The Difference between policies and procedures

There seams to be some confusion around the definition of Policies and Procedures at organisation. Here is a recap of what policies and a procedure are.


A definite course of action adopted for the sake of expediency, facility, protection etc

  • It was a good policy to consent, but on this occasion, we did not as it was morally not right to.
  • Our company policy is generally not to make public comments on politics issues
  • It is company policy to first help customers.


A set of actions that is the official or accepted way of doing something:

  • The company has new procedures for dealing with complaints.
  • You must follow the correct procedure as outlined in the document “Building an Email Server” when setting up an email server for a client.
  • It is critical you follow the right procedure for disposing of all the nuclear waste material.

The main difference between policies and procedures is that generally, a policy is more of a suggestion while a procedure is an official process or rule that has to be followed.