Five Tips for Creating a Policies and Procedures Guide
During the first few weeks of each new year, we all probably spend a little time questioning how we’re going to accomplish the resolutions we made just a few days earlier. How exactly am I going to take more time to stop and smell the roses? How exactly am I going to get organized/de-stress/spend less money/exercise more? How exactly am I going to create the policies and procedures guide my school desperately needs?
Wait. Was creating a policies and procedures guide not on your list of resolutions?! No worries—it’s never too late to add it! And Blackbaud University wants to help. To get you started, here are five important items to consider when creating and maintaining a policies and procedures guide.
Who is responsible? Your policies and procedures guide will impact many departments and administrators at your school. You should therefore think carefully about who you need to include in the decision-making process for initially creating your guide and for updating your guide as needed. Make sure to document who “owns” the guide and remember that each guide you create may have different decision makers.
Your guide is a living document. Your policies and procedures guide is a continual work-in-progress. As your internal processes change, you will need to review, update, and improve your guide. Schedule a recurring meeting with all appropriate departments and administrators so you can evaluate and edit your guide on a regular basis.
Where will your guide reside? It is crucial that you share your policies and procedures guide with everyone who works in the system. However, you must first determine where the guide will reside (e.g., on your school’s intranet or as a shared Google or OneDrive document). Remember that your guide will continually change, so everyone must always have easy access to the most current version.
Internal training and education. Once you create your policies and procedures guide, you must educate everyone on how to use it. Devise a plan for how you will train administrators. Will you create specific meetings to train staff, or will you use your recurring meeting? Will you train all staff together, or will you train multiple, smaller groups? How will you alert staff to changes in the guide?
Register for K–12 Core Best Practices: Policies and Procedures - Constituents. This Blackbaud University course will help you determine what information you should include in your guide, help you identify what questions you should answer in order to create a comprehensive guide, and help you document your school’s processes for managing constituent records.
Good news for Blackbaud Learn® subscribers! If you have a Learn More training subscription, this class is included. Not a subscriber? You can purchase any of our courses individually or request more information about the benefits of a Blackbaud Learn® subscription here.
We wish all of you luck with your New Year’s resolutions! And once you complete your school’s policies and procedures guide, we encourage you to share it right here in the K–12 Community!