Trojan CorporateTrojan Corporate

By Narelle Davidson

Is it a policy, procedure, process or something else?

Compliance isn’t about having a policy for everything.  Compliance needs to be practical and able to be implemented. A crucial component of a solid compliance program is developing and implementing a practical policy that will help the venue met with the applicable law, standard and code.  A suitable policy that satisfies the community, member and patron expectations.  The policy should aim to promote compliance without putting an unnecessary burden on the business. 

What is a policy?

A statement, verbal or written that details the standard, belief or course of action that has been adopted or proposed by the board of directors.

What is a procedure?

Procedures detail the steps, order or manner in which tasks or actions are to be conducted. Procedures are used to show employees the correct process to be followed.   Procedures are typically lengthy and offer more detail to the employee.

What is a process?

Interrelated tasks, decisions, actions or steps that achieve a specific result.

How do we make sure that we aren’t creating another document that serves no purpose?


  1. Avoid mixing policy and procedure together.
  2. Keep it real. The policy must be practical and able to be implemented.
  3. Keep the policy current and up to date. Keep the procedures current and up to date.
  4. Use language that readers will understand and that is consistent with your venue and industry.
  5. Involve the team in policy development. This will give it credibility.
  6. Publish and communicate policy. Use formats, like noticeboards, staff newsletters, team meetings and team talks. Provide training and where appropriate publish on the club’s website.
  7. For internal policy and procedure, use an “I agree” form that the team member signs in acknowledgement of having received, read and understood the document they have been provided.
  8. Is the policy or procedure being implemented effectively? Does it need to be reviewed? Does the policy work?
  9. Maintain a policy and procedure register.
  10. Policy and procedure are best written in alignment with business strategy, vision and values.

Bonus Tip:

Ask this question: Is the issue better dealt with by a policy, process, or a procedure?

Summing up

Often the lines between policy and procedure become blurred.  It is important to make sure that policy and procedure don’t become something other than what they are intended to be. The policy should serve a bigger purpose and not be written for policy sake.  Take the time to develop, tailor and implement the appropriate solution to make sure it’s a good fit.  Make sure the solution adds value.  Trail procedures to make sure they work.  Test processes to ensure they achieve the desired results.  Use policy, procedure and process to set the standards, steps and outcomes that add value and lead your business forward.


About narelle-davidson
Narelle Davidson has been involved in the hospitality industry for 20 years and has experience working with clubs and hotels in New South Wales & Queensland. Narelle has progressed through varying roles from front line customer service, gaming promotion co-ordination, self-employment, hotel management, training, consulting and compliance. In most recent years, Narelle has focussed on compliance programs and solutions for hospitality venues. With practical understanding of both NSW & Queensland legislative requirements Narelle is able to rationalise and provide the expertise required to facilitate effective regulatory and operational compliance frameworks. Narelle is a current member of the Governance, Risk and Compliance Institute (GRCI).
Do we have a policy and procedure for that?