; Policies & Procedures

Writing or obtaining policy documents can often be seen as a daunting task for small organisations, particularly as the number of issues requiring a policy seems to have increased. However, these policies are the cornerstone of a safe youth work environment and provide the framework for good practice.

A Child Protection Policy and a Health & Safety Policy are thought of as essential policies to have in place. But what about a selection and recruitment of volunteers policy, a code of conduct, a confidentiality policy, a policy about medical treatment on trips, a nut allergy policy? The template policies provided in the Safe and Sound Library can help you develop a suite of policy documents to meet your own needs. 

Beyond the 'policy', organisations will need 'procedures' to run alongside, turning the policy into a useful document that can be used by staff and volunteers. Many policies require an individual to be designated with a particular role (e.g. First Aider, child protection officer) so it's essential that other staff and volunteers are aware of this and how to proceed with any issues that arise.

Although there are many sources for template documents, each organisation needs to spend time thinking about what is necessary for their organisation. Policies can also refer to other organisational policies, so you need to make sure that any cross-referencing is correct if you use a template.

Having a policy isn't enough. It needs to be a living document that is reviewed, changed and implemented so that it reflects both good practice changes and the experiences of your group or club.

A small selection of appropriate, regularly reviewed policy and procedure documents will help your club run smoothly and ensure everyone understands their responsibilities.

Document Icon It can be helpful to have all these policies in a volunteer induction pack so that you can go through them with new volunteers. It can also be beneficial for volunteers to sign particular policies once you've discussed them (i.e. Code of Conduct and Child Protection Policy) so you have a clear record of their understanding and acceptance of the policy.

The following pages outline some key policies that your organisation should have, or at least consider working towards. Each page includes a template policy that can be downloaded and amended to suit your organisation.

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