Definitions

Policies

Policies are statements that reflect the philosophies, attitudes, or values of an organization related to a specific issue.  They are generally represented in a paragraph or perhaps two - not pages. They might say "what" but not "how."  Checklists, procedures, standards, and guidelines all must implement, reflect, and support the applicable policy or policies.  

University Policies

A University policy affects or applies to the personnel or operations of more than one operating group or department and is reviewed by all members of the University Policy Committee.  

Internal Policies

An internal policy applies to personnel and operations subject to one operating group or department, provided that these policies are consistent with the University policies and other superseding policies.  Individual members of the University Officers may approve internal policies or delegate approval authority as they deem necessary.  

Procedures

Procedures contain one or more sentences describing how to accomplish a task or reach a goal - i.e., directive statements.  The specific actions generally should be followed as they are outlined.  More explanatory text is usually involved.  A sequence is not necessary but sometimes is important.  

Standards

Standards are statements dictating the state of affairs or action in a particular circumstances.  They establish a rule from a recognized authority outside the University.  

Guidelines

Guidelines contain information about how to accomplish a task or reach a specified goal.  They are provided as suggestions; in other words, they are not mandatory, but a good idea.  They may also contain an element of "best proactice" - alternate actions might be avaialble and might work, but what is being provided has proved to be the fastest, least costly, etc.  More explanatory text is usually involved.  

Checklists

Checklists contain one or more statements dictating how to accomplish a task - i.e., steps.  These steps are applicable to a spcific circumstance and written in simple language with brief or no amplifying text.  The sequence is important.  Flowcharts are used as a method for conveying similar information.