:

      • Most important to least important
      • Most urgent to least urgent
      • Easiest to write to hardest to write
      • Those that require knowledge from the person most likely to leave to those that use information most people have
      • Any other order (just get started!)
    • Choose a policy or procedure from your prioritized list to start with. Don’t think too much about it. Just get started!
  • Look Around

    • Benchmark your department practices and processes against other industry sources.
    • Review university policies to make sure your proposed department policies don’t conflict with the university-wide ones.
  • Write

  • Rework Until Finalized

    • Test the policy or procedure against different scenarios to help ensure you’ve covered essential points.
    • Review drafts with campus stakeholders who have a direct and reasonable interest in your department’s policies and procedures.
    • Incorporate the input you receive from your team and stakeholders.
    • Consult with BYU’s Office of the General Counsel on legal questions that arise.
    • Submit the policy or procedure to your manager for review.
    • Incorporate feedback from your manager.
    • Work toward consensus from your team on a final draft of the policy. Remember that documents are rarely “done.” They get “good enough” or time runs out.
    • Submit the final policy draft to your manager for approval.

Adopting Policies and Procedures

  • Publish the finalized policy or procedure in locations where they can be easily accessed by your department employees. Your website is a great choice! (Remember that documents posted online must comply with the university’s Web Accessibility Policy.)
  • Announce the new policy or procedure to department employees and stakeholders.
  • Discuss the new and revised policy with department employees.

Maintaining Policies and Procedures

  • Conduct regular training on department policies and procedures.
  • Establish a periodic review of existing policies and procedures to determine whether they continue to accurately reflect department practices and processes.
  • Revise policies and procedures as needed to reflect current practices and regulatory requirements.
  • Add policies and procedures as needed to fill in gaps in department practices and processes.