Steps in Policy Development
The following steps summarize the key stages involved in developing the Opticians of Manitoba (OOM) policies:
1. Identification of Need
OOM needs to constantly assess its activities, responsibilities and the external environment in order to identify the need for policies and procedures. Policies can be developed:
- In anticipation of need
- In response to need
The need for the development of a new policy or revisions to an existing policy can be recommended verbally or in writing, to the OOM Council by any member of the organization which includes staff members, Council, other committee members and volunteers.
2. Identification of Who Will Take Lead Responsibility
The responsibility will be delegated by OOM Council to an individual, working group, subcommittee or staff members, according to the expertise required.
3. Gathering Information
Information gathering must include:
- Legal responsibilities that the OOM may have related to the issue
- An accurate and up-to-date understanding of the issue
- Information from other organizations who have addressed the same issue
- Collecting existing templates that could be drawn upon
- Determining resources required for guidance in developing the policy
4. Drafting the Policy
A policy may be drafted by the individuals or group assigned to take responsibility for the policy, or may be delegated to a staff member, using the format required for OOM policies.
5. Considering What Procedures are Required
Procedures are more likely to be required to support internal policies. Clear guidance must be included in the policy on how the policy will be implemented and by whom; who will be responsible for developing these procedures, when will it be done, what will the process be for consultation, approval and implementation?
6. Consulting Appropriate Stakeholders
In order to be more effective, those affected by the policy must be consulted and supportive and have the opportunity to consider and discuss the potential implications of the policy. Stakeholders include, but may not be limited to:
- Staff and volunteers
- Management members
- Other committee members
- Service users or beneficiaries
7. Finalizing and Approving Policy
All policies must be submitted in writing for approval by the OOM Council, and must include the Policy Review and Approval Checklist. The OOM Council will approve, request revisions or deny approval.
Prior to giving formal approval to a new or revised policy, Council must:
- Provide a copy of the proposed policy for review and comment to the members of the OOM and any other person the Council considers necessary
- Consider the comments received
Once approved, the individual or committee that recommended and/or developed the new or revised policy will be advised of the outcome in writing, by Council. If Council has reviewed the policy and is recommending further changes before it can be approved, the letter will include their recommendations for changes. Once the changes are made, the revised policy can be resubmitted to the OOM Council for approval.
OOM Council must provide final approval before a policy can be implemented.
The procedure for implementation must include:
- The plan for how, when and to whom the policy should be communicated
- Training if required for internal policies
- Producing a press release for eternal policies when appropriate
- Ensuring that monitoring and reporting systems are in place to ensure that the policy is implemented and that usage and responses are assessed
- Assigning responsibility for the monitoring, reviewing and revising activities
9. Monitoring, Reviewing and Revising New and Existing Policies
All new and revised policies will be reviewed and revised (if needed) annually and/or at any time when a review or revisions to a policy are required. Monitoring and reporting systems will be in place to ensure that the policies are implemented and to assess their usage and responses. The responsibility for monitoring, reviewing and revising of new and revised policies may be delegated by the OOM Council to the appropriate internal or external group or individuals with the expertise to do so.
10. Reporting Requirements
The OOM Council is required to review monthly and to report to all OOM members on the status of new and revised policy development, implementation, review, revisions and monitoring.