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Procedures and Guidance

What is the difference between 'Policies', 'Procedures' and 'Guidance'?

A 'policy' is a set of general standards that have been approved through the University's formal policy consultation procedures for addressing a specific health and safety issue or requirement.

Policies will have a clear aim and scope and be objective setting in their requirements. Policies can refer to 'procedures' to provide more practical detail on process and any specific actions necessary. A list of the current University Health and Safety Policies is available. 

Health and Safety Procedures are more detailed in their requirements than policies, and as a 'rule of thumb', the use of a 'procedure' is more appropriate than a policy where there is a logical start and finish to an activity, sometimes known as Safe Operating Procedures or SOP's.

Procedures are not required to gain approval through the University's formal consultation processes before implementation, although there is a requirement for new or updated Procedures to be notified to the University's health and safety committees as good practice, and early notification of new or updated health and safety procedures to the trades unions is required for their input.

A 'guideline' provides advisory information on a health and safety topic, such as not a mandated requirement but is recommended.